Retail News India : Six months after quitting as president of Walmart India, Raj Jain has assumed the role of chief executive at Bharti Retail, the retail venture of the US firm’s former local partner Bharti Enterprises.
Bharti Retail on Friday also named Pankaj Madan, former Bharti Walmart chief financial officer, as its CFO.
Bharti Walmart had suspended Madan in November 2012 amid a Walmart internal probe to check if its India unit indulged in any corrupt practices. Jain quit Bharti Walmart in June last as a direct fallout of the Walmart’s internal investigations, people with direct knowledge of the situation said.
Jain was made an advisor to Bharti Retail in October last, immediately after Bharti and Walmart called off their seven-yearold wholesale retailing joint venture in India. As Bharti Retail CEO, Jain will report to Rajan Mittal, vice chairman for Bharti Enterprises, who is spearheading the group’s retail ventures.
“Bharti is committed to building aworld-class retail venture and we are delighted to have Raj and Pankaj on board,” Mittal said in a statement. Jain now has to grow Bharti Retail without Walmart’s technological and supply chain support.
Bharti Retail currently operates more than 200 Easyday branded stores in various parts of the country. As a result of its separation from Walmart, Bharti has laid off more than 100 officials in the last one month.
Officials at both Bharti and Walmart said that Mittal is fond of Jain and he even had expressed his displeasure to Walmart over the way the former Bharti Walmart CEO’s departure was handled by the Bentonville-based retail giant.
Jain joined Walmart in 2006 in Shanghai as president for emerging markets. Next year he was relocated to India to spearhead its cash-and-carry joint venture with Bharti.
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