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Myntra-Jabong merger to affect 10% of combined workforce; Narayanan to lead

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Bengaluru : Flipkart-owned fashion retailer Jabong will merge with its sister company Myntra, which will continue to operate as a separate brand, in a move that could lead to a 10 per cent reduction in the combined workforce. Also, Myntra Chief Executive Ananth Narayanan (pictured) will continue to lead the Myntra-Jabong team, the company said, dismissing speculations about his exit.

The development comes days after Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal stepped down as chairman and group CEO following an allegation of “serious personal misconduct” against him.

There was tension in the air at Jabong’s Gurugram office as anxious employees waited to be told if they were safe or would be let go. Narayanan, who himself flew to Gurugram, told them that the company would do away with the duplication of roles between Myntra and Jabong to effect a tighter integration. Sources in the company said job losses due to this integration could be around 10 per cent of the combined workforce of Myntra and Jabong, or roughly 200 employees. Jabong is learnt to have around 400 employees on its rolls, while Myntra has 1,500-1,600. Multiple sources also confirmed that the company would be shutting down the Gurugram office, even though a Myntra spokesperson denied any such plan.

 

Most job losses are expected in functions such as category, sourcing, and design where there is still a duplication of roles. Over the past one year, Myntra has merged Jabong’s technology and supply chain teams with that of its own.

“From Monday, Myntra category heads have been asked to run Jabong. The sense that employees are getting is that planners from Jabong will be retained because they are they only layer of continuity, but they will be asked to sit out of Myntra’s office in Bengaluru,” said a source.

Narayanan, who was earlier against the merger of the two fashion e-tail companies, is learnt to meeting each Jabong employee one-to-one as the company gears up for one of its biggest transformations since US retail giant Walmart acquired a majority stake in parent Flipkart in May.

“November has always been a month of big changes at Jabong, including some unpleasant ones. But somehow, Jabong has always bounced back in a newer and stronger version. We are waiting to see what happens this time as it’s not going to be Jabong anymore,” said a senior Jabong employee, who quit the company recently. In a separate email issued through its public relations agency in India, the company said Jabong’s brand identity, as well as independence, would be retained after the integration.

“Since Myntra’s purchase of Jabong in mid-2016, the two brands have been steadily integrating key business functions and streamlining processes. This has resulted in revenue growth and a significant improvement in customer experience. As the next step in this process, Myntra and Jabong will now fully integrate all the remaining functions including technology, marketing, category, revenue, finance and creative teams,” it said. “The closer integration of Myntra and Jabong is a necessary step in our continuing development.” HR experts said that following such a restructuring, people would not be out of job for long since other e-commerce companies were also hiring majorly and it was just an outcome of the location change, skill requirement or the changing DNA of the organisation.

“This move is just an indication and outcome of any merger or acquisition happening in the industry, and the rationale is to get rid of the duplicity. This does not mean that exodus of e-commerce would start happening. However, there may be a rationalisation of manpower, which will happen, and since e-commerce companies are growing exponentially, a lot of inside opportunities must be available,” said Mayur Saraswat, head of digital, IT and telecom vertical, TeamLease Services.


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India can’t achieve 9-10 per cent GDP growth without agri-revolution: Kant

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New Delhi: India cannot achieve 9-10 per cent GDP growth without revolution in the farm sector, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.


Addressing Mahindra Samriddhi Agri awards, he said there is a need to boost investment in the agriculture sector as well as to introduce new technology and market reforms.


Kant also stressed on scrapping Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee and some old laws like Essential Commodites Act, which restrict movement of farm produces.

 


However, he said agriculture is a state subject and the central government has limited role in it.


“In India 50 per cent of our population is dependent on agriculture. If India’s GDP has to grow at 9-10 per cent for the next 30 years, then it cannot be without bringing revolution in the agri sector,” Kant said.


He also emphasised on eliminating middlemen in marketing of farm produces to boost farmers’ income.


Kant expressed confidence that farmer income will be doubled by 2022.
He said there is a need to spread good agriculture practice and success stories of farmers across the country.


“The second revolution in agriculture will come from technology and marketing,” Kant said.


Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd,, said: “The contribution made by our farming community is a manifestation of this new age of farming which we celebrate through our annual awards”.


As part of Mahindra Agri Village (MAV) programme, he said the company has worked closely with more than 50 villages.


“Our Prerna initative has empowered nearly 2,000 women farmers over 40 villages, through the introduction of gender-neutral farm tools for reducing farm drudgery, and dissemination of knowledge and essential capabilities,” Goenka said.


Mahindra Samriddhi Krishi Shiromani Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2019 was conferred upon E A Siddiq for his immense contribution to Indian agriculture. The award was handed over to recognise his contribution of enhancing productivity of paddy (Both Basmati & Non Basmati).


The group gave awards in total 11 categories.

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Mukesh Ambani bails out Anil in Ericsson payout case day before SC deadline

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Mumbai: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani stepped in to bail out younger brother Anil Ambani by helping him repay Reliance Communications’ (RCom’s) dues to Ericsson. The last-minute rescue spares the younger Ambani a three-month jail term for contempt of court.


RCom cleared the entire dues to Ericsson India to purge the contempt of a Supreme Court order. The debt-ridden company had already paid Rs 118 crore of the Rs 550-crore dues. In addition, the company had paid around Rs 3 crore in penalties to Ericsson.


“My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita for standing by me during these trying times and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support,” said Anil Ambani in a media statement. RCom had time until Tuesday to make the payment, failing which Anil Ambani, its chairman, would have had to serve a three-month jail term, according to the court’s order.

 
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Probing Amazon, Flipkart for alleged violation of foreign exchange law: ED

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi : Investigation has been initiated against e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart for alleged violation of foreign exchange law, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday informed the Delhi High Court.


A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani noted the submissions of the ED that a case has been registered under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against the two companies and disposed of a PIL which has alleged that the e-commerce giants were violating foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.


The court had earlier sought response of the central government, Amazon and Flipkart to the plea which has sought a probe into the alleged FDI violations.

 


The ED, in its reply filed through central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, has said the “department has already registered and initiated investigation under the provisions of FEMA against the two companies to ascertain whether they have been contravening any provisions of FEMA or contravening any rule, regulations, notification, direction or order issued in exercise of the powers under FEMA….”
The agency also sought dismissal of the petition.


The petition by an NGO, Telecom Watchdog, also asked for initiation of legal proceedings against the two e-commerce companies under the FEMA for alleged violation and circumvention of FDI norms.


The plea, filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva, has claimed that Amazon and Flipkart have created multiple entities to circumvent the FDI norms and route the hot-selling stock at cheaper rates.


The petition has contended that according to Press Note 3 of 2016, which regulates FDI in e-commerce, entities like Amazon and Flipkart are not to exercise ownership over stock, nor directly or indirectly influence price of goods and services sold on their marketplace.


It claimed that by creating name lending companies, Amazon and Flipkart buy branded goods in bulk at discounts from manufacturers and render small sellers uncompetitive by a wide margin, thus influencing the prices in violation of the FDI norms.


“As a consequence of this FDI norms violation, smaller sellers are unable to participate in the fast growing e-commerce sector,” the plea has contended, adding that due to subsidised prices on such platforms, small sellers are unable to sell in the brick-n-mortar world too.


Besides, the plea has also claimed that the two e-commerce firms have created several other group companies in the chain to divide discounts and losses.


“Exchange offers, EMI costs and bank offers are funded completely or substantially by Amazon and Flipkart and constitute a clear influence on price in violation of FDI norms,” it has alleged.

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