Homegrown consumer goods company Marico on Wednesday announced the appointment of Ananth Narayanan, chief executive officer of fashion and lifestyle ecommerce platforms Myntra and Jabong, on its board of directors. He joins the board as additional (independent) director for a five-year term.
Marico’s board comprises chairman and non-executive director Harsh Mariwala, six independent directors –Anand Kripalu, BS Nagesh, Hema Ravichandar, Nikhil Khattau, Rajeev Bakshi and Ananth Narayanan – managing director & CEO Saugata Gupta, and two non-executive directors – Rajen Mariwala and Rishabh Mariwala.
Narayanan, who replaced Mukesh Bansal as Myntra’s CEO in 2015, has transformed the online fashion portal (acquired by Flipkart in 2014) into one of the biggest shopping destinations in India.
Despite the fashion ecommerce space being cluttered with the influx of new players, Myntra has been able to create a strong brand recall with apt advertising. Further, under Narayanan’s leadership, Myntra has made multiple strategic acquisitions, including Jabong from Global Fashion Group.
Narayanan’s appointment augurs well for Marico, which is looking to get 10 percent of their sales from online channels. Also, for the next phase of growth, Marico MD and CEO Saugata Gupta had said the company would be looking at categories like premium edible oil, healthy snacks and male grooming.
The company already has a presence in the male grooming segment with their Set Wet deodorants, and has also picked up a 45 percent stake in Ahmedabad-based Zed Lifestyle that owns the brand Beardo and offers products for beard, hair and skin care.
Harsh Mariwala, founder and chairman, Marico Limited, says he is “confident that Ananth’s rich experience, knowledge and proficiency will prove to be an invaluable asset to the company as it embarks upon the next phase of sustainable profitable growth in an ever-evolving digital world”.
Marico, known for its coconut hair oil brand Parachute and edible oil and oats brand Saffola, posted a healthy set of growth numbers for the financial year ended March 31, 2017. Total consolidated annual revenue was at Rs 5,936 crore, a 1 percent decline, while profit after tax stood at Rs 799 crore, up by 12 percent year-on-year.
Narayanan’s appointment is subject to the approval of shareholders at its ensuing 29th AGM.
Prior to joining Myntra, Narayanan worked with Mckinsey & Company for 15 years in four offices – Chicago, Shanghai, Taipei and Chennai. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Madras and a masters from the University of Michigan, in industrial engineering and operations research. He is on the Industry Advisory Board of University of Michigan’s Tauber Institute.