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Bengaluru-based furniture e-tailer Urban Ladder has appointed 30-year retail veteran Ajit Joshi as its president and chief operating officer (COO). Joshi is the former chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of Croma - A Tata Enterprise, a specialist retail chain for consumer electronics and durables. He was previously the vice president, operations of the K Raheja Corp-promoted Shopper’s Stop.
“As we prepare for the next phase of growth, it is important to strengthen the leadership team with rich experience and subject expertise,” said Ashish Goel, CEO and co-founder, Urban Ladder.
Joshi’s addition, Goel added, “is a crucial step in scaling our retail and growth strategy and win on offline distribution.” “Ajit’s vast retail experience will be an invaluable asset to us and will help us build a distinctive buying experience across channels,” he continued.
While over the last five years Urban Ladder has focused purely on online sales, the startup is now looking to create an omnichannel shopping experience for consumers. It recently launched its first flagship experience centre in Bengaluru, after an internal consumer research revealed that 45 percent of its customers wanted to experience the products offline. About 21 percent of its customers believed that they did not get a full sense of its products online.
Urban Ladder has stated that it would expand to at least 10 more experience centres by March 2018, across India.
“Urban Ladder has made an incredible foray into retail with the first flagship experience center in Bengaluru. Having established ourselves as the leader in online furniture, I’m now looking forward to the team conquering physical retail in the coming months,” said Joshi, President and COO, Urban Ladder.
With over 2,000 products across 35 furniture categories and with operations in 23 cities in India, Urban Ladder’s growth has been fueled by venture capital funding to the tune of $77 million. Its investors include Sequoia Capital, Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners, and Kalaari Capital.