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Instamart Head Karthik Gurumurthy Steps Down, Hints At Starting A New Venture

The outgoing executive said that he plans to use the sabbatical to start afresh and ‘build something’ he loves

Gurumurthy said that the journey of building Instamart took a toll on his physical and mental wellbeing

An alumnus of BITS Pilani and IIM-B, Gurumurthy joined Instamart as its head in 2020 and claims to have scaled the platform to its current valuation of $1 Bn

The head of Instamart, Swiggy’s grocery delivery vertical, Karthik Gurumurthy has stepped down from his position to take a sabbatical. The foodtech major Swiggy’s cofounder Phani Kishan Addepalli will take charge of the business in his stead. 

“I plan to take a sabbatical now to come back afresh… The business will be spearheaded by Phani Kishan Addepalli, a great leader and our cofounder who will take this to (the) next orbit,” said Gurumurthy in a LinkedIn post

The outgoing executive said that he plans to use the sabbatical to start afresh and ‘build something’ which he loves. 

He also noted that the journey of building the platform from ground up took a toll on him with a lot of compromises on physical and mental well-being. 

Terming the journey arduous, he reiterated that he was taking the break to rejuvenate.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times.

Gurumurthy joined Swiggy Instamart as its head in 2020, after jumping ship from Cipla. Gurumurthy joined the vertical in the same year it was launched and helped it scale to a nearly $1 Bn valuation. 

An alumnus of BITS Pilani and Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, Gurumurthy has previously also worked with global consulting firm Kearney, confectionary major Mondelez International and software giant Oracle. 

Taking charge of Instamart would be Phani Kishan Addepalli who was elevated as Swiggy cofounder in 2021 and is currently serving as the CEO of the recently rebranded subscription grocery delivery service Insanely Good

It is pertinent to note that Swiggy forayed into grocery delivery with Instamart in 2020 and is currently the foodtech giant’s second largest business, apart from food delivery. 

Gurumurthy’s exit comes close on the heels of Swiggy gearing up for its public listing, which, as per reports, could begin as soon as September this year. 

Challenges Galore For Swiggy

The exit comes amid mounting challenges for the foodtech major, which has been bogged down in heavy losses. The decacorn saw its net losses zoom more than 2X to INR 3,628.9 Cr in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) against INR 1,616.9 Cr in FY21.

Swiggy’s q-commerce vertical has also been piling heavy losses for the foodtech major. The foodtech major’s investor Prosus incurred $105 Mn in losses in the first half of FY23, largely on account of losses from Instamart.

It was also reported earlier in the day that US-based investor Invesco had slashed the valuation of Swiggy’s by 25% to $8 Bn at the end of quarter ended September 2022.

Despite the scale, Instamart faces a strong challenge from rival Zomato’s q-commerce vertical Blinkit. The departure also comes amid an ongoing restructuring exercise at the company. Earlier this year, Swiggy fired 380 employees as it began cutting corners and consolidating operations. 

The year so far has also seen Swiggy selling its loss-making kitchen infrastructure business Swiggy Access and shutting down its meat marketplace over issues related to non-performance.

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