More changes in Myntra top brass as CFO, CMO step down

  • Flipkart group has seen a number of movements including CEO Amar Nagaram put in his papers last month, three years after he was elevated to the CEO position.
  • Myntra’s Chief Financial Officer Ramesh Bafna and Chief Marketing Officer Harish Narayanan will soon be moving out of the company according to reports. Bafna has been associated with Myntra for the last seven years and strengthened finance and other processes to achieve scale over the years.
  • The development comes soon after Flipkart announced the appointment of Nandita Sinha, who will take over as the new CEO of the company effective January. Group CFO Sriram Venkatraman will be taking over as the interim CFO.
[Via]

Myntra To Re-Launch Desktop Site On June 1 And Soon Bring Home Furnishing And Jewellery Products

As we earlier reported, Myntra will re-launch its desktop site on 1st June.

The company has now confirmed the relaunch in a press statement and said that the re-launch is aimed to provide convenience to a segment of customers, especially women customers, who have a marked preference for browsing and shopping on multiple platforms such as mobile, tablet & desktop.

Myntra CEO, Ananth Narayanan said, “At Myntra, we’ve always believed in taking bold calls and pushing innovation forward. We tried to do this last year because we thought we can offer consumers a much better experience on the mobile. While that is still true that the mobile experience is far superior to the web, we have recognized that some consumers still want the option to shop on the web and we’re humble enough to listen to our customers.”

Myntra had gone app only in last May and claims to have witnessed 70% growth.

The company in its statement, added, “Despite the many clear positives, the company has decided to revisit its strategy and re-launch the desktop site. The biggest reason for this is the feedback from Myntra’s consumers, especially women wanting desktop back.  An internal study also suggested that Myntra could expand its customer base by 20% if it allowed users the flexibility of using multiple platforms for shopping.”

Myntra expects 15-20% of its sales to come from the website.

The company will next be launching home furnishing and jewellery.

After A Year, Myntra To Re-Launch Its Desktop Site On June 1

Retracting its app only move, Flipkart owned Myntra is relaunching its website on 1st June.

“We found that while a majority of the growth is driven by mobile, the volume of users on desktop hasn’t decreased. We’ve launched a number of new categories such as home furnishing and (fine) jewellery where customers want to see products on a larger screen. Finally, according to our data, women customers, who are a key area of focus for us, in particular, want to have the option of shopping across channels,” said, Myntra chief executive Ananth Narayanan to Livemint.

Myntra had shut its website and gone app only in last May. While announcing the major shift, the company had claimed that close to 95% of Myntra’s traffic came through mobile devices and 70% of the sales happened through mobile only.

It earlier also launched its mobile site after the app only strategy pulled down Myntra’s traffic and sales.

With the slowdown in external funding, Flipkart has been realigning all its business operations and focusing on a profitable and sustainable business model. This step back is expected to bring 10-15% sales growth.

Myntra Makes A U-Turn, Brings Back Mobile Site

Myntra, the fashion e-tailor which had gone app only last year, has now reopened its mobile website.

Myntra which is owned by Flipkart, said that it does not want to lose out on customers who don’t use the app or are not interested in installing the app.

The company still plans to focus only on mobile strategy as it claims that the majority traffic is from mobile. Earlier, the company officials had clearly said that only a minimal traffic was received from desktop website and losing that audience can be borne by the company.

Flipkart had also announced to go app only but however the company changed its strategy and is still available both on mobile and desktop.

[source]

Myntra Plans To Enter US Market And Curb Its Losses

Flipkart owned Myntra after reporting a loss of Rs 740 crore is planning to foray into the US market and has set up a subsidiary of Myntra Inc.

The e-commerce player plans to achieve profitability by 2017 and thus is looking for opportunities. Myntra had reported losses of Rs 173 crore in FY14.

Chief executive officer, Ananth Narayanan also said that Myntra does not aim to be a a discount-led platform but a mass premium player and thus with the help of technology, the firm is figuring out what discount can be given to which product considering its price and demand.

Earlier the company said that it had clocked $800 million in annualized GMV in January 2016, taking it closer to the target of reaching $1 billion GMV by FY 2016-2017.

[source]

Myntra Is Targeting $1Billion GMV In FY 2016-17; Clocks $800mn Annualized GMV In Jan’16

Myntra has clocked $800 million in annualized GMV in January 2016, taking it closer to the target of reaching $1 billion GMV byFY 2016-2017. Sales volumes for the month were propelled by growth of Myntra Fashion Brands, increased contribution of international brands including new marquee brands such as M&S, Forever 21, high growth in womenswear category and a hugely successful End of Reason sale. Also, discounts have dropped by 6% and supply chain cost reduced by 5% in the last quarter.

“January has been the biggest month ever for Myntra. I am happy to share that we have achieved an annualized GMV of $800 million. Our focus for the year will be to attain positive gross profit while maintaining scale during the year. We plan to build on the momentum in the first month to touch $1 billion GMV by FY2016-17.” Ananth Narayanan, CEO, Myntra

BUSINESS PERFORMANCE IN 2015

In 2015, three key strategies were adopted which has helped the company to clock growth of 70 % YoY.  First, there was a focus on brand mix that appealed to the price conscious as well as the fashion & brand conscious. Second, the company worked towards greater efficiencies arising out of increasing scale and better management of business processes. Finally, better cost management through a series of rationalization measures have ensured better bang for the buck, be it in marketing or infrastructure.

PERFORMANCE OF BRANDS & CATEGORIES

The focus for 2015 was on building a large portfolio of domestic and international brands. “Online fashion consumers are largely brand seeking. Brands will grow and define future of fashion. We expect the branded fashion market to grow twice as fast as the overall fashion market in the next 5 years. We now plan to be profitable at scale in FY 2016-17, with consistently high growth rates,” says Prasad Kompalli, Head – eCommerce Platform, Myntra.

By the end of December 2015, there were over 2000 brands on the Myntra platform, of which 800 new brands had been on-boarded in 2015. The top brands for the year were Roadster, Puma, Nike, Vero Moda & UCB.

The year also saw a growth in Myntra Fashion Brands, led by Roadster, whichbecame the highest performing brand on the platform.  Roadster aims to clock Rs.400 crore in 2015-16 &become a $100-million or Rs650-crore brand by end of 2016.The in-house brands saw an increase in contribution in overall revenue to 20% in 2015. The focus area for FY 2016 is to increase contribution of in-house brands to ~25%.

Currently, on Myntra there are more than 30 international brands on the platform, including Scotch &Soda, Harley Davidson, Ferrari, Desigual, Forever 21,The North Face, Timberland and Marks & Spencer out of which 25 were added in 2015 alone.

The overall contribution by December end was 5%, which will increase to 15% by FY 2017. The leading international brands were Forever 21, Mango, Antony Morato, Scotch & Soda and M&S.

Myntra Ditches App-only Model, Will Roll Out Mobile Website Soon [Finally]

Myntra has decided to drop their app-only ‘long-term strategy’ and is rolling out a mobile website, which is currently under pilot testing.

The development comes after their app-only strategy backfired with a steep fall in traffic and sales.

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Snapshot of Myntra’s Google Play Store Reviews

It would be on the lines of a catalogue available on the mobile site and simultaneously it would put Myntra back on the Google search platform,” a source told TOI.

Myntra’s alexa ranking fell from 17 to an all-time low of 289 in India; it fell 713 positions from global ranking perspective [in just three months]. Customers too expressed dissatisfaction against the app within months as there was surge 1 star ratings.

They also fell to the competition from their rivals like Jabong and Snapdeal as many customers reported facing app crashes while purchasing from Myntra’s app.

Myntra’s parent Flipkart recently launched a ‘Lite’ version of it portal for mobile users. Their rival Snapdeal also came out with a similar strategy in November this year.

– Competitor, Voonik too ditched its app-only model and launched a desktop site.

RSS Volunteers Want Government To Take Legal Action Against Myntra For Selling Cow Leather Shoes

We have been saying that before Indian government pushes the ‘doing business in India is easier’ agenda, they should first look at #SellingInIndia and make that an easy and simple process for businesses.

Case in point : After so much of noise about the beef ban, RSS voluteers* now want the government to take action against Myntra for selling cow leather shoes!

https://twitter.com/RSS_Org/status/664444685402836992

Myntra’s first reaction ? An immediate sorry and an ask for approval ! (which wasn’t really needed)

“We appreciate your sentiments. We feel sorry if the sale of any particular item does not meet your approval.”

*note that the tweet is not from the official RSS handle, but from RSS volunteer group.

Is It A Good Move To Go App only? Some Perspective From FMCG World

This has probably been the hottest point of discussion within the start-up ecosystem as well customers since Flipkart announced their plans to move to App only by the end of this year. Many opinions have been shared from both the supporters as well as disapprovers of this move.

Myntra App Only

Without commenting on those opinions and to look at it from a different perspective, let’s look at a parallel, the FMCG world which was an early-career area of experience for me and also for decades the best practice model for driving end-consumption till Internet disruption started.

  • Web/Mobile app/Mobile site are channels much like Large hypermarkets/Supermarket/ General Stores/Chemists etc. for FMCG companies. Customers choose one of these channels to purchase as per their convenience/preference.
  • An e-commerce company selling only through app is like, let’s say a Cadbury deciding to sell Cadbury dairy milk only through large hypermarkets/supermarkets and not making it available at any other channels.
  • Flipkart’s/Myntra’s argument is that the experience for the customer is much better on the app. Similarly Cadbury can argue that the experience of shopping in hypermarkets is much better for the customer. They can put up grand displays/promoters to promote dairy milk in hypermarkets and nowhere else etc.
  • Now there is no right or wrong here – but both Flipkart/Myntra as well as Cadbury need to be aware of the side-effects of this strategy – they will miss out on the sales for the channels where they are not present while they will definitely be able to give an enhanced shopping experience to their customers in the channels they exist.
  • However the assumption that the customer will change their channel preference because of a company’s decision borders at ‘brand arrogance’. No brand is completely irreplaceable in the current day and age. Imagine your preferred shop is your neighbourhood kirana store (mom & pop store) and you visit them one day to buy Cadbury dairy milk along with other stuff.You don’t find it there once. Ok you love the chocolate so you go to the closest hypermarket to buy it. Then you go shopping the next time, and again you don’t find it in the kirana store – do you think you are speeding your way to the next hypermarket or switching to Kit-Kat? Well, no prizes for guessing the answer.Similarly FlipKart/Myntra’s assumption that people who prefer web/m-site will all ‘eventually’ move to app is untenable at best. Customers have way too many options to get dictated by one brand.
  • FMCG mass brands cannot afford to lose any market share whatsoever and the biggest key to that is mass distribution. Ask any FMCG marketing manager, their worst nightmare and the most common answer would be not being present in an outlet where the competition is available. Truth is in a fragmented market like India, you just can’t afford to miss large channels or your market share would be significantly impacted. Aren’t all E-com brands aspiring to be mass household brands in the future much like Lux and Rin today. If yes, can’t really understand how they can miss out on 2 out 3 channels available as of today.
  • The argument of focus: Another argument espoused in the favour of the move was how this will bring in focus for the app channel development. Again to continue the parallel, 10-15 years back FMCG companies were facing the same situation when Modern trade started becoming critical.
    They promptly restructured their teams to get specialists for modern trade channel development and separate teams for traditional grocers and chemists as the channel needs and type of customers were vastly different. Shutting some channels was not even an option unless they would have been ok with massive erosion of market shares.

Bottom-line – While what Flipkart/Myntra is doing is making a strategic choice, my main concerns about this strategy are two-fold:

a) Their assumption that because they will work only on app, their app channel development will be better compared to its competition might not hold up. Each of the other companies has enough resources at their disposal to develop multiple channels. I really doubt if channel development has already become a zero-sum game.

b) They run the risk of becoming more premium/niche instead of an all-encompassing absolute mass player.

Again this might be a conscious call, though I doubt it.

What are your thoughts?

[About the author: Ashish Virmani currently heads Marketing at FreeCharge, amongst India’s largest Ashish-Virmanim-commerce platforms. Ashish transitioned from FMCG to consumer internet when he joined Flipkart and led offline and consumer segment marketing as one of the early marketing team member. Before that he was with Dabur and Heinz for over 7 years, working across marketing and sales stints. He holds a MBA from MDI Gurgaon and bachelor’s degree in commerce from Hindu College, Delhi. ]

Over 400 Delivery Staff of Flipkart & Myntra Go On Strike. Their Ask? Toilets

While Flipkart has moved to a sexy office, the delivery staff want the logistics arm to provide basic amenities like toilet and fixed duty hours.

Approximately 400 delivery staff in Mumbai working for Flipkart and Myntra have gone on strike since monday accusing the E-commerce platforms of mistreating them.

When Flipkart's Team Took On Delivery Boys Role
When Flipkart’s Team Took On Delivery Boys’ Role

They claim that they were not given even the most basic rights as employees with no fixed working hours, 7 day working weeks and lack of the most basic facilities from their premises. Most of the premises do not even possess a toilet for them to use. In addition to this, 350 of the staff on strike drive motorcycles and are not covered under medical insurance.

The staff on strike are affiliated with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and have issued a list of 20 demands for the e-tailers. Some of them are as follows:

  • Toilets in each delivery office.
  • Duty hours to be fixed.
  • Overtime allowances.
  • Existing shipment allowance to be increased
  • Bike maintenance allowance to be given.
  • Workers to be issued work ID, ESIC cards.
  • Institution of a 6 day work week with compensatory days off.

MNS Kamgar Sena secretary Sachin Gole said that ‘all deliveries had stopped since Monday’ and ‘despite all efforts to convince them, they (Flipkart and Myntra) are not willing to have a meaningful dialogue’ with the striking workers.

Both Flipkart and Myntra have issued statements stating that the strike is a result of ‘misguided interests’ and the lack of employee benefits was a result of ‘unfounded speculation’. Both companies reaffirmed their commitment to providing their employees with all the benefits they require and that customers would not be affected by the strike.

Ladies : Ola and Myntra Have Partnered To Give You a Makeover

While Uber is selling ice creams,  Ola has partnered with Myntra to offer a free makeover curated by personal style advisors to users of the Ola app. Ola_Cabs_logo

Ola and Myntra will flag off ‘LookGood Express’ – dedicated cabs from Ola, armed with all goodies to offer a complete makeover to customers across Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata on August 2nd.

Users can request a free makeover at their doorstep, just like they would request a cab, by clicking on the ‘LookGood’ icon that will be live on Ola’s app between 11 AM and 4.30 PM on August 2nd.

The LookGood Express will have a personal style advisor from Myntra who will call customers up and gather relevant styling details required to design a cool new look for them, once they get a request through the Ola app.

On reaching the customer’s destination, the style advisor will assemble and hand over a personalized goodie bag with trendy apparels and accessories from Myntra and additionally share personalized fashion tips to enhance the customer’s new look.

This first of its kind activity aims to delight fashion lovers across these cities and offers them a chance to experience personalized fashion with one touch!

Has Myntra’s App-only Strategy Backfired?

[Editorial notes : Myntra went app-only and a productgeek, Ashok Boddeda takes a stock of the result of Myntra’s app only decision.]

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. ~ Bill Gates

Google Play Store Reviews

Myntra’s play store reviews clearly depicts a lot of compatibility issues with so many flavors of android versions as well as mobile maker support issues. Most of their recent reviews rated as 1 star, that shows the customers dissatisfaction towards their move. Another major drawback is that they are loosing the loyal customers who are facing app crash issues and unable to make their purchases; and hence switch to competition, Jabong.com.

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https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.myntra.android

Alexa’s Traffic Downfall

Myntra was one of the high traffic website with top ranking and best ranked as 17th in Indian web traffic. Since the App-only decision there is a steep down fall in their ranking as well as traffic. Based on below stats from Alexa, presently this is ranked as 289 in India and fell down 713 positions from global ranking perspective.

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http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/myntra.com

Possible Key Reason For App-Only Strategy

The key reason for this move given by Myntra is to provide a personalized shopping experience for the customers and to avoid huge maintenance cost on desktop based system but in reality the real reason is not the same.

In fact, for mobile apps one has to maintain the code base for multiple version of the Android and different maker support for each device type. They key benefit of mobile app is to enable the customer engagement by regular notifications and obtaining the key personification data where the same is difficult to get in desktop customer.

Summary

While chasing the customer engagement, Myntra.com is also losing the solid customer base and their loyalty. In the software world, acquisition always kills the creative products. Yahoo had many acquisitions and killed so many products like Flickr, Digg, delicious and more. Since FlipKart.com has bought Myntra.com, hope history doesn’t repeat.

Myntra Gets New CEO; Hires Ananth Narayanan From McKinsey

Myntra which has gone app-only has hired new CEO, Ananth Narayanan. Mukesh Bansal will take the position of chairman of the board, and also focus on the Flipkart commerce platform.

Ananth Narayanan will join Myntra in October. He is a 15-year McKinsey veteran who heads product development in Asia and the consulting firm’s automotive practice in India. He earlier helped establish McKinsey’s China sourcing centre.

“Myntra is a very unique player in the e-commerce space and I feel privileged to be able to work with both Myntra and the Flipkart teams to jointly shape the next S curve for Myntra.” [Ananth Narayanan]

Oh Boy! Myntra Is Back On The Web [And It’s Down Again]

After NextBigWhat’s coverage, Myntra sent Makhichoose a takedown notice. The company states that the move was done for publicity, so the element of unjust economic gain is in fact established. Myntra’s desktop web is now off the web and apparently you’re not the only one missing it.

Myntrality

The team at Makkhichoose has ported Myntra’s app content on a website – Myntrality.com – making it possible to view products listed on Myntra via a web browser once again.

Just to make it clear, you can’t buy products off Myntrality.com, just view those listed on the Myntra app. For ease of purchase, the site lists the item code for you to easily find it in the app.

While you’re still going to need the app to buy things off Myntra, some of the biggest complaints people had with the move have been addressed – Comparing items side by side on different tabs from different e-commerce sites being one of them.

Myntrality-2

Makkhichoose clearly mentions that the items listed on Myntrality.com are those from Myntra, but there still could be a few legal issues with the whole deal. Don’t be surprised if Myntrality.com get banned a few minutes after Flipkart gets wind of its existence.

Banned or not, the move by Makkhichoose should show Flipkart that there are a load of customers out there that still prefer shopping via websites. Still, don’t expect the e-commerce company to reverse its decision anytime soon.

Update: Myntra sent Makhichoose a takedown notice soon after news broke of Myntrality.com. The company states that the move was done for publicity, so the element of unjust economic gain is in fact established.

Makhichoose has taken note of the takedown notice and has shut down Myntrality, so yeah, your dreams of shopping on Myntra on a desktop were only short lived.

Myntra Shuts Its Website And Transitions Into An App-Only Business

Today is a big day for online fashion discovery company Myntra. It has shut its site and has moved to an app-only model of sale, in keeping with the growing presence of smartphones in the country.
Myntra App Only
There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding the move, some positive, some negative sentiments have been voiced, but the bottom line is that mobile is the future and Myntra wants to show that it’s going all in.
Jumping to an app-only model is as philosophical a change as it is one made with business in mind. Sachin Bansal, CEO of Flipkart, e-commerce company which owns Myntra, truly believes that India will go from being a mobile-first nation, to a mobile-only nation.
Also Read: The Quintessential Low-Down On Myntra’s Mobile Strategy
Myntra claims its app already receives 90% of its traffic, and 70% of its revenues are channeled through the app. While the company expects some short term attrition, it isn’t too worried about it as it reiterates that jumping to the app is part of its long-term strategy.

The Quintessential Low-Down On Myntra’s Mobile Strategy

News of Myntra shutting down its web platform made big waves in the Indian tech space, but rather it being just a great business opportunity, the move to an app only model is philosophical.
Myntra Logo New
There aren’t any immediate monetary benefits to be had by shutting down its web platform, in fact there could be attrition in the short term which Mukesh Bansal said the company wasn’t too worried about.

Why’d Myntra Take The Leap Of Faith?

It’s rather simple logic. The number of smartphones in India is on the rise, while the PC sales are continually dropping. Nearly 90% of India’s netizens access the Internet via smartphones, and that number is only going to grow.
Myntra is currently valued at $400 million, but its founder Mukesh sees it as a $5 billion company within the next 4-5 years. In order to achieve those sort of dreams, there’s only one thing that matters – the product.
By narrowing its focus to pushing its services to users only via the app and investing in technology and customer acquisition/retention, Myntra wants to become the first e-commerce player in India to become profitable.

Why Apps Are Better?

The statistics Myntra says are simple. Over 90% of the traffic on its platform already comes from the app, while 70% of its revenues are driven by sales made on the app. Apart from its smartphone userbase being significantly larger than the PC userbase, building apps have a few more advantages.
The time spent by consumers on the Myntra mobile app is far higher than the time users spend on the company’s website. Further, once a customer installs the app on their device, their return rate is far higher on the app than on the website.
Another reason for building for smartphones are that they’re always on, meaning shoppers can not only shop anytime from anywhere, but the company can push notifications to them about offers/discounts.
Taking into consideration the number of PC v/s smartphone users in the country, it’s clear that Myntra’s web traffic too would have been driven largely via mobile. The company was pretty straightforward in saying that the mobile web experience was far lower than what was possible via the app or even the desktop site.

What’s Myntra’s Immediate Plans?

Myntra is looking for talent to build a world class technology offering, not just in terms of user experience but also providing the choice personalization to its customers. The company is already moving towards that by offering users the option to build their own profile on the app, which the company can use to recommend better products.
The company recently acquired web development platform Native5, not only to grow its tech team, but to also to gain experience in providing users with great user experience. Even under technology, the company will focus on three categories – Analytics, User Experience and gaining experience in building future technologies such as wearables and VR.
The entire Myntra team is anxious about entering this new phase, however, Sachin Bansal maintained that they were highly optimistic about the same. When quizzed about why Flipkart hasn’t gone down the app-only route yet, he retorted by saying it would, but the challenges of serving numerous product categories would take more time to figure out.

Mobile Is The Future Of Online Selling In India According to Sachin Bansal:

  1. 90% of time spent on the Internet in India is logged via mobile
  2. Broadband adoption hasn’t picked up
  3. Wireless is far easier to roll out given infrastructure issues
  4. Mobile devices are becoming very more powerful very quickly
  5. India will move from being a mobile first nation to a mobile-only nation

Here’s an extremely positive outlook of shopping via mobile:

Gender parity is a lot higher on mobile when compared to on the PC. The fundamental reason for this is because most people access online shopping sites via PC from the workplace, which is predominantly populated by males.
However, if smartphone ownership between men and women in similar wage groups is compared, the stats are almost equal. It is for this reason that Myntra sees more balanced usage of its app than its website, while the fashion content it generates already has higher readership by women.