The Top-Level ‘Techxodus’ At India’s Listed Startups


The resignation of Nykaa’s chief financial officer is the latest top-level exit at Indian startups that recently listed on the stock exchanges.

Sample this:

  • Two co-founders have exited Zomato since its listing on July 23, 2021. 

  • Chief operating officers at three Paytm businesses quit after its listing on Nov. 18, 2021.

  • Nazara Technologies’ chief executive officer resigned more than a year after an IPO.

  • The CFO of Nykaa and CEO of FSN Brands have resigned.

While there have been no exits at Delhivery Ltd. so far, PB Fintech Ltd.—the parent firm of insurtech startup PolicyBazaar and lending platform BankBazaar—has elevated co-founder Alok Bansal as executive vice chairman of the company.

The exits come even as all these firms are trading much below their IPO prices.

Zomato (Listing Date: July 23, 2021)

Zomato Ltd.’s founder Deepinder Goyal has continued to lose his trusted lieutenants—and co-founders—before and after the company’s blockbuster initial public offering. 

Four years ago, Zomato’s co-founder Pankaj Chaddah and Chief Business Officer Mukund Kulashekaran left. Now, the DRAMA—an internal acronym for the firm’s top-five leaders—is all but over.

While Mohit Gupta on Nov. 18, Rahul Ganjoo—the head of new initiatives—and Siddharth Jhawar—vice president and head of Zomato’s Intercity Legends service—put in their papers earlier this month.

In September 2021, just two months after the Zomato IPO, co-founder and Head of Supply Gaurav Gupta exited the firm.

While Chief Financial Officer Akshant Goyal and Chief People Officer Aakriti Chopra remain in Deepinder Goyal’s inner circle, Bain & Co. veteran Satyam Mehra and Abhijit Midha of Premji Invest have been brought in as head of strategy and senior vice president, respectively.

Paytm (Listing Date: Nov. 18, 2021)

The story is similar at what was once India’s most valued startup.

While Paytm (One97 Communications Ltd.) President Amit Nayyar and Chief HR Officer Rohit Thakur resigned months before what was then India’s biggest initial share sale, Abhishek Arun, the COO of Paytm Payments Bank; Abhishek Gupta, the COO-Lending; and Renu Satti, COO of Offline Payments, resigned in December 2021.

Thakur is now chief human resources officer at the edtech startup Lead while Nayyar is leading JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s advisory work with European fintech companies. Gupta is now a partner at Trifecta Capital and Arun is leading platform strategy and commercialisation at M2P Fintech.

Nykaa (Listing Date: Nov. 10, 2021)

FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd.—the operator of India’s largest cosmetics etailer—has had a less turbulent year as compared to its new-age peers, but its Chief Financial Officer Arvind Agarwal has resigned just days after a lock-in period ended for its pre-IPO investors.

He is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities in the digital economy and startup space, Nykaa said in an exchange filing on Tuesday. 

“Arvind deserves kudos for the critical role he has played in Nykaa’s emergence as a listed and profitable startup,” Falguni Nayar, founder and chairperson at FSN E-Commerce, said in the filing. “While we do regret losing him, we are conscious of his personal dreams, and wish him all the luck.”

The company is now in the process of appointing a new CFO.

Earlier, Reena Chhabra, the CEO of Nykaa’s private labels business FSN Brands, resigned with effect from Aug. 16, 2022.

Nazara Technologies (Listing Date: March 30, 2021)

On Oct. 20, 2022, Nazara Technologies Ltd. informed the stock exchanges that Manish Agarwal has resigned as CEO, effective Dec. 1, 2022, to pursue an entrepreneurial journey. He will continue to be on the boards of subsidiaries of India’s first listed gaming company.

Founder Nitish Mittersain will take over as CEO.

Separately, the company has appointed Sudhir Kamath, founder and CEO of Sparskills Technologies Pvt., as the chief operating officer. At Sparskills, he developed and scaled the 9Stacks gaming brand.


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