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Urban Ladder names former Croma executive Ajit Joshi as president, COO

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-07-2017 Sayan Chakraborty

Bengaluru: Online furniture store Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions Pvt. Ltd has appointed former Croma executive Ajit Joshi as president and chief operating officer in an attempt to bolster its top leadership, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Croma, a subsidiary of Tata Enterprise, is a retail chain for consumer electronics and durables.

Joshi, former chief executive and managing director at Croma, is the second senior executive to be hired by Urban Ladder in the last two months. In June, the company appointed Jaipal Singal, who had earlier worked with Arvind Fashion Brands Ltd and Mahindra Retail Ltd, as chief financial officer.

“As we prepare for the next phase of growth, it is important to strengthen the leadership team with rich experience and subject expertise. Ajit’s addition to the team 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,” Ashish Goel, co-founder and chief executive at Urban Ladder, said in a statement.

Urban Ladder has recently seen several senior-level exits, including Rushabh Sanghavi, vice-president of category and sourcing, and Nikhil Ramprakash, vice-president of sales and online marketing. Both had joined Urban Ladder in 2012 in its early days. Parag Shah, vice-president, fitouts, urban interiors and alliances, and chief marketing officer Sanjay Gupta have also quit, Mint reported on 4 April.

The development comes at a time when the company is increasingly focusing on building an offline presence.

Earlier this month, Urban Ladder Online furniture retailer Urban Ladder launched its first flagship store in Bengaluru in an attempt to tap into a wider audience and said it will invest $10-15 million in physical retail over the next 12-18 months.

The move is in line with the firm’s vision to evolve into a furniture brand from an e-commerce company and also comes at a time when the e-commerce industry is dealing with slower growth rates. Offline retail will account for 25-30% of Urban Ladder’s business over the next 18 months, Mint reported on 7 July.

“Urban Ladder has made an incredible foray into retail with the first flagship experience centre in Bengaluru. In the past five years, we have carved a niche in the furniture space with innovative design and exceptional customer experience. We have done a great job of making houses into homes for people across India. Having established ourselves as the leader in online furniture, I am now looking forward to the team conquering physical retail in the coming months,” said Joshi.

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