eBay India appoints Vidmay Naini as country manager

New Delhi: eBay India has named its director and business head, Vidmay Naini, as the new country manager of the company at a time when it continues to make efforts towards gaining lost market share, two people close to the development said.

Latif Nathani, who served as MD and vice-president of eBay India since May 2013, has moved to the US office of eBay Inc. due to personal reasons, the company confirmed on Monday. The designation of MD remains vacant.

“Latif Nathani who was VP and MD at eBay India, has decided to rejoin his family in US and will support global business development efforts from eBay HQ in San Jose,” said eBay India spokesperson, in an email response.

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“Vidmay Naini has assumed the role of country manager, eBay India, and will lead the India business. Vidmay has been with eBay for almost 12 years, during which he has held positions in category, marketing, business development and more,” the spokesperson added.

Prior to eBay, Nathani served as the chief executive of a San Francisco-based product strategy consulting firm MrLMN.com; before that he led a consumer incubator at Microsoft India and also headed global product marketing for Symantec Corp.’s Norton business.

During his tenure at eBay, Nathani introduced several innovations such as PaisaPay, an online payment mechanism; PowerShip, the company’s shipping and logistics technology; and eBay Guarantee, a consumer protection programme.

Given the heated India e-commerce market, largely divided between home-grown Flipkart and US-based Amazon, it is difficult for other firms to grow or even retain their market shares.

In 2014, Mint reported that eBay India had failed to build a large business because of several top management exits and a relative lack of focus and funding from its US headquarters.

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Having forayed into India in 2004, much before Flipkart, Snapdeal or Amazon were launched, investors and analysts expected a turnaround for eBay when it bought a stake in Softbank-backed Snapdeal in 2013. Analysts also expected that it may eventually acquire Snapdeal.

Mint did report that eBay came close to buying Snapdeal twice, but since the companies couldn’t agree on a price, the deals didn’t go beyond discussions.

Fast forward to 2017, Snapdeal too finds itself a victim of competition, and has been reported to take cost-cutting measures at a time when funding is scarce and investors are sceptic—it is shutting some business verticals, cutting down the workforce and salaries; Snapdeal founders vowed to take 100% salary cut in an email to its employees on 22 February.

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