Hires & Promotions: IBF, Clovia, Ola, Clubhouse

Quick look at new hirings, promotions and people movements this week

IBF Appoints Siddharth Jain As Secretary General

The apex body of broadcasters - Indian Broadcasting Foundation, (To be renamed Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation 'IBDF' in due course), has appointed Siddharth Jain as its Secretary General. In a career spanning over three decades, Siddharth is an accomplished enterprise business leader with a wealth of experience in multi-billion dollar organizations in the media industry. 

“Siddharth has demonstrated great competency in nurturing efficient, talented cross border teams of industry experts and is highly adept in driving innovation to turn adversities into opportunities. Given his remarkable expertise in leadership and advocacy, business strategy, corporate governance and compliance, we are confident in his ability to steer the IBF on a path that helps realize the sector's value chain to the optimum. I, along with the rest of the IBF members, welcome Siddharth and wish him the very best for his new role,” said K. Madhavan, President, IBF.

IBF is being renamed as Indian Broadcasting & Digital Foundation (IBDF), as it expands its purview to cover digital platforms to bring all digital (OTT) players under one roof.  

Siddharth is an accomplished business leader with the passion to fructify ideas into businesses and the ability to build highly profitable businesses from scratch and turning around businesses from successive decline to growth coupled with significant profitability improvement and long-term sustainability. He is an industry veteran known for expertise in business strategy, revenue/profitability/EBITA growth, financial management, sales & marketing, business development, international brand launches & development, account management, strategic alliances & partnership development, relationship management, and corporate governance and compliance. He is highly proficient in working with a diverse workforce of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds in various geographies. Adept in driving innovation with sharp analytical skills, high resilience and tenacity to turn adversities into great opportunities for the team and business. Until 30 April 2021, he was working with Turner International India as SVP & Managing Director - South Asia.

Former Victoria’s Secret President & CEO Sharen Jester Turney Joins Clovia As Advisor

Clovia has oboarded Sharen Jester Turney, Former Victoria’s Secret President & CEO as an Advisor to the company. Turney is currently a board member & advisor to several Global Retail & Technology brands and philanthropic organizations. Her expertise and advisory roles span the globe including London-based Marks and Spencer, Gloria Jeans in Russia, Cosmo Lady in China, Sweden-based global brand Happy Socks, Alliance Data, and NewStore Omnichannel platform, in the USA to name a few. Sharen was president and chief executive officer of the global lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret for nearly two decades.

Clovia has been a key player in the Indian direct-to-consumer space which has been scaling profitably on the back of extensive use of technology & data in all its business areas. To address the vast customer base across India, Clovia has worked on disrupting the innerwear supply chain and distribution through advanced tech adaptation and re-inventing the product development process. These factors have helped the brand scale its multi-channel and multi-category footprint with extreme capital efficiency ensuring high customer delight.

The brand is centered toward the philosophy of joy and focusing on the concept of right size / fit, personalized boutique and building intimate relationships with its customers. Today, Clovia brand sits on a treasure trove of over 140 mn data points from it’s 3 mn users that continuously helps designers iterate on designs and fits. Tracking at 100% growth in just 6 months, Clovia continues to scale quickly and profitably.

“As Clovia continues to scale the business to the next level, we will benefit exponentially from Sharen’s rich experience of building products, customer-centric processes and most importantly, brands that transcend borders and extend beyond the lingerie category,” said Pankaj Vermani, CEO, Clovia. “Inviting her as an advisor is in line with Clovia’s constant effort to bring international products and experience to the Indian consumer. We are excited and confident that Sharen’s global experience of building iconic brands in the past will strengthen our efforts in elevating Clovia's vision of blending Indian sensibilities with international best practices and product solutions. We are looking forward to having her support across functions of business strategy, category expansion like personal care, market insights, strengthening of brand positioning & experience, and international expansion.”

Speaking on this recent alliance, Sharen Jester Turney further added, “The growth opportunity in front of Clovia is vast, which makes me excited to be a part of the Clovia team. The talent at Clovia is unique, and the team’s customer-centric approach combined with their ability to render an ultimate customer experience backed with innovation and technology makes them stay ahead of the competition and build a global success story in the coming years. Clovia’s intent of addressing all body shapes & sizes across categories and the most intimate requirements of customers across metros to Tier 2 & 3 towns is awe-inspiring. Their zeal and constant innovation in technology and product expansion will soon help them in expanding their footprint to the International market.”

Ola Strengthens Leadership Team With Two Key Appointments

Ola has expanded its leadership team with the appointment of two Chief Financial Officers. G. R. Arun Kumar joins as the Group CFO for Ola & CFO for Ola Electric, while Swayam Saurabh has come in as CFO for Ola’s Mobility, Financial Services and Foods businesses.

Having worked across varied consumer and industrial sectors in both corporate multinationals as well as entrepreneur-led global companies, including Vedanta Resources, GE and Hindustan Unilever, G. R. Arun Kumar brings more than two decades experience in finance and strategy, including managing business growth and turnaround, large scale debt and equity capital market benchmark transactions, governance and reporting & compliance.  With his experience in leading large-scale supply chain teams, delivering sales & supplier returns, managing large third-party manufacturing and of greenfield manufacturing projects, Arun joins the Ola leadership team at a time when Ola Electric is racing ahead to build the world’s largest two-wheeler factory which will also co-locate key critical suppliers in 2 supplier parks at the 500-acre site in Tamil Nadu, India.

Swayam Saurabh brings over two decades of varied experience in a cross-section of roles including internal audit, risk management, business and operational process improvements and financial reporting, with companies including Hindustan Zinc, Philips, Asian Paints and Larsen & Toubro. He joins the Ola leadership team as CFO of the high-growth mobility business, as well as the fast-growing financial services and foods businesses, with focus on building strong growth with robust bottom line.

Commenting on the appointments, Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO, Ola, said, “At Ola, we are building a world class leadership team and hiring top talent from around the world. Arun and Swayam bring deep financial expertise across large and complex global organisations and multiple industries including minerals, construction and FMCG amongst others. I look forward to working with them to deliver our growth ambitions while maximizing capital efficiency.” 

Upon joining the company, Arun Kumar, Group CFO, Ola, and CFO, Ola Electric, said, “I am elated to have the opportunity to be associated with the game-changing vision of Bhavish and the Ola group to transform the urban mobility space by driving the acceleration to electric vehicles, as well as to expand the footprint of all its consumer internet businesses globally. I look forward to partnering with Bhavish to build strong & profitable business models, drive efficiency in capital structure & businesses, unlock value and continue to build a best in class finance organization”.

Swayam Saurabh, CFO for Mobility, Financial Services and Food businesses, Ola, said, “Ola is uniquely positioned to make a significant impact in an under-penetrated consumer internet space and I find it super exciting to have the opportunity to be part of the team that will help fuel its next phase of profitable growth. While our primary focus remains creating and delivering rapid growth opportunities, I am also looking forward to creating a strong culture of margin-mindset with world class governance and processes.”

These two appointments follow several recent hires, including Rakesh Bhardwaj as Group CIO, N Balachandar as Ola Electric CHRO, Wayne Burgess as Ola Electric’s Head of Design, and Y. S. Kim as Ola Electric’s global head of sales and distribution.

Aarthi Ramamurthy Joins Clubhouse As Head Of International

San Francisco-based Aarthi Ramamurthy, former Director of Product - Facebook Communities Products, has joined drop-in audio chat platform Clubhouse as Head Of International.

At Facebook, she led communities products, creator monetisation, digital payments products. Prior to that, she was the founder & CEO at Lumoid (YC Summer '13), built products at Microsoft (Xbox LIVE, Visual Studio) and at Netflix (the Netflix SDK).

"I’m thrilled to be joining clubhouse as Head of International and focus on building global communities on Clubhouse. FB will always be special and I’m forever grateful to have the opportunity to work on products serving creators and communities. From launching Stars to building Facebook Groups, it has been quite the ride," Ramamurthy posted on her Twitter account.

"Coming from India, I’m excited to bring a different perspective, and work with the small + mighty, exceptional team that @pdavison and @rohanseth have hired at Clubhouse," she added.

As Facebook, she led product efforts at CPG (Communities Product Group) which is responsible for helping people build healthy, sustainable communities on Facebook (on FB Groups, Profiles, and Pages), find ways to engage with each other meaningfully, and express their unique and diverse values.

She has 16 years of professional experience across organisations like Facebook, Lumoid, Battery Ventures, True&Co, Netflix, and Microsoft.