Flipkart Executives Are “Overpaid Underperforming Crybabies”: Mahesh Murthy

Mahesh Murthy isn’t impressed with Flipkart’s constant pleas for government protection.

“So Flipkart wants level playing field with Amazon ? Start by cutting top exec salaries by 80%. Overpaid underperforming crybabies,” he tweeted, while sharing a sheet of the top salaries of executives at both companies. The sheet shows that Flipkart management makes significantly more money than Amazon’s top brass – Mekin Maheshwari, its Chief People Officer had a renumeration of Rs. 35 crore in 2016, while Flipkart’s former Chief Business officer Ankit Nagori made Rs. 21 crore. In comparison, Amazon India’s HR director for India and China made Rs. 4.29 crore, while having 24 years more experience than his Flipkart counterpart. 

Since late last year, Flipkart has been repeatedly asking for government protection against Amazon. It’s called Amazon’s India tactics as capital dumping, and alleged that Amazon is using profits earned in other markets to subsidize and drive out competition in India. Interestingly, Flipkart too had used foreign capital, raised from companies such as Tiger Global and Naspers, to subsidize its own products. That had given it the lion’s share of the market and driven out competitors like IndiaPlaza and smaller retail stores.

Murthy also attacked Flipkart for being registered in Singapore, claiming it wasn’t an Indian company at all.

The trigger for this tweetstorm appears to be Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal’s comments yesterday at the IAMAI conference, where he’d again raised the issue of government protection for his company. “What we need to figure out is how do we create a level-playing field. How do we ensure news apps or restaurant apps don’t get prematurely killed by a company coming from China and just pumping in dollars from there. It should be about technology and appreciation of the product,” he’d said.

Flipkart’s demands for government protection have been hotly debated in startup circles. Investors like Vani Kola have supported the move, while it has several critics as well, with Murthy himself being one of the most vocal ones.