Flipkart gets a new CEO: Only for a day

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As part of a special initiative, Padmini Pagadala, an associate director at Flipkart, was the acting CEO and worked closely with Kalyan Krishnamurthy on April 25

As Flipkart celebrates ‘Big10’ marking its ten years of existence, the company just concluded an ingenious competition—‘CEO of the Day’—for its employees. The contest gave the staff a chance to spearhead India’s largest e-commerce company for one day. Padmini Pagadala, who is an associate director at Flipkart, won the competition and accompanied the CEO, Kalyan Krishnamurthy in his workday, yesterday.

As ‘CEO of the Day’, Pagadala enjoyed the opportunity to take stock of the business, attend key stakeholder meetings and hand out action points, with Krishnamurthy. She shares how the day started with having breakfast with Krishnamurthy and getting to know him better, followed by some power-packed meetings.

“It has been a spectacular day. Before each of the meetings Kalyan would brief me on the agenda and seek my opinions on the matter, which not only made me feel important but also gave me a huge exposure on the categories side of the business. As I come from a supply chain background, these meetings exposed me to a more holistic view of business,” Pagadala says.

Pagadala, 34, hails from Chennai and is an industrial engineer from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been with Flipkart for almost four years now and designed almost all of the current Fulfilment Centres. She is also one of the strongest voices for empowering women from the lower-income group.

To stand a chance to win, applicants were required to write a statement of purpose stating why they should be selected to be the CEO for a day. In the competition that was open to Flipsters across all locations in India, Pagadala came up with the most impressive statement.

Commenting on the initiative, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart says, “This was a fantastic opportunity for our talented Flipsters to get a taste of what it means to be CEO of a large, innovative company, such as Flipkart. We have a talented pool of people leading high-intensity teams, who are helping us disrupt and innovate. Through the Big10 CEO for a day competition, we intend to gain some fresh perspective and insights, as well as make it a fun, engaging initiative for our people.”

According to Krishnamurthy, the initiative was an engaging one. Pagadala also shares that “The most intriguing part about the day was meeting and spending time with Kalyan, in his shoes. He is very humble and a truly inspiring mentor. The learning from this experience as the CEO for a day and the time spent with him will stay with me throughout my professional journey.”

The Big10 campaign was launched in March to celebrate Flipkart’s 10th year anniversary. As part of the campaign, events are being planned through the year with all its stakeholders— from its people to customers, partners, sellers, and so on. April, 2017 is the Month of Talent, in which Flipkart is celebrating its assorted talent pool through various other competitions and recognitions.

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