swiggy: Swiggy names HUL’s Ashwath Swaminathan to head growth and marketing

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Public markets-bound Swiggy on Thursday said a former executive from Hindustan Unilever was joining the firm to lead its growth and marketing function.
Ashwath Swaminathan, the outgoing vice president (VP) of the oral care & deodorants business at HUL, is set to join Swiggy as chief growth & marketing officer, the food-delivery firm said in a statement.

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Swaminathan has spent over 17 years at HUL, where he rose through the ranks from a consumer and markets insights position, according to his LinkedIn account.

“Ashwath brings with him the right experience and a strong track record of strengthening consumer brands and growth marketing through data-driven insights and strategic collaborations. He joins Swiggy at a time of unprecedented opportunity, and we’re excited by the critical role he will play in bringing our mission of unparalleled convenience to life,” said Sriharsha Majety, cofounder and group chief executive at Swiggy.

Top level movement
Over the past year, a number of senior executives have left Swiggy. The firm is likely to file its draft initial public offering (IPO) papers over the next few months. Swaminathan’s appointment comes after Nishad Kenkre, VP and head of revenue and growth, Instamart, and Ashish Lingamneni, VP and head of brand and product marketing, quit the firm last year.

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On January 9, Sidharth Satpathy, VP — category & business head for private label at Swiggy’s quick-commerce arm Instamart left the firm. He was also replaced by another external candidate, Anirban Roy, Amazon India’s performance marketing head. Another former Amazon executive, Dipak Krishnamani, joined in September last year as head, Swiggy Mall. Mall is the firm’s vertical that is experimenting with selling from categories like home and kitchen, electronics, and toys, which were earlier mostly delivered by ecommerce firms like Flipkart and Amazon.

Head of revenue and growth Anuj Rathi left Swiggy in September to join neobanking startup Jupiter as its chief product and marketing officer.

Chief technology officer Dale Vaz left in April last year to start his venture, Aaritya Tech. Senior vice president Karthik Gurumurthy, who built and headed Instamart, left towards the end of last year to start his venture, with Swiggy cofounder Phani Kishan taking over Instamart’s operations.

Meanwhile, Swiggy brought former Oyo executive Rohit Kapoor to head its core food-delivery business. Kapoor joined the company in August 2022.

A push for change
Ahead of filing for a public listing, Swiggy has been working to further cut costs and streamline its numbers. On January 26, ET first reported that Swiggy was set to cut its workforce by 6% affecting 350-400 roles across teams like technology, call centre, and corporate roles.

The cuts were “linked to the planned IPO of Swiggy where it needs to present the best possible numbers,” a person in the know had told ET at the time. Swiggy has around $800-900 million in the bank, sources told ET. While Swiggy’s food delivery business has largely stabilised, the company still burns cash on the fast-growing Instamart.

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