Spencer’s Retail, the retail flagship of RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, may have appointed a new CEO after the seat was vacant for about two years.
Devendra Chawla has been reportedly brought in to the company’s business as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The post will finally be filled in after a gap of two years and the appointment comes after Spencer’s Retail got listed as a separate entity in the stock market last Friday after its demerger with CESC.
The 45-year-old, who was the chief operating officer of Walmart India in his last role, will take charge next month, two senior industry executives said. Chawla’s main responsibilities will be to accelerate breakeven of Spencer’s Retail, profitable expansion and expanding the apparel private label business ‘2Bme’ into standalone stores.
Devendra Chawla, an alumnus of Harvard Business School, will be taking charge of Spencer’s Retail’s business latest by March 1st, as per speculations. Prior to this, Chawla was with Walmart India as their Chief Operating Officer. He has also worked with Future Group India and held various positions in his stint of more than 8 years with the company. Chawla has also previously worked with Reliance Retail and The Coca-Cola Company.
The top post at Spencer’s Retail was lying vacant ever since former MD Mohit Kampani moved out in July 2016 to join Aditya Birla Group’s Retail food and grocery retailing venture, More. Spencer’s deputy CEO Vipin Bhandari had been leading the management team after Kampani’s departure and was reporting directly to the group’s sector head for retail, Shashwat Goenka.
Devendra Chawla, an alumnus of Harvard Business School, in December put in his papers at Walmart India as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer after a 15-month stint where he was responsible for merchandising, marketing, procurement and omnichannel.
The word floating around in the industry is that Kampani decided to move on as he was not able to perform independently and had differences of opinion with the promoters. Incidentally, Sanjiv Goenka’s son Shashwat, 26, was made the de facto head of Spencer’s around three years ago and was mentored by Kampani, the executives said.
Kampani, along with Shashwat Goenka, was instrumental in trimming down losses by shutting down unviable stores, moving out of unprofitable markets like Mumbai, expanding presence with large-format hypermarkets and focusing on non-food merchandise, which has higher margins. He had also led the company’s online foray which led to the acquisition of meragrocer.com last year.