ibiboGroup appoints Prakash Sangam as redBus CEO, founders fully exit the startup

11 Jun, 2014

New Delhi-based ibiboGroup, a subsidiary of South African digital media conglomerate Naspers Group has appointed Prakash Sangam as the CEO of redBus. The move is in line with ibiboGroup's focus to drive seamless integration of redBus into the Group. In addition to Sangam, ibiboGroup also announced two more management inductions.

Rohan Patnaik has been appointed as the head of supply and operations, while Anoop Menon has taken charge of the entire engineering function of redBus including, BOGDS (a bus operator facing platform) and SeatSeller (an agent facing platform).

In June last year, Naspers had paid $100 million in cash to buy an effective 80 per cent stake in Pilani Soft Labs Pvt Ltd, which runs Indian bus ticketing venture redBus, valuing the venture at $125 million. At the time, it was mentioned that the founders of redBus, Phanindra Sama and Charan Kumar Raju, will be exiting the startup post acquisition.

With the new appointments, both of them have fully exited the company after having already handed over their responsibilities.

"I am impressed that in the past 12 months, under the leadership of ibiboGroup, all three products of Pilani Soft Labs have achieved their respective all time records. Ashish (group CEO of ibibo) has ambitious plans for the future. I hope all his plans materialise and wish him and the new leadership team fantastic success," said exiting co-founder Sama.

Prior to redBus, Sangam was the executive vice president at Info Edge (India) Ltd, heading two portfolio businesses of the Group including and Before that, he was the GM- marketing & innovation at Bharti Airtel Ltd. He had earlier also spent seven years at Hindustan Unilever in multiple roles spanning marketing, brand management and sales. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, he also holds a BE degree in production engineering from K.J.Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai.

Patnaik has over 11 years of experience in general management, sales & marketing, and prior to redBus, he was the regional business manager at Diageo. He had earlier also worked at companies like ColorPlus and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. He holds a B.Tech degree in electrical engineering from IIT Bombay and a MBA in marketing and finance from IIM Lucknow. Menon moved to redBus last year from ibiboGroup post its acquisition as CTO of consumer facing business. He was part of the founding team of ibibo and had earlier managed various technology functions at the Group.

Ashish Kashyap, group CEO of ibibo, said, "I want to take this opportunity to thank Phani and Raju for their contribution and participation in the growth of redBus and also for seeing to a smooth transition of the business."

"I am also excited to welcome Sangam to lead redBus along with Patnaik and Menon, in its next phase of growth and innovation. I believe we have a strong team of 650 people in place to take redBus to new heights," he added.

In India, ibiboGroup owns properties such as online travel aggregator, online bus ticketing platform and travelboutique, a B2B online travel platform. Founded by Ashish Kashyap, the group also owns a minority stake in Naspers' global payments business, PayU Global.

Earlier this year, ibiboGroup had acquired bus tracking and analytics platform from Bangalore-based Lucido SoftLabs Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition came within nine months after the group snapped up As part of the deal, the YourBus team had joined redBus.

The Group also appointed Rammohan Sundaram as chief executive officer (CEO) for its advertising business ibiboAds.