Technology Startups

Hike hires senior Unilever and Amazon executives

27 Oct, 2015

Instant messaging app Hike has appointed Unilever executive Hemant Goyal as vice president of finance and Amazon's Gautam Vohra as its general counsel.

Goyal and Vohra will report to Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder and CEO of Hike Messenger, the company said in a statement.

Goyal was the finance director for global supply chain at Unilever Singapore. Prior to Unilever, he was with Tata Motors.

Vohra was Amazon India's principal legal counsel. He will focus on building the legal, compliance and policy functions at Hike.

"With Hemant and Gaurav on board, we add a strong financial and legal foundation to our leadership team," Mittal said.

Hike had recently hired Vidur Vyas, former senior director of marketing at PepsiCo India, as VP of marketing, and former general manager of Zynga Games, Sumit Mehra as its studio head.

Hike is a peer-to-peer app that uses both data and texts to deliver messages. It has released a number of new features in the recent past that include Hindi news bytes, stickers in 30 languages, group calling, group chat for up to 500 members and 100 MB file sharing.

Operating in the highly competitive communications app segment, Hike competes with market leader WhatsApp as well as Facebook Messenger, Viber, Google Talk, China's WeChat, Japan's Line and Nimbuzz in India.

It recently launched a new feature that enables users to share files without an internet connection in a 100-metre radius.

Hike was founded in July 2012 by Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal. The company is a unit of Bharti SoftBank Holdings Pte Ltd, a joint venture of Bharti Enterprises and Japanese telecom and internet conglomerate SoftBank.

Earlier this year, it had acquired free voice calling app Zip Phone from US-based Thought Mechanics Inc for an undisclosed sum to expand its product range in the internet-based communication space.

Last September, Hike had secured $65 million (Rs 400 crore) in funding from a group of overseas investors led by Tiger Global.