Voonik hires Amazon's Raghu Lakkapragada as chief operating officer

Online fashion marketplace Voonik Technologies Pvt. Ltd said on Tuesday it has appointed former Amazon India executive Raghu Lakkapragada as its chief operating officer.

Lakkapragada will be responsible for the delivery operations and seller and customer experience, Voonik said in a statement.

He is the second top-level executive to join Voonik in recent weeks, after Prabhakar Sunder took over as the finance chief last month. Sunder was the finance head of Flipkart-owned fashion marketplace Myntra prior to joining Voonik.

Voonik said the new appointment is in line with its strategy to strengthen its top management team as part of its growth strategy.

"Since Voonik doesn't do its own fulfilment, our model is similar to the seller-fulfilled business of Amazon India. Armed with this experience, he (Lakkapragada) as Voonik COO will help us take our customer and seller experience to the next level," said Sujayath Ali, CEO of Voonik.

Ali and Lakkapragada had earlier worked at the same team in Amazon for seven years before the former launched Voonik in 2013.

Lakkapragada, who has an MBA from the Indian School of Business, worked at Amazon for 11 years in varying capacities in both the American and Indian operations. In his last role, he headed the seller-fulfilled business vertical, where he created and grew Amazon Easy Ship, a new fulfillment business. Earlier, he had worked at software services firm Infosys Ltd.

Voonik was founded by Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan in 2013. The startup claims to work on a 'lean' marketplace business model where it operates without inventory and fulfillment centres. The company has two fashion platforms, Mr Voonik and Vilara. Mr Voonik is an app exclusively for men's fashion and Vilara is a marketplace for designers and boutiques that it launched in 2014.

The company claims to have an annual gross merchandise value rate of $100 million, 12 million registered users and 10 million app downloads. On the supply side, it claims to have 15 lakh products from 20,000 sellers.

Voonik competes with the likes of Myntra, Jabong and LimeRoad among a host of fashion and lifestyle shopping portals in India.

Last month, the company raised $3 million (Rs 20 crore) in venture debt financing  from InnoVen Capital. In June, it raised $20 million in a Series B round of funding led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Voonik has also been taking over smaller companies to expand its business. In June, the company acqui-hired  Zohraa, a marketplace for designers and boutiques, to build Vilara. It also acqui-hired Styl, a salon and spa booking app, and Picksilk, an online silk store to strengthen its technology backbone.

In February, Voonik acqui-hired Bengaluru-based personal shopping site Getsty to build Mr Voonik.

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