Exclusive: Flipkart's Ashish Gupta joins Silicon Valley startup as India engineering head
Former vice president of engineering at Flipkart Ashish Gupta, who quit the Indian e-commerce major in February this year, has joined the Indian arm of US-based cloud enterprise storage startup Rubrik Inc as vice president of engineering.
Gupta, who confirmed the development to VCCircle over a telephonic conversation, said that he would be leading the product management and engineering functions at the firm. He is the startup's first hire in the India premises.
Rubrik's India office is primarily a product development centre that complements and emulates its 60-member Silicon Valley counterpart. Additionally, it could also evolve into a customer support centre for it APAC customers.
"Rubrik offers rocket ship growth opportunity. Flipkart was at that stage five years ago. Today, it is Rubrik, which is at an even earlier stage than where Flipkart was five years ago," said Gupta when asked about his decision behind leaving the e-commerce firm.
Founded in 2014 by IIT alumni quartet of Indian origin Bipul Sinha (chief executive), Arvind Nithrakashyap, Soham Mazumdar and Arvind Jain, Palo Alto-based Rubrik offers businesses a cloud data management platform to recover, manage, and secure their data. Some of the services it provides are automated backup, instant recovery, offsite replication, and data archival.
In the three years since its inception, the US-based startup claims to have grown to 250 employees and reached a revenue run rate of $100 million over the last 12 months. Last October, Forbes, which had included Rubrik in its 25 companies list titled 'Next Billion Dollar Startups-2016', estimated the company's 2016 revenue at $50 million (Rs 333 crore). The company is currently operational in APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan), EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and North America.
The company has raised a total of $112 million since inception in three funding rounds and its key investors include Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
In his nearly five-year stint at Flipkart, Gupta was the vice president of the engineering division at Flipkart and headed the demand-shaping platform group and led tech initiatives centred around demand forecasting, E2E planning, pricing, promotions, performance marketing, competitive intelligence and retail (buying, accounting and pricing).
"The shift from networking into internet-based e-commerce tech is my biggest learning experience as it was a totally different domain with no industry overlap. Developing retail backend algorithm and keeping pace with a business that was growing so fast and for an organisation vertical that handled 70% of the Flipkart's revenue was the biggest challenge," Gutpa said.
Flipkart, the most valued Internet business in the country, has seen a series of senior-level exits since 2016. Besides CXO-level exits—Flipkart's chief product officer, chief financial officer, chief technology officer and chief business officer quit last year—the company has also seen a strong churn in the second layer of leadership as well. There has also been a slew of exits at the senior vice president and vice president levels since the beginning of this year.