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India's Snapdeal loses key Silicon Valley vet Anand Chandrasekaran as it battles Amazon

The former Yahoo exec moves into the startup world.

Asa Mathat / Recode

Anand Chandrasekaran, chief product officer for Indian e-commerce firm Snapdeal, is leaving the role to pursue various startup endeavors, Recode has learned.

It's a blow for the e-retail startup. Valued at $6.5 billion, Snapdeal is up against its more heavily-funded foes — local rival Flipkart and Amazon — for market share in the surging Indian online commerce market.

Chandrasekaran, a former Yahoo executive, returned to India in 2014 to run product for the carrier Bharti Airtel. He jumped to Snapdeal last June, and led an effort to integrate more services, like Uber, into the company's flagship app, a model similar to China's popular WeChat.

Snapdeal's mobile wallet, launched last fall under Chandrasekaran, has 35 million users, according to sources familiar with the company.

Chandrasekaran's departure makes a trend: Flipkart hired Punit Soni, a longtime Googler, as its chief product officer last year; he left earlier this year.

We reached out to Snapdeal for additional comment.

Update: A Snapdeal rep sent this statement over: "Anand has done some stellar work on the product side at Snapdeal. His insights and attention to detail have helped us traverse quickly towards launching and improving products at Snapdeal. We wish Anand the very best for his entrepreneurial journey ahead."

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