INDIA – Reliance Retail, one of India’s largest retailers, has begun the process of integrating Milkbasket with its e-commerce arm JioMart.

“The business is being integrated with JioMart which is our e-commerce platform,” said Milkbasket’s spokesperson.

The confirmation was echoed by an industry source, quoted by ET Retail, who explained that Reliance plans to rebrand the Milkbasket application and focus only on promoting a single Jio brand.

In the recent past, local newsrooms had suggested that Milkbasket, the subscription commerce startup, was planning to lay off 25 to 30 percent of its present workforce of over 600 people following the exit of its top three executives.

As such, Reliance was set to launch a new platform dubbed ‘Jio Smart Daily’ and phase out the Milkbasket brand entirely.

According to a media report, this includes a full downsizing of the offline marketing, sales, and head office employees. The operations team will merge with Reliance Stores and Bazaar. There has been no confirmation by the company on this.

Milkbasket has reportedly asked its employees to resign and explore opportunities outside the company in the next few weeks.

E-commerce has seen a tremendous turnover in senior and mid-level roles during the last three to four months. Following the merger with JioMart, Milkbasket’s co-founder Yatish Talvadia, Chief Operating Officer Abhinav Imandi, and Chief Financial Officer Gaurav Srivastava all left.

Reliance announced the acquisition of a 96.49 percent share in Milkbasket in the second quarter of FY22, which was officially reported in October 2021. Although the exact deal size was not disclosed by Reliance, sources from Entrackr estimated it to be in the range of US$40-45 million.

Declining any layoffs, the Milkbasket spokesperson told ET Retail: “As part of the integration, there may be some realignment/reallocation of roles across functions within the group, but we are not laying off any employee.”

In addition, the spokesperson confirmed the departure of the company’s only co-founder Yatish Talvadia, its COO Abhinav Imandi, and CFO Gaurav Srivastava.

Prior to this acquisition, Milkbasket had raised approximately US$33 million from investors like Mayfield, Unilever, Beenext, and Blume Ventures, among others. It primarily operated in the Delhi-NCR region.

After the acquisition, Reliance played a crucial role in expanding Milkbasket’s presence to 30 cities across the country.

However, beginning early this year, the company reduced its presence in the newly entered cities and consolidated its operations in existing markets, added the industry source.

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