Arun Sudhaman 03 Jul 2012 // 11:00PM GMT
BANGALORE--Flipkart, the e-commerce site that has been dubbed the ‘Indian Amazon’, has called in new PR support amid media criticism of its internal culture.
The appointment comes after Flipkart became the subject of a Forbes India cover story entitled ‘What’s Wrong with Flipkart’. The article explored the costs and management issues that the magazine believes bedevil the website’s progress.
Flipkart began the review of its national PR account well before the story’s publication. After considering proposals from several firms, it has hired Genesis Burson-Marsteller and ended its three-year relationship with incumbent firm Aim High.
Flipkart has grown rapidly since its launch in 2007, expanding beyond books to offer a wide range of products. The company now employs more than 4,500 people, and has been profitable since 2010.
Flipkart head of corporate communications Karthik Srinivasan told the Holmes Report that a larger PR firm was needed because of the company’s ambitious expansion plans.
“Given our growth plans, we had specific requirements reaching out to non-metro cities,” said Srinivasan. “Hence we required someone with a larger set up that could provide this reach to the brand and handle a much larger quantum of work that we foresee coming up in the near future.”
The shift follows Srinivasan’s own arrival at Flipkart earlier this year, after almost three years as Edelman India’s head of digital strategy.
“Of the agencies that presented to us during the pitch, Genesis showed the best understanding of our context and came up with some really good responses to specific PR challenges that were posed to them,” he added. “Also, the involvement of the senior leadership along with their keen desire to work on this fast growing brand swung the decision in their favour.”