In a move to grow its digital business, the Network18 Group has roped in Manish Maheshwari as chief executive officer of Web18. Maheshwari was previously the head of Flipkart's Seller Marketplace and Ecosystem.
Speaking about the appointment, Adil Zainulbhai, chairman, Network18 Group, says in a press release, "Maheshwari brings with him a good mix of Silicon Valley tech product culture and an understanding of the ground realities in India. Both qualities will be crucial as we take Network18 to the next level of digital transformation. He has a proven track record of taking up projects and achieving a scale of tens of millions, and build cross-functional teams that deliver in large setting with an unflinching focus on customer experience."
Under the new mandate, Maheshwari will lead Network18's digital and e-commerce assets. These include digital portals such as moneycontrol.com, ibnlive.com, in.com, firstpost.com and various other ideas that have been seeded in the network, in order to help it grow as a leader in digital space.
Network18 has been in an expansion mode with specific focus on digital content. The company has been aggressively hiring senior employees to strengthen its technology, product, sales and business development teams. As the chief executive officer of Web18, Maheshwari's immediate priorities will be to drive content, monetisation, new business, inorganic growth, and product portfolio management.
Maheshwari can be credited with growing Flipkart's marketplace from 10,000 sellers in February 2015 to over 100,000 sellers in February 2016. Prior to that, he co-founded txtWeb and grew it from scratch to make it the world's largest marketplace for text-based apps with over 16 million mobile users in India alone.
Prior to txtWeb, Maheshwari was the head of new markets, global business division at Intuit, a NASDAQ-listed technology company, the world's leading provider of personal finance software products such as TurboTax, Quicken, and Mint.com.
Maheshwari re-located from California to India in 2011 when txtWeb, which he co-founded while in the Bay Area, started taking off in many Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns across India. A Wharton MBA graduate, Maheshwari previously worked at the New York office of management consulting firm McKinsey, where he advised Fortune 500 companies on new market entry and growth strategy in technology, e-commerce and consumer spaces. In the early part of his career, he worked at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in India, starting his career in Mumbai and then taking on Asia-Pacific roles in the Philippines, China and Singapore.