Did differences with promoters lead to Sanjay Kapoor’s exit from Micromax?

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 27, 2015

Sanjay Kapoor

Micromax Chairman Sanjay Kapoor has quit the company, just 15 months after he had joined the mobile phone company with a grand vision. The exit, therefore, comes as a big surprise because Kapoor had readied a blueprint for taking Micromax beyond India and beyond just mobile phones.

When asked by BusinessLine, the company confirmed that Kapoor had quit Micromax and will make an appropriate announcement in the next few days.

“Sanjay Kapoor has decided to move on. Appropriate announcements will be made in due course. We would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him luck for his future endeavour,” the company said in response to an email.

When contacted over phone, Kapoor said, “Let one voice (Micromax) speak today. I would not like to comment anything further.”

According to company sources, Kapoor’s exit could have been triggered due to a disagreement with Micromax promoters on the way forward. While the company’s promoters were in favour of Chinese e-commerce major taking 25 per cent stake in the company, Kapoor seems to have opposed the idea.

Kapoor, a telecom industry veteran, had joined Micromax in June last after the company hit the $1-billion revenue mark.

Soon after becoming the Chairman, he told BusinessLine in an interview that “I was pretty clear in my mind as I moved out of Airtel that I am not going to get happier doing another corporate role. I need to explore entrepreneurship as an option and in that, areas related to data excited me.”

And as he was scouting for ideas, Sharma of Micromax approached him and they decided to join hands. Industry analysts said Kapoor’s decision to quit Micromax was widely known in the industry.

“Sanjay is a visionary in his own right and has very forward-looking thoughts. His view to focus on digital sales was not shared by the founders, who wanted to continue their efforts on offline sales,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, Greyhound Research Chief Analyst and CEO.

Albeit this is surely a significant loss for Micromax, the fresh investments from Alibaba will get the company more global muscle and reach to help it continue on its trajectory, he said.

“More importantly, the founders at this stage need to make the right moves to ensure buy-in from new investors.

“Succinctly put, this is a minor bump on the highway that Micromax is currently riding,” he added.

Published on August 27, 2015
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