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[Updated] Reliance pulls plug on Milkbasket brand; more employees to exit


Soon after the exit of top three executives, subscription commerce firm Milkbasket is set to lay off two-thirds of its total headcount of roughly 600, including the entire offline marketing, sales and head office teams, three sources aware of the development told Entrackr.

The move is likely to be followed by Reliance launching a new ‘Jio Smart Daily’ platform, and phasing out the Milkbasket brand altogether.

“Milkbasket has also asked most of the employees to resign and explore opportunities outside the company in the next few weeks,” said one of the sources on condition of anonymity. “Reliance Retail will try to accommodate Milkbasket’s teams across group companies but several hundred staff [members] will be impacted in this exercise.”

The remainder of the MilkBasket team is expected to become part of Jio Smart, added the second source who also requested anonymity.

According to this person, Milkbasket’s operations team will merge with Reliance Stores and Bazaar.

Over the past three to four months, Milkbasket has seen a churn at the top and mid level functions. The company’s co-founder Yatish Talvadia along with Chief Operating Officer Abhinav Imandi and Chief Financial Officer Gaurav Srivastava left Milkbasket after the integration with JioMart.

Entrackr exclusively reported these exits early this week.

In October 2021, Reliance disclosed the acquisition of 96.49% stake in Milkbasket under its second quarter results of FY22. While the company did not reveal the size of the deal, Entrackr sources then pegged the deal in the range of $40-45 million. Prior to this deal, Milkbasket raised around $33 million from Mayfield, Unilever, Beenext, Blume Ventures among others.

Reliance helped Milkbasket scale to 30 cities across the country following the acquisition. The firm operated mostly in Delhi-NCR previously.  

Update on July 28, 9:40 PM: After the publishing of the story, a Reliance spokesperson reached out to Entrackr denying the rebranding and layoffs at Milkbasket.  

“We would like to state that Milkbasket, as a brand, continues to grow and serve its customers…,” said the spokesperson via email. “In addition, your information on layoffs is completely incorrect. The business is being integrated with JioMart which is our e-commerce platform. 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.”

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