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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Raj Jain returns as Bharti Retail CEO; Pankaj Madan is CFO

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 03, 2014
First Published: 15:21 IST(3/1/2014) | Last Updated: 00:18 IST(4/1/2014)

Bharti Enterprises on Friday named former Walmart India chief executive — Raj Jain — to head its retail operations, two months after the Sunil Mittal-controlled group called off its six-year-old alliance with the world’s largest retailer.

The company also appointed Pankaj Madan, another senior executive US retailer in India, as chief financial officer (CFO).

Bharti Retail operates front-end retail stores under the brand name Easy Day.

Jain and Madan, the CEO and CFO respectively of the erstwhile Bharti-Walmart joint venture, had quit the company last year in controversial circumstances amid a multi-agency investigation against allegations of irregularities against the company.

Jain, who has been serving as an “adviser” to the company since October, will report to Bharti Enterprises vice-chairman and managing director Rajan Bharti Mittal, the company said in a statement.

“Bharti is committed to building a world-class retail venture and we are delighted to have Raj and Pankaj on board. I am confident that their rich experience and insights into the retail business will add immense value to company’s growth plans,” Mittal said.

Last month, Walmart had named Krishna Iyer as its new president and CEO for India

Walmart’s investment in Bharti had come under a scanner with Indian authorities probing specific charges against  the US retail giant’s investment of `456 crore ($100 million at the then exchange rate) in March 2010 in Cedar Support Services, a company owned and controlled by Bharti.

Last month, the government said that Cedar has requested for “compounding (of) the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) contravention,” implying the company was willing for a reconciliation by offering a penalty.

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