Mukund Jha, the co-founders and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Dunzo, is set to exit the on-demand delivery startup, marking the second departure of a co-founder within a week.
According to Moneycontrol, while Mukund Jha's future plans remain uncertain, insiders within the company have mentioned that he has gradually withdrawn from day-to-day operations. An official announcement regarding his departure is expected in the upcoming weeks. Notably, the company has already notified some employees about Jha's impending exit.
However, the company has refuted the reports of Mukund Jha's departure. A Dunzo spokesperson stated to the publication, “Mukund remains an integral part of Dunzo’s leadership team. While we are restructuring the org with new leaders driving key mandates, Mukund will continue to be an important part of the strategic leadership team guiding and directing Dunzo’s future roadmap.”
Other than Jha, in August, several figures, including Suri, Vaidhehi Ravindran from Lightrock, and Rajendra Kamath and Ashwin Khasgiwala from Reliance Retail, stepped down from the company's board. As of the recent developments, the remaining individuals on Dunzo's board are CEO Biswas, Siddharth Talwar from Lightbox, and Hongjim Kim from STIC Investments.
The latest exit came a day after Dalvir Suri, a co-founder Dunzo, left the company he helped found in 2015. Jha and Suri, along with their co-founder Ankur Aggarwal, do not hold any ownership stake in Dunzo. Instead, they received salaries and were part of the employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), a structure similar to that of other employees. However, Dunzo has faced multiple delays in granting ESOPs in the past.
On the other hand, Kabeer Biswas, the co-founder and CEO of Dunzo, holds approximately 3.6 per cent ownership in the company, distinguishing him as the sole co-founder with a stake.
Mukund Jha's exit coincides with Dunzo's ongoing fundraising efforts, aiming to secure capital amounting to $25-30 million to sustain operations. Notably, there are discussions suggesting that Reliance Retail may increase its stake in the company as part of this funding round.
In preparation for its fundraising efforts, Dunzo has implemented substantial cost-cutting measures, including the closure of dark stores and the layoff of over 500 employees. Mukund Jha, who has been with the hyperlocal delivery company since 2015, played a pivotal role in communicating these workforce reductions and salary delays to the affected employees.