Massmart appoints new head of e-commerce

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 06 Nov 2023
Srividya Pandya, senior VP of group e-commerce at Massmart.
Srividya Pandya, senior VP of group e-commerce at Massmart.

Massmart, owner of the Makro, Game and Builders retail brands, has appointed Walmart executive Srividya Pandya as senior VP for group e-commerce.

According to a statement, Pandya will oversee Massmart’s business-to-business e-commerce strategy across Makro, Game and Builders, and collaborate with store operations teams across the group to ensure a seamless experience for customers.

Her previous roles at Walmart included leading the acceleration of its global omni-channel efforts and serving as VP of strategic integration for Walmart US. Prior to joining Walmart, Pandya’s career experience spanned a range of consulting and e-commerce organisations, including Amazon.

Massmart has over the last two years made a multimillion-dollar investment in its digital overhaul, in efforts to accelerate its e-commerce channels and improve customer experience.

Massmart has also been on a tech talent hiring spree, increasing its team of software engineers from 28 to over 300, with its local product management team growing from seven employees to over 30.

This initiative has been supported by US-based e-commerce giant Walmart, through the services of Massmart technologists based in Walmart’s Tech Development Centre in Bangalore, under the leadership of Sylvester John from Walmart US, who was on a three-year secondment to Massmart.

John’s three-year secondment has now ended, as he hands over to Pandya.

Massmart CEO Jonathan Molapo explains: “We are exceptionally fortunate to have access to Walmart’s global retail talent pool and this has been especially evident in the e-commerce area, where we continue to be supported by Walmart, resulting in exponential improvement of our group-wide e-commerce capability.”

Walmart bought a 51% stake in Massmart in 2011, and in November 2022, the retailer announced the conclusion of a R6.4 billion deal to secure full ownership of the African retail giant.

Under John’s leadership, Massmart says it accelerated its online shopping platforms, including building a native Makro shopping mobile app; launching the Makro B2B website; and acquiring critical tech capabilities through purchasing on-demand delivery platforms: OneCart and Wumdrop.

The group has also introduced a next-day pickup option for shoppers, while reducing Makro and Game customer delivery lead times from seven days, to having over 85% of online orders delivered within two days.

To help in-store staff track orders and easily locate items, Massmart rolled out the GIF Store Assist across Makro stores. This increased order pick rates by as much as 150% since implementation, according to the retailer.