US retail major WalMart announced a top level change in its Indian operations with President Raj Jain being replaced by Ramnik Narsey, who is currently Senior Vice-President for Walmart International, with immediate effect.
The company, which has been facing investigations from Indian authorities over its investment in one of the business entities of its Indian partner Bharti Enterprises, said in a statement: "...effective immediately, Ramnik Narsey, senior vice president for Walmart International, will serve as interim leader for Walmart's business in India.
"He is replacing Raj Jain, who is no longer with the company."
Sources said the announcement of Jain's departure from the company was made this morning to the employees of the Indian operations by Walmart Asia President and CEO Scott Price, who had flown down from Hong Kong.
Comments from Jain could not be obtained as calls made remained unanswered.
Jain's removal comes in the backdrop of investigations by Walmart over allegations of corruption against it in foreign markets, including India. In March 2011, the US-based company had started a worldwide review of its policies, practices and internal controls for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance.
The Enforcement Directorate has also been probing the Rs 455.8 crore (Rs 4.56 billion) investment by Walmart in Cedar Support Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Bharti Ventures, for alleged "illegal" investments and flouting of FDI rules under the FEMA and Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Bharti Enterprises has, however, rejected the allegations that it had violated any rule in this regard. The company had said all the procedures were as per the "law of the land".
Jain had joined Walmart in 2006 and was named head of Walmart India in 2007. During his tenure, wholesale cash-and-carry joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, back-end services and consulting businesses were established.
Narsey had joined Walmart in May 2013. Prior to this, he served as chairman and chief executive officer for Woolworths India.
"Ramnik brings significant management and leadership experience to the role," Price said, adding, "we remain optimistic about our business in India and look forward to our future in India under Ramnik's leadership."
Image: Former president of Wal-Mart India Raj Jain.