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This article, like many others, was first published exclusively for long-term supporters, 1 hour before everyone else got to read it.

Post ‘intense’ MIT MBA, ex-SAM partner Karthik Mahalingam joins Flipkart as head of corp governance

Mahalingam returns to India law + business with MBA
Mahalingam returns to India law + business with MBA

Karthik Mahalingam, who in 2018 had left partnership at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) in Bangalore for a one-year MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has returned to India to head up Walmart-owned online shop Flipkart as head of corporate governance, according to Linked-in.

In February of this year Flipkart had hired Bijoya Roy from Thomson Reuters as its general counsel for global emerging markets in Bangalore, as part of a general beefing up of its legal function after Walmart’s expensive acquisition in a difficult market.

A corporate governance role usually includes both considerable legal and business issues, particularly for companies in the stables of multi-nationals that may be subject to rather strict corporate governance rules abroad.

Before founding SAM’s Bangalore office and heading up its VC practice, Mahalingam had worked at VC fund Omidyar Network India as its general counsel (GC).

He confirmed his Bangalore-based appointment at Flipkart but declined to comment about the role when contacted.

At MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the 2001 NLSIU Bangalore graduate had worked as part of its Delta V in-house student accelerator with an India-centric crop-insurance start-up called ViridisRS for three months, which was started by an MBA batchmate and MIT PhD.

That is alongside other typical MBA-type academic courses on strategy, finance, private equity, M&A and general management, he also completed research projects on “corporate venture capital” and the “current state of LegalTech and AI”.

Mahalingam also packed in mentoring and advisory roles with MIT’s Sandbox Innovation Fund for student-led start-ups and global accelerator MassChallenge for US start-ups.

He said: “MIT was fantastic. Super intense program but good fun too.”

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