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India's Largest Mobile Payment Platform Is Beefing Up Its Team

India's Largest Mobile Payment Platform Is Beefing Up Its Team
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One97 Communications Ltd, which runs mobile wallet and e-commerce platform Paytm, is set to take on competition heads on with its robust hires.

In less than four months, Paytm, has on board four top executives from around the world.

In its latest, Paytm has picked Deepak Abbot as senior vice-president of product growth. This will be Abbot’s second stint at the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-backed company, which is one of the 11 receipients of a banking licence.

With a robust 19-year experience, Abbot has worked with a host of companies including Times Internet, Reliance Entertainment, Zapak.com and Satyam Computers. He is also the founder of Smartapp, which helps the customer keep a track of their 3G/4G, wi-fi, roaming and calling usage.

In October, Paytm got Goldman Sachs Group veteran Mark Schwartz to join its board with experts pegging his arrival as preparation for Paytm’s banking divison.

Schwartz who would be the 12th member of Paytm’s board has served 12 years in the global banking industry. The company, at the time of his appointment, lauded Schwartz’s role in helping Alibaba’s NYSE listing.

This comes at a time when Paytm-investor Alibaba is looking for partnerships and is set to launch its operations in India.

Another senior hire at Paytm is of Madhur Deora who has been roped in by the company as its chief financial officer.

The ex-Citigroup executive would also serve as senior vice-president at the company and bring to the Paytm table over 17 years of investment banking experience.

Schwartz and Deora are looked at by the industry as strong contenders to ensure the success of Paytm’s banking business.

Among Paytm’s most prestigious appointments this season is Amit Singhal, the 15-year Google veteran and former head of Google Search.

The company intends to tap Singhal’s strong expertise in artificial intelligence and experience in building large technical teams to grow.

A Google Fellow, and former head of Google’s core ranking team, Singhal has also worked for AT&T labs researching IR and database programming. He is now among the 12 members of One97 board, which has industry stalwarts including Ratan Tata and Alibaba representative Jing Xiandong.

Among others who have been hired by Paytm earlier this year include former Alibaba Group executive Bhushan Patil as its president, former Reserve Bank of India executive Shinjini Kumar as the chief executive of Paytm’s payments bank.

This year, Paytm also hired RBI deputy general manager Vipin Surelia to head its risk and compliance division and Barclays executive Krishna Hegde to head the consumer investment products division of the payments bank.

With such a strong taskforce at hand, will customers opt for Paytm’s savings account or use the company’s mobile wallets is yet to be seen.

 

Edition: December 2016

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