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PayU India to fill empty slots on top

The transition comes at a time when firm’s rivals are closing the gap.

Updated: Jul 16, 2019, 09.37 AM IST
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Earlier this month, Jitendra Gupta and Shailaz Nag, managing directors who headed PayU India’s consumer lending and omni-channel businesses, respectively, resigned.
NEW DELHI| BENGALURU: PayU’s India arm will soon name replacements for top executives who quit recently, its new chief executive said, as the Naspers-owned fintech player undergoes a significant leadership transition.

Earlier this month, Jitendra Gupta and Shailaz Nag, managing directors who headed PayU India’s consumer lending and omni-channel businesses, respectively, resigned.

In January, Amrish Rau stepped down as India CEO of PayU to take up a broader role within Naspers Fintech. Both Gupta and Rau had joined from Citrus Pay, the homegrown payments company that PayU acquired in 2016 for $130 million.

ET first reported these developments.

PayU India has since ushered in a new leadership team to run operations, led by chief executive Anirban Mukherjee who came on board in February.

Mukherjee told ET there was no top-level vacuum and that the company would name replacements over the next 30-60 days.

Pallav Jain, country head of PayU Finance, will take over Gupta’s responsibilities, Mukherjee said. Nag’s replacement will be named over the next 30 days, he said.

The company has hired Ashish Chattoraj as chief human resources officer and named Priya Cherian as global HR head for international credit business, Mukherjee said.

PayU will also get a new chief technology officer, an enterprise head for its large merchant business across sectors such as ecommerce travel merchants and food delivery, and an enterprise head for its small and medium businesses, he said. “It is some place where we are looking for someone senior and with experience, and we are getting massive interest from across the Indian and global diaspora,” Mukherjee said.

The leadership churn comes at a time when peers such as the Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital-backed Razorpay are beginning to close the gap. “In this situation, Razorpay has grown very well. They are well funded and have captured a large section of the new internet businesses, like ecommerce firms. They have developed a good tech platform as well, and have also played on the pricing game,” a top executive at a payment gateway company told ET.

“This has been good as well as harmful for the overall ecosystem. Payments has become a commodity, but it should not be like that.”

The payments business continues to be PayU’s core offering.

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Last month, Naspers said in its annual report that the payments business processed $30 billion in volume terms, on more than 920 million transactions.

India is the fastest growing, accounting for more than half of the processed volumes.

However, Mukherjee’s mandate is to evolve the company into creating a complete fintech ecosystem.

“We were a purely payments company, and a leading one at that. We will do much more of payments. We will get into omni-channel, which are hybrid payment systems. We are building a very large credit business, and are also looking to build an overall fintech ecosystem,” he said.

But the company is likely to face headwinds in this endeavour, industry watchers say.

“PayU has been betting on the cross-selling and lending model. Now the problem is, it’s still unclear if it will actually work. Also, players like Paytm have a much more holistic offering in this case…Merchants will prefer offerings from such integrated players in the long run. So, they are a very good competitor in this space,” the payment gateway company executive quoted earlier said.
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Fintech company PayU India names key leadership hires

More exits at PayU India, founder Shailaz Nag quits

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