Paytm ropes in two ex-Google execs to strengthen cloud, advertising platforms

Photo: Reuters

One97 Communications, the parent entity of Indian digital payments giant Paytm, has announced a slew of appointments in the past one month to strengthen its leadership team as it looks to expand aggressively beyond just payments.

Among those hired most recently include two executives from technology giant Google – Ankit Sinha and Praveen Sharma, who will head Paytm’s cloud and advertising businesses, respectively, The Economic Times reported.

Both will report directly to Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Their appointments come only a few days after Paytm appointed ex-Goldman executive Amit Nayyar as president, financial services business. It was followed by the promotion of Pravin Jadhav as managing director and chief executive officer of Paytm Money. Jadhav was previously working as a whole-time director with Paytm Money.

Quoting a company spokesperson, the report said that Sinha had joined the company as vice-president for Paytm AI Cloud. He will be responsible for commercial exploitation of Paytm Cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. In his previous role, Sinha worked as regional business lead at Google Cloud.

Paytm, valued at about $15 billion, announced the launch of its AI cloud computing platform ‘Paytm AI Cloud for India’ in August last year. It aims at offering business-centric apps for organisations that need high-quality solutions for cloud computing, automate their workflow, easy payments, messaging and customer engagement without the hassle of managing hardware and software.

Last month, the company also promoted its Chief Financial Officer Madhur Deora as the president to boost financial services. Prior to joining Paytm in 2016, Deora served as Managing Director in Citigroup’s investment banking business in New York, London and Mumbai.

“We have grown over 20x in the last 3 years by creating a payments-led lifestyle and financial services app in our country. The next phase of our journey is to expand our offerings in consumer internet and financial services,” said Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in an earlier statement.

Paytm started out in 2010 as a mobile payments and recharge business. It now boasts of a presence across e-commerce, mutual funds, and insurance.

With an aim to become a full-stack investment and wealth management platform, the company is also looking to start offering stock broking service, sale of National pension schemes, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and other financial instruments via Paytm Money.

It is also set to enter the healthcare payments space to widen its customer base, Mint reported recently.