Paytm appoints Madhur Deora chief financial officer

Madhur Deora has over 17 years of experience in investment banking and most recently served in Citi’s investment banking business as managing director


Madhur Deora will also be responsible for building and managing Paytm’s newly formed financial services business. Photo: Bloomberg
Madhur Deora will also be responsible for building and managing Paytm’s newly formed financial services business. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: One97 Communications Ltd, which owns and operates online payments platform Paytm, on Thursday named ex-Citigroup senior executive Madhur Deora as chief financial officer and senior vice president of Paytm.

Deora will also be responsible for building and managing Paytm’s newly formed financial services business.

Mint reported in August that Paytm was is in advanced talks to hire Deora as its CFO.

Deora has over 17 years of experience in investment banking and most recently served in Citi’s investment banking business as managing director.

He is known for helping JustDial with its IPO in 2013 and also led the fundraising discussions for Paytm with Alibaba in 2015.

In early 2015, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, through its affiliate Ant Financial bought a 26% stake in Paytm by pumping in close to $575 million.

Deora, 38, studied economics at Wharton and from there joined Salmon Smith Barney, which was later acquired by Citicorp to form Citibank.

“Madhur has been a long-term friend and partner of Paytm. I am extremely happy to welcome him onboard. His expertise will help us to build our newly formed financial services business into one of the largest from India,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive at Paytm.

“I am looking forward to my journey with Paytm. This is going to be a phenomenal learning experience for me. I have great respect for what the company is building and look forward to using my experience and skills to further support this incredible growth,” said Deora.

Paytm currently claims more offline transactions than online and said online recharges now constitutes less than 20% of its total business.

One97 Communications Ltd founder Sharma, one of the 11 recipients of a payments bank licence, is aggressively strengthening its team ahead of the launch of its payment bank by October.

In March, Paytm hired former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive Shinjini Kumar as the chief executive of Paytm’s payments bank. It hired RBI deputy general manager Vipin Surelia to head its risk and compliance division in April.

Paytm is in the process of creating a 1,500-people team for its payments bank business over the next six months.

Launched in 2014, Paytm is backed by investors such as Alibaba Group, SAIF Partners and Sapphire Venture. In August Mint reported that Paytm was in advance talks to raise $300-350 million largely from MediaTek Inc.

Paytm wallet claims to have over 135 million users, with over 90 million transactions every month.

Paytm currently claims to do a GMV (gross merchandise value or in this case, value of total transactions) of $4.5 billion and gets about 40% of the GMV from the marketplace business.

While Paytm’s core business is mobile payments and mobile recharges, it has aggressively built its e-commerce marketplace over the past two years, selling apparel, footwear, smartphones, laptops and other products.

Paytm is currently in the process of spinning off its marketplace business and its payments business, Mint reported in May.

Paytm’s aggressive moves come in at a time when its investor Alibaba is also set to launch its operations in the country this year and is scouting for partnerships.

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