Amit Singhal, the former head of Google Search, has joined the board of One97 Communications Ltd that runs online payments and e-commerce firm Paytm, in a move that will help the Indian company’s technical competence in delivering financial products.
Singhal was head of Google Search till February and is currently focusing on philanthropic efforts through the Singhal Foundation.
He will be joining Paytm as an additional director on the board.
“Amit is a pioneer in the technology industry and we are incredibly excited to welcome him to Paytm’s board. We believe his strong expertise in artificial intelligence and experience in building large deeply technical teams will be extremely valuable to PayTm as we continue to grow rapidly,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive officer, PayTm.
Singhal, 48, worked at Google for 15 years. He led the company’s core search team and spearheaded Google search’s transition to mobile and other platforms. A graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and Cornell University, Singhal reportedly re-wrote many algorithms written by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Singhal is also an active investor and adviser to various companies. He recently joined the board of GOQii, a US-based fitness technology products company that caters to Indian consumers.
Singhal will be the 11th member on the board of One97 which includes, apart from Sharma, SAIF Partners Directors Ravi Adusumalli and Vivek Mathur, Alibaba representative Jing Xiandong, Neeraj Arora from Whatsapp Inc and Tata Sons Chairman emeritus Ratan Tata.
“I have always admired PayTm for its innovative payment products and vision for financial inclusion. I’m delighted to be joining their board,” said Singhal in a statement.
The news comes in at a time when Paytm is readying for its payments bank launch and is also battling it out for a share of the growing e-commerce market that has stalwarts like Amazon and Flipkart.