FreeCharge CEO Govind Rajan quits

Govind Rajan’s exit comes as FreeCharge parent Snapdeal is struggling to attract investors


FreeCharge, which provides digital payments services, was acquired by Snapdeal for $450 million in April 2015 and appointed Govind Rajan as the chief executive in May 2016.
FreeCharge, which provides digital payments services, was acquired by Snapdeal for $450 million in April 2015 and appointed Govind Rajan as the chief executive in May 2016.

New Delhi: FreeCharge chief executive Govind Rajan has resigned from the company within nine months of his appointment as the payments subsidiary of online marketplace Snapdeal has failed to raise fresh funds. The company confirmed the news late Tuesday night.

Snapdeal, run by Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, has been trying to independently raise funds for FreeCharge but the company has struggled to attract investors in the past six to 10 months.

“It has been a unique privilege to helm FreeCharge in these exciting times of rapid growth and user focused innovation. I am confident that FreeCharge will achieve still greater heights under its incredibly talented team and I look forward to facilitating the transition over the next few weeks,” said Rajan in an email response.

FreeCharge, which provides digital payments services, was acquired by Snapdeal for $450 million in April 2015 and appointed Rajan as the chief executive in May 2016.

“Govind has brought incredible energy and focus in growing FreeCharge. The pace of progress will continue with the strong team that he has built. I am sure he will bring the same level of passion and resolve to whatever he chooses next. I wish him the very best,” Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl said in an email response.

“Going forward, Jason Kothari will oversee the business operations of FreeCharge as part of his overall responsibilities of portfolio management as the chief strategy and investment officer of Snapdeal,” the company said.

Rajan was initially hired as the chief strategy officer of Snapdeal, prior to which he was at Bharti Airtel Ltd as its chief marketing officer and chief executive of Airtel Money. He also worked at Hindustan Unilever Ltd for over 15 years.

The past three months have seen a number of high-level exits at Snapdeal, including Sandeep Komaravelly, head of peer-to-peer marketplace Shopo; Tony Navin, head of partnerships and strategic investments; and Abhishek Kumar, head of corporate development, mergers and acquisitions and investments.

Backed by Japan’s Softbank Group, which holds close to 33% in the company, Snapdeal has also received funding from Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, eBay Inc., Foxconn Technology Group and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal now have a stake of less than 6.5% in the company, which has raised around $2 billion since its inception.

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