Former RBI deputy governor joins Paytm as advisor

Former RBI deputy governor joins Paytm as advisor
20 Jun, 2018

One97 Communications Ltd, which runs mobile wallet Paytm, has appointed Rama Subramaniam Gandhi, a former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, as an advisor, a company statement said.

“Gandhi will bring his years of knowledge and experience on payment systems, regulations, compliance and corporate governance,” Paytm said in the statement.

Prior to the position of deputy governor, Gandhi was a career central banker. He was a member of the first Monetary Policy Committee, had a three-year secondment to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). and has also been the head of two regional offices of the RBI. He has also served as director of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), Hyderabad.

“I am delighted to join Paytm as an advisor in its journey to bring digital and financial inclusion to half a billion Indians. I have dedicated my whole life to formulate policy and strengthen institutions in the financial services space. I will be happy to share my insights and guide Paytm in the creation of innovative financial services,” Gandhi said.

Paytm had announced in January that it would be setting up an investment arm, Paytm Money Ltd. A wholly-owned subsidiary of One97 Communications, it will build investment and wealth management products for its users. It had hired Pravin Jadhav, founder and chief executive officer of social wishlist startup Wishberg, to lead the entity.

Paytm Money is One97’s fourth consumer brand after Paytm Mall, Paytm Payments Bank and digital wallet Paytm.

In February, Paytm had appointed Pallavi Shroff, founder and managing partner at law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, as a board director.

Paytm’s other board directors include Kabir Misra, managing partner at SoftBank Capital; Joe Tsai, vice chairman at Alibaba Group Holding Ltd; former Google executive Amit Singhal; Mark Schwartz, vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group and chairman of Goldman Sachs, Asia-Pacific; Ravi Adusumalli of SAIF Partners; and Eric Jing, chief executive of Ant Financial.

Paytm’s investors include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, SAIF Partners, Alibaba Holding Ltd and Ant Financial Services Group.

In late January, Paytm’s valuation jumped close to $10 billion (Rs 63,595 crore) after current and former employees exercised their stock options.

For the financial year ending March 2017, One97 Communications registered a wider operating loss as it continued to burn cash heavily. The company’s consolidated loss before exceptional items, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation expanded to Rs 1,304 crore (about $200 million) from Rs 1,204.6 crore the year before.

Consolidated revenue rose 35% to Rs 640 crore from Rs 474 crore the previous year. Net loss, however, shrank to Rs 899.6 crore from Rs 1,496.8 crore thanks to so-called exceptional items to the tune of Rs 591.32 crore.