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Paytm Board Reshuffle: Neeraj Arora Steps Down, Rajeev Agarwal Appointed

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Preeti Bali / 6:46 am / June 19, 2024

Paytm, the Indian digital payments giant, is undergoing a leadership change with the resignation of Neeraj Arora, an independent director. Arora, citing personal commitments, has stepped down from the board, leaving a vacancy during a critical time for the company.

Rajeev Agarwal Takes the Helm as New Independent Director

Filling the void left by Arora will be Rajeev Krishnamuralilal Agarwal, a former IRS officer and SEBI Whole Time Member. Agarwal’s extensive experience in financial regulation and markets is seen as a valuable asset for Paytm. His background includes serving as a whole-time member at SEBI, a member of the Forward Markets Commission, and engaging with international regulatory bodies. This global perspective is expected to be a boon for Paytm’s future endeavors.

Paytm CEO Expresses Gratitude and Optimism

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm’s founder and CEO, welcomed Agarwal’s appointment, highlighting his expertise in regulatory matters as a crucial addition to the board. Sharma also expressed appreciation for Arora’s contributions, recognizing their instrumental role in Paytm’s growth. He reaffirmed the company’s commitment to innovation and financial inclusion for the nation.

Arora’s Departure Amidst Company Turmoil

Arora, who previously served as WhatsApp’s chief business officer, joined Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications, as an additional director just before its initial public offering (IPO) in 2021. However, his exit coincides with a period of unrest within Paytm, marked by staff reductions and allegations of unfair dismissal practices. Reports suggest that several employees were pressured to resign or face termination, further adding to the company’s recent challenges.

Leadership Exodus Continues for Paytm

Arora’s departure is just one piece of a larger puzzle. Paytm has also witnessed the resignations of other key executives, including Bhavesh Gupta, the former president and COO overseeing payments and lending. Gupta’s exit, while attributed to personal reasons, reportedly came after a series of missteps and a slowdown in lending activity following regulatory actions against Paytm Payments Bank Ltd.

Company Restructuring and Strategic Pivot

In the wake of these departures, Paytm has indicated that CEO Sharma will assume a more hands-on role in various operations. Additionally, the company’s recent Q4 earnings release revealed a strategic shift towards a distribution-only credit model. Under this model, Paytm would no longer be responsible for loan collections or receive related incentives. The company clarified this as a temporary measure to navigate challenging macroeconomic conditions impacting loan repayments.

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