May 25, 2016: Freecharge, Snapdeal-owned digital payments platform has elevated its chief operating officer Govind Rajan to the position of chief executive, while co-founder Kunal Shah has been made Chairman of the company.
The CEO of Airtel Money, Rajan was recruited by Snapdeal last year to build the e-commerce company’s payment solutions. He was given the additional responsibility of handling the operations of the company post the freecharge acquisition.
Rajan in a statement said, “FreeCharge is built on a robust foundation of cutting-edge technology, superlative customer experience and a deep understanding of consumer needs. Kunal has built a great tech team and an iconic brand. It is a privilege to take the baton from him.”
Freecharge was bought by Snapdeal in April last year in a $400 million deal and has since transformed from an online recharge service provider to a full-fledged digital payments platform. The company offers mobile recharge, bill payments and a digital wallet.
Kunal Shah said, “Govind has led with great insight and initiative. His understanding of the payments industry and its future trends is equally matched by his discipline and ability to get things done.”
With market leader Paytm claiming to have over 100 million users, Snapdeal is pegged at number two in the Indian digital wallet space. While Paytm launched its own e-commerce marketplace, common investors in Freecharge and Snapdeal felt the synergies of the two companies would match.
So far Snapdeal is maintaining Freecharge as a separate entity with its own CEO and management team, however, both the e-commerce and mobile payments arms cross-sell each other’s businesses on their websites and apps. Unlike Paytm, Snapdeal does not hold a payment bank license, but has partnered with Yes Bank and payment bank license holder FINO PayTech to power its digital wallet.