Signage for digital-payments provider Paytm (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Paytm Payments Bank Looking For New CEO As Renu Satti Returns To Retail

Paytm Payments Bank is on the lookout for a chief executive officer as incumbent, Renu Satti has stepped down and been re-designated as chief operating officer of an upcoming retail initiative of its parent company.

“Renu Satti has already resigned from Paytm Payments Bank CEO position and the Bank will soon be recruiting a new CEO,” read a statement from One97 Communications Ltd., Paytm’s parent, to BloombergQuint late evening of July 27.

This after BloombergQuint learnt about a possible leadership change and asked the bank about it. Till then Paytm had not made any public announcement regarding the change in Satti’s position.

At the time of filing this story the Paytm Payments Bank’s website still listed Satti as the CEO and managing director. Also, besides Satti, its board of directors includes founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma as chairman, and three independent directors. It is unclear who will lead the bank till Satti’s successor is appointed or why she resigned before a new leader took over. The company statement made no mention of whether Sharma would take over the responsibilities of CEO and MD in the interim.

Satti will now head the initiative that One97 calls ‘New Retail’, which will focus on restaurants, groceries and pharmacies for local ordering and delivery, said the company’s statement.

Satti joined Paytm’s parent company One97 in 2006 and was appointed managing director and CEO of Paytm Payments Bank in May 2017 just before the bank started commercial operations. The commercial launch of the bank was delayed by about a year reportedly due to delays in final regulatory approvals.

Prior to Satti’s appointment at the payments bank, Shinjini Kumar, a former Reserve Bank of India executive and PriceWaterhouseCoopers consultant was slated to be the bank’s CEO. Kumar was hired by Paytm in 2016 with the express purpose of running the bank but she stepped down just before the bank launched.

Satti’s New Role

Satti has been credited by Paytm with building its marketplace, movie-ticketing and payments bank businesses “from the ground-up”. That’s what makes her the right candidate to lead the new venture, the One97 statement said. Under this model, consumers will be able to discover nearby pharmacies, groceries and other shops to place orders and get instant deliveries.

“Local ordering is expected to gain a third of Paytm’s orders and gross merchandise value by 2020,” CEO Sharma was quoted as saying in the statement. The company claims to have already partnered with a “large network” of local shops that accept payments through Paytm, to which it’ll extend the ‘New Retail’ services.

Paytm started out out as a mobile recharge platform, expanded into digital payment solutions and e-commerce (Paytm Mall). In 2015 Paytm received approval from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a payments bank. The bank began operations in 2017 as India’s third payments bank. At the time of its launch it said it aimed to create the world’s largest digital bank with 500 million accounts. The latest account information is not available but in an April 2018 media statement the bank said it had 100 million KYC wallets.

Paytm Payments Bank is owned 51 percent by Vijay Shekhar and 49 percent by One97 Communications Ltd., a company founded by Sharma. One97 is backed by investors such as Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group and Ant Financial among others.

Also read: Former RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi Joins Paytm As Advisor