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Grab raids Paytm for new CTO

By Grab

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, today announced it has appointed Vikas Agrawal as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for GrabPay, its mobile payments platform.

Based in Bangalore, Vikas brings on board two decades of experience in senior engineering positions at India’s premier startups in the payments, financial services and e-commerce space. Adding Vikas’ deep payments expertise, underlines Grab’s ambitions of building a world-class engineering team across its three payments R&D centres in Bangalore, Jakarta and Singapore. This appointment will also accelerate GrabPay’s growth as it expands across Southeast Asia with the goal of becoming the region’s #1 payments platform.

Vikas joins Grab from Paytm, India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform, where he was the Senior Vice President of Engineering. During his time, Vikas helped grow the platform to 250 million registered users and a 200 engineer strong team. Before that, Vikas was a founding member and CTO at Fashionara, an e-commerce startup, VP of Engineering at Tavant, a SaaS startup as well as a Technical Architect at CyberCash, one of the world’s first commercially viable e-payments services.

“Vikas has steered some of the world’s largest e-payments platforms through rapid growth, including during the critical time of 2016’s demonetization of higher value banknotes in India. We believe Southeast Asia has the same potential for e-payments in the next 12 months. Under Vikas’ leadership, we have an enviable GrabPay engineering organisation that can reliably and securely build GrabPay into SEA’s universal payments platform,” said Theo Vassilakis, Group CTO, Grab.

As Grab continues to transform from Southeast Asia’s largest on-demand transportation platform towards the region’s #1 consumer internet platform, GrabPay has seen explosive growth in its services. Today, the Grab platform facilitates more than 3.5 million transactions daily and is on track for 1 billion transactions annualized. Just 12 months back, Grab first announced GrabPay Credits, its top-up service, followed by GrabRewards, one of Southeast Asia’s largest loyalty programmes with more than 300 merchants. In Singapore, the platform recently also launched peer-to-peer payments services as well as in-store and in-restaurant payments services. Grab plans to expand all payments services across SEA in 2018.

To support the growth of the GrabPay platform, earlier in 2017, Grab also made a number of business announcements:
● The appointment of Jason Thompson, a former Managing Director for EMEA and Asia at Euronet, to lead GrabPay as Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia.
● The acquisition of Kudo, one of Indonesia’s leading O2O (online to offline) ecommerce platforms
● The opening of three new R&D centres in Bangalore, India; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
● A commitment to add close to 1,000 R&D jobs across Grab’s six R&D centres by end of 2018

“I’ve seen in India how going cashless can open up the digital economy to millions of merchants and help them access new customers, while making the cost of living more affordable for consumers. It’s a privilege to now join the GrabPay leadership team and have a unique opportunity to profoundly change the lives of Southeast Asia’s more than 600 million people through financial inclusion,” Vikas Agrawal added.

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