BharatPe Ropes In Former Razorpay Executive Pankaj Goel As CTO

BharatPe Ropes In Former Razorpay Executive Pankaj Goel As CTO


Pankaj Goel’s appointment comes seven months after Vijay Aggarwal resigned from the post of CTO in November 2022

Goel will directly report to interim CEO Nalin Negi, and will lead the technology team at BharatPe group

BharatPe has seen an exodus of top level leadership over the last few months and is still looking for a CEO after the resignation of Suhail Sameer in January

Fintech unicorn BharatPe on Wednesday (July 5) announced the appointment of former Razorpay executive Pankaj Goel as its new chief technology officer (CTO), a position which was vacant for almost seven months.

Goel succeeds Vijay Aggarwal, who resigned from the company in November last year.

Goel will directly report to chief financial officer and interim chief executive officer (CEO) Nalin Negi, BhartPe said in a statement. He will lead the technology team at BharatPe Group and will spearhead the technology and innovation strategy across the group of companies.

“… With a seasoned engineering leader like Pankaj joining the team, we are confident that we will be able to build best-in-class fintech products that will further enable the next level of growth for the BharatPe group of companies… I welcome Pankaj to the leadership team and look forward to working with him to build new-age products for millions of merchants and consumers,” said Negi.

The development comes hours after Goel announced his departure from Razorpay in a LinkedIn post. Goel worked with Razorpay for nearly four years. Before that, he was with Intuit for over a decade.

“… I am thrilled to be a part of BharatPe group as it focusses on building a portfolio of fintech products for a wider set of merchants and consumers… I am hoping that we will deliver impactful solutions that will enable us to not only solve existing problems, but also help us stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving fintech landscape,” Goel said in the statement. 

The appointment of Goel will come as a relief for the fintech unicorn which has seen an exodus of top leadership members over the last few months. The company is also yet to find a chief executive officer (CEO) since the resignation of Suhail Sameer in January this year. Its CFO Nalin Negi has been overseeing the operations of the fintech company as an interim CEO since January.

A Saga Of Departures

The last year has been a bumpy ride for the company which has been involved in an ugly spat with its former managing director Ashneer Grover. BhartPe has also been mired by allegations of corporate misgovernance, while it has accused Grover of committing financial irregularities.

The public drama saw the exit of cofounders Ashneer Grover, Satyam Nathani and Bhavik Koladiya. Subsequently, the then CEO Sameer also resigned.

Besides, other C-Suite executives including chief revenue officer Nitish Sharma, PostPe head Nehul Malhotra, chief product officer for lending and consumer products Rajat Jain, head of institutional debt partnership Chandrima Dhar, and vice-president of technology Geetanshu Singla also left the company.

However, BharatPe has taken a number of steps in the recent past to offset the damage, including a spree of top-level hirings this year to streamline operations. 

Earlier this year, BharatPe appointed Ambuj Bhalla as its Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), followed by the onboarding of Rahul Bhatia as head of internal audit. Later, it roped in Aparna Kuppuswamy as chief risk officer, while Sandeep Indurkar joined the company as chief business office in May. Last month, the company appointed Kohinoor Biswas as the head of consumer lending.

Founded in 2018, BharatPe is well-known for building the country’s ‘first interoperable UPI QR code’. The fintech major allows merchants to accept payments through QR codes and PoS devices and also offers buy-now-pay-later products. The startup directly competes with the likes Paytm and PhonePe.

BharatPe claims to cater to 1 Cr merchants across 400+ cities currently and has so far raised $583 Mn from marquee names such as Tiger Global, Dragoneer Investment Group, Steadfast Capital, Coatue Management. 

BharatPe reported a loss of INR  5,610.7 Cr in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22), up 3.4X from INR 1,619.2 Cr in FY21. Revenue from operations surged 283% year-on-year (YoY) to INR 456.8 Cr in the year ended March 2022. 

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