We bring to you the latest edition of movers and shakers of the week in the Indian startup ecosystem.
In one of the important movers and shakers this week, the founder of the Indian hospitality unicorn OYO Hotels and Homes, Ritesh Agarwal has decided to reportedly take up a larger role in the company’s Singapore office as the company plans to establish itself as a global player. This move is said to be a part of the ongoing structural changes in OYO for the past 12 months as the company continues expanding its global operations.
Also, recently OYO hosted its first Partner Advisory Council meeting in Delhi under the aegis of OYO Partner Engagement Network (OPEN) – the ongoing year long commitment of support and engagement with 10,000+ asset owners across the country. The inaugural Partner Advisory Council, under OPEN provides a unique opportunity to OYO hotel owners, OYO India SA leadership and respected third party policy and legal luminaries to represent the interests of the OYO Hotels network across the country and provide a platform to discuss and determine micro and macro issues driving the future of hospitality in India.
In another movers and shakers development, two IIT-Madras-incubated startups have pledged to create 1 Lakh experts in AI and ML by 2020 through a joint venture, which focusses on training Indian students, faculty and engineers. GUVI, an edtech platform for students to learn in regional languages, is collaborating with One Fourth Labs, which offers advanced AI courses at affordable fees. Students will be able to comprehend complicated concepts with relative ease thanks to the localisation and can acquire problem-solving skills by learning AI programming and applications.
Let’s take a look at other important movers and shakers of the week.
Dockabl Appoints Sekhar Variam As Its CTO
Dockabl has appointed Sekhar Variam as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO). The strategic appointment is aimed at strengthening the brand’s technological capabilities, augmenting existing products and establishing new product lines. Sekhar will operate out of Dockabl’s Bengaluru office.
Dockabl plans to build on its recent Bengaluru expansion by commencing operations in other high-profile tech centers such as Hyderabad and Chennai. Sekhar’s appointment underlines the company’s plans to strengthen its pan-India presence.
Sekhar is an industry veteran with 18 years of rich experience in building B2B and B2C products including innovative SAAS-based offerings. He is a NIT alumnus who is pursuing an MS (Computer Science) from Georgia Tech.
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Prior to joining Dockabl, Sekhar was working as the Technology Head of IncRev Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based technology consulting company that he co-founded and ran for thirteen years. At Dockabl, he aims to support multiple product integrations with other cutting-edge products in the ecosystem. He will also look at empowering Dockabl’s product with AI and ML capabilities to make it more efficient and user-friendly.
Paytm Appoints ex-Goldman Executive As President
Paytm has announced the appointment of Amit Nayyar as President, responsible for the financial services business of Paytm, in a newly created role. At Paytm, he will lead the company’s efforts to further its footprint in lending, insurance, wealth management, and broking businesses.
Amit will report directly to Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, and CEO of Paytm. Amit has been a seasoned investment banker who has led numerous marquee transactions and brings extensive experience in M&A, corporate strategy and public/private fundraising, especially across BFSI segments like banking, NBFCs, insurance, asset management, securities broking, etc.
Most recently he served as Managing Director at Arpwood Capital. Previously, Amit served for Goldman Sachs from 2009-16, as an ED and Co-COO for Investment Banking where he led the Financial Institutions as well as Industrials Group. Amit also worked with BoFA Merrill Lynch as a senior member of the Financial Institutions Group.
Amit received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore in 2002 and graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh in 2000.
Udacity Appoints Gabriel Dalporto As CEO
Udacity has recently appointed Gabriel Dalporto as its new Chief Executive Officer. In his role at the company, Gabriel will be responsible for advancing Udacity’s remarkable growth trajectory and furthering its vision of providing new-age learners with cutting-edge skills to advance in their careers.
Prior to joining Udacity, Gabriel has held several leadership positions including Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer at LendingTree.
Gabriel’s appointment follows close behind a series of milestones crossed by Udacity in the current fiscal year. Earlier this year, the company appointed India-born executive and investor, Lalit Singh as its COO. The company’s enterprise business registered over 150% revenue growth in the first half of 2019 on the back of new Fortune Global 500 enterprise customers and record customer retention rates. On the consumer business front, too, the company has registered more than 60% growth in its revenue generation.
Indifi Appoints Sangram Singh As Its President
Indifi Technologies has appointed Sangram Singh as its President. In his role as the President, Sangram will be responsible for spearheading operations and driving business growth to ensure scalability, strengthening and verticalizing deeper in the existing segments, and establishing partnerships and alliances. Moreover, he is tasked with identifying, assessing, and tapping into new sectoral opportunities along with capturing new avenues in product and customer segments.
Prior to joining Indifi, Sangram was the CEO of Freecharge, a subsidiary of Axis Bank. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, he has worked with renowned names from the banking ecosystem such as GESBI, Citibank, and Axis Bank in the past. Considering his rich domain experience spanning close to two decades, appointing Sangram as the President comes across as an integral move made by Indifi at a time when the company is embarking on its next phase of growth and evolution.
Lendingkart Bolsters Its Leadership With Three Senior Appointments
Lendingkart has announced the appointment of three new senior executives to strengthen the company’s vision of financial inclusion for everyone. With an aim to further streamline its business, Lendingkart has expanded its leadership team with Sudeep Bhatia as its Group CFO, Bratindra Sanyal as SVP – HR and Deepesh Goel who join as VP – New Initiatives & Strategy.
Sudeep is a senior BFSI business leader with over 20 years of experience in business development and strategy, corporate finance, investor relations, financial control, taxation and regulatory matters. A qualified chartered accountant, cost accountant and certified public accountant, Sudeep has held several key leadership positions with large conglomerates, banks and financial institutions such as Macquarie, Tata Capital, Citi Financial and GE Capital across the world.
Bringing over 15 years of industry experience, Bratindra has successfully led the HR function across industries and geographies such as India, China, Philippines, Europe and America. Prior to Lendingkart, Bratindra worked with JP Morgan Chase as Head HR, as well as HSBC, Genpact and Tata – AIG Life Insurance Co Ltd. in varying capacities.
Before joining Lendingkart, Deepesh Goel was amongst the core founding team members of CoinTribe Technologies. A seasoned management consultant with over eleven years of financial services experience, Deepesh has worked with leading consultants including BCG, EY and Deloitte on multiple local and international assignment for banks / NBFCs / AMCs etc. focusing on digital transformation, new market entry, new product development, business process engineering and developing thought leadership.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Movers And Shakers Of The Week!