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Sonia Dhawan rejoins Paytm group

Before joining the gaming firm, which is a joint venture between AGTech Holdings Limited and One97 Communications, Dhawan worked in Paytm invested platform Sheroes as director of corporate communications.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 06, 2019, 10.45 PM IST
Sonia Dhawan, newly appointed Vice President - Corporate Communications at Gamepind Entertainment
BENGALURU: Sonia Dhawan, a former Paytm executive and the prime accused in an alleged extortion case involving the company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has joined Paytm First Games, the company said in a statement.

Gamepind Entertainment, which owns Paytm First Games, is a joint venture between Alibaba’s AGTech and Paytm’s parent One97 Communications.

In March, ET reported that Dhawan was likely to rejoin the company.

However, the company denied that at the time, saying “no accused is joining back the company till the time the court matter is concluded.”

The case against Dhawan is still pending, multiple people told ET.

Sharma did not respond to an email till press-time, Friday.

Dhawan, a former vice president of communications and public relations at Paytm, had spent nearly five months in jail after Ajay Shekhar Sharma, senior vice-president of the company and the founder's brother, lodged an FIR against her.

According to the case, Dhawan, along with three other accused, were alleged to have stolen private data belonging to Sharma and had allegedly tried to extort Rs 10 crore.

Dhawan was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in March.

In her plea before the high court, Dhawan claimed innocence, saying nothing concrete had emerged against her.

She had never indulged in any illegal activity, or secretly obtained data from any laptop or indulged in blackmail, Dhawan said in her submission before the court.

In June, Dhawan joined as director of corporate communications at Sheroes, an online community and job portal for women, where Paytm’s chief Sharma is also an investor and a board member.

“We are inducting new leaders who will help us to achieve the milestones and become the favorite gaming destination,” Sudhanshu Gupta, COO of Paytm First Games said in a statement on Friday.

Utopia’s Fayyaz Hussain joined Paytm First Games as head of growth, while Dream 11’s Harshit Kashiv has joined as product marketing head.

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