Anirban Mukherjee is PayU India CEO
Fintech major looks to double its loan book to about $2 billion.
Speaking exclusively to ET, Laurent Le Moal, global chief executive of PayU, said Mukherjee’s immediate responsibilities will be to manage $100 million worth of business, which, according to him, is growing at 30% year-on-year.
“He (Mukherjee) is coming on board at a very interesting time for PayU and Naspers fintech in India. The business is now significantly bigger… PayU is no longer a startup in India. It’s a leading digital payments player, and so you need to bring on board someone with international expertise,” Le Moal told ET over the phone.
A fintech veteran, Mukherjee is an IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad alum. Besides Reliance Payments, which owns and operates Jio Money, he has also had significant stints in Standard Chartered Bank, Capital One and Accenture. Having started off as a payments platform, PayU over the last 24 months has been focusing on the consumer credit segment. It is now preparing to expand its presence in the small and medium-sized business lending space as well.
Separately, Jitendra Gupta, managing director at PayU India, will head the company’s credit product LazyPay.
Mukherjee will also be part of PayU's global fintech leadership team, driving new initiatives and investments across high-growth markets
Earlier this week, ET reported that the fintech and e-payment arm of Naspers, which is valued at about $2.5 billion, was in discussions to pick up a strategic stake in digital lending company Capital Float.
Mukherjee replaces Amrish Rau, who is transitioning into a broader role as the head of financial technology partnerships and investments for Naspers.
Separately, Jitendra Gupta, managing director at PayU India, will head the company’s credit product LazyPay. Both Rau and Gupta, joined PayU after Citrus Pay, the fintech company they founded, was acquired by the financial services major in 2016 for $130 million in cash, at the time, the largest transaction in the space.
“One of our responsibilities is to give new challenges to our leaders…Who better than Amrish to animate and create this fintech ecosystem? He will be a fantastic mentor to all the fintech entrepreneurs… Jiten has been extremely successful in building the first consumer business for PayU,” Le Moal said.
“We are now doing two million transactions a month with LazyPay…Credit is now a full-fledged business. Jiten has been absolutely fantastic in starting the business, but at one point you need to have someone with experience building and managing billion-dollar loan books, because that is our ambition for India in a few years,” Le Moal said.
Mukherjee, who will be based in Delhi, will be tasked with further building out PayU’s credit business, while also creating partnerships with financial institutions across the board. In September last year, ET was the first to report that PayU had received a license to operate its own NBFC in the country.
PayU India currently represents about 50% of the organisation's payment volumes. It, however, derives only 2% of its overall revenue from the credit business, but which is expected to grow to 20% in the next two years.
The company, which processes online payments worth more than Rs 10,000 crore monthly, has over 400,000 merchants across India using its offerings. Its revenue nearly doubled in fiscal 2018 to Rs 588 crore from Rs 306 core the year before, as per the company’s regulatory filings sourced from Tofler.
On the credit side, PayU India is targeting India’s 51 million micro, small and medium enterprises segment, which has contributed almost 38% to the country’s GDP, but has also traditionally been starved of access to institutional capital.
“There are a few companies doing this, and we know them all. We would be very interested in partnering with them,” Le Moal said. The global CEO, however, declined to comment on the proposed investment in Capital Float, calling them “rumours”.
“I think the next stage is not just about equity. It is the ability to mange debt to secure debt from lenders. I think this is going to be the next stage of maturity for all credit businesses in India,” he said.