No More FreeCharge for Chief Exec Govind Rajan
New Delhi: Govind Rajan, the chief executive of Jasper Infotech-owned digital payments platform FreeCharge, has resigned from the company, according to sources.
Calls, texts and emails sent to Rajan and Jasper Infotech spokespersons asking for confirmation of the development, did not elicit any response at the time of going to press. According to the sources cited above, Rajan submitted his resignation on Tuesday, and has been accepted by the Jasper Infotech leadership. The exact reasons for Rajan’s departure from the company, or his plans going forward are still unclear. If confirmed, this will be the latest top-level exit from the Jasper Infotech stable, which also owns and operates online marketplace Snapdeal. It may also be the most high-profile resignation since the departure of Anand Chandrasekaran, the company’s product head in May last year. In September, Chandrasekaran joined Facebook as its head of platform and product partnerships, with a particular focus on its Messenger service. Rajan, who had joi- ned Jasper Infotech in July 2015, initially held the role of chief strategy officer at Snapdeal. However, the former Bharti Airtel senior executive, who had served as chief marketing officer for Bharti’s B2C business as well as CEO of Airtel Money, took over the top job at FreeCharge in May last year.
That transition also saw Kunal Shah, cofounder of FreeCharge, step down from his role as CEO of the company, and assume a nonoperational role as chairman and chief mentor of the company.
Earlier this month, ET reported that Shah had joined marque venture capital firm Sequoia Capital as an advisor, and is expected to play an active role in mentoring Sequoia’s large portfolio spread across India and South Asia. FreeCharge, which was acquired by Jasper Infotech in a cash-andstock deal estimated at $400-$450
ON THE EXIT ROUTE
million in 2015, making it, at the time, the largest startup acquisition in India, is seen as a focal point of ecommerce marketplace's growth strategy, as it bids to create a complete online ecosystem of goods and services.
Jasper Infotech, has been in negotiations for over 18 months with multiple investors — both, strategic and financial — to raise $150$300 million in fresh capital for its digital payments platform. However, the company is yet to close the round, which was first reported by ET in October 2015.
Like its Bengaluru-based rival, Flipkart, Snapdeal, too, has continued to see a steady churn of its top leadership. The last few months have seen the departure of Abhishek Kumar, Jasper’s head of corporate development and mergers and acquisitions, Sandeep Komaravelly, who headed Shopo, the consumer-to-consumer online platform for small sellers, and Tony Navin, who led Snapdeal’s partnerships and strategic initiatives, among others.