Exclusive: After quitting Amazon, Sriraman Jagannathan may lead WhatsApp Pay

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Sriraman Jagannathan, who recently resigned from the post of Amazon India’s fintech VP may join WhatsApp Pay.

According to two Entrackr’s sources, WhatsApp, which is desperately looking for India’s head has been in talks with Jagannathan to lead its UPI-based payments operations in the country.

“Jagannathan is also slated to meet WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniel who is currently on a five-day tour to India,” reveal sources. 

Jagannathan resignation comes at a time when both Amazon and WhatsApp contemplating their UPI-based payments service in India.

While WhatsApp already piloted its peer-to-peer payments service and looking for the government nod to launch operations for the masses, Amazon’s UPI plan hits snag because of RBI’s diktat over local data storage.

Besides Jagannathan, WhatsApp has been in discussion with other potential candidates for heading WhatsApp Pay, add sources.

As of now, Visa India’s former head Uttam Nayak was the only person whose name surfaced for heading the payments operations of the instant chat messenger. “Nayak appointment has not been fructified for some unknown reasons. He isn’t in race of WhatsApp UPI head candidature anymore,” adds one of the above sources.

Sources requested anonymity as the discussion is private and they are not authorised to speak to media.

“Unfortunately, we can’t comment on any future timelines, said WhatsApp in an email response to Entrackr queries on Daniel meeting with Jagannathan. 

However, a LinkedIn message left to Jagannathan regarding the latter’s joining the Facebook-owned company did not elicit any response yet.

Jagannathan joined Amazon in January 2016 and was based out of Bengaluru. Earlier, he had worked with IDFC Bank as its chief digital and data officer. He was also instrumental in setting up and launching Airtel money nationally.

Post Jagannathan departure, Mahendra Nerurkar, who took over as Amazon Pay chief executive earlier this year will lead the financial services.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is currently looking to settle the escalating issues of local presence in the country. Daniel has met government officials to resolve it as early as possible.

With years of experience in financial services, Jagannathan joining could be a shot in the arm for WhatsApp’s payments service in India.

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