Airtel Payments Bank names Shashi Arora as CEO, MD

Airtel Payments Bank (formerly known as Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd) has appointed Shashi Arora as chief executive officer and managing director, as per a press statement.

Arora will replace Manish Khera who has resigned as CEO to become an entrepreneur. The appointment of Arora is, however, subject to approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Arora has 26 years of experience across sectors including FMCG, telecom, media and banking and had joined Bharti Airtel in February 2006. He was appointed CEO of Bharti Airtel’s arm Bharti Telemedia Ltd that provides DTH services in August 2011.

Under his leadership, the DTH business has doubled its subscriber base as well as revenues, with over two-thirds of the new customers coming from rural India, the statement said.

Prior to this, Arora was part of Airtel's Mobile business, and has served as CEO of the Upper North cluster (Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir) as well as CEO of the Delhi circle.

He was the group marketing head of Kotak Mahindra Bank before joining Airtel and was part of the team that expanded Kotak's banking business after it procured the banking licence.

Arora has graduated from Technological Institute of Textile and Sciences, Bhiwani, and holds an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Airtel Payments Bank became the first entity in India to receive a payments bank licence from RBI in April this year. 

It has presence in more than 800 towns across India and is looking to start rolling out its banking network in the second quarter of the current financial year.  

RBI had given approvals for payments banks as part of efforts to drive financial inclusion. Payments banks can offer small savings accounts and payments and remittance services to migrant labourers, low-income households and small businesses. But they cannot offer loans and accept term deposits, the main revenue generators for traditional banks.

The other eight applicants for payments bank licence are Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, Department of Posts, FINO PayTech Ltd, National Securities Depository Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Vodafone m-pesa Ltd.

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