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Citrus Pay gets PayPal’s Abhishek Ayyagari to head product development

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In the currently evolving scenario of digital payments in India, Mumbai-based digital wallet platform Citrus Pay has added ex-PayPal executive Abhishek Ayyagari as the CPO to its roster of executive officers. This marks another aggressive move by a digital payment company in India, as the war continues to heat up to get a majority of this massively lucrative pie.

After taking on his role as the product lead, Ayyagari will be working with the technology team to look after all the product offerings of the company. He has been added to the digital payment startup at a time when it is operating at a staggering gross merchandise value of over $3 billion and has recently also forayed into social commerce with a Stripe-like product called Sellfie.

Sellfie is a contextual commerce startup that enables individuals and  small businesses to sell and collect payments on social networks and messengers using buttons, payment links and chat bots. The company is planning to pump Rs. 70-80 crore into building out this vertical completely.

Before joining Citrus Pay, Ayyagari has also worked as the product manager at e-commerce platform, owned by Reliance Industries. He was responsible for the conceptualization and launch of desktop and mobile products of the lifestyle platform.

Before his time at Ajio, he had spent over five years at the digital payment major PayPal as a senior product manager. He was responsible was defining the product roadmap and building out strategies for the express check-out billing product suite at PayPal. He has also spent a good one year working as the strategy manager at Tech Mahindra.

Amrish Rau, Managing Director, Citrus Pay told TOI that,

He[Ayyagari] has steered many interesting things during his stint in Paypal and since we are building a complete payments firm which aims to cover all sorts of merchants, his experience will be vital going forward.

According to a recent Google-BCG report, digital payments will be a humongous $500 Billion market by 2020, comprising of 15% of India’s GDP. Thus, this addition to the Citrus Pay team will pay-off for the development of its wallet and additional products with respect to market leaders like Paytm and Freecharge.

The Indian e-commerce space is soon going to be even more crowded real soon as San Francisco-based payment startup Stripe is also planning to enter the country and hired its first employee Anand Balaji, an ex-Amazon executive.

Other e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon are also ramping up their efforts to build out their digital payments solutions to get hold a small piece of the online digital transactions in the country. Flipkart has recently invested over $100 million to build out an independent modern-age digital payments business, using the Unified Payment Interface technology.

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