New Delhi: Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, today announced the elevation of Vikas Varma to Chief Operating Officer. Vikas has been associated with Mastercard since 2005 and has held various leadership roles, including overseeing business, market and merchant development, among others. Recently, Mastercard announced an investment of US$1 billion over the next five years in India, in addition to the earlier investment of US$1 billion between 2014-19. Vikas will play a critical role in channelizing this investment towards Mastercard’s long term strategy for the India market.
In his new role, Vikas will lead initiatives such as new partnerships and development of digital payments solutions in the country. These initiatives will further accelerate Mastercard’s ongoing focus on technology innovation, merchant acceptance, and consumer adoption of digital payments.
Given the importance of innovation for a digitally empowered society, Mastercard has been actively involved in nurturing the fintech ecosystem in India through a variety of partnerships and the infusion of capital into early-stage start-ups. Through the company’s established global Start Path program Mastercard has supported several startups including ToneTag, Razorpay, Zeta, Fluid AI, Happay, Signzy, ftcash and Syntizen. Going forward, Vikas will oversee the progress of Mastercard’s Start Path program in India.
In addition to India, Mastercard is partnering with the governments and regulators in South Asian emerging markets such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to build the requisite infrastructure and promote digital payments. These countries have also laid down a roadmap for digital transformation and are encouraging their citizens to go ‘cashless’. This has opened up significant opportunities for the growth of digital payments in these countries. Vikas will also provide guidance to the country management of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for Mastercard.
Elaborating on the strategic decision, Porush Singh, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard said, “Mastercard is excited to announce the appointment of Vikas Varma as Chief Operating Officer. With his deep understanding of the payments ecosystem and retail financial services, Vikas has contributed immensely to Mastercard’s operations in India. Given his vast experience and expertise in payments innovation in emerging markets, Mastercard is confident that in his new role, Vikas will be instrumental in driving growth of digital payments and support India’s evolution to a less-cash society.”
Before joining Mastercard, Vikas has worked with major global payment brands and has held leadership positions in areas of market development and consumer cards products. He is an alumnus of Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad.