The head of WhatsApp payments division in India, Vinay Choletti, took to Linkedin on Wednesday to announce his departure from WhatsApp. Calling WhatsApp a critical lifeline for India, Choletti shared how he was honored to see customers adopt WhatsApp Pay for novel use cases and that these will be the badges he will proudly wear in his life. Choletti wrote in a LinkedIn post:
“As I move towards my next adventure, I strongly believe that WhatsApp has the power to phenomenally transform digital payments and financial inclusion in India. I look forward to seeing it realize its potential in the years to come. I am honored to see customer adoption of new use cases with WhatsApp Pay and I will wear these badges with pride for the rest of my life.”
Late last year, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) approved increasing the user limit for the WhatsApp payment service from the current 20 million to 40 million users. WhatsApp received the go-ahead from NPCI in April this year to expand the payment service to 100 million users.
Choletti joined WhatsApp in October 2021 as head of business payments and left Amazon after more than seven years as head of SMB payments in its payments division. On November 1, WhatsApp launched a new feature that allows Bangalore citizens to buy Namma metro tickets at a 5 percent discount on the bus ticket fare.
The feature allows commuters to skip long subway lines, allowing them to buy one-way transportation tickets, top up subway passes, view schedules, and check up-to-date fares. The chatbot also allows you to cancel your ticket.
Choletti replaced Manesh Mahatme, who left the Meta-owned app to join former employer Amazon India as a full-time director of product and engineering. The departure of Choletti and Mahatme comes at a crucial time for WhatsApp Pay, which won the mandate to expand its user base from 40 million to 100 million in April 2022.
His departure comes at a time when India is facing a mass exodus of top executives. The company has yet to release an official statement regarding his departure. In recent months, several top executives have left Meta India. Last month, Abhijit Bose, Rajiv Aggarwal and Ajit Mohan resigned as head of WhatsApp India, director of public policy for Meta India and head of Meta India respectively.
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