"India growing fastest for us"

     Print Edition: December 16, 2007

Sonny Sannon, President, MasterCard Worldwide, South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA), was in India recently to celebrate 25 years of MasterCard here. He met BT’s Mahesh Nayak and discussed his plans for India. Excerpts:

How important is India for MasterCard?
India is and will continue to remain important for us. It accounts for 20 per cent of the revenues from the SAMEA region and the growth rate here is about twice that in the SAMEA region.

Has the culture changed after your listing on the NYSE?
Earlier, we were a not-for-profit entity; today we are focussed on revenues and profits. However, the transition hasn’t come in a day. Earlier, we used to provide services at cost, but we realised that unless we had a good commercial orientation, we wouldn’t go far. That was why we merged with Europay in 2002 and listed in 2006.

What does MasterCard bring to India when compared to the global scenario?
I won’t get into specifics. But generally, we started with credit cards, then moved into the debit space and today we are a payments solution company. In India, four out of the five top airlines use our MC Gateway Service. Mobile telephony gateways will be the next big thing and we are looking at working in this space with a telecom service provider.

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