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Snapdeal appoints Jason Kothari as CEO of FreeCharge; commits $20 mn investment

BT Online     March 20, 2017

Online marketplace Snapdeal on Monday announced the appointment of Jason Kothari as the Chief Executive Officer of FreeCharge and a commitment to invest an additional $20 million in the Company.

In addition to taking on the role of the CEO, Jason will continue his key leadership role as Chief Strategy and Investment Officer at Snapdeal. He will also join the Board of Directors of FreeCharge, the company said in a press release.

Commenting on Jason's appointment, co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal, Kunal Bahl said, "As India moves towards a cashless and digital economy, we are certain that FreeCharge will play a pivotal role in the transition. We remain committed to the success and vision of FreeCharge. Jason is a strong, strategic and versatile business leader & entrepreneur who has already been the CEO of two successful companies. We are delighted to announce his leadership role at FreeCharge."

Most recently, Kothari was CEO of Softbank-backed online real estate company Housing.com, where he led the turnaround of the Company from a position of distress to a market leader in one and a half years using organic and inorganic growth.  

Prior to joining Housing.com, Kothari was CEO and Vice Chairman of character-based entertainment company Valiant Entertainment, where he led the acquisition out of bankruptcy and turnaround of the company resulting in a record return in the industry and media recognition calling the Company "Marvel 2.0".  Valiant raised $140 million from leading strategic investors, including the former CEO of Marvel Entertainment and Chinese media conglomerate DMG Entertainment.

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"The digital payments space in India is forecasted to be over $ 1 trillion by 2025.  I'm excitedto join the talented team at FreeCharge at such a high-growth and dynamictime in the industry and expect FreeCharge to continue to play a key role in this digital payments revolution," Jason Kothari, the new Chief Executive Officer of FreeCharge said.

Earlier, Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal had announced a 100 per cent salary cut. In a detailed e-mail to its employees, Kunal Bahl conceded that over the last 2-3 years, with all the capital coming into the e-commerce market, the company and the entire industry "started making mistakes".

"We started growing our business much before the right economic model and market fit was figured out. We also started diversifying and starting new projects while we still hadn't perfected the first or made it profitable. We started building our team and capabilities for a much larger size of business than what was required with the present scale," he said.


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