Expanding our achievements in Southeast Asia, the appointment of Anupam Pahuja as EVP and General Manager of Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa has proven to be a powerful addition to the team. With extensive experience in the payments industry and a reputation for innovation, Anupam’s strong track record of fostering growth in new markets will be pivotal in bolstering our brand’s presence.
Focusing on global expansion and strategically capitalizing on market opportunities, Anupam provided additional perspectives on payments trends, his vision for Nium, and more:
I’ve founded three startups before joining the fintech space in a variety of industries– from developing products for satellites to the learning management space. Finally, I got a call from eBay to come and work for them, and eBay then owned PayPal. So, I started in fintech with PayPal starting in about the 2008 to 2009 timeframe till now.
It’s been a journey where I started with technology, moved to product, then went back from product technology over to the business side. Most of my career has been in Asia-Pacific, where I moved to set up our technology centers with PayPal. First in India, then in Shanghai, and then in Singapore.
I am responsible for Nium’s business across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa, and helping build our business in these markets. There’re 130 plus markets in this region, and you cannot do justice to all these markets simultaneously.
I’m looking at progressing our business by dividing our markets into four categories. There are certain stronghold markets where we need to double down and are what I call our growth markets where we have a good presence. There are also experimental markets or greenfield opportunities where we may not be present today, but we want to grow our presence.
Finally, there are markets from either a compliance or a market depth perspective, which we don’t want to touch, at least at this point. Essentially, we’ll prioritize by focusing on our key markets, double down on those markets, and grow our business there. I feel that doing it that way, as opposed to peanut butter spreading across all 130 plus markets, is a better way to approach our business.
Most companies, if you think of the large names, focus on the user checkout experience, where people come in, go to a website, and checkout. Nium really brings value on the other side, which we call the payout space. Many companies need to make payments to their suppliers and vendors, which are called payouts.
Within payouts, there’s a space called the mission-critical payments that need to happen on time, every time, without error, for example, payroll. This is where Nium differentiates itself by providing an environment where secure, reliable payments are sent in near real-time, if not real-time, across the globe into the market.
I’ve seen three key trends; the first one is that the world’s becoming a village where you are no longer trading with partners that are local to your region but are trading with the whole world. Secondly, people want on-demand payments; if I want to buy something over a weekend, over nighttime, or any time of the day for any use case, it must move in real-time.
The third trend is that the traditional way of doing finances is being disrupted, e.g., through neobanks. And in each of those three areas, I think Nium adds value, and I’m excited to be a part of this company to take it to the next level.
In my spare time, I like to unwind with music, and dabble in playing music myself- I play the guitar. I’m in Singapore in a couple of bands; one is very Bollywood rock, and another is a classic rock band. We try to bring our friends together, play some music and have some laughs. You have to let your inner self come out in terms of experiencing the way the world is.