PayPal hires Rocky Agrawal as new Director of Strategy

Steven Loeb · March 11, 2014 · Short URL:

Agrawal will help small business entrepreneurs understand PayPal's online commerce and payments

When a company takes on a big client, for example a McDonalds or a Coca Cola, it makes such a big splash that it can be easier to forget that there is a ton of money that can also be made from small businesses.

We hear all the time that small businesses are the "backbone of our economy." Well, they are also the backbone of many payment services as well, including PayPal.

Competition for the payments market can be fierce, so, in order to get more small businesses to use its services, PayPal has hired someone with a lot of expertise in that field. It has taken on Rakesh “Rocky” Agrawal, to be its new Director of Strategy. The new hire was announced in a blog post from Agrawal on Tuesday.

According to his LinkedIn page, Agrawal has spent the last seven years as a Principal Analyst at reDesign mobile, where his job was to "advise companies on product strategy, marketing and strategic partnerships with an emphasis on payments, mobile, social and local applications."

In the past, he also spent a year as a product manager at Microsoft and three years as the Program Director of AOL Search.

In the blog post, which is entitled, "Why I'm joining PayPal," Agrawal makes it clear that the company hired him specifically to beef up its relationships with small businesses.

"After several years focused on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs understand and respond to the changes in commerce and payments, I'm joining PayPal -- to continue to help small businesses and entrepreneurs," he said.

His job will be to make online payments and commerce solutions understandable, and helpful, to those outside of the industry, also known as those who can most benefit from them.

“We're at a similarly magical time. New payments experiences are coming into the market that can reduce friction and drive real value to consumers and merchants. We're seeing new marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb that take advantage of mobile to create new businesses," he said.

"While a lot of the industry hype has been focused on technology solutions that technologists love, those solutions often leave consumers scratching their heads to what the real value is."

What he will do is take "a customer-centric view of the problem," to help consumers save more time and money. That could mean showing customers "how to reduce chargebacks or mitigate fraud."

"If you can teach a customer to market better and they sell more, you will be more successful."

PayPal has been making moves to help small businesses make payments quicker and easier. In March of 2012, PayPal announced the release of its triangle dongle, called PayPal Here, which processes mobile payments for small businesses internationally. 

"We are very happy to have Rocky on board. As a PayPal 'evangelist,' Rocky’s specific expertise falls under user experience, small business, social networking and mobile payments — aligning perfectly with our focused strategy, making this a great match," Anuj Nayar, Senior Director of Global Initiatives at PayPal, told VatorNews.

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