Sameer Nigam, Founder of PhonePe

4 minute read
From Flipkart to Running India's Biggest Fintech, Sameer Nigam's Journey to Success

In today’s world, the emphasis is on convenience and comfort. With the introduction of mobile wallets and other digital payment systems, carrying cash has become impractical. Groceries, energy bills, phone recharges, and other transactions are all done using mobile applications. PhonePe is a payment app that has made millions of Indians’ lives easier. PhonePe can also be used to make instant money transactions. But, ever thought of the mastermind of the brilliant app, PhonePe? In this blog, we will talk about Sameer Nigam, the founder of PhonePe, who changed the market with his brilliant idea.

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Who is Sameer Nigam?

Sammer Nigam
Source: Economics Times

“Happiness is short term, but satisfaction comes over a period of time. I think that is something I wish people had told me when I was getting into this journey. We went in thinking we’ll get everyday satisfaction,” 

Sameer Nigam is an Indian businessman who founded PhonePe, a UPI-based online payment system, in 2015 and currently serves as its CEO (CEO). He also worked at Flipkart as the Senior Vice President of Engineering. He established his first company, Mime360, in 2009, which connects content owners with content providers. The Economic Times named him one of the top 40 Indian business executives under the age of forty. He currently has a net worth of Rs. 17.7 crore as of 2017.

Age42 (2020)
EducationUniversity of Mumbai
University of Arizona
The Wharton School
PositionFounder & CEO, PhonePe

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Sameer Nigam currently lives in the city of Bangalore, Karnataka. He journeyed from Noida to Mumbai and then to Bangalore, the headquarters of his firm PhonePe. The Indian government’s demonetization programme, which was announced the same year as PhonePe’s launch, gave his company a huge boost.

Sameer Nigam Education

Sameer received his schooling from DPS, Noida. He graduated from the University of Mumbai with a degree in Computer Engineering. He then pursued a Master of Science in Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona (1991-2001). Later, he earned a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania‘s Wharton School (2007-2009).

Professional Journey

From May 2001 through June 2007, Sameer was the Director of Search Product Development at Shopzilla. Mime360, an online social media distribution platform, was his own company, which he established in 2009 and was eventually purchased by Flipkart.

From October 2011 till August 2015, he worked for Flipkart. He served as a Vice President and Senior Vice President for the e-commerce giant in numerous areas, including marketing and engineering. In 2015, he also established his digital wallet platform PhonePe, where he currently acts as the CEO.

Sameer Nigam is a successful entrepreneur and demonstrates expertise in product marketing, e-commerce, strategic alliances, online marketing, digital strategy, user experience, web applications, startups, mobile marketing, digital media, special needs, company development, web development, web analytics, and a variety of other areas.

He has extensive experience in team management, digital marketing, non-medical homecare, lead generation, SEO, strategy, mobile apps, mobile advertising, and online advertising.

Sameer Nigam, co-founder and chief executive officer of PhonePe, speaks during a product unveiling in Bengaluru, India, on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. Phone Pe is the digital payments unit of Flipkart Online Services Pvt, India’s biggest online retailer. Photographer: Samyukta Lakshmi/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Source: TechCrunch)

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Founder of Mime360

Sameer’s first company, Mime360 (Mallers Incorporation), an online media distribution channel based in Mumbai, India, was established in 2009. The company offers an exchange platform that connects content owners with content publishers such as saregama and Indiatimes. 

API Feeds help Mime’s security by preventing piracy and allowing a large number of publishers to sell licensed material internationally. Most significantly, Mime allows content owners to establish regional pricing and removes numerous infrastructure expenditures for partners, such as content administration, storage, and local data center bandwidth.

Source: Tech in Asia

Flipkart later acquired Mime360. To expand its workforce, the e-commerce giant has been trying to buy small businesses. Following the acquisition, several Mime workers joined Flipkart, with the intention of subsequently launching a digital music distribution service. 

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Founder of PhonePe


In December 2015, Sameer founded PhonePe, a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based business. He is the Founder and CEO of PhonePe, a company based in Bangalore. He serves on the company’s Board of Directors and provides marketing and other strategic advice.

Sameer introduced the concept of creating and building an online payment software based on UPI with the help of two of his pals, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer. In August of 2016, the PhonePe application became online. It is currently available in over 11 Indian languages to users.

List of Awards & Honours

In 2008, he received the Wharton Venture Award from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School.  On November 5, 2019, he attended the 16th NASSCOM Product Conclave 2019, which was held in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, Asia. On the 19th of March, 2019, he spoke at Money 20/20 Asia 2019 in Central Region, Singapore, Asia. His company, PhonePe, has received a number of awards, such as:

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) awarded PhonePe for attracting the most merchant transactions on the UPI network. (2018)
  • Was awarded at the IAMAI India Digital Awards 2018 for the best Mobile Payment Product or Service
  • NPCI awarded PhonePe the UPI Digital Innovation Award in 2018
  • The SuperStartUp Asia Award in 2018
  • Won the India Advertising Awards’ Telecom and Technology category (2018)
  • Won the IAMAI’s 9th India Digital Awards 2019 for Best Mobile Payment Product or Service
  • Zee Business and The Economic Times awarded the Best Digital Wallet initiative at the 8th annual Indian Retail & e Retail Awards in 2019

This was all about the gamechanger – Sameer Nigam. For more innovative content, follow Leverage Edu and sign up for our newsletter!

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