CxO of the Week: Arif Khan, Chief Innovation Officer, Razorpay

By : |February 8, 2019 0
Arif has over 18 years track record of success in product management, business development and delivering innovative business and technology solutions

CIOL has chosen Arif Khan, Chief Innovation Officer at Razorpay, CXO of the Week. He is leading the team towards creating superlative products that are instrumental in the Company’s journey towards becoming synonymous with innovation.

A professional in payment industry and digital channels with over 18 years track record of success in product management, business development and delivering innovative business and technology solutions, Arif works and influences diverse groups to deliver end objectives and new age disruptive solutions. So, let’s find out what our CXO has to tell about his personal and professional life…

Your top priority while making decisions to improve tech infra in your organisation?

‘How will this alteration or innovation help generate successful use cases for our customers?’, this is the one thing that I keep asking myself and my team while making decisions. While there are many other factors that people prioritize while making decisions, to me, the cream of the crop are two things: one, more insights and improved predictability of business growth and two, bundled value-added solutions to a customer’s problems rather than laundry list of products and services. At Razorpay, these essentials have helped us generate more use cases, happy customers and a healthy team.

Challenges you face in driving digital transformation?

There are many but I’d like to focus on one, and that is about ‘How a business uses technology is as important as where and when.’ Considering the swiftly moving economy, and a spiking number of payment companies and financial institutions, there is a clutter of sorts in India.

People often tend to believe that their product can serve the entire industry. The perfect recipe, however, is for you to take your bits and pursue your goal towards the segment that you want to be a part of. Serve that segment and solve their issues. This is precisely what we do at Razorpay – we serve best who we serve!

Do you feel that freshers in the industry come with only basic knowledge but don’t have the right skills to fulfil job requirements? If yes, your suggestion to students and colleges?

Infusing fresh blood allows you to question your status-quo and bring in a new, refreshed thinking. At the same time, it is important to come with the right attitude. To me, attitude is more important than skills. At Razorpay we keep a healthy balance of the Experienced and Freshers, and we have a fairly qualified criterion of the campuses we hire from.

I believe that the right attitude will also help companies support the young and fresh minds be empowered in ways that they are also able to witness how their contribution is helping in the progress of the organisation.

What’s your mantra to become successful in life?

I don’t believe that success can happen instantly with just one mantra. Here are a few that made wonders for me and continue to do so:

– Focus and drown yourself in what you want to do
– You will make the wrong call a few times, or more. And that’s OK. Just be able to accept the fact that you will make a wrong call
– Keep your ears open to the market and what the customer wants, and deliver it your way and not in a way that the market demands you to. Don’t believe in copy paste
– Identify the top 3 things you want to work on for the month or the year and bounce off your thoughts amongst your inner circle. Don’t shy away
– Lastly, be true to yourself

Your favourite book and what are you reading now?

Currently, I’m reading Seth Godin’s, ‘This is Marketing’ and my all-time favourite read is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I’m a biker at heart! Other than zipping down an open highway, I love the machines more. Tinkering with different parts of my motorcycle, riding it, and upgrading it, thrills me. Apart from this, I also enjoy different sports, my favourite being football; I thoroughly enjoy long drives with my twelve-year-old son.

Achievements (Awards & Recognitions)

– One of the key speakers at Hitachi Social Innovation Conclave, 2018
– Recognised as one of the most influential payments professional by the World Payments Congress in 2018


I am logically literate with a 20+ year track record of success in product management, business development and delivering innovative business and technology solutions.

Prior to joining Razorpay, I worked with Mastercard as a Senior Business Leader diving Simplify’s & Mastercard’s payment gateway global expansion plan in the South Asian and Asia Pacific regions.

I also worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt Ltd., where I was responsible for driving fintech and transformational digital technologies.

First Job – I started my career with HDFC where I was responsible for New Product Development & Strategic initiatives in Payments, Digital Banking and Financial Inclusion.


Postgraduate with MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur

Take a look at the previous CxO of the Week

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