By Henry Uche, Lagos
Kuda, a money app for Africans, is poised to stamp its footprint in the global banking industry with the appointment of Pavel Khristolubov and Elena Lavezzi as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), respectively, at the group level.
The appointments, which were the outcome of a diligent recruitment process aimed at acquiring fit-for-purpose candidates to help in driving the vision and mission of the financial institution, were recently announced by the Board of Directors of Kuda Technologies Limited.
Pavel Khristolubov joined Kuda Technologies Limited from the Tinkoff Bank, a commercial bank in Eastern Europe, where he was responsible for managing the efficiency of the workforce both on product development teams and operational platforms. During his tenure as COO, the bank’s client base grew from seven million to 22 million active clients, and his focus was to keep quality and cost levels under control and implement required processes and approaches to scale product and operations teams to meet the challenges of growth.
Prior to his work at Tinkoff Bank, he served as a member of the executive team of DXC Luxoft, a software development company, supporting the company’s growth from the very start to when it became a global player with 20,000 engineers working across 20 countries and locations of the world. His responsibilities included establishing company processes and ensuring efficiency of its management, and onboarding acquired companies.
Similarly, Elena Lavezzi, an Italian, brings with her, vast experience garnered over the years from reputable fintech companies including Circle, a global firm that is at the forefront of digital currency innovation, where she rose to the position of Director, Go-To-Market Retail Europe. More recently, Lavezzi led the Southern European region at Revolut for three years, overseeing growth, business development and marketing before shifting her focus to regulatory matters last year.
Lavezzi had earlier worked at Uber where she served as Marketing Manager for four years. She helped Uber launch in the Italian market before moving on to support the growth of the Indian market.
On his appointment at Kuda Technologies, the new COO said he is excited to join the management team and is looking forward to making his contributions toward the achievement of the overall corporate goals.
“When investors from Target Global introduced me to the Co-Founder of Kuda, Babs Ogundeyi, I learned a story of an ambitious business enterprise, driven by very humane and people-centric values. I believe in the mission of the company and hope my experience and efforts will help it along the way to the realisation of our goals,” Khristolubov assured.
In her remarks, Lavezzi informed that she is fascinated by the amazing team that drives the corporate goals as well as Kuda’s offering.
“The team is amazing. All the people I have met are very talented and have a clear vision of what they want to build. Kuda is building a strong product, providing financial services through its apps and allowing millions of people with internet access to operate a spending account, access instant credit, save money automatically and earn annual interest without the burden of traditional bank charges,” Lavezzi stated.
On the expansion plans of the company, Lavezzi added: “Kuda is well recognised in the African market, and has very ambitious expansion plans for the next few months. Backed by top-tier venture capitalists like Target Global and Valar that have over a decade of experience in partnering with the most visionary founders across different industries around the world, I believe Kuda has all the ingredients to become a fintech leader in Africa and even beyond”.
Kuda (via its operating entity, Kuda MFB Limited) provides financial services to over four million Nigerians through its suite of mobile and web apps. Its customers can operate a spending account, access instant credit, save money automatically and earn annual interest without paying traditional bank charges such as card maintenance fees, account maintenance fees and excessive transfer fees.