Sonia Dhawan, a former Paytm executive and the prime accused in an extortion case involving the company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has joined Sheroes, a jobs portal dedicated exclusively for women job seekers.Dhawan has been appointed director of corporate communications at the online community for women. The case is pending in court.
Separately, on June 6, the Paytm board allotted equity shares to six employees, including Dhawan, who had submitted applications for exercising options vested under the Employee Stock Option Scheme scheme, according to regulatory filings. “This is likely a precursor to a full and final settlement,” said a source aware of the matter.
In March, Paytm said in a statement that “no accused is joining back the company till the time the court matter is concluded.”
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is an early investor in Sheroes, which also counts Binny Bansal and Rajan Anandan as angels, and funds including Pi Ventures, 500 Startups, and The HR fund, as backers.“Sonia joined us a week ago,” Sheroes CEO Sairee Chahal said in an email to ET.
Paytm’s Sharma is also a board member at Applied Life Private Ltd, which runs Sheroes, regulatory filings show. In March, Chahal joined Paytm Payment Bank’s board as an additional director.
Confirming her appointment, Dhawan said, “It’s good to be back to the normal work routine. With my experience in building brands and public relations, I am confident to make a new beginning… I am innocent and I expect the court case to conclude in the coming time.”
The former vice president of communications and public relations at Paytm had spent nearly five months in jail after Ajay Shekhar Sharma, a senior vice-president and Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s brother, lodged an FIR saying she, along with three other accused, had stolen the founder’s private data and tried to extort Rs 10 crore.
She was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in March.