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MMU – Meet The Team

Seema Desai

Head of Mobile Money

Seema is the Head of Mobile Money at the GSM Association, responsible for defining the strategy and quality of delivery for the Mobile Money programmes. Prior to joining the GSMA in March 2009, Seema managed a large portion of the Retail savings P&L for one of the UK¹s largest retail banks. She was also Manager at Accenture, within their strategy consulting division, where she focused on Financial Services. Seema completed two secondments to Accenture Development Partnerships, a non-profit arm of Accenture that provides business consulting to NGOs and donor organisations, and has worked in Uganda, Trinidad & Tobago and India. She holds a 1st Class Honours degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University.

Claire Pénicaud Scharwatt

Market Intelligence Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Claire Pénicaud Scharwatt is Market Intelligence Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Programme at the GSM Association. In this role, Claire leads the design, data gathering and analysis of GSMA’s Mobile Money Adoption Survey, and ensures that MMU maintains its role as a knowledge hub for the industry by efficiently identifying and sharing mobile money intelligence. Prior to joining the GSMA, Claire worked as a consultant at Hystra Consulting and spent a year doing research on mobile health at INSEAD’s Social Innovation Center.

She graduated from Sciences Po Lille with a specialization in Social Innovation and holds a master degree from Ecole Centrale Paris.

Simone di Castri

Regulatory Director for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Simone is the Regulatory Director for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme (MMU) at the GSM Association. In this role, Simone provides support to mobile network operators to address the regulatory barriers that prevent them from serving the unbanked customers. Prior to joining the GSMA, he was working at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) where he helped financial sector policymakers and regulators from 40+ countries to design and implement new policies for financial inclusion. At AFI Simone developed and managed the grant portfolio in Latin America and Francophone Africa, and conceived and coordinated the working group on financial consumer empowerment and market conduct regulations. Simone has also worked as Policy Analyst at the World Bank, and microfinance Junior Project Manager at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). Simone is a lawyer and holds a PhD in Law and Economics from the University of Bologna. He speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Lara Gilman

Senior Commercial Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Lara is a Senior Commercial Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Programme at the GSM Association. In this role, she supports mobile network operators as they develop their mobile money services. Lara’s career background is as a researcher and most recently she joined from Standard & Poor’s where she evaluated new market potential in EMEA as well as analysing broader revenue opportunities within the fixed income sector. Prior to that, she spent four years in Boston advising corporates on the cost of relocating to emerging and developed markets, but particularly focusing on West and Central Africa. Lara holds an MBA from INSEAD and earned her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College.

Brian Muthiora

Regulatory Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Brian is a Regulatory Manager with Mobile Money for the Unbanked. In this role he provides support to mobile network operators to address regulatory barriers and contributes to their regulatory engagements.

Brian has a solid background in technology and financial services law and regulation, joining from Safaricom where he spent five years providing legal and regulatory support to the team behind the M-PESA and M-Shwari mobile financial services innovations. He has also worked with TransUnion Kenya, Equity Bank and Kencall. His work has influenced regulatory outcomes, having been instrumental in the development of the regulatory framework for credit information reporting in Kenya and the on-going development of Kenya’s electronic retail payments regulatory framework.

Brian is a qualified lawyer and holds LLB and LLM degrees and a Postgraduate Diploma in Law. He is a postgraduate alumnus of Monash University’s Faculty of Law.

Gunnar Camner

Senior Interoperability Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Gunnar is a Senior Interoperability Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Programme at the GSM Association. In this role, he supports mobile network operators as they develop their mobile money services.

Prior to joining the GSMA in August 2012, Gunnar worked for Millicom International Cellular, where he helped launch mobile money deployments for their African markets, and later managed Tigo Cash in their Ghana operations. Before that, he conducted research on mobile money deployments in Kenya and Tanzania with two focuses: identifying reasons for the different consumer uptake of mobile financial services in the two countries, and, looking at how and when more advanced usage such as savings can enter consumer behaviour in mobile money.

Gunnar received his MSE in Media Technology and Human-Computer Interaction from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Chris Williamson

Senior Commercial Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Chris Williamson

Chris is a Senior Commercial Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme. Chris supports mobile network operators to scale “new products” beyond their current core offerings – including merchant payments, international remittances, credit, savings and insurance.

Chris has spent a decade in the mobile industry, working in strategy, business development and regulatory roles in Europe and in Africa. Chris was on the management team of Psitek, a pioneer of mobile payphones and airtime vending devices for African markets. Chris’ other experiences include advising South African technology start-ups and helping raise a $40m VC fund; working on mobile and broadcasting regulatory strategy with Ofcom in the UK; and undertaking a broad range of strategy consulting assignments with L.E.K. Consulting in London. Chris has a 1st in Engineering from Cambridge and an MBA with Distinction from London Business School.

Oonagh Molloy

Knowledge & Communications Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Oonagh is the Knowledge & Communications Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme (MMU) at the GSMA, responsible for effectively tracking and reporting MMU’s progress to internal and external stakeholders, as well as organising MMU’s key events and managing our contacts. Prior to this role Oonagh was in the GSMA Human Resources team as a recruitment specialist and has worked closely with MMU, other Mobile for Development Programmes and the wider GSMA environment, ensuring that the right people were engaged for the right role in the most time efficient and effective way. Oonagh has a strong management background and brings her previous experience from working within the corporate IT sector to the team.

Arunjay Katakam

Market Intelligence Analyst for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Arunjay Katakam is a Market Intelligence Analyst for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Programme at the GSM Association. In this role, Arunjay helps with the design, data gathering and analysis of GSMA’s Mobile Money Adoption Survey, and ensures that MMU maintains its role as a knowledge hub for the industry by efficiently identifying and sharing mobile money intelligence. Prior to joining the GSMA, Arunjay was on what could be best described as an adventure in the Caribbean, founding two businesses, leading a mobile payment deployment and a mobile operator lead coalition loyalty programme.

Arunjay has a strong financial background having spent 5 years with Ernst & Young specialising in Investment Management Audit. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Osmania University (Hyderabad, India), is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK) and a Dale Carnegie Training assistant.

Mireya Almazán

Commercial Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Mireya Almazán is a Commercial Manager for GSMA Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU), leading MMU engagements in Latin America. Prior to joining GSMA in May 2013, Mireya was a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for nearly six years. At the Gates Foundation, Mireya was a key contributor to the Financial Services for the Poor group strategy. She focused on identifying new investment opportunities relating to financial inclusion and managed a portfolio of agent and mobile banking grants across multiple geographies. Mireya has also held various consulting and analyst roles, primarily in public sector institutions. Mireya holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and a Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Jennifer Frydrych

Insights Coordinator for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Jennifer is the Insights Coordinator for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme (MMU) at the GSM Association. In her role, Jennifer works with the Market Intelligence team to ensure that MMU maintains its position as a knowledge hub for the mobile money industry.

Prior to joining the GSMA in January 2014, Jennifer worked in the Corporate Responsibility department of the Dentsu Aegis Network. She has also spent time working in NGOs and charitable organisations in India, Rwanda, Chile and Romania and Austria. Jennifer holds a Master of Development Studies from the London-based School of Oriental and African Studies, and a BSc (Hons) degree in International Business from Warwick Business School.

Recent blog posts by Jennifer

Hege Aschim

Commercial Analyst for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Hege Aschim is a Commercial Analyst in the Mobile Money for the Unbanked team supporting Commercial Managers on Mobile Money Diagnostics, market research and publications.

Before joining the GSMA and MMU, Hege worked in Financial Services at Telenor Group in Norway, where she helped develop micro insurance as a business area in Telenor’s business units in Asia. She was also involved in launching and piloting insurance products in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia. She also worked with mobile payments, and financial services technology.

Hege holds a BSc in Informatics and a MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Oslo.

Yasmin Kamara

Project Coordinator for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Yasmin Kamara

Yasmin is the Project Coordinator for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme (MMU). In her role, Yasmin supports the project management activities for the programme and assists in carrying out its knowledge management strategy. Before joining the GSMA, Yasmin worked as a consultant for Deloitte within its Customer Management practice working with a number of global clients on large-scale implementation projects. Prior to this, Yasmin also worked as an intern at the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone within the Outreach and Appeals Chamber departments.

Yasmin holds a Master of Laws degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies in International Law and Development as well as a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Warwick.

Gerald Rasugu

Operations Expert for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Gerald Rasugu

Gerry is Operations Expert for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Programme at the GSM Association. In this role, he provides implementation support to mobile network operators as they develop their mobile money services.

Prior to joining GSMA, Gerry was the Technical Lead, Agent Network Group at Enclude Solutions (formerly ShoreBank International & Triodos Facet). He has a wealth of experience in the branchless banking arena, notably from the world acclaimed M-PESA where he pioneered the agent network set-up in Kenya that was responsible for taking financial services closer to the people. Gerry is also experienced in designing and building agent networks supporting financial inclusion having worked on the bKash initiative in Bangladesh, the first of its kind in this populous country; and has gone on to work on initiatives in other regions and countries including Uganda, Fiji Islands, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Peru and most recently Ethiopia.

Gerry has worked globally with various partners including Vodafone, MTN, Orange Telecom, Airtel and other various financial institutions. He has strong experience in Sales and Distribution across East Africa and the Pacific region. He has interacted with various regulatory bodies to help formulate relevant policies for Mobile Financial Services. Gerry has also co-published an agent training document, specifically targeting financial services agents.

José Sanin

Regulatory Manager, LatAm, for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

José Sanin

José is the LatAm Regulatory Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme. Based in Atlanta, he conducts GSMA mobile money regulatory initiatives in Latin America, and coordinates operator working groups and task forces. Prior to joining GSMA in 2014, he worked at the Colombian Ministry of Finance and Public Debt in Bogotá, Colombia. José holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Northwestern University and a certificate in business management from Kellogg School of Management. José is a licenced Colombian lawyer, and graduated from Los Andes University with a further specialization in Commercial Law.

Janet Shulist

Knowledge Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Janet Shulist

Janet is the Knowledge Manager for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme. In her role, Janet supports the knowledge management activities for the programme. Prior to this, Janet was a Marketing Specialist for GSMA Mobile for Development, where she managed the marketing activities for key M4D programmes, as well as the digital and social media activities.

Janet joined the GSMA in 2011, and previously she provided marketing support to the Fixed Income division at BNP Paribas. Janet holds an MSc in Media, Communication & Development from the London School of Economics & Political Science, with a focus on international development, new media and communication technologies, participatory health communication, and humanitarianism.

Lara Gidvani

Regulatory Manager, Asia, for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme

Lara Gidvani

Lara is the Mobile Money Regulatory Manager for Asia for the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Programme. Based out of Mumbai, she supports mobile network operators to address regulatory barriers and engage with regulators to develop mobile money deployments.

Lara specialises in supporting the development of enabling policy and regulatory environment to expand financial inclusion via innovation through collaboration with regulators and policymakers, industry engagement, and actionable research. As a consultant at Bankable Frontier Associates she focused on assessing the regulatory landscape for new mobile payment products, investigating the linkages between financial inclusion, stability, integrity, and consumer protection, and developing the strategies, structures and measurement frameworks to institutionalize financial inclusion as a policy objective. Previously, Lara was also the Policy Analyst & Knowledge Manager at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) as where she managed the AFI Financial Inclusion Data Working Group of regulators, developed knowledge products for AFI members, and captured policy lessons from grant and network activities. Lara holds a Masters in Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and a BA in Economics and Political Science from McGill University in Montreal.

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