Rakesh Deshmukh: Rakesh Deshmukh steps down as CEO of PhonePe-owned Indus Appstore

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Rakesh Deshmukh, cofounder of PhonePe-owned app discovery platform Indus Appstore, formerly IndusOS, has stepped down from his role as chief executive and left the company.

Deshmukh, along with IIT Bombay alumni Akash Dongre and Sudhir Bangarambandi, founded Indus OS in 2013. Through its app marketplace App Bazaar, the platform allowed users to discover and access mobile applications in their own language.

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“I was fortunate to work with (PhonePe cofounder) Sameer Nigam and learned a lot under his guidance. He is an exceptional team leader and shares the same belief in India’s Appstore as I do. As I step down from the CEO role, I’m taking a moment to recharge and prepare for the next impactful journey,” Deshmukh added.

Walmart-backed PhonePe completed the acquisition of Indus Appstore parent OSLabs for $90 million in May 2022 after reaching an out-of-court settlement with majority shareholder Affle Global.

ET was the first to report about the legal spat between Affle Global and PhonePe over the acquisition.

With the acquisition, PhonePe had ambitions to launch its Android mobile app marketplace to take on the likes of tech behemoths Google and Apple in India.

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“We wish Rakesh the very best for his future endeavors. Akash, Sudhir, and the entire Indus team remain steadfast in their commitment to advancing the shared vision for the Indus Appstore, which Rakesh played a pivotal role in nurturing over the past decade,” said a PhonePe spokesperson.Last year, PhonePe also announced the launch of Indus Appstore Developer Platform and opened it to other Android developers in a bid to challenge the duopoly of Google and Apple.

The digital payments company said that its developer platform will be free for developers for the first year, after which a nominal annual fee will apply.

PhonePe had stated that the app store will not charge developers any platform fee or commission for in-app payments, to rival the 30% commission charged by Apple and Google for the same.

Dongre and Bangarambandi continue with Indus Appstore as chief product officer and chief technology officer.

Before the acquisition, Indus Appstore was also backed by the likes of Omidyar Network India, Samsung Ventures, JSW Ventures and Titan Capital.

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