Ram Rakkappan is the Senior Director & Head of Government Engagement for India and South Asia at Visa Inc. In his current capacity, he spearheads Visa’s external engagements with the governments, legislators, regulators, international organizations and trade associations across South Asia on digital payments, financial inclusion, fintech, digital economy, sustainability.
Ram is currently Chairman of the National Council of Fintech at ASSOCHAM, and an active member of various committees on payments.
Prior to joining Visa, he served as Vice President and Head of Government & Public Affairs for Moody’s Corporation in India (2015-18) where he coordinated the discussions with the Indian government leading up to the Sovereign credit rating upgrade in 2017.
Previously he served as Senior Advisor – Peace & Security at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) where he led the India-Pakistan-Afghanistan tripartite track 1.5 diplomacy efforts. He also served as Head of Legal, Economic & Regulatory Affairs and Head of Regulatory Compliance at GLG Inc in India.
During his brief stint at the National Human Rights Commission, he published a research paper on Kashmir Migrants Problem which opened-up frequent opportunities to interact with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the then President of India, where he proposed a concept of IMPACT 2020 to solve national issues. He also co-translated D.R. Kaarthikeyan’s (Former CBI Director) book on Rajiv Gandhi Assassination in Tamil.
Ram received his Ph.D. in South Asian Studies from the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He secured University Gold Medal for his Master’s in International Relations from Pondicherry University. He also completed B.Sc and M.Sc in Microbiology from Madurai Kamaraj University.
He is a recipient of Hansen Fellowship for International Leadership; The Dalai Lama Foundation Scholar of Peace fellowship; and NATO millennium fellowship. He has written a book on Afghanistan and has published several research articles on foreign policy and security.
Ram lives with his wife and a son in Gurgaon. He is passionate about reading perspectives on earth, growth & development.