Carsome Group, Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform, has announced the appointment of Vishnu Nambiar as chief technology officer (CTO). Nambiar, a former CTO at AirAsia, takes over from Chet Sin, who will now be Carsome’s chief architect to lead the design, implementation and governance of the company’s tech architecture.

As CTO, Nambiar will drive Carsome’s next stage of transformation by leading the tech team and spearheading the strategy on deploying tech to address the automotive industry’s most pressing needs. His addition to Carsome’s executive management team will aid the company’s drive to become Southeast Asia’s most valuable digital automotive marketplace, the company said.

Prior to joining Carsome, Nambiar led the technology function of AirAsia and the group IT function of the AirAsia Group. In the announcement, Carsome says that the seasoned tech exec rolled out multiple game-changing initiatives that ensured the sustainability of the low-cost airline during the Covid-19 pandemic, digitising the passenger experience while improving efficiency.

Carsome co-founder and group CEO Eric Cheng (right in the pic above, with fellow co-founder Teoh Jiun Ee) said that Nambiar adds significant strength to the company’s growing executive leadership bench. “Vishnu’s experience in transforming business operations through technological innovations means he is perfectly placed to bring us to the next level as a technology-driven marketplace for all things automotive in the region,” he said.

At Carsome, Nambiar’s role is to digitise the entire car ownership journey, while creating an integrated and engaging ecosystem. He is also empowered with providing greater trust and transparency for consumers and stakeholders through providing convenience and access to the right data, to help them make the best decisions along the automotive chain.

“Carsome is at a pivotal point in its development, and the timing couldn’t be better for me to join. I’m seeking to build the best technology team in Asia at Carsome that will solve some of the biggest pain points in the used automotive industry. It’s full speed ahead for us as we reach toward these goals,” said Nambiar, who also had a stint at Lazada.

Nambiar is the fourth C-suite executive management team appointment reporting to Cheng since 2020. The others are Piyush Palkar as chief data officer; Mei Han as CEO of Carsome Certified, Carsome’s business-to-consumer (B2C) arm; Benjamin Koellmann as COO and Juliet Zhu as CFO.

Carsome is the market leader in the online used car buying and selling platform across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. Founded in 2015 in Malaysia, the company has grown by leaps and bounds, expanded regionally into ASEAN, and is now looking at a US listing.

It was recently reported that the deal, if it happens, would make Carsome Malaysia’s first unicorn, which is what the business world calls startups valued over US$1 billion (RM4.22 billion). It was said that Carsome is seeking a valuation of about US$2 billion (RM8.44 billion) in the US listing, which could be via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) or a conventional initial public offering (IPO). The company could go public as soon as the end of 2021.