Nice to meet utu

We connect shops to shoppers, transforming purchases and VAT refunds into rewards at home and away. Our rewards platform harnesses financial payment networks and brand partners to engage our utu members, delivering a seamless and transparent mobile experience.

2016

Year Founded

50

Countries Available

70

# of Employees Worldwide

Our Vision

By putting the traveller at the centre of retail tourism, we drive value for the entire tourism ecosystem

Our Mission

To empower travellers with choice and convenience, complementing their travel experiences with value at every step of the journey

Some of our team

Asad Jumabhoy

CEO & Co-Founder

Asad Jumabhoy is the co-founder and CEO at utu, the startup transforming global travel by empowering tourists with rewards and higher VAT refunds.

A pioneer of the VAT refund sector, Asad played a pivotal role building the two companies that lead the industry today. During his time in the industry, he led a number of business model innovations and pushed for the adoption of new technology in the context of ever-changing trends in travel and payments.

After leaving the refund sector in 2015, Asad moved into the rewards space and co-founded utu in 2016. Initially a cross-border digital rewards platform for travellers, Asad and his team realised the potential of incorporating tax refunds into its rewards model as a core component, allowing utu to bridge the worlds of VAT refund and rewards.

Asad is passionate about making an impact on the travel experience. With utu, Asad is looking to leverage his deep knowledge of the global travel industry to bring about a transformation of the VAT refund business model that will finally put the shopper at its core.

Asad Jumabhoy

CEO & Co-Founder

Alice Chuah

Senior Finance Manager

Alice is the Senior Finance Manager of utu. She is equipped with over 21 years of Finance and Management experience from various industries. She joined utu in 2016, leading Finance and Admin functions for utu headquartered in Singapore, with offices in Luxembourg, Italy, France, Austria, Korea, Thailand and India.

She constantly strives for self-development and approaches everything with a positive attitude. She also ensures that her individual contributions would impact the customer experience. In her free time, Alice enjoys travelling, sports and also cooking.

Alice Chuah

Senior Finance Manager

Eva Natasha

Community Intern

Eva is a Community Intern of utu. She mainly focuses on writing the blog articles that will go up onto the website. Eva is currently a third-year undergraduate at Singapore Management University, undertaking a Bachelor of Business Management.

She hopes to gain valuable experience and new skills through her internship. She is driven by the opportunity for personal growth and hopes that the content she puts out will be beneficial to customers. In her free time, Eva enjoys baking and playing badminton.

Eva Natasha

Community Intern

LeeLing Teo

Head of PMO

Lee Ling is the head of PMO at utu. She is a certified Agile Project Manager with over 17 years of experience in software development domain. She serves as a subject matter expert in Agile or Scrum methodology across the technology team and organization. Lee Ling started her career in the IT industry in 2002 and has taken on many different roles in which she was involved in Telecommunication and Fintech domains.

Lee Ling is motivated by her team’s dedication to complete tasks and ensures that the user journey for customers is seamless. In her free time, Lee Ling likes to do yoga daily.

LeeLing Teo

Head of PMO

Ameer Jumabhoy

Co-Founder, VP Community & Consumer Tech

Ameer Jumabhoy is Co-Founder at utu, the startup transforming global travel by empowering tourists with rewards and higher Tax Refunds, and leads their Community & Consumer Technology division.

While at graduate school at MIT, Ameer’s research brought him to the study of niche industries like tax free shopping. He found a number of these had serious inefficiencies that could not be solved purely through digitization, requiring instead significant business model transformation.

In 2016, he co-founded utu with the mission of transforming the global VAT refund industry and putting the traveler at the center of retail tourism. By creating a rewards layer on top of existing VAT refund services, utu is able to upsize these refunds for travelers, which are typically only about 60% of the actual tax paid for their shopping. As well as helping travelers, utu’s business model innovation helps drive value for their partners in the travel industry such as airlines, hotels, and retailers.

Ameer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from Rice University and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from MIT.

Ameer Jumabhoy

VP Community & Consumer Tech, Co-Founder

Stephanie Yeo

Partnerships and Marketing

Stephanie joined utu in 2015, bringing over 15 years of experience in both agency and client-side marketing. She's responsible for marketing operations, co-marketing programs and managing relationships with leading institutions and global partners.

Stephanie is driven by utu’s tremendous loyalty program that solves real-world problems. She enjoys talking about how innovative the company is and working with some of the most talented and driven people every day. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys her wines and tennis.

Stephanie Yeo

Partnerships and Marketing

Sai Swaroop Chilakapati

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer

Swaroop is the Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at utu. Before joining utu, Swaroop first started his career with Mize Software Solutions Pte Ltd, a company based in India, in 2015.

Swaroop is driven by his enthusiasm to develop and make full use of his skill set to contribute to the company. He is passionate about his role and gives his all to achieve the best quality for utu’s products. In his free time, he enjoys playing badminton and cricket.

Sai Swaroop Chilakapati

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer

Gali Mary Sinduja

Quality Assurance Engineer

Mary is the QA Engineer of utu. Her role is to test and identify bugs present in the development of the application. She is always eager to gain knowledge on new technologies which can improve the applications we use and therefore making our products more user-friendly.

The help and support from her colleagues drives her to improve her personal and professional growth. Mary ensures that all the improvements she makes to a product will give confidence to customers and can create a loyal customer base. In her free time, Mary likes watching movies and web surfing.

Gali Mary Sinduja

Quality Assurance Engineer

Sanjay Chinchwade

Chief Marketing Officer

Sanjay Chinchwade is the Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Marketing at utu, the startup transforming global travel by empowering tourists with rewards and higher Tax Refunds.

He is responsible for utu’s global positioning and customer reach, developing multi-channel marketing and communications strategies, as well as leading partnerships with financial institutions, card schemes, strategic partners, and key merchants.

Sanjay brings more than 20 years of marketing leadership honed in global companies based throughout Asia. Sanjay got his start working for Ogilvy in Singapore, where he managed the American Express account and launched the design division. He then went to work for American Express, leading new business partnerships in Japan, Southeast Asia, and Australia before overseeing the premium products and card services for Asia, which saw him launch the AmEx Black Card. Before joining utu, Sanjay served as CMO for Michelin Asia.

Sanjay holds a Master’s Degree in Data Engineering and Electronics and a second Master’s Degree in Advertising and International Marketing.

Sanjay Chinchwade

Chief Marketing Officer

Eric Sallenave

Country Director - France

Eric Sallenave is the Country Director for utu’s France office. He started his career in Contact Centers as an Operations Manager. His passion for technology led him to work in the service of travel retail. Recognised for his ability to understand customer needs and to exceed initial objectives, Eric has been able to gain the trust and recognition of major brands and lead cross-Europe teams.

Eric utilizes his skills and expertise in business and technology to take innovation to the next level while focusing on customer centricity. Eric has also pursued his passion for jazz fusion music as a bass guitar player.

Eric Sallenave

Country Director – France

Alessandro Ciambrone

Senior Vice President - Tax Free

Alessandro has over 28 years of experience of working for multinational companies in Finance and Operations, developing innovative financial services. His experience stems from him working for companies such as Lease Plan, De Lage Landen Leasing, ING Car Lease and BMC Software.

Ever since joining utu at the end of 2018, Alessandro strives to innovate the tax refund service in favor of travellers by developing alternative consumer-centric tax-free schemes and refund channels.

Alessandro Ciambrone

Senior Vice President – Tax Free

Nicky Surapaitoon

Country Director - Thailand

Nicky is the Country Manager for utu’s Thailand office. Nicky has vast experience working with different companies throughout her career. She has worked as country manager for a peer-to-peer payment fintech company. She has also co-headed and co-founded other companies. Nicky has also managed her own chain of brick-and-mortar retail pharmacies.

Nicky is passionate about people and the driving forces that impact daily life. She hopes to be able to use technology to improve the efficiency of what individuals are not aware of and improve their experience. In her free time, Nicky enjoys travelling and cooking for her family and friends.

Nicky Surapaitoon

Country Director – Thailand
1

Register to receive your free utu Tax Free Card

Create your utu account and receive your virtual utu Tax Free Card in a matter of minutes
2

Make utu Tax Free Card your refund destination

Whether on a refund kiosk in Dubai or a manual form in Europe, input utu Tax Free Card’s number in the credit card refund field. Complete customs formalities as instructed by the refund operator.
3

Let utu Tax Free Card work its magic

Once your refund is processed by the operator, utu notifies and gives you the choice of upsizing in airmiles or cash (where applicable).

Unsure how to start? View FAQ

At utu, We empower Travelers with Choice and Convenience

We’ll be expanding our list of partners and refund options over the coming months. Become a utu insider and stay updated on our latest innovations!