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How Vijay Shekhar Sharma built a Billion-Dollar Startup Paytm

4 Mins read

Today, Paytm is one of the trusted platforms for digital fund transfer, online bill payment, online shopping, and a lot of other activities. However, who knows the person contributing to the development of Paytm. A few of us have learned about Vijay Shekhar Sharma- the real founder of Paytm. With a humble beginning, Paytm is now one of the billion-dollar companies in India. We are going to share an interesting life story of the successful entrepreneur, Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

The academic life of the Paytm founder

Vijay grew up in a small town in Aligarh, and his father was a respected schoolteacher. In spite of having an ordinary background in the earlier part of his life, Vijay Shekhar Sharma is now a famous personality. From an authentic source, we have learned that as Hindi was his first language during his academic life, he was weak in English. Due to the lack of English proficiency, he was unable to sit for some competitive exams, including the IIT entrance test. However, in his school life, he proved his intelligence by achieving the top position.

Vijay showed the courage to take the challenge, as he started learning English by buying old magazines. Although he got admission into one of the engineering colleges in Delhi, he could not attain high grades. His computer room was the favorite destination to him, as he engaged himself in internet browsing activities to nurture his dream.

When other classmates of the engineering college were dreaming of a bright future in the engineering field, Vijay Shekhar Sharma developed XS Communications, his first startup. At that time, he learned coding techniques and created a Content Management System. The Indian Express and several other publications used this CMS. While pursuing a college education, he also built a platform,, in 1997. However, after 2 years, he sold out this website for $1 million.

A brief about family life

The net worth of Vijay Sharma is in crores, and he bought a house in Golf Links (Central Delhi). He married Mridula Sharma in 2005, and this couple peacefully leads their lives with a son Vivaan Sharma.

The problem of funding in Vijay’s lifeVijay Shekhar Sharma

During the initial part of his corporate life, Vijay dreamt of establishing One97 (known as the Paytm’s parent company) by taking a loan of about Rs. 8 lakhs. However, it was not easy for him to repay the loan. As the interest rate was 24%, he found the amount unpayable. To solve the problem, he started looking for small jobs. He configured LAN connections and delivered guest lectures to earn an amount. Vijay Shekhar Sharma found the first milestone of his career when Forbes included him in the list of the World’s Billionaire. On a global basis, his rank was 1567th, and in India, he was the youngest billionaire at that time.

One97 was about advertainment and commerce. Later, Vijay triggered up the idea of making a big payment ecosystem. From his own savings, he invested about $2 million, as he could not find funds for it. However, later, One97 got a license from RBI to start the first payment bank in India.

Searching for investors for Paytm

Although Vijay invested a high amount for Paytm, he felt the need for something more. He found no growth of the business, until Alibaba group, led by Jack Ma, invested in his business. The biggest financial service provider in India found a deal with Berkshire Hathaway. Although Berkshire Hathaway avoids online firms, Vijay gained a chance of working with him.

Demonetization- Luck favors Vijay

The Indian government made the biggest move with demonetization in 2016. The withdrawal of old currency notes to prevent money laundering affected lots of businesses. At that time, a major part of the consumers focused on digital payments. That is why the Paytm founder got the advantage of growing its business. The traffic of Paytm and the number of downloads of the app increased drastically after this demonetization. In due course, it turned out to be one of the biggest platforms for online transactions.

The company began to increase in size while providing value to customers with its digital wallet solutions. Moreover, its customer care team also developed trust among customers. Finally, Vijay started winning the market with his efforts.
Vijay shekhar sharmaIn 2015, Vijay Shekhar received an award as India’s innovative CEO. What is more, Paytm turned out to be one of the best 50 brands in Delhi. When it was 2018, the net worth of Vijay was Rs 18,000 crore. In the list of billionaires, his rank was 877th, although Paytm lost a high amount.

Vijay Sharma has claimed that he has divided the growth and development of his business (Paytm) into three levels. During the first few years, he was busy finding the right market for the desired product. Then, on the second level, his focus was on monetization and revenue. The last one is about smooth cash flow and profitability. Paytm, in 2015, deployed QR codes. Then, around 2018 -2019, he was dealing with the product-market compatibility. Since 2019, he has started making efforts for monetization.

Paytm is presently competing with Flipkart-owned PhonePe, Google Pay, and several other digital payment platforms. In addition to Alibaba, Paytm had SoftBank and several investors. Vijay had also collaborated with T Rowe Price, one of the US-based asset management companies. Moreover, he had developed the Paytm Payments Bank and Paytm Mall.

Vijay Shekhar- A passionate entrepreneur and a generous man

From the detailed story of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, we have learned that he is one of the hard-working, sincere, and laborious persons. Throughout his life, he has found opportunities to make his prosperous while helping his loyal customers. Truly, Vijay is one of the best inspirations for those who are emerging in the entrepreneurial world. He thinks that when you have cherished a dream, you must work on it and overcome challenges.


Paytm seal of trust

We have analyzed the Paytm founder from corporate perspectives. However, Vijay is personally a liberal person in his life. He let his employees enjoy 14% of this company’s shares. He has also created a friendly and safe work environment for his employees.

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