Vijay is one of those few entrepreneurs who did not rely on external funding for his startup, rather he took a loan of eight lac rupees at 27% interest for his company – One97 communications. To match up for this huge amount, he had to work as a guest lecturer, LAN service provider’s technical guy and at other such positions. He might not have become so successful if he wouldn’t have created and sold previous companies of his. This man knew what he was doing, even when nobody else had faith in his vision. PayTM is India’s most popular mobile wallet (available in 11 languages) and the credit goes to Vijay. Let’s know how this idea germinated in his brain.
|Name||Vijay Shekhar Sharma|
|Date of Birth||8 July 1978|
|Hometown||Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India|
|Graduation||Delhi College of Engineering● Degree Name B.E.
● Field Of Study Electronics & Communications
● Dates attended or expected graduation 1994 – 1998
|Parents||Father – School Teacher|
Residential Contact Details
Official Contact Details
|Address||B121, B Block, Sector 5, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301|
|Phone number||0120 477 0770|
|Founded||Founder & CEO
● Company Name Paytm
● Dates Employed Dec 2010 – Present
● Employment Duration 8 yrs 5 mos
● Location New Delhi Area, India
Founder & CEO
● Company Name One97 Communications Limited
● Dates Employed Dec 2000 – Present
● Employment Duration 18 yrs 5 months
|Also worked at||CTO
● Company Name Startec Global Systems, India
● Dates Employed Apr 2000 – May 2001
● Employment Duration 1 yr 2 months
● Company Name India Today Group Online
● Dates Employed 1999 – 2000
● Employment Duration1 yr
● Company Name RiverRun Software Group
● Dates Employed 1998 – 1999
● Employment Duration 1 yr
Awards and Recognitions
|2015||● “CEO of the Year” by the SABRE Awards,|
|2016||● Honorary doctorate, Amity University Gurgaon
● The Exchange4media Group, Impact Person of the Year
● The Economic Times, Entrepreneur of the Year
|2017||● GQ India named him among the 50 Most Influential Young Indians
● India Today magazine ranked him #18th in India’s 50 most powerful people.
When demonetization had hit Indian Economy, it was this creation of Vijay, the PayTM service which in some way played an important role in saving the economy from collapsing. PayTM was being used in the metro cities before that but when, with demonetization, people had to look for other means of monetary transactions, this mobile wallet proved to be useful.
After working with his first company for less than a year, he resigned to entrepreneurship. But things didn’t go by the plan, his partners cheated and he ended up being bankrupt. The firm had just received its first round of funding when his friends left, taking away 40% of the amount. He had to find accommodation in a cheap hostel and would walk miles to get to the office and meetings. He was shattered but unwilling to give up. Again, he gathered his courage and while continuing to work for someone else, started planning about his own company. He was great at the technical end and soon became the Chief Technical Officer at Startech Global Systems. This was when he founded One97 Communications. Internet – Content, Advertising and Commerce were at the heart of this company.
The company did well and Vijay again decided to proceed on the path of entrepreneurship. This time again, the board of directors could not approve of the idea of adding payments in a mobile app. For this, he invested his own equity (around $2million) in the company to develop PayTM.
With PayTM out in the market, he had to add 24*7 customer support services, and other departments to ensure that people felt safe while adding their money to PayTM wallet. This was a great time for the country, something like this never happened before, even the man in street selling fruits or chowmein had a PayTM account.
One97 Communications is dealing with gaming, hotel booking, videos, talks, and a lot more, the latest variant in PayTM mall and Bhim UPI. Prior to the success of PayTM, there were doubts in the mind of people but now, it has become an essential mobile wallet for everyone. You can pay off your electricity bills, mobile recharge, metro cards, movie tickets and a lot more. It’s impossible to imagine life in a metro without PayTM.
Funding & Important Events
|2007||Venture capital firm SAIF Partners|
|2011 Oct||Sapphire Ventures (fka SAP Ventures) invested $10 million|
|2013||Paytm acquired Plustxt for around less than $2 million|
|2015 Mar||● Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group took 25% stake for this investment in One97.
● PayTM received backing from Ratan Tata, the MD of Tata Sons.
● ‘Paytm for Business’ app launched in 10 regional languages of India
|2015 Aug||● Reserve Bank of India granted ‘in-principle’ approval for Payments Bank to Paytm.
● Paytm invested $5 million in auto-rickshaw aggregator and hyperlocal delivery firm Jugnoo, Near.in and Shifu (Delhi).
|2016 Aug||● Funding from Mountain Capital ($5 million).
● Paytm invested in logistics startups LogiNext and XpressBees.
|2017||● The company launched the Paytm Payments Bank.
● Also, they designed an app for Canadian mobile phone, cable, Internet, electricity and water bill payment at the convenience of your phone.
● Received funding of $10 billion from Softbank.
● Paytm invested in healthcare startup QorQL.
● Insider.in, MobiQuest, Little & Nearbuy, were the next acquisitions.
|2018||● PayTM money was launched for investment in the market.
● Berkshire Hathaway invested $356 million for 3%- 4% stake in Paytm.
● Started Cube 26
Lesser known facts about him
- His inspiration for work comes from Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma and Masayoshi Son of Softbank.
- He became the youngest Indian billionaire in 2017 with a net worth of $2.1 billion.
- While still in college, (1997 ) he developed a website indiasite.net and sold it two years later, in 1999, for $1 million.
- Though PayTM is a popular name, not everyone knows that PayTM (started in 2010) is a subsidiary of one97 Communications, which started operations in 2000.
- Vijay used to purchase second-hand technology magazines to stay abreast of innovation.
- He completed his secondary school at a young age of 14, while most students do it at 17-18.
- Vijay wasn’t good at English as he studied in Hindi Medium school. He couldn’t manage for IIT and also during college years had to read two books, one in English and other in Hindi, to continue studying in English medium. Since he couldn’t cope up with teachers speaking English, he used to spend most of his time in the computer room, dreaming about being one of the entrepreneurs at Silicon Valley.
- He was exceptionally good at coding and by the time he completed his education, he had already developed a content management system called ‘XS Communications’ which was used by a lot of publishers including – The Indian Express.
- He had to invest two million dollars from his pocket for PayTM to become a reality as investors were sceptical about the profitability of a mobile-first platform dealing with money.
- Sabeer Bhatia and Yahoo are his idols.
- He had offered 4% of his equity to the team which with its passion and hardowork has made the difference. He never addresses the people who work for PayTM as employees.
“There is no fun in doing what others ask you to do; the real fun is in doing what others say you can’t do.”