“To the winners, who won because they didn't give up.”- Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm.
An Indian entrepreneur and Paytm founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma has come a long way from being a small town boy of Aligarh to owning a company whose current value is around $9.4 billion in the market.
Sharma, 37, is one of the biggest success stories in India’s e-commerce world. His five-year-old company Paytm, was, at last count, valued unofficially at a stupendous Rs 15,000 crore (that over $2 billion) and investors backing him include Jack Ma, the brains behind global e-commerce giant Alibaba, who’s eager to muscle his way into the Indian market through Paytm. Sharma has also created Paytm Mall, an e-commerce business and the Paytm Payments Bank.
Sharma was born in a small town Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. He completed his graduation from Delhi College of Engineering at the age of 20.
However, this was only the start of a long journey to success for the young boy. The road to such immense riches was, at least in parts, littered with rags .He faced several hardships on his road to success.
"I had days when I didn't have money for dinner. Let's say having two cups of tea was a perk for me. I couldn't take the bus so I walked to save Rs. 10," he says about an earlier venture that flamed out.
- Poor English efficiency- Having studied in a small town school, Sharma was not quite fluent in English which caused him great problem during engineering entrances and later in course curriculum in college.
- Low scores in college- Due to poor English efficiency, Sharma was not able to understand the course curriculum properly which led to poor scores.
- Lack of funding for startup- When Sharma started One97 communication, he faced a severe fund crunch. The loan that he borrowed for the funding of the company led him into debt and he took up petty jobs to make ends meet.
- “Some other entrepreneur would have sold the equity and started their own company. But I aspire to build a 100 year old company. I think that men and boys are different because the boys flip and sell. Men run and build legacies,” Vijay said. And it is with this belief that the first avatar of Paytm, Pay Through Mobile, was born, going rapidly onto becoming the next big thing of the startup ecosystem in India. And, since then it was never looking back.
- Uncertainity of success of Paytm- The multi billion dollar company , Paytm when launched was associated with a huge risk. It turned out to be a big bet for Sharma. It is all a history now.
But he overcame everything. He rightly said, “You are what your situations make you.”
Awards and recognitions
- The Economic Times, Entrepreneur of the Year - 2016
- The Exchange4media Group, Impact Person of the Year in 2016
- Honoris Causa Doctorate of Sciences (D.Sc.) Degree, Amity University Gurgaon, 2016
- India Today magazine ranked him #18th in India's 50 Most powerful people of 2017 list
- GQ India named him among the 50 Most Influential Young Indians for 2017
- The Forbes, Youngest billionaire of India – 2017
Looking forward to a cashless India, Vijay’s dream is to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy. His dream is to build India’s first $100 Billion firm, a company that would make the nation proud.
Vijay stands testimony to the saying, “A man makes his own destiny.”
- By Bhavya Bhatia