Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company launched in 2010 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma who is famous for his ever welcoming smile. Vijay had a keen interest in entrepreneurship, even in his college days he built a startup that created Content Management Systems which was used by some of the biggest news publications. After college, he started working in an MNC but quit within six months and began to establish a company of his own. While trying to set up One97 communications which is the parent company of Paytm, Vijay ended up with a loan of INR 8 lakhs at a large interest rate of 24%, that was a huge amount for a common man back in those days which got him into a vicious cycle of unpayable debt. This forced him to take up frivolous jobs like setting up LAN connections, delivering guest lectures etc to make ends meet.
But that was not sufficient to sustain the initial phase of the business thus he raised a sum of INR 8 lakhs against 40% equity of the company. That was a large share he dissipated but it can be considered a wise decision to preserve the Paytm at that time. Started as an online mobile recharge and bill payment platform, the company launched the Paytm Wallet in 2014 which was pleased by the Indian Railways and Uber by adding it as a payment option. In 2015, it tapped more use-cases like metro recharges, education fees, electricity, gas and water bill payments.
The demonetization in India also opened a new door of success to the company and it gained sudden prominence in 2016. Paytm has brought a criterion transformation in the retail industry by completely changing the payment methodology and became the torch-bearer of the cashless economy in the country. Backed by consumer trust, Paytm’s marvelous journey to the top of the internet wallet market is now a part of the Indian startup world, but what is untold is that Paytm also became one of the few companies worldwide to secure Series-A funding crossing several $100 million. They have also done several other rounds of funding having primary investors Alibaba Group, SAIF Partners, Ratan Tata, and SoftBank.
After establishing a billion dollar company, sustaining success is the most difficult part of the journey. Vijay has also given 4% of his equity to the team, which has a current value of about $120 million. In 2017, Paytm became India’s first payment app to cross 100 million downloads. In just a span of 8 years, Paytm has over 250 million registered users, manage around 5000 transactions per second, provide operations in 11 regional languages of India and has a valuation of over $10 billion. Company’s success can be calculated on seeing the flyers of “Paytm Accepted here” in every nook and corner of the country, even in the remote areas of the nation. Along with mobile, DTH recharge and shopping bills, customers now can recharge their metro card, pay bills for utilities like electricity and water, book flight/train/bus tickets, make hotel reservations and even transfer funds to bank accounts.
The Paytm Payment Bank was launched in the year 2017 and in the same year, Vijay was honored as the youngest Indian billionaire having an asset of $1.3 billion which developed a new intensity and enthusiasm in the aspiring entrepreneurs to chase their dreams with dedication and devotion.
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