An incredible story of Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma

An incredible story of Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Vijay Shekhar Sharma
NET WORTH $2.7B

Born In a Brahmin family, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma became the richest and the youngest billionaire of India.

Son of a school teacher from a small city In north India, Aligarh, Sharma founded a fast-rising mobile wallet Paytm in 2011.

Sharma has also created Paytm Mall, an e-commerce business, and the Paytm Payments Bank.

He made a splash & probably one of the biggest beneficiaries of demonetization, Paytm has notched up 300 million users and 12 million transactions daily.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Paytm got Warren Buffett to invest in his firm in August 2018. Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway invested $300 million in Paytm. A rare deal for a man who typically avoids internet firms. For India’s man of the moment, it is a major milestone.

Here is Sharma’s incredible story

Born on July 8th, 1978, Vijay Shekhar Sharma’ s story is no less than a feature film. From being a son of a school teacher hailing from a small city in northern parts of India to becoming the richest and the youngest billionaire of India, his journey is truly an inspiration for most of us.

Vijay was an exceptional student, he passed secondary school at the early age of 14. However, this was just the stepping stone & beginning of a long journey to success for the young boy.

He received primary & secondary education in Hindi medium. After graduating from high school, he took an entrance exam for Aligarh Muslim University. He cleared the written exam. However, due to poor proficiency in English, he couldn’t clear the In-person Interview.

Owing to his poor English proficiency, Vijay couldn’t sit for the IIT entrance and other competitive exams.

The ability to bounce back after a setback is the single most important trait an entrepreneur possesses.”

Vijay taught himself to read two books at a time — one in Hindi and the other in English — this helped him prepare for his dream to become an engineer. His technique to read two books at a time helped him crack the entrance for Delhi College of Engineering in 1994. He got admission in Delhi College of Engineering & graduated at the age of 19.

While many young and bright engineering graduates were excited about the prospect of being placed, Vijay had built his first company- ‘XS Communications’, a college-based startup that created Content Management Systems.

As is the case on an entrepreneurial journey, bringing an investment & getting investors became a huge challenge for Vijay. while trying to get an investment, he took a hefty loan of 8 lakh at an unprecedented interest rate 24%.

He was devastated. But Sharma was not a man to give up so easily. Things took to a better turn when he began One97, the parent company of Paytm. He started experimenting with the three basics of internet- content, advertising, and commerce. But the big eureka moment came in 2011 when he first pitched the idea of entering the payment ecosystem in front of his board.

However, the board wasn’t ready for his new Idea. To convenience the board to what he very strongly believed. he put 1% of his equity, which was about $2 million around 2011, on the table and said, “This is for all of you if I waste the money that we put on the site.” He adds, “There is no fun in doing what others ask you to do, the real fun is in doing what people say you can’t do.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, he owns a stake of 16 percent in the company. To add to his expertise, he is the man behind the creation of Paytm Mall and Paytm Payments Bank.

Paytm has around 250 million registered users and 7 million transactions are carried out by people daily.

Paytm wallets can be used for paying mobile, cable TV, electricity and water bills as well as at grocery stores and pharmacies, among other things. 

Vijay is hugely inspired by another self-made billionaire Steve Jobs. He’s often talked about Jobs’s management style in his interviews. In fact, at Paytm’s headquarter, a number of Jobs’s posters can be seen on the office wall.

Vijay’s dream is to build India’s first $100 Bn firm, a company that would make the nation proud.

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