Success stories of people are often made of impossible dreams. You read, see, or hear about them but don't know how interesting and challenging their path is to achieve. So, let’s read one such inspiring story of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm.

Paytm is one  of the top startups in India which is available on every individual's smartphone in the form of application. But most of us don't understand the struggles faced by the founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma. He had begun with a very low investment and now he is the owner and CEO of twenty million merchants and businesses.

Early Life

Hailing from a small town named Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, he faced hurdles at a young age. But what makes him unique is that he carved out a niche for himself that most of us can only dream of.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma completed his schooling in Hindi medium. Thus it took a lot of work for him to write and read English. Soon he realizes that to pursue education at a reputed college it is necessary to know Basic English.

He didn't give up but took it as a challenge and began to learn English. He used to read old magazines and borrow books from his friends. Further, he takes two books at a time, one book of English sentences and a second one for its translation.

After joining an engineering college in Delhi, he became a bright to an average student. As his grades began to decline, he stopped going to college after a few months of admission.

Soon, Vijay Shekhar Sharma developed a passion for entrepreneurship.After joining an engineering college in Delhi, he became a bright to an average student.

As his grades began to decline, he stopped going to college after a few months of admission. Soon, Vijay Shekhar Sharma developed a passion for entrepreneurship.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is fond of rock music and musical performance. Furthermore, he is also popular for his speeches. Hence, he is cheerful as a CEO and often delivers motivational speeches.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma Motivational Video

The Not-So-Easy Journey

In his second year of college, he and his friends started a CMS (content management) company. And later they named it XS Communications. Many major publications like The Indian Express used their CMS.

Unfortunately while trying to get funds, Vijay Shekhar Sharma borrowed Rs. 8 lakhs with an interest of 24 per cent from the bank. Due to this, he was in a vicious circle of debt.

Further, he didn’t give up and pursued his dream. As such, he founded One97 Communications in 2000.

He aimed to create a people online directory to access through SMS through this venture. He managed to work on the above idea and add other services like live astrology, songs, etc.

Yet, after he realized that recovering money from telecom operators in India isn't as easy as it seems. In the process, Vijay Shekhar Sharma learned that cash flow is essential.

But with the lack of a team and investments, his second venture also halted and collapsed. Again he had to hit the roads for a new role in 2003.

His journey clinched from earning Rs 10,000 a month to becoming a billionaire. At 27, Vijay Shekhar Sharma had not tasted success earning a modest salary of Rs 10,000 a month. And this was not good enough to make him an eligible bachelor.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma describes his journey,

"During 2004-05, my father asked me to seal my company and take up a new role even if it offered the least income."

He mentioned in Reuters, a news agency company in the United Kingdom as follows -

"Families of prospective brides won’t consider me after understanding that I earn Rs. 10,000 a month. I became an ineligible bachelor in my family."

Finally Tasting Success- Becoming Billionaire

A man from a small town with sheer determination and passion brought about a big change in his life. Talking about the Indian startup firms, everyone loves him because he epitomizes  resilience. So let’s see how he scaled the fintech company Paytm from Rs.10 in his wallet to a $1.2 billion company.

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Vijay Shekhar Sharma's breakthrough was in 2010.  Yes, he founded the digital payments firm Paytm. The trained engineer sold mobile content via a small company at that time.

Then, it began as a mobile recharge company and grew after Uber listed it as a quick payment option in India.

In 2016, Paytm skyrocketed after demonetisation and the ban on currency notes. Consumers went to 1 million devices from 4.8 million in September 2022. The payment devices confirm purchases through voice alerts to merchants. Additionally, 3.8 million devices throughout the year.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma became one of India's 2017 youngest billionaires.

Later, he focused on creating an extra payment stream beyond MDR. Merchant Discount Rate is for merchants while accepting digital payments by different modes.

Moreover, the company also reported growth in gross merchandise value (GMV). It refers to the total value of payments made to merchants by app transactions. Gross Merchandise Value, done through Paytm or its solutions excludes money transfers.

During the December quarter of FY22, the GMV raised to $42 billion ( i.e., $38 from $30.3 billion.) It also reported a 137 per cent growth in loans to 10.5 million from 4.4 million.

The loan transactions raised from $264 million to $1.20 billion. As of December 2022, the fintech company Paytm reported from 2 million payment devices to 5.8 million.

In contrast, the monthly user transaction on its super app grew to Rs 8.4 crores. In Q2FY23, Paytm reported a 76% on-year increase in their revenue, hence hitting Rs 1,914 Cr.

CEO of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma mentions the future plans -

“We need not change or build something else. Instead, add a few models in due course. The models are Payment Money - Paytm Wealth business to focus on brokerage. And the insurance business to explore digital business models instead of physical methods.”

At present, he focuses on payment and credit services due to huge opportunities in India.

Due to its immense contribution to India’s fintech revolution, Paytm achieved profitability. Thus, the company moves forward to create long-term value for shareholders.

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