From Humble Beginnings to a Billion-Dollar Empire: Vijay Shekhar Sharma empowers India through Digital Payments.
In recent digital times, everything we want is online and so is the concept of payment through online modes. A digital wallet we carry everywhere, one of which is the most famous and in-use digital payment app, Paytm. It is visibly the easiest-to-use, hassle free, and utmost secure payment app that is currently used by millions of people alone in india.
Paytm started its journey through its parent company “One97”, co-founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in 2001 as a mobile value-added service company.
Vijay is considered among the top 100 richest Indians according to Forbes 2020 list with a net worth of 2.35 billion USD. He belonged to a mid-middle class family from Noida in a well-conditioned educational environment, as his father was a school teacher with an influential emphasis on Vijay’s studies. In 1990s, being a graduate in B.Tech from the best engineering college, i.e. Delhi Technological University, despite becoming an average student, his life changing awakening came when his grades began to fall. This interestingly made him realise and reading about the success stories of mega-brands like Apple, HP, Intel that went on to become the biggest names in the startup ecosystem enhanced his interest in being an entrepreneur and starting to do something with his knowledge and life.
He created a company along with his four friends, called Xs! Corporation, which is a content management company that works as a search engine and web portal offering internet-based services. In May, 1990 this company was working as a huge success with a turnover of Rs. 50 lakhs, but he later sold the company for half a million dollars, shared among his four colleagues.
Vijay easily managed to secure a job after his entrepreneurial pursuits but the 9-5 calling wasn’t for him. So, he left his job and started working on a new project, One97 – the parent company of Paytm in 2001.
Paytm was initially a mobile recharge and bill payments app but today its services go beyond just transferring money, such as ticket bookings, recharging metro tickets, events bookings, in-store payments, bill payments, buying or selling mutual funds, tolls, pharmaceuticals educational institutes, securing offers on online games and apps and many more. It earned its official approval by the RBI in 2010, which initialised the creation of the e-wallet startup ecosystem in India. Despite the competition among other digital payment apps that came after Paytm, it still succumbs to its glory as one of the most used as it provides Upi payments, a zero-balance account facility as well as online shopping privileges.
This app uses Verisign-certified SSL 128-bit encryption technology that ensures the security of the online data maintenance regarding the users. Paytm recognised a digitally strong boost of users and economy in 2017 with the demonetisation era as well as has been an icon since the covid-19 pandemic in 2020-21. Paytm has an annual turnover of Rs. 20,620 million, with around 450 million registered members, that includes six million users from Tier 2,3 and small district villages as well.
“ With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama.
Vijay Shekhar’s pivotal turning crunch in his life was his ability to realise his own strengths and weaknesses, along with a will power that isn’t afraid to fail, but learn and grow. A vision to create a cash-less, economy saving, sustainable and ecosystem friendly technology, he did it with his relentless efforts and self-growth has made him the successful entrepreneur he is today.