If you had asked Vijay Shekhar Sharma about his career goals 10 years ago, the founder of Paytm would have told you that he wanted to start a payment system to end the hassle of cash transactions in India. Today, Paytm has become much more than that—it’s an online commerce platform that offers everything from shopping and entertainment to travel, banking, insurance, and mobile payments (all of which also happen to be products that Vijay Shekhar Sharma had no hand in creating). Here’s how Vijay Shekhar Sharma got there, and what he learned along the way. Vijay Shekhar Sharma Founder of Paytm
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The story of his journey from IIT Delhi to U.S., and his return
Vijay Shekhar Sharma dropped out of IIT Delhi and went to UCLA Anderson School Of Management to do his MBA. After graduating in 1997 he came back to India and joined Procter & Gamble as marketing executive. There he worked on brands like Ariel, Whisper, Tide and Head & Shoulders. In 2003 Vijay started One97 Communications (then named ‘One97 Internet Solutions’), a company that provides mobile value added services such as ringtones, games and wallpapers. Vijay Shekhar Sharma Founder of Paytm
|Name||Vijay Shekhar Sharma Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India|
|Alma mater||Delhi College of Engineering|
|Known for||Founder & CEO of Paytm|
|2017||In 2017, he was named the youngest billionaire in India, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. He was ranked #1567in the list of Forbes’s ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list|
|2017||Sharma was in the list of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2017.|
|2016||Sharma was awarded the ET Entrepreneur of the Year, by The Economic Times in 2016|
|2017||He was ranked 4th by GQ in their listing of the 50 most influential young Indians of 2017|
|2017||In 2017, he became the Dataquest IT Man of the year.|
|2016||He received an Honorary doctorate from Amity University, Gurgaon, in 2016|
|2016||Sharma was honored with the Yash Bharati, the highest state civilian award of the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2016.|
|2016||He was named as the Businessman of the Year at GQ Men of the Year Awards 2016.|
|2016||He was conferred with the NDTV Indian of the Year in 2016|
|2015||He was named India’s Hottest Business Leader under 40 by The Economic Times in 2015|
His first ecommerce venture
Vijay Shankar Sharma founded B2B ecommerce site WishUp in 2000, but it soon failed. Four years later, however, his second ecommerce venture succeeded: In 2004 he founded One97 Communications Ltd., owner of mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm. The company went public in 2014. Now 37-years-old and a billionaire many times over, Vijay is one of India’s most influential businesspeople and one of its most successful entrepreneurs.
How he built up his second venture in the pharma space
Vijay Shekhar Sharma is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Calcutta. In 1999, he founded a web portal for investors called Net Market Stocks which he sold off to Capitaline in 2000. Then he began working with his father at Glamour Stones where he learned a lot about hard work. In 2007 he started One97 Communications in order to create wealth through mobile phones by focusing on data security and mobile commerce.
How he started One97 Communications, which was rebranded as Paytm
Vijay’s father was a retired major general who had been very successful in business. Vijay went to both military and management schools (he graduated from IIM-Ahmedabad). He’d wanted to start a business for many years before deciding to launch One97 Communications. In 2000 he started outsourcing technology solutions. In 2003 he launched One97, a mobile marketing company focused on SMS and mobile recharge services; within six months he sold it to Bharti Airtel for $34 million.
His philosophy on innovation
To be an entrepreneur you need to have a fear of failure and yet take calculated risks. He also believes that no business plan survives first contact with customers. Vijay Shekhar Sharma Founder of Paytm
His vision for digital India
In less than three years, Vijay Shekhar Sharma has built Paytm into India’s largest mobile payments company. But his vision is not just to be an Indian Alibaba. His vision is that India can grow its own world-class internet companies and contribute to global e-commerce solutions.
His next moves in digital payments
Vijay’s ultimate goal is to get millions more Indians connected and transacting digitally. He wants to bring them on board at a time when trust in digital payments is taking root in India. With millions of new customers and merchants beginning to use Paytm on a daily basis, Vijay believes that he’s well on his way to achieving that goal. [Source: Entrepreneur Asia]