Startup story of Paytm: Initial Years, Growth, and Struggle

Paytm Success Story: Vijay Shekhar’s Risk & Marketing Skills

By Kunal Tulsani Apr 20 2021 11:00PM 5084 Read
Paytm Success Story: Vijay Shekhar’s Risk & Marketing Skills

Paytm has established itself as one of the most popular online payment methods. In the era of digital payments, there is hardly anyone who does not know about Paytm. This recognition is not something that you can acquire within few days; a lot of hard work is required. Paytm has also put in a great deal of hard work to make its tagline 'Paytm Karo' so popular. So, it becomes imperative for me to bring you the startup story of one of the most popular online payment platforms, Paytm.

Paytm and its initial years:

In 2010, an Indian e-commerce website was developed by Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma. This application allowed its users to pay through online mode. It was none other than the Paytm app. Paytm is a subsidiary of One97 communications, which is based in Noida, UP. Now it is a known name, but do you think it was easy for Paytm to win the trust of Indians and make them use online payment methods? Not at all. So how this thought of online payment app came to mind of Mr. Vijay, the maker of Paytm, is a story worth reading.

Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma was a student of Delhi College of Engineering. He tried his luck by launching the website, but later this venture was sold. He used the amount that Vijay got to launch One 97 communications which is the parent company of Paytm. He also took a loan of Rs. 8 lakh in the year 2000 to start this company. This amount was not a small one. But still, he took that risk, and relying on the hard work; he finally came up with Paytm in 2010. The idea was to offer a mobile wallet that will help you to pay money even if you have left your wallet at home.

Growth of Paytm:

Initially, it was designed to use digital payments only for selected services like mobile recharge, DTH recharge, and shopping bills. But gradually, as its user base continued to expand, it started providing a range of services like bill payments, ticket booking, hotel or train reservation, and much more. Paytm has ventured into a variety of services and has also established itself as a virtual bank. But a proper strategy is always required to accomplish your goals. So here are certain factors and strategies discussed below that helped Paytm in its growth.

Reasons for growth of Paytm:
  • Initial focus on the Young generation: Online payment methods require specific knowledge of your mobile. Therefore the initial focus of the Paytm company was on the young generation. But later on, the company adapted its features to reach the older Indian population also.
  • Cashbacks: another innovative strategy that went well for Paytm's marketing was offering cashback. You might have seen that before lockdown, most of the products like Kurkure gave you some cash back on Paytm. This served a dual purpose. Firstly you bought that product, and secondly, you will use Paytm for getting that cashback. This scheme worked in favor of Paytm, and it experienced several downloads, and many accounts were created.
  • Lockdown situation in India: If you are determined to work hard, then even your destiny will work in your favor. This happened with Paytm. Due to an unseen COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdown, only home delivery and online payments were accepted. This further induced Indian citizens to switch to Paytm. Although Paytm has to compete with other online payment apps like Google pay, Phonepe, etc., its initial strategies gave it an edge over others. The recognition that it had created even before the pandemic helped it to attract new users.
The present situation:

The hard work and the innovative strategies of Paytm makers have made it the nation's biggest investment platform. Besides this, Paytm also contributes in SIP (Systematic Investment plan) to the Mutual funds. You will be amazed to know that Vijay Shekhar Sharma's wealth has enlarged so much that his rank uplifted from 171st in 2016 to 44th in 2020. Won't you like to know his wealth? Let me tell you. Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma's present wealth is approx. INR 23000 crore, and this is continuously rising. Besides this, Paytm has also received major fundings from prominent investors like Alibaba and Softbank and is hoped to receive more such fundings.

Challenges faced in recent times:

We saw how Paytm witnessed a challenge of funds and low users in the initial years of launch, but ultimately it tackled them. But that's not the end. Recently, Paytm was removed from the play store on the apprehension of violating Google's policy and encouraging gambling. But it was restored within a few hours. In retaliation, Paytm has also launched its Paytm mini-app store. It shows that even challenges are opportunities to make new strides.


The journey of Paytm from a mere recharge and bill payment platform to an online banking service platform is commendable. Variety of e-wallet features and other innovative strategies like online reservation services complemented the hard work of its makers, and it managed to achieve significant milestones. The massive popularity of Paytm shows that if you are determined and ready to work hard, no one can stop you from reaching the point of success. One thing that you should learn from this startup is that although your hard work will not bear fruit in one day but one day, it will surely do.

Kunal Tulsani
Kunal Tulsani View More Posts

I’ve been in the content & marketing industry for more than 5 years now and utterly understand the ins & outs of it, be it what companies want or what readers like to read. With many ups and downs in life, I am now heading for the best part with the help of divine. No Matter how difficult the situation is, know that – We are the God, We are Looking for!

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