Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the man who always wears an always welcoming smile and built a company that transformed the way of money exchange in India. Paytm was nothing but a dream for Sharma when he struggled to make ends meet with just Rs.10 in his pocket. He captured victory the hard way, and it was all because of his hard work and dedication that he was able to make his dream a reality. Today, with this article, we will appreciate his life story from start to end.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Youngest Billionaire 2017
The founder and CEO of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, is an Indian billionaire businessman ranked as India's youngest billionaire by Forbes in 2017. With a total net worth of $2.35 Billion, he was ranked # 62nd richest person in India by Forbes in 2020. He has also been featured in Time Magazine's World's 100 Most Influential People 2017 List. He is also a recipient of Yash Bharati, the highest civilian honor of the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Basic Details
- Occupation: Entrepreneur
- Date of Birth: 8th July 1978
- Age: 42
- Home Town: Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
- Spouse: Mridula Prakash Sharma
- Children: Vivaan Sharma
- Nationality: Indian
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Childhood & Education
The million-dollar startup founder was born in the small town of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, on 8th July 1978 and was a child prodigy. He went to a Hindi medium school in Harduaganj, a village near Aligarh. He then went on to get his bachelor's degree in Electronics and communication engineering from Delhi College of Engineering. He graduated from college when he was just 19 years old.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Family
Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Mridula Parashar Sharma, his wife, have a son named Vivaan Sharma. Sulom Prakash Sharma, his father, is a schoolteacher, and Asha Sharma, his mother, is a housewife. Ajay Shekhar Sharma, who is presently Senior Vice President at Paytm, is his younger brother, and he also has two older sisters.
Challenges faced by Vijay Sharma in college
Despite being incredibly bright and excellent in his academics, 15-year-old Sharma, who was educated in Hindi, could not deal with what his college lecturers were teaching. He claims he battled with a language barrier not only in college but also outside of it.
"In college, I didn't understand what the teacher was saying. I never felt one with my peers; I couldn't speak or understand English. I was a failure in my class but a hero in the computer lab." Vijay confessed to India today.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: English Barrier
As Sharma's worries about his communication skills continued, he started to spend more time in the library and computer lab rather than in classes. He got inspired by the stories of Silicon Valley, of entrepreneurs who had made it big without a college degree. He began to study English with commitment with the assistance of translation books, magazines, English music, and his friends.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Startup in college
While in college, Vijay and his friend started a company outside their hostel named XS Corps. Their business card carried the address of their hostel and a phone number for the DCE's computer center. He also started a website in his college days named www.indiasite.net and later sold it for $1 million two years later.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: One97 Company
In 2001, by taking a loan of Rs 8 Lakh, he started a company named One97 communications, the parent company of Paytm. The company offered mobile content, including news, cricket scores, ringtones, jokes, and exam results. The loan repayment was becoming a bit difficult, so he took jobs like delivering small guest lectures and setting up LAN connections, etc.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Paytm Timeline
- 2010 - In 2010, Vijay Shekhar launched Paytm, Pay through Mobile, by sensing a shift towards digital systems in consumer billing and payment processes.
- 2013 - It started with a prepaid mobile and DTH recharge platform and added mobile and landline payments in 2013.
- 2014 - In 2014, the company launched Paytm digital wallet.
- 2016 - Demonetization helped the business grow tremendously.
- 2017 - Paytm became India's first payment app to cross over 100 million app downloads.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Success of Paytm
After he launched Paytm, two words came to every Indian mind while doing money transactions were "Paytm Karo". The secret behind the success of Paytm was the trust Sharma built with his customers. He built a 24 * 7 internet wallet service with around the clock customer support service, which responded to customer complaints immediately, which made the customers trust him and put their money in the hands of the unknown. Users can recharge their mobile phones, DTH TV, Metro cards, pay bills, and whatnot through Paytm.
Paytm Success: Present Situation
Now, Paytm handles more than 5000 transactions per second, and a high capacity of transactions is made possible by implementing a straightforward yet effective and safe payment method. Users may make payments and transfers from anywhere by scanning the QR code of a seller or inputting the recipient's cell phone number.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Interesting Facts
- Profit in loss Although his company suffered a loss of ₹3,393 crores in 2018, Vijay Shekhar Sharma's net worth rose to $2.6 Billion, close to ₹18,000 crores. Hence, he was ranked 877 among 2,153 global billionaires.
- Paytm & Demonetization The Indian government announced demonetization in November 2016, with the withdrawal of high-value currency notes. This measure is intended to crack down on the black money market, illegal money laundering, and terrorist funding. While demonetization slashed cash worth billions of dollars within a short period, a considerable population segment turned towards digital payments. As a result, people began to use Paytm for money transfers, which grew tremendously.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Awards and Recognitions
- Most innovative startup of the year at the Entrepreneur India event by Franchise India
- Knowledge Faber Best Mobile Wallet Program Award
- Special mention in the millionth Awards for commerce/business.
- Gold Winner at the MMA Smarties for mCommerce
- Paytm's app is featured in the Apple App Store's Best of 2014 category for Mobile/DTH Recharge & Shopping.
- Best Mobile Money product at the 4th India Digital Awards
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma featured in Economic Times "India's Hottest Business Leader under 40"
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma was recognized among the Most Innovative CEOs of 2014 by Inc India.
- Paytm won ET Brand Equity most trusted brand of the year 2016.
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma won the IMPACT Person of the Year Award 2016.
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma won the Uttar Pradesh government's top Yash Bharti Award.
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma won the ET Panache Trendsetter Entrepreneur Award.
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma was named Businessman of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
- CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma won NDTV Indian of the Year for Paytm.
- He received an Honorary Doctorate from Amity University, Gurgaon, in 2016.
- Named the youngest billionaire in India, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. He was ranked # 1567 on the list of Forbes' "The world's Billionaire List."
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma won the Entrepreneur India Awards 2017.
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma was recognized among the 50 most influential young Indians by GQ.
- Vijay Sharma was named to the 2017 Time 100 List of Most Influential People in the World.
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma was recognized as the Entrepreneur of the Year at the Entrepreneur's Moneytech Awards 2017
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma was announced as DataQuest IT person of the year.
- Sharma won the Forbes Top 40 Under 40 Award.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma: Passion for his Work
Normally, anyone in place of Vijay Sharma's situation would have quit, but Vijay decided to build and use the time he had to become an entrepreneur. Thus, passion and hard work can bring you endless amounts of opportunities and nothing good can come by sitting waiting for the opportunities to come. You have to create them yourself. He is now the inspiration to all the young entrepreneurs who think that they can do nothing.