Vijay Shekhar Sharma – The Man behind One97 and Paytm


Vijay Shekhar Sharma has always remained quick in taking actions. At first, he completed his schooling at just 13, got admitted to an engineering course in Delhi School of Engineering when he was 14, and, started a company before turning 18! Vijay, who hails from Aligarh always fetched good marks throughout his school days. In most of the occasions, he was found securing the topmost position in the class. However, his grades were utterly disappointing during his four-year engineering course and his parents had no high hopes left on him. The person who was tagged with failure certificate by his parents, teachers and relatives is the founder cum owner of One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm.

It is usually not easy for a person belonging to a lower middle-class family to start something of his own. Vijay’s case was no exception. His father was a school teacher and he had serious doubts on Vijay getting a good job after completing college. Belonging to a family where dreaming high is seen as a wrong practice, the young lad went ahead to pursue his dreams. In his third year of college, Vijay co-founded an internet based company along with one of his batch mate, Harinder Takhar. The company which was basically a web portal offering web related services was an initial success for the young entrepreneur duo. They raised a seed capital of Twenty Thousand Rupees from a New-Mexico based Venture Capital Fund. The two-year-old company which had a turnover of Fifty Lakhs Rupees was sold to India Today Group for a hefty amount.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, co-founder of One97 Communications and Paytm

(Image Courtesy: www.linkedin.com)

It was not the end of road for young Vijay. His success with his first company serves as his constant inspiration. Therefore, after short stints as an employee in RiverRun Software, Inter Solutions India and India Today Group, his entrepreneurship hunger rose once again. In 2000, he again co-founded another company, One97 Communications. This time the company started offering mobile content and mobile commerce to users of mobile phones. It was an early entrant in the Indian market when mobile phones were only considered to be luxury. However, the visionary ideas of the founders of One97 helped it capture the market share in the latter years since mobile phones were getting cheaper and was a bare necessity. Post 9/11 terror attack in United States, markets crashed and One97 started feeling the heat. Situations improved to some extent a year later.

Logo of Paytm founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Logo of Paytm, founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma

In 2010, Paytm was launched. The company which initially started with recharging services of mobile and DTH over web interface, gradually expanded. These days Paytm is a prominent mobile application and users use it to pay electricity bills, telephone bills, cab fares etc. Many leading internet companies of the country such as Book My Show, Uber, Food Panda, Make My Trip is making use of the Paytm platform to accept payments. Last year, it came up with the service of selling goods and items online. The attractive cashbacks which Paytm offers on recharges, shopping has become quite popular. At present, it is one of the largest e-commerce company of India. AliPay Financial, Ratan Tata, SAP Ventures at different times have funded the company.

Online recharge platform of Paytm, founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Online Mobile Recharge Platform of Paytm

Paytm Cashback

An Example of a Cahback Offer of Paytm

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who idolises Hotmail Founder Sabeer Bhatia, has a long way to go. He has already created an upsurge in the mobile payment segment with Paytm and has plans to contribute even more!!!

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