Vijay Shekhar Sharma, The Man Who Built Paytm

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Paytm was the most valuable startup of India before Byju’s and it was the first player in the Indian Market to introduce the digital payment mode.

Have you ever thought what is the meaning of Paytm, so let me tell you, Paytm is a short form of “Pay Through Mobile

Firstly, it launched Payment Wallet, then UPI and now it has expanded its business to Paytm Mall, Investment and Insurance services, it has spread its hands in Neo Banking as well.

This blog will tell you about Vijay Shekhar Sharma the man who built Paytm, what were the challenges faced by Paytm, the business model, and what is its future plans.

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Note: Top Fintech Startup is a series of articles that StartupGyaan has brought to you where you can get to know about the ins and out of Top 5 Fintech Startups In India

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, The Man Who Built Paytm

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder and CEO of Paytm, he has a very interesting story, tried a venture in his college days, did a job to arrange monthly inflow of money, and then he started working on the fintech startup, Paytm with an aim to create a Cashless economy.

He belongs to a very middle-class family and in the early days of his entrepreneurial journey he didn’t even have the money to arrange food for his dinner, sometimes only a cup of tea and biscuits used to be his dinner.

He had to walk for hours and hours to save Rs.10 so that he can arrange his food for the next day.

Vijay was a studious student from the very beginning. He completed his schooling when he was just fourteen and became the youngest college student in his college.

But because he was from Hindi medium background he had to face lots of struggle in understanding this new language and the entire curriculum in English.

He says, his college days remind him of the movie ‘Tare Zameen Par’ because he could only see the moment of the lips of his teachers but couldn’t get what they are saying.

But he took it as a challenge and started learning this language, although it was difficult for him, he made it.

This shows the positive attitude and the approach towards his weakness, instead of cursing the education system he worked on his weaknesses and said ‘Good-Bye’ to that barrier of the English language.

From not able to speak in English to now when people like Jack Ma and Warren Buffet have invested in Paytm.

Vijay was the 62nd richest person in the world with a Net-worth of $2.35 billion in the year 2020.

Previous Venture of Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Vijay with one of his friends, started a Search Engine for India, he says it was like Yahoo for India, then it turned out to become a Content Management company, like WordPress is doing right now.

The name of the company was “XS”. This was a slang word for the word ‘Access’ that aimed to provide access to the information to its users. 

In the year 1999, he sold it to a US guy.

He did a job after that but, it could not hold him for a long period and in 2000, he started his next company One97 which is the parent company of Paytm.

Paytm A Fintech Startup


Paytm is a fintech startup that was launched to replace cash transactions from the country. Even if you are going to Nukkad Chai Vala, still you can pay through Paytm Wallet, having a vision like this Vijay started Paytm in August 2010 which is currently valued at $16 Billion.

It was launched in 2010, with a feature of Mobile Recharge, soon it started providing services like DTH recharge, paying Electricity Bills, Credit Card Bills, Booking Travelling Ticket, etc.

It has raised funding from various renowned Institutions like Alibaba Group, Soft Bank, and the company of Warren Buffet Berkshire Hathaway.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma14.67%
Alibaba Group29.71%
SoftBank Vision Fund19.63%
SAIF Partners18.56%
Berkshire Hathway2.76%
Source: Wikipedia

It has various services like Recharge, Bill Payment, Paytm Wallet, Paytm Bank, Paytm Money, and Paytm Mall.

Business Model of Paytm

Paytm Mall is the marketplace where Paytm users can directly shop from the Paytm app. Paytm charges a commission for it from the sellers. Registered sellers can list various products like Electronic Items, Groceries, Clothes, Accessories, etc

On Recharge and Bill Payment of Mobile Phones, DTH, Metro Card, Electricity Bills, etc., Paytm charges a percentage of commission from the mobile network companies, DTH operators, and electricity companies.

Paytm Wallets

Paytm Wallets was the first service launched by Paytm where you can transfer money from your bank account to Paytm Wallet and then you can directly pay it to anyone.

When you keep your money in Paytm Wallet, Paytm transfer this money to the other bank account and earn money on the same.

Paytm Bank

Through Paytm Bank you can open up your saving account or business account, it does not provide any loan facility but it earns money through its partner banks.

If you deposit an amount of more than 1 Lakh rupee then the money is directly transferred to the Fixed Deposit of the partner bank of Paytm on which they provide 7% interest.

On saving account Paytm provides you with 4% interest and for current account holders overdraft facility is available.

Paytm Money

Paytm Money

Through Paytm Money, you can invest in Direct Mutual Funds, Direct Stocks, and National Pension System.

The main feature that differentiates it from other platforms, it does not charge any amount of commission or fee from its users to invest in mutual funds, instead, it charges a commission directly from mutual fund companies.

Also Read: Zerodha, How Did It Become the Best Stock Brokerage In India?

Paytm IPO

Vijay understood that scalability is more important than profitability, and because of which he could impact the lives of millions of people.

China took around 20 years to get to this level in the digital payment system, but India achieved this level only in 7-8 years, and Paytm has played a vital role in this revolution.

Now with the expansion strategy Paytm is ready for the IPO. The date and the amount of IPO are not yet declared by the company, but it is estimated that it will be till the end of Q3 of FY2021.


Vijay is the person who did not make his weakness an excuse for not working hard towards his dreams. The story of Vijay Shekhar Sharma shows, if you are willing to learn and grow, you can do wonders in your life.

Although Paytm got the first-mover advantage, it was not easy to capture the large Indian market.

Even though the online payment segment has become very competitive, still Paytm has reserved its place as the first choice of the large population of India.

When there is digital payment through mobile, the first name that comes to our mind is “Paytm Karo”.

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Hey I am Vaibhav, a CA student and a startup enthusiast who write about startups and on financial topics

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