advertisement
Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Most Creative People 2017

Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Founder and CEO, Paytm

For rescuing India's small businesses

Vijay Shekhar Sharma launched Delhi-based digital-payments app Paytm in 2010 and then spent years trying to convince reluctant Indian merchants to give it a try. Customers tended to prefer cash, however, and while Paytm evolved into India’s lead­­ing digital wallet, growth remained slow. Then, in November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped a bombshell: To reduce corruption, he was scrapping the country’s most common bills, effective immediately. Cash trans­actions were suddenly difficult, and Paytm represented a solution. Sharma quickly launched a na­­tion­­al advertising campaign, and consumers themselves often made the case to vendors. In a matter of weeks, Paytm added 3 million merchants, quadrupling the company’s reach. In February 2017, Paytm’s parent company, One97 Commu­nications, raised an additional $200 million to fund broader e-commerce efforts, with Alibaba leading the round. Sharma, meanwhile, has been transformed from an idiosyncratic en­­trepreneur to something of a national hero. He has seen a video of Indian schoolchildren singing about Paytm, and a photograph of a rural merchant who had drawn a poster of the Paytm logo by hand. “Wow, this brand has reached everyone,” says the CEO. “I felt proud.”

Vijay Shekhar Sharma On The Web
Read More
advertisement
advertisement