Vijay Shekhar Sharma is an Indian entrepreneur and the founder of Paytm, one of India’s leading mobile commerce platforms. He was born on July 8, 1978, in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma started his entrepreneurial journey at a young age. He faced several challenges and setbacks but displayed resilience and determination in pursuing his dreams. In 2000, at the age of 22, he founded One97 Communications Limited, which eventually became the parent company of Paytm.
Paytm was launched in 2010 as a mobile recharge and bill payment platform. Over the years, it expanded its services to include digital wallet, e-commerce, ticket booking, and various financial services like banking, lending, insurance, and wealth management. Paytm became one of the pioneering companies to drive the growth of digital payments in India, especially after the government’s demonetization move in 2016.
Under Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s leadership, Paytm attracted significant investment and gained widespread popularity, making him one of India’s youngest and most successful entrepreneurs. His vision was to make digital payments accessible to the masses and provide a seamless platform for various financial services.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma has received numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the Indian startup ecosystem, including recognition from Forbes and TIME magazines. His inspiring journey from humble beginnings to becoming a billionaire entrepreneur has made him a role model for many aspiring young entrepreneurs in India.
|Full Name||Vijay Shekhar Singh Sharma|
|Profession||Entrepreneur (Founder of Paytm)|
|Famous For||Being the founder of Paytm|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.70 m
in feet inches- 5’ 7”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 85 kg
in pounds- 187 lbs
|Date of Birth||8 July 1978|
|Age (as in 2018)||41 Years|
|Birthplace||Harduaganj, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh|
|Zodiac sign/Sun sign||Capricorn|
|Hometown||Harduaganj, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh|
|School||Not Known (passed higher secondary at the age of 14)|
|College/University||Delhi College of Engineering (now, Delhi Technological University)|
|Educational Qualification||B.Tech in Electronics & Communication|
|Hobbies||Listening to Music, Reading, Bungee Jumping, River Rafting|
|Controversies||• Although Vijay Shekhar Sharma led Paytm generated huge revenues post the government’s decision of demonetisation, the company also faced the wrath of politicians and common people for its ‘opportunistic’ marketing strategies. In one of its advertisements, Paytm had allegedly used PM Narendra Modi’s photo to promote its wallet services, without prior permission from the authorities concerned.
• In January 2017, Paytm Founder and CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, made headlines when a video from his company’s annual event went viral. In the video, Sharma, perhaps in an intoxicated state, can be seen making derogatory remarks against rival companies. You can check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp-kCPyG28E&feature=youtu.be
|Relationships & More|
|Children||Son– Vivaan Sharma
|Parents||Father– Sulom Prakash Sharma (School Teacher)
Mother– Asha Sharma (Homemaker)
|Siblings||Brother– Ajay Shekhar Sharma (younger; Senior Vice President at Paytm)
Sisters– 2 (both elder)
|Favourite Entrepreneurs||Masayoshi Son, Jack Ma|
|Favourite Politician||Narendra Modi|
|Favourite Singers/Bands||Coldplay, U2, Jim Morrison|
|Favourite Restaurants||Big Chill, The Great Kabab Factory, Dakshin|
|Favourite Watch Brand||Rolex|
|Favourite Cricketer||Sachin Tendulkar|
|Assets/Properties||Owns a 6,000-sq-ft piece of land worth ₹82 crore in central Delhi’s Golf Links|
|Net Worth (approx.)||$2.1 billion (as in 2018)|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Vijay Shekhar Sharma
- Does Vijay Shekhar Sharma smoke?: Not Known
- Does Vijay Shekhar Sharma drink alcohol?: Yes
- A child prodigy of sorts, Sharma was only 14-years old when he passed his higher secondary education.
- However, while pursuing an engineering course at the Delhi Engineering College (now DTU), he became the butt of jokes in his class because of his “poor English”. Notably, Sharma had completed his school education completely in Hindi and thus had no exposure to the “foreign language”.
- Soon, he realised that if he wanted to make it big in his career, he had to be well-acquainted with the language. Hence, with the aid of Hindi-to-English translation books and second-hand magazines, Shekhar’s quest to learn the language began.
- In an interview, Shekhar revealed that he was always on the ‘extreme sides;’ as far as academics were concerned. At school, he stood among the toppers and always occupied the front seat in his class; however, at college, he was among the least scorers and always occupied the last benches during lectures.
- Inspired by Sabeer Bhatia, the founder of Yahoo, Sharma made internet his playground and began bunking his college lectures to develop something innovative. As a result, he, along with his friends, made a unique content management system, which went on to be utilised by some of the biggest news publications in the country; including ‘The Indian Express’.
- After graduating from college, Sharma joined an MNC. Despite getting some good bucks there, he left the company after only six months to start a business venture of his own.
- His first business project; however, saw a plethora of obstacles because of his business partners, who reportedly conned off 40% of the ₹8 Lakhs that he had raised via the first round of funding in 2005.
- A few years later, Shekhar began one97 communications, the parent company of Paytm. One97; however, was initially planned to target three areas of internet- Content, Commerce, and Advertising. A “payment ecosystem” was integrated later and thus was born Paytm (Pay Through Mobile), which popularised the trend of mobile wallets in India.
- Notably, Jack Ma led Alibaba group is the biggest investor in Paytm.
- As of May 2017, Paytm’s valuation is estimated at $7 billion.
- Owing to the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1000 currency notes; Paytm’s traffic increased by 435%, app downloads grew 200%, and a 250% rise in overall transactions and transaction value was seen at the end of November (2016).
- Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma were the only two Indians, who made it to the list of “Time’s 100 most influential people in the world” list.
- With a net worth of around $1.3 billion, Sharma was the youngest Indian billionaire (1567th position overall) on the Forbes 2017 list of billionaires.
- Although he is not fond of wearing a watch, Sharma, in an interview, said that he would buy a “Rolex;” once the valuation of his company reaches $10 billion.
- India Today Magazine placed him at #18 on “India’s 50 Most powerful people of 2017” list.