Vijay Shekhar Sharma is an Indian entrepreneur, investor, and the founder of Paytm, India’s largest mobile payment and financial services company. He is a well-known figure in the Indian startup ecosystem and has been instrumental in driving digital payments and financial inclusion in India. In this article, we will explore Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s journey and his contributions to the Indian startup ecosystem.

Early Life and Education

Vijay Shekhar Sharma was born on July 8, 1978, in Aligarh, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. He grew up in a small town called Vijay Nagar, near Delhi. His father was a schoolteacher, and his mother was a housewife.

Vijay completed his schooling from a Hindi-medium government school and went on to pursue a degree in engineering from Delhi College of Engineering. However, he dropped out of college in his third year to start his own venture.

Career

Vijay Shekhar Sharma started his career as an entrepreneur at the age of 19, when he started his first venture, XS Communications, a college-focused content and value-added services provider. However, the venture failed to take off, and Vijay moved on to start his second venture, One97 Communications, in 2000.

One97 Communications was initially a value-added services provider for telecom operators but later shifted its focus to mobile payments and financial services. In 2010, One97 Communications launched Paytm, a mobile wallet and payment service that allowed users to make cashless transactions.

Paytm quickly became popular among users, and the company soon raised funding from prominent investors such as Alibaba Group and SoftBank. In 2015, Paytm launched its payment bank, which offered digital savings accounts and other financial services.

In 2016, the Indian government demonetized high-value currency notes, leading to a surge in digital payments in the country. Paytm emerged as the market leader in the digital payments space, with millions of users and a valuation of over $10 billion.

Achievements

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is widely recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in India. He has won several awards and accolades for his contributions to the Indian startup ecosystem. Some of his notable achievements are:

  • In 2016, Vijay was featured in the Forbes India’s 100 Richest People list, with a net worth of $1.3 billion.
  • In 2017, he was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence.
  • In 2018, he was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • In 2020, Vijay was featured in the Forbes World’s Billionaires list, with a net worth of $2.7 billion.

Philosophy

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for innovation. He has often spoken about the importance of building a culture of innovation and the need to constantly adapt and evolve to stay ahead in the game.

Vijay is also a strong advocate of financial inclusion and has worked tirelessly to bring digital payments and financial services to the masses in India. He has often spoken about his vision to create a cashless society and his belief that digital payments can transform the lives of millions of people in India.

Conclusion

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is a visionary entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the Indian startup ecosystem. With Paytm, he has revolutionized the way people think about digital payments and financial services in India. His vision and passion for innovation have made him one of the most successful and respected entrepreneurs in India, and his contributions to the Indian startup ecosystem will continue to be felt for many years to come.

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