Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chairman of One97 Communications Ltd., operator of PayTM, left, talks during a meeting at the company's office in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. India's largest digital payments company says it has signed up more than 20 million users for a total of 177 million since the government two months ago, with no warning, said it was scrapping 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes, in a stroke excising four-fifths of the nation's paper money. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg
© Bloomberg

“I never wanted to build Cisco, I always wanted to build an Apple,” says Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm. “I always wanted to build something that would be touching consumers at large volume.”

Sharma started as a shy schoolboy internet entrepreneur, hiding in the college computer centre, and went on to build a mobile payments company that now has more than 200m users. Business for the mobile wallet was particularly boosted in late 2016 when India’s government demonetised the country’s two most commonly used banknotes overnight, sending consumers searching for digital alternatives.

The following two weeks, says Sharma, were the most exciting of his life. Now, he is setting his sites on turning Paytm into an ecommerce platform, putting the many small merchants who use the mobile wallet on to the internet. He aims to become a rival to Amazon and Flipkart.

Listen to the full podcast interview here.

Listen to previous episodes in this series, here.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article