In this article, I want to share the success story of Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. We could all learn and get inspired from his struggles and achievements, and dare to pursue our own goals.

Many people get baffled by their success and become trapped in their own fears of failure. This could negatively harm the future prospects of your success and if something unexpected happens they blame others or their luck. But Vijay Shekhar Sharma had shown us how hard work could change your luck or fortunes.

Enthusiasm, passion, and courage; these are some of the words that we could use to define the personality of the Paytm founder, Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma. It was not an easy task to establish a company like Patym. He may have faced a lot of difficulties in making the brand Paytm a success.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Inspirational Journey


Name: Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Birth: July 8, 1973

Place of Birth: Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh

Business: Founder and CEO of Paytm and One97 Communications Limited

Early Life

Vijay was born in a middle-class family. His mother was a housewife and his father was a very idealistic teacher, who thinks that taking tuitions was unethical. Vijay may not have been blessed with the luxury of having a rich family, but he inherited the values of his mother and father.

Vijay was not enrolled in some expensive convent school; instead, he studied in a simple Hindi Medium school of Vijaygadh. He was an extraordinary student. He always comes first in his class and due to his high learning abilities, he passed the 12th exam at the age of 14.

Now he had to leave Aligarh for his higher studies. He got admission in Delhi College of Engineering. He got the admission but the road ahead was a difficult one. He studied in Hindi medium from the start so his English was weak and due to this he had to face many hurdles in college. Vijay, who always was a topper at school, was barely passing the exams of engineering. It was all due to the fact that he was weak in English. He was getting frustrated by this and started to bunk his classes. Frequently he was thinking about going back to his home. But he still endured. He was determined to learn English and overcome this obstacle.

He went to the market and brought old English books and magazines and with the help of his friends, he started learning English. He used a little trick here. He brought the Hindi and English versions of a book and studied them simultaneously.

The most powerful tool, that a man has, is willpower. Vijay was a strong-willed person and he never backed down from any challenge. With hard work and perseverance, he got a good command of English.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s interest in Business

He was greatly inspired by the online entrepreneurs. He wanted to do something big online. He wanted to go to Stanford College because Yahoo was created there. But due to his financial condition and lack of command on the English language, it was not possible for him to go there. But there was another way. Vijay followed some Stanford geniuses and he could learn to code himself.

He did just that. He learned to code from textbooks and made a content management system himself. Later this system was used by Indian Express and many other leading news publications.

Started a Company Named XS

He started a company named XS in the 3rd year of college, with his friends. Many people liked his business model. In 1999 Vijay sold XS to a USA based company named Lotus Interworks, for $500,000. He then started working in his own company as an employee. Working for someone else did not suit his personality and soon he left his job. Now that he had tasted the thrill of running a business, how could he just give up? He soon started to look for another business idea.

One97 was Created

After leaving his job, he created a new company name One97 in 2001. He invested all his savings in this company, but due to dot-com bubble burst, it was not a success. A business failure could break a person morally and financially. Vijay also had to face financial difficulties. His two partners also left the company. He had to live in a cheap hotel near Kashmir Gate in Delhi. To save money he would walk to his destinations and sometimes he would consume only to cups of tea a day and nothing else.

But as they say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

His persistence and hard work finally started showing results. His company provided innovative services to CDMA and GSM mobile operators. Slowly but steadily his company started earning profits.

Created Paytm (Payment Through Mobile)

Paytm logo.png

Vijay was great at analyzing the future trends of technology. Smartphone sales were growing and a large section of the population was using it in India. He thought about creating a service to facilitate the cashless transaction. He presented the proposal of entering the payment ecosystem in front of the board members of One97. Since it was a non-existent market and the company was already earning profits, nobody was willing to take the risk.

If he wanted he could have started his own company, but he didn’t do that.

If it was some other entrepreneur, he would have sold his equity and started his own company. But he not only wanted to build a company but also wanted to build his own empire. This is what separates men from boys. Men build empires.

Vijay invested 1% of his equity, roughly $2 million, on his new idea and created Paytm in 2010. Initially, it provided services of paying your DTH recharge and prepaid mobile recharge. Later they started increasing the number of services. They started with the option of paying electric bill and gas bill payment and after that Paytm started selling goods like other e-commerce companies. The recent note ban was like a lottery for Paytm. It grew exponentially.

Currently Paytm is providing services, in every state, like prepaid mobile recharge, data card recharge, bill payments etc. Today it is the most popular online payment site of India.

Economic Times selected Vijay Shekhar Sharma as “India’s Hottest Business Leader under 40.” He is and inspiration to all those people who want to succeed in life. It is a story of a man who dared to dream of starting a million dollar company when he didn’t have 10 Rs. in his pocket to buy food.

So let’s get inspired from Vijay Shekhar Sharma and dare to dream big. Believe in your ability to overcome hurdles and obstacles. Never let some else set the limits for you. Nothing is impossible in this world.


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