Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Story of Paytm Founder | Biography | Net Worth

Yash Gupta Yash Gupta Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Nov 23, 2021 9 min read
Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Story of Paytm Founder | Biography | Net Worth

The Indian startup circuit has witnessed many astounding stories. The growth of many multinational companies has added to its worth and value as an ecosystem where everyone gets an opportunity to shine and rise. With the new era approaching, it is time to have a sneak-peek into one of the most successful entrepreneurs Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Well, if you are residing in India or if you have kept in touch with the Indian startup ecosystem, then you might have heard about Paytm. It is one of the first e-wallets and is still considered as the representative of the Indian startup system in the e-wallet circuit.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is India's second-youngest billionaire with $2.35 billion wealth as per Forbes list of India's 100 Richest People (2020). Once, Sharma used to earn around Rs 10,000 a month when he was 27 years old and based in Aligarh. From the small town of Aligarh to being the head of one of the largest fintech companies focused on digital payments and wallet-based payments, the journey of Vijay Shekhar Sharma is as unique and interesting as it is inspiring.

So, let's talk a walk along the journey of Vijay Shekhar Sharma and get a glance at the key highlights of Vijay Shekhar Sharma's Story, Education, net worth, obstacles & more.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Biography

Name Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Born 8 July 1978 Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
Age 43 years
Citizenship Indian
Education B.Tech from Delhi College of Engineering (now Delhi Technological University)
Title Founder & CEO of Paytm
Net worth US$2.35 billion (2020)
Wife Mridula Sharma

Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Biography
Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Initial Stage Of Life
Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Overcoming The Tough Circumstances
Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Converting The Obstacles Into Opportunities
Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Paytm
Vijay Shekhar Sharma - Awards and Recognitions
Vijay Shekhar Sharma- An Inspiration
Vijay Shekhar Sharma - FAQs

Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Initial Stage Of Life

Vijay’s story can be compared with that of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Both of them came from small towns but were full of sheer determination and passion, and eventually brought about a big change in the system. In real life, Vijay is self-effacing and has no pretensions. He speaks from the heart. His colleagues love him because he is a genuine person, who is kind to all. Talking about the Indian startup circuit, everyone loves him because he epitomizes startup resilience.

Paytm Founder and CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, charges up his employees and audiences at a Paytm party

Vijay is further known for his love of rock music and rock concerts. The Paytm founder is also famous for his heartfelt speeches. Furthermore, he is a really cheerful person as a CEO and often takes the stage to deliver motivational speeches that are roaringly applauded both by the employees of Paytm and other audiences.

Whenever Vijay shared his life story, one would get an idea that Vijay truly understands what it takes to succeed in the ever-changing and challenging world of entrepreneurship. He has been on the receiving side of the harsh times when one would have to toil hard with no guarantee of success. However, Vijay has the great ability to make one laugh because he admires his roots and failures.

The above-mentioned characteristics of Vijay make him one of the most charming CEO in the country today. However, one must be aware of the fact that his self-effacing humor doesn’t take away Vijay’s staunch belief in inspiring change.


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Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Overcoming The Tough Circumstances

Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Vijay was the third of the four children born to school teacher Sulom Prakash and Asha Sharma, home-maker. He has seen the tough life of the economically backward section of the country. When he was a 12-year-old kid who used to sport a chappal and visit his school, his batchmates had no money to afford a pair of slippers. After witnessing this, he wrote a poem expressing his bewilderment at the inequalities of life.

Vijay hailed from Aligarh, where he was based in a small town. Earning around Rs 10,000 a month at the age of 27, Vijay was once considered an ineligible bachelor. Though the challenges tried hard to mar him down, he always had the ember in him to shine.

Sharma didn't even have his educational background in English and was hence quite poor in the language. However, he didn't shy away from it but taught himself English through rock music.

Vijay was one of the two people from his village who went on to pursue engineering. Vijay holds an engineering degree from the prestigious Delhi Institute of Technology. As per Vijay, if one used to study in a Hindi-Medium school, he/she had to face many difficulties. A child reading in the 1990s framed Hindi-medium school rarely had any access to books and coaching facilities! Therefore, Vijay had realized that he was all alone on his path to success.

During his time at DTU, he expressed his life similar to the popular Bollywood movie, Tare Zameen Par! That is, he could see the lips of his teacher moving, but he could not understand a single word! While preparing for the exams, he and his friends would read the answers and not know the questions because the questions were written in English. However, he conquered one of his greatest fears successfully!

Paytm, which was founded in August 2010, has always been highly valued as a company and features as one of the biggest digital payment services relied upon by merchants and users alike. Furthermore, it has recently witnessed one of the biggest IPO in the Indian history, which kickstarted on November 8, 2021. However, ever since the listing of Paytm shares, the company has witnessed some challenging drops in the share prices, which declined to a record low of nearly 37% to hit an all-time low of Rs 1,283 per share. Nevertheless, the shares of the company had finally seen a rise of 9% in its prices, as reported on November 23, 2021 and it seems that this too will pass.


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Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Converting The Obstacles Into Opportunities

The turning point in Vijay’s life came when he went to market one Sunday and picked up a Forbes magazine. He came to know about the success stories of mega-brands like Apple, Intel, HP, and how they became one of the biggest names in the startup circuit. Each of the companies had one thing in common: all of them were built from basement garages! Then, Vijay wanted to go to Silicon Valley. But, due to a lack of money and resources, that was never possible. Therefore, despite giving up, he taught that even though Vijay couldn't visit Silicon Valley, he could create one in India!

Hence, he started an internet company during his college days in 1997 with his friend Hari. Both of them wanted to develop search engines and they knew that the search engine would become the main attraction given the fact that the internet was taking giant strides in the technology circuit during that time. However, his parent insisted him to join a real job, but his sheer determination towards developing a new company never allowed him to stay in the traditional job for a long period!

Throughout his life, Vijay wanted to be a bird who has freedom, he never wanted to be a horse who runs the same track over and over again! Hence, to pursue his dream, he left his job at One97 Communications in 2001 and started a company which was based on the same philosophical ideology as that of Yahoo! In his first tenure, he learned that cash flow matters, not the profitability!

This was because he was the victim of this cash flow problem as his clients would never pay him on time. Hence, to move on he sold 40% of the company for Rs 8 lakh to his angel investor at that time. It was high time for Vijay as his sister’s marriage was coming up and he wanted to secure that marriage. There was a big problem for the family as his father, even though being clean on the loan defaulters sheet was not granted a loan of 2 lakhs! Hence, by drawing up inspiration, he developed Paytm, the platform that aimed to resolve the issues of the poor and economically backward sections of society. The platform was built for a shopkeeper or an auto-rickshaw driver who is never respected or liked by any financial institution.


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Vijay Shekhar Sharma- Paytm

The platform has been synonymous with the rise of e-wallet in the country. The Paytm Payments Bank has become the first platform that offers a zero-balance account facility. This platform also offers UPI payments and shopping facilities too. Paytm as a brand continues to rise in the modern-day era of e-commerce.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma - Awards and Recognitions

Vijay Shekhar Sharma has received numerous awards and recognitions during his career, some of which are:

  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma was felicitated with the Yash Bharati award, the highest civilian award from the Uttar Pradesh government.
  • He was ranked in the 62nd position in the Forbes' list of the richest person in India in 2020.
  • He was listed as the youngest billionaire in India in 2017 with a net worth of $1.3 billion.
  • Time Magazine listed Sharma among the 100 most influential people in 2017.
  • Sharma was recognized by The Economic Times as the ET Entrepreneur of the Year for the year 2016.
  • He was also named as the Dataquest IT Man of the year in 2017.
  • Sharma was felicitated by an Honorary doctorate by the Amity University, Gurgaon, in 2016.
  • He received the title of the Businessman of the Year at GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2016.
  • He also became the NDTV Indian of the Year in 2016.
  • Sharma also emerged as India's Hottest Business Leader under 40, as recognized by The Economic Times in 2015.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma- An Inspiration

Vijay has been the face of the economically backward section of Indian society. Even though he came from a family that had financial issues, he was able to break the barriers and work for the betterment of society. It is no doubt that Vijay is one of the biggest names in the Indian Startup circuit!

Vijay Shekhar Sharma - FAQs

Who is the owner of Paytm?

One97 Communications Limited that owns the brand Paytm is founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

How much is Vijay Shekhar Sharma net worth?

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is India's second-youngest billionaire with $2.35 billion wealth as per Forbes list of India's 100 Richest People (2020).

When Vijay Shekhar Sharma became billionaire?

In 2017, he was named the youngest billionaire in India. He owned a net worth of $1.3 billion (2017).

When was Paytm founded?

Paytm was founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in 2010.

What is the salary of Paytm CEO?

Paytm founder and CEO gets a compensation of  INR 4 Cr including payments or lease, rent and accommodation (2021).

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