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Govt mainstreamed startups; dramatic shift from days of startups being at bottom of food chain: Paytm founder

Speaking at the 7th JIIF Foundation day, Sharma credited the government for mainstreaming startups and giving visibility to founders.
Last Updated : 06 July 2024, 15:16 IST

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New Delhi: The government has mainstreamed startups ushering a truly golden period for them, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, adding this is a dramatic shift from the days when startups would rank at the bottom of the "food chain" in job picks.

The 'American dream' folklore in business and technology parlance has given way to the 'Indian dream' and 'Indian startup', Sharma said, adding that this is "truly a golden period" for founders and entrepreneurs here.

Speaking at the 7th JIIF Foundation day, Sharma credited the government for mainstreaming startups and giving visibility to founders.

Urging entrepreneurs to make most of the opportunities in front of them by leveraging technology and innovation, Paytm top boss said, "this is truly a golden period" and "best ever that India has been".

Sharma said that India has come a long way from the time when job aspirants chose to go abroad or eyed jobs in foreign IT companies or large domestic tech firms.

"We (startups) were more or less the last player of the food chain, we had to make do with whatever was left... now we are right in the front... that line now starts from startups... This is a dramatic difference... it is truly a golden period... obviously no period is perfect...but this is simply the best ever India has ever been," he said.

Sharma said college pass-outs and job aspirants now choose to stay back in India, instead of making a beeline for jobs abroad.

For companies that are looking to go public, Sharma advised them to opt for Indian bankers and not underestimate them.

He also advocated that companies eyeing an IPO need to gauge the sentiments and mood of domestic, retail investors well in advance through roadshows and interactions.

He further said companies need to breakdown jargons and complex terms, and speak out and clear terms on points that are relevant to investors.

"Everything you write in your DRHP, or announce, should be such that future models can envisioned on it... if it is confusing, remove it... if it is clarifying, then keep it," he said.

According to him, going forward, the distinction between fintech and financial services companies will blur and they will become similar and homogeneous.

Given India's economic growth targets and the underlying credit growth potential, India's financial services market has a bright future, he said.

It is a market obligated to grow, and its potential is restricted only by someone's mistakes or temptation. The foundation and base of all businesses is financial services, he said, adding the market will always grow and "future is bright".

"I think everyone knows... If India wants to grow at 7 per cent then credit will have to grow at 21 per cent... three times... This is rocket science business. The restrictions is only limitation of your mistake or your temptation...not because there is any limitation on account of the market need. Financial services is a very big market, obligated to grow. In businesses, the base and foundation is financial services, it will always grow and future is bright," he said.

Describing QR code as like a "heartbeat" that beeps in financial system, Sharma said the secondary benefit of mobile payment revolution was that micro businesses got identified.

Enhanced access to formal credit and capital for micro and small businesses will spur India's vision of achieving a USD 5-trillion economy and goal of 'Viksit Bharat'.

"It could begin from giving Rs 1,000 loan to one crore people," he said. Mobile credit is the "dividend" of mobile payment revolution, Sharma said, adding "mobile credit is my ambition".

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Published 06 July 2024, 15:16 IST

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