We want to become internet giant of India:Paytm CEO and Founder

We want to become internet giant of India:Paytm CEO and Founder

Paytm, the largest payments platform in the country, is on a customer acquisition spree with its wallet business. In an interaction with  N V Vijayakumar of DH, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma shares his plans for the company.

Edited excerpts:

How has been your entrepreneurial journey?

We never viewed Paytm as a mere digital payment, financial service or ecommerce business. That is why we named our holding company as One97Communications. We put the name pay in our company's name to establish a strong relationship with our customers. Once you access money and solve payment problems you can further strengthen your relationship with them. It is part of a greater customer acquisition game plan as it will help us to solve other problems of merchants, ecommerce and recently launched chat facility. Once we have customers with us we can solve multiple problems. So, logically Paytm should be known as India's super app.

How areyou planning to grow your business?

We have decided to go beyond payment transaction and already made clear by launching chat facility in our app. In future, we are planning to give information and messaging services.We can give e-governance services to citizens and farmers in villages so thatthey can access important information and not get confused in the maze of internet.It will be a logical step in our journey and there will be technology pillars in this journey. We will use blockchain capabilities in multiple ways. Lot of personalisation and fraud protection technologies will come up. Our ambitious goal is to add more services and thus become internet giant ofthe country.

How do youseedemonetisation and easeofdoing business in India?

As regards to the ease of doing business, as a country we have been on progressive path.As far as demonetisation is concerned, it has given birth to financial services sector or fin-tech sector. I think the current government has supported a lotfor this sector and technology companies. So,Iwould like to say rather than bringing ease of doing business itis important to really accelerate new businesses and take them to the world.

Whatare your expansion plans?

We will continue to focus on our India market strategy both with Paytm wallet and Paytm Payments Bank in the financial segment and PaytmMall in ecommerce sector. We have a global ambition also as we have started our operation inCanada. Paytm started its Canada business in 2017 March by providing utility payment serviecs like cell phone, cable, internet, electricity and water bills through the app. We also established Paytm Labs in Toronto in 2014. Once we develop inCanadian market then we will launch our operations in the US.We have already applied for licence.

How do youview the tech journeyof the company?

We have established Paytm Labs inCanada to make the company a technology leader. Paytm is differentfrom other companies in the financial and ecommerce space as we build our own technologies. We will not tell others to build capabilities and decided to build products around big data, machine learning, blockchain via our Paytm Labs. In the big data space, due to our access to payment transaction data we are planning to build credit rating and trust score for other companies. Some fin-tech companies credit scoring are used in issuing visa in the US.We wantto reach the level where the big data from Paytm which can be used by other governments.

As a company we wanted to be known as an internet company where client acquisition should happen soon and our wallet business is one of the way to reach there. My personal ambition is to build something in India and in the developed countries also.India has already been a customer of product and technologies built by Americans and Europeans. We wantto be known as a company that will build technologies for Americans, Europeans, and Japanese. WhyIam quoting them especially is because they are the benchmark and if you go and establish there you can really become big in the market.

What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs?


The biggest difference with our new age entrepreneurs are that their ambitions are bigger than their previous generation because they are seeing startups as mainstream action in the country. Earlier it was very tough for a person to explain that he is working for a startup. Technology business and India's access to 100 million smartphone users have given them access to serve local market. My advice would be to build for India and it is bigger market, with bigger growth and bigger valuation. Instead of building something in other parts of the globe, we should sit here and build it for the country. If you build it for India you are respected as you are building for a scale and for low expenses.

 

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