Everyone has some goals to achieve in life, some leave them after meeting failures, and some learn from their mistakes and stick to their target. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of PayTm, falls in the second category. From being a bright student in the school to becoming a backbencher in college and even then reaching the heights of success, his story is inspirational and something to learn a lot from.
“When winning is about not giving up.
When doing all that you can, gets a new meaning “
1 IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN.
After finishing his school, at the age of 14, he hardly knew how to read and write in English. Vijay realized that it was necessary to learn the language to get into a good college. Since he completed his schooling at an early age and was still to reach the minimum age required by engineering colleges for admission, he thought of utilizing this time. He borrowed English language books from his friends and read them as a vivid learner. He also got magazines to help him out. When he realized that he was still unable to understand the language, he thought of a new idea. Vijay started reading two books, with the same content, one in English and the other in Hindi. This proved to be a masterstroke as he cracked the entrance exam (which was in English) of the Delhi College of Engineering in 1994.
2 IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU COME FROM AND WHAT YOUR BACKGROUND IS.
Born in Aligarh’s small town, Harduaganj, Vijay was good at studies, and his bright marks always reflected the same. His father was a school teacher and mother was a housewife. He did his schooling in hindi. Everyone in his college was more fluent in English than him. So, the frontbencher in school soon became a backbencher in college, and this led to a decline in his academic performance. His attendance fell, so did his marks. But nothing stopped him.
3 NEVER TO GIVE UP.
Vijay took inspiration from the advent of Yahoo and the stories of people from Silicon Valley and began a journey of his own. His college hostel room became the office, and a nearby shopkeeper’s phone became the office landline, he found a partner in one of his friends and his first company- XS Corps started its operations. Meanwhile, he cleared all his examinations. Just when everything was looking good, a sad thing happened. For his company, Vijay had taken a loan of Rs. 8 Lakh, and he was conned off 40% of that amount by his friend himself. This shattered him, and he took a while to recover, but he overcame and decided not to stop until he reached his goal, that of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Soon after that shattering event, Vijay started One97- the parent company of Paytm.
4 ALWAYS BE READY TO TAKE RISK.
Vijay’s idea of starting PayTM application was a massive risk in India since people here are mostly happy with cash exchanges.Vijay’s investors were not confident about the idea of a mobile-first consumer service that would cater to the masses. But without risks how could he become a successful entrepreneur? He personally put $2 Mn at stake to finally launch the brand.The idea found acceptance and people were happy to use the app. Now Vijay and his company are both successful.
5 CUSTOMERS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ESSENCE IN THE SUCCESS OF A COMPANY.
Vijay’s focus was to be customer oriented throughout, and he offered 24x7 grievance handling and customer support which further made Paytm a viable option for customers. He even created Twitter and Facebook accounts through which customers complains and complications are directly delt with.
“30% of the company’s campaign budget is invested in building trust with the customer. For us it was the single most important factor" - Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
6 UNDERSTAND THE MARKET.
How Sharma rose to success was by taking the wind’s direction to his advantage. When the internet industry was turning intricate, Vijay Shekhar perceived a paradigm shift in the process of billing from paying bills at physical outlets to online payment. He took inspiration from this shift and launched PayTM that expands as Pay Through Mobile. The favourable climate around him paved way for his quick success.
7 HOW TO BE A TEAM LEADER.
When you think of the youngest billionaire on the 2017 Forbes list and a man who is often featured in top magazines like India Today, you might think of a serious guy in a suit sitting alone in a glass cabin. Well, that’s exactly what Vijay Shekhar Sharma is NOT. He sits in a regular cubicle along with the rest of his employees in his colourful office. Meetings are scheduled with a wave of the hand- not the way you would expect things to work in one of the highest valued companies on the stock exchange! He is the “office DJ,” and knows his way around catchy tunes. And no, he doesn’t wear a suit! Sharma is also extremely cool with his co-workers. In fact, he refused to use the term “employees” in an interview and referred to them as his equals. There are several online testimonies from people who have worked with him stating that he is extremely humble and down to earth, and always has a calm and unruffled attitude.
His smiling face makes him appear very approachable even to the newest trainee, and he has none of the airs and graces that usually go along with the position and stature he has achieved. In his interviews, we can sometimes still get a glimpse of his old shyness. However, when it comes to celebrations, he doesn’t mind doing bhangra and shaking some thumkas in the middle of the PayTM headquarters! He has proved that you don’t need to be stern and unapproachable in order to be a serious businessman.
To learn more about Vijay Shekhar Sharma click on the link below.
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