Paytm CEO Compares His Challenges to Elon Musk’s Tesla After Anticlimactic IPO Debut

‘Rome was not built in a day’, is how the popular saying goes, and it does take a while to build something great, and some of the world’s largest tech entrepreneurs, they would probably relate – especially when their inventions were mocked at the start – only for them to now dominate the top ten in the list of world’s richest billionaires. Paytm founder and CEO, Vijay Sharma, believes in it too – and thinks of his challenges as an uphill climb. Paytm IPO got listed at the stock market on November 18, opening at Rs 1,955 on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The company’s founder and chief executive officer, Vijay Shekhar Sharma had last week led Paytm’s $2.5 billion IPO. Hours before the listing on Thursday, Sharma had turned emotional and said that it felt like he was “carrying the hopes and aspirations of young India to the Stock Market”. While Sharma’s achievements highlight his successes, few people know about his humble background. In a recent interview, Sharma revealed that he still likes to have tea from roadside stalls and go for morning walks to buy milk.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma had held a four-hour town hall to rally employees who had watched the company’s stock plummet 27% on Thursday, reported Bloomberg. Sharma, who has often tweeted about his admiration for Musk and also that he owns a Tesla, reminded Paytm employees that the electric vehicle maker’s stock used to be the among the most-shorted in the world.

“What a motivating underdog success story!” Sharma had written in a July 2020 tweet.

In the town hall, Sharma encouraged his employees to look past the initial stumble and to focus on the long-term opportunities for bringing digital payments to the country’s fast-growing internet population. Tesla shares had risen 41% the first day after its IPO in 2010. They later fell to less than $4 each and have since surged to give the company a market value of more than $1 trillion.

Son of a school teacher from a small city, Sharma completed his schooling at a Hindi-medium school in his hometown, Harduaganj in Aligarh. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Sharma revealed e taught himself English by memorising rock songs and simultaneously reading translated textbooks in English and Hindi. According to Forbes, Sharma’s present net worth is $2.4 billion and its IPO has minted hundreds of new millionaires. Earlier this month, days before the historic launch of Paytm’s IPO, Sharma visited Tirupati temple and offered prayers. The IPO of Paytm, which was previously known as One97 Communications, is the biggest initial public offering in the history of the Indian stock market.

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