In a spectacular public show of strident self-praise as well as putting down critics using language that is both vile and shocking, Paytm chief Vijay Shekhar Sharma was embarrassingly caught on camera showering vitriol freely during an in-house annual party. The entire sequence was captured by an attendee who then went on to post it online. Unsurprisingly, considering the graphic nature of the content and the person involved, the clip quickly went viral. The entire incident was highlighted by the animated manner he delivered his ‘speech’ from a stage where he was seen in great spirits high-fiving freely – not only was he seen shouting, he was virtually dancing as he delivered one salvo after another at perceived rivals in triumph and show of bravado.
Shekhar Sharma was clearly high on the success of the company in the wake of PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive that led to a huge spike in number of people registering on mobile wallets, including Paytm to make e-payments due to the shortage of cash in the financial system – Paytm is on top due to the immense boost given to digital payment systems. Paytm had said that at the end of December 2016 it had over 177 mn users and that it handled some 1 bn transactions in that period.
Among the statements that Shekhar allegedly made included the one where he said that ‘those who are not with him will cry’. He added, ‘We have done in a year what others did not manage in 10′ – “Jo hamare saath nahi hai woh royenge. Hamne ek saal mein woh kiya jo unhone 10 saal mein nahi kiya!”
However, the worst was yet to come as he proceeded to warm up to the task of blasting his rivals. He said, We have given our life, our blood, bet our everything. We thought something and (expletive) if others did not wet their pants, then what did we think’ – “Jaan di, khoon diya, saara kuch laga diya. Humne kuch socha, aur saala doosron ki pant geeli nahi hui toh kya socha!”