From 1.2 lakhs to 4 crores per annum: A look at how Paytm’s billionaire founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma built his net worth | The Financial Express

From 1.2 lakhs to 4 crores per annum: A look at how Paytm’s billionaire founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma built his net worth

Here’s the story of how Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma built his net worth.

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Vijay Shekhar Sharma and his net worth

In August 2022, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was reappointed as the chief executive officer and managing director. The decision resulted in a share price jump of 4 per cent.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma had a humble beginning but with his hard work and determination, the billionaire achieved heights in no time. Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s rags-to-riches story is something that everyone should know about – He has seen dramatic shifts from record-breaking successes to much rougher times.

For the unversed, at one point he lost almost everything he had earned. Here’s the story of how Vijay Shekhar Sharma built his net worth.

How did Vijay Shekhar Sharma become a businessman?

Born in Aligarh in 1978, Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the third of four children born to Sulom Prakash and Asha Sharma. His father was a school teacher while his mother was a homemaker but they soon realised that their son is a prodigy. At the age of 15, Vijay Shekhar Sharma attended the Delhi Technological University, (then called the Delhi College of Engineering).

In 1997, while he was pursuing his B.Tech degree, Vijay Shekhar Sharma decided to enter the dot-com business and launched a website named He sold it for Rs 5 lakhs.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma was quick to realise the potential of web-based content and he used all his savings to start One97 Communications, a platform that offered news content, cricket scores, ringtones, jokes, and exam results.

Having said that, life has not been easy for Vijay Shekhar Sharma and he has seen his share of struggles in life. In 1997, while he was hoping to get through IIT, he initially failed to do so. He decided to work harder and concentrated on English while opting to bunk classes. He also developed an interest in web coding.

That’s not all, in 2003 when he started One97 Communications with the help of a couple of friends, he ran out of cash. That didn’t stop him and he decided to take up a job to keep himself and his company afloat. He managed to earn Rs 10,000 per month. In 2004, one of his friends decided to acquire 40 per cent of One97 for Rs 8 lakhs.

This motivated Vijay Shekhar Sharma to push for more investment by 2007, and by 2008, revenue was in the tens of crores.

The birth of Paytm

While you may think One97 was Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s initial foray into the business, but it was his second big idea. In 2010, he realised that India’s newly-launched 3G network would severely affect the landscape of IT-based businesses in India. He sensed an opportunity and worked hard to build Paytm.

It was an instant hit with India’s newly digitised section of society and they managed to set up 15 million wallets on the platform within 10 months of launch. Demonetization acted as a boon for the online payment platform – Paytm experienced a huge 700 per cent surge in transactions. This helped Paytm to achieve a massive $10 billion valuation within two years.

How much is Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s net worth?

As per Forbes, Vijay Shekhar Sharma is worth around $1.2 billion in 2022.

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First published on: 16-03-2023 at 10:30 IST
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