This beautiful and inspiring motivational story is about Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Patm.
“To the winners, who won because they didn’t give up.”– Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm.
It’s not just the fighting spirit that has Vijay Sharma in the position that he enjoys today. Despite his engineering background and no formal education in business management, he has the business acumen of a genius.
This true story was written by immense hard work and toil in the backdrop of life throwing sour lemons at him. With his daunted spirit of never giving up, he tried to make the best lemonade every time.
Vijay Sharma, passed his higher secondary when he was merely 14 years old, a child virtuoso of sorts, made it through college, which was the first tough challenge he had to face when he left the comfort of his small hometown outside Aligarh and ventured into the real exigent world.
Vijay, not knowing how to speak and write English became a backbencher in Delhi College of Engineering, though he was a topper in school. He got his training from a Hindi medium school. This was the biggest drawback, which provoked him to struggle a lot. Within no time, he realized that to make it through college he must start learning the language and thus with the help of second hand magazines, books and his friends, he mastered the language in a way which definitely very few can. His mode of operation was to read a Hindi version of the book simultaneously with the English-one, a habit that made sure that he soon learnt to read two books simultaneously! But it wasn’t easy at all to say the least.
The first-bencher in school slowly started declining towards the back benches, and in a short period, he was so disappointed and disillusioned with his low grades, significantly due to language constraints, that he stopped attending college completely.
In this cruel world, someone else would have opted to quit. But Vijay, never gave up. Vijay decided to utilize the time of not attending college by becoming an entrepreneur. He, being a believer of challenging the unknown, made the internet his mind playground and Yahoo and Sabeer Bhatia his inspirations. He reluctantly aspired to go to Stanford, because as a matter of fact that was where Yahoo was built. But realizing the lack of financial resources and his challenges with the English, he decided to imitate some of the genius at Stanford, by learning how to code, by himself.
He started developing his own content management system with some of his college mates, which went onto being proficiently used by some of the biggest news publications such as The Indian Express. During this time he also started his first job at an MNC. After six months, he quit and built a company of his own with his friends. Finally, he passed his college examinations too.
Now came the darkest time in his life, when his dreams of reaching the Silicon Valley shattered, and his partners with whom he had just started the business and raised the first round of funds left him bankrupt. Then, in 2005, he had raised a huge amount of Rs 8 lakhs through his venture of which he was coaxed 40%. He was demolished. But Vijay was not a man who would give up so easily. He lived at a hostel near Kashmiri Gate in Delhi, walked long distances to attend work or meetings and even skipped meals.
Even though he has gone through such tough times, there is still a lingering fear that the ‘Iron Man’ of the start-up ecosystem of India still harbours, is that someday ‘some unknown’ will take away all of his hard work.
Well, things had taken a better turn when he started One97, the parent company of Paytm. Here, the big eureka moment came in 2011 when he first pitched the idea of entering the payment ecosystem in front of his board.
Though everyone challenged him, but he turned his plan into a big endeavor.
He says”There is no fun in doing what others ask you to do, the real fun is in doing what people say you can’t do.”
Backed by consumer trust, today, Paytm’s stupendous journey to the top of the internet wallet market is a part of startup folklore, all because Vijay Shekhar Sharma never gave up.
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