At the age of 27, Vijay Shekhar Sharma earned Rs. Ten thousand a month, a meager salary did not help his marriage prospects.

“In 2004-05, my father asked me to close my company and accept a job, even for 30,000 rupees,” Sharma told Reuters, who founded the digital payment company Paytm in 2010.

At the time, well-trained engineers sold mobile content through a small company.

Sharma said: “The bride-to-be’s family will never call us back after discovering that I earn about 10,000 rupees a month.” “I have become an unqualified bachelor in my family.”

Last week, the 43-year-old Sharma led Paytm to complete an initial public offering (IPO) of US$2.5 billion (approximately Rs 18,515 crore). This fintech company has become the toast of the new India, where the country’s first-generation startups made their debut on the country’s stock market and created new millionaires.

Sharma was born in a small city in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. His father was a school teacher and his mother was a housewife. He became India’s youngest billionaire in 2017 and still likes to drink tea on a trolley on the roadside. And often take a short walk in the morning to buy milk and bread.

“For a long time, my parents didn’t know what their son was doing,” Sharma said of China’s Ant Group’s first investment in Paytm in 2015. “One time my mother saw my net worth in a Hindi newspaper and asked me,’Vijay, do you really have the kind of money they said?'”

“Forbes” estimates Sharma’s net worth is US$2.4 billion (approximately Rs 17,775 crore).

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“What are my odds?”

Established more than ten years ago, Paytm was originally a mobile recharge company, and it has grown rapidly after ride- company Uber listed it as a fast payment option in India. In 2016, when India’s shock ban on high-value banknotes digital payments, its use took a leap.

Paytm also counts SoftBank and Berkshire Hathaway as its backers, and has since expanded its business to services such as insurance and gold sales, film and air ticketing, and bank deposits and remittances.

Although Paytm is the first to develop digital payments in India, as Google, Amazon, WhatsApp, and Wal-Mart’s PhonePe launched payment services to seize market share expected to grow to more than US$95.29 trillion (approximately Rs 70,57,41,560). One area quickly became crowded. According to Ernst & Young, it will reach trillions of dollars by late March 2025.

The promotion of global giants made Sharma rarely suspect. He challenged SoftBank’s tycoon and billionaire founder Sun Zhengyi.

“I called Martha and said-now everyone is here, what do you think is my chance of winning?”

Son, an early investor in Yahoo! And Alibaba, told Sharma to “raise more funds, double bet and go all out” and focus all energy on establishing payments, which is different from competitors with other major businesses.

Sharma, who is married and has a son, said he hasn’t flinched since then.

Although some market analysts are worried about when Paytm will be profitable, Sharma is confident in its company’s success.

In 2017, Paytm launched a bill payment application in Canada, and entered Japan with a mobile wallet a year later.

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“My dream is to bring the Paytm banner to San Francisco, New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. When people see it, they will say-you know, it’s an Indian company,” Sharma said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021