17 January 2017

The Rise of Paytm

We are synonymous with the brand Paytm specially in recent times as its been making waves across the nation thanks to Modi's demonitisation shocker. The company which was founded and incubated by One97 Communications in 2010 as a prepaid mobile recharge website. Apart from launching the Paytm on Android, Windows and iOS platforms, the company had launched Paytm wallet in march 2014. But even after fundings by Ratan Tata and Ant Financial Services Group, a subsidiary to Alibaba group for which the company reportedly received $575 million worth of investment that same month. Even after all this the company was not fully utilized by people. But in the wake of demonitsation, Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Paytm, his $5-billion mobile payment and e-commerce company, have been riding high on the back of the Narendra Modi government’s decision to replace some currency denominations.

After all, Paytm was among the earliest entrants in the Indian mobile payment sector and a government decision to make the Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes—which form 86% of the currency in circulation by value—invalid meant that the Delhi-based firm’s platform had emerged as one of the best alternative modes of payment.

Yet, less than a week into the demonetisation exercise, Paytm is in hot water. On Nov. 13, a commercial it had launched following the massive monetary revamp in India was alleged to be hurtful to the millions of Indians waiting for hours in long queues to get some usable cash in hand.
With the tagline Drama bandh karo… Paytm karo (Stop being melodramatic, use Paytm), the video showed a house-help asking her boss to stop dramatising the situation and instead use Paytm to pay her.
The video evoked howls of protests from a section of social media users.