Speaking to CNBC-TV18 from the side-lines of Chasing growth 2017, the annual global investor conference hosted by Kotak Institutional Equities, Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that the company believe that whatever money comes in the market, offline will remain bigger transaction category than online for Paytm.
Below is the verbatim transcript of Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s interview to Nisha Poddar on CNBC-TV18.
Q: How will the company sustain and keep the momentum going after limitless cash gets back into the system from March 13?
A: First of all, it is no doubt about it that cash stands for somewhere consumers has already historical affinity and convenience and whatever they have learnt in the digital world, they either want to continue or they want to choose cash over this. So, this would become a true battle of convenience and value, unlike I don’t have an option and I am trying one of the digital options. What we know in the month of January and February that has happened is that for us offline transactions in February declined for the first time not in January and in February the offline declined but overall still remained big, meaning month-on-month we remained the growth.
So, December to January, we had 12 percent growth and as far as MTD right now would be considered, it will be 2-3 percent growth because offline is seeing 15-20 percent dip in offline transactions. I always said that at least 20, if not 30 will be the percentage decline that we will anyway see. If we retain 70 percent of what we have built, we actually have a larger than online category with us and that is where the business remains with us.
Q: So you are ready for some decline?
A: We had publically quoted it earlier that I believe that 20-30 percent will be -- if it goes more than 35-40 than offline becomes a smaller category for us, overall. However, today we believe that in whatever the money comes in the market, offline will remain bigger transaction category for Paytm than online.
Q: When we talk about creating the ecosystem for cashless economy and the wallet system, how deep is your penetration vertically?
A: If you look at geographic or vertical of industry, both ways we can look at it. I love the vertical of industry wise for the reason that there are some unstructured categories like retailers, food shops, corner stores, and then there is structured like petrol pumps let us say toll or categories which are very clearly identified. So, toll we have nationally covered, metro we are all covered, that is transportation. So, we treat energy, transportation, and communication as three big categories, so, there we are taking complete coverage as an obligation and if somebody is not yet public then they are getting in a live mode. So, that I think is a tick.
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