Moneycontrol
Oct 10, 2017 07:01 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Catch them young! Why Paytm is betting on college students to drive growth

Students enrolled full time in an undergraduate or postgraduate programme are eligible to apply for the campus ambassador programme, which has three or four positions on offer

Paytm sure does believe in the mantra of ‘catch them young’. The payment company has rolled out the second edition of its programme called "Paytm Campus Ambassadors", which signs on undergraduate student interns to increase the use of Paytm and encourage digital transactions in their campuses.

At a Noida-based law school, Paytm is asking students to apply for the programme, and is offering Rs 5,000 per month to "push marketing activities and drive transactions" on their campus.

Under roles and responsibilities, the notice says the chosen applicant will “be required to promote and create awareness about Paytm cashless payment in” their campus and “educating the student community about the benefits and usage of Paytm”.

Students enrolled full time in an undergraduate or postgraduate programme are eligible to apply for the campus ambassador programme, which has three or four positions on offer.

Last year, applications invited for the same programme listed facilitating “the KYC process for Paytm wallet upgrade” instead of pushing marketing activities and driving transactions.

In addition to being mentored by the Paytm team, the selected candidates will also get a chance to visit the Paytm office and interact with Paytm leaders, the application says.

This is not the only student-based programme that Paytm runs. The company’s e-commerce arm Paytm Mall also has a six-week long programme for college students called Paytm Mall Campus Icon programme, which provides product, marketing, design and other training to the enrolled students.

Paytm spent Rs 600 crore in marketing during 2016-17 financial year. The company, however, hasn't disclosed its marketing spend for the current financial year.

Getting students to endorse a brand though is a highly effective and affordable way to market a product.

"It is a very important way of endorsement because it is the youth who wants to spend and adopt new technologies. A digital wallet is that piece of technology that offers the ultimate convenience to youngsters. So if a youngster sells it to another, it is bought even more," said Harish Bijoor, chief executive officer of brand and business strategy firm Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

Bijoor also ruled out that any ethical issue with such as activity.

"Is it a very old idea where people have gone to schools to promote things like soft drinks. Payment wallets are adopting an old trick of the marketing book called peer to peer marketing. Besides, if the college has no objection to such an activity, then there isn't any moral issue at all," he said.

Paytm that last raised USD 1.4 billion from Softbank in May is valued at USD 7 billion. It currently claims a user base of over 220 million and targets to have half a billion users on its platform soon.
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