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Paytm IPO: Let's keep our head low, there's a long way to go: Vijay Shekhar Sharma to employees

November 18 would always remain a special day for Vijay Shekhar Sharma as on this day, Paytm showed the ambition and potential of an Indian startup.

November 22, 2021 / 05:40 PM IST
Vijay Shekhar Sharma was speaking at Paytm's listing ceremony at Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Vijay Shekhar Sharma was speaking at Paytm's listing ceremony at Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Soon after a debut fiasco on the Bombay Stock Exchange, Vijay Shekhar Sharma founder of Paytm is learnt to have told employees not to get perturbed by the market perception and focus solely on expanding the business adding that their execution will predict the outcome of the company.

In a townhall that lasted at least for two hours on November 18 soon after the listing, Sharma addressed employees across the country while sitting in Oberoi, Mumbai along with the core management.

What should have been a momentous day for one of India's most storied entrepreneurs, Sharma turned into a massive disappointment with shares of Paytm plunging by 27 percent from the issue price within hours of listing.

However, this didn't seem to have a huge impact on the moods of the employees at the company.

"There was a little bit of a setback as everybody had huge expectations. However, this won't swing our mood. It was good enough to be a part of the country's largest public offering ever. Long-term investors will definitely understand its value," said a senior executive who attended the townhall from the company's Noida office last week requesting anonymity.

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Paytm went public with a $2.2-billion listing which was touted to be the largest after Coal India in the country.

In an interaction with Moneycontrol Sharma said that the business model was strong requesting the public investors to hang in there. He assured that the company's numbers will do the talking soon.

Late on November 21, Paytm published its numbers for October. It said its gross merchandise value (GMV) processed surged by 131 percent YoY, aggregating to approximately Rs 832 billion ($11.2 billion).

While speaking to the employees last week, Sharma also gave the example of Tesla mentioning how it was once the most shorted stock and then overcame long years of struggle to become a company that is now well recognized globally.

Talking about plans going forward, Sharma is learnt to have said that even after the IPO, the company has to focus on bringing financial services to millions of Indians asking the employees to stay determined.

He said following the listing, they had a million more believers and shareholders who have joined them on their journey. He added that this also meant they now had an additional responsibility to respect the faith of these shareholders.

According to Sharma, in order to do that, the company and its employees will have to put their head down and get into execution mode.

The plan is to show the company's worth in digital payments and financial services and that should reflect in their numbers, growth and revenue.

On the webinar, he introduced each of his associates who participated in the initial public offering one by one.

Thanking the employees for their contribution, he said that they now had focus on a bigger task at hand -- bringing half a billion Indians into the mainstream economy.

According to another employee,  Sharma also said that November 18 would always remain a special day for him as on this day, the company showed the ambition and potential of an Indian startup.

Paytm did not respond to a media query.
Priyanka Sahay
first published: Nov 22, 2021 12:02 pm
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