Paytm is stuck

The unicorn succeeded in its wallet business because its mission was to replace cash. The current organization is rudderless.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm’s founder, and CEO carries his company’s pitch deck with him at all times. Depending on whether you are an admirer or a critic, and whether Sharma takes an interest in you, he’s quick to pull out the deck on his phone and put on the charm offensive.
Paytm is rocking, he says, almost always. Gold, mutual funds, bus bookings, flights–Paytm is killing the competition. Sharma laces his frothy body language with easy to remember punchlines like “you won’t believe our numbers” and throws in reference terms like “we are No. 1” and “we were the pioneers of QR code”.
For old-time Paytm watchers, this is a stark departure from the days when Sharma’s sell used to be just one number: The millions of Paytm wallet users.

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Cover image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Wasteland Management's ticket-booking site as, rather than


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