“Don’t Need Family Background, Great English”: Harsh Goenka Wishes Paytm CEO

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A photo of Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, shared by Harsh Goenka.

Harsh Goenka, the chairman of RPG Group, praised Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma for “opening the biggest IPO in our history” – saying that his story is testament to the fact that one does not need “family background, knowledge of great English or money” to make it big, but only perseverance and hard work. 

Mr Goenka’s tweet came a day after Paytm’s long-anticipated Rs 18,300-crore share sale via IPO, the country’s biggest, opened for subscription on Monday.

“To prosper in the new India, you don’t need family background, knowledge of great English or money – you need to dream, persevere and work hard,” Mr Goenka wrote on Twitter. “A teacher’s son, from a small city, from a Hindi medium school is doing the biggest IPO in our history,” he added, sharing a throwback photo of the founder and chief executive of digital payments app Paytm. 

“Sir you are kind with praises,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma responded. 

In a separate tweet yesterday, Harsh Goenka had revealed that Mr Sharma “nearly danced with joy” when demonetisation was announced five years ago. Mr Goenka’s tweet came on the the fifth anniversary of demonetisation, when 86% of the country’s cash was pulled from circulation.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on national television his government’s decision to ban all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from midnight on the same day with four hours’ notice.

Harsh Goenka said that he was dining with Paytm owner when news of demonetisation broke out. “I was dining with Paytm owner when demonetisation happened. He nearly danced with joy,” Mr Goenka wrote on Twitter.

Mr Goenka was responding to a post from actor Rajev Paul, who noted that Paytm — the “company that benefitted most” from demonetisation — opened its IPO on the fifth anniversary of the move.

Paytm became a household name after demonetisation. Overnight, the app became the default payment mode for millions who had no option but to use digital wallets or debit cards for everyday transactions or for paying bills. Paytm also witnessed a huge increase in the number of offline merchant registrations after demonetisation.

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