What is One97 Communications all about?
One97 Communications was a company founded in 2000 by Vijay Shekar Sharma. It is a top hub in the silicon-valley which started off initially as a B2B business model providing mobile services to Telecom Industry like Mobile content, messages, E-commerce and other Value-added services. It brings value to the Telecom market by taking care of Lifecycle management and works on a very unique model of revenue sharing which sets it apart from the other smaller players in the market.
The company also has an advantage because it is one of a kind in the industry. Also, because its new product that is a boon to country striving to become digitised, the PayTM app that facilitates hassle free money transaction through the it.
How the company came into existence.
One97 catered to the B2B audience while became more popular for its flagship diversified B2C company PayTM which was founded in 2010 and clearly has had a rapid growth since almost everyone using a phone is aware of what Paytm is even though it hasn’t even been a decade since the company has launched the Product. As most of you reading might already know that Paytm is a Mobile application that is certified by the RBI and enables money transfer between people through the Semi-closed wallet scheme that it has.
About the founder:
Vijay Shekar Sharma is the master mind behind One97 Communication. His bio will give you a clear picture of why it is not always necessary to have a degree from the most reputed or esteemed colleges in order to have a successful business. He started his college at the age of 16 from Delhi college of engineering. He seemed to have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug quite early in his life, while he was still studying in college, he created a website Indiasite.net and sold it two years later for a whopping $1 million. It was a site which consisted of all the information from Festivals, Hotels, Monuments, Zoos and Amusement parks, etc. After which he went on to build One97 Communications and also PayTM
Valuation and Investment
PayTM is currently being valued at about $16-18 billion. Some of the greatest investors are backing this Company with their Investment to name a few, they are Alibaba Group and AntFinancial ( Alipay) which is again a subsidiary of the Alibaba group. SAIF partners, Silicon Valley bank, Mediatek and Sapphire Venture. As this Venture started becoming popular in the B2B sector the company came with founding a Subsidiary in the same platform but catered to the B2C industry. It was named as PAYTM.
Paytm also received funding from Alipay which was looking eagerly to find a way to get into the Indian e-commerce market. With the growth of the company and investments from big Investors. Paytm was born out of initial investment from its flagship parent company of $ 2 Million. It sure is a mark of great success for a company when it has become capable enough to invest in other companies.
Journey so far:
We can clearly see that Mr. Vijay Shekar is a go-getter and obviously while his peers were getting jobs. He set up his IT company called XS communications which was a content management system being used by Th Indian Express. While things were going smoothly, he then was caught up in debt and struggled because he had no one to find him. That too did not stop our Go-getter, he took up odd and petty jobs in order to pay back the debt and to be able to fund his company.
After which he sold it for $1 M. This is when he started working on One97 Communications, it was the year 2010 when the IT sector was gaining a boom, but that did not make Mr. Vijay Shekar’s life any easier, the investors did not believe in the idea of reaching the consumers through a mobile based app that was going to be a success but he did not lose faith in the idea and went on to continue working towards building a mobile first application.
Obstacles faced and overcome:
The Journey from a young graduate to a the being the youngest member of the Forbes List of Billionaires has not been a bed of roses for Mr. Vijay Shekar. Although now it may seem like a cake walk, he had his own share of hindrances. As a kid although he has extremely talented and hard-working, he could not get into the IIT because of his lack of grip on the English language and yet he does not take a back seat and blames that he has come from a small town of Aligarh hence he cannot compete with the Big English-speaking fishes. He works hard and joins college at the early age of 14 and strives with two books i.e English and Hindi while he translates what is being taught in English to his Native language Hindi trying to grasp all the lectures being taught. He spent hours together in front of the computer while surfed and tried to understand what is being taught. As the normal middle class background student wished to get placed in any company and get a decent pay-check, our hard- working Mr.Shekar dreamed as he strived to be an Entrepreneur in the ever- booming IT sector.
Speaking about his Value system, he tells in an interview himself that he did not go behind money. He says that when people get greedy and go after money, the get side-tracked from the business and the focus is lost. And he never gave up on striving and working for his dreams. His venture is successful clearly because of his Manta that customers are first. This is an advice he gives even to the budding Entrepreneurs.
Expansions and Future plans
It is India’s most widely developed telecom mobile application platform having its headquarters in New Delhi, with over 4,000 employees. It has its regional offices in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata. They are also now spreading their wings abroad with offices in Africa, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia.
Paytm just did not stick to the niche of remaining merely an e-wallet but it started its own e-commerce platform in 2017 and now is proudly standing at par with the highest revenue generators in the same platform i.e Amazon and Flipkart. The company has already reached the masses with a customer base of 20 Cr but it aims to have 50 Cr Indians as its customer base by the year 2021.
Impact on the society
Paytm has come out in the right time in the Indian market since the country is moving towards cashless and digital modes of Money Transfer. The government to is encouraging the same to the citizens. It was indeed Paytm that came to the rescue of common man during the great Indian demonetisation where there was a ban on the currency. From then on it has been bringing everyone from street vendors to big players like Amazon on its platform.