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‘Can’t forecast long-haul game’s outcome based on Day 1 show’


MUMBAI: It has been a rollercoaster day for Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma from the high of concluding the country’s largest IPO with a listing followed by the shares hitting the lower circuit. In an interview with TOI, Sharma speaks of how he has faith in the markets and how he plans to reassure investors through explanation and execution of the company’s plans. Why was the listing so important?It comes upon a generation to change the fate of a country and I would have never believed that in my life I would see a chance to bring a huge impact on such a large scale. That India from being digital-negative would become a digital-native country where mobile payment and Paytm has become mainstream. And then today we have been able to bring the company to the stock exchange. I did not see this only as fund-raising. In fund-raising, we get capital to expand the business and have people who buy into the business model. In the listing, we welcomed one million new shareholders to the Paytm family and that is important. But the investors would be disappointed with the listing day performance. What would you say?No investor invests for one day. If they invest only for a day, they are not investors. One day is not a game and this is not a loss either. There is a lot of explanation and a lot of execution that we will bring in to make people understand the business. I cannot comment on the outcome of a tournament in a long-haul game based on day one. Let us see how we execute the new business plan to hold up to the opportunities. You have the base in terms of customers. When will the network effect kick in?In our key revenue lines, items like credit, wealth, and insurance, some are showing revenue growth at an incredible pace. Some of them are still in the investment phase. Next quarter and the quarter after that, we have an incredible amount of traction.Once we start showing key performance indicators people will understand that this is not just cost-effective but highly scalable. Are you happy with the advice you have received from bankers?I can tell you that India has the best in the world ecosystem for IPOs, I am betting on India becoming the second-largest tech IPO market after Nasdaq.


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