Kicking off an India Internet Day event around unboxing internet in India to get ready for 100 Unicorns, Paytm’s Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma dished out some very important life lessons.
In an energetic keynote at the event organised by TiE in Delhi-NCR, Vijay said that building an impactful startup needs more than capital, a team, or KPIs. What one needs is ‘desire’ - and knowing that if the journey is worth it.
He added that the biggest thing we want in life is impact, and the desire to be able to reach millions of people with our products. Vijay suggested internet companies to build a customer moat so that they come to their app even when the company is not promoting. Speaking to a room filled with hundreds of entrepreneurs, the founder-CEO asked, “Have you built a moat that the customer understands?”
Talking about how to build a business model to unbox Unicorns in India, Vijay began by answering something he is often asked, “When will Paytm's elusive search for a business model end?” The Paytm chief chuckled and answered that this a perpetual search: “Bhagwan ko dhoondne ke bararabar ka search hai (it's like searching for god).”
According to him, even the biggest business tycoons in India are constantly looking for a business model, and added, "As soon as you have a fixed business model, you are destined for death.”
Vijay challenged the misconception that internet companies do not make money, and said that internet companies do not make money “in the traditional business model”.
Naming some of the big traditional tech players, he talked of how they survived and scaled with new models. "Look at banks. They had a fixed business model, but had to go to the next one to survive," he added.
He pointed out that when the industry goes through a curve, companies have an obligation to keep moving. “The incumbent is not your problem,” said Vijay, while asserting,
“Always remember, as an entrepreneur, you are waiting for curves in the industry, and the time they come, it is your call."
Speaking about the general notion that India does not have enough funds for startups, the Paytm chief pointed out the $100-million cheques and the $1 billion funding rounds raised by the companies here, and signed off by stating that India is definitely the first world for startups.