{Weekly Wrap} Vijay Shekhar Sharma charts Paytm’s profitability roadmap (and other top stories of the week)

With a plan of monetising the existing customer base while achieving profitability, Paytm now eyes India’s first technology payments IPO with financial services as the next frontier of growth.
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Since demonetisation in 2016, India's fintech sector has grown rapidly. Now, four years later, the market is different. With UPI eating into the transaction pie of digital wallets, it’s clear that payments will continue to exist as a zero-fee business in the country. With a plan of monetising the existing customer base while achieving profitability, Paytm now eyes India’s first technology payments IPO with financial services as the next frontier of growth.  

Last week, we witnessed the longest-ever Union Budget speech to date, where Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman focussed largely on adopting new-age technologies in every sector possible – a major positive for India’s tech-oriented startups. Budget 2020 also provided more incentives for startups, including relaxed rules for ESOPs, GST tax structure, and a seed fund to aid funding for early-stage startups. Here's everything Budget 2020 got right for Indian startups and areas it could have done a bit more.

Last but not least, YourStory’s Shradha Sharma moderated a panel that decoded the many announcements for India’s startup ecosystem. The panellists unanimously agreed that there is ‘intent’, but it needs to be translated into action.

Decoding Budget 2020: Ganesh Raju, Founder and CEO, Turbostart; YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma; Siddarth Pai, Founding Partner, 3one4 Capital; Naganand Doraswamy, Managing Partner, Ideaspring Capital; and Sharad Sharma, Co-founder, iSPIRT Foundation.


Here's what you need to know to stay caught up on Indian startups, innovations and more...

London will be a key market for Ola this year: Simon Smith

Ola UK Launch

Bengaluru-based ride-hailing unicorn Ola will get on the road in London from February 10. Speaking exclusively to YourStory, Simon Smith, Head of International Operations, details out the key challenges and the startup's plans.


Story of Sangeetha Mobiles, India's largest mobile retail chain

Subhash Chandra L, Managing Director, Sangeetha Mobiles

In an extraordinary tale of brick-and-mortar entrepreneurship, Sangeetha Mobiles’ Subash Chandra overcame a difficult childhood and took his Bengaluru company to unprecedented heights. Here’s his inspiring story.


Arunachal Pradesh govt keen to nurture social sector startups

Pema Khandu, CM of Arunachal Pradesh.

At the APSEM meet, Chief Minister Pema Khandu reiterated his government's plan to work with social sector startups. Special Secretary Himanshu Gupta talks to YourStory about what Arunachal Pradesh has in offer for entrepreneurs.


Why dancer, choreographer, actor, entrepreneur Shakti Mohan is always in the spotlight

(Image source: Shakti Mohan)

From winning a dance reality show to completing 10 years in the entertainment industry, Shakti Mohan now dons a variety of hats. She is a reality show mentor, web series creator and also an entrepreneur with her own make-up line.


A lot of our online sales is going to Tier II, III cities: Swarovski's Lars Schmidt

Lars Schmidt, Managing Director, Swarovski, Consumer Goods Business, Southeast Asia and India

In a conversation with YourStory, Lars Schmidt, Managing Director, Swarovski Consumer Goods Business, Southeast Asia and India, spoke of his new role in the company and what the India market looks like. 


Khanak Design Studio is making fibre out of chicken feathers

Mudita and Radhesh Srivastava

Mudita and Radhesh Srivastava, who have a background in textile design, have found a way to make fibre out of chicken feathers. They founded Khanak Design Studio in 2018 to produce apparel from the innovative fibre.


Cigarettes, cooking oil to get costlier from April

Most industry experts expected Union Budget 2020-21 to be people-friendly and directed at increasing consumer spending. But, customs duty hikes on almost all items of daily usage indicate otherwise.


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