Can Rs 1,500 Crore Paytm-Zomato Deal Save Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Fintech Firm? 

Paytm was once among India’s most successful start-ups. Its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was seen as a legend by many young Indian entrepreneurs. All that changed when the RBI cracked down on the fintech firm’s payments bank business 
PaytmGetty Images

Beleaguered Paytm and its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma are actively seeking a magic potion that can help revive the fintech firm. Reports say Sharma wants to cut the clutter and focus only on the core businesses of the company. And one way to do that, Paytm thinks, is to sell off some of its other businesses. 

Rumours of a potential deal between Paytm and Zomato about the sale of the fintech firm’s movie ticketing and events business were doing the rounds late last week. On Sunday, Zomato confirmed that it is in talks with the fintech company about the transaction, but no binding decision has been taken.  

“We acknowledge that we are in discussions with Paytm for the aforementioned transaction; however, no binding decision has been taken at this stage that would warrant board approval and subsequent disclosure in accordance with applicable law,” Zomato has said.  

Once among India’s most successful start-ups, Paytm’s fate turned after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cracked down on its payments bank business for violations allegedly related to inadequate documentation of customer information leading to potential misuse of the accounts.  

Its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had to take responsibility and resign as non-executive chairman and member of the board. It was said that Paytm had received several warnings from RBI before the central bank cracked down. Sharma, it was believed, like the storied Icarus, had decided to fly too close to the sun.  

Sharma’s story was what could be the Indian equivalent of the American dream—a young boy from a lower middle-class family climbs the hoops to become a billionaire. But there was a fatal flaw.  

Read ‘The Fall’, the March cover of Outlook Business as Paytm tries to revive its fortunes. The story delves deep into the beginnings of Paytm, the psychology of its founder and how the company ignored multiple red flags.   

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Business & Money