India an opportunity which will dwarf many other countries’ startup ecosystems: Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma

“Indian entrepreneurs already handle uncertainty as if it is a norm, not a special condition. That is the beauty of Indian entrepreneurship. We are underestimating the impact that Indian will have on global technologies,” he said.

 

Paytm

Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma on Thursday said that while many people may underestimate India’s opportunity, the country presents an opportunity that will dwarf many other countries’ startup ecosystems.

Speaking at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum, Sharma said the rise in valuations of Indian tech startups will continue, given that the country presents a great opportunity in terms of growth.

“If we go by anything that happened in the US, China, or other parts of the world, including Indonesia, India is an opportunity which will dwarf many other countries’ startup or technology ecosystems…Indian companies, once they are able to capture the country’s significant markets, will definitely go beyond this country,” he said.

India is a country of phenomenal talent, opportunity, frugality and scale, Sharma highlighted.

Indian entrepreneurs

“Indian entrepreneurs already handle uncertainty as if it is a norm, not a special condition. That is the beauty of Indian entrepreneurship. We are underestimating the impact that Indian will have on global technologies,” he said.

Paytm, which launched its IPO earlier this week, received bids for 9.14 crore equity shares against the offer size of 4.83 crore shares. The Rs 18,300 crore IPO of Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications Ltd was oversubscribed 1.89 times on the last day of India’s biggest share sale on Wednesday. Paytm is now set for a bumper listing next week and will be one of India’s most valued companies.

Tech-led startups like FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd (which runs Nykaa) and Zomato had also received stellar response to their IPOs.

Startup Fund

Kalaari Capital founder Vani Kola noted that clarity in regulations, providing easy exit for funds from startups and creating a local pool of capital from investors will help drive investment into new businesses further.

Siddharth Shah, co-founder and CEO of API Holdings (PharmEasy) – which will also launch an IPO soon – said entrepreneurs are extremely bullish on India.

“…the approach that we have of creating a shared infrastructure and on that infrastructure, private players driving innovation, so that there is last-mile availability and connectivity, these are all very uniquely Indian solutions to Indian problem. These are not copied from either east or west,” he said.

Digital Infrastructure

Shah added that India has “frugally and in a phenomenal manner” built a layer of digital infrastructure on top of physical infrastructure.

“This digital infrastructure has provided connectivity, access and convenience…and I think we will become a role model in terms of how you can use digital technology, lay it on top of physical technology and get the best right, you don’t have to spend millions and billions of dollars,” he said.

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