Paytm Money is India’s largest online investment and wealth management platform. Varun Sridhar, the CEO of Paytm Money, gives us the inside scoop of the business and how they help over 60 million users with financial planning.
As Varun revealed an interesting pattern as he shared about his backstory. He notes that at 16, you do what your parents say. At 21, you do what society tells you to. At 25, you listen to your close circle of friends or significant other. For Varun, it was around 27 when he figured out what he wanted to do rather than what others wanted for him, and decided to make a change. As it stands Paytm Money is India’s largest start-up and is valued at about $16 billion. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm Money, comes from a humble background and had a vision where 500 million Indians had meaningful financial inclusion. This vision has held strong for 20 years and is the story of Paytm Money today.
As India’s largest payment company, Paytm Money can be divided into 3 verticals. Firstly, payments. The company manages all forms of payments from wallet to QR code to digital payments. As India has been ranked as the country with the highest digital payments in the world, ensuring efficient and smooth digital transactions is crucial. The second vertical is internet business which is concerned with providing users a service platform. Some offerings include ticketing, travel, bill payments, and games. The final vertical is financial services such as insurance and wealth management. What ties these 3 verticals together is a shared passion among employees for entrepreneurship. Everyone in the company is a customer service manager and any senior, even Varun himself, will answer customer service queries. It is this DNA that drives Paytm Money.
When explaining how Paytm Money helps its clients, Varun first draws up 3 channels for happiness. They are money, health, and relationships. While he is unable to assist clients in their relationships or health, he can help with money as a means to happiness. In India, Varun notes a problem which involves the uncertainty of managing wealth. Even after working hard in a developing country to acrew wealth, there is a gap in the ladder and people are unsure how to manage their money. In such a large country, there are many different demographics with unique needs that must be considered. Taking into account different customer segments and different preferences means that Paytm Money must provide 360 degree solutions. In doing so, the company is able to cater to a wide variety of people through a simple and accessible platform.
Financial inclusion is easy to speak about but hard to realize. In India’s context, Varun believes that financial inclusion means diversifying products, compliance, and rules for different segments. As it currently stands, every client is subject to the same experience regardless of how much money they have. He believes personalisation is key and that is something that needs to change from a regulatory point of view. To achieve this, the wealth management landscape needs to be made simple and trust needs to be fostered. This way, when someone with only $100 comes for financial advice, they can get started right away.