Our journey as India’s fintech pioneer to be a case study at Harvard Business School once again

byPreeti VermaLast Updated: June 19, 2023

Over twenty years ago, India becoming a cashless economy was unfathomable… but then Paytm was born. We gave people the power to pay through their mobile phones. Fast forward to today and we have emerged as India’s leading payments and financial services company. Such is our reach that “Paytm Karo” has now become a synonym for payments through QR Codes. Our entrepreneurial growth into becoming India’s leading mobile payments and financial services company has become a case study to be taught to future business leaders at Harvard Business School (HBS). 

Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, a senior lecturer at Harvard, took to Linkedin to share the news. As a part of the Global Tech Entrepreneurship course, students of Harvard Business School will look at our journey in two parts. The first phase will explore Paytm till 2016 and how it established itself in the Indian ecosystem that existed at the time, the challenges and opportunities it faced with respect to funding and talent. The discussion will also include the infrastructure built by us to become India’s leading payments company. In the second phase, our business model including the businesses it has built post the introduction of UPI in 2016 will be looked at. 

Our Founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma met Arregui at Harvard Business School and he wrote on Linkedin, “Thank you, Professor. It is humbling to see your interest and insights on Paytm.” 

This is the second time our story will be taught at HBS. Back in 2017, HBS’ India Research Centre (IRC) included Paytm in the curriculum. The study titled ‘Paytm: Building a Payments Network’ was taught both within and outside Harvard. As a part of that study, our focus on enabling offline payments even for the smallest merchants by using smartphones and QR codes was explored. 

We are at the forefront of India’s mobile payments revolution. Our mobile-first solutions have simplified payments and financial services for people, making them more accessible. We have strengthened our leadership in offline payments with 75 lakh devices including the iconic Soundbox and PoS deployed at the end of May 2023. With average monthly transacting users of 9.2 Crore, the Paytm Super App continues to see a robust expansion of its consumer base. 

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