Ten years ago, the idea of the pivot was popularised by Eric Ries through his book, The Lean Startup. Ries recognised that startups frequently need to shift strategy before they find success. In some cases, the capacity to pivot is retained inside a company’s DNA as it grows, helping the company to evolve with changing conditions. A good example of this is Netflix, whose founder wrote his own book on the subject, No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention.
I don’t know whether he’s read either of these books, but Vijay Shekhar Sharma reflects these ideas in his company, Paytm and its holding company, One97. His company is now over twenty years old, but it has shifted direction multiple times – from phone services to marketing to mobile phone top-ups to payments to e-commerce to full-scale financial services. Along the way, it’s attracted funding from Ant Group, Softbank and Warren Buffett. Today, Paytm is the largest fintech in India, readying itself for an IPO, expected to launch over the next few months.
Sharma hasn’t written a book of his own – and has no plans to – but he has written 36,000 tweets that chronicle the growth of Paytm. In order to get a handle on his company ahead of its IPO, let’s look through them.
Read on or listen to our conversation (recorded on June 7, 2021):
This conversation is available as an episode of Gain Industry Insights, a member podcast of MOI Global. (Learn how to access member podcasts.)
About This Audio Series:
MOI Global is delighted to engage in illuminating conversations on the financial sector with Marc Rubinstein, whose Net Interest newsletter we have found to be truly exceptional. Our goal is to bring you Marc’s insights into financial services businesses and trends on a regular basis, with Marc’s weekly essays serving as inspiration for our discussions.
About Marc Rubinstein:
Marc is a fellow MOI Global member, managing partner of Fordington Advisors, and author of Net Interest. He is a former analyst and hedge fund manager, most recently at Lansdowne Partners, with more than 25 years of experience in the financial sector. Marc is based in London.
About Net Interest:
Net Interest, authored by Marc Rubinstein, is a newsletter of insight and analysis from the world of finance. Enjoyed by the most senior executives and smartest investors in the industry, it casts light on this important sector in an easy-to-read style. Each post explores a theme trending in the sector. Between fintech, economics and investment cycles—there’s always something to talk about!
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