Revealed: What Paytm’s Vijay Sharma told fellow startup founders in WhatsApp message amid RBI curbs

In a rallying call to the startup community, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, emphasized the need for resilience and determination amidst challenging times. In a message reportedly shared in a WhatsApp group of startup founders, Sharma encouraged fellow entrepreneurs not to falter in their pursuit of building their dreams, regardless of the obstacles they face.

“We should not let anything deter us from what we all have built over so many years. The Indian startup dream must overcome every situation collectively,” he reportedly said, as per a report in the Economic Times.

Sharma’s remarks come in the wake of recent developments surrounding Paytm Payments Bank, an associate company of Paytm. Following an order from the Reserve Bank of India directing Paytm Payments Bank to halt most of its banking services by February 29, concerns and discussions have reverberated across the startup landscape.

In response to the regulatory challenges faced by Paytm Payments Bank, Paytm management took proactive steps to ensure business continuity. The company made filings with stock exchanges outlining its plans to navigate through the situation. However, Sharma’s message to the startup community marks the first personal outreach to a wider audience beyond the confines of Paytm.

The Reserve Bank of India’s directive has prompted Paytm to reevaluate its operations and compliance measures. During a media and analyst call on February 1, Sharma expressed confidence in the company’s ability to overcome the challenges posed by the regulatory order. He emphasized that this setback presents an opportunity for Paytm to emerge stronger and more resilient.

“This is an opportunity for us to come out better, stronger, abler and more capable for the regulator’s eye, and we are going to make sure that we will get out of this situation,” he said.

Bhavesh Gupta, the Chief Operating Officer of Paytm, shed light on the situation during the call with analysts, acknowledging that the bank’s rapid growth may have outpaced its ability to fully satisfy regulatory requirements.

“The challenge what we understand thus far is very clearly articulated…the bank in its conduct of a variety of elements — being a young bank in the beginning and then growing very large in size and scale — wasn’t able to satisfy the regulator of the controls, be it on technology or in compliance, to as much satisfaction that the regulator may be seeking,” he said.

‘Your money is safe’: Paytm Payments Bank assures customers in email, text

Meanwhile, Paytm Payments Bank took steps to reassure concerned customers by sending emails and text messages affirming the safety of their funds. Prefaced as an “important update” the communication said: “Your money is safe with the Bank.”

The bank also acknowledged that in accordance with RBI directives, customers may not be permitted to add funds to their wallets after February 29, but withdrawals will remain uninterrupted.

“There is no restriction on withdrawal of money from your existing balance even after Feb 29, 2024. For any further assistance, please reach out to us via the 24×7 help section on the App,” it read.

In a post on X on Friday, Vijay Shekhar Sharma added, “To every Paytmer, Your favourite app is working, will keep working beyond 29 February as usual. I with every Paytm team member salute you for your relentless support. For every challenge, there is a solution and we are sincerely committed to serve our nation in full compliance. India will keep winning global accolades in payment innovation and inclusion in financial services – with PaytmKaro as the biggest champion of it.”

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