Paytm doesn’t want to be just another retailer, its CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had said in an interview recently. He claimed that Paytm’s mission is so “pious and sincere” that he doesn’t like comparisons to Snapdeal and Flipkart. And it’s true – Paytm, being one of India’s foremost e-commerce chains, is charting a path very different from the others in the sector.
After selling hotel rooms, buses, and even gold loans on its platform, Paytm is now going to be offering movie tickets for sale. The company has tied up with PVR, INOX and multiple other cinema houses to sell movie tickets. BookMyShow currently has a near monopoly in this market and sells over 4.5 million movie tickets per month.
PayTm will work on a commission based model and plans to sell 30,000 tickets by the end of the first quarter with a more aggressive target of 100,000 tickets by the end of the year.
“We will use movie tickets as an anchor to expand our offline reach,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma.”Our aim is to aggressively expand everyday use cases and cover the whole basket ranging from bill payments to ticket bookings and e-commerce. Let the network effect play (out)”.
The network effects that Sharma is talking about are an increase in the usage of its digital wallet, the product that Paytm is betting the biggest on. Paytm is currently the largest digital wallet operator in the country with over 120 million users, and the company’s overarching aim is to take a majority of everyday transactions online. All its other initiatives seem to be broadly aligned along this philosophy.
But the company is stepping on plenty of toes as it expands horizontally – the bus tickets service it introduced competes with established players like redBus and AbhiBus, and its hotel booking vertical has incumbents like MakeMytrip and Ibibo. While Paytm is expanding into every sector it can lay its eyes upon, it has to be careful about spreading itself too thin.