Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been known to speak his mind. “In this country, there’s no f*cking better brand than us!”, he’d roared at a Paytm party recently, before claiming that his company had achieved numbers in 2 years that others took 5 years to reach. It had seemed a dig at Flipkart and Snapdeal then, but now it turns out that he really doesn’t think very highly of these companies.
It’s the flavour of the season. Companies are rushing a grab a foothold in small town India, and are adapting their English interfaces to suit the average Indian consumer. After Snapdeal and Quikr had gone desi and made their apps available in local languages, e-commerce platform has now added a Hindi interface to its seller app to increase its appeal in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Paytm is pulling out all stops to get ordinary Indians to transact digitally. After it was revealed that it had spent Rs. 588 crore in customer cashbacks last year, it has now scrapped transaction fees for offline merchants for its wallet transactions. This fees was applied to all transactions and ranged between 0.5% to 2.5% of the transaction value.
Madhya Pradesh isn’t a name that immediately springs to mind when you think of locations for tech startups. India’s tech scene usually has engineering offices in the startup hubs of Bangalore or Delhi, and prefers keeping its backend offices in close vicinity. But Paytm, India’s payments and e-commerce giant, is venturing into uncharted territory by setting up a center in Jabalpur.