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I Want Every Rich Indian To Start Investing In Startups: Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Sharma called upon India’s rich businessmen and corporations to start backing local entrepreneurs so that they don’t have to look to foreign firms for investment.

43-year old Vijay Shekhar Sharma who runs e-commerce firm Paytm backed by Chinese investors, on Thursday said that India’s traditional business houses should start investing in domestic startups. He added that Indian entrepreneurs need foreign investors largely because of the lack of availability of domestic capital.

“I am all for domestic investments. I want every domestic rich person to start putting money in startups. I truly call upon on them. India’s old economy companies should bring that capital back to put money in startups. Why do we need outside investors when we can have people from inside (the nation),” Sharma said on the sidelines of an event.

He was speaking on the issue of capital dumping by global firms, which has closed the doors to entrepreneurship in many sectors including taxi aggregation and online marketplace.

Domestic firms such as Paytm, MakeMyTrip, Flipkart and Ola have been demanding a level playing field from the Modi government. Their grouse is that foreign firms that operate in India are met with a different treatment through government policies, making them uncompetitive.

Ironically, Paytm which has investments from China’s Ant Financial has also been on the receiving end by rivals including Mobikwik for dumping capital to gain the customer base.

Last year, Mobikwik’s Bipin Preet Singh told a newspaper that people must be sensitive to companies, especially those that have massive foreign investments. “They can come into the country, dump capital and gain access to data,” he said indicating at rival Paytm.

However, Sharma believes that India is an open market, and the doors of capital are open to everybody. Paytm on Thursday also said that the company has grossed 1.5 billion transactions and a gross merchandise value of USD 5 billion in the financial year that ended March 2017.

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