Under-40 league: Meet the youngest Indian billionaire on the Forbes

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the youngest Indian to join the Forbes billionaire list.
Sharma, 39, is the only Indian billionaire under the age of 40. He is ranked 1,394th on the list with a fortune of $1.7 billion.
Son of a schoolteacher from a small city in north India, Sharma founded fast-rising mobile wallet Paytm in 2011. Paytm has notched up 250 million registered users and 7 million transactions daily, according to Forbes.
Sharma owns 16 percent of Paytm, which is now valued at $9.4 billion. He has also created Paytm Mall, an e-commerce business business and the Paytm Payments Bank.


Sharma, who couldn’t sit for the IIT entrance owing to his poor english proficiency, loved browsing the internet and dreamt about being in Silicon Valley, the mecca for worldwide innovation.

He built his first company- ‘XS Communications’, a college-based startup that created Content Management Systems.


While trying to set up One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, Sharma took a loan of Rs 8 lakhs, which got him into a vicious cycle of unpayable debt. This forced him to take up petty jobs to make ends meet, setting up LAN connections, delivering guest lectures and others.

With a few initial hiccups, Sharma founded Paytm in 2011.

Globally, the 63 youngest billionaires in the world are worth a collective $265 billion, up from $208 billion last year.



Father of 25000 Children

गरीबी के खिलाफ जंग में शिक्षा को हथियार बनाकर जीत हासिल करने वाले सामाजिक उद्यमी हैं अच्युत सामंत

आदिवासियों में शिक्षा की अलख जगाकर भुखमरी, गरीबी और पिछड़ेपन को हमेशा के लिए मिटाने की साहसी कोशिश का नाम है अच्युत सामंत … दुनिया को ‘देने की कला’ भी सिखा रहे हैं नयी शैक्षिक और सामाजिक क्रांति के जनक … भूखे पेट की आग ने अच्युत के मन में पैदा किया था ज़रूरतमंदों की मदद करने का जुनून … बचपन में गरीबी का आलम ये था कि कई दिनों तक मुट्ठी-भर अनाज भी नहीं मिलता था … माँ के पास पहनने को सिर्फ एक साड़ी थी … फिर भी, माँ ने दिन-रात मेहनत कर अपने सातों बच्चों को पाला-पोसा … माँ का कष्ट कम करने के मकसद से अच्युत ने सात साल की उम्र से ही रुपये कमाना शुरू कर दिया था और कमाई के साथ ही शुरू की थी ‘समाज-सेवा’ भी … पढ़ने के लिए नंगे पाँव चलकर आठ किलोमीटर दूर स्कूल जाते थे अच्युत … डिग्री कॉलेज में पढ़ते समय ही जूनियर्स को ट्यूशन पढ़ना शुरू कर दिया था … पोस्ट ग्रेजुएशन के बाद लेक्चरर की नौकरी पर लगे … फिर एक क्रांतिकारी विचार ने उन्हें बना दिया नयी शैक्षणिक और सामाजिक क्रांति का नायक.. continued

Transforming Dantewada | O P Chaudhary

Everything you need to know about his stay at Dantewada

In his stino-p-chaudhary-school-2t as collector, he changed the face of Dantewada from an underdeveloped district into a progressive and vibrant one. His initiatives here were really path breaking and non-traditional. The key feature about these are the way he used the integration approach to arrange for funding, pooling being done from MGNREGS, BRGF, IAP, Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan, CSR and countless other schemes, whichever is appropriate. Against all odds, he proved that government schemes can function, despite the apparent perpetual crunch of funds.

His initiatives:

#1. Solar Powered Education City:
As part of what he calls “the long-term solution”, he is supervising the construction of a 150-acre, solar-powered Education City. It aims to establish Dantewada as an education hub at the international level.
It will house 15 institutions, including an industrial training institute, a polytechnic college and various residential schools. The campus would cater to more than 5,000 students and is expected to be completely functional in a-year-and-a-half.
Recently, the consultancy firm KPMG listed it among the world’s top 100 innovative infrastructure projects for its potential to provide opportunities to the youth in developing their skills.

#2. Choolo Asman:

It comprises two coaching centres where the district’s brightest students are taught by teachers from the ‘Mecca’ of engineering and medical coaching, Kota, in Rajasthan.

Moreover, Chaudhary turned the barracks vacated by the Border Roads Organisation into a campus for girls, adding an additional floor by using bamboo-based sheets so as not to overburden the existing structure. Thus, the existing space was doubled at half the cost of constructing new buildings.

#3. Tamannah:
This has been implemented after observing that the children in this part of the world lack even the basic exposure.
Under the project, a science museum, district library, and a state of the art audio-visual theatre were set up with a view to broaden the horizons of all levels of students in the district.
Tamanna film festivals were conducted where students from far off villages visit every day in the buses deployed by the administration and meet with district level functionaries.
This helped to bridge the gap between citizens and administration.

#4. Nanhey Parindey:
To ensure the admission of deprived children in the quality schools like Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sainik Schools etc.
These schools are providing opportunity for holistic growth of a child without any fee. But unfortunately, due to their basic admission process suitable to population that is relatively aware and exposed, they invariably end up enrolling only those children who are more aware, exposed to the world rather than the worse off who languish in the wilderness.

To tackle this issue, project ‘NANHE PARINDE’ has been started, under which residential facilities were created at district headquarter and 105 children from interior villages belonging to marginalized background were provided special coaching for Navodaya and Sanik School entrance examination with 5th class regular schooling.

With only 10 months of mentoring, 30 children were selected in Navodaya Vidyalaya Barsoor out of a total of 60 selections. Sainik School in Ambikapur-Surguja -1 child selected from NanheParinde project, 24 children selected in Karpawand, Eklavya Vidyalaya, Bastar 25 girls selected in Eklavya Kanya Shiksha Parisar, Katekalyan and 5 girls selected for Parchanpal Kanya Parisar, Bastar.

#5. Education Clusters and Shiksha Savari Yojana:
Dantewada suffered from one of the highest dropout rate at the stage of pre-matric level.
This was because the high schools, which are lesser in numbers than the elementary schools, are located at places which are usually at some distance from their villages. Adding to this, poor transportation facilities and non-availability of residential facilities in high schools demotivate these children to go for higher studies.

Clusters of important junctions in the district were chosen and Educational Clusters were created by providing residential facilities to children from 9th to 12th standard. Such residential facilities called Pota Cabins not only helped in increasing and sustaining the enrollment ratio but also improved quality of education for children in such schools.

Additionally, the students getting enrolled in class 9th were provided bicycles under ‘Shiksha Savari Yojna’, a scheme initiated only in Dantewada District supported by IAP fund. As a result, dropout rate among school children decreased from 50% to 13% in just 2 years (2011-2013). This project is considered among top 100 most innovative projects throughout the world, by KPMG.

#6. Livelihood College (GujarBasar College):
This is a college for the unemployed youth, who have missed the formal education. It provides residential facility on PPP model.
Admissions are open to all regardless of educational qualification, any income or caste criteria.

Reputed organizations like IL&FS, IndiaCan, Tomorrow‘s Foundation, Cap Foundation, ISAP, ESAB, have been brought under the same umbrella to impart skill education to the youth. There is a provision for practical and class room training in more than 25 different trades and further linkages for placement with industries across India. Two types of trades have been focused upon : emerging market trends (hospitality, industrial stitching, sales, tally etc.) and to improve local skill deficit (plumber, electrician, mason, solar panel establishment and maintenance, mobile repairing etc.

The recognition:

For all his Herculean effort to achieve this miraculous feat, in which he literally risked his life many times, he got the well-deserved Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2011-12.