Bengaluru: The founder and chief executive officer of One 97 Communications Ltd. compared his company to Tesla Inc. — and by extension drew parallels between himself and Elon Musk — after the Indian payments startup suffered a brutal first-day plunge following its initial public offering.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma held a four-hour town hall to rally employees who had watched the company’s stock plummet 27% on Thursday, according to people who had attended. The 43-year-old encouraged them to look past the initial stumble and to focus on the long-term opportunities for bringing digital payments to the country’s fast-growing internet population. One 97 Communications is the parent company for the Paytm service.
Sharma, who has tweeted about his admiration for Musk and his purchase of a Tesla vehicle, reminded employees that the electric vehicle maker’s stock used to be the among the most-shorted in the world. But the company overcame years of struggle to become one of the most recognized brands globally, he said, as well as the most valuable automaker in the world.
In July 2020, when Tesla overtook Toyota Motor Corp. to become the world’s most valuable automaker, Sharma praised the founder.
”After so many naysayers and people attempting to pull @elonmusk down, he has proven what he is made of!” Sharma said in that tweet, signing off with the Hindi aphorism: “One day, my time too will come.”
What a motivating underdog success story! 🌟
After so many naysayers and people attempting to pull @elonmusk down, he has proven what is he made of !
Second only to Steve in pulling his company from near bottom to top of industry and loved by users. 👏🏼
एक दिन, अपना टाइम आएगा ! pic.twitter.com/ba1UI9UlGe
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) July 1, 2020
Tesla shares actually rose 41% the first day after its IPO in 2010. They later fell to less than $4 each and have since surged to give the company a market value of more than $1 trillion. –Bloomberg
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