Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma is presently in Davos for the World Economic Forum, but in India, a video of the company's New Year party went viral this week. In the video, you can see him dancing wildly, shouting himself hoarse, and cursing the competition.
In an interview with NDTV's Vikram Chandra, Sharma talks about the video for the first time, explaining that he was speaking to an internal audience and and that is was never meant to be public.
"In a moment of rush and adrenaline high, I wanted to motivate my team, and I ended up talking as if we were in a private conversation," says Sharma. "I feel odd about it, a lot of people are judging it, but I request you to please don't judge it. I acknowledge that we do have a responsibility, that we as a company, and I as an individual have, but it was intended to be an internal conversation. Things taken out of context can become anything."
“It was a video related to an internal party, but it became a public conversation,” Sharma stresses.
Later in the day, Sharma also touched upon the topic on Facebook:
On the day, I was hugely energized by the infectious spirit of thousands of our team mates who work so hard everyday to serve our merchants and customers. I come to work everyday for their remarkable energy and commitment and wanted to communicate to each of them that they are appreciated and their efforts are making a difference. It was a celebration, not of our performance, but of the hard work and sincere efforts, of each of our team mate and partners. In retrospect, I could have chosen some words better. I have never taken anything for granted and won't ever either. We will continue to do our best to serve sincerely.
While Sharma repeatedly says that the video was from a private party, his statement that he should have expressed himself better might smooth over troubled waters. The Paytm chief executive's new year party video starts off with Sharma shouting, "Jo hamare saath nahin hain, wo royenge," (those who are not with us will cry). There's a lot of fist-pumping and the speech gets a lot more 'interesting':
Warning: The below video contains strong language that could be seen as offensive.
Amongst other things, Sharma shouts, "Ek saal me woh kiya jo unhone dus saal me nahin kiya" (In one year, we did what they couldn't do in ten years). After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his sudden demonetisation drive, Paytm's transactions and earnings shot up, making it a massive beneficiary, and opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, without offering any evidence, said Paytm stands for "Pay To Modi."
Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.