Paytm CEO’s Goal to Deliver India’s Largest-Ever IPO Backfires
Vijay Shekhar Sharma brushed away tears of pleasure as he recalled his climb from “commoner” to CEO of a digital payments behemoth that recently completed India’s largest-ever IPO.
Before striking the opening gong at the Bombay Stock Exchange at 10 a.m. local time on Thursday, the founder and CEO of One 97 Communications Ltd., operator of the Paytm service, remarked, “The ambitions of a young country are with me.” Sharma’s long-awaited debut had turned into one of the worst opening days for a major tech IPO since the dot-com bubble by 11 a.m.
Even Paytm skeptics were stunned by the stock’s 27 percent drop, putting doubt on the stock’s record-breaking run and leaving Sharma — and his underwriters — facing harsh questions about what went wrong with the $2.5 billion fundraising.
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