Is Paytm becoming the new ‘OK Tata’ of India?

Category : Views
Date : June 14, 2017
Vijay shekhar sharma's twitter header image

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO of Paytm proudly displays this image on his twitter account.


‘Ok Tata’ — a very commonly painted phrase on the commercial vehicles in India is a symbol of aspiration and mass acceptance. Tata, is a brand name well known in the automobile industry. The brand satisfaction made the truck drivers adopt it as an expression of goodbye (ta ta) and their desire to be a seen as a happy-go-lucky person – their aspirational identity.

Similarly, Paytm, an online payment platform is gradually moving towards winning a crown of the most sustainable mode of payment in today’s digital era. Is Paytm close to becoming the next ‘OK Tata’ of the Indian economy?

Paytm, the largest mobile commerce platform in India started with the idea of offering mobile recharge and payment of utility bills in 2010. Initially, it targeted the young audience who are tech savvy but later it fragmented its services to fulfil daily requirements using the phone and thus expanded its target group to cover the maximum of the Indian economy. It aimed to reach the common person and make them independent in various monetary transactions.

Today, Paytm is seen everywhere including malls, grocery stores, tea stalls, cabs, parking lots and much more. It has over 200 million users on its platform and aspires to convert this number from 200 million to 500 million by 2020, comprising of almost half of the Indian economy. Paytm was very much aware of the elements that would stimulate its adoption and suitability according to the Indian mass.

How did Paytm made itself resonate with common person’s aspiration of being independent?

It made payments accessible and convenient

Anywhere, anytime

Paytm’s major focus was not just limited to providing usability, but it also strived towards achieving easy accessibility, convenience and credibility in their services. Observing that the world is progressively locomotive, people always feel the need to access from anywhere, anytime. It made possible for its customers to pay bills sitting at the bus stop waiting for their bus to arrive or book tickets instantly standing outside the multiplex.

A day-to-day routine

It gives a hassle-free solution to control day-to-day monetary operations literally on your fingertips. It’s no less than a pleasant dream coming to life. Although, it started as an online recharge portal and instant access to daily utility payments, it is now an entire marketplace, right there on the mobile. From a grocery store to a petrol pump or taxi fare, Paytm has established itself as an exchange entity equivalent to cash.

Its product offerings enhanced customer experience

Cashbacks and discounts

It’s all about being Indian after all. We love saving each penny. Apart from just being a payment platform, Paytm ensures to enhance the experience of its users by laying out cashbacks and discounts on payments. This unique add-on makes people a loyal user of Paytm more preferably over other payment applications.

Send and receive money to and from friends

What if you encounter a friend on your way whom you owe money for the pizza you shared yesterday? Or maybe you ran short of money in your Paytm wallet on your dinner date? It’s easy to repay and borrow money on Paytm. Money transfer in payment wallets abolishes the need to carry cash-in-hand.

It aimed to reach the masses

From a mall to a tea vendor

Weaving a dream of digital India, Paytm’s target audience is the common person encompassing almost the nation’s entire economy. With the Indian economy gradually switching to smartphones and money exchange being a routine behavior, there exists an extensive scope of digital platforms for monetary operations. The ‘Each one, teach one’ campaign by Paytm brought in local vendors and sellers on Paytm, thus making it a tool accessible by everyone for the fulfilment of tiny needs. 

Savior in demonetization

At the time of demonetization, Paytm emerged as a parachute saving the falling economy. It was able to substitute significant amount of cash transactions with its digital wallet and grew almost three times bigger. The wide acceptance of Paytm by the local vendors during demonetization also encouraged large number of consumers to embrace it as a medium for transactions.

It kept its design and communication simple 

Easy and relatable

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm was particular about keeping the logo and visual identity simple. Paytm, catering to a vast target group from all walks of life had to be communicated in a way that the entire nation could relate with and feels connected. The application was designed to be simple, easy and quick in use considered that major part of the users are beginners of smartphones. Also, a large chunk of people, majorly the senior adults were new to online media. The concern was not just to develop a cash-free economy but also to make the people self-reliant.

A direct tone of snob appeal

Paytm precisely knew what the audience would be interested in. Instead of sounding clever or witty, they chose to be direct and straightforward in their communication. Use of terms like ‘simple’, ‘incredible’ and ‘amazing cashback’ in their promotional taglines promptly showcased the intention of the brand and sharply tapped on what appeals the consumers the most.

Takeaway: Aspirational brands strive to become a part of their customers’ identity.

Paytm’s dream of cash-free economy is a way leading to development and growth. Being true to the needs and convenience to the audience, Paytm worked to appeal the mass and make them independent. A brand turns itself from being just a brand to an aspirational brand when a large segment of its audience willingly wishes to own it. This is what a consumer expects from a brand –– making it self-reliant and not crippled. Paytm is now extensively a pride, a part of an individual’s identity — the ‘OK Tata’ of the economy.

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