Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s rather embarrassing performance, now being termed his ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ moment, has understandably become a viral video. The context is no secret for any smartphone-wielding, urban Indian who has survived cash-free days in the recent past with the help of Paytm, the payment platform that has grown by leaps and bounds since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation call on November 8. While most Indians braced themselves and lined up, the demonetisation windfall was reserved for e-wallet companies, with Sharma’s Paytm – the oldest and with the biggest market share — being the clear winner among them all.
What surprised us was the lack of restraint shown by the CEO of a formidable startup with so many recording smartphones aimed right at him. For any CEO these days to use such crass words, even at an office gig is not kosher.
WATCH VIDEO: Watch Paytm CEO’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s outburst here:
Of course, it’s only human to want to go all out and kill it on stage for achieving a target completely off the charts of one’s annual plan (we are not yet sure his abusive pep talk was fuelled by alcohol too). A few cuss words might seem okay, just like tall claims, to preserve the momentum. With blood, sweat, tears consecrated at the entrepreneurial altar – the smile of Lady Luck feels well-deserved. One is entitled to express this endorphin rush in private get-togethers, no matter how embarrassing the dancing skills.
But here’s the thing: private and the public personas are usually separated for good measure because what is public is open to interpretation and commentary of all those who don’t know you and did not benefit from your circumstances. It’s the reason why every tagged photo and video is not shared on the FB Timeline.
Also, it seems Sharma did not quite gauge how his party outburst would reflect on the company and its culture. The choice of words might also make a lot of existing and aspiring employees uncomfortable.
As expected, Sharma got heavily trolled on Twitter for his choice of words:
— seema (@seemaadhikari) 19 January 2017
— Dr.Jitendra Awhad (@Awhadspeaks) 19 January 2017
— Ajeeb-O-Gareeb (@DigitalAtheist_) 19 January 2017
— Mohd Naushad (@IncNaushad) 19 January 2017
Public viewing of Sharma makes his celebratory moments reek of hubris and hard-to-swallow over-confidence – the idea of “success gone to his head” — which is not becoming to the image of an industry leader whose product matters. It rings insensitive as the success of his venture owes itself to the same circumstance that created major inconvenience and even losses for the majority of Indians in the last two months. Cuss words and Malhari moves make it worse.
Was the notoriety worth throwing caution to the dogs? Don’t think so.