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Ashneer Grover on Paytm Crisis: Sad Day for Startups in India, Says 60 Year Olds at RBI Lack Trust | – Times of India



Ashneer Grover, the founder of BharatPe and former Shark Tank judge, has come out strongly in favour of troubled Paytm Payments Bank. In an interview with Mirror Now, earlier this week, Grover slammed Reserve Bank of India, for its action against Paytm Payments Bank. He credited Paytm as the trailblazer in India’s fintech landscape and said that the company has an important role to play in the growth of India’s startup ecosystem.He went on to call Paytm as the father of Indian fintech segment. Grover highlighted Paytm’s role as the cornerstone for numerous fintech companies, including BharatPe. He said that the latter owes its existence to the presence of Paytm.
Slams RBI action against Paytm Payments Bank
Grover questioned the rationale behind RBI’s action against Paytm that he termed punitive. Grover said that the regulatory scepticism is rooted in the traditional beliefs of the 60-year-olds at the helm of such decisions in the RBI. “In the RBI, individuals responsible for making decisions and handling calls are typically around 60 years old. They have experience managing a system of banks. However, there seems to be a lack of trust in a 40-year-old individual, especially if they are considered a Maverick, to run a core system,” he said.
“This lack of faith is observed among those in power and involved in making regulations in India. Specifically, there is scepticism towards a 40-year-old with a background in the computer or programming domain when it comes to running any system. This sentiment appears to be a manifestation of a broader perspective within the institution,” he added.
“India are not ready for big start-ups”
Grover claimed that their is lack of enough legislative support for startups in India. He said, “Seems to be a $20 billion glass ceiling and the moment you hit it it seems the only way to go is down. Structurally we in India are not ready for big start-ups. Over the last 10 to 12 years startups in India have emerged organically, and people in the government are eager to click pictures with founders but in terms of legislation there has been no move.”
“We have 111 unicorns but none of them is considered systemically important for the economy, but these startups have driven the 6-7.5 percent GDP growth rate that we celebrate. They have brought in maximum FDI in India and created a maximum number of jobs, but see zero legislative support and as they become big you see these public problems,” he added.
Sad day for startup community
He termed RBI action as sad day for Indian startup community, saying that Paytm ppoularised the very concept of QR code in India, helping take it mainstream. “They (Paytm) introduced and built the behaviours of scanning a QR code to help money flow in India. The ecosystem was built after Google Pay, PhonePe came on the consumer side and BharatPe and Pine Labs came on the merchant side. So for the start-up community, this is sad,” he said.





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