The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has a reputation as a rough place, with one of the highest levels of crime in the country. In May, a dozen local politicians received WhatsApp messages that threatened harm to their families unless they paid $14,000.
Yet even by local standards, an extortion plot that’s surfaced in recent weeks stands out for its sheer outlandishness. It’s the case of a celebrated startup founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who allegedly was targeted by one of his most trusted lieutenants for millions in ransom. The billionaire entrepreneur created India’s most popular digital payments service called Paytm.
“Everybody’s fascinated by this unraveling story,” asked Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder and chief executive officer of Greyhound Research. “It involves a famous, very vocal person like Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Paytm’s done exceptionally well so there’s an emotional connection as well.”
“Paytm runs the risk of getting slightly maligned over its handling of data,” said Gogia.
Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Research, an award-winning global research & advisory firm. To read more about him, click here.
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