Exploring India’s Economy 2.0

Our team arrived in Noida, a boom city on the outskirts of of Delhi, greeted by a mix of high tech steel and glass
 and chaotic bustling markets.

MarketPayTM Steel and Glass

Nothing captured this contrast better than our host company One97, creators of the rapidly growing eCommerce and mobile wallet platform PayTM. As smart phone penetration and internet connectivity rapidly expands in India – to levels that actually surpass many parts of the US – One97/PayTM wants to create the largest mobile payments and eCommerce marketplace in the country. Our project has been to explore PayTM’s reach in integrating its eCommerce platform with the “offline” world of physical retail.

Market 2

In particular, we are looking at how PayTM could provide a solution for an informal marketplace, which operates in the shadow of India’s rapidly growing economy (In the above picture you can see Noida’s sector 18 market and in the background the Great India Palace Mall).

General StoreCash

The project has taken us off the beaten path to interview independent mom and pop stores exploring ways that PayTM might create a solution for their businesses. Representing 95% of the Indian economy, this “informal” market sits on the fringe of India’s rapid modernization. In this sector, there is little credit access (with only 2% of Indian’s owning credit cards) relatively low levels of banking (only 20% of the Indian economy has bank accounts) and very frustrating payments (needing multiple levels of authentication for each transaction). An eCommerce and payment solution from PayTM may further economic integration in India, raising living standards across the country. Noida captures this transition, where extreme poverty sits blocks away from rapid development.

Noida povertyNoida Construction

The project has been a lot of fun and we have enjoyed moments like watching Thursday’s World Cup cricket match between India and Bangladesh at the PayTM headquarters over lunch (the match was also sponsored by PayTM as you can see in the lower right of the photo).

PayTM Cricket

However, the team is also sad to be missing our fourth member Gbenga, who was left behind waiting for a VISA to travel to India. We have been in touch virtually, but like this blog post, noting quite is the same as “being there”.

Tourist Bureau

Stay tuned next for a look at the team’s travels visiting Delhi, Agra and Jaipur this weekend.


  1. Thanks for the great pictures, Phil! You’ve really captured a study in contrasts.

  2. A fascinating project. Past moves towards future and maintains sport tradition.
    Looking forward next chapter.

  3. India still needs improvement in various field . Anyways thanks for knowledgeable article.

  4. Thanks so much for this article. Blogs is the best way to connect with people and to be intentional about our views.

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