Ashneer Grover, the founder of BharatPe and former Shark Tank judge, has spoken out in strong support of troubled Paytm Payments Bank, criticizing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its recent actions against the bank. In an interview with Mirror Now earlier this week, Grover hailed Paytm as a trailblazer in India’s fintech landscape and emphasized its vital role in the country’s startup ecosystem.
Grover labeled Paytm as the “father of Indian fintech segment,” underscoring its foundational significance for numerous fintech companies, including BharatPe. He credited Paytm’s pioneering efforts for laying the groundwork that enabled the growth and innovation seen in India’s fintech industry today.
Questioning the rationale behind RBI’s punitive measures against Paytm Payments Bank, Grover expressed skepticism towards the regulatory decisions, which he attributed to the traditional mindset prevalent among decision-makers at the RBI. He pointed out that individuals responsible for regulatory decisions within the RBI tend to be around 60 years old and come from a background of managing traditional banks. Grover highlighted a lack of trust in younger, innovative leaders, particularly those considered mavericks, to helm core banking systems.
Grover’s comments shed light on broader sentiments within regulatory institutions in India, where skepticism towards younger individuals, especially those with non-traditional backgrounds such as computer programming, prevails. He suggested that this skepticism reflects a broader perspective within the institution, indicating a reluctance to embrace innovation and unconventional leadership styles.
The interview underscores Grover’s unwavering support for Paytm and his advocacy for a more progressive regulatory approach that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship in India’s fintech sector. As Paytm navigates challenges and regulatory scrutiny, Grover’s stance highlights the importance of nurturing and empowering innovative startups to drive India’s economic growth and technological advancement.