Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has urged employees to ignore the Indian payments company's poor debut in the market, according to two people familiar with the matter. He compared it to the challenges faced by carmaker Tesla after it went public more than a decade ago.
Paytm's shares plunged for a second day on Monday, wiping nearly $7bn off the valuation of its $18.74bn listing, making it one of the worst initial public offerings ever by a large Indian company.
Mr Sharma, Paytm's chief executive, advised employees to take comfort in the Tesla case, according to the two people who attended Paytm's post-ipo staff meeting late last week. Tesla, once a prime target for short sellers, is now the world's most valuable carmaker.
Other business leaders reportedly spoke at the meeting, which lasted more than four hours. Mr Sharma urged staff to focus on market expansion, stressing that execution would predict the company's fate.
Paytm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Paytm shares fell as much as 18.57 per cent to Rs1,271 on Monday before recovering partly to close 12.9 per cent lower at Rs1,359.60. The stock is now down more than 36% from its issue price of rs 2,150.
The market rout has cast doubt on upcoming ipos in India, including smaller rival MobiKwik and hotel aggregator OYO, as their valuations come under closer investor scrutiny.
"Indian ipos have been hot, so the broader market correction has hurt these stocks the most," said Deepak Shenoy, founder and chief executive of Capitalmind, a company based in Bangalore, southern India.
He said people would be reluctant to enter the stock market when conditions were unfavourable, raising the possibility that some soon-to-list companies would be delayed.
Paytm said on Sunday that its gross merchandise volume -- the total sales processed through its platform -- rose 131 per cent in October from a year earlier.
The news failed to stop a fresh round of selling as investors continued to question the company's overvaluation and its business model.
In 2010, Sharma founded Paytm, a mobile top-up platform whose backers include SoftBank and Ant Group, and raised about $2.5 billion in an IPO.
Paytm grew rapidly after Uber, the ride-hailing company, introduced it as a fast payment option in India. A ban on high-denomination notes in India at the end of 2016 also boosted digital payments, with Paytm adoption surging.
Speaking to the media after the listing on Thursday, Mr Sharma said he had no qualms about the slide and did not regret going public.
On the day of Paytm's listing, an RBI task force had proposed the creation of a self-regulatory body covering digital lending participants.
Brokerage Macquarie Research said in a note to clients on Nov. 18 that setting up a self-regulatory body could lead to higher compliance costs for all fintech companies, including Paytm.