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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Peon to Millionaire

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Shyam Kumar is from small town of UttarPradesh, due to poor health condition of his father who was suffering from tuberculosis, Shyam kumar had to leave his schooling and support his brother in running the family, even after searching for several jobs Shyam could not find a steady job where he can continue for long.

Joining as Peon

Shyam Kumar joined Jitendra Gupta’s payment gateway company citrus pay as peon in 2011, his salary was Rs.8000/month which was more than market standard of peon salary in India offered by any start-up in India.
He used to live in a small 10×10 room in urban slum of Malad in Mumbai along with nine other members including grandparents, an uncle and aunt and their children.

The job was simple for Shyam at initial level as the start-up was still in its budding state and Citrus Pay was operated in small single room in Santa Cruz, Jitendra Gupta used to go out for meeting almost for entire day, shyam used to take care of single room office sometimes he even closed office and went home at 1Pm.

The Growth of Citrus pay gradually increased, the start-up attracted lots of investments from investors like Sequoia Capital, Ascent Capital, eContext Asia and Beenos Asia.Citrus went from the first customer to 50 customers within two months, within one year monthly volume of citrus pay was INR 1 Cr per month.

CitrusPay also signed on customers such as Indigo, Go Air and Amazon India, Cleartrip, Yatra, Myntra, Makemytrip, Pepperfry, BookMyShow, Reliance and many more.

The start-up has had a  policy since the beginning people who have joined at a senior leadership level or have spent a year within the company, are entitled to stock options.

Shyam was one of the first employees, Kumar was signed up for the employee stock ownership plan along with few other employees. Even though shyam didn’t fully understand how it worked, but Jitendra Gupta explained him saying that it would yield long-term benefits for him.

In 2016 when Citrus pay got acquired by global giant PayU his CEO personally called him and told that he would be getting 50 lac for his stake in the company. He did not believe the news at first but was later explained about the technicalities. Shyam’s stocks were worth Rs. 5 million . When Kumar told his wife, she didn’t believe him. Shyam who presently stay in a rented one-BHK flat shifted  to new house on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Shyam Kumar’s story is a great example of India’s growing startup culture and represents the big Indian dreams.

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