As the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 officially kicks off from today, fintech major Paytm parent company One97 Communications Ltd has announced ₹100 crore investment in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) to build a global financial ecosystem.

The company says it'll make the investment over a period of time and will seek requisite approvals for the same.

"With GIFT city as an ideal innovation hub for cross-border activity, Paytm will use its proven capability to innovate and build new tech for users across the globe looking to invest in India. As the pioneer of real-time payments and settlements in India, the company will replicate its success to now reduce friction in cross-border remittances with faster and cost-effective solutions, driven by Artificial Intelligence," says a Paytm statement.

Additionally, Paytm will set up a development centre in GIFT City to build AI solutions and provide a technology backbone. This centre, says Paytm, will create jobs and house engineers to develop a suite of financial products and services at par with global standards.

"GIFT City is set to become a global financial hub, further putting India on the world map for innovation. The strategic investment in GIFT City represents a pivotal step towards building an Artificial Intelligence-driven cross-border remittance and payments technology landscape, presenting global opportunities," says Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO, Paytm.

The investment is set to enable Paytm to deliver "fast, reliable, and cost-effective remittance solutions", which will reduce friction, he says. "We are excited about GIFT City serving as an exemplary innovation hub for cross-border activities, enabling overseas investors the flexibility to maintain foreign currency accounts...we intend to leverage this investment to establish a dedicated development center."

Notably, Sharma-led Paytm is on a massive AI drive to boost efficiency at the company. Just last month, Paytm laid off a significant number of employees in operations and marketing -- some reports suggest around 1,000 staff -- after the company deployed AI-backed solutions.

As per Paytm, it'll save 10-15% in employee costs with these AI-backed measures. "We constantly evaluate cases of non-performance throughout the year."

In 2024, Paytm plans to increase manpower by 15,000 to expand its portfolio to insurance and wealth management.

The Paytm share, meanwhile, opened a gap up at ₹688 today and surged to an intra-day high of ₹693 on the BSE. At the current share price of ₹6686.45, Paytm's m-cap stands at ₹43,574.2 crore stock. The stock is trading 31.2% down compared to a one-year high of ₹998.30 touched on October 20, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show-2024' in Gandhinagar on Tuesday. The 10th edition of the summit features a global trade show, with participation from 20 countries. Over 1,000 exhibitors from the research sector are expected to participate. The trade show has 100 participating countries as visitors and 34 countries as partners.

Additionally, the trade show has designated 13 different themes, including 'Make in Gujarat' and 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat,' across a total of 13 halls. Around 450 MSME units are actively participating to contribute to the realisation of the Prime Minister's vision of 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat.'

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