By Dr. Ajay Data, UASG Chair

The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) is proud to welcome Indian tech entrepreneur Vijay Shekhar Sharma as a Universal Acceptance (UA) Ambassador. Sharma is the founder and CEO of One97 Communications and its consumer brand Paytm. Paytm, a digital payment service, is one of India’s most successful startups and debuted on the Indian Stock Exchange in November 2021 following the largest IPO ever recorded in the country. The Paytm app is currently available in 11 languages with the goal of integrating Indian financial, social, and consumer services into its network.

Sharma joins the UA Ambassador Program as an influential figure in the mobile payment industry and ecommerce in India. In 2017, he was included in Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list and was named Entrepreneur of the Year at The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in 2016.

“The efforts of the UASG to enable a multilingual Internet that strives to give users the opportunity to access the Internet in local languages are laudable. I’m excited that in India we are trying to build something similar in the fintech space,” said Sharma. “Our focus is to enable users across India to access digital financial services in the comfort of their own languages. I believe that working with the UASG will enable important knowledge sharing and help contribute to the UA dialogue at a global level.”

The UASG is an Internet community initiative made up of participants from leading global technology companies and organizations, and receives significant financial and administrative support from ICANN. Sharma will work closely with the UASG as well as ICANN’s Head of South Asia, Samiran Gupta, to help progress the work needed to ensure a truly multilingual Internet.

“I look forward to working with Sharma, one of the leading tech entrepreneurs of India, in his new role as a UA Ambassador,” said Gupta. “Sharma will bring an incredible level of tech industry experience and influence that will help advance the UASG’s efforts in making the Internet more inclusive for all users.”

In order to make UA a reality, we need your help! If you’re interested in getting involved, here are a few ways:

The UASG Ambassador Program was created in 2018 to recruit industry leaders and UA experts who are committed to raising awareness around UA and Email Address Internationalization (EAI) within their respective spheres and to target audiences. UA Ambassadors host and attend local UA events, engage in general outreach activities, and help support the mission of the UASG. UA Ambassadors are selected by the UASG Coordination Working Group on a yearly basis. If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador or wish to learn more, click here.