Sharma was born in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. He cites Alibaba's founder Jack Ma and Masayoshi Son of SoftBank as his inspirations. He started college at Delhi College of Engineering at the age of 15. In 1997, while in college, started the website indiasite.net and sold it two years later for $1 million.
In 2000 he started one97 Communications which offered mobile content like news, cricket scores, ringtones, jokes and exam results. One97 is the parent company of Paytm, which was launched in 2010.
In December 2015, Sharma criticised Facebook's Free Basics initiative in India, as being against the principle of net neutrality.
In 2017, Vijay Shekhar Sharma was featured in the World Billionaire's List by Forbes. He acquired the 1567th rank becoming India's youngest man to be featured on the list.