Indians are fixated on the startup culture. People are choosing entrepreneurship over mundane, 9-to-5 jobs. However, not everyone succeeds as an entrepreneur. A survey revealed that approximately 11% of the Indians are engaged in 'early-stage entrepreneurial activities'. And only 5% of these early-stage entrepreneurs actually went on to establish their startup.
But keeping these statistics aside, some Indian startups have gone on to dominate their target segments. This post is dedicated to some of the most successful entrepreneurs from India whose ventures have revolutionized the daily life of millions, if not billions, across the globe. The path to name and fame wasn't easy for them; it involved several trials and tribulations.
List of Successful Indian Entrepreneurs 2022
- Ritesh Agarwal
- Shradha Sharma
- Bhavish Aggarwal
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma
- Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah
- Kunal Shah
- Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal
- Deep Kalra
- Byju Raveendran
- Hari Menon
- Albinder Dhindsa
- Sanjiv Bajaj
- Yashish Dahiya
- Harsh Jain
- Supam Maheshwari
- Richa Kar
- Ashish Hemrajani
- Shiv Nadar
- Trishneet Arora
- Dhirubhai Ambani
- Lakshmi Niwas Mittal
- Azim Premji
- Kabeer Biswas
- Ratan Tata
- Nithin Kamath
- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
- Sandeep Tandon
- Prabhkiran Singh
- Varun & Ghazal Alagh
- Sameer Nigam
1. Ritesh Agarwal
Company - OYO Rooms
Ritesh Agarwal founded OYO rooms in 2015. He was the recipient of the TiE – Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2014), became the first Asian to win ’20 under 20’ Thiel Fellowship (2013), was named one of the top 50 entrepreneurs by TATA First Dot Awards (2013) and became the world’s youngest CEO at the age of 17. Ritesh Agarwal, an Orissa boy coming from a business-oriented family, went to Kota to become an engineer.
But unlike other JEE aspirants, his passion caught hold of him and he did not take JEE preparation seriously. Instead, he wrote a book called 'Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia of Top 100 Colleges'; the book became immensely popular on Flipkart.
He was just 16 when he was selected for the Asian Science Camp held at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). With a penchant for traveling and having lived in tons of hotels, Ritesh observed a common problem at the places he stayed – the exorbitant price of the hotel room was not proportional to the facilities provided. He felt that majority of the hotels in India couldn’t satisfy the basic needs of a traveler on a budget.
Thus, he started Oravel Stays, his first venture in 2012. He improvised his business model and re-launched Oravel as ‘OYO’ which is short for ‘ON YOUR OWN’. Ritesh Agarwal became one of the most revered Indian entrepreneurs through OYO. At the age of 26 he became a billionaire.
Net worth of Ritesh Agarwal as of now is $2 billion. He became the second youngest billionaire after Kylie Jenner in the world.
Company - YourStory
An epitome of courage and wisdom, Shradha Sharma was at the top of her career while working with famous news media houses such as Times of India and CNBC (Mumbai). During her stint with these organizations, she noticed that no one was willing to promote and air the stories of entrepreneurs—both successful and not-so-successful. She figured out that there are millions of stories storming around but no medium to share them with the masses. Shradha decided to create YourStory, an online portal that hosts entrepreneurial stories and other share-worthy content.
YourStory was started in 2008 and has allowed over 70,000 stories to come to the fore. Shradha Sharma leads a team of 100+ people who work together to offer content in 11 Indian languages. YourStory's aim is to provide a voice to the roller coaster of emotions that an entrepreneur goes through. Shradha Sharma is the recipient of the L’Oreal Paris Femina Award and has been included in the list of Worlds’ Top 500 LinkedIn Influencers. She is one of the most followed female entrepreneurs in India. Her channel has earned more than 26 million individual views.She is one of the most followed female entrepreneurs in India.Her net worth is of $1.3 billion.
Company - Ola Cabs
Bhavish Aggarwal, an IIT Bombay alumnus, co-founded the most popular cab aggregator in India – Ola Cabs – with Ankit Bhati. He is the recipient of the Billionth award in 2013, Best startup of the year by IAMAL, and was listed in Forbes 30 under 30 list. Bhavish revolutionized the idea of cab-hailing in India by making use of smartphones. Ola Cabs was different from the other cab services at that time in the sense that it leveraged smartphones and GPS technology; thus, it became easy for people to book cabs from anywhere, at any time. Bhavish Aggarwal left a well-paying job at Microsoft to work on Ola Cabs. No one supported his idea but it was his strong will, determination, and eagerness to take risks in life that led him to the pinnacle of success. Bhavish Aggarwal is counted amongst the most successful Indian entrepreneurs. According to Time magazine Bhavish Aggarwal is one of the 100 Most Influential People this year. His Net worth is $ 500 million.
Company - Paytm
Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm, the cornerstone of digitized payments in India. Vijay is from Aligarh, India. A graduate of the Delhi College of Engineering, Vijay worked on several projects and at a small startup before taking the entrepreneurial plunge. He put in USD 2 million to get One97 up and running. One97 is the parent company of Paytm. The payments platform gave Indians access to a mobile wallet, the facility of making payments using QR codes, simplified bill payments, and a lot more. These features made Paytm wildly popular. In this manner, Vijay Shekhar Sharma became an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs all over the globe. He Won the Best Serial Entrepreneur Award at the Rural and Urban Development Summit and Awards 2022 presented by the Minister of State for Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.
Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah
Company - Zomato
Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah revolutionized the food delivery segment in India through its first foodtech unicorn Zomato. The duo are IIT Delhi graduates. Zomato started out as ‘Foodiebay’ and was first launched in Delhi. It was later extended to Mumbai and Kolkata. Now, there is not a single place in India where Zomato doesn't render its services. Zomato's mobile app is its USP; the app has an excellent user interface that lets you order food from the restaurant/eatery of your choice and make hassle-free payments. In Jan 2020, Zomato acquired one of its competitors- Uber Eats in India for a valuation of $300 million. In July 2022, Zomato went public with its stock listing at a premium of 53% over its issue price and it commanded a market cap of Rs 43,000 cr as of Mar 2023. In 2018, Prakash Chaddah left Zomato to venture into different fields. Net worth of Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal is estimated to be Rs 2,000 cr as of Mar 2023.
Company - CRED
Kunal Shah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Wilson College, Mumbai, and briefly pursued an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies before dropping out. Shah's first startup was a company named Paisaback, which provided cash-back promotions for organized retailers. Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon are the founders of one of India’s most innovative business models – Freecharge. CRED is Shah's second venture after he sold Freecharge to Snapdeal in 2015 for $400 million. He is definitely one of the most famous entrepreneurs in India.
Also Read: How does CRED make money?
Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal are the founders of Flipkart. The e-commerce segment in India underwent a drastic change courtesy of Flipkart. Sachin and Binny found discrepancies while searching for products on Amazon's online store. The duo realized that the USP of their e-commerce initiative would be the timely delivery of products complemented by a simplistic user interface that leveraged the latest technology. Both the founders have now stepped down from their positions in Flipkart after it was acquired by Walmart in 2018. Flipkart is still giving a tough fight to all the e-commerce platforms out there and continues to win the hearts of Indians. India Today ranked them 50 Most powerful people of 2017 list.
Company - MakeMyTrip
Deep Kalra is the founder of MakeMyTrip. The credit for the introduction of online train bookings in India goes to Deep Kalra. A graduate of St. Stephen’s College with an MBA degree from IIM Ahmedabad, Deep worked for GE Capital and ABN AMRO bank. But the office culture and 9-5 job couldn't captivate him enough. With a $2 million investment from eVentures and his co-founders, Deep Kalra founded MakeMyTrip, (earlier known as 'India Ahoy') in the year 2000. The company was listed on NASDAQ in August 2010. After IRCTC joined the race, Deep diversified MakeMyTrip by introducing hotel bookings. MakeMyTrip has mergers with MyGola, TrulyMadly, and the ITC group, to name a few. Deep Kalra is the chairperson of the NASSCOM Internet Working Group, a member of the Executive Council of NASSCOM, and is part of CII’s tourism sub-committee. He was ranked no 1 in a list of most powerful digital influencers in India by KPMG in 2011. His net worth is $ 136 million.
Company - BYJU'S
BYJU’S has helped thousands of students who struggle with subjects such as mathematics and science crack some of the hardest entrance exams like the JEE, NEET, and UPSC, CAT, IAS, and international examinations such as GRE and GMAT. BYJU'S has dominated the online education vertical for quite some time now. Byju Raveendran is the founder of BYJU'S. He is an engineer who worked in a shipping firm and accidentally stepped into the field of teaching when he assisted his friends with their CAT exam. Raveendran's friends cleared the exam with flying colors and this motivated him to take up teaching on a full-time basis. Byju Raveendran started BYJU's with an initial investment of just INR 2 lakhs. The startup's valuation has recently crossed $22 billion as of March 2022, and the company have over 115 million registered students.In January 2022, the company joined Simplilearn, Unacademy, upGrad, PrepInsta Prime and Vedantu to become one of the founding members of IAMAI's India EdTech Consortium.
In March 2022, the company signed a contract with Qatar Investment Authority to establish a new edtech company and a R&D center in Doha.
Company - BigBasket
The concept of bringing the grocery store to one's doorstep has done wonders across the globe. With it, the problem of waiting in long queues at groceries has now gone for a toss. Indians too now prefer the online route for grocery shopping. And who has dominated this segment? BigBasket. Hari Menon is the founder of BigBasket. With sales of over INR 150 crores per month, BigBasket has cemented its place as one of the big shots in the Indian e-commerce domain. It is operational in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata at present. In 2021 Tata Digital buys 64% stake in BigBasket His company received a lot of awards such as Consumer Internet Company of the Year by VC Circle Awards 2016, Best Online Grocer at Coca Cola Golden Spoon Awards 2016, Best retail and e-commerce app of the year at AWS Mobility Awards 2017, etc.
Company - Grofers
Albinder Dhindsa wanted to provide the services of a grocery, bakery, and general store through a consolidated platform. His dream took the form of Grofers, an Indian online grocery service. Albinder Dhindsa and Saurabh Kumar founded Grofers. The duo worked hard to infuse new ideas into the online delivery system in India. Grofers is worth around $650 million today. The company has shifted from a B2B to a B2C business model. Grofers was named one of the Top 10 startups in Delhi and Gurgaon in 2014. Grofers had attained unicorn status or $1 billion in valuation, after raising over $120 million from food aggregator Zomato Ltd. On December 13, 2021, Grofers changed its brand name to Blinkit. As of 2021 Albinder holds 5-10% stake in the company.
Company - Bajaj Group
Sanjiv Bajaj is known as the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv. Born into a family of the Bajajs, a business house started by Jamnalal Bajaj, who led the Bajaj Group to glory, Sanjiv had the zeal to raise their family business to amazing highs. Sanjiv is the son of Rahul Bajaj and great-grandson of Jamnalal Bajaj. After completing his Btech. in Mechanical engineering, followed by a Masters in manufacturing systems from the University of Warwick and an MBA from Harvard Business school, Sanjiv started his career with Bajaj Auto in 1994.
He had been a promising businessman from the very first, which helped him scale numerous prestigious designations within the organization. He had brought the American-style supply chain management to Bajaj Auto. Bajaj is currently serving as a non-executive director of Bajaj Auto.
Along with Bajaj Auto, Sanjiv also contributed to Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Bajaj Finance for which he was appointed as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Sanjiv even led Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to emerge as the 2nd most profitable insurance company in India. Being an accomplished entrepreneur, Bajaj won a range of awards for the same, like the Entrepreneur of the Year" Award 2015-16 from Bombay Management Association, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017, Economic Times Awards for Business Leader of the Year 2018. Therefore, Sanjiv Bajaj can be regarded as one of the greatest entrepreneurs and business leaders that India has seen to date. Sanjiv Bajaj has a revenue of over ₹ 36,692 crore ($ 4.4 billion) and profit of over ₹ 2,866 crore ($ 348 million) for H1 FY2022-23.
Company - PolicyBazaar
PolicyBazaar has certainly grown to become one of the best insurance aggregators and a global technology company but it might not have secured the illustrious position that it now stands on if it was not for the Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder of the company, Yashish Dahiya. Dahiya was a student of IIT Delhi, from where he did his Bachelors in Engineering. He then went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Ahmedabad, which was followed by an MBA from INSEAD in 2001.
Yashish was the MD of the pan-European travel distributor, ebookers.com, and had previous experience of working as a strategy consultant of Bain & Co. in their London office before he founded PolicyBazaar in 2008. Yashish Dahiya had a major contribution to PolicyBazaar since he founded the company along with Alok Bansal and Avaneesh Nirjar in 2008, which has successfully become a key influencer in consumer decisions around insurance now. Furthermore, the platform hosts over 100 million visitors a year on average on its platform.
Dahiya was honored with the EY Entrepreneur of The Year (EOY) 2019 award in the Financial Services category and more for all that he had done for PolicyBazaar. Yashish Dahiya is also an extraordinary sportsperson along with a celebrated entrepreneur. He is the Indian masters swimming champion and has taken part in several world masters swimming championships representing India. Furthermore, Dahiya also boasts of having the 3rd fastest half ironman timing and the 5th fastest Ironman timings amongst Indians across all age groups along with having the fastest timings in his age group. In June 2021, Policybazaar obtained the insurance broking license from IRADA and announced that it would set up 100 offline outlets across India. The company also surrendered its web aggregator license. PB Fintech Ltd, the parent company of Policybazaar, opened its initial public offering (IPO) and raised ₹5,625 crore(US$700 million).Shares of PB Fintech Ltd began trading on National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in November 2021.
Company - Dream11
It seems nothing less than a dream when we talk about a fan of Manchester United, Mumbai Indians, and the Indian cricket team, who founded a company named Dream11 for the love of sports that he nurtures. Yes, it happened with Harsh Jain, who with his founding partner, Bhavit Sheth, founded Dream11 and Dream Sports, India’s no. 1 sports fantasy platform for sporting enthusiasts. That allows users to play fantasy cricket, hockey, football, kabaddi, handball, basketball, volleyball, rugby,futsal, American football,and baseball.
Harsh was the son of Anand Jain, an Indian business magnate previously associated with Mukesh Ambani. He was born in Mumbai, India, and was an engineering student at the University of Pennsylvania, after which he went for an MBA from Columbia Business School. Harsh began his career with Microsoft from where he completed a 2 months Summer Internship from June 2006 to August of the same year after which he went to work in Jai Corp Limited as a Marketing Manager. His father, Anand Jain was then the Chairman of the company. Jain worked at Jai for 13 months, when in 2008 he decided to establish Dream11.
Harsh is currently serving as a Culture Enforcement Officer (CEO) & Co-Founder of Dream Sports (Dream11, FanCode, DreamX, and more) and one of the leading entrepreneurs of India. Harsh is a major inspiration for the budding entrepreneurs of the country for sure. In April 2019, Dream11 became the first Indian Fantasy sport company to become a unicorn.In November 2021 Dream11 was valued at $8 billion.In December 2022, Dream11 had 160 million active users in India.
Company - FirstCry
Supam Maheshwari is better known as the CEO and Co-Founder of Firstcry, India’s online marketplace for baby products. Supam was a postgraduate student from IIM Ahmedabad and started Brainvisa, as his first company with Amitava Saha, back in March 2000. The Pune-based company witnessed a steady growth before it was acquired by the US-based group, Indecomm Global in 2007.
Supam served as the Co-founder and the CEO of Brainvisa till December 2009 in order to found another company. He founded FirstCry.com in August 2010 along with Amitava Saha, Prashant Jadhav, and Sanket Hattimattur.
The idea of establishing an eCommerce company focused on baby care products was rooted deep in his personal experience as a first-time parent, who faced numerous challenges in sourcing the best product for his baby. Firstcry has grown to be a market leader when it comes to baby products online. The company currently boasts of over 380 stores across India.
His net worth could be estimated at 190 million USD.The baby products marketplace’s valuation stands at 1.9 billion USD after an equity funding round of 13 million USD with pi Ventures As of 2021.
FirstCry had increased its IPO size from around $700 Mn to $1 Bn, aiming at a valuation of around $6-7 BnIN Aug 2022
Company - Zivame
Richa Kar is the face of one of India’s largest online lingerie stores, Zivame. Richa was born in a conventional family in Jamshedpur. Kar was an engineering student, who completed her graduation from BITS Pilani and eventually went for a corporate job in Bangalore. Richa eventually left her job in order to pursue an MBA, after which she joined Spencers Retail and then SAP Retail.
Her exposure in the retail industry helped her develop knowledge and practical skills beneficial for the retail industry. While working with SAP, Richa was intrigued about Victoria’s Secret, America’s largest retail company for women’s lingerie, and the success it enjoys. Soon after, she realized that India hasn’t got any such websites empowering women to shop for their own lingerie online smoothly and fearlessly.
Though Richa had a considerable experience of around 8 years by then in the retail industry, her parents didn’t get the concept of selling lingerie and weren’t sure how they would speak of her daughter, who is involved in such a profession to others. Therefore, she gravely lacked any support from her family but with her strong will and zeal to found a startup, she ultimately managed to establish Zivame with Kapil Karekar in 2011. Zivame has now become an online leader in its segment, offering more than 5,000 styles, 50 brands, and 100 sizes. Zivame products come at affordable prices with high quality.
The company that initially started with Rs 35 lakhs, which Richa borrowed from her friends, is currently one of the best women’s lingerie marketplace in India. Zivame has received $69 million in funding at a valuation of $98.6M and her net worth is Rs 749 crores, according to reports. The company currently holds about 26% of the market share of the women's online lingerie market in India, which stood at Rs 430 crore in FY19.
Company - BookMyShow
Ashish Hemrajani is an Indian entrepreneur, popularly identified as the Co-founder and CEO of Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., the parent company of India’s biggest online entertainment ticketing platform BookMyShow. Ashish Hemrajani completed his MBA with Marketing as his specialization from Sydenham University in 1997.
As soon as he completed his MBA, he went to work with J. Water Thompson. However, after working in the client management segment of the firm for 2 years, Ashish left the company in order to start his new venture with Bigtree Entertainment and BookMyShow in 1999.
BookMyShow still stands as a leading online ticketing solution for Indians. Under the leadership of Ashish, the company further expanded to New Zealand, UAE, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. BookMyShow also had a feature to buy tickets of sports matches like IPL, ISL, etc. They now have employ over 400 people across offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore. Ashish Hemrajani Net worth is estimated at Rs.3000 Crore as of 2021.
Company - HCL
Shiv Nadar is a founding member of HCL Technologies and a prominent Indian entrepreneur, billionaire industrialist, and the recipient of India’s 3rd highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan. Shiv Nadar is the 3rd richest person of India, as of September 2021 with a net worth of around US$29.3 billion. Nadar goes by the nickname “Magus” (meaning: wizard in Old Persian), which he received from his friends.
Nadar was educated in the St. Joseph Boys Higher Secondary School, Trichy, and received his pre-university degree from the American College, Madurai. He again pursued Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, and received his Bachelor’s in engineering.
Walchand Group's Cooper Engineering Ltd., Pune, which he joined in 1967, marked the start of Nadar’s career. However, he soon left his job role and founded Microcomp, a company that focused on selling teledigital calculators in the Indian market. Soon after that, he founded HCL in 1976 in collaboration with several friends and colleagues and with an investment of Rs 187,000.
The company made revolutionary advancements in the Indian IT landscape and is still regarded as one of the best among the homegrown IT companies whereas Shiv Nadar stands tall and towering as one of the top entrepreneurs of India.
Company - TAC Security
The founder and CEO of the cyber security company, TAC Security, Trishneet Arora, was named in Forbes 30 Under 30 2018 Asia list and also in Under 40 List of India's Brightest Business Minds 2019 by Fortune magazine, in 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year in Service Business-Security, 2021 Fortune India 40 Under 40 and 2022 he was Awarded as global leader of tomorrow.
Arora failed in the 8th standard but his relentless love for computers and coding drove him through the path of glory to become a professional ethical hacker and a renowned cybersecurity expert. Arora dropped out of school but continued with his studies along with fixing computers and cleaning up software.
Trishneet was only 19 when he founded his own company, TAC Security Solutions in 2013 and he has never looked back since then. The cybersecurity company, TAC Security offers protection to numerous corporations like Reliance Industries, CBI, Gujarat Police, and Punjab Police and others, against network vulnerabilities and data theft. Trishneet Arora's net worth is $5 million as of now.
Company - Reliance Industries
The founder of Reliance Industries, Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, or Dhirubhai Ambani, as he is popularly known, was a successful entrepreneur and business tycoon, who took Reliance public in 1977. Dhirubhai has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades heaped on during his lifetime and was also awarded the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honor after he died in the year 2002.
Dhirubhai was a student of the Bahadur Khanji school. After the completion of his studies, he left for the Port of Aden, Yemen, to work for A. Besse and Co., for which he was later involved in selling shell and Burmah oil products. However, he left Aden and came back to his motherland to start his own company. Initially starting with "Majin" in partnership with Champaklal Damani, Dhirubhai eventually set up Reliance Commercial Corporation in 1966, which was later rechristened as Reliance Industries in May 1973.
Also, it was Dhirubhai who launched the popular textile brand ‘Vimal’. Dhirubhai died when he was 69 and was worth around $2.9 bn upon his death.
Company - ArcelorMittal
Lakshmi Niwas Mittal is the Executive Chairman and CEO of the largest steel-making company in the world, ArcelorMittal, and an Indian steel magnate based in the United Kingdom. Besides, Mittal also serves as the Chairman of Aperam, a stainless steel manufacturer, which spun out of ArcelorMittal. Mittal owns around 38% stakes in his company along with another 20% stakes in the EFL Championship football club, Queens Park Rangers.
Lakshmi Mittal has also been appointed as a member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs since 2008. Mittal was recognized with titles, honors, and awards of various kinds from time to time including “the third-richest person in the world” as announced by Forbes in 2005. He was also announced as the "Business Person of 2006" by Sunday Times, "Person of the Year" by Financial Times, In 2008 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, and more.
Born in a Marwadi family, Lakshmi studied at Shri Daulatram Nopany Vidyalaya in Calcutta and graduated from the University of Calcutta affiliated St Xavier's College with a B.Com degree in the first class. Mittal first chose the business way by founding the steel factory PT Ispat Indo. He went to purchase numerous companies from abroad, like the Irish Steel plant, starting from the state-owned steelworks in Trinidad and Tobago, all of which were successful initiatives.
Mittal ultimately succeeded to come out triumphant in a hostile takeover bid of Arcelor and later renamed it to ArcelorMittal, which is currently responsible for bringing a lion’s share of revenues for Mittal. As of 2022, he was ranked as the 15th richest man in India by Forbes with a net-worth of US$17.8 billion.
Company - Wipro
Informally known as the Czar of the IT industry of India, Azim Premji is the face of Wipro. Premji is known as an entrepreneur, investor, engineer, business tycoon, and philanthropist who was responsible for cementing the position of Wipro as one of the most prestigious of the Indian multinational corporations through more than four decades of growth and diversification.
Azim Premji is the founding Chairman and a non-executive member of the board of the company and has been twice listed by Time Magazine among the 100 Most Influential people.
Premji went for a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University but he had to come back to take charge of Wipro, which was then termed as Western Indian Vegetable Products. He expanded the business to a large scale and later on discovered the vacuum that IBM left on its expulsion from India. He filled the gap by developing the IT wing of Wipro.
Premji is one of the most successful Indian entrepreneurs whose total wealth was estimated $9.3billion and $25 billion respectively as of feb 2023. Moreover, he is also recognized for his philanthropic nature. He makes most of his donations to the Azim Premji Foundation and had agreed to give away half his wealth by signing the Giving Pledge in 2013. In 2019, he dropped from the 2nd position in the Forbes India Rich list to 17th position after giving away a huge amount to charity.
He topped the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List for 2020
Company - Dunzo
We all have heard about Dunzo but do you know who founded it? The 24/7 delivery app was founded in July 2014 by Kabeer Biswas, Ankur Agarwal, Dalvir Suri, and Mukund Jha. Kabeer Biswas is the CEO and Co-founder of Dunzo, who completed his B.E from the University of Mumbai and followed it with an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS).
He started his career with Bharti Airtel, Videocon Telecommunications, and then went on to found Dunzo. Dunzo currently provides its delivery services in eight Indian cities including Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
In August 2021, Dunzo launched a new service, Dunzo Daily, to deliver essentials and household items in 19 minutes. January 2022, Reliance Retail led a US$240 million funding round along with Dunzo's existing investors Lightbox, Lightrock, 3L Capital and Alteria Capital. Reliance Retail invested US$200 million for a 25.8% stake in Dunzo.
Company - Tata Group
Ratan Tata is the former Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Group and is still the head of the charitable trusts of the company. A scion of the Tata family, Ratan Tata was the son of Naval Tata and later adopted by Jamsetji Tata.
He is well-known as an Indian industrialist, philanthropist, and one of the few business tycoons who are synonymous with success. Tata was the recipient of two of the highest Indian civilian awards - Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
Ratan Tata was a student of the Cornell University of Architecture and completed his Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business school in 1975. Tata was the apparent successor of J.R.D Tata, who started with the shop floor of Tata Steel and was responsible for expanding the company on a massive scale.
Largely credited with the diversification and growth of Tata, Ratan Tata helped the company acquire numerous businesses and companies including Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover, and more, and scaled the company to unimaginable heights. Ratan Tata is currently featured among the top entrepreneurs of India and an inspirational figure for all the budding entrepreneurs and other individuals.
Company - Zerodha
Nithin Kamath is the Co-founder of the biggest stock-broking company in India, Zerodha, an inspirational entrepreneur, and is famous as one of the self-made billionaires of India. Nithin along with his brother, Nikhil Kamat has also been declared as the richest self-made billionaire in India under 40, according to IIFL Wealth and Hurun India’s 40 & Under Self-Made Rich List 2020 with a combined wealth of Rs 24,000 crores, as assessed in 2020. In year end march 2022 zerodha net profit was 2094.3 crore.
The company has valued itself at $3billion, based on the valuations of employee stock option. Nithin Kamath was a student of Bangalore Institute of Technology but he was never quite inclined to academics. Kamath got into the world of trading at the early age of 17 and eventually, his love for trading grew.
Nithin was successful in trading but also lost quite a lot of his money in the early 2000s. Kamath then returned to a fixed job at a call center, where he worked for 4 years before joining Reliance Money as a franchisee in proprietary trading and advisory services. He worked hard and saved his capital to establish his own company Zerodha in 2010 and emerge at the top of his game with Nikhil.
Company - Biocon
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is an Indian billionaire entrepreneur distinguished for being the executive chairperson and founder of Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited. Furthermore, she was also recognized as the former chairperson of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Kiran was the recipient of the Othmer Gold Medal for her contributions to the fields of science and chemistry.
Financial Times listed her among the Top 50 women in the business list while Forbes listed her as the 68th most powerful woman in the world. Furthermore, Kiran was also named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020.
After completing her graduation from Bangalore University with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology, Kiran went to the fermentation science and brewing at Melbourne University and topped her class emerging as a master brewer in 1975. She struggled to join as a master brewer in India after serving Carlton and United Breweries because the breweries here believed that the job of a master brewer is a “man’s work.”
However, Kiran discovered huge opportunities abroad and joined Biocon Biochemicals Limited, and eventually started Biocon India. In 2015, she joined The Giving Pledge, promising that at least half of her wealth will be dedicated to philanthrop. In 2019, she was listed as the 68th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. She received Firodia Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 for her contributions to science and technology.
In January 2020 Kiran received the international award and became the fourth Indian citizen to be honored with Australia's highest civilian award. In year 2023 they start
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw scholarship for the students who study in the fields of science, technology or mathematics at the Mount Helen Campus. By 2022 she has a net worth of $3.1 billion.
Also Read: Top Biotech Startups In India
Company - Freecharge
Back in 2010, paying gas, electricity, telephone bills, and recharging our mobiles, DTH, and more wasn’t as easy as it is now. Then, Freecharge was one of the companies that came into being, which greatly helped the Indian masses to empower their digital ways. Sandeep Tandon was one of the founders of this precursor of today’s digital payments app, Freecharge, which he founded in 2010 with Kunal Shah.
A technology investor and one of the most successful entrepreneurs of India, Sandeep Tandon was a student of Bombay Scottish, after which he pursued a Bachelor's and then Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Sandeep started his career with a Los Angeles startup where he worked as an application manager.
However, it wasn’t long before he left the company and initiated his own venture, Celetronix but that was again sold to Jabil Circuits.
Freecharge was the next company that he founded, which emerged as the fastest-growing mobile payments app in India. After a short but successful period, Freecharge was acquired by Snapdeal and then eventually acquired by Axis bank, which currently owns the company.
Being a successful entrepreneur with years of experience, Sandeep Tandon is currently serving as the Managing Director of Tandon Group, as an Angel investor, and a mentor to the young entrepreneurs.
Company - Bewakoof
As eccentric as its name, Bewakoof boasts of an incredibly successful run as a casual wear and accessories hotspot for the current generation and undoubtedly a major part of its success goes to its Founder Director, Prabhkiran Singh. He along with Siddharth Munot founded Bewakoof.com back in 2010, which has since been a raging success for its unique printed t-shirts, joggers, funky mobile covers, and other accessories.
Both being civil engineering graduates from IIT Bombay, Prabhkiran and Siddharth were well-known to each other. In fact, both of them started with their independent startups right after they completed studies but none of them truly worked before Bewakoof was launched, which disrupted the Indian markets, promoting the “silliness” when it comes to fashion.
The estimated annual revenue of Bewakoof in 2020 was INR 200 Crores. The net worth of Bewakoof is estimated at INR 100 Crores.
Varun & Ghazal Alagh
Company - Mamaearth
The Indian traditional consumer products market was all saturated and boring, hoping for an upcoming disruption, which Mamaearth brought with its honest, organic, and safe products. The initial idea emerged out of a real-life problem that Varun and Ghazal Alagh faced while raising their own baby.
All of us want to extend our utmost care and best quality products to a newborn and Varun and Ghazal Algh wanted the same for their baby. However, it was when they were expecting their baby that they found the reality about the Indian baby products, none of which met the safety standards required to be applied on a baby. They first started to import baby products from the US but that was neither feasible nor less of a burden to their finances.
This made the research, apply for proper certifications and resulted in the launch of Mamaearth after 4 years of hard work and R&D. Mamaearth is currently hailed as the first Asian brand with the MadeSafe certification for its toxin-free and entirely herbal products. Furthermore, it boasts of having served over 1.5 million customers across 500+ cities of India. The parents turned entrepreneurs, Varun Alagh and Ghazal Alagh have achieved an envious success and are looking forward to a brighter way ahead as one of the most successful Indian entrepreneurs.
The company has expanded into offline distribution through multi-brand retail outlets and exclusive stores, to both online and offline markets. Their next step is to expand the offline business to 100,000 outlets and 100 Indian cities. The company has estimated revenue of INR964 crore in FY22, a growth of 109% over the past year.
Company - Phonepe
PhonePe is akin to digital payments in today’s India. This market leader of a UPI-based digital payments platform was founded by Sameer Nigam, along with his co-founders, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer in December 2015.
Sameer Nigam has an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The Wharton School. After completing his schooling at DPS Noida, Sameer went to study Computer Engineering at the University of Mumbai and then completed a Masters of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona, finally finishing his MBA in 2009.
Sameer served as the Director of Search Product Development at Shopzilla for a little over 6 years, after which he launched Mime360, an online social media distribution channel. Mime360 was eventually acquired by Flipkart, where he again served as a Senior Vice President, Engineering but he left the company after one and half years to start his own company, PhonePe.
PhonePe has since been a roaring success! PhonePe continues to be the top player in the Indian payments ecosystem and accounted for nearly 50 percent of all UPI transactions processed in December 2022, According to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
We hope this list of famous Indian entrepreneurs motivates you to act on that startup idea you have in your head. Who else do you think should be featured in this list? And what makes you go gaga over him or her?
Who is the youngest entrepreneur in India?
Shravan Kumaran and Sanjay Kumaran are the youngest entrepreneurs in India. They co-founded the company called 'GoDimensions' a development unit, in 2011 at their home at the age of 10.
Who is the world's richest person?
The world's richest person is none other than the founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, who boasts of a net worth of $223 billion, as of February 28, 2022.
Who is the richest Indian?
Mukesh Ambani is the richest Indian with a wealth of $103 Billion, as of March 2022.
Is a CEO an owner?
The title of CEO is typically given to someone by the board of directors. Owner is a job title that is earned by sole proprietors and entrepreneurs, who have total ownership of the business. However, these job titles are not mutually exclusive — CEOs can be owners and owners can be CEOs.
Who are the leading Indian entrepreneurs now?
To name some of the most prominent Indian entrepreneurs, we must list:
- Dhirubhai Ambani
- Mukesh Ambani
- Gautam Adani
- Ratan Tata
- Azim Premji
- Shiv Nadar
- Deep Kalra
- Byju Raveendran
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma
- Bhavish Aggarwal
- Ritesh Agarwal
- Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah
- Kunal Shah
- Binny and Sachin Bansal
- Sanjiv Bajaj
- Richa Kar