India is now rapidly moving towards startup culture. People are choosing entrepreneurship over 9 to 5 jobs. However, not everyone succeed in their entrepreneurial journey. A survey has found that 11% of Indian population are engaged in "early-stage entrepreneurial activities". However, only 5% of population were actually able to establish their own startup. So, we have listed top and some of the most inspirational entrepreneurs in India, which will hopefully motivate you to work harder and not to give up. These people are all successful entrepreneurs in India who have gone through a lot to get to where they are today.
Founder- OYO Rooms
Awarded as the TiE – Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2014), first resident Asian to win ’20 under 20’ Thiel Fellowship (2013), named one of the top 50 entrepreneurs by TATA First Dot Awards (2013) and World’s Youngest CEO at 17, Ritesh Agarwal founded OYO rooms in 2015. Ritesh Agarwal, an Orissa boy coming from a business background, went to Kota to become an engineer. But unlike other JEE aspirants, he pursued his passion and never took the preparation so seriously. Instead, he wrote a book – ‘Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia of Top 100 Colleges’ which was quite 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 habit of travelling and living in tons of hotels, Ritesh observed a very common problem – Price of the Hotel Room V/s The Facilities provided. He felt that the majority of hotels in India couldn’t satisfy the basic needs of a traveler within a budget. Thus, he started his first venture in 2012 as Oravel Stays. Improving his business model, he re-launched Oravel as ‘OYO’ which was short for ‘ON YOUR OWN’ and became one of the most popular and successful young entrepreneurs in India.
An epitome of courage and wisdom, a girl who was at the top of her career while working with famous news media houses like Times of India and CNBC, Mumbai. She got a chance to interact with the entrepreneurs’ success story ideas that were rejected by channels. She figured out that there are millions of stories storming around but there’s no one to listen to them. An idea struck her mind to make an online portal to provide an ear to those stories. YourStory started in 2008 and today has 70,000 stories and the young girl leads a team of 100+ people who offer content in 11 local languages. The motive is to share the roller coaster of emotions that an entrepreneur go through. She was awarded the L’Oreal Paris Femina Award and also included in the list of Worlds’ Top 500 LinkedIn Influencers. She is one of the most successful and influential female entrepreneurs in India.
Founder- Ola Cabs
Coming from an IITians family, Bhavish Agarwal, an IIT-B alumnus founded the most popular Cab Aggregator in India – OlaCabs. He received The mBillionth award South Asia 2013, Best startup of the year by IAMAL and got listed in 30 under 30 by Forbes, this young man revolutionised the cab service in India by connecting it well with the smartphones. The only thing that made OlaCabs different from other cab services at that time was the full use of smartphone and GPS technology that made it easier for the user to board the car and travel. He achieved all this after quitting from a lavish job at Microsoft. No one supported his idea, but it was his strong will, determination and power to take risks in life that led him to the pinnacle of success. Today, he is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in India.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma
The stepping stone of Digitalised India was laid down by Paytm which was started by Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Vijay Shekhar is from Aligarh. He couldn’t sit for competitive exams just because of his poor English. After working on many projects and small startup during graduation from Delhi College of Engineering, Vijay finally took a huge risk of investing $2 mn and founded One97, parent company of Paytm. Giving the Indians the service of internet wallet, paying by scanning the QR code, easy bill payments etc. led to the success of this company. And he became the most successful tech entrepreneur in India.
Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah
More like brothers than just business partners, these two IIT-D alumni revolutionised the food delivery system of India by giving birth to the most successful startup ZOMATO. Initially started as ‘Foodiebay’, the services was first began in Delhi. It was later extended to Mumbai and Kolkata and today the delivery boys in red T-shirts can be seen in every nook and corner of the nation. The best part is the Mobile App, which has an excellent user interface and locates your food with GPS, and let one pay easily. 2018 marked the 10 eventful years of Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd.
Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal
With a background of being a Software Engineer at Starnoff and Amazon, the two IIT-D boys introduced e-commerce in India with their startup Flipkart. The two engineers found discrepancies in Google Maps and Amazon’s way of searching the products. With a lot of fresh ideas, the boys had figured out what Indians and Indian market needed which Amazon couldn’t provide. The USP was to deliver on or before time and making the user interface simple by improving the technology. Both the founders has now stepped down from their positions in Flipkart after it was acquired by Walmart in 2018. However, the company is still giving a tough fight to all e-commerce platforms and winning the hearts of Indians.
As a Chairperson of NASSCOM Internet Working Group, member of the Executive Council of NASSCOM and member of CII’s Tourism Sub-Committee, Deep Kalra introduced the concept of online train bookings with the introduction of MakeMyTrip.com. A graduate of St. Stephen’s College and masters from IIM-Ahmedabad, Deep kalra worked for GE Capital, ABN AMRO Bank. But the office culture and 9-5 job didn’t interest him much. With a $2 million investment from eVentures and co-founders, Deep Kalra founded MakeMyTrip (earlier named as India Ahoy) in 2000. The company was listed in NASDAQ in August 2010. After IRCTC came into the race, Deep introduced Hotel Bookings too! Today the company has some popular mergers like MyGola, TrulyMadly, ITC group etc.
By giving this nation the concept of online education with a special package for preparation of competitive exams, Byju’s App helped thousands of students who struggled with mathematics, science or cracking the hardest exams like JEE, NEET & UPSC. Raveendran is an engineer who worked in a shipping firm, stepped into the field of teaching accidentally when he taught his friends for CAT exam and they cleared it with flying colours. He then fell in love with teaching and found his true passion. He is today spreading his knowledge with a group of brilliant minds through video tutorials. He started it all with an initial investment of just Rs. 2 Lakh which now has grown to Rs. 3300 Crore.
Bringing the grocery store at your doorstep was one the most beautiful ideas of the century and this idea came in the form of BigBasket started by Hari Menon. With sales of over Rs. 150 Crore per month, the company has broken all the myth of the e-commerce sector. It is operational in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Kolkata as of now.
Albinder Dhindsa thought to provide the Grocery, Bakery, General Store, all at your doorstep. He is the founder of Grofers with a current valuation of $115 million. An another IIT-Delhi graduate, the man with his friend Saurabh (IIT-Bangalore) worked together to infuse new ideas into the online delivery system of the country. They have now moved from B2B to B2C. This startup was named one of the Top 10 Startups in Delhi as well as Gurgaon in 2014.
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There are many more successful entrepreneurs in India. And many more are taking birth each day. If you know any other successful entrepreneur which should have been featured in this list, you can let us know using the comment box. We hope that this article motivates you to present your wonderful ideas and transform them into a multi-million dollar startup.