Who are the top 10 entrepreneurs in India is a common question that people inquire since entrepreneurship is a fascinating topic of conversation. India’s entrepreneurial culture has recently experienced a surge, notably with the expansion of internet access.
Since 2017, India’s startup industry and entrepreneurship have expanded as enterprises have proliferated quickly all around the nation. The Indian government created the Startup India program to assist and maintain its growth. By the year 2020, this program has formally acknowledged over 14,000 companies.
India’s economic outlook and unicorns
Over 63 million firms, most of which are microenterprises, make up India’s economy, with over half of them located in rural regions. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of startup investment transactions stayed largely unchanged, while the value of startup funding declined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative economic effects. Due to a variety of financing opportunities and investment plans, entrepreneurs in India have mostly expanded in the technology and e-commerce industries.
Top startup industries and unicorns
Meanwhile, corporate technology, followed by health and education, accounted for the majority of all startups in the nation. In the Asia Pacific area, India also had the second-highest number of unicorns, with a market value of slightly under $100 billion in 2021. That year, One97 Communications was the highest-valued unicorn in the nation.
This statistic shows the findings of a poll conducted among Indian adults in June 2017 about their opinions of entrepreneurship in India. 42.1% of poll participants between the ages of 18 and 64 said they thought they have the necessary skills and expertise to launch a business.
As of June 2017, this statistic presents the findings of a study that asked Indian business owners why they chose to engage in early-stage entrepreneurial activities. 39.1% of those who participated in the poll at the time said that they took advantage of an opportunity to launch their own firm.
Leading female-owned businesses in India by financing value in 2020: Byju’s, an Indian ed-tech startup, had received over $1.5 billion in financing as of 2020. As a result, according to overall investment, its co-founder Divya Gokulnath is the top female entrepreneur in India. Falguni Nayar, the creator of the beauty shop Nykaa, is second, followed by Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, a co-founder of the online marketplace Shopclues.
This article is dedicated to some of the top Indian entrepreneurs, whose endeavors have transformed the way that millions, if not billions, of people throughout the world, live their everyday lives. Their journey to fame and notoriety wasn’t simple but still, they reached to the top with their persistent effort and hard work.
List of top entrepreneurs in India
1. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (JRD Tata)
He was the first pilot in India and has been Tata & Sons’ chairman for 50 years. In addition, he established Air India International, India’s first overseas airline, and in 1992, he received the Bharat Ratna honour.
He created TATA Airlines, which ultimately evolved into the modern Air India, after working for the TATA family business.
JRD Tata is one of the top Indian entrepreneurs. He founded one of India’s largest industrial enterprises and was a pioneering pilot. His automaker, Tata Motors (TTM), is renowned for creating economical cars that almost all common Indians can buy. JRD Jamsetji Tata, who founded the TATA group of enterprises in the middle of the nineteenth century, is the ancestor of Tata.
When JRD Tata passed away, TATA had almost 100 distinct companies across several industries.
2. Dilip Sanghvi
In 1982, Dilip Shanghvi invested 10000 INR (about $200) to start Sun Pharmaceuticals. As the son of a pharmaceutical wholesaler, Shanghvi was knowledgeable about what he was doing. Sun India, which has amassed a market capitalization of over 2 trillion rupees, is now the largest pharmaceutical company in India. The latest estimation of Shanghvi’s net worth is $11.8 billion.
The largest pharmaceutical company in the nation, among the top Indian entrepreneurs, and one of the top manufacturers of acute medications in India is Sun Pharmaceuticals. The fifth-largest specialty generics firm in the world is Sun Pharma.
The head of the governing board at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, or IIT Mumbai, is Dilip Shanghvi. He is among the richest people in the nation. The central board committee of the RBI, which has 21 members, now includes Dilip Shanghvi.
3. Ritesh Agarwal
OYO Rooms was created in 2015 by Ritesh Agarwal. He received the TiE – Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2014), made history by becoming the first Asian to win the Thiel Fellowship’s “20 under 20” category in 2013, was recognised as one of the world’s top 50 entrepreneurs by the TATA First Dot Awards in 2013, and at the age of 17 he was appointed the youngest CEO in history.
Ritesh Agarwal, one of the top Indian entrepreneurs, an Orissan youngster from a family that valued commerce, moved to Kota to study engineering. But in contrast to other JEE hopefuls, he was consumed by his enthusiasm and did not treat JEE preparation seriously. Instead, he published a book on Flipkart called “Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia of Top 100 Colleges,” which was quite successful.
He was just 16 years old when he was chosen for the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s Asian Science Camp (TIFR). Due to his love of travel and extensive hotel living, Ritesh noticed a frequent issue at the locations he stayed: the extravagant cost of the hotel room was out of proportion to the amenities offered.
He believed that the majority of hotels in India could not meet the fundamental requirements of a tourist on a tight budget. As a result, he launched his first business, Oravel Stays, in 2012. His business plan was modified, and he relaunched Oravel as “OYO,” which stands for “ON YOUR OWN.” Through OYO, Ritesh Agarwal rose to prominence as one of India’s most successful businessmen.
4. Ajim Premji
Azim Premji, the face of Wipro, is also regarded as the Czar of India’s IT sector and among the top Indian entrepreneurs. Premji is renowned as an investor, business mogul, engineer, and philanthropist. Through more than 40 years of expansion and diversification, Premji helped Wipro establish itself as one of the most respected of all Indian multinational enterprises. Azim Premji, the company’s founder chairman, and a non-executive board member has twice been included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential Persons.
Premji attended Stanford University to get a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, but he had to return to lead Wipro, which was then known as Western Indian Vegetable Products. He grew the company to a significant size before realising the void created by IBM’s departure from India. He filled the void by expanding Wipro’s IT division.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index assessed Premji’s total worth at $32.8 billion. He is one of the most prosperous Indian businessmen. He is also known for his charitable tendencies. The Azim Premji Foundation receives the majority of his gifts, and in 2013 he committed to donating half of his wealth by signing the Giving Pledge.
5. Sachin Bansal
Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal is one of the top Indian entrepreneurs. Flipkart is India’s biggest internet retailer. On August 5, 1981, Sachin Bansal was born in Chandigarh, India. Sachin earned a degree in computer engineering from IIT Delhi. Prior to launching his own internet firm, he had a key position at Amazon Web Services. With his friend Binny Bansal, Sachin Bansal established Flipkart in 2007.
The world’s largest purchase for an online firm occurred in 2018 when American behemoth Walmart acquired a 77% share in Flipkart. Sachin resigned as CEO and Chairman in addition to selling his holdings to Walmart for more than $1 billion. Between 2007 and 2018, he spent 11 years working for Flipkart.
As of, Sachin’s net worth was estimated to be $1.2 billion. He is the managing director of the financial services business Navi group.
6. Shradha Sharma
Shradha Sharma was at the top of her game while working for renowned news organisations like the Times of India and CNBC. She was the pinnacle of bravery and knowledge (Mumbai). She saw throughout her time working for these groups that no one was eager to publicise and share the tales of entrepreneurs, both successful and less successful.
She came to the conclusion that there are countless stories floating around but no platform to share them with the general public. Shradha made the decision to launch the website portal YourStory, which features business success stories and other interesting information.
Since its launch in 2008, YourStory has facilitated the exposure of more than 70,000 stories. Shradha Sharma oversees a group of over 100 individuals that collaborate to provide material in 11 Indian languages. The purpose of YourStory is to give voice to the emotional roller coaster that an entrepreneur experiences. Shradha Sharma is one of the top Indian entrepreneurs, the L’Oreal Paris Femina Award winner, and one of the Top 500 LinkedIn Influencers in the World. She is one of India’s most popular female business owners.
7. Richa Kar
Zivame, one of the biggest online lingerie retailers in India, features Richa Kar as its face who is also among the top Indian entrepreneurs. In Jamshedpur, Richa was born into a traditional household. Kar, a graduate of engineering from BITS Pilani, finally applied for a corporate position in Bangalore. After leaving her work finally to get an MBA, Richa joined Spencers Retail before joining SAP Retail.
Her experience in the retail sector aided in the development of her knowledge and practical abilities. Richa was fascinated by Victoria’s Secret, America’s largest women’s lingerie retailer, and the success it experiences while working for SAP. Soon after, she discovered that India lacked any websites that let women to easily and freely purchase for their own underwear online.
Richa’s parents didn’t understand the idea of selling lingerie and weren’t sure how they should talk about her daughter, who is involved in such a career, to others despite the fact that Richa had a significant amount of experience in the retail business at that point of about 8 years. She thus had no family support whatsoever, but in 2011, she eventually founded Zivame with Kapil Karekar thanks to her perseverance and entrepreneurial drive.
One of the top online stores for women’s lingerie in India, the business was founded with just Rs 35 lakhs that Richa borrowed from her friends. Currently, the firm controls roughly 26% of the Indian women’s online lingerie industry, which had revenues of Rs 430 crore in FY19.
8. Nithin Kamath
Nithin Kamath is one of India’s self-made billionaires, one of the top Indian entrepreneurs, and the co-founder of Zerodha, the largest stock brokerage firm in the country. He is a role model for entrepreneurs everywhere. According to IIFL Worth and Hurun India’s 40 & Under Self-Made Rich List 2020, Nithin and his brother Nikhil Kamat have also been named the richest self-made billionaires in India under 40, with a combined wealth of Rs 24,000 crores, as evaluated in 2020.
Nithin Kamath attended the Bangalore Institute of Technology, although he was never very academically oriented. At the young age of 17, Kamath entered the world of trading, and with time, his enthusiasm for trading intensified. In the early 2000s, Nithin had some trading success but also suffered significant financial losses.
Then, for a further four years, Kamath worked in a permanent position in a contact centre before joining Reliance Money as a franchisee for proprietary trading and advisory services. He put forth a lot of effort and sacrificed money to launch his own business, Zerodha, in 2010 and win Nikhil as a partner.
9. Ghazal Alagh
With its sincere, organic, and secure products, Mamaearth caused a disruption in the Indian traditional consumer products sector, which was oversaturated and dull. The original concept came from a genuine issue that Varun and Ghazal Alagh encountered while caring for their own child which got them placed among the top Indian entrepreneurs.
Everyone wants to give a newborn the utmost attention and highest-quality supplies, and Varun and Ghazal Algh wanted the same for their child. They only learned the truth about Indian baby products—that none of them satisfied the safety criteria necessary to be used on a baby—when they were expecting their own child.
They initially began importing infant items from the US, but that wasn’t practical or any less of a financial strain. After four years of arduous labour and R&D, Mamaearth was finally launched as a result of the research and applications for the necessary certifications.
For its toxin-free and totally herbal goods, Mamaearth is presently regarded as the first Asian business to get MadeSafe accreditation. Additionally, it says that it has serviced more than 1.5 million consumers in more than 500 Indian cities. Varun Alagh and Ghazal Alagh, two parents who have turned to entrepreneurship, have seen enviable success and anticipate a greater future as some of the most prosperous Indian businesspeople.
10. Deepinder Goyal
Zomato is a web-based program that allows users to purchase meals online and have it delivered to their location from a variety of restaurants, lodging establishments, and cafés. In practically every region in India, this service is accessible. The organization furthermore offers a variety of reward programs and timely discounts, which raises client retention rates.
This incredible meal delivery industry was founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, and its main office is in Gurugram, Haryana. Both of them are Delhi-born IIT graduates. In Muktsar, Punjab, Deepinder Goyal is a member of a middle-class family who is now indeed one of the top Indian entrepreneurs. He is one of India’s most well-known businesspeople.
Deepinder Goyal’s net worth was projected to reach $2200 billion in 2021, and the company’s revenue for the fiscal year 2021 would be around $1,994 billion (US$260 million). The firm currently employs more than 5000 people and serves more than 24 countries, including the UAE, Indonesia, Qatar, the UK, Sri Lanka, and many more.
The list of top 10 entrepreneurs in India, above demonstrates that you may become a billionaire with your ideas and abilities, but you must work hard and be creative to succeed. Due to their brilliant ideas and companies, which create possibilities and spread them to everyone, entrepreneurs serve as the foundation of our economy.
I really hope that these 10 successful top Indian entrepreneurs will inspire and enable you to establish your own enterprises. Although there are many challenges and disappointments, your business can succeed with effort and commitment.