When the word “Entrepreneur” comes to mind, the connotation that arrives along with it is “risk-taker”. Encyclopedias and dictionaries define entrepreneurship to be the act of creation. Designing, creating and running a small venture is what entrepreneurship in its essence is.
Deep down though, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship are largely running around the ability to be a risk-taker. The ability to believe in yourself and creating something meaningful, taking the risks involved in it heads-on. Entrepreneurship is about solving problems. Identifying the needs, wants and desires of a customer segment, and providing the products or services.
Economics has a rather intriguing definition for entrepreneurship. The discipline of economics views an entrepreneur as someone who looks up the commercial foundations of the opportunities. The entrepreneur makes use of technology to create a new tomorrow, solving problems at the core of their focused discipline.
Lots of jargon? Let’s simplify. An entrepreneur is a problem solver, except for that fact that she is also willing to find the best solution, taking utmost riskiest factor into consideration. Furthermore, it’s a battle, and they are hell-bent to emerge as winners.
India has become one of the topmost countries to produce startup unicorns. Our glorifying entrepreneurship history has given us legends like Ambani, Birla, Tata and Mittal. Moreover, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs in India.
10.| Shradha Sharma
Shradha Sharma founded the popular entrepreneurship blog cum news platform, YourStory. It focuses on the Indian startup ecosystem, covering news ranging from stories of entrepreneurs to funding alerts. Apart from the Indian startup ecosystem, it also covers Europe, the USA and almost every other continent and country.
It publishes its articles in various vernacular languages, as well, languages foreign to India. Sharma started it in October 2008 and has been operating it ever since. Furthermore, Sharma regularly interviews new entrepreneurs and features stories from across the world.
9.| Sriharsha Majety
Around the time Uber was changing the way people take cabs in 2014, Majety was changing the way people eat food in India. Starting from being a courier aggregator, Majety shifted to food ordering and delivery services. Thus, in 2014, Swiggy was born. Swiggy went on to become India’s fastest-growing unicorn.
Swiggy is a food ordering and delivery service’s aggregator. Although it is facing stiff competition from other players such as Zomato and Uber Eats, the journey of Majety and his mates, Reddy and Jaimini still remains inspirational.
8.| Phanindra Sama
The lack of centralized information providing platform regarding bus tickets during Diwali Vacations prompted Sama to create redBus. The journey of Sama is quite intriguing to young entrepreneurs. The problem Sama faced while trying to search for information regarding buses from Bangalore to Hyderabad, made him realize that the internet could be a medium to connect the vendors and the customers.
Furthermore, by 2014, redBus was already in collaboration with Uber and Ibibo Group.
7.| Sandeep Aggarwal
Sandeep can be described as a serial entrepreneur. After co-founding the successful Indian marketplace, Shopclues, he went on to create Droom. Droom is becoming India’s biggest automobile marketplace for buying and selling vehicles. Over these years, Aggarwal with his efforts expanded Droom to become a full-fledged automobile company, that does everything except manufacturing.
6.| Bhavish Aggarwal
Bhavish Aggarwal co-founded OlaCabs, the Indian solution to cab disorganization problem. Uber is a good analogy and a competitor to OlaCabs in India. Aggarwal started off as a Researcher in Microsoft after completing college from the premier Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. In 2011, he wanted to create a solution for outstation rentals in India. They gradually pivoted to ride-hailing services.
They were hailed as the youngest richest Indians in 2015, and since then, have become investors themselves, investing in companies such as Vogo.
5.| Sridhar Vembu
Vembu is the man behind the corporate SaaS provider platform, Zoho. It has a come to a long way from selling network equipment to creating applications focused on the B2B (Business to Business) market segment. Vembu, a pass out of the esteemed Princeton University, and Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, created Zoho due to the lack of proper online applications.
Zoho, apart from providing applications focused on the corporate, also provides basic business tools to nurturing startups. Furthermore, it has a coveted 40 million active users now, with over 45 products in their catalogue.
4.| Kunal Shah
Shah brought the work of recharging mobile into the hands of the consumers through their online portal, in India. Started in 2010, Freecharge founded by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon has come a long way from just being a mobile recharge platform. They were acquired by the eCommerce platform Snapdeal.
Recently, Axis Bank bought Freecharge. Kunal Shah left from the post of the Chief Executive Officer just after the Snapdeal Deal.
3.| Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Sharma was born and brought up in the small town of Aligarh. His story of founding PayTM is a historical saga, for some and for some it is a real entrepreneurial journey. He passed out of the prestigious Delhi Technological University in 1998. While in college he created various web platforms and sold them.
He started One97 Communications in 2000 as one in all platform for news and blog. In 2010, he started PayTM. He bootstrapped it with his own money, and in the phase of demonetisation in India around November 2016, gave it a boost.
Sharma also became the youngest Indian to be on the Forbes’ Billionaires list in 2017.
2.| Ritesh Agarwal
Ritesh Agarwal has become the poster boy for Entrepreneurs in India. While travelling he realized the lack of proper facilities for a budget traveller. That drove him to drop out of college, and start Oravel Stays. He became the first and only entrepreneur in India to receive the Theil Fellowship. He gradually pivoted Oravel to OYO Rooms.
According to the stats, it has become the third-largest hotel chain in the world. Agarwal expanded OYO to China, the United Kingdom, and has plans for the United States also.
1.| Sachin Bansal
Sachin Bansal co-founded Flipkart, one of India’s biggest eCommerce platform, with Binny Bansal. A pass out from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Bansal served as the Chief Executive Officer for about 11 years. Flipkart was bought by Walmart for about $16-$19 billion dollars. After the Walmart deal, Bansal left Flipkart as the CEO, and Binny was promoted to the position.
Bansal is described as an enthusiastic coder and a really avid gamer. He was known to organize gaming and coding challenges in the company. Furthermore, he was an engineer in the Amazon Web Services, which he left in 2007 for Flipkart.
Moreover, he has been the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Economics Time in 2013. Since the Walmart deal, he has become an active investor in companies such as OlaCabs, InShorts and Unacademy.
While entrepreneurship is a tiring journey, the sheer will and dedication of these entrepreneurs are really inspiring. Furthermore, there are hurdles on the way everywhere. But, their will to take upon risks and fight each obstacle separates them from a lot of us.