Before you go on to read ahead, we have a warning for you – this article may make you feel very bad about yourself; make you question everything you’ve done so far in your puny little life. It may even cause you to worry about where your future is headed if your mother doesn’t already do that 10 times a day.
Or, you may choose to be an optimist for once, and actually, get inspired by the tales of these 6 epic Indians. 6 Indians that defied all odds and ensured success at an age where most people barely even get past dreaming about success. 6 young Indians that are making the world stand up and take notice of them.
We bring to you 6 Indian entrepreneurs, thirsty, but not yet thirty, making all the big noises for all the right reasons –
- Shashank ND
This guy barely made the cut here. He almost doesn’t belong in this list. Not because he isn’t worthy or meritorious enough – it’s because he’s about to turn over 30 next month! When it comes to merit though, the 29 ¾ -years old B.Tech from NIT, Surathkal, is right up there with the biggies. Co-founder and CEO of Practo, a healthcare website and App that primarily helps patients and doctors connect with each other quickly. Consumers can find doctors and book online appointments, chat online with doctors, order medicines and lab tests, store health records and even read health articles written by doctors.
Practo, valued today at over $500mn, has over 2,00,000 healthcare providers on its platform and is present in India, Singapore, Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia catering to consumers and providers and in 10 more countries with its software products for healthcare providers. Practo touches the lives of billions of people today and is responsible for over 50M appointments/year on its platform.
“I want to build something that lasts for decades,” says Shashank, with the steely resolve in his eyes determined enough to break mountains. If and how much he grows, is something only God would know. We, just have to sit back and watch him unfold his magic!
2) Ritesh Agarwal
Yet another dropout-success story. This time, of 23-year old Ritesh Agarwal, who founded Oyo Rooms soon after dropping out of college at 17. That’s right – 17 years! An age where most children are worried about getting good scores in their 12th Grade exams, Ritesh Agarwal had worries of a different kind going on. The man who has stayed at numerous budget hotels himself – and juggled roles as the housekeeper, call centre guy, and startup founder – now owns India’s biggest brand of budget hotel rooms.
Three years ago, he started off with a single Gurgaon hotel. It had 14 rooms, and OYO took over 11 of those. Now, it boasts of over 5500 properties in more than 170 cities! A net-worth valued over $500mn, Oyo is poised to raise a further $500mn from Softbank Vision Fund, thus putting it on the elite list of billion-dollar startups!
Oyo Rooms has been largely successful by adopting a business model that takes up budget rooms and provides top-class amenities like clean bathrooms and AC’s, something that was long considered to be the monopoly of fancy, 5-star+ hotels. The startup controls the entire process, from discovery to booking to the stay itself. OYO claims to have a 150-point standardization checklist and a 30-point audit checklist, to ensure top quality to every consumer even at budget prices.
The startup, which now offers premium rooms too, would rather focus on leisure stays and pilgrimages. Wonder what other masterstrokes lie in the 23-year old, Forbes -30-under-30 brain of Ritesh Agarwal…
3) Nandan Reddy & Rahul Jaimini
Unless you’re living under a rock, you must be aware of Swiggy, if not used its services already for a million times. Nandan Reddy & Rahul Jaimini, both awarded the prestige of Forbes India 30-under-30, co-founded Swiggy. Swiggy is a food ordering and delivery company based out of Bangalore, providing services in across NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune.
Rahul Jaimini, 29, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus, who was then working as a software engineer with online fashion retailer Myntra, was roped in by Nandan to build the startup’s technology infrastructure. It has a simple business model – It collects commissions from restaurants, and also levies a nominal delivery fee from customers. This simple food delivery business has worked wonders – Swiggy has raised a total of $75.5 million in funding from various investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners, Harmony Venture Partners, RB Investments and Apoletto.
Reddy believes there is big headroom for growth. “We see a million orders a day as a very real possibility in the next five years,” he says. We’re waiting…
4) Dhruvil Sanghvi
“Logistics” is a term that is not widely used by many normal “muggle” citizens. Hell, more than half of them may not even know what it means! Talk about B2B industrial circles, however, and the masters of the trade would tell you just one name – LogiNext. Founder and CEO of one of India’s largest logistics networks, Dhruvil Sanghvi’s dinner guest list would probably include the Ambanis and the Birlas in a few years’ time. LogiNext has been recognized by some of the largest players including Reliance, Microsoft and IBM as one of the top 10 B2B startups of India. It is also backed by some of the top Indian HNIs as a part of Indian Angel Network. It has also raised more than $10mn by funding from e-com giant Paytm.
The brain behind LogiNext is no ordinary one. Dhruvil Sanghvi has previously worked with Deloitte Consulting and Ernst & Young Technology Advisory. He has extensive experience of advising a variety of Fortune 500 companies, starting from logistics companies to state and federal governments, on how to convert Big Data into intelligence. Dhruvil was on the core team of advising the largest logistics company in US as a part of their last mile route optimization program.
With plans for global expansion – eyeing China, South East Asia, and the Middle East regions, the only way this lad can go is up North on the scale of success.
5) Richa Singh
For most of us, Dear Zindagi was our wake-up call to the harsh reality of depression and other mental illnesses. For 29-year old IIT Guwahati graduate Richa Singh, it dawned much earlier, when of her batchmates committed suicide. And then was born YourDost, a one-stop platform for anyone in trouble with depression, for anyone who needs a dost to realize he/she is not alone.
Teaming up with Puneet Manuja, also a victim of depression, Richa, via her one-of-a-kind startup, has succeeded in making her presence felt. Today, YourDOST has 750-plus experts, conducts 1,200 sessions per day and has helped 9 lakh people. Based in Bengaluru, the startup currently employs 25 people. The platform has three layers—self-help (educational content to build awareness), peer-to-peer (stories of people who have been through difficult times) and one-to-one (speaking to experts).
What drives this startup, even more, is that both Richa and Puneet have personal reasons to do this, and therefore their drive and hunger are very high. In a country of 1.2bn people, each living with miseries unknown, Richa knows she has only just tapped the tip of the iceberg.
6) Malav Sanghvi
Ordinarily, people are too busy thinking of what sweets to buy from which shop after a baby is born in their family. Malav Sanghvi, 27 however, does not fit into the category of “ordinary”. Watching his cousin’s baby being taken care of by incubators at the hospital, Malav’s mind automatically sped into the direction of the poor, the destitute, who may not be so lucky enough to afford post-natal health care.
This thought slowly took the form of LifeCradle, a low-cost cardboard incubator that can be used even by the poorest of the lot to provide healthcare for newly-borns. LifeCradle is designed to provide hygienic living conditions as well as the technology needed for a newborn’s survival at home once it leaves neonatal care while keeping costs down. While the base is made of cardboard, the lid, which houses the technology, can be reused at care centres for the next child’s LifeCradle. The design makes it 90 percent cheaper than existing incubators and will be made available to neonatal intensive care units where such facilities are not affordable.
Already working on his another medi-care solution – Creoto, a programmable smart socket for amputees, Malav shows he is here to stay until everyone can afford the healthcare they deserve. With plans to reach out to the poorest of countries in Africa and Latin America with his innovative medicare solutions, his goal, he says, is to develop a system of sustainable and affordable health care at the grassroots.
What are you doing with your life, again, besides swiping right?