- Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal )
Despite having changed their business model nearly half-a-dozen times during the early days, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal have managed to establish Snapdeal among the top three e-commerce players in India.
In 2014, Snapdeal was valued at over $1.8 billion. According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, Bahl and Bansal own around 8.5 per cent in the e-commerce company, putting their stake at around $145 million. The single largest shareholder in Snapdeal is SoftBank Group with a 33 per cent stake. Snapdeal has so far raised $1.1 billion from 16 investors.
Bahl and Bansal have not stopped at creating wealth in their own venture, but have also een active angel investors in Indian startups, having invested in Delhi-based Gigstar .com (a marketplace for entertainers and party planners), apparel start-up Bewakoof, travel community Tripoto and Mumbai-based food ordering app Tiny Owl.
While in an earlier interview with this newspaper, Bahl had said that most of the wealth for him and his partner will be created by Snapdeal, their decision to mentor and engage with younger entrepreneurs has led to their being described as “brave entrepreneurs”.
- Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (Flipkart)
In just seven years of starting from scratch, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, co-founders of India’s e-commerce posterboy Flipkart, have outgrown the financial success of several iconic Indian businessmen.
It didn’t take decades for the duo, who are unrelated to each other, to cross a combined net worth of $1 billion, like it had for technology stalwarts like N R Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani, both of Infosys.
At the time of raising $1-billion last year, the Bansals’ combined stake of around 15 per cent in Flipkart was valued at Rs 6,000 crore (Rs 60 billion). Murthy, along with his family, had a net worth of around Rs 8,500 crore (Rs 85 billion) at the time, while Nilekani and his family’s worth stood at around Rs 6,500 crore (Rs 65 billion).
The story of how the two men started with just two laptops and grew to its current size is inspirational.
They were not only able to ride India’s robust consumption story, but also earned the investors’ willingness to place their bets on their company. In 2014, this resulted in Flipkart raising close to $2 billion.
- Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah (Zomato)
They didn’t choose the route of big fund-raising like their Indian peers in the consumer Internet space, but Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah are clearly focused on establishing their seven-year-old company, Zomato, as a global leader in the online restaurant search business. Currently valued at around $700 million, experts estimate that Zomato is all set to enter the billion-dollar club in 2015, setting the stage for the founding duo’s combined net worth to touch a billion dollars over the next few years.
The two former Bain & Co executives have taken the Gurgaon-headquartered Zomato, which began in Goyal’s bedroom, to its current status through global acquisitions, buying out companies in the US, Turkey, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic.
In six funding rounds, Zomato has raised $113.8 million from three investors, most of it coming from online classifieds and e-commerce company Info Edge, with venture capital funds Sequoia Capital and Vy Capital participating in later rounds.
- Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati (OLA)
If sources are to be believed, the valuation of mobile app-based taxi aggregator Ola (formerly OlaCabs) doubled in the first six months of 2014. That would put the Bengaluru-headquartered company, started by Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, among the fastest growing technology startups in the country. While Aggarwal and Bhati have kept a low profile, their venture was in the limelight when it entered the $1-billion valuation club late in 2014, just three years after its inception. In addition, Ola attracted funding of $210 million from Japan’s richest man, Masayoshi Son, the chairman of telecom and media group SoftBank Corp. Ola has so far raised $276.8 million from nine investors.
Aggarwal and Bhati, both in their late-20s, have not only created landmarks in terms of valuation, but also set records in terms of growing their business: Ola entered nine new cities in a span of 45 days between October and November last year.
The company now has a presence in over 67 cities, and has an ambitious plan to expand to 100 cities by the end of 2015. Aggarwal’s dedication towards his idea reflects in the fact that along with his wife, he has pledged never to buy a personal vehicle and always use Ola for transportation.
Besides, they are already known for their philanthrophy.
In 2014, Aggarwal accepted the “ice-bucket challenge” from Vikas Malpani, co-founder of Commonfloor, and Kunal Bahl of Snapdeal, and donated an undisclosed amount to the Akshaya Patra Foundation, which provides mid-day meals to 1.4 million children every day.
- Naveen Tewari, Mohit Saxena, Abhay Singhal and Amit Gupta (InMobi)
“To put that in perspective, it is as big as India’s population,” said an excited company spokesperson.
“Or for that matter, remember Facebook has over a billion mobile users on its network.” Working in the enterprise segment, which attracts far lesser attention than consumer Internet companies, the four founders of InMobi — Naveen Tewari (see left), Mohit Saxena, Abhay Singhal, and Amit Gupta — have slowly but steadily built a business that is today a big competitor for Google.
Often referred to as “the next Infosys”, InMobi was founded in 2007 by the four Indian Institute of Technology alumni.It is among the top three mobile advertising firms globally and has business across nearly 200 countries, with revenue estimated at $200 million for 2013.According to sources, InMobi clocked revenue growth of over 40 per cent over the last six months and is currently valued between $2.5 billion and $3.0 billion.
While there is no clarity on the stakes held by the founding quartet, an industry insider says, “Soft Bank owns one-third of In-Mobi, but the founders also have a substantial share.”
- Sanjeev Bikchandani (naukri.com)
Sanjeev is India’s most successful internet entrepreneur. For close to a decade , he sruggled on the sidelines but never gave up on his Big Idea. In 2006, naukri.com became the first dotcom to IPO on Indian stock exchange. He (born 1963) is an Indian businessman, who is the founder and executive vice chairman of Info Edge (India) which owns Naukri.com, a job portal. He attended St. Columba’s School, Delhi and finished schooling from there in 1981. Thereafter, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, (Delhi University) in 1984. He completed his MBA from IIMA in 1989.
He was selected as a finalist for the Ernst and Young – Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005. He launched Naukri.com from a servant’s quarter at his father’s house in Delhi. With a current valuation of Rs 3,000 crore and an average of 14,000 CVs added per day, Bikhchandani’s story shows what passion and foresight can achieve.
A graduate of Economics (Hons) from St. Stephens College, Delhi University and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Bikhchandani’s favourite college moments were not inside busy classrooms but on the lawns doing nothing. In 1990. From earning no salary for over six years, to running a Rs 3,000 crore company-Bikhchandani has done it all.
- S B Dangayach (Sintex)
He is not the owner of the company but in every other sense works like an entrepreneur. The man behind the iconic Sintex water tanks believes in constant evolution and creation of new products. And after 34 years with one company he is still passionate about it. The idea of an ‘entrepreneur’ who is not an owner but completely synonymous with the success of the company seems equally farfetched. Sure, anyone from a trainee to the CEO can feel a sense of ‘ownership’. But for how long? 3 years, 5 years, 8 years? S B Dangayach has been with Sintex for 34 years. As he tells me the story of how he built this company he has all
the fire, the feeling and all the fondness of a Founder. Like a parent who deeply loves an adopted child and believes this is his own flesh and blood.
In the cutthroat world of business, a rare and beautiful thing. S B Dangayach grew up in Rajasthan. After completing his graduation from Bombay he joined IIM Ahmedabad, and then Asian Paints. The year was 1972.
The fact that a 22 year old can manage all the functions – manufacturing, marketing, finance, accounts.
The entire gamut of business decisions from which products to make, the strategy to follow, In 1975, Sintex did a turnover of Rs 3 lakhs. The next year the company did twenty lakhs, then sixty lakhs. In 1977 they had achieved break even.
“So we thought why not use this process for making something which has a bigger application?” And thus both a water tank and an enduring philosophy was born.
- Sameer Gehlaut (Indiabulls)
One of the young entrepreneurs in India, A graduate in Mechanical Engineering from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Delhi in 1994. He worked in US based oil services company Halliburton. After quitting his job at Halliburton he returned to India in 1997 to start a mining business. But instead bought a small securities firm and started online brokerage (India’s first online brokerage company in 2000) with two college friends. His Indiabulls Group was backed by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal from the start. He has been the chairman of Indiabulls Group since inception and is the chairman of major Indiabulls companies: Indiabulls Power, Indiabulls Housing Finance & Indiabulls Real Estate. Under his leadership the group has diversified into core economy sectors of Financial Services, Real Estate and Power with combined net worth of US$3.17 billion.
- Rajesh Magow & Deep Kalra (makemytrip.com)
Rajesh Magow is the Co-Founder and CEO-India of MakeMyTrip.com. A member of the founding team, Rajesh has served in many senior capacities with the Company. He held the role of CFO and COO before taking on CEO role.
As CFO, he was the chief financial spokesperson for the Company and responsible for the overall financial health, acquisitions, investor relations, securing of new funding and regulatory compliance. As Chief Operating Officer, he provided strategic and operational leadership to support all business functions within the Company along with opportunities for cross-leverage and critical company investments.
Rajesh has been instrumental in the successful transition of MakeMyTrip into a public listed company after its listing on the NASDAQ in the US in August 2010. Its IPO was executed in record time and ranked as one of the best performing IPOs in the US in 13 years, with shares soaring over 80 per cent after listing, catapulting its valuation to over $800 million on day one. Within 9 months of IPO, in June 2011 Rajesh also managed a successful Follow on Offerings of $125M comprising of secondary and primary.
Deep is the Founder of India’s leading online travel company, MakeMyTrip.com. Launched in India in 2005, MakeMyTrip is today the largest e-commerce business in the country. Deep steered MakeMyTrip as CEO since its inception in 2000, to a successful listing on NASDAQ in August 2010. He took on the role of Group CEO in August 2013, to focus on Strategy, M&A and international businesses. He continues to lead the Group’s strategic developments and overall execution excellence.
Deep has been serving as the President of The Indus Entrepreneurs, Delhi Board since January 2013. He served on the NASSCOM Executive Council from 2010-2013 and is presently involved with their Gurgaon Regional Council. He is also an active Angel Investor in the Internet space. He is a founding member of “I am Gurgaon” – an NGO focused on improving the quality of life in Gurgaon. He is also closely involved with Udayan Care and GiveIndia.
Deep has been recognized by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Transformation (2011), as the most powerful Digital influencer in India (2012) by KPMG and ‘Internet Man of the Year’ (2010) by IAMAI. TTG Asia awarded him Best Travel Entrepreneur of 2012 at the TTG Travel Awards. Deep was also felicitated as a ‘Distinguished Alumni’ of IIM-A during the Institute’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in December 2011.
Prior to his entrepreneurial venture with MakeMyTrip, Deep has had corporate stints with GE Capital, AMF Bowling Inc. and ABN AMRO Bank. He holds an MBA (PGDM) degree from IIM, Ahmedabad and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. His interests include swimming, yoga, quizzing, adventure sports and of course, travelling.
- Sandeep Maheshwari (imagesbazaar.com)
He is one of the fastest growing entrepreneurs of India. He is the founder and CEO of Imagesbazaar.com, the largest collection of Indian images.Imagesbazaar has over 1 Million images of Indian models with a network of over 11,500 photographers all over India.
Sandeep Maheshwari is a name among millions who struggled, failed and surged ahead in search of success, happiness and contentment. Just like any other middle class guy, he too had a bunch of unclear dreams and a blurred vision of his goals in life. All he had was an undying learning attitude to hold on to. Rowing through ups and downs, it was time that taught him the true meaning of his life.
And once discovered, he consistently kept resigning from his comfort zone and to share the secret of his success with the entire world. It is this very urge of helping people and doing something good for the society that inspired him to take the initiative of changing people’s lives in the form of “Free Life-Changing Seminars and Sessions“.
No wonder people connect with him and his mission of ‘Sharing’ is now being actively propagated and practiced by millions. It is his diligent focus, the great support of his family and the faith of his team that keeps him going.