Amazing Indian Entrepreneurs

Now that India has reached the top of the rankings in all forms of cricket (One day, Test and T20) after the splendid cricket world-cup victory last Saturday, I’m sufferring from acute CWS (cricket withdrawal syndrome). To take my mind off cricket, I went to Instapaper and was catching up on my reading. I came across this article in Forbes claiming that BRIC countries surge in Billionaires list this year. As I was browsing through the list of Indians billionaires, I was wondering how many of these were self-made or entrepreneurs. Of the $246.5B in net worth amongst these 55 people, $80B (32% by networth) belongs to the 26 (47% by number) self-made/entrepreneur billionaires.

Couple of quick observations:

  • In terms of count: Software tops the list with 6 billionaires (5 from Infosys) followed by Real Estate (4), Pharma (3), Media (2) & Commodities (2)
  • In terms of NetWorth: Software ($13.3B), Real Estate ($10.5B), Pharma ($9.7B), Telco ($8.3B), Media ($6.4B), Mining ($6.4B)
  • The youngest entrepreneur on this list is 45 and the oldest is 87
  • Even though people like Azim Premji, Ajay Piramal, Cyrus Poonawalla, etc. have built great companies in new industries they did not inherit, they are still not counted on this list as self-made since they started out inheriting companies in some shape or form (this is how Forbes has classified them)
  • I browsed through the stories behind these amazing Indians and many of them are highly inspiring. I have provided links to their Wikipedia pages (if available) in case you want to browse as well.

Here’s the original listing from Forbes. And below you can find the list I curated of self-made/entrepreneurs from the original Forbes list:

As I was browsing the above list, I couldn’t help but notice that it is missing a whole slew of highly successful Indian entrepreneurs around the globe. Here are a few names at the top of my head that I know off and admire:

I’m sure there are many more amazing Indian entrepreneurs. Who did I miss? Which Indian entrepreneur do you admire? 

The following are additions based on suggestions from readers:

Note: Published by here

In case you are interested here’s a snapshot from the spreadsheet I created (click on the link below to see a larger version)

ndian Billionaires and Entrepreneurs





7 thoughts on “Amazing Indian Entrepreneurs

Add yours

  1. I admire Kishore Biyani of "Future Group" too. His networth is almost a $1Bn. Afaik, he is also a self-made entrepreneur.

  2. I would surely add Romesh Wadhwani, who founded the Symphony Technology Group (and who sold his previous company to i2 for what was then the largest M&A in software history).And I hope that the list you came up with at the end doesn’t have 1B+ USD as a criteria, because I would faint if Vikram Akula is a billionaire (for obvious reasons) 🙂

  3. Another amazing entrepreneur that I really admire who should feature on the list, billionaire or not: Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya. Truly revolutionized healthcare delivery.

  4. Good suggestions Rishabh. Added them. Just to clarify, other than the list of entrepreneurs from the Forbes list, the rest of the people on my list are just successful entrepreneurs who I admire (irrespective of their net worth)

  5. Nice Article Anand,Have been following your blog for a while and have not commented yetSoftware Billionares was one of the best stories for Indian market.One question why is the average age of Indian entreprenuers with huge net worth so high ? and why we dont see younger Indians make it to that list ?I think Deep Kalra would be expection to the above list as per my knowledge

  6. @Sirach. Thanks for your comment. The average age is for the entrepreneurs in the Billion$ Forbes list. If you look at the industries, these are mostly traditional ones (Real Estate, Commodities, etc.) except Software. In Software also, we have Infosys producing the 5 billionaires. We are yet to see many multi-billion dollar companies created in the newer industries such as Internet in India. Once this happens we will see more younger entrepreneurs in the list. As a testament to this, checkout Sameer Gehlaut (India Bulls founder) who was on the Forbes list at age 34 (in 2008):

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