Top 8 Innovative Entrepreneurs in India
Entrepreneurship and innovation have long greased the wheels of India’s progress. Both are deeply ingrained in the country’s culture, with India producing countless great entrepreneurs and the best financial advisors over the last 100 years.
Innovative entrepreneurs hinge their success upon various skill sets and character traits. These include having the vision to disrupt and solve a problem in the community, communicate it effectively to all stakeholders, and create consumer-centric products, services, and technologies.
Such entrepreneurs have sparked a revolution like no other and altered the commercial landscape in India and worldwide.
Here are eight of the most innovative entrepreneurs in India:
1. Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, a very successful entrepreneur, was born on 21 July 1904. The son of businessman Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, he became the first licensed pilot in India.
He served as the Tata group’s Chairman and founded Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Salt, Voltas, Tata Motors, and Air India.
For his contributions to the Indian business space, he was felicitated with two of India’s highest civilian awards – the Padma Vibhushan and the Bharat Ratna.
2. Sanjiv Bajaj
Sanjiv Bajaj, one of India’s most well-known financial figures and innovative entrepreneurs, was born on 2 November 1969.
The younger son of Bajaj Group Chairman Rahul Bajaj, he took on the role of the division’s newly created financial services division a decade ago.
Sanjiv is currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv. It is a credit to his financial expertise that he has led Bajaj Finserv to be the country’s most trusted and successful financial services company over the last decade.
Rather than focusing on the commoditised mass-end of the market, he has created differentiation through innovation.
He has revolutionised finance in India by making it more tech-driven, customer-centric, and accessible to all.
He is a big believer in the concept of Atmanirbhar financial services, which alludes to building self-sufficiency in the sector by encouraging emerging fintech and incumbents to collaborate and work together.
3. Dilip Shanghvi
Born 1 October 1955, Dilip Shanghvi is a very successfulIndian entrepreneur. He is the founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.
Started by the 27-year-old Dilip with a capital of merely INR 10,000, today, the pharmaceutical company is the largest of its kind in India. Shanghvi’s net worth is estimated at around 15 billion dollars.
4. Azim Hashim Premji
Azim Hashim Premji, also known as the ‘Czar of the Indian IT Industry,’ was born on 24 July 1945 in a Gujarati Muslim family in Bombay, Maharashtra (present-day Mumbai).
In the same year as his birth, his father Hashim Premji incorporated Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd., which used to manufacture laundry soap and cooking oil.
It was in 1966 that in the event of the demise of his father, Azim Premji returned to India from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering.
The 21-year-old took charge of Wipro upon arrival and diversified it to include toiletries, hair care soaps, hydraulic cylinders, and the like.
Being the innovative entrepreneur he is, he later made a strategised switch from soaps to software. Today, his net worth is estimated at 25.1 billion US dollars.
5. Shiv Nadar
Born on 14 July 1945 in Moolaipozhi, Tamilnadu, Shiv Nadar is a philanthropist and Indian billionaire industrialist. His initial ventures included a business selling tele-digital calculators to the Indian consumer.
It was in 1976 that he founded HCL. Within 4 years, it saw the light of the day, successfully ventured into the international market, and generated 1 million rupees of sales.
The industry thought leader was featured in the Forbes Magazine in October 2021 with a net worth of 31 billion US dollars. Presently, his daughter Roshni Nadar is the chairperson of HCL.
6. Sandeep Bakshi
Sandeep Bakshi is the Managing Director and CEO of the financial behemoth, ICICI bank. A veteran in the banking sector, Sandeep had spent over 30 years with the ICICI bank.
He joined ICICI in 1986 when the bank was just a developmental financial institution. He has witnessed it evolve into a full-fledged bank.
Sandeep is instrumental in building ICICI’s general insurance business from scratch and has also groomed a start-up when nobody understood insurance, which is today the largest private sector general insurer.
Known to handle crises deftly, Sandeep’s leadership saw ICICI Prudential’s Assets Under Management (AUM) rise exponentially.
7. Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy
Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy was born on 20 August 1946. He graduated with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Engineering.
He then graduated from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Along with six software professionals, he founded Infosys in 1981.
With what started as an investment of merely 10,000 INR, the Indian MNC has a capitalisation of around 104 billion dollars as of March 2022.
8. Vijay Shekhar
Vijay Shekhar is the founder and CEO of Paytm. He has been a humble entrepreneur who is currently trying to change how India uses mobile as an instrument for money transactions.
Vijay created Paytm, a unique mobile wallet service that provides financial inclusion by way of convenient access to basic services, such as buses and taxis.
He believes his company’s success will be measured based on how many people use his service in India and how much savings the company can unleash to empower new businesses.
The Bottom Line
The success of the before-mentioned corporate leaders and innovative entrepreneurs has brought the principles of future-forward innovative leadership further into the limelight.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, learning from the examples set by others is surely the most inspired way to forge his or her own success.
In doing so, one will also be able to find the thread of values that connect each of these entrepreneurs whose legacies continue to drive India ever forward.
Today’s modern India stands on the shoulders of giants – those great entrepreneurs who adopted innovation as their key tenet and soared on the wheels of success.
From corporate behemoths to visionary financial advisors, the blog features 8 personalities who have redefined business, success, and leadership over the years.
By discovering their inspiring stories, aspiring entrepreneurs hope to find a common set of values that connect them and adopt them for their success.
There is no doubt that India has been a major player in the global startup scene, and this has only continued to grow in recent years.
With an estimated population of 1.3 billion people, there is plenty of room for entrepreneurs to thrive. In this article, we’ve looked at some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in India and what makes them so successful.
Hopefully, by reading about these individuals you’ll be inspired to start your own business or join one that’s already thriving in India.
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