India is known to be one of the most vibrant start-up ecosystems today and is home to many digital entrepreneurs who are leading India globally as a hub for driving innovation and building impactful business. India has close to 27,000 tech start-ups with 1300 only added last year, basis an article by IndiaTimes.com
With our digital start-up sector being explosive over the past few years, this explosive growth is driven by a number of factors like the internet connectivity, smartphones use, affordable technology brands and the growing middle class which has offered us a drive in innovations and a wide range of disruptive start-ups in fintech, edtech, healthtech, e-commerce, and more.
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These digital start-ups are supported by several incubators, venture capital firms and government initiates like Startup India and Digital India offering the entrepreneurs funding, mentorship and other resources to help startups grow and succeed. A few of the leading start-ups in India are founded and run by successful digital-preneurs who today have become case studies for many entrepreneurs – young or old, let’s learn a little about their stories here:
A. Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo
Ritesh Agawrwal, founder and CEO of OYO is a young Indian entrepreneur in the hospitality world who operates a network of budget friendly hotels and vacation rentals. At the age of 17, he is known to have founded an online travel agency called Oravel Stays.
Ritesh founded Oyo in 2013 with a focus on budget hotel accommodation and quickly became a leading business figure in the Indian hotel industry. He has since expanded to 80 countries plus more. Oyo’s valuation today stands close to $6.5 billion raising funds from some of the leading world’s investors.
Entrepreneurial journey for Ritesh has gotten him awards and accolades including being named 30 under 30 for Forbes’ twice, in 2016 and 2018. This success with Oyo has made him into a role model for young business leaders.
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B. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, PayTM
Sharma, is a well-known entrepreneur and founder of PayTM, a leading digital payments gateway.
He started with his first entrepreneurial journey in 2001 with a website called indiasite.net which he then is known to have sold later. Post this he also founded One97 Communications, which took him to the journey of founding PayTM in 2010. PayTM quickly became a leader in the market and is still one of the leading players in the Indian digital payment industry that has also expanded its services to e-commerce, banking and financial services and more.
His success has made him a leading business figure in the country and has been recognized by many awards and accolades. Including Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Asia in 2016 and Entrepreneur of the Year award by Economic Times.
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C. Deepinder Goyal, Zomato
Goyal is a well-known entrepreneur and founder of Zomato – a widely known and used platform for restaurant discovery and food delivery. Zomato is known to be one of the most successful start-ups in India today.
Goyal is known to have worked at Bain & Company before starting Zomato (known as FoodieBay prior) in 2008. The initial intention to start Zomato was to bring a simple online directory of restaurants in Delhi to the users. From then to now, Zomato has expanded to 20+ other countries and plays a leading role in the restaurant sector to offer a range of experience and services like online ordering, table reservations and food delivery.
He has been recognized by Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Asia in 2016 and has been a leading business icon to build competitive successful brands in the country within a cut-throat industry sector.
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D. Byju Raveendran
Founder of BYJU’s, a leading global edtech brand, Raveendran today is a global icon who has built a mega successful platform in the edtech world. Being a successful teacher for competitive exams like CAT and GRE, he saw how the traditional methods were not effective to engage students and created an innovative learning app in 2011 which aimed at combining video lessons and gamification of learning.
The app grew tremendously and offers online courses today, test preparation, learning resources for students of all age groups from primary to school and college level. The brand entered the test-prep market in the States as well and has acquired several international edtech firms to expand its reach. With Messi as their brand ambassador, BYJU’s has been seen on the global stage now as a leading brand for edtech under the leadership of Raveendran.
His vision has been able to make BJYU’s bring in quality education accessible to all students to help them achieve their full potential.
A few other leading and successful digital-preneurs of India are:
– Bhavish Agarwal, the co-founder and CEO, OLA – a ride hailing brand.
He started the brand in 2010 with co-founder Ankit Bhati.
– Kunal Bahl, co-founder, and CEO, Snapdeal – an online marketplace that helps to connect buyers and sellers. Started in 2010 with Rohit Bansal, Snapdeal today has over 30 million products.
While these digital-preneurs are a few examples of how innovative and driven the Indian digital start-ups sector is, their success further helps to demonstrate the potential for new entrepreneurs to make a difference and highlight the country’s vibrant start-up ecosystem.
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