Top 5 Entrepreneurs That Have Transformed The Indian Start-Up Ecosystem
India boasts of producing 65 unicorn companies out of which a mammoth, 28 companies attained Unicorn status in 2021 itself. This astonishing figure points towards the kind of trend we are experiencing at the moment in the Indian Start-up Ecosystem.
The start-up culture is taking deep roots in the Indian scheme of things. It almost didn’t exist just a decade ago. With the advent of technological advancements and the internet, almost every aspect of our life has transformed thoroughly. The kind of conveniences we exercise today was almost a dream some 10-15 years ago. The unprecedented new-age technology has ensured that we have information about anything within a matter of seconds.
This gave rise to start-up culture in India. Some of the companies established within the last decade are now worth billions of dollars. The time taken for these companies to achieve such heights and compete at a world-class level is significantly low as far as the traditional growth rates go.
India boasts of producing 65 unicorn companies out of which a mammoth, 28 companies attained Unicorn status in 2021 itself. This astonishing figure points towards the kind of trend we are experiencing at the moment in India. Naturally, there were torchbearers in this field who started it all and became an inspiration to millions of Indians and people from around the globe.
So, how can we just single out 5 entrepreneurs alone? We have taken into consideration the disruptive nature of their businesses along with them being the first-movers in their respective fields. That leaves us with these 5 magnetic personalities who have led the Indian start-up culture from the front. They are the pillars of the kind of market that India is at this point in time. Let us get acquainted with them one by one.
- Praveen Sinha – Founder of Jabong, MD – PinCap
Always on the lookout for disruptive technologies, the IIM Calcutta Post-Graduate, Praveen Sinha was among the first businessmen in India to venture into the fashion and apparel e-commerce retail space. He founded jabong.com back in 2011 with his partners. That was the inception of Indians being exposed to the luxury of buying fashion apparel online. It is hard to believe where we have reached today with e-commerce usage, where every single thing we want can be browsed on a website and delivered to our doorstep. Jabong was the one who started it in India. Later, Jabong was acquired by Myntra.
Sinha exited Jabong not to reap the fruits of his successful business, but to go on to establish PinCap. It is one of the 7 NBFCs in India that has been authorized the factoring licenses to help MSMEs to scale business operations. Again, the disruptive approach of Praveen Sinha continues albeit in the financial sector. PinCap utilizes the modern age AI-powered features like Fraud Detection, Alternative Data, Invoice Validation, etc to offer its clients unique and innovative financial solutions.
This comes in handy when the traditional banking institutes don’t always lend credit to companies which even have the potential to become Unicorns. PinCap recognizes this gap between the traditional credit-lending institutes and modern start-ups. This has created massive business opportunities in the FinTech sector in India. Praveen Sinha is also an angel investor in young start-ups and works closely in guiding them through different growth phases. He has invested in successful start-ups like iKargos.com, NeoStencil (acquired by Unacademy), Zimmber (acquired by Quikr), Tapzo (acquired by Amazon) and many more.
- Amit Pandey – Founder of Super 77
Amit Pandey has an illustrious career filled with prominent awards and recognition on the world stage. Colloquially known as the “Human Charger”, Pandey is a 3-time TEDx speaker, who has received accolades in the field of Leadership, Procurement, Supply Chain and Human Resource. He is an expert in Motivational Speaking, Leadership Coaching, Counselling and is a visionary in the domain of personality development.
This Human Charger is also on the Advisory Board of 4 universities and 5 colleges. At Super77, the aim is to nurture the leaders of the future with courses to enhance Thought Clarity, Leaderships Skills, Failure Management, Public Speaking, and Confidence. This could form the foundation of a world with accomplished leaders with excellent soft skills. Super77 has an average google rating of 4.8 which is a testament to the quality of value it gives out. He also serves as the CEO at PinCap. Through all his achievements during his career, he has been selected among 4 other Global Brand Ambassadors of the Procurement League in the USA which is a moment of pride for the country.
- Aakash Sinha – Founder of Omnipresent
For the people who are not aware, Aakash Sinha has contributed immensely to India’s journey to the moon with the Chandrayaan-2. The pioneers in the field of drone technology and innovative software solutions of 3D mapping the surface of the moon, Omnipresent is a huge inspiration and opportunity for the upcoming software engineers for 3D imaging and programming among other things. Having received a ton of licenses from the DGCA, Omnipresent holds the authority to operate commercial drones in India.
According to the founder, Aakash Sinha, drone technology has the potential to digitize a plethora of sectors that will contribute tremendously to the Indian economy. This includes agriculture, drone taxis, delivery vehicles for e-commerce, space explorations, surveying, construction, power plants, defence arsenal and much more. He also believes that the agriculture sector alone can create employment for over a million people who will use drones for modern irrigation and other techniques for their crops.
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma – Founder of Paytm
It is an arduous task to find someone today, who hasn’t heard of Paytm in India. Especially after the Digital India initiative and demonetization, Paytm has found usage even in the remote areas of the country as the go-to digital payment platform or e-wallet for all transactions. It is used for business, as well as personal purposes. Named as the youngest billionaire in India in 2017, Vijay started his career with humble beginnings, to say the least. He founded Paytm back in 2010 and the current worth of Vijay Shekhar Sharma stands at a whopping $2.35 Billion.
Paytm is a one-stop-shop for all kinds of financial transactions including shopping, online payments, bill payments, mobile recharge, UPI payments and everything in between. Now, Paytm has taken a leap forward with the establishment of Paytm Payments Bank with the facility of Zero-balance accounts. From the time when he was denied a loan of Rs 2 lakh by the bank for his sister’s marriage to accumulating a net worth of over $2 Billion, the story of Vijay is an inspirational one. Paytm is also continually venturing into various financial sectors on the back of advancement in technology.
Also read – Vijay Shekhar Sharma – Story of Paytm Founder.
- Kunal Shah – Founder of CRED
All the cricketing fans out there must have seen the CRED advertisements during the cricket matches along with pre and post-match analysis. Recognizing the need to ease and incentivize the process of credit card payments, Kunal Shah founded the credit card bill payment platform, CRED. CRED replaced the hassle-filled process of paying the credit card bills with a method that will allow you to gain points and rewards for doing so. Kunal Shah is an experienced entrepreneur in the Fintech field with his earlier venture, PaisaBack. The concept was somewhat similar to CRED in the sense that it offered cash backs, coupons and other offers to the people. It was shut down in favour of FreeCharge which was founded in 2010 and acquired by Snapdeal in 2015. Subsequently, Shah founded CRED in 2018 which took a mere 3 years to attain the salutation of being a Unicorn in 2021.
At its core, CRED wants to reward the users which have a great credit score. In this day and age, everyone has a credit history but you are not rewarded enough if you have a great credit score. CRED aims to transform that with features like house rent payment options, short-term credit lines (where lenders can give up their money to borrowers with great credit history at an interest of 9% per annum) and CRED Mint. The latter is the latest addition to the list of the unique features of CRED which facilitates peer-to-peer lending if your credit score is 750 or higher. With the latest round of investment raising $215 million, CRED is worth $2.2 Billion at the moment.
We hope that our dear readers were able to recognize the relevance of such inspirational stories which tell you that nothing is impossible or far away. If you have the dedication and work ethics to continue walking your path with diligence, the destination is a natural outcome. If you stay true to the process, you’ll be amazed to find yourself on heights that even you could not have imagined. With that fire in your hearts, get to work and you could feature on this prestigious list too.