Entrepreneur Reveals its 35 Under 35 Class of 2019
The 35 people are a mix of beguiling divas, wealthiest, most promising businessmen and athletes under the age of 35
Blenders Pride Reserve Collection presents Entrepreneur 35U35
The Class of 2019 are those who always try to push the limits in every aspect of their work. Diversity can be the word to define these chosen few better. There is an actor who is defying the Bollywood norms by not doing the typical meaty roles an Indian actress is confined into to a woman shooter whose fingers trigger gold.
In fact, this year for a change we have seen much more women in the list by far out of the previous two editions. We are happy to be a part of that change and acknowledge these change makers. On cover, we have Ritesh Agarwal who has truly become the poster boy by making OYO hugely succesful and taking it to the world.
(With inputs from Mohit Sabharwal, Kartik Sood, Nimisha Gautam, Vanita D’Souza, Sara Khan, Aashika Jain, Pooja Singh, Nidhi Singh, Komal Nathani, Aastha Singal & Madhurima Roy)
The Man On The Move – Ritesh Agarwal, 25There is something unusual about Ritesh Agarwal. His looks don’t carry the fancy tags typically associated with a hotelier. The man who has been in the media limelight would always be on roads to check out on one of his Oyo hotels or expanding to markets like China.
The Star Smasher – Taapsee Pannu, 31
From teaching consent to the nation through Pink (2016) to explaining women are no less than men in Baby (2015) and Naam Shabana (2017), Taapsee Pannu has always impressed as an actor. Not many would know that Pannu is also the founder of The Wedding Factory and the owner of Pune Pistons (badminton team).
The One and Only in Indian Cricket – Shikhar Dhawan, 33
Best known as Gabbar, Shikhar Dhawan is an out and out winner both in and out of the field. The opening batsman of Indian Cricket Team began a new innings, last year, when he launched his premium home décor brand ‘DaONE Home’.
The Corporate Landlord – Karan Virwani, 27
Having grown up seeing his father run a real estate business, the Embassy Group, Karan decided to follow his footsteps. At the age of 19, he started a company called Lounge Hospitality, which runs a chain of restaurants in Bengaluru.
The ‘Sane’ Comedian – Prajakta Koli, 25
Comedy can be veiled under the shroud of satirical videos, which are quirky and intelligent. Some sassy videos on the same lines garnered Prajakta Koli aka MostlySane (as she is more popularly known) over 3.1 million subscribers on YouTube.
The Ace Sharpshooter – Heena Sidhu, 29
Heena Sidhu never thought of taking up shooting as a sport professionally. Her uncle owned an ammunitions shop in the suburban town of Patiala in Punjab and she found firing fascinating from an early age.
First Female Michelin Hero – Garima Arora, 32Garima Arora’s Gaa cooked up a storm, recently, when the restaurant was awarded the Michelin star within two years of its opening. This made the 32-year-old the first Indian woman to get a Michelin star.
The Fitness Gamechanger – Ankit Nagori, 33
Born in a family of entrepreneurs, Ankit Nagori always wanted to do something in the domain of entrepreneurship. He launched CureFit in 2016. At present, the company has around 2.5 lakh paid subscribers, and clocked a turnover of $100 million last year.
The Bohemian Duo – Tanvi Malik, 32 and Shivani Poddar, 33
A simple conversation about how every woman on the Delhi Metro looked almost the same embarked MBA graduates Tanvi Malik and Shivani Poddar on their maiden entrepreneurial journey. They quit their corporate jobs in 2011 and launched High Street Essentials’ (HSE’s) flagship brand, FabAlley.
The Marketer-in-chief – Vidit Aatrey, 28
Not many aspiring entrepreneurs are able to invest in building a separate website for their products. And that’s where online market places like Meesho come into play. The platform enables housewives, students, professionals and others to start their stores and boutiques on social platforms.
The Flea Queen – Ankiti Bose, 27
In 2014, like any other tourist in Bangkok, Ankiti Bose was picking up bargains in the popular Chatuchak market when she had an idea. She established Zilingo, a fashion e-commerce platform that aggregates small fashion retailers of Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta on to a single platform.
The Relentless Restaurateur – Karan Tanna, 31
Karan Tanna, founder and CEO of Yellow Tie Hospitality, started his entrepreneurial journey in the food and beverages industry with the Gujarat-based chain Kutchi King, which quickly grew to 200 stores.
The Lion of Beer – Prabhtej Singh Bhatia, 27
A new addition to the arsenal of home-grown breweries is the lion and it rules them all. With an animated lion sporting a bowtie and sunglasses as its fierce public image, Simba Beer is roaring right now. Founder and CEO Prabhtej Singh Bhatia first set up a brewery in Durg, Chattisgarh.
The Fantasy Gamer – Harsh Jain, 33
Two friends Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth outlined the beginnings of what turned into India’s biggest sports gaming platform – Dream11. The Mumbai-based fantasy sports startup offers multiple sports — fantasy cricket, football, kabaddi and basketball to its four crore strong user base in India.
The Luxury- Builder – Nibhrant Shah, 34
About five years ago, luxury living on the top of the hills or at a beach house was a dream for many. But, not anymore! Mumbai-based Nibhrant Shah single-handedly started Isprava Homes in October 2013, which offers people their dream vacation homes.
The Electric Roadie – Kapil Shelke, 31
With a view to tap consumers who shared a passion for speed and power, Kapil Shelke launched Tork Motors— an electric two-wheeler company — in 2010. His romance with riding resumed with his aspiration of buying a Ducati motorcycle after graduating.
The Citizen Soldier – Abhishek Gupta, 34
The patent of the world’s first artificial Intelligence (AI) integrated immersive virtual reality (VR) product is underway and Co-Founder of Greykernel Technologies, Abhishek Gupta believes that once the sanctions are procured, it will transform the EdTech sector.
The Mover and Shaker - Dhruvil Sanghvi, 29
All goods and services are mobilized with the help of some logistics movement. It acts as a backbone for any business. Dhruvil Sanghvi, the 29-year-old co-founder of LogiNext is the cardinal of organization. He has garnered more than 150 enterprise clients across 10 countries and is expanding LogiNext daily.
The Smart Chat Enabler - Aakrit Vaish, 31
Chat application marquee players like WhatsApp are passé for enterprise-specific solutions. These days, entrepreneurs’ primary need is to run business swiftly, and efficiently catering to the needs of millions of clients. To cater to these professionals, Aakrit Vaish, founded artificial intelligence-backed chatbot Haptik.
The Crypto King - Raunaq Vaisoha, 23
As a young boy, Raunaq Vaisoha was fascinated with financial market. This exercise introduced him to the blockchain, the underlying technology of bitcoin. In 2016, Vaisoha along with Anil Dukkipatty, Sahil Kathpal started Elemential Labs.
The Climate Solver – Som Narayan, 33
Bangalore-based Carbon Masters’ Som Narayan returned to India when Bangalore’s garbage crisis was at its zenith in 2012. Among the stench of heaps of ill-disposed city waste, the man caught a whiff of opportunity in processing wet waste, bottling the resulting biogas and selling it to commercial kitchens as a substitute for LPG.
The Wholesome Tastemaker – Jasmine Kaur, 34
Owing to the monopoly that fried crisps and sugar-loaded munchies enjoy on the snacking segment, a mindful eater is left with little option to choose from. Jasmine Kaur decided to remedy this situation when she founded The Green Snack Co.
Millennials’ Go-to Investment Guru – Ishan Bansal, 30
For the 30-year-old old Ishan Bansal, it was disturbing to accept the fact that the majority of Indians, especially millennials, do not like to invest. He decided to take the plunge, quit his job, and launch Groww, an online investment platform in 2016.
The ‘Techie’ Caretaker - Srikanth Samudrala, 33
By helping companies optimize their employee health expenditure, Hyderabad-based eKincare pledges to revolutionize health-tech space. Since his college days, 33-year-old Srikanth Samudrala wanted to start his own business.
The ‘Meaty’ Entrepreneur - Abhay Hanjura, 32
For Abhay Hanjura, the lure of entrepreneurship kicked in at the age of 28, when he had everything perfectly lined up in his career – a well-paying job with growth opportunity and prospects to head a 500-member company.
The Food-Tech Big Hitter – Sanjay Dasari, 25
While visiting a local vegetable vendor in Chennai, from where a majority of top-end hotels and restaurants sourced their consumables, Sanjay Dasari witnessed lack in hygiene and rampant wastage. This spurred him to establish Waycool Foods. Subsequently, he sent food trucks to villages and formed a channel to market, serving 4,000 clients a day, doing 2,000 deliveries at an average.His venture stomped authority in food-tech sector after it bagged investments to the tune of Rs 120 crore from impact investors.
The Talent Hunter - Aditi Shrivastava, 34The millennials, these days, spend most of their time on digital platforms, socializing and hunting relatable and shareable entertainment content. Pocket Aces, co-founder Aditi Shrivastava mainly caters to this progressive market.
The Melodic Wunderkind – Armaan Malik, 23
Twenty-three-year old Armaan Malik, the new-age Bollywood playback singer, traces his decision of pursuing music to the age of three.
The Czarina of Rural Distributors - Ajaita Shah, 34
After graduating, Ajaita Shah started working with social enterprises in the microfinance sector — learning how to bootstrap while understanding multiple business models. She launched Frontier Markets (FM) in 2011.
The Ingenious Inkers – Kaushik Mudda, 26 and Navin Jain, 27
At first glance, Ethereal might look like just another 3D printing company to crop up in a garage out of the startup ecosystem’s spiritual home Bengaluru. But a closer look at Kaushik Mudda and Navin Jain’s operation reveals a concept so pioneering, one might even call it utopian because its first-of-its-kind attributes.
The Local Experts - Suchita Salwan, 28 and Dhruv Mathur, 31
In 2013, Suchita Salwan was working with the BBC when she started Little Black Book (LBB) to solve a personal need. The initial goal of LBB was to give, discover and showcase all the great things about a city and to create a way for people to share the same.
Champion of the Indian Tea Leaf – Bala Sarda, 27
Having observed a supply chain so fragmented, Bala Sarda knew exactly what to do. A short while after finishing his graduation, Sarda sat researching Indian tea trade in Darjeeling to set up his own tea empire.
The Descript Developer – Ashish Bhutani, 24
Propelled by an outlandish but utilitarian vision, Ashish Bhutani envisions a cityscape dotted with pockets of an unquestionably upscale life thriving on one word – ambience. Lamented by lack of concept-based space selling in the country, Bhutani built the real estate empire, Bhutani Infra, from scratch back in 2005.
The Messiah of Budget Travelers - Akhil Malik, 30
Akhil Malik, the first-generation entrepreneur who built India’s topmost social accommodation concept targeted at millennial travelers as the co-founder of Zostel Hospitality belongs to a salaried middle class family just like his customers.
Gully Boy Turned Scientist - Roopam Sharma, 23
Becoming a scientist was never on the cards for Faridabad-based Roopam Sharma. The 23-year-old recalls spending his childhood playing sports in the residential blocks of his neighborhood.