An entrepreneur is someone who has the ability to conceive, plan, and risk capital to bring a new product or service to market.
The term entrepreneurship was coined around 1762 when an entrepreneurial spirit started flourishing as the Industrial Revolution took place in Great Britain. However, over time it gained popularity only after 1900. The entrepreneurs of India were ranked 9th out of 325 global entities by Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's top billionaires in 2016. They have contributed immensely to industrial development and the economy.
Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur and bureaucrat with a distinguished career in the technology and public sectors spanning three decades.
He is the co-founder, non-executive chairman and former CEO of Infosys. He also served as Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), until 12 July 2016.
In his role as Chairman of UIDAI, he was responsible for overseeing the planning, development and implementation of Aadhaar, the world's largest biometric ID system, which has enrolled more than 99% of India's population.
Jamshedji Tata was an Indian industrialist and philanthropist. Born in Navsari (now in Gujarat, India), Tata started his career as a clerk with the British Indian Army. After taking interest in business, he quit the army and took over his father's business of trading in spices, saltpetre and tea. In 1868, Tata moved to Bombay and established offices in various parts of India and abroad. He began diversifying his business into other areas including cotton, yarn, textiles, shipping, and insurance. In 1868 Jamshedji Tata founded Taj Mahal Hotel in Colombia.
Ardeshir Burjorji Godrej (born 24 May 1942) is an Indian industrialist and chairman of the Godrej Group.
He is the son of Adi Godrej and the younger brother of Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej. He serves as the chairman of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. (GCPL), managing director of Godrej Industries Ltd. (GIL), chairman of Godrej Properties Ltd., a member on the board of directors of the Reserve Bank of India, a trustee at Tata Trusts, and on the board of trustees.
Why is Sunil Mittal, founder of India’s largest telecom company, Airtel, considered a leader in Indian business?
It all starts with a vision. In 1995, the Indian government announced that they would open up their telecommunications market to private companies. While it was unclear if the government’s decision would actually come to fruition, Sunil Mittal saw an opportunity. He had already been working in the telecommunications sector for several years, and he and his friends had started yet another new telecom company.
The story of Azim Premji, the man behind India’s second-largest IT company, Wipro Technologies, is not just fascinating but also extremely inspiring. Born in a remote village of Karnataka in 1945, Azim Premji was raised by his father who taught him the values of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Azim Premji went on to create Wipro with a capital investment of only Rs 10,000 and turned it into a $12 billion company in 2014.
Azim Premji is one of the most generous businessmen in the world. He began by giving away shares to his brother.
Dhirubhai Ambani (15 April 1932 – 6 July 2002) was an Indian business tycoon. He was the founder of Reliance Industries, a Fortune Global 500 company, and was ranked by Forbes as India's richest man for 12 consecutive years from 1994 to 2005.
Dhirubhai Ambani was born on 28 December 1932 in Chorwad, a small village in the state of Gujarat. His father, Kokilaben Ambani, and his mother, Shantaben were Gujarati Jains and ran a textile shop in Porbandar. Dhirubhai was the eldest of four children. After attending school at Porbandar, he did his intermediate from Samaldas College and then went on to obtain a B.Sc. degree from Kirorimal College in Mumbai.
Dr R A Mashelkar is an Indian scientist and statesman, who is known for his contributions to the fields of science and technology.
He is the former director-general of CSIR, which is an acronym for Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (India). He was appointed to this position in 1987 and held it until 1994. Mashelkar has been awarded many prestigious awards such as Padma Shri, the highest civilian award in India, in 2005 and the Vanier Medal in 1999 by the Royal Society of Canada.
N R Narayana Murthy is an affluent Indian business executive and co-founder of Infosys, one of the leading IT services companies in India.
Murthy was born in Mysore, the capital city of Karnataka, on 20th August 1946 to Narayana Hrudayalu and Suryakantham. He acquired his primary and secondary education from Municipal High school and took his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Engineering Karnataka in 1968. Later he went to Cornell University where he earned his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in electrical engineering.
Govindram Seksaria (1915-2002) was a noted industrialist and one of India's most successful entrepreneurs. He was born in a Gujarati Jain family in Dhule, Maharashtra. His father left his ancestral business of Merchanting to start a new life in Kolhapur. Under the influence of his father, he joined Kolhapur Commerce College and completed his B.Com.
He started his career as an accountant in the textile industry in Gwalior. He worked for some time as an accountant with the firm Kirti Spinning Mills and then as a manager.
KC (Khushalchand) Mahindra was an industrialist who founded the Mahindra Group. Born in 1894 in a family of silk weavers, he started his career as a textile exporter at a time when India was going through difficult times, economically. He met with a lot of success during World War I when British companies were looking for the best suppliers from around the world.
In the post-World War II era, he was able to make his company grow and prosper. In 1948, he merged all his businesses under one umbrella that came to be known as the Mahindra.
The Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem has witnessed the rise of many entrepreneurs who have become household names across the world. Their inspiring journey from modest beginnings to becoming some of the most successful entrepreneurs in India is truly remarkable. Let us know which of these top 10 greatest Indian entrepreneurs you admire the most!