India has been a developing country for over a century now, but we can’t deny the fact that India has come a very long way in the business world with many Indians ruling the roost in the Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurship is not new to pre or post-independent India with many of the Indian based companies constantly getting a place in the fortune 500 companies and many entrepreneurs finding themselves listed in the Forbes list of richest person each year. India has produced many entrepreneurs who mastered their line of business and became successful, so we take some time and list the top 10 most successful entrepreneurs of India who are as follows:
1. Dhirubhai Ambani
Born on 28th December 1932, his entrepreneurial career started by selling “bhajias” to pilgrims over weekends, from this job he grew so high over years that he built India’s largest private sector company. Over time his business diversified into a petrochemical company with stakes and interests in FMCG, IT, Communication, logistics and power. Reliance holds the distinction of being the first Indian company to be in the Forbes 500 list. Dhirubhai Ambani was named as the Indian entrepreneur of the 20th century by FICCI. In the year 2002 Times of India voted him as the “the greatest creator of wealth”. He breathed his last on July 6th 2002.
2. JRD Tata
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata or JRD Tata as many know him has the honor of being India’s first commercial pilot. He was the chairman of Tata& sons for 50 long years, He launched Air India which is the India’s first international airline. He was born on July 1904 in Paris and joined Tata & sons in 1950 as an unpaid apprentice, but his interest in flying made him the first Indian pilot and later he played a crucial role in giving wings to India by building the TATA Airlines which ultimately became Air India. His steady growth made him the chairman of TATA & Sons in the year 1938. In this year the company owned 14 enterprises and exactly 50 years later it grew to around 95 enterprises, such was the leadership of JRD Tata. Under him the Sir Darboji Tata trust was successfully set up which is Asia’s first Cancer Hospital by the year 1941, the trust also founded the Tata Institute of Social Science in 1936 and the Tata institute of fundamental research in 1945 and many more. He breathed his last on November 29, 1993 in Geneva at the age of 89.
3. Narayana Murthy
More commonly known as the Father of Indian IT industry, Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy or shortly referred as Narayana Murthy was born on 20th August 1946 in Bangalore Karnataka India. He is an Indian IT industrialist and one of the six co-founders of Infosys, a MNC that provides services in BPO operations, business consultancy, engineering and technology. Murthy pursued his electrical engineering at National institute of Engineering, University of Mysore and he obtained his M.Tech from the Indian Institute of technology Kanpur. He founded Infosys in 1981 and served as its CEO till 2002, and then as the chairman from 2002-2011. In 2011 he stepped down from the board and became Chairman Emeritus. He started it with an initial investment of Rs 10,000 today Infosys has a market value of around $ 32 Billion and employees around 142,308 people. Fortunes Magazine list voted him one of “the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time”.
4. Azim Premji
Known as the Bill Gates of India, Azim Premji is the chairman of the Wipro Technologies which is one of the top software companies in India. He was born on 24th July 1945 and at a very young age he took over the reins of his family business in 1966. He became the chairman of western Indian vegetable products, and initially many doubted his ability as a leader, but under him Wipro started providing world class IT and BPO services and today Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in India. In 2000 the Asian week magazine voted him is the top 20 most powerful men in the world. According to Forbes Azim Premji is one among the 50 richest persons in the world from 2001 and he Times Magazine rates him as one the top 100 influential persons of the world constantly.
5. Jamshetji Tata
Born on 3rd march 1839, He was the founder of TATA group of companies. This company now employees more than 4 lakhs people and have revenue which boasts of USD 38 million. This is the only Indian company that had its branches almost all over Asia that include Hong-Kong, Japan and China by the year 1863.It all started with a cotton mill and he expanded it over years and was successful in setting up a World class hotel, Iron-steel plant, science Institutes, Hydroelectric plant and many more as the list goes on. Today TATA group of companies is the most affluent, prosperous and well to-do organization, it is one of the largest and most respected companies of the world .This pioneer of his field breathed his last on 19th may 1904.He is truly the sole inspiration behind this company.
6. Lakshmi Niwas Mittal
Lakshmi Niwas Mittal’s is a London based Indian steel magnet and his story is a typical rags to riches story. Born on September 2nd , 1950 he graduated from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Management which is India’s first business school. Mr. Mittal started his career by working in his father’s steel business but later set out and started his own company due to some differences and today he is the CEO and chairman of ArcelorMittal which is the largest steel making company in the world, he holds 34% stake in a football club Queen Park Rangers F.C. Today his company boasts of a production capacity of 42.1 million tons and he has a net worth of US $ 16.5 billion making him the richest Asian descent in the United Kingdom.
7. Ghanshyam Das Birla
He is the man behind the Birla Empire. Born on April 10th, 1894 and apart from being an entrepreneur he was most importantly a pre-independence contributor to Indian National Congress. Ghanshyam das Birla was also the founder of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and industry. His first business venture was a Cotton mill, later on along with cotton mills he diversified into jute business and shifted his base to Calcutta world’s largest jute producing region. Slowly this Birla empire expanded in the year 1919 The Birla Brothers limited was established which included cotton, jute paper and sugar mills on large scale. Then in1940s the Birla’s ventured into territory of cars and established Hindustan Motors. Later on this company expanded and diversified into textile, cement, rayon’s, chemicals and many more. Ghanshyam Das Birla died on 1983 at an age of 90.
8. Chanda Kochhar
Chanda Kochhar the current MD&CEO of the India’s largest private bank. In India’s male dominated banking sector Kochhar carved a niche for herself, this wasn’t a easy task for her but her sheer determination and willpower was the sole reason for her success throughout her glorious career. It was her sharp strategic planning which made ICICI bank the “THE BEST RETAIL BANK IN INDIA” for five consecutive years and no wonder as per Forbes she is ranked 20th amongst the most powerful women in business as well as the world. Kochhar is one amongst the 2 women who is the head of a domestic bank, joining the ICICI as a management trainee, she was instrumental in making ICICI the largest retail financer in India. She is an inspiration to women all over the world.
9. Nandan Nilekani
An entrepreneur by profession and now a famous to be politician, this multi-faceted personality Nandan Nilekani was born on 2nd June 1955 in Karnataka, India. He was the co-founder of Infosys along with six others and served as its CEO from April 2002-March 2007. He is now the chairperson of Unique Identification Authority of India, which is equivalent to a cabinet ranking position that he entered under the invitation of Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh. He left Infosys on July 2009 to serve as the chairperson of UIDAI, as the chair of UIDAI he is responsible for implementing the envisioned multipurpose national ID card. He is the member of the board of governors of the Indian council for research on International Economic relations (ICRIER) and the president of NCAER. He has many awards and honors to his credit throughout his career.
10. Ardeshir Godrej
Ardeshir Godrej is also known as the lock Master of India. He along with his brother co-founded the Godrej Brothers Company, the precursor of the modern Godrej Group. Ardeshir studied law but couldn’t do well as a lawyer, so he later took up manufacturing business and started manufacturing medical equipments such as scissors, forceps, needles and scalpels but he failed into that too. One day while going through the newspaper he read about a burglary that took place in the city and how lack of good and quality locks facilitated the process and that was the turning point of his life and he gave modern India the much needed quality locks. He expanded his business in a short time and now the Godrej Groups he founded has diversified its operations to real estate, soaps, FMCG products, security and appliances.