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Who are India’s top self-made entrepreneurs?

IDFC FIRST Private Banking, in collaboration with Hurun India, unveiled the inaugural 'IDFC FIRST Private-Hurun India's Top 200 Self-made Entrepreneurs of the Millennia 2023' on Thursday.

Who are India’s top self-made entrepreneurs?
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

IDFC FIRST Private Banking, in collaboration with Hurun India, unveiled the inaugural ‘IDFC FIRST Private-Hurun India’s Top 200 Self-made Entrepreneurs of the Millennia 2023’ on Thursday. The list features the top 200 most valuable Indian companies established since the year 2000.

The list focuses on the exceptional achievements of self-made Indian entrepreneurs who have built and nurtured their companies during this millennium, with 30 September 2023 as the cut-off date. The list is based on the value of the enterprise created and not the net worth of the individual founder or entrepreneur.

For unlisted companies, Hurun Research’s valuation is based on a comparison with their listed equivalents using prevailing industry multiples such as price-to-earnings, price-to-sales, enterprise value-to-sales, and enterprise value-to-Ebitda. Other methodologies, such as discounted cash flow and Tobin’s Q have also been used. Financial information is from the latest annual reports or audited financial statements.

We take a look at the top 20 entrepreneurs and the entities that they began:

1. Radhakishan Damani of Avenue Supermarts

Market valuation: ₹2,381.88 billion or $31.8 billion

Founded in 2000

Avenue Supermarts is known as D-Mart, a leading Indian retail chain founded by Radhakishan Damani. Damani, a successful investor and entrepreneur, has a finance and stock trading background. Avenue Supermarts operates a chain of hypermarkets offering a wide range of products at competitive prices. The company’s success can be attributed to its focus on efficient operations, low-cost business model, and strong customer value proposition. D-Mart went public in 2017 and has continued to expand its footprint, catering to the growing consumer demand in India.

2. Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal of Flipkart

Market valuation: ₹1,194.72 billion or $15.9 billion

Founded in 2008

Flipkart, an e-commerce giant in India, was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007. Sachin and Binny are alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. Flipkart commenced its journey as an online bookstore and rapidly expanded to become one of India’s largest e-commerce platforms, offering a wide range of products in India. In 2018, Walmart acquired a majority stake in Flipkart, marking one of the largest e-commerce deals globally.

3. Deepinder Goyal of Zomato

Market valuation: ₹868.35 billion, or $11.6 billion

Founded in 2010

Zomato, founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah, is an Indian restaurant aggregator and food delivery company. Goyal, an IIT-Delhi graduate in Mathematics and Computing, previously worked as a management consultant at Bain and Co.. Chaddah, also an IIT Delhi graduate, joined Goyal after their role as an analyst at Bain. In 2018, Chaddah left the part from Zomato. Initially known as FoodieBay, the company rebranded as Zomato to avoid conflicts with eBay. After Zomato acquired UberEats’ Indian business, its position and dominance in the competitive food delivery industry further strengthened.

4. Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy of Swiggy

Market valuation: ₹665.42 billion or $8.9 billion

Founded in 2013

Swiggy, a popular food delivery platform in India, was founded by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy, and Rahul Jaimini. Majety, an IIT Kharagpur graduate, brings his engineering expertise to the company. Reddy, an alumnus of BITS Pilani, contributed his management skills, and Jaimini, another IIT Kharagpur graduate, added his technical knowledge until his departure.

Swiggy started as a small startup in Bengaluru, providing on-demand food delivery services. The company’s efficient delivery system and user-friendly app gained widespread popularity. Swiggy has expanded its operations to several cities across India.

5. Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain of Dream11

Market valuation: ₹665.42 billion or $8.9 billion

Founded in 2008

Dream11 is an Indian fantasy sports platform Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth founded. Jain, an MBA graduate from Columbia Business School, and Sheth, an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania, combined their passion for sports and technology to create Dream11. The platform allows users to create virtual teams and compete in various sports leagues to win cash prizes. Dream11 gained immense popularity by becoming the official partner of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In 2020, Dream11 became their title sponsor, displaying their influence in fantasy sports.

6. Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar of Razorpay

Market valuation: ₹623.84 billion or $7.5 billion

Founded in 2013

Razorpay is a leading Indian fintech company founded by Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar. Mathur, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, and Kumar, an alumnus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, joined forces to create a payment gateway offering seamless online transactions for businesses. Razorpay offers innovative solutions and is user-friendly. The company has successfully raised substantial funding from prominent investors and continues to expand its services, providing cutting-edge payment solutions in India and abroad.

7. Abhay Soi of Max Healthcare Institute

Market valuation: ₹550.85 billion or $7.4 billion

Founded in 2001

Max Healthcare Institute, founded by Abhay Soi, is a healthcare organization offering comprehensive medical services. Soi’s leadership and dedication to healthcare propelled Max Healthcare Institute’s growth and success. Soi has implemented innovative strategies and technologies to enhance patient care and outcomes. Max Healthcare Institute has gained a strong reputation for its facilities, skilled medical professionals, and patient-centric approach.

8. Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm

Market Valuation: 543.28 billion or $6.5 billion

Founded in 2009

Established in 2010, Paytm, an Indian fintech company, has become a household name for digital payments and financial services. Vijay Shekhar Sharma founded Paytm as a mobile wallet and evolved into a comprehensive digital payments platform.

Paytm aptly represents its mission of enabling payments through mobile devices. Sharma’s entrepreneurial journey began early when he launched a website development company in college. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Delhi Technological University (formerly Delhi College of Engineering) in Delhi, India.

9. Kunal Shah of Cred

Market Valuation: ₹ 532.34 billion or $7.1 billion

Founded in 2018

CRED, a popular Indian credit card payment platform, was founded by Kunal Shah. Shah, an entrepreneur with a background in computer science, previously established FreeCharge, a digital payments company. CRED rewards credit card users with exclusive benefits and perks for paying their bills. The platform’s approach and user-friendly interface have garnered a more extensive base. CRED has secured significant investments and partnerships with renowned brands.

10. Nithin and Nikhil Kamath of Zerodha

Market Valuation: 506.30 billion or $6.8 billion

Founded in 2010

Zerodha, an Indian discount brokerage firm, was founded in 2010 by Nithin Kamath and Nikhil Kamath. Nithin with a vision to democratize investing and trading in the stock market. With a trading and finance background, Nikhil brings his expertise to the company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from NITK Surathkal. Nikhil, the younger brother, dropped out of school when he was only 16, after Class 10. His entrepreneurial spirit gained hands-on experience and pursued business opportunities outside formal education.

11. Bhavish Aggarwal of Ola Electric

Market Valuation: 499.07 billion or $5.98 billion

Founded in 2017

Established in 2017 as a subsidiary of Ola, the Indian ride-hailing company, Ola Electric leads the electric mobility revolution in India and globally—Bhavish Aggarwal, who also serves as the co-founder and CEO of Ola. Born on 28 August 1985 in Ludhiana, Punjab, Aggarwal honed his expertise at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, earning a Computer Science and Engineering degree. His commitment to sustainable transportation solutions has been remarkable in the success of Ola Electric.

 12. Falguni Nayar of Nykaa

Market Valuation: 436.85 billion or $5.23 billion

Founded in 2012

Established in 2012, Nykaa has emerged as a leading Indian e-commerce company specializing in beauty and wellness products. Falguni Nayar, a former investment banker, founded the company. The Founder and CEO of Nykaa is recognized as the wealthiest self-made woman in India. She completed her MBA in Finance from IIM Ahmedabad, showcasing her strong business acumen and leadership skills. Nykaa’s online platform and offline retail stores offer an extensive range of cosmetic, skincare, haircare, fragrances, and wellness products.

13. Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh of Sharechat

Market Valuation: ₹415.89 billion $4.98 billion

Founded in 2015

ShareChat, an Indian social media platform, was founded by Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Farid Ahsan. Sachdeva, an IIT Kanpur graduate, contributes his technical expertise to the company’s operations. Singh, also an IIT Kanpur alumnus, brings his electrical engineering knowledge. Ahsan, another IIT Kanpur graduate, adds his metallurgical and material engineering expertise. However, Ahsan has since stepped down from his active role in the company. On 10 February 2022, ShareChat acquired MX Taka Tak.

13. Asish Mohapatra, Ruchi Kalra, Vasant Sridhar, Bhuvan Gupta, and Nitin Jain of OfBusiness

Market Valuation: ₹415.89 billion or $4.98 billion

Founded in 2015

Ofbusiness is a supply chain financing platform Co-Founded by Asish Mohapatra, Ruchi Kalra, Vasant Sridhar, Bhuvan Gupta, and Nitin Jain. Mohapatra is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur. Kalra holds a degree from IIT Delhi. Sridhar completed his education at IIT Madras. Gupta is a renowned Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani graduate. Jain is an IIT Delhi graduate. With their diverse backgrounds and expertise, these founders have propelled ofbusiness to become a trusted platform, revolutionizing supply chain financing and empowering businesses with seamless access to working capital.

13. Virendra Gupta and Umang Bedi of Dailyhunt

Market Valuation: ₹415.89 billion or $4.98 billion

Founded in 2007

Dailyhunt, formerly known as Newshunt, is a news and content platform that Virendra Gupta and Umang Bedi co-founded. The company’s headquarters are located in Bengaluru, India. Gupta, aged 51 and residing in Bangalore, brings his educational background from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur, to the company’s operations. Bedi, aged 45 and based in Bangalore, contributes his expertise gained from Pune University. Dailyhunt has raised over $200 million in funding from investors such as Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital, and SoftBank Vision Fund.

16. Bhavish Aggarwal of Ola Cabs

Market Valuation: ₹399.25 billion or $4.78 billion

Founded in 2010

Ola Cabs, an Indian ride-hailing platform, was founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. Aggarwal, an alumnus of IIT Bombay, also gained valuable experience during his two-year stint at Microsoft Research in Bangalore. Bhati joined Bhavish in November 2010 to work on the project, where he served as the Chief Technology Officer, leveraging his B.Tech. Degree in Mechanical Engineering and M. Tech. in CAD & Automation, both from IIT Bombay. In 2019, Bhati left the company and formed a new venture, Amnic. Ola offers various transportation services, including cabs, auto-rickshaws, and bikes.

17. Peyush Bansal and Amit Chaudhary of Lenskart

Market Valuation: ₹374.30 billion or $4.48 billion

Founded in 2010

Founded in 2010, Lenskart is an Indian eyewear retail company primarily operating online. Peyush Bansal and Amit Chaudhary are the founders of Lenskart. Bansal, the CEO and founder of Valyoo Technologies, started Lenskart to revolutionize the eyewear retail industry. Despite not cracking the IIT entrance, Bansal pursued Electrical Engineering at McGill University, graduating in 2006. Lenskart offers a diverse range of eyewear products, including prescription glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, and accessories, all at competitive prices.

18. Deep Kalra of MakeMyTrip

Market Valuation: ₹370.29 billion or $4.44 billion

Founded in 2000

Founded in 2000 by Deep Kalra, MakeMyTrip is an online travel company in India that is revolutionizing travel booking and experiences. With a background in management and technology, Kalra has played a pivotal role in MakeMyTrip’s success and growth. His education at prestigious institutions like St. Stephen’s College and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, equipped him with the skills and knowledge to navigate the industry’s challenges.

19. Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal of Meesho

Market Valuation: ₹365.98 billion or $4.38 billion

Founded in 2015

In December 2015, Meesho, an India-based social commerce platform, was Founded by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal. Aatrey, the CEO, holds a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi, while Barnwal, the CTO, completed his Electrical Engineering degree from the same institution. Meesho joined the coveted Unicorn Club, reaching a valuation of $1 billion within just five years. Beyond the traditional shopkeeper model, Meesho offers automated stocking and inventory management.

20. V. Jagannathan, Anand Roy, and S. Prakash of Star Health and Allied Insurance

Market Valuation: ₹349.50 billion $4.19 billion

Founded in 2006

Star Health and Allied Insurance Company was founded by a group of investors led by V. Jagannathan, Anand Roy, and S. Prakash. Jagannathan’s experience in the insurance industry, including his leadership positions at United India Insurance Company, has contributed significantly to the growth and success of Star Health. Prakash is the Managing Director, bringing his medical background and expertise to the company. Roy, the current CEO, brings over 20 years of experience and holds an MBA from IMI, New Delhi.

($1 = 83.36 )


Kaumudi Kashikar-Gurjar is an Associate Editor at Press Insider. Based in Pune, Kaumudi is a resourceful writer and a trained multimedia journalist who covers business and economy. Formerly the bureau chief at Sakal Times and Mid Day, Kaumudi has written extensively on politics and governance over her career spanning 20 years for publications including the Pune Mirror. More

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