7 Indian Entrepreneurs under the age of 20
Thilak Raj Rao dropped out of college and started his own company Tech-Buzz when he was 17 years old, in 2006.
Tech-Buzz was a blog focused on technology news, web 2.0 and computers and at it’s heyday, was inundated with around 8000 requests a day. Thilak also authored and participated in various blogs, wikis and forums. In his simple and clear CV, which belies his aptitude and passion, he states, “I started my career building WordPress, Drupal themes for small business and web development agencies as a freelance consultant back in High School. I was forever fascinated by the possibilities of the web.”
Born in a small village in Odisha, Ritesh Agarwal was already coding when he was eight years old. When he was 17, he authored a best-selling book titled ‘The Encyclopaedia of Indian Engineering Colleges’. That was also the year he became the youngest CEO in India, with his organisation Worth Growth Partners. A year later, Ritesh founded a rental company Oravel, which in a couple of years would evolve into OYO Rooms. At his speech at Converge by Youth Ki Awaaz, he talks about nurturing employees and cultivating a culture where everyone believes in the company vision and passionate about it, “Because we brought in so many smart people who are in line with our long-term belief, we now have thousands of people in 150 cities who believe and create real change.”
While studying in the 10th grade, King Sidharth started an online magazine called Friendz, which is “dedicated to and for people who go “OH GOD WHY” at the way things are way too often, by people who once tried very hard to be normal, and failed.” He went on to be a serial entrepreneur while struggling to balance college life too (which he gave up eventually). In his blog, he writes, “Entrepreneurs fail. They fail more than normal people because they try different and crazy things that have never been done before. And, in the end, there is no failure, if you had fun in it and if you grew as a person.”
Imagine being under 15 years of age and giving a TEDx talk! Shravan and Sanjay Kumaran study in the 11th and 9th grade respectively and are already CEO’s of their companyGodimensions which has an annual turnover of 120 crores! They developed their first app at ages 13 and 11, and have gone on to create tens of apps including a Car Racing Game and a Prayer App (which is designed “to pray god easily and quickly on your mobile device.” Aww…)
Farrhad Acidwalla is a 22-year-old Indian entrepreneur, investor and TEDx speaker. His first company Rockstah Media works with clients who are award winners, corporates and media personalities. Farrhad has been interviewed by several publications starting from the young age of 17 and has been hailed as one of India’s most promising young entrepreneurs.
Given that his father was a successful serial entrepreneur himself, it’s no wonder that Ankur Jain was inspired to found Kairos, a peer to peer support group for other budding student entrepreneurs. Many business magazines have put him in their “30 under 30” list - that’s 30 businessmen to watch out for who are under 30 years of age.
Varun Agarwal is in his twenties now, and has three companies to his credit. He co-founded Last Minute Films when he was studying engineering. His other companies are social media marketing firm Reticular, and Alma Mater, India’s largest provider of merchandise and memorabilia to schools and colleges. He’s also penned his first book titled “How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded a Million Dollar Company.” He has been featured on the cover of India Today, The New York Times, India Ink and numerous other magazines.
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