The Forbes India 30 Under 30 released its 2018 list after a selection process that has been getting progressively “more rigorous with each new edition.”
“Our list is representative across 15 categories, and though it is exhaustive, it is not definitive given India’s vast geographical spread. We have steered clear of considering well-established names, next-generation entrepreneurs and those having access to an influential lineage. Through our own research and multiple conversations with industry experts, we selected names that meet our three broad criteria: The extent of impact of their achievements, and their ability to disrupt the status quo; scalability of the business or line of work and; their potential to stay a long-term player,” reads the article flagging off the list.
Here are the thirty movers and shakers who made the cut in the fifth edition:
A 26-year-old sculptor, Sahil cracked this list with his debut solo exhibition, Ground Zero, now running at Experimenter Gallery, Kolkata. "Naik has won several awards and his upcoming exhibitions include a group show at the Delfina Foundation, London (January 2018), the India Art Fair with Experimenter, Kolkata (February 2018) and at Turn of the Tide, curated by Khoj International Artists' Association (February 2018),” states Forbes.
A proponent of design thinking, Kshitij is credited with starting the MIT Media Lab India Initiative in 2012, and in 2016, he founded Tesseract Inc to create made-in-India products that are innovative and design-led. So far, Tesseract has created Voxel, the world's first holographic headset that works with smartphones, and Quark 360, the world's smallest 360 Virtual Reality (VR) camera. In March 2017, Kshitij was listed in the MIT Technology Review as a Top 10 Innovator Under The Age of 35 (India).
This Guwahati-based designer made ripples with his furniture line 'Pitoloi'. Ranjan “works with brass to revive the dying ancient craft of making utensils and artifacts by hammering the alloy—traditionally practised by a community of Assamese artisans,” details Forbes. Bordoloi was also one of the winners of the Godrej Design Lab 2016 competition.
With what started as a short video tutorial on computer graphics on YouTube, Gaurav Munjal went on to set up now Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, SAIF Partners and Blume Ventures-backed Sorting Hat, which owns Unacademy, a digital education platform comprising a mobile app, a web portal and a YouTube channel, where 4,000 educators offer both free and paid-for video tutorials. Unacademy has 1.5 lakh tutorials on its platform and it registered 20 million views in December 2017, according to Forbes.
The four are all BCG alumni, who quit to set up used-goods ecommerce platform Zefo in August 2015, taking on Quikr and OLX. They buy products from consumers to refurbish and sell them, and also from other portals like Flipkart, Amazon, Urban Ladder, Pepperfry and Micromax, and own everything in the process from supply chain to logistics and payments, a rarity in the space. They are currently clocking about Rs 15 crore in monthly sales, according to Forbes.
The actress also made the list after a stellar 2017, after starring in two films that saw commercial acclaim – namely Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. She is now gearing up to start shooting for Abhishek Chaubey's next, Son Chiraiya.
The Masaan actor has the rare distinction of receiving a message from Amitabh Bachchan for his performance in one of his earliest roles. “Masaan opened a lot of doors for me," he tells Forbes. He will now be starring in Meghna Gulzar's Raazi with Alia Bhatt, Rajkumar Hirani's biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt and Karan Johar's Love and Lust, a series of four short films, Anurag Kashyap's Manmarziyan and a Netflix original film, Love Per Square Foot, all of which kick off shooting in 2018.
From a mega-viral video performing a Marathi song accompanied by the catchy clatter of plastic cups, small-screen sweetheart Mithila Palkar has come a long way. “Mumbai girl's infectious charm also worked in her favour,” writes Forbes. She has become an almost household name in the millennial sphere owing to her roles in web series like Girl in the City, Official Chukyagiri (2016), Annoying Things.... (2016) and Little Things (2016), various digital sketches released by online content channels like Filter Copy, multitudes of plays, TV commercials and films such as Katti Batti (2015) and Muramba (2017).
Alan, a Thiruvananthapuram-native, studied fashion in Paris, and trained under bigwigs like Jean-Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaia and Rick Owens. He launched his own label featuring Indian artisanal crafts and using handloom fabrics, and was even part of the lineup at Lakme Fashion Week. “Due to the experimental patterns and fits, his clothes tend to be gender neutral,” writes Forbes. He is in the process of setting up an experiential space in Thiruvananthapuram, which houses an art gallery, design space, library and an experimental lab kitchen, and has even set his sights on global markets in the long run.
A trained sculptor from Goldsmiths, University of London, she also has experience in making jewellery, besides fashion and design. She has won several titles, including the Grazia Young Fashion Award followed by the Elle Graduates award in January 2017, after she set up her own label Misho. She was even featured by Vogue Paris, and her jewellery, worn by Rihanna, was on the cover of Vogue Arabia, according to Forbes.
The former two were colleagues at Goldman Sachs who wanted to create a DIY checkout solution after seeing the rush at checkout counters during sales and peak shopping seasons. That took shape in the form of the Perpule 1Pay app, wherein users “can scan items in their grocery cart using their smartphones and directly pay for the purchase, circumventing the billing counter,” details Forbes. Supermarkets like More, SPAR Hypermarket and Max Hypermarket use their solution, and Kalaari Capital has gone on to back it. With one lakh active users, they are growing at 30 percent month-on-month. The latter two also got associated with them eventually.
Aditya has advanced up the corporate ladder at an astounding pace, to be able to make it to this list. He became a partner at McKinsey & Company in less than seven years —the only 20-something to do so in India.
The restauranteur behind vegetarian Burmese fare restaurant Burma Burma which broke even in 14 months and expanded to three cities—Mumbai, Gurugram and Delhi— with a fourth coming up in Bengaluru, Chirag Chhajer’s restaurant has already become a prestigious player in the country’s culinary landscape.
Another restaurateur, who has sniffed out astoundingly good vegetarian cuisine in the villages of China and Iceland, founded Candy & Green, an “ingredient-centric clean-eating vegetarian all-day restaurant and bar” in Mumbai, as Forbes describes it. Candy & Green promotes “clean eating.” "We don't shy away from indulgent dishes, but the ingredients are consciously sourced," Shraddha tells Forbes. She is gearing up to set up a “casual version” of her restaurant, which will be easier on the pocket.
Batchmates from IIT- Madras, they are the co-founders of now-funded Phasorz Technologies Private Limited, under the umbrella of which they launched DocsApp, meant to connect and set up virtual consults between over 2,000 specialist doctors and patients across the country; solving the problem of access.
They have 2,000 patients a day who pay between Rs 150 and Rs 500, over which, DocsApp charges a commission.
With a high-paying job at Ernst & Young in Manhattan, Deepanjali quit owing to the fire in her to create and build. Solving for the 87 percent of women in India that do not use sanitary pads, or those among the 13 percent who may not know the potentially cervical cancer-causing contents, she spearheaded the development of organic sanitary pads using bamboo fibre, which has high absorbance levels, and corn, for its soft texture, under the company Heyday Care. They are now available in New Delhi and Mumbai, and will hit the web soon.
He is the most vociferous opponent of the Aadhaar Act in its current form, and has assembled a team to challenge it. He came in contact with Advocate Arvind Data and became his second chair while arguing for the Right to Privacy. He passionately contested the linking of an individual’s Aadhaar number to their PAN card in the Supreme Court
Dehradun-native Jubin Nautiyal is a trained Hindustani Classical singer behind AR Rahman's 'Humma Humma' for OK Jaanu (2017). Focusing on a career as a playback singer, he has previously also worked with Shreya Ghoshal for 'Samandar Main' in the 2015 film Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon, and Sunidhi Chauhan for 'Tere Liye' in the 2016 film Fitoor. He bagged the Upcoming Male Vocalist of the Year award at the 8th Mirchi Music Awards in 2016 for 'Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata' from Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015).
Kanpur’s Ankit Agarwal, noticing the temple waste around him constituting of rotting flowers, created a solution, HelpUsGreen, to process them into soaps, incense sticks, organic fertilisers, and styrofoam. Karan, his friend, joined hands with him for the venture. After garnering seed funding from Tata Trusts' Social Alpha, Greenfield Ventures and Echoing Green, Ankit will launch two more plants in Varanasi and Mathura by June. They’re also consciously boosting employment among women.
The social entrepreneur duo founded BleeTech Innovations, and has created what is supposedly India's first wearable, the BleeWatch, which “can record sounds like a doorbell, fire alarm, a baby's cry, a pressure cooker whistle or a dog's bark into a connected app, (which) is notified to the wearer with unique vibration patterns, colours and icons, among other features,” as described by Forbes. The watch can also send a help signal to five emergency numbers.
The duo started Bellatrix Aerospace, which received a developmental order from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) in 2016, for a satellite propulsion system. “Incubated at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, (Bellatrix) is also working on Chetak, a two-stage launch vehicle with a reusable first stage. Both stages of Chetak, planned for a 2023 launch, will use liquid methane, a cleaner fuel,” writes Forbes.
"A conventional ceiling fan consumes 70 watts of power as energy is wasted inside the induction motor," Forbes quoted Manoj Meena as saying, when he explained his fans that run on brushless DC motors (BLDC). Their 28-watt Gorilla fan, developed under his company Atomberg Technologies is dubbed as India's most energy-efficient fan.
The duo founded Meesho—short for "meri shop"—in December 2015 to help merchants sell more efficiently through social media. “Traders and manufacturers—or "sellers"—create a marketplace on the Meesho app, while "resellers", mostly housewives, promote and sell products curated from this marketplace within their social network. They simply link their Facebook pages to Meesho to set up a mobile store, chat with customers via WhatsApp from the app and can easily close sales by sending a payment link on the messaging service. Meesho takes care of delivery and monetises by charging sellers a commission,” details Forbes.
The platform has 1,000 sellers and 30,000 resellers and is growing at 40 percent MoM.
Their company, 911 India Healthcare, owns Curofy - a networking mobile app for doctors to post images and details about the unusual cases they encounter, to give and receive advice. With over 200,000 "verified" doctors, more than 400 cases are posted on a daily basis.
“The Ahmedabad-born Bumrah's meteoric rise over the past couple of years has seen him make his Test debut against South Africa this January. And on the back of a stellar 2017—he took 39 wickets in 23 one-day internationals (ODIs)—he was named in the International Cricket Council's ODI Team of the Year. He's especially proved to be effective in T20s, using his unorthodox action to bowl toe-crushing yorkers at will in the death overs,” reads an excerpt from his description in Forbes. “The emergence of Bumrah as a fast bowler is a refreshing change in a country like India, which is known for its docile pitches. Given his skills, he's likely to have an ever-improving tally in the wickets column,” it adds.
Hailing from Moga, Punjab, Arjuna Awardee Harmanpreet Kaur is credited with playing an indispensable innings in the last women’s World Cup final against England. Forbes calls her a “game changer for women's cricket.”
About the hockey sensation from Haryana's Sirsa district, Forbes writes, “Punia's resilience at the goalpost had helped her team qualify for the Rio Olympics after 36 years.” At the Asia Cup, her save in the final against China clinched the trophy for India, and in turn, got her the goalkeeper of the tournament award.
Former world number 1 pistol shooter Heena Sidhu, battling a grave finger injury, won the gold at the Commonwealth shooting championships in Brisbane, Australia, last October. “Outside the field too, Sidhu made a statement when she refused to travel to Tehran for the Asian Air Gun Championships in 2014 and 2016 because Iran had made wearing the hijab mandatory for women participants. For now, she has set her sights on the Olympics, but prefers to take it "one match at a time," Forbes describes.
The founders of Ather Energy have created a close-to-commercial electric scooter, called the S340, which they hope to start selling later this year. Forbes details the specs on the prototype as something that “will take an hour to charge on a 15-ampere point, do a top speed of about 70 kmph, and have a range of 70-80 km on a single charge. It will likely be priced between a Honda Activa and a 125cc Vespa.”
Hailing from Fattepur in Uttar Pradesh, Ranjeet, along with four like-minded friends, set up Nasadiya Technologies to build Pratilipi, a web and mobile self-publishing platform for Indian languages in 2015, which has amassed about 15,000 writers and 1.3 million users.