Nine in ten startups fail within a year. Their offices shut down, their websites start returning sad error messages, and founders and employees reluctantly move on to better things. But when startups succeed..things can be very different.
In addition to giving ordinary people a chance to change the world, startups can also generate enormous wealth for their founders. In a very short span of time, successful startup founders can amass money that would be unthinkable for people working corporate jobs.
Indian startup founders have had it pretty good over the last few years. Valuations of their companies have soared, and they’ve become fabulously wealthy. Here are the richest Indian startup founders in 2015.
1. Dhiraj Rajaram
After graduating with an engineering degree from Anna University, Rajaram went on to do an MS and later an MBA from Booth School of Business. After working at Booz Allen Hamilton, he founded management consultancy and data analytics firm Mu Sigma in 2004. The company is currently valued at over $ 1 billion, and Rajaran’s stake makes him worth Rs. 17,800 crore and the richest Indian startup founder.
2. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, both IIT Delhi graduates and ex-Amazon employees, started Flipkart in 2007 from a house in Bangalore and 4 lakhs in their account. Thanks to their 7.5% stakes in Flipkart, they’re worth Rs. 9010 crore each.
3. Rahul Sharma
Rahul Sharma started Micromax in 2000 with 3 other friends. The company’s gone through several restructurings over the years, finally settling in a model to sell smartphones at reasonable prices. Today, it’s worth Rs. 21,000 crore and Sharma’s net worth is a cool Rs. 4070 crore.
4. Vijay Shekhar Sharma
From growing up in Aligarh to being lost in Delhi College of Engineering in his first year because he spoke no English, Vijay Shekhar Sharma has come a long way. The Paytm founder is currently worth Rs. 2824 crore.
5. Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati
The IIT Bombay graduates have taken on reluctant governments and fierce competition from global rivals to usher in a revolution in how the urban Indian commutes. The co-founders of Ola Cabs are worth Rs. 2380 crore each. Incidentally both Ankit and Bhavish are also the youngest Indians on the list.
6. Kunal Bahl
Bahl couldn’t get into IIT as an 18 year old, so he decided to move abroad for college. He ended up doing an MBA from Wharton, coming back, and setting up one of India’s most successful e-commerce companies, Snapdeal. He’s currently worth Rs. 2314 crore.
7. Naveen Tewari
Naveen Tewari has an enviable resume – IIT Kanpur, McKinsey, and Harvard Business School. In 2007, he decided to strike it out on his own and founded Inmobi. The company is today one of the biggest players worldwide in the mobile advertising market, and Tewari is worth Rs. 1668 crore.