For many decades, India’s wealth had largely remained concentrated among a few select families. The Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis and the like had made vast sums of money, and transferred it to their next of kin as they took over the family businesses.
But increasingly, tech startups have allowed first generation entrepreneurs — often with no backgrounds in the businesses world — to start their companies, acquire customers, and grow incredibly wealthy. And it appears there’s no better way to create brand new wealth than through startups — all 10 of India’s top 10 richest self made individuals have amassed their wealth through tech startups, and now rub shoulders with the long-term members India’s rich lists.
Here are India’s 10 richest self made individuals under the age of 40.
1.Divyank Tukakhia, 39
Net worth: Rs. 12,500 crore
Divyank Tukarhia is someone who stays out of the limelight — he isn’t found at tech conferences or on Twitter — but he’s worth Rs. 12,500 crore, and is India’s richest self-made person under the age of 40. Divyank Tukrakhia and his brother Bhavin had started off running internet businesses in their teens, when the internet was first making its way to India, and have founded several successful companies since. While Bhavin now runs businesses including Directi, Zeta and others, Divyank made most of his money through the sale of ad tech firm Media.net. He now lives it up in Dubai where he parties and flies his own airplanes.
2. Nakul Aggarwal, 36 & Ritesh Arora, 37
Net worth: Rs. 12,400 crore each
BrowserStack founders Ritesh Arora and Nakul Aggarwal are next on the list of India’s richest self made individuals with net worths of Rs. 12,400 crore each. The duo had founded Browserstack all the way back in 2011 as a tool to help web developers test their code in different browsers and environments. Browserstack grew organically, and was making $20 million in annual revenue when it first raised funding in 2017. Browserstack is now valued at over $4 billion, giving the duo a spot on the list of India’s richest self made individuals.
3. Neha Narkhede, 36
Net worth: 12,200 crore
There was little to suggest at the start of Neha Narkhede’s career that she’d end up on the list of the richest self-made Indians — she’s studied Computer Science at University of Pune, and had then moved to the US for her MS. She then worked at Oracle, and then moved on to LinkedIn. But at LinkedIn, she and two colleagues quit and founded a company named Confluent, which helps companies monitor and manage their data in real time with its platform. Confluent went public in June this year, and Neha Narkhede is now worth a cool Rs. 12,200 crore.
4. Nikhil Kamath, 35
Net worth: Rs. 11,100 crore
Nikhil Kamath might’ve been in the news for the wrong reasons — he was accused of cheating to beat Vishwanathan Anand in a charity chess match — but he still runs one of the most successful startups in the country. Zerodha is bootstrapped, profitable, and the largest broker in India, and as co-founder, Nikhil Kamath is worth an impressive Rs. 11,100 crore.
5. Riju Ravindran, 40
Net Worth: Rs. 8,100 crore
Byju Ravindran is the face of his epomymous ed-tech startup, but he’d co-founded the company with his younger brother Riju Ravindran. While Byju’s himself misses out on this list for having already turned 40, Riju Ravindran, who owns a near-8 percent stake in Byju’s, makes the cut with a net worth of Rs. 8,100 crore.
6. Sachin Bansal, 40 & Binny Bansal, 38
Net worths: Rs. 8,000 crore and Rs. 7,800 crore respectively
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal are the original posterboys of the Indian startup ecosystem — by getting Flipkart acquired at a valuation of $21 billion, they blazed a trail for thousands of other Indian entrepreneurs to emulate. Both are now following their own paths — Sachin Bansal is looking to disrupt India’s fintech space with Navi, while Binny Bansal is running investment firm xto10x. But both make it to the list of India’s richest self made individuals with net worths of Rs. 8,00 crore and Rs. 7,800 crore respectively.
7. Bhavish Aggarwal, 36
Net worth: Rs. 7,500 crore
Bhavish Aggarwal has been on the rich lists for a while now, thanks mainly to his founding of Ola, which along with Uber controls most of India’s ride hailing space. But Aggarwal has now put on a different hat — he’s become the face of Ola Electric, leading from the front as the company aims to bring the electric revolution to India through its two-wheelers. Aggarwal is very much at the forefront of the movement, appearing in Ola Electric’s promotional videos, and sharing tweets about the progress at the company. While Ola Electric is yet to start making deliveries of its scooters, Aggarwal finds himself on the list of the richest self made Indians with a net worth of Rs. 7,500 crore.
8. Ritesh Aggarwal, 27
Net worth: Rs. 6,300 crore
Ritesh Aggarwal’s life has been the stuff of entrepreneurial legend — he’d founded Oyo Rooms when he was all of 19, he became the first Indian to be selected for the Thiel fellowship, and he has now overseen Oyo Room’s become one of the world’s largest hotel chains. But there’s more happening on the horizon — Oyo Rooms has applied for its IPO, and will soon start trading on the stock markets. As Oyo’s stock becomes publicly traded, Ritesh Aggarwal’s net worth could balloon significantly from its current Rs. 6,300 crore, which already gives him a spot in the list of the richest self-made Indians.