For a country where the median age of the population is estimated to be around 28 years, it is natural that young people will drive a lot of the activity and innovation that is expected to take the economy forward. Indeed, as India moves ahead in this decade and beyond, some of the most exciting business ideas will emanate from young Indians.
Nowhere is this trend in greater evidence than in Fortune India’s 40 Under 40 list of young achievers in the world of business. These are some of India’s brightest minds who have, by the sheer power of their ideas and innovative thinking, set up or run businesses that are at the forefront of the new India story which is taking shape. These young minds are restless and keen to make positive change, fearless enough to take risks, and have the perseverance to stay the course and see their ideas to fruition. No wonder then that many of them have the backing and the validation of the biggest names in venture capital and private equity.
It’s always a daunting task when we begin the process of picking the final 40 who you will read about in this issue. In a country of this size, picking just 40 of the most interesting and exciting business minds is never easy. Such a list, then, can only be a representation of what India has to offer, and we are extremely mindful of the fact that many, many other young minds are hard at work pursuing their dreams and giving shape to their ideas. Over time, many of those young Indians will also find a place in this list. We began our process of selection some months ago, digging into our own research, having multiple editorial meetings on possible names, speaking to people across sectors, and also calling for nominations on our website. Once we had a long list—and it was indeed a long list—we also went about getting inputs from an eminent panel of experts. The final 40 was then selected by Fortune India’s journalists after detailed deliberations, considering not just the business acumen, but also the scaleability and track record of the candidates. The result is a list that speaks for itself, and is evidence of the tremendous entrepreneurial energy which India possesses, where young minds are raring to power the nation forward.
A great example of this energy is Pristyn Care, the healthcare startup we feature on the cover, which was started by three enterprising people, two of whom are doctors. By opting for an asset-light model, using idle infrastructure from hospitals, and ensuring the utmost focus on quality, this venture has now emerged as an important player in the healthcare space. No surprise that at last count, Pristyn Care was valued at $550 million. For a venture which started in 2018, that’s serious growth in value. There are many other very interesting ventures and people on this year’s list, in sectors as diverse as social commerce, apparel, and fintech. But the common thread is the power of their ideas and their laser focus in executing them.
Before I conclude, a few words about the Fortune India team which put this issue together. As India battled the deadly second wave of the pandemic, many members of our team too faced severe challenges as they were hit by the virus themselves, or saw their family members fall ill. Some even lost people closest to them. But despite such immense hardships, they did their duty and this issue you hold in your hands is a testament to their exemplary commitment. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
(The edit first appeared in Fortune India's June 2021 issue).