They are young. They are eager to challenge the status quo and chart out their own course in a world where change is the only constant. The members of the Fortune India 40 Under 40, India’s finest set of innovators, entrepreneurs, and disruptors, are people who have dared to break away from the tried and tested route and walked the road less travelled. And in doing so, they have created ideas, ventures, and enterprises which are making a difference. To be sure, the 40 we present in the 2018 list may not necessarily have built billion-dollar unicorns (the oft-repeated benchmark of business success in these times), but we believe they deserve to be saluted and celebrated because they had the courage to do things differently and stayed the course.
Our list is diverse: There are corporate executives like Tetra Pak marketing director Saumya Tyagi and Bain’s Deepak Jain; entrepreneurs Byju Raveendran, whose Byju’s learning app is making waves, and Neha Singh and Abhishek Goyal of data analytics startup Tracxn; and even those like Upasana Makati, whose English language magazine in Braille is changing lives. Then there is Leo Mavely, featured on the cover of this issue, whose venture Axio Biosolutions makes single-use bandages from crustacean shells. Mavely’s bandages, which reduce blood loss, are supplied to the Indian Army.
Yes, in a country where 42% of the population is between 15 and 39 years of age, there are bound to be many bright minds working on several innovative business ideas, and selecting the final 40 sets of people was far from easy for our editors and journalists. But led by Deepti Chaudhary, Debojyoti Ghosh, and Debabrata Das, the Fortune India team got going over several weeks and finally arrived at the 40 you will read about in the following pages. We also have a list of The Classics, those who have made repeat appearances on our list and are, therefore, treated as a separate set. The 2018 list, we believe, represents the best and the brightest young minds in the country. As Indian enterprise gains momentum rapidly, I am sure there will be many new faces who will feature prominently in future editions of 40 Under 40.
A word on our cover image. Over several animated discussions, Photo Editor Narendra Bisht and Art Director Anirban Ghosh finalised a cover idea which would capture the sense of innovation and energy which characterises the list, and Leo Mavely fit the bill perfectly. “We wanted to represent the clotting of the blood,” explains Bisht. “The idea was also to capture the enormous energy the young minds bring,” adds Ghosh.
(The Fortune India 15 March-14 June 2018 special issue is on stands. Subscribe here)