In a country where the overwhelming majority of the population is young—with around 65% estimated to be under the age of 35—it is not surprising that the new India we live in is one where the youth drive change, collective aspiration, and economic growth. It is against this background that this edition of Fortune India’s much-awaited special issue, the 40 Under 40 list, has been put together. This list, our annual compendium of India’s brightest young minds in the world of business, reflects the change India as a country is currently going through.
Over the past few years, young, ambitious Indians are deciding to move away from the beaten track and charting out new paths for themselves. In the process, they are creating exciting ventures, providing employment opportunities, and even touching the lives of the less fortunate. Our list is not just about entrepreneurs, though. There are also brilliant young minds who are making a big difference within companies, helming important departments, handling critical portfolios, and shaping the future of those corporations. It is this collective of young achievers which makes up the Fortune India 40 Under 40 list year after year.
When millions of young people are making a mark in diverse fields and contributing to nation-building, compiling a list of 40 is always a very challenging task. A list like this is, then, essentially a representation of how young India is powering ahead and can never claim to be an exhaustive one. We at Fortune India are well aware that outside these 40, there will naturally be several others who are working to make a mark in the world of business and our endeavour will always be to capture the best such names every year. This year’s list comprises some very interesting people as well. From entrepreneurs who have solved critical problems and created scalable businesses to professionals who are performing vital functions in their organisations, the class of 2019 has them all.
Here’s a sample: This year’s list has three individuals who decided to shut down their own ventures and collaborate to create the successful home services platform UrbanClap (our cover story for this issue). There’s also the young ethical hacker Trishneet Arora, whose interest in computers began at the age of nine and who today runs a successful cybersecurity venture which counts some of the country’s biggest companies as its clients. There’s also Sonia Notani, who stayed away from the lure of joining global giants and instead helped homegrown IndiaFirst Life Insurance forge ahead by devising new products, and is now its chief marketing officer. Digital lending platform Capital Float, on the other hand, was conceptualised by two Stanford alumni who decided to get into the business of offering loans to sellers who were part of the burgeoning e-commerce ecosystem in India. These, and many more achievers, are part of the list you will read in the pages that follow.
This year’s list was put together after detailed research by Fortune India’s journalists who went through several names (including nominations which were sent in by aspirants) to prepare a long-list. We then consulted a panel of experts who gave us their inputs. Armed with our own findings and the views of our expert panel, the Fortune India editorial team then arrived at the final 40 who comprise this year’s list. We do hope you will enjoy reading about them as much as we did putting this list together.
This was originally published in the from the June 14-September 15, 2019 issue.