Five Indians, including three IITians and all in their 20s or 30s, have made to the list of top 25 entrepreneurs in Asia.
The list compiled by the US-based magazine BusinessWeek for its annual report on Asian entrepreneurs includes four women, including Saloni Malhotra whose BPO company ‘DesiCrew’ targets workforce in small towns and rural areas.
The other Indians on the list include Arun Sahlam, Rohit Nalawade, Vishal Gondal and Gagan Goel. “Thanks to an improved business climate and a wave of funding from US venture capitalists, the region’s entrepreneurs are finding success right at home,” the magazine said.
Sahlam, 30, an IIT Madras graduate, has made to the list with his website ‘Carwale.com’ that helps “car buyers, sellers and owners make better decisions.”
Prior to going the entrepreneur way, Sahlam worked as a software engineer at Veritas Software (now Symantec).
Gagan Goyal, 26, an IIT Mumbai graduate, has to his credit TRI Technology, a robotics start-up that uses robotics as a platform for practical learning in curriculum.
Another IIT Mumbai alumni on the list, Rohit Nalawade, has founded ‘Consumer Vision’ – a real-time service personalisation technology company, which is his second successful start-up at an age of just 24. He started an electronics services company during his undergraduation years with two other friends, which they sold after 22 months.
Alongside the three IITians, the list also has Saloni Malhotra, 25, and industrial engineering graduate from Bharti Vidyapeeth, whose BPO firm provides access to untapped workforce in small towns and rural areas through a distributed outsourcing model. The publication quoted DesiCrew’s Saloni as saying, “DesiCrew’s biggest challenge has been to convince clients about the productivity of rural areas and shape the mindset of its rural workforce on service-level agreements required by the BPO industry.”
The list also includes Vishal Gondal, 31, who studied till 12th grade only, but has made to the list with his website ‘Indiagames.com’, which is India’s benchmark online and mobile games company and a Top 20 global mobile games developer and publisher.
Earlier, Gondal set up FACT, a computer training institute when he was just a 19-year-old. He started Indiagames as an online gaming company in 1999 and later ventured into mobile gaming.
The firm has acquired mobile gaming licenses for major Hollywood brands like Spider-Man, Jurassic Park , Predator, Bruce Lee, The Scorpion King series, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, among others, to expand its presence into the international mobile market.
“Young business people like these are catching the attention of American financiers, who are taking notice of the improved climate for local entrepreneurs,” BusinessWeek noted.
Other than five Indians, the list also includes persons from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam and China.
BusinessWeek said that these 25 persons best represent the creativity and energy that is now increasingly common among startups across the region.
“While young entrepreneurs in China and India are well positioned to benefit as financiers in the US pour more money into the region, not everyone is in such good shape,” it noted.