Top Entrepreneurs in India Who Didn’t Give a Damn About IIT/IIM


(Note: As promised to our awesome readers, we have now published a list of top women entrepreneurs in India)

Most teenagers in India dream of getting into an IIT and/or IIM. Of lakhs of young Indians, who sit for the entrance exams, only a few hundred make it to these institutions. In addition to IIT, IIMs, the likes of BITS-Pilani and NIFT are popular too. While a plush job after graduation is one reason for this immense popularity, another reason is an ideal atmosphere that encourages entrepreneurship in India. A general perception is that most top entrepreneurs in India are from these top institutes.

What’s more, a trend that has been observed these days is that it is easier for someone from an IIT or an IIM to get funding for their entrepreneurial dreams. The current startup ecosystem is dotted with success stories of top entrepreneurs who graduated from either an IIM, IIT, BITS and the likes. Nevertheless, as we said, there is a general perception unless you are an IIT/IIM alumni, it is tough to be a successful entrepreneur. We have now drawn up a list of top entrepreneurs in India who have not been to any of these top institutes yet have gone on to create some wonderful companies and built great teams.

Here is a list of top entrepreneurs in India who were successful without attending an IIT or an IIM:

* In alphabetical order

We are sure you enjoyed reading this list about the top entrepreneurs in India. There are hundreds of budding entrepreneurs in India (a majority of them wannabepreneurs) who haven’t been to a top institute like an IIT or an IIM or XLRI or the ISB. This list also tries to serve as an inspiration for these promising entrepreneurs who can take a cue from the top Indian entrepreneurs above.

Being a startup that serves other startups and small businesses, sumHR closely interacts with various important stakeholders of the Indian startup ecosystem including VCs, most of whom are positive about mentoring startups and entrepreneurs from non-IIT or non-IIM backgrounds. The perception of startups in India as a whole is changing and various platforms are emerging for just about anyone who has a good business idea, regardless of the educational institute he/she has studied (or dropped out). This article is merely an attempt to break the common misconception observed in the startup ecosystem of India, that ‘only entrepreneurs who’ve studied at such institutes can manage to succeed in their enterprises’.

Please, feel free to use the comment section to add any top Indian entrepreneur that you feel has scaled up and succeeded without going to a top education institute such as IIT, IIM, ISB, etc.

PS: Like these guys, the sumHR team too is composed of non-IIT and non-IIM guys. And yes, they aim to get into this list someday. 😉

Disclaimer: IITs & IIMs are premier institutes, which produce some very talented professionals, and we have high regards for these and similar institutes. While this list is inspired by actual entrepreneurs who have NOT attended/graduated from an institute like IIT/IIM, it doesn’t mean to imply, in any way whatsoever, that these entrepreneurs have anything against institutes like IIT/IIMs. On the contrary, some of these entrepreneurs are guest/visiting faculties are these institutes and have high regards for these institutes, and often look out to hire talent professionals graduating from these institutes.

These great entrepreneurs built successful companies with the help of talented teams. If you are an entrepreneur looking out for talented individuals for your startup, click here.
  • BLOG is just awesome and inspirational , i want me see in next blog.

    • murtuzi

      keep sharing till then.

    • sumhr

      Thanks! Do follow us on facebook & twitter too.

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  • Nice. Good to know that inspiration and companies are coming up all over the place and not just from IIT and IIM.

    • murtuzi

      Ironically, most companies come out of non IIT/IIM colleges.

      • anil

        It all about passion neither about iim/iit nor non iim/iit

  • Niraj

    ISM is now IIT, so you don’t qualify, whatever your t/o 😉

  • Arjuman

    Would like to see women entrepreneurs coming forward as well.

  • Pzycoderz Solutions

    Inspirational Blog.. So the Next is Sreekanth Radhakrishna Pillai

    • murtuzi

      yes, sure, we all just hope. keep up the good work.

  • Jaideep

    Wonderful compilation. It may cause the most required ripple effect. Success is highly contageous and we need to expose the population to such incredibly infectious people. Good work. By knowing about these people many would stop cribbing and start introspecting.

    • murtuzi

      true, my boss always used to tell me : Experience is highly underrated,degree is over rated.

  • Harsh

    Lol! You don’t even seem to have a decent education even. ” Lots of GF “

  • Good read. but no women entrepreneurs in the list.

    • sumhr

      Hi Mili, first of all, thanks for reading the blog post and sharing your thoughts on the same. We are planning a separate post on top women entrepreneurs in India soon. Keep following this blog for more details. And yes, if you have anything to add about top women entrepreneurs, drop in a mail at buzz [at] sumhr {dot} com. :)

  • Spiritualize blog.

    • murtuzi

      haha, well, this isnt the word maybe.

  • Nice article. good to know these facts. Also, good to see Bhavin’s name listed here as I am a part of Directi

    • murtuzi

      so, why not share this with Bhavin and the team to get motivated?

  • Almost half of them have an MBA. they went to colleges like symbi, nmims, mumbai uni, etc. No offences, but i believe they wanted to be in an IIM but they couldnt get through. They must have given cat/nmat/snap, etc. It is not that they didnt want to get into IIM. It’s just that they couldn’t get into one. its nt they didnt.. they couldnt. And as far as entrepreneurship is concerned, i’m sure iims have created more ent. than non iims.

    • murtuzi

      sir, the mere fact that you have replied as a guest says a lot about you.

  • Am

    Almost half of them have an MBA. they went to colleges like symbi, nmims, mumbai uni, etc. No offences, but i believe they wanted to be in an IIM but they couldnt get through. They must have given cat/nmat/snap, etc. It is not that they didnt want to get into IIM. It’s just that they couldn’t get into one. And as far as entrepreneurship is concerned, i’m sure iims have created more ent. than non iims.

    • Raj

      I suggest you must read the book by Rashmi Bansal “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish”. She could find ONLY 25 successful entrepreneurs from IIM in last 40+ years of IIM history. Do you still think more successful entrepreneurs are from IIM than non-IIM?

      • murtuzi

        her book is nothing but short stories for kids.

  • Raj Aryan

    Where is the name of Mr. Vivek Nair.??… CEO of Damascus Fortune…. Who was in the Forbes 30 under 30, MIT TR35, Indians of Tomorrow, India Today etc….. He started his company in India which converts carbon emissions from Industries into Carbon nanotubes !!

  • murtuzi

    haha, well, we were planning to add this pun, but we thought to make it a little professional and skipped it, guess we shouldnt have.

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  • murtuzi

    IIT/IIM’s are over rated, education is under rated.

  • Service sector and second hand technology champions. A IIT/ good engineering education is supposed to produce ppl who can create IPs and Novel technologies that does something of impact. they Gave a damn..i am not sure..but sure they didn’t do anything that would make an IITian/IIMian jealous big time.

  • Vishwas

    I think this article has been unfair to the IITs & the IIMs. Entrepreneurship is an inherent trait & has little to do with the quality of the school, the entrepreneur attended. Having said that i would also like to mention that of all the guys mentioned in the post, those who have MBAs and Engineering degrees would have surely wanted to get those degrees from the IITs & the IIMs. Who wouldn’t want to study at a top school but not everyone can crack those entrance examinations. This comparison in itself is fundamentally flawed and has no significance as far as Entrepreneurship is concerned. “Anyone cannot become a successful entrepreneur, but a success entrepreneur can come from anywhere.” IITs & IIMs are premier institutions at the pinnacle of what they do, which is delivering quality technical & management education, certainly the best in the country. So it is certainly not about giving them a damn but doing something that one is interested and wants to excel in.

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  • Rahul Malik

    Really good compilation and very nice read. Would also be nice to know about such entrepreneurs who got into the real manufacturing sector apart from tech start-ups.

  • Inspiring people .. When asked these people what is the best investment that could be made in India.. their answers must be Invest in startups. m/.

  • rocko

    It doesn’t matter if you have IIT/IIM degree or not all you have to have is the daring to do it an idea to make it to reality there are many but only few popular are published in websites special firm like or people who have done business in IT or IT related concepts only but not any other as viewed above. So more are required apart from IT.

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  • Akash

    Sumantra, I can tell you a least of noble laureates,Presidents of India,Governors,Chief Justices,Ministers,Governor Generals, who graduated for University of Madras.for instance….A.P.J Abdul Kalam,CV Raman are some the bright alumnus of University of Madras.

  • Sejal


  • Nischala

    Though they are not from the top notch colleges/ universities, most of them seem to be graduating out of Kendrividyalaya!!!

  • shubh759

    Had a great time reading the article it was very well presented,only one thing come up to my mind, all of them above are from a good institute. In my point of view Mumbai university, Symbiosis and Fergusson college are some of the good colleges in India and I totally agree with your post that its not always IITs and IIMs.Just want to put a humble request , if you could show some Entrepreneurs grew big just from schooling or are college dropt outs. (may be not in technology related fields)

  • Gayathri

    Nice good inspiration

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