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12 Indian entrepreneurs you should know

发布在 January 06, 2014

The UpTake: If India is a tough place to start a company, as recent media reports suggest, these entrepreneurs aren't evidence of it. They've built successful businesses—some global—with talented founders and millions in venture capital. And they're the nation's best bet at spurring along even more startup activity.

India has grabbed headlines in recent weeks for being a tough place for entrepreneurs, and it could get even tougher for some startups there if the government allows Amazon and Ebay play in the Indian market.

The stories tell tales of corruption, investors unwilling to invest in startups, and bureaucracy getting involved with business filings, along with a potential lift of the ban on foreign e-commerce companies operating in the nation.

But there are plenty of signs of life in India too, a nation that is well-educated, tech-savvy (thanks to all the U.S. outsourcing) and has a large middle class. Venture capitalists have shown interest in the nation's most innovative startups—500 Startups has committed to funding at least 10 Indian startups a year and Microsoft Ventures director Mukund Mohan hails from India and is active in the community there.

According to the New York Times, some American entrepreneurs are setting up shop in the nation. And the 2013 World Startup Report on India provides a full analysis of the opportunities there.

But perhaps most encouraging are the young companies that have become successful in India despite the odds. They might be the nation's bet at encouraging others to start up in their homeland.

So who are the founders leading India's startup economy? We've picked a dozen with venture capital, high valuations and the best odds at continued success in India.

Naveen Tewari, Abhay Singhal and Amit Gupta, founders of InMobi

The platform that allows and simplifies mobile advertising for major international brands has raised more than $215 million, mostly from SoftBank Capital, and opened offices around the world. It competes with Google AdMob and Apple's iAd platforms. CEO Naveen Tewari has an MBA from Harvard Business School and experience working at a Silicon Valley VoIP startup. He also worked as a McKinsey & Co. consultant and a venture capitalist before co-founding InMobi in 2007. He also started with Harvard classmates a U.S. nonprofit raising money and building schools in India.

Read the full report here!