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30 Under 30 2023: A decade of celebrating outstanding young achievers

Now in its tenth year, the 30 under 30 alumni tell a story of outstanding success, and businesses and careers—from agritech and fintech to entertainment and sports—that are built to last

Ruchika Shah
Published: Jan 30, 2023 09:59:06 AM IST
Updated: Jan 30, 2023 01:54:25 PM IST

Ten years is a good time frame to tell if something is successful or not—whether it’s a business, a career, a social scheme or pretty much anything else.

 It was 10 years ago in 2014 when we first published the Forbes India 30 Under 30 list. You’ll recognise some of our winners from the Class of 2014 who are making waves even today—Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola; Rajkummar Rao, actor; Pooja Dhingra, Le15; Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja of Shivan and Narresh; Cheteshwar Pujara, cricketer, to name a few.

Over the years, our 30 Under 30 winners have represented young and upcoming talents and businesses across the most relevant sectors in the day. From 14 categories in 2014 to 20 in 2023, we have been restrained while adding new categories or dropping them, to ensure we don’t leave out any new trends emerging in business. For example, we separated music from entertainment when indie music started taking off in the country; added education when edtech was taking off with leaps and bounds during the pandemic; then cryptocurrency which has now transformed into Web3 in 2023 to reflect the ever-changing sector.

This year, its 10th, the Forbes India 30 Under 30 cohort will be 300-strong and we can safely claim that we’ve had many hits. Take Nikhil Kamath, for instance, who was featured on the list in 2016 when he was 29. Zerodha has changed the stock market investing landscape for retail investors in the country. Today, he’s one of India’s youngest billionaires. The Class of 2016 also featured the co-founders of Postman—Abhinav Asthana, Abhijit Kane and Ankit Sobti—that has now put India on the global tech map and is transforming the way developers world over look at software by taking an ‘API-first approach’.

Then there’s Swiggy from 2017 as well as PharmEasy from the same year, and ShareChat, and Razorpay. Ather Energy, Bellatrix Aerospace, and Meesho from 2018. Ninjacart, smallcase, Wakefit, and Porter from 2019. Bira, BharatAgri, and Sleepy Owl from 2020.

View the full list of Forbes India 30 Under 30 2023 here

Our mantra to pick the class of 30 Under 30 has always been to discover the young before they make it big, and our success transcends business, to entertainment and sports as well. Tahir Raj Bhasin  and Taapsee Pannu (Class of 2017); Bhumi Pednekar, Vicky Kaushal and Mithila Palkar (Class of 2018); Vijay Deverakonda (Class of 2019); Sai Pallavi (Class of 2020) represent the esteemed alumni in entertainment. In sports, Anirban Lahiri, Dipa Karmakar (Class of 2016); Aditi Ashok (Class of 2017); Jasprit Bumrah, Harmanpreet Kaur (Class of 2018); Neeraj Chopra, Smriti Mandhana and Hima Das (Class of 2019), to name a few, have gone on to put India on the map in their own tracks and fields and won international acclaim.

The Class of 2023 will be no different. 30 achievers across 21 categories, picked by an expert jury for each category have strived to reach here and will continue to build businesses to last, and careers to reckon with. They will bridge crucial gaps in the dynamic Indian market with their startups and win accolades for the country in their respective sectors. The youngest on the list this year is only 21 and his startup in Climate Change & Clean Energy represents a thinking young generation that is interested in solving the most pertinent problems of the world today and not just creating wealth or fame.

Meet the Class of 2023—they are, like most of our alumni in their day, only getting started!
The research process was three-fold: One, interviews by the Forbes India team with sources across relevant categories as well as through studies of databases and media coverage. Two, on forbesindia.com, inviting applications from, or nominations of, entrepreneurs and professionals who fit the criteria. Three, spreading the word on social media. This helped us arrive at a long list across 20 categories, including a new one—Web3—this year. The next step was narrowing down to a ‘shorter longlist’—the names most likely to make it to the Top 30, decided in consultation with experts in each category. The last stage was finalising the 30 winners for 2023. Armed with expert views, the Forbes India editorial team debated, argued and vetoed its way down to the final 30 from close to a thousand nominations. We have only considered for selection those who were under the age of 30 as of February 28, 2023 (the cut-off date for selection of the list). And, in the case of enterprises which have several co-founders, we have considered only those where at least one of them is under 30.