Founders Of Top 100 Upcoming Startups In India – How Many Did An MBA?

The Indian start-up ecosystem in India has boomed ever since the explosion of the dotcom era, with the launch of and In 2007, the pioneers of potential decacorn start-ups, Flipkart, was founded by Sachin and Binny Bansal, who were former Amazon employees. As of 2017, the company is valued at approximately $11.6 Billion and was one of the first Indian unicorn start-ups along with Ola. Other unicorns include SnapDeal, PayTM, Hike, Zomato, and most recently, Byju’s.

Here are some facts about the Indian start-up ecosystem –

  • As of 2015, Indian tech-start-ups have created over 80,000 jobs in the country. According to a Grant Thornton & ASSOCHAM report of 2015, India has almost 10,500+ startups, which is estimated to increase to 11,500 by 2020. Annually, approximately 800 new startups are founded every year in India.
  • India is the youngest start-up nation across the globe, with most founders being less than 35 years old.
  • India is the 3rd largest tech-startup hotspot in the world.

Therefore, it can be fairly concluded that the nation is in the midst of a start-up boom, and more and more new ventures are going to come up in the years to come. What can also be concluded is that we are witnessing an upward graph in terms of entrepreneurial interest and the desire to manage one’s own venture.

So the very obvious question that would pop-up in a budding entrepreneur’s mind would be – Do I need an MBA to start my own firm? How do I learn how to manage a business? 

While I lack the experience to answer the latter part of the question, I will attempt to answer the former by providing the educational qualifications of the top-100 start-ups to look out for in 2018, as per SutraHR, a talent acquisition platform for startups.

This report will attempt to answer the following questions –

  1. Is an MBA necessary to be an entrepreneur? How many non-MBAs have been successful in setting up their own SMEs?
  2. Which graduation and post-graduation colleges do most entrepreneurs come from? Is there a trend around this?
  3. How many entrepreneurs do not possess any undergraduate or post-graduate qualifications?

Note – Complete data for only 181 out of 198 founders and co-founders was available.

Top 10 Unicorn & Decacorn Start-up Founders In India –

Amongst the top 10 companies with valuation over $1 Billion including Flipkart, Snapdeal, PayTM, Ola, ReNew Power Ventures, Hike, Shopclues, Zomato, InMobi and Quikr:

  • 50% of start-up founders have done an MBA, with IIM Calcutta and Harvard Business School producing the maximum number of billionaire start-up founders.
  • 70% of this list consists of IIT alumni, with most alumni from IIT Delhi.



 Under graduation



Sachin Bansal IIT Delhi NA
Binny Bansal IIT Delhi NA


Kunal Bahl University of Pennsylvania Kellogg School of Management
Rohit Bansal IIT Delhi IIT Delhi (M.Tech)


Vijay Shekhar Sharma Delhi College of Engineering NA


Bhavish Aggarwal IIT Bombay NA
Ankit Bhati IIT Bombay NA

ReNew Power Ventures

Sumant Sinha IIT Delhi IIM Calcutta


Kavin Bharti Mittal University of York Imperial College London (EEE & Management)


Sanjay Sethi IIT (BHU) IIT Delhi (Software Technology)
Sandeep Aggarwal Kurukshetra University Olin Business School
Radhika Aggarwal Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya Washington University St. Louis (MBA)

Zomato Media

Deepinder Goyal IIT Delhi NA
Pankaj Chaddah IIT Delhi NA


Naveen Tewari IIT Kanpur Harvard Business School
Mohit Saxena IIT Roorkee Harvard Business School (AMP)
Amit Gupta IIT Kanpur Harvard Business School
Abhay Singhal IIT Kanpur NA


Pranay Chulet IIT Delhi IIM Calcutta
Jiby Thomas St. Berchman’s College IIM Calcutta


Top 100 Upcoming Startups In India – 

  • How many start-up founders did not pursue any post-graduation degrees, including MBA?

    Out of the 198 founders (for whom data was available) of 100 start-ups, we find that 81 of the founders have not pursued any post-graduation degree at all, while 65 founders have pursued an MBA degree, and 35 have pursued specialisations in their respective fields (mostly Engineering).

Very clearly, an MBA is NOT a prerequisite to starting your own business. Perhaps in the future, founders may choose to pursue a management degree to develop technical knowledge and form a network, but it is most certainly not necessary for one to pursue an MBA or even a specialisation before setting up a company.

However, an observation that can be made is that the majority of the founders in this list have had prior work experience of a minimum of 2 years, which may have aided them in building their own company.

  • How many founders pursued an MBA locally?

    Out of the 65 founders who pursued an MBA, 35 of them pursued an MBA from India, while the rest pursued their Business programmes from countries such as the United States, Canada, and England.

  • Which Indian B-Schools have produced the most number of Start-up founders in this list?

    The following graph illustrates the management institutes which have produced the maximum number of founders –

IIM Ahmedabad alumni have the maximum representation across up-coming start-ups, followed by IIM Calcutta, ISB Hyderabad and IIM Lucknow. It is clear that more than half the start-up founders who DID manage to pursue an MBA hail from the elite B-Schools of the country. NMIMS alumni also appear to have an entrepreneurial streak.

When it comes to foreign B-Schools, Harvard Business School and the London Business School have produced the maximum number of start-up founders in this list (including the unicorns and decacorns).

Under Graduate Colleges – 

Apart from post-graduation degrees, we can also focus on the undergraduate colleges which these founders and co-founders belong to.

As was the case in the top 100 CEOs of Indian Fortune 500 companies, most start-up leaders hail from IITs. In this list, IITs account for over 3/10th of the total alumni (31.25%) in this list.

After the 55 IIT alumni, the maximum number of founders are alumni of NITs (6), Mumbai University (7), Delhi University (8) and Motilal Institute of Technology (4).

90% (estimated) of the start-up founders in this list are Engineers.

Also read – CEOs OF Top 100 Indian Companies – How Many Did An MBA?

Here is the complete list of founders of upcoming start-ups (as per SutraHR) and their educational qualifications:





Sudhir Kamath Delhi Institute of Technology IIM Ahmedabad
Pratik Kumar IIT Kharagpur IIT Kharagpur
Abhinav Nigam IIT Kharagpur NA
Rishabh Mathur IIT Kharagpur NA
Active Intelligence
Ravi Shankar Madras Christian College IMDR (MBA)
Parikshit Paspulati Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
AEON Learning
Karthik KS NIT Kurukshetra SP College of Management
Vikalp Jain IIT Bombay IIT Bombay
Kunal Jhunjhunwala Rochester Institute of Technology London School of Economics
Amit Kapoor Mumbai University NMIMS Mumbai
Rohan Deshpande Mumbai University Mumbai University (MBA)
ALT Balaji Ekta Kapoor Mithibai College NA
Ask Arvi
Sushant Reddy IIT Bombay Columbia Business School
Mandar Zope IIT Bombay NA
Ashwin Narkhede IIT Bombay IIT Bombay (M.Tech)
Avishkaar Box Tarun Bhalla Delhi University (Computer Science) University of Washington
Biryani By Kilo
Kaushik Roy Hotel Management NA
Vishal Jindal IIT-BHU Martin J. Whitman School of Management
Nikhil Shivaprasad VNIT Nagpur North Carolina State University
Mithun Srivatsa VNIT Nagpur Cambridge Judge Business School
Boltt Sports Technologies
Aayushi Kishore SRCC Harvard Business School
Arnav Kishore Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Ajay Kashyap IIT Bombay NA
Prakhar Raj IIT Bombay NA
Shitiz Bansal IIT Delhi NA
Cash Suvidha
Anoop Garg Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Rajesh Gupta Delhi University (B.Com) NA
Call Health Hari Thalapalli Madras University Loyola College
Chimple Learning Srikanth Talapadi University of Mysore IIM Bangalore
Clip Nav Agrawal IIT Bombay NA
CoWrks Sidharth Menda Bentley University NA
CrediFiable Presha Paragash London School of Economics & Political Science The Wharton School
Harshit Vaishnav IIT Madras IIT Madras
Pratish Gandhi Chennai Mathematical Institute Chennai Mathematical Institute
Ankit Nagori IIT Guwahati NA
Mukesh Bansal IIT Kanpur NA
Doctor Insta Amit Munjal Data Unavailable Indiana University Bloomington
Abhishek Mahajan IIT Bombay NA
Amit Sahu Motilal Institute of Technology NA
Ashwarya Singh Motilal Institute of Technology
Vasant Verma Motilal Institute of Technology
Ankur Aggarwal Hansraj College (Computer Science) IIT Roorkee (Computer Science)
Dalvir Suri Sardar Patel Institute of Technology NA
Kabeer Biswas Mumbai University NMIMS Mumbai
Mukund Jha Motilal Institute of Technology Columbia Engineering
Judy Tan Nanyang Technological University Imperial College London
Michael Cluzel California State University Heidelberg University
Pumin Yuvacharuskul Data Unavailable UCL
Siddhanta Kothari ICAI NA
ECom Express
K. Satyanarayana Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Manju Dhawan Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Sanjeev Saxena RDV University (B.Com) NA
T.A. Krishnan Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
East India Comedy Sorabh Pant Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics Mumbai University
Karmaditya Bagga Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University NA
Priyansha Jain Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Ajay Vishnu Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Fella Homes
Amit Gupta IIT Roorkee NA
Digendra Singh Rathore IIT Roorkee NA
Kunal Singh Purdue University Stanford University
Virender Pratap Singh IIT Roorkee NA
Yadwinder Paul Singh IIT Roorkee NA
FilmyGyan Aftab Khan Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
FingerLix Shree Bharambe College of Engineering, Pune IIM Bangalore
Arunprasad Durairaj Madurai Kamaraj University The Tuck School of Business
Shreenidhi Srirangam PES College of Engineering NA
Vijay Gandhi Anna University NA
Aahana Mulla St. Xavier’s College Aston University
Yuvraj Bhalla National College Frameboxx Animation Institute
Prateek Lal Data Unavailable Welingkar Institute of Management
Flock Bhavin Turakhia Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics NA
Deepak Kothari SRCC NA
Sanjeev Chandak IIT Kharagpur The Wharton School
Vaibhav Lodha NIT Trichy IIM Calcutta
Farooq Adam IIT Bombay IIT Bombay
Harsh Shah IIT Bombay NA
Sreeraman Mohan Girija University of Kerala IIT Bombay
Abhay Sharma Amity Institute of Technology NA
Ashwin Haryani Amity Institute of Technology NA
Get My Parking
Chirag Jain Galgotias College of Engineering & Technology IIT Madras
Rasik Pansare Pune Institute of Computer Technology FMS Delhi
GoCoop Siva Devireddy Data Unavailable Arizona State University
GoFro Amitabh Misra IIT Kanpur Walter A. Haas School of Business
Gold Farm Abhilash Thirupathy Meenakshi Ammal Dental College IIM Lucknow
Graphic India
Gotham Chopra Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Sharad Devarajan Syracuse University Columbia University
Suresh Seetharaman School of Visual Arts NA
HalaPlay Swapnil Saurav BITS Pilani NA
HandyTrain Devadas Krishnan Mahatma Gandhi University IIM Ahmedabad
Mudit Krishna Mathur NIT Warangal NA
Parminder Singh IIIT NA
Varun Ramamurthy Dinakar Anna University IIM Calcutta
HexOctane Jhenkar Dixit Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
HipCask Aneesh Bhasin Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Homergize Vinod R. Kaushik BMS College of Engineering University of Maryland (MBA)
Avneet Soni Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Puneet Gupta Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
InnerChef Rajesh Sawhney Delhi College of Engineering Harvard Business School
Innov8 Coworking
Ritesh Malik MGR Medical University Harvard University
Shailesh Gupta IIT Kharagpur IIT Kharagpur
Sumit Ranka Dwarkadas J Sanghvi College of Engineering NA
Ashwin Ajila Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
R Lakshminarayanan Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Josh Talks
Shobhit Banga Lancaster University NA
Supriya Paul Sri Venkateswara College NA
Aditya Naik BITS Pilani BITS Pilani
Rahul Raj IIT Kharagpur IIT Kharagpur
Rakesh Yadav IIT Delhi NA
Karthikeyan K National University of Singapore National University of Singapore
Madhusudhan E NIT Surathkal University of Toronto
Wan Hong Wuhan University Edith Cowan University
Pushkar Singh IIT Kharagpur IIT Kharagpur
Sudarshan Ravi IIT Kharagpur IIT Kharagpur
LBB Suchita Salwan Hindu College, DU NA
m.Paani Akanksha Hazari Princeton University University of Cambridge
Sanjeev Barnwal IIT Delhi NA
Vidit Aatrey IIT Delhi NA
Mobie Fit Gul Panag Punjabi University Panjab University
Money View
Puneet Agarwal IIT Delhi Krannert School of Management
Sanjay Aggarwal IIT Delhi NA
Mr Button Deepak Khetan Delhi University Birmingham Institute of Art and Design
Prathamesh Juvatkar IIT Gandhinagar NA
Sarthak Jain IIT Gandhinagar NA Pradeep Dadha Loyola College NA
NiYo Solutions
Virender Bisht NIT Kurukshetra NA
Vinay Bagri IIRM, Hyderabad IIM Calcutta
Sarath Chandran IIT Kharagpur  NA
Vishal Gahlaut Punjab Engineering College IIM Ahmedabad
Vishesh Dahinwal IIT Delhi IIM Ahmedabad
Aditya Tulsian Savitribai Phule College of Engineering ISB, Hyderabad
Baskar Ganapathy University of Madras California State University
Rajeev Chari SGSITS, Indore ISB, Hyderabad
OncoStem Diagnostics Manjiri Bakre University of Mumbai University of Baroda
OpenOut Arun Rafi G.R. Damodaran College of Science SIBM, Bangalore
Play Shifu
Dinesh Advani IIT Kharagpur NA
Vivek Goyal IIT Kharagpur Stanford University Graduate Business School
Ashish Mahajan IIT Bombay ISB, Hyderabad
Bhagwandas Paliwal IIT Bombay NA
Qbera Aditya Kumar University of Warwick Cass Business School
RenewBuy Balachander Sekhar IIT Bombay IIM Calcutta
Amit Sodhi Delhi College of Engineering ISB, Hyderabad
Vineet Chawla Delhi University Mumbai University (MBA)
Sendd Sumeet Wadhwa Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Sensibol Audio Technologies
Sujeet Kini Mumbai University IIT Bombay
Nagesh Nayak Thakur College of Engineering IIT Bombay
Vishweshwara Rao Mumbai University Miami University
Preeti Rao IIT Bombay NA
Sachin Pant Vishwakarma Institute of Technology IIT Bombay
Anand Naik KIT College of Engineering NA
Pankit Desai SS Engineering College BK School of Business Management
Apurv Anand IIT Delhi NA
Rohit Pandey IIIT, Bangalore NA
Tathagato Dastidar IIT Kharagpur NA
Deepak Malhotra BITS Pilani NA
Rajan Bajaj IIT Kharagpur NA
Smaash Entertainment Shripal Morakhia University of Pune NA
Stanza Living
Anindya Dutta IIT Kharagpur IIM Ahmedabad
Sandeep Dalmiya Delhi College of Engineering IIM Ahmedabad
Govardhan K VV Puram Science College Adarsha Jain College
Sridhar Gundaiah Visvesaraya Technological University University of Greenwich (MS)
StyleCracker Dhimaan Shah Northwestern University NA
Sumeru Harish Ramachandran IIT Bombay NA
Rahul Shingrani Thadomal Shahani Engineering College Drexel University
Prasad Bhat Visvesaraya Technological University NA
Terribly Tiny Tales
Anuj Gosalia Narsee Monjee College of Economics & Commerce Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India
Chintan Ruparel SIES College NA
Jawahar Bekay St. Xavier’s College SPJIMR
Arjun Vaznaik St. Xavier’s College Asian Institute of Management
The Bohri Kitchen
Nafisa Kapadia Data Unavailable Data Unavailable
Munaf Kapadia Data Unavailable NMIMS Mumbai
The Moms Co
Malika Datt Sadani Savitribai Phule, Pune University Welingkar Institute of Management
Mohit Sadaani Thadomal Shahani Engineering College IIM Ahmedabad
The Office Pass Aditya Verma Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur IMI, New Delhi
Adarsh Jain IIT BHU NA
Shashank Agarwal Rajasthan Technical University NA
Jo Aggarwal IIT Delhi IIM Lucknow
Ramakant Vempati IIT Kanpur IIM Lucknow, London Business School
Vahdam Teas Bala Sarda Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies NA
WeDoSky Jaspreet Makkar Jaypee Institute of Information Technology NA
Anshulika Dubey Miranda House, Delhi University NA
Priyanka Agarwal The Wharton School School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Parveen Singhal SRM University NA
Shashank Vaishnav SRM University NA
Vinay Singhal SRM University NA
Wydr Devesh Rai Delhi University IIM Calcutta
Ankit Saraf Data Unavailable Bundelkhand University
Anmol Gupta IPS Academy NA
Jayant Jha Delhi University NA
Ashish Singh IIT Delhi NA
Harsh Snehanshu IIT Delhi NA
Ashish Anantharaman Mumbai University NA
Lizzie Chapman The University of Edinburgh NA
Priya Sharma IIT BHU London Business School
Salil Agarwal Uttar Pradesh Technical University NA
Sanchal Ranjan NIT Surathkal NA
Saurabh Kumar Marine Engineering & Research Institute IIT Kanpur (MBA)
Kshitij Puri Delhi University UCLA Anderson School of Management
Shalabh Singhal IIT BHU NA

If you have any suggestions to improve this report, let me know in the comments below.

Also read – Is An MBA A Plus Or A Minus In The Start-up World?

Chirag Shukla

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