Everyone knows India is the largest market in the whole world and is also the hub of innovation. But you barely know about the people who are the reason about India’s sucess. We are used to listen to people about the scientists, businessmen and entrepreneurs of the world and rarely listen about the Indians, because nobody tells us about them (an old Indian saying, “Ghar ki Murgi, Daal Barabar :p “).
So we, here at QGaze have brought a list of 5 such persons of India who are really an incredible success, who really count for us and our country, whose path-breaking ventures have made a huge difference to our lives (but we never did realise :( ).
1. Neeraj Arora: The Man Behind the Meteoric Rise of WhatsApp:
Neeraj Arora is the Vice President of Business at WhatsApp. He studied mechanical engineering at IIT-Delhi, and did his MBA from ISB. From Times Internet to Google to WhatsApp, Arora has had an astonishing ability to identify the opportunities everywhere. Arora is responsible for “all things business at WhatsApp”. He was among the key executives who sealed Facebook’s epic buyout of WhatsApp for $19 billion.
An ex ‘Times Internet’ manager and Googler, Arora joined WhatsApp in November 2011 when it had about 20 employees only. Infact he was specifically recruited for his corporate development background at Google :) .
2. Arunachalam Muruganantham: The man who made sanitary napkins Affordable to millions of underprivileged women in India.
This poor man hailing from a rural village near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu has brought hygiene to millions of underprivileged Indian women’s monthly menstrual cycle by inventing a machine that makes low-cost sanitary pads. In rural India, many ladies use rags, soil, and even mud for stemming menstrual flow which is highly infectious and unhygienic.
Arunachalam realized that many poor women, including his wife, were unable to afford sanitary napkins manufactured by MNCs. Hence, they were forced to use unhygienic rags and newspapers during their menstrual cycle.
After checking the product by himself, he realized that the raw materials probably cost 10 paise (in 1998), but these corporate giants were selling them for 40 times that price. He learnt that commercial pads used cellulose fibers, derived from pine bark wood pulp. The machines that made them were imported, costing more than 3 crores. Being from the hand loom sector, he thought he could make them cheaper himself.
After a long struggle, he managed to devise a low-cost machine (Rs.80,000 to Rs. 1 lakh), which would grind, de-fibrate, press, and sterilize the pads under ultraviolet light, which could also be operated with minimal training.
His unique contribution to the society was recognized only in 2006 when his work was accepted by IIT Madras.
And then, after obtaining funds, he founded Jayshree Industries that now manufactures and markets these machines to rural women all over India.
But Arunachalam had to face a lot of flak for working on this biological topic that even women are afraid to talk about. At one point, his wife and sisters left him, embarrassed by society’s taunts about his involvement in an issue dealing with women’s menstrual flow. When no one was ready to even give him feedback on his product, he began testing it on himself using a bladder with animal blood.
Today, this man who was ridiculed by the masses, has been included in TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
3. Vivek Ranadivé: The Wall Street Automaton!!!!
This man landed in America with less than $100 in his pocket, and is today a widely celebrated millionaire. Vivek Ranadivé is largely credited with digitizing the Wall Street in the 1980s. In the 1980s, all the stock market paper work was done on paper. Vivek tried to digitize it with his first company Teknekron Software. Today, Ranadivé is the only Indian who owns an NBA team (named Sacramento Kings) with a majority of 65% stake.
Along with a Master’s and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT, Ranadivé obtained an MBA from Harvard University in 1983 where he was also a Baker Scholar.
4. Bunker Roy: The Man Who Empowers Grandmothers
Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy is an Indian social activist and educator. He was selected as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential personalities in 2010 for his work in educating illiterate and semi-literate rural Indians. His enterprise, the Barefoot College is a voluntary organization working in the fields of education, skill development, women empowerment and electrification through solar power.
The Barefoot College aims to empower the poorest of poor by making them self-reliant. The policy of the Barefoot College is to take students, primarily women from poor villages and teach them skills such as installing, building and repairing solar lamps and water pumps without requiring them to read or write. V. Krishna has described the approach as “de-mystifying high technology” to rural villages, through which the uneducated and semi-literate can operate and manage items as sophisticated as solar panels and water pumps.
We can’t thank Bunker Roy more for providing livelihood and sustainability to the millions who stand conveniently forgotten. Who would have thought that a native Indian village woman would be able to install solar panels and make microchips!
In the words of Mr. Roy himself, “If you train a man a skill he would want a certificate, and rush to a city for a well paying job. We train women, mothers, grandmothers who never leave their roots, and the village grows”
5. Devi P. Shetty: The Cardiac Surgeon (Heart Surgeon)
Heart surgeon Devi Shetty’s 1000-bed hospital Narayana Hrudayalaya, performs the highest number of surgeries in the world at a fraction of the cost—and, with world-class standards.
In 2001, Devi Shetty started with Narayana Hrudayalaya as the biggest telemedicine centre in the world, established in some 19 countries. He also founded Nerayanma health city, which offers super-specialty tertiary care facilities across areas like cardiology, neurosciences, paediatrics and cancer research. Shetty later also signed an MOU with the Karnataka Government to build a hospital with 5000 beds within a budget of 1000 crores, close to the airport.
Till date, Shetty has performed almost 15,000 heart operations and saved thousands of lives. His hospitals make use of economies of scale and perform heart surgeries for one tenth of the cost it takes in the United States. He also came up with the insurance scheme called Yashasvini, which is the cheapest health insurance scheme in the world and presently covers 4 million people in Karnataka.