Virat Khutal among top Entrepreneurs in India Who Didn’t Give a Damn About

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IIT/IIMMost 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.

CEO, Twist Mobile

Pune Institute of Computer Technology, IPS Academy, Indore Public School
Virat Khutal is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Twist Mobile, a Singapore-based mobile development company that focuses on mobile applications and games for India and other emerging countries. Schooled at the Indore Public School, Khutal then studied at the IPS Academy and Pune Institute of Computer Technology. Founded some five years ago, Twist Mobile has made a name for itself in application and game development, and has managed to attract investments from the likes of Matrix Partners India as well as Achal Choudhary, who provided the seed fund. Prior to this, Khutal worked as a game designer at games industry biggie Gameloft in Pune.

Sydenham College, Campion School
Alok Kejriwal is a top serial entrepreneur from India who made his name with the Contests2Win companies, especially Games2Win, which comScore rates as one of the top 20 online gaming businesses in the world. The site has hundreds of games and gets over 15 million unique users each month. A typical Mumbai boy, Kejriwal’s alma mater consists of the Campion School in Colaba and the Sydenham College. While The Walt Disney Company has acquired Mobile2win China, he now acts as a mentor for many startups and has launched a community for budding entrepreneurs – Rodin Hoods.


Sydenham College, Manekji Cooper

Ashish Hemrajani, who helms one of India’s top entertainment ticketing applications and analysis solutions provider, Bigtree Entertainment, is an MBA from the Mumbai University (Sydenham College). He completed his schooling from the prestigious Manekji Cooper School in Juhu, Mumbai. After a two-year stint at J. Walter Thompson (JWT), Hemrajani founded Bigtree Entertainment that launched Bookmyshow, which has managed to grab 90% market share in the online entertainment ticketing space. In addition, the Network 18 group has heavily invested in his company.

D.G. Ruparel College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Arya Vidya Mandir
Bhavin Turakhia is an internet maverick, who managed to have a vision about the internet industry in India as no one did. Turakhia, while still in college at Ruparel founded Directi, a web products company, in the late nineties. Now, a technology conglomerate, it has nearly a thousand employees. There are two special things about Directi. One is a pretty well known fact that Turakhia started the company with a capital of Rs 25,000 from his father. What many people don’t know is that thanks to the company’s culture and hiring practices, quite a few employees of Directi have gone and helmed important positions at major startups and have founded their own companies. Turakhia is a top entrepreneur in India who has thus indirectly mentored many entrepreneurs in India.

Kannur University (Dropout)
Deepak Ravindran founded one of the leading mobile companies Innoz, while still at college in 2008 along with three of his fellow students. This tech startup operates the largest offline mobile search engine 55444, which has managed to clock 15 million plus user, and is still growing. In fact, Innoz was rated among the top 100 technology companies by the Red Herring magazine. The only connection that Ravindran has with top educational institutions such as IIT, IIM, or Stanford is that he’s given lectures about the finer nuances of entrepreneurship and starting up to the students of these elite institutions!

University of Madras, SASTRA University, and Campion
Girish Mathrubootham, who is the Founder & CEO for one of the leading customer support software provider Freshdesk, could well be an ideal role model for all professionals working at tech companies. Educated at the SASTRA University (Bachelor of Engineering) and University of Madras (MBA in Marketing), Girish got the idea of a helpdesk software after reading an online discussion, after which he thoroughly followed it up and quit his plush job at ZOHO. Freshdesk is now one of the top web based customer support platform, thanks to its really simple to use GUI and intuitive interface. Mathrubootham’s experience and leadership, coupled with competitive rates has made the service a preferred choice of not only startups but also major corporations.


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