“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.”
- John Lennon, ‘Imagine’
As India’s demographic dividend—that much-talked-about term—gets celebrated within the country and the world over, it’s becoming evident that it is going to be India’s Generation Z (generally known as those born after 1993) and the under-30 population which will determine the course the country will take over the next few years. Nowhere is this demonstrated better than in our 30 Under 30 lists. These youngsters—razor-sharp and eager to carve out their own paths—are increasingly coming to the fore, challenging the old way of life. They are an impatient lot: Many of them even start in their teens and have already become forces to reckon with in their chosen areas. How, then, do we choose 30 of these from a nation where around 65 percent of the population is under 35 years of age? That itself should give you a peek into the enormity of the task at hand.
As Forbes India embarked on the third 30 Under 30 issue, choosing the final set from a number of hugely talented youngsters tested both our own editorial judgement and the expertise of our very eminent set of experts. However, as Executive Editor Abhilasha Khaitan, who helms this project so efficiently every year, puts it, “this time we were quietly confident from the outset”. The reasons were the names we chose in 2014 and 2015, and the way they have been shaping up thereafter. In fact, as Khaitan adds, in today’s India, it’s perhaps going to be tougher finding 30 over-30s, such is the power and passion which drive today’s young Indians. That, in essence, is what this issue is about: The tremendous creative energy across all spheres—from the entrepreneurial to sport to art and culture—is real enough for the rest of the world to be awed and inspired by.
From 28-year-old Arunima Sinha, an amputee who dared to challenge herself and turned ace mountaineer, to the 22-year-old Ritesh Agarwal, founder of the popular budget hotel company OYO Rooms, to the 23-year-old immensely gifted ghazal singer Ranjeet Rajwada, the 30 we bring you this year are game-changers who are disrupting the way we think, work and act.
It is this generation of dreamers that Forbes India celebrates year after year. Here’s to many, many more like them!
Editor, Forbes India