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Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Apart from the 30 listees, we find people we couldn't ignore in nearly every category even if they didn't make the cut for the final list — these are 2021's people to watch out for

Published: Feb 8, 2021 03:47:33 PM IST
Updated: Feb 9, 2021 12:37:01 PM IST



Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

(Left-Right) Lalit Gautam, Rahul Gundala 

Lalit Gautam | 29
Rahul Gundala | 26
Co-founders, Sensegrass

In 2017, they founded Sensegrass, a soil intelligence platform that helps companies and farmers reduce excessive nitrogen and fertilisers from the soil using a patented NPK sensor. It also optimises crop data through artificial intelligence to grow better and more sustainably, improve crop yield and subsequently increase farm income. The target market includes farming companies, seed companies and enterprises dealing in crop insurance among others. 


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Moonis Ahmad Shah | 28

Born in Srinagar, he is an interdisciplinary artist who uses archival materials ranging from text, mass media, cinema and historical documents, alongside newer technologies and programming languages to question the archive’s constitution, boundaries and materiality. His works question the premise, content and form of institutional history as ‘truth’, through what he terms ‘counter archives’.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Licypriya Kangujam | 9
Climate activist

She has been championing her cause—to protect, preserve and nurture the environment by fighting climate change—since she was six. In 2019, she addressed world leaders at the United Nations Climate Conference in Madrid, calling them to take immediate climate actions. Her first speech was at the Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in June 2018. She has spoken at over 400 institutions and other platforms in more than 32 countries.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Varun Aggarwal|29
Co-founder, Designhill

Designhill is a global platform catering to the creative needs of businesses and individuals who seek to source high-quality designs from professional designers and buy unique products created by independent artists worldwide. The six-year-old venture was started by the Gurugram-based Aggarwal brothers, Varun and Rahul. Designhill claims to have over a million clients, including BBC, Deloitte and Microsoft, from more than 72 countries.

See the full Forbes India 30 Under 30 list for 2021 here


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Sejal Kumar 25

Fashion and lifestyle YouTuber Sejal Kumar has over 1.3 million subscribers on her channel. She also acted in Engineering Girls, a series on Netflix. Last year, she worked with YouTube Creators for Change with Michelle Obama and released a music video titled ‘Aisi Hun’—an anthem for fearless young girls—that garnered over a million views. She has won multiple awards like the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards and Instgrammer of the Year. Kumar co-founded the channel Maitri on YouTube with her gynaecologist mother and they make videos around women’s wellness. 

Dheer Momaya  | 29
Founder, Jugaad Motion Pictures

Founded in 2018 by Dheer Momaya, Jugaad Motion Pictures is a media and production company. They produce feature films, music videos, TV commercials, and drama series. Their video for ‘cold/mess’ song by Prateek Kuhad was deemed ‘The Best Music Video of the Year’ by Rolling Stone and won a Radio City Freedom Award for Best Video. Another music video ‘Sage’ for Ritviz reaped over 18 million views. The company has also developed and produced commercials and digital films for brands like Jio, Levi’s, Volkswagen, Xiaomi, Bacardi, and Netflix.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Sameer Ramesh, CPO | 25
Fatema Hussain, CDO | 27
Mohammed Zeeshan, CEO | 27
Ruhan Naqash, CMO | 26
Co-founders, MyCaptain

Started by Mohammed Zeeshan, Sameer Ramesh, Ruhan Madni Naqash, and Fatema Hussain, MyCaptain is an online learning platform that has mentored and trained over 100,000 young students in more than 40 alternative careers, through live online learning and enabled them to become authors, stand-up comedians, music producers, photographers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and more. 


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Sanjay Kumar Mahalingam | 29
Director, Clari Software

Mahalingam was a founding engineer at San Francisco-based Stitch, an AI startup. He led a team that won the $250,000 grand prize in the $1 million hackathon at salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference. He moved back to India in 2018 to set up an R&D centre for Clari, an AI startup that offers sales analytics and forecasting. He started a product that extracts revenue insights from sales as a weekend project and built it into a third of Clari’s product portfolio.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Ishaan Khatter | 25

After an acting debut with Majid Majidi’s Beyond the Clouds in 2017, Khatter starred in Shashank Khaitan’s Dhadak the following year. In 2020, his OTT release Khaali Peeli was a flop, but he earned appreciation for his role as Maan Kapoor in Mira Nair’s Netflix adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy. His upcoming films include Gurmmeet Singh’s Phone Bhoot and Raja Krishna Menon’s war drama Pippa.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Ashita Singhal | 25
Founder, Paiwand Studio

She won a grant of $25000 in 2018 at the James McGuire Business Plan Competition by Laureate International Universities USA, to support Paiwand. The textile studio upcycles textile waste and turns it into high quality fabrics for apparel and home furnishing through handloom weaving, patchwork and embroidery.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Harsh Kedia | 23
Founder, A Diabetic Chef

He is carving a niche from his trials with diabetes. First came the eponymous popular blog, then a short cloud kitchen stint and now Kedia is manufacturing and retailing diabetic-friendly chocolates—sugar-free is not diabetic-friendly, he emphasises—with 26,800 bars sold in the first three months, churning a revenue of Rs 52-55 lakh. Next up, the world’s first diabetic-friendly white chocolate; gummies, hot chocolate and brownies pre-mixes.

Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Mitali Tandon | 29
Founder, Morning Fresh

She founded Morning Fresh, which makes hangover tonics, after an incidental discovery of a silk protein—that reactivates ADH, a naturally-occurring liver enzyme, which prevents hangovers. With nine stock keeping units, Morning Fresh is available in 450 retail outlets across Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Goa, and on ecommerce platforms—a play she plans to expand in the post-Covid world. With Rs 40 lakh in revenue likely in 2020, Tandon hopes to break even by mid-2021.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Rajesh Thangavel | 27
Co-Founder & CEO, Aerobiosys Innovation Private limited

Aerobiosys has developed a low-cost, portable, emergency-use ventilator called ‘Jeevan Lite’ that can be used by patients in their homes. The doctors can monitor them through a mobile application. The company has also developed ‘Duo-Vent’, the world’s first ventilator that can ventilate each lung. Over the next year, the company plans to impact 1 million people in India with their respiratory solutions. 


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Siddhartha Belmannu | 25

Playback singer Siddhartha Belmannu, who has recorded for over 55 Kannada movies so far, is known for blending jazz concepts with Indian music. His Spotify audience doubled in 2020, with 403K streams till date. Having worked with Grammy-winning composer Ricky Kej for his live concerts and projects, the Karkala-born is also part of four-member contemporary fusion band Anireekshita.

Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mentionImage: Deeparshi Roy

Rishabh Seen | 24

Hailing from a family of classical musicians, Rishabh Seen found his voice by combining the sitar with metal rock, a genre he’s been listening to since he was 14. He carved his own path in the industry when he founded his band Sitar Metal in 2014. Seen is an inspiration to artistes struggling to find their own identity, as he once did too. “I want to see people do what they love,” he says.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mention

Sahithi Divi | 29
Co-founder, ImpactScientist

Divi, who has a master’s in social entrepreneurship, started ImpactScientist in 2019. The social enterprise provides a rural innovation platform to economically empower weavers and skilled women artisans and drives impact through stories, rural tourism and a design-thinking inspired approach to enhance women-led enterprises.


Forbes India 30 Under 30: The ones we had to mentionImage: Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Nihal Sarin | 16
Chess Grandmaster

Grandmaster at 14,  Nihal Sarin, now 16, finished 2020 with an enviable roster of achievements that includes a gold each at the Chess Olympiad and the U-18 world youth chess championship, and a silver at the Asian team championship. Considered among the world’s best in the shorter formats, this Thrissur boy will be the torchbearer of the next generation of chess prodigies.

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