IIT graduates who made it big

8 mins read3.3K Views 1 Comment
Updated on Mar 6, 2014 11:35 IST

IIT graduates who made it big

Students often dream of joining an IIT primarily for getting a plush job along with the status symbol that comes attached. However, another reason for which people opt to join the IITs is due to the ideal atmosphere that the institutes offer for entrepreneurship.

But, do you know who exactly is an entrepreneur? Dictionary.com defines an entrepreneur to be a person who organises and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

Keeping true to this definition, many IIT alumni have made it large breaking free from their 9 to 6 jobs, using their out-of-the-box thinking to set up huge enterprises.

Shiksha.com lists some such IIT alumni who have been the force behind some initiatives which you must have definitely heard about and which over time have become a part of our everyday lives.

Neeraj Arora

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Delhi
Enterprise: WhatsApp
Year of establishment: 2008
Currently working as: Business Guy at WhatsApp Inc.

Known to handle “all things business at Whatsapp!”, Neeraj Arora a mechanical engineering graduate from IIT Delhi and an MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB) is known to be the man behind the $19 billion deal between facebook and WhatsApp.  

But being the business head at WhatsApp is not all that this young lad, all of 35 years of age, has to his credit. He has previously worked at a senior position at Google’s corporate development team. He is also known to hold the portfolio of corporate development manager at Google. Prior to which he worked as chief manager in the investment and corporate strategy team of Times Internet Limited.  

Neeraj also has two patents in the US to his credit on topics such as:

  • Methods and systems for email attachment distribution and management.
  • Methods and systems for email integrated file delivery.

With more than 40 million (monthly) active users in India, WhatsApp is one of the most popular means in India through which people try to stay in touch and the credit for that can go to this Delhi bred entrepreneur.

Rohit Bansal

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Delhi
Enterprise: Snapdeal.com
Year of establishment: 2010
Currently working as: Co-founder and COO at Snapdeal.com

Termed to be the brainbox of Snapdeal.com, Rohit completed his schooling from DPS R K Puram and further went on to study BTech and MTech in computer science from IIT Delhi. After completing his studies, Rohit started working with a Gurgaon based firm. However, his dream to establish an enterprise of his own united him with his school friend and Wharton graduate Kunal Bahl and they discussed the possibilities they had in hand and rest as they say is history.

Rohit and Kunal’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2007 when they set up Jasper Infotech, however, in 2009 they realised that their venture was forcing them to sink hands in their savings, leaving them with less than a lakh rupees in their accounts. Promising each other that they would not bend to such pressures and more over not let go of their passion to establish a successful business venture, the two friends experimented with different business models till they hit the jackpot, which started off by first selling discount coupons offline and then online. The success of this coupon site finally paved way for the e-commerce marketplace company which we all today know as Snapdeal.com whose valuation as of today is around 1,000 crore rupees.

Mukesh Bansal

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Kanpur
Enterprise: Myntra.com
Year of establishment: 2007
Currently working as: Founder and CEO at Myntra.com

Having an ambition to become India’s largest fashion and lifestyle retailer, myntra.com, was established by IIT Kanpur alumni - Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania, and Vineet Saxena. Mukesh is often described to be an extremely focused individual with great leadership qualities and it is this attribute which got this 38-year-old techie to establish myntra.com in 2007.

Before setting up this online retail store, Mukesh worked for a series of tech start-ups in the U.S. for seven years after which he joined Deloitte. Following this, he along with his other batchmates launched myntra.com, which from 2007 to 2010 sold customised products such as mugs, t-shirts, greeting cards, key chains etc. However, after 2010 myntra.com studied and started establishing itself on the lines of international e-commerce businesses such as ASUS and Zappos and built a brand name for itself making its current valuation to be somewhere around 1,250 crore rupees today.

Sanchit Garg

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Bombay
Enterprise: Travel Triangle
Year of establishment: 2010
Currently working as: Co-Founder & Director at TravelTriangle.com

Travel Triangle was founded by Sanchit Garg and Sankalp Agarwal to help people like you and me streamline, customise and negotiate their travel cost. A computer science and engineering graduate from IIT Bombay, Sanchit is responsible for developing business strategies at Travel Triangle. He also holds the post of a technical consultant with Golygon and has previously worked as the Teach Lead with Yahoo!.

Start-ups are known to have a shaky beginning, however, Sanchit and Sankalp’s venture Travel Triangle, which brings together travellers and travel agents, is known to have pocketed a whooping amount of 1.2 crore rupees in just seven months of being launched. It further gained recognition when NASCOM named it as one of the fastest growing start-ups in India in 2011.

Sachin Bansal & Binny Bansal

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Delhi
Enterprise: Flipkart.com
Year of establishment: 2007
Currently working as: Co-founder and CEO at Flipkart.com

Believed to be the godfathers of e-commerce in India, alumni of IIT-Delhi, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal quit their well paying jobs in the web services team at Amazon.com to set the groundwork for Flipkart.com.  The online portal started off by selling just books, however, flipkart.com ventured out of its primary domain by selling lifestyle products, e-books, air conditioners, stationary supplies among other things.  

Industry insiders claim that the secret behind Flipkart.com’s meteoric rise is the winning combination it has at its helm. While Sachin is all ears to feedback, quick to deal with pressure situations and extremely intuitive, Binny on the other hand, is very rational and evaluates every aspect of a situation and finally helps the duo take more informed decisions.

Flipkart.com knows where the pulse of the Indian public lies and that is the why the total valuation of this venture today is around 9,980 crore rupees.

Deepinder Goyal

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Delhi
Enterprise: Zomato.com
Year of establishment: 2008
Currently working as: Founder and CEO at Zomato

A post-graduate from IIT Delhi, Deepinder Goyal, came up with the idea of establishing a food search engine when he saw the huge demand for the menus which he pinned at his work station at Bain and Company. So this foodie put all the menu cards he had over the internet and established Foodiebay in 2008. Seeing the popularity of this venture along with a huge investment of 4.7 crore rupees from Info Edge, Foodiebay was renamed as Zomato.com in 2010.

Deepinder is often known to credit his alma mater IIT-Delhi to gift him with persistence and focus (which his twitter account says is also his favourite word) apart from the technical education he possesses. This he claims has instilled in him the quality of getting things done quickly and easily. As of today, the total valuation of this helpful guide for food lovers is around 900-1000 crore rupees.

Ambarish Gupta

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Kanpur
Enterprise: Knowlarity
Year of establishment: 2009
Currently working as: Founder and CEO at Knowlarity Communications

Ambarish Gupta, BTech in computer science and engineering from IIT Kanpur and MBA from Carnegie Mellon University - founded Knowlarity, a Cloud Telephony company in 2009 with his friend and IIT Kanpur graduate, Pallav Pandey. Having Sequoia Capital as its primary investor, Knowlarity is a platform that offers voice application services with a portfolio of products such as SuperReceptionist, Superfax, Supercaller etc.

Ambarish has previously worked as a consultant with Microsoft. He started his career as a researcher at Fraunhofer IGD followed by software engineer at EFI and then held that post of senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Gagan Goyal

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Bombay
Enterprise: ThinkLABS
Year of establishment: 2006
Currently working as: Executive Director at ThinkLABS Technosolutions Pvt. Ltd and

Gagan Goyal, a mechanical engineering graduate from IIT Bombay laid the foundation stone for robotics company ThinkLABS in 2006. For this venture, Business Week named him to be among the top 25 entrepreneurs in Asia in 2007.

Gagan is known to have a keen eye and interest in robotics and entrepreneurship since his college days. His passion to create something of his own got him to leave his job with HPCL to rejuvenate the Indian education system with hands-on science education through robotics and science implements.

At present, ThinkLabs has partnered with schools across 23 states of the country and has provided hands-on science and technology education to around 1,00,000 students.

Arjun Malhotra

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Kharagpur
Enterprise: HCL technologies
Year of establishment: 1975
Currently working as: Independent consultant

Arjun Malhotra, a pass-out of the electronics and electrical communication engineering department of IIT Kharagpur (1970 batch) established Hindustan Computer Ltd (HCL) in 1975 with five of his friends, Shiv Nadar, Ajai Chowdhury,  Subhash Arora, D S Puri and Yogesh Vaidya.

Malhotra quit HCL when the Internet boom was just about to hit India, and founded Techspan funded by Walden International and Goldman Sachs. In 2003, Techspan and Headstrong merged, with Malhotra at its helm.

Suhas Patil

IIT graduates who made it big

Pass out from: IIT Kharagpur
Enterprise: Cirrus Logic
Year of establishment: 1981

Suhas Patil, an engineering graduate from IIT Kharagpur and MSEE as well as a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) founded Cirrus Logic Inc., a leading semi-conductor company. He has over 40 scientific papers and several patents in the field of integrated circuits to his credit. Patil also co-founded (global) non-profit organization, the TiE (The Ind-US Entrepreneurs).

He served on the Board of Trustees of The Computer History Museum, The Tech Museum and the World Affairs Council of Northern California.

So, these are some alumni from the IITs who have made a mark for themselves with their own ventures, purely due to their hard work, dedication and passion to try their hand at entrepreneurship. And we are not complaining because they have created a name for their alma mater and above all our country, all over the world.

Download this article as PDF to read offline

Download PDF
About the Author

This is a collection of news and articles on various topics ranging from course selection to college selection tips, exam preparation strategy to course comparison and more. The topics are from various streams inclu... Read Full Bio



Manoj Agarwal

5 years ago

Manoj Goyal, Goyal Infotech, IIT Kharagpur.

Reply to Manoj Agarwal

Upcoming B.Tech Exam Dates

10 Jan '22 - 23 May '22: Application form availability (Phase-I)
14 Apr '22 - 23 May '22: MZUEEE 2022 Application Form availability
23 May '22: Final date to submit objections against answer key
1 Nov '21 - 24 May '22: Last date to register for candidates who opts exam cities other than PES University campus
26 May '22 - 28 May '22: PERA CET 2022 Exam

Next Story

We use cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.