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Bangalore Insider’s 50 Most Influential People of 2020

Bangalore Insider’s 50 Most Influential People of 2020

Nikhil Kamath & Nithin Kamath


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Starting with as
little as possible and rising through the ranks as India’s leading stock
brokering company, Zerodha has seen newer heights in 2020 (even beating the
likes of ICICI Securities, Upstox and others). Especially for its founders,
Nithin and Nikhil Kamath have significantly had their fair share of fame and
success. They were featured in several top magazines and publications. Their
net worth combined is around $1.55 billion.

Harshil Mathur

Entrepreneurship & Business


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The brainchild behind Razorpay, Harshil Mathur is an IIT-Roorkee graduate. The company was established in 2014 and just a short span of 6 years, it has transformed itself into a full-stack converged payments solution. In such challenging times, the payment portal has provided seamless online transfers to take place and enabling a reliable mode of payment. The company has 12% of the market share in terms of payment domains.

Roman Saini, Hemesh
Singh and Gaurav Munjal

Entrepreneurship & Business


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The pandemic favored EdTech giants Unacademy and their founders greatly. It was where online learning grew exponentially, and investments in the EdTech sector grew 300%. However, Unacademy’s founders Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Gaurav Munjal believe that the platform can grow even more. The company has raised $200 million from notable investors and has had legends such as Shashi Tharoor, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli taking classes with more than 50,000 viewers.

Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Pixxel, a space tech startup is defying the odds of making satellite imagery an affordable venture all thanks to Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal. They are the brains behind the company and currently are in Los Angeles as part of the Techstars starburst Space Accelerator. They are the only company to be selected from Asia for the first batch under this program. The company aims to have its 12 microsatellites in orbit by 2021.

Bharat Goenka

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Tally Solutions is a company that is headed by Bharat Goenka and was the brainchild behind innovating and developing MS-DOS-based applications for accounting which changed the company’s operations. Not only this but he was also conferred with the lifetime achievement award by NASSCOM, CSI honorary fellowship award and finally the Padma Shri in 2020 for his contribution in the trade and industry sector of the country.

Shubhra Chadda

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Chumbak has been a resounding name amongst Bangaloreans and their founder Shubhra Chadda feels the same. The company has excelled exponentially with daily things made with a twist & the company has suited itself in making pandemic essentials with a quirky twist and integrate bold designs into their offerings.

Vamsi Krishna

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Vamsi Krishna is the man behind the existance of Vedantu – an online tutoring platform. Vamsi Krishna and his friends formally started the company. However, under his leadership, the company has excelled and seen greater heights. Achievements have come thick and fast as Vedantu has bagged several awards such as one of the winners of KINSES2016, one amongst the top 100 startups of 2016 by SutraHR and others.

Richa Kar

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Richa Kar is an entrepreneur, unlike others. While others thought it was taboo to talk about women lingerie and undergarments, she established her own company “Zivame.” It revolutionized the way women shopped for their lingerie and provided a stable platform to execute commerce. In short, the company saw tremendous responses with revenues crossing 140 crore rupees in FY19.

Aditi Avasthi

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Aditi Avasthi is the brainchild of the education technology company, Embibe where Reliance industries bought out 72.69%. For her work and constant dedication to build the company to where it is, Economic Times Prime recognized her for her efforts and named her “Accenture Vahini innovator of the year” back in 2019.

Sneha Choudhry

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Sneha Choudhry happens to be the founder and CEO of Zolo Stays. It’s a co-living rental startup that is broadly recognized by the people of Bangalore. Despite these challenging times, the company has stayed on its feet and doing well for the facilities and accommodation it has to offer. Moreover, it has raised well over $56 million from existing and new investors to expand its operations and sustain demand for future growth.

Sachin Bansal

Entrepreneurship & Business


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After having ravishing success with Flipkart, Sachin Bansal sets his eyes on the finance sector by investing 739 crores into a microfinance company, CRIDS where he bought a majority stake. After selling all his shares in Flipkart for over $1 billion to Walmart, he has since invested in various companies such as Bounce, Ola, Ather energy, Vogo, Bounce and others.

Naveen Tewari

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Naveen Tewari is no stranger to achieving success in the entrepreneurial world. The Inmobi founder was once again able to build a second unicorn in 2020 when Google led an investment to his startup Glance.

Virendra Gupta

Entrepreneurship & Business


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2020 is turning out to be great for entrepreneur Virendra Gupta. His startup DailyHunt became the latest unicorn in Dec after receiving backing from Microsoft, Google and others.

Rashmi Daga

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Rashmi Daga has been at the forefront of revolutionizing home-cooked food delivered to millions all thanks to her company, Fresh Menu. Owing to the lockdown that took place, the company has thrived exponentially under her guidance and leadership and providing excellent tasting budget meals for the masses.

Sriharsha Majety and Nandan Reddy

Entrepreneurship & Business


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With the pandemic warranting a lockdown for several months, Swiggy was the saviour that everyone looked upto. In 2020 Sriharsha Majety and Nandan Reddy were able to touch the lives of people in a way they may not have ever imagined to.

Hari Menon

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Hari Menon’s Bengaluru-based e-grocery unicorn BigBasket raised two rounds of funding during the lockdown. In April 2020 the startup raised a debt funding of Rs 379.87 crore ($50 million) from its existing investor and shareholder Alibaba Group

Alicia Souza

Entrepreneurship & Business


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Alicia Souza is an avid doodler and artist and a self-made entrepreneur. Broadly known for her interactive doodles and inspiring getup of drawing realistic feelings in a cartoonish way, it’s her books and planners that are popularly recognized. Every year, there’s a yearly spin-off depicted towards the year-end. She has been an inspiration for many, and her planners are one thing not to be missed. With an active family of Instagram followers her doodles and creatives touch the lives of many every day.

Sports

KL Rahul

Sports


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The Indian Cricketer has had a Wonderful year in 2020 mainly in the IPL where he knocked 132 in 69 balls against his former team Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the same season, he broke the records for the highest score by an Indian batsman and the most runs scored by a captain in an IPL match. Towards the end of the year, he was named the Vice-Captain for the T-20 and one-day international cricket matches against Australia.

Mayank Agarwal

Sports


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As an emerging, rising star under the sport of Cricket, Mayank Agarwal has never failed to impress. His IPL career in 2020 has seen limelight all thanks to his consistent and impressive form that is showcased in the Kings XI Punjab. However, don’t miss out on the basketball save in the same season against Mumbai Indians. Adding to this, he made his ODI debut for team India against New Zealand earlier this year and his first test against Australia where he became the third-fastest Indian batsmen to reach 1,000th run.

Vignesh Dakshinamurthy

Sports


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Born in Srirampura, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy kickstarted his Football career at the ozone academy at an early age before playing for the I-league 2nd division and then signing for Mumbai FC and then the national team for football as a midfield player. However, since his signing, he’s been an impactful player and scored a brace in winning 2-0 against Hyderabad FC and ending their unbeaten record in the league this season.

Nisha Millet

Sports


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Nisha millet is a national Olympic level swimmer from Bangalore and an Arjuna Awardee. Since a tender age of her childhood, she engaged in swimming competitions and bagged almost all awards and prizes. She has represented the country on several occasions and won awards at the Asian games, Sydney Olympics, SAF games and others. Her record remained unbeaten for over 15 years for 200m and 400m freestyle swimming. With her training academy spread across different areas of Bangalore she is able to guide and motivate the upcoming swimmers in the right way.

MP Ganesh

Sports


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Former captain and Indian National Hockey player, MP Ganesh has been conferred with the Padma Shri for his contribution in sports. His interest in Hockey grew when he joined the army where he played several hockey tournaments. Other notable achievements include the Arjuna Award and Silver Jubilee Sports Award of Karnataka.

Aishwarya Pissay

Sports


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Breaking the stereotypical thought process in a way never seen before, Aishwarya Pissay happens to be the first ever female off-roading motorcyclist who won the world title in the respective field. Since a tender age of 18, she had a hobby of riding, and the same turned into a profession when she bagged the four national titles in rallying and road racing in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, she won the national rally championship and became the first Indian woman to complete the Baja Aragon world rally held in Spain back in 2018.

Rohan Bopanna

Sports


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Rohan Bopanna is an Indian professional tennis player who is well known for his double matches. Being a member of the Indian Davis Cup Team, he won the 2017 French Open mixed- doubles title and became the fourth Indian player to win the title. For the efforts put into the world of tennis, he has been awarded the Eklavya award by the Karnataka government and nominated as a Champion for peace by Peace and Sport. Currently Rohan also runs his own Tennis academy in Bangalore and has been active in grooming some of the best Tennis talents in the country.

Entertainment

Danish Sait

Entertainment


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Star of the hit movie, “Humble Politician Nograj,” Danish Sait has had a handful year. From being multiple characters such as Ramurthy to Bevarsi Kudka on his short Instagram reels to bagging the best debutant award at the 8th South Indian International movie awards; 2020 has been a productive year for him. Adding to this, he has also been the anchor and mascot for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and plays a character named Mr Nags on the RCB Insider show.

Suraj Mani

Entertainment


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Suraj Mani is a rock artist who is also known by his fans as the Singing Sensei. He is also a former member of Motherjane and now a Solo Artist. Suraj’s fan base spans all age levels and he is extremely popular with 18 to 24 age groups from all walks of life including doctors, lawyers and students of life. He released 6 new songs this year on all major platforms. ‘Rinse and Repeat’ went on to hit #2 and #3 positions on the World Indie and Euro Indie Radio charts. It played all over the world on radio in the USA, Europe, Australia, South West Asia etc and has been in the top 100 charts for over 5 months now. His newest release ‘Ignoring Gravity’ a beautiful love song that featured at #1 on Rolling Stone #Hitlist

Education and Medicine

Dr. Gangadhar

Education & Medicine


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As the director of NIMHANS, Bangalore, DR. BN Gangadhar has an impressive catalogue of achievements on his back and has done his state proud in the field of mental and psychiatrical health. He is the recipient of the CV Raman award and shares other 25 distinguished awards for his work in the field of mental science. His proudest achievement came early in 2020 where he was awarded the Padmashri.

KV Sampath Kumar and Vidusi Jayalkshmi KS

Education & Medicine


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“Sudharma” is the brainchild of KV Sampath Kumar and VidusiJayalkshmi KS who are the editors of the paper. It has been in circulation since the 1970s and celebrated its golden jubilee this year on July 15th. For their efforts and skills in keeping the paper highly distinguished and impeccable, they were awarded the Padma Shri award earlier this year in January under the Literature and education-journalism category.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Education & Medicine


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As a graduate of Bangalore University and the managing director of Biocon Limited, Kiran Mazumdar – Shaw was named the EY World Entrepreneur of the 2020 and received several awards for her philanthropist’s activities. She also received Australia’s highest civilian award and became the fourth Indian to do so.

Prof Rohini Godbole

Education & Medicine


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Prof Rohini Godbole is the professor at the center for higher energy physics at the Indian Institute of Science and dedicated over three decades of her work in particle physics. She has published well over 150 research papers which have some largest citations in the area of her work. For her hard work, dedication and efforts made in the field of physics, she was awarded the Padma Shri in 2019.

Dr sharada srinivasan

Education & Medicine


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Dr Sharada Srinivasan is an avid exponent of Indian classical dance Bharata Natyam and holds an honorary degree from the University of Exeter, UK. She also is specialized in the study of archaeometallurgy, culture and archaeology. For the work and effort, she has put into the field of archaeology, she has received several prestigious awards throughout he lifetime. However, the most notable one would be the Padma Shri that was awarded to her in 2019.

Devi Shetty

Education & Medicine


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The founder and manager of Narayana Health, Devi Shetty, is a prominent and notable icon in the medical industry of the country. He is a specialist in cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, hematology, nephrology and others. He also has a low-cost health insurance scheme called “Yeshasvini” which helps poor farmers in the state, providing them health insurance by the government of Karnataka. For all this work and contributions, he has been awarded the Padma Bhushan in medicine, Karnataka Ratna Award and many such felicitations.

Yakub C

Education & Medicine


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Yakub C is a mathematics teacher who shot to fame back in 2018 where he set up “math lab” in his school to make learning fun and interesting. There are well over 300 videos of him teaching mathematics in a simple manner which is accessible to students through YouTube. He teaches in a state-run Nada government high school in Dakshina Kannada, and for all the efforts put into teaching, he was conferred with a National award in late 2020.

Kailasavadivoo Sivan

Education & Medicine


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The chairman of ISRO, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, has had an exciting year given that he was part of the notable project such as PSLV, Chandrayaan 2 and others. He has served as the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and saw massive improvements and growth under his administration. For the efforts he has bestowed into ISO, he was awarded the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal and Von Karman Award in 2020.

Social Service and Activists

Akkai Padmashali

Social Activists


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Akkai Padmashali is Karnataka’s first trans women who had registered her marriage in Karnataka to a Transman. She has been at the forefront of running activism under Sangama based out of Bangalore in fighting for the dignity and rights of trans individuals across the state. In September 2020, she joined the Karnataka Unit of Congress Party to mainstream her ideas and approach as a leader.

Vidya Dinakar

Social Activists


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Vidya Dinakar is a social activist who has given a comparable fight to goons who have either made things worse or simply disrupted public harmony back in Mangalore. Her achievements as a social activist speak for themselves and have since been the coordinator, Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development.

Annies Kanmani Joy

Social Activists


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The district of Kodagu has been the epicenter of some impressive social work all thanks to Annies Kanmani Joy who also happens to be the Deputy Commissioner of the district. As a daughter of a farmer in Kerala, she became the first professional nurse to be selected into the IAS in 2012 and in 2020 she’s leading the charge of curbing the spread of COVID – 19 in the district and seen some impressive results with cases dropping and the district ready to open.

Saalumarada Thimmakka

Social Activists


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As a Padma Shri award winner in 2019, Bharat ki Lakshmi AKA Saalumarada Thimmakka is a notable environmentalist crusader even after she has passed the age of 100. She is known for planting well over 350+ banyan tress over a four-kilometer stretch on the sides of the Hulikal and Kudur highway. Other than this, she has planted well over 8000 trees. For her notable work and contribution, the central university of Karnataka announced an honorary doctorate in 2020.

Anoopa Anand

Social Activists


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Anoopa Anand has become a popular name all thanks to her persistence in treating, rescuing, rehabilitating and fostering stray animals. As a writer and editor by profession, she tends to take care of any stray animal and has a team of four people attending hundreds of recuses and adoption drives. She has thrived in creating an impact in the city of Bangalore on animal welfare and driving programs to spread the message far and wide.

Harekala Hazabba

Social Activists


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Harekala Hajabba hails from the city of Mangalore and is known for his social works and activities in the city. He is an orange seller who saved enough money to build a school in his village. For the same, he received several recognitions and honors. The highest of which includes the Padma Shri which was awarded to him in 2020 for his social work.

Prema Nandapatti

Social Service


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Prema Nandapatti is the first and the only BMTC Bus driver and she broke all stereotypical mindset and other etiquettes to set a new example for others to drive buses not based on gender, but passion. She is highly appreciated by fellow associates and has no road accidents to date. She aims to inspire more people through her acts and aims to drive the Vayu Vajra buses one day.

Meghana Shanogh

Social Service


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Hailing as the first female fighter pilot from Karnataka, Officer Meghana Shanbogh is an inspiration to many. Though she had many hurdles to overcome, it was during her engineering that her dream of becoming an IAF officer bought to light. Ever since, she has worked hard and there was no seeing back to what she has achieved till date.

Ramachandra Guha

Social Service


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An avid writer, teacher and professor, Ramachandra Guha is more than what he seems. His work is globally acclaimed and recognized through the likes of Outlook and The Caravan. His books are quite swelling, and some of the notable works include India After Gandhi, Gandhi Before India, M.K. Gandhi and others. There is incredible detail and precision at his work and for the same, it earned him an honorary foreign member prize at the AHA in 2019, making him the third Indian to do so.

Madhu Singhal

Social Service


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As the founder and manager of Mithra Jyothi, Madhu Singhal has been recognized worldwide for her contribution, dedication and selfless service to help the disabled through Mithra Jyothi. She has been awarded several prestigious awards for her services, and few of them include Shell Helen Keller Award, NCPEDP, IBN7 Bajaj Allianz Award, Honorary Doctorate by the State Women’s University, Bijapur and others.

Wilma Rodrgues

Social Service


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Heading the NGO, Saaahas, Wilma Rodrigues is an ex-business journalist who moved from Bombay to Bangalore back in 1995. Her NGO propagates innovation, incubation and proper disposal of waste which is segregated into two primary categories – segregation at source and decentralized waste management. For the efforts put into the NGO by herself and her team, the NGO was recognized by the top 5 social entrepreneurs by Action for India.

Kame Gowda

Social Service


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“Pond-Anna” or Kame Gowda belongs to the Daasanadoddi village in Mandya with the mission of creating ponds for thirsty animals and birds. To date, he has created 14 ponds and doesn’t intend on stopping. He was featured on the prime minister’s weekly radio show “Man Ki Baat”, and the Prime Minister addressed him as a water warrior.

Tulasi Gowda

Social Service


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Tulasi Gowda is an Indian environmentalist who has planted more than 30,000 tree saplings and looks after the nurseries of trees for the Forest Department in the region of Ankola Taluk where she resides. She has been awarded with various felicitations and recognized by different committees and organization for her work. However, in January of 2020, she was awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to the environment.

Vijay Sankeshwar

Social Service


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Heading the largest logistics firm in the country VRL, Vijay Sankeshwar is a prominent businessman and also known for the newspaper Vijaya Vani which happens to the number one newspaper in Karnataka. For his services in transportation, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri earlier this year.

Mohandas Pai

Social Service


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Padma Shri awardee Mohandas Pai is popularly known for kickstarting the campaign and contributing immensely towards Akshaya Patra – a midday meal program that feeds well over 1,200,000 children across seven states in the country. The initiative happens to be the most significant midday meal program in the globe and a substantial achievement for himself.

Azim Premji

Social Service


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The Indian business tycoon, Azim Premji who happens to be an engineer, philanthropist and investor has been all over the news when he signed “The Giving Pledge” to give away half of his wealth for philanthropical causes. He’s only the third non – American to sign the cause and join the philanthropy club. Moreover, he even donated $2.2 billion to the Azim Premji Foundation and topped the EdelGiveHurun India Philanthropy List in 2020. He and his Foundation donated around $130 million for Covid in 2020.

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