Most Influential Business Leaders to watch out for in 2020



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: July 8, 2020

Today’s business leaders are known to form the future of tomorrow. Great leaders inspire thousands of young minds — driving them towards a cause. They have the ability to motivate others. 

This article will not only discuss the most influential leaders of all time, but also the emerging young leaders of India. We all know how the startup ecosystem has taken a 360-degree turn in the past few years. It is rapidly growing and the young leaders behind it are constantly making headlines. Let’s have a look at them.

Most Influential Business Leaders to Follow

Ritesh Agarwal, OYO Rooms

Ritesh Agarwal

Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur – founder and CEO of OYO. He started it as Oravel Stays, for booking budget hotels. When he received the grant of $100,000 for being the winner of the 2013 Thiel Fellowship program, he re-launched the company as OYO Rooms in May 2013. He loves cycling and practicing yoga. 

Net Worth: $1 billion, You can find his Twitter account here.

Bhavish Aggarwal & Ankit Bhati, Ola Cabs

Bhavish Aggarwal & Ankit Bhati

Bhavish Aggarwal(Left) and Ankit Bhati(Right) together founded the company, Ola Cabs in January 2011. Bhavish Agarwal completed his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2008, and started his career with Microsoft Research India. 

Ankit Bhatia has also done his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineer from IIT Bombay in 2004 and then did MTech in CAD and Automation. Before launching Ola, he had worked on several freelance projects and startups like Wilcom, QED42, and more. In 2015, both Bhavish and Ankit became the youngest to be included in that year’s list of richest Indians. 

Net Worth of Bhavish: $350 Million, Follow Bhavish on Twitter.

Hari Menon, Big Basket

Hari Menon

Hari Menon is the co-founder of BigBasket and CEO of Symphony Industrial AI. Before that, he has served as the CEO for several other companies, including Tumri, Serus Corporation, and Timeli. He did his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He has received many awards and recognition for his extraordinary contribution to the business world. 

You can find him on LinkedIn.

Tim Cook

BTim Cookorn and brought up in Alabama state of the United States, Tim Cook is the world-famous business leader. He is the CEO of the most valuable company, Apple, and before that, he worked as the company’s chief operating officer under its co-founder Steve Jobs. 

He is one of the highly influential players in technology as well as publishing and entertainment.

As he once said in a conference, “History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you.”

Net Worth: US$ 1.3 billion, Follow him on Twitter. 

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg — one of the most powerful women of America — currently has a net worth asset of $1.7 billion as of 2019. She has been the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook since 2008. During her tenure, she has led the company from a $56 million loss to $22.1 billion in profits in 2018.

Not only that, but she has also defended Facebook for the past two years in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and ongoing data privacy risks for its 2 billion users. She is the author of the best-selling book — Lean In and also founded a non-profit organization under the same name.

Net Worth: 170 crores USD,  Find her on Twitter 

Huateng “Pony” Ma

Huateng "Pony" Ma

Huateng “Pony” Ma is a co-founder of the Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings. He co-founded the company in 1998. He even made to the Time’s most-influential-people list twice — once in 2007 and then again in 2014.  

Not just a great business leader, but he is a well-known philanthropist too. Although he likes to have a low profile, he has enough influence over domestic as well as foreign companies. 

His success mantra is, “Think of yourself as an insensitive, nitpicking, irritable fool to use the product.” 

Net Worth: 4,220 crores USD

Sujeet Kumar, Udaan

Sujeet Kumar

Sujeet Kumar is the co-founder and CEO of the company Udaan, one of India’s fastest unicorns. It achieved the coveted $1 billion valuations in just 26 months since its launch. Before launching Udaan, he worked as a President of Operations at Flipkart. He completed his in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, in 2003. 

Follow him on LinkedIn.

Sriharsha Majety, Swiggy

Sriharsha Majety

Sriharsha Majety is the co-founder and CEO of Swiggy. Before that, he worked as an associate at Nomura International. He studied B.E. in Electrical and Electronics and an M.Sc. in Physicsfrom Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. He is also the former co-founder of Bundl. 

Net Worth: Rs 1400 crore (Sept 2019), You can find him on Twitter here.

Yashish Dahiya, PolicyBazaar

Yashish Dahiya

Yashish Dahiya is the co-founder and CEO of He started his career as a Business Unit Head at Illinois Tool Works and then worked at Bain & Co. as a Management Consultant. Before co-founding PolicyBazaar, he had worked as the Managing Director of online travel aggregator, 

Net Worth: Over $1 billion, Find him on LinkedIn, and stay inspired.

Mary‌ ‌Barra‌

Mary‌ ‌Barra‌

Mary Barra is the chairperson and CEO of General Motors since January 15, 2014. It is one of the global businesses that have no gender pay gap. Being the first female CEO of a major automaker, she is one of the best inspirational business leaders of all time. 

She has invested billions in self-driving cars, electric vehicles, and a ride-share service called Maven. She earns US$21.87 million (2018) in salary. Recently, Barra was also elected to the board of Disney with high regards from Robert Iger.

Net Worth: US $60 million, You can find her LinkedIn profile here.

Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings revolutionized the world of digital entertainment by co-founding Netflix in 1995. What started as a DVD subscription service initially, soon became streaming online. 

Other than Nextflix, he also serves on many boards and non-profit organizations. As a great business leader, he always tries to promote change and reform in the California State Board of Education. He also founded the Hastings Fund and pledged $100 million to children’s education.

He quotes, “What’s got me excited about the education space is the growth of the Internet over the next 10, 20, 30 years.”

Net Worth: $3.9 billion (2019), Follow him on LinkedIn

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani is a world-famous leader for founding the company named Girls Who Code. She promotes technology and is working towards closing the gender gap in technology. She aims to change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does. 

She is an American lawyer and politician. She is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with computing skills. By the end of 2019, Girls Who Code has camps set up in 50 states with 185,000 girls attending it.

Net Worth: $224,913 , Follow her on Twitter, and stay inspired. 

 Byju Raveendran, Byju’s

Byju Raveendran

Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of BYJU’S, is a teacher by choice and an entrepreneur by chance. BJYU’s is the world’s most valued Edtech company, which is currently valued at 5.7 billion dollars. The company also managed to bag Fortune 40 under 40 Award (2018) and Entrepreneur of the Year award- Startup (2018). 

Today, the BYJU has 35 million students learning on its flagship learning app. 

Net Worth: $6 Billion (2019)

Ankur Jain, Bira 91

Ankur Jain

Ankur Jain is the man behind the India Favorite’s Beer Brand, Bira 91. He launched Bira 91 in 2015, which has now become a household name in India. Despite having stiff competition from already-established big giants, he was determined to create a strong beer brand. It raised $50 million from Belgian investment firm Sofina in 2018. Since its inception, Bira has raised a total funding of $100 million.

Here is his LinkedIn profile.

Ashish Kashyap, INDWealth

Ashish Kashyap

Ashish Kashyap is the founder and CEO of an AI-based Wealth tech platform, INDWealth. He formerly founded and was an ex-CEO of ibibo Group. Before that, he served as the Country Head of Google India, where he set up the Google operation in India from the ground. He completed his bachelor’s in economics from Kirori Mal College, University Of Delhi, India.

Follow him on LinkedIn, and get inspired by his journey.

Jack Ma

Jack Ma

The man behind Alibaba, Jack Ma, is a Chinese business magnate, politician, investor, philanthropist, and kung fu master. Born into a family of traditional musician-storytellers in Hangzhou, China, Jack Ma went on to become the wealthiest person in China. 

Jack Ma lays down many inspirational quotes for his young followers. One of his famous quote on failure — 

“You have got to keep trying, and if it doesn’t work, you always can revert back to what you were doing before.”

Net Worth: $38 billion, Find him on LinkedIn

Jeff Bezos 

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, born and brought up in the United States, is the richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$111.4 billion. He is the founder of one of the biggest e-commerce marketplaces, Amazon. He founded it in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle and owns a nearly 12% stake in it. Other than that, he also owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company that is developing a rocket for commercial use.

Net Worth: US$111.4 billion (2019), You can find him on Twitter here.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a South-African born famous business leader who is trying to revolutionize transportation both on Earth and in space. His previously founded Tesla Motors is making a huge name in bringing fully-electric vehicles to the mass market.

His rocket company, SpaceX, is now valued at more than $20 billion. And he alone has a total net worth of US$24 billion as of November 2019. He is working towards pushing the boundaries of technology and consumer integration.

Net Worth: US $24 billion, His Twitter ID. 

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella is an Indian-American business executive, who is the CEO of Microsoft company. Before becoming the CEO in February 2014, he served as the Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. When Satya was made CEO, he grew the company’s market cap from $300 billion to over $1 trillion for a period, and consistently over $850 billion.

He has even written a book named Hit Refresh that talks about his life and career. 

Net Worth: $200 million, Stay updated about him on LinkedIn

Indra Nooyi 

Indra Nooyi 

Indra Nooyi is a world-famous Indian American business executive. She has been ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women several times. In 2014, she was ranked at number 13 and was the second most powerful woman in 2015 on the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She was also the former CEO of Pepsico and now a member of the board of Amazon and the International Cricket Council. 

Net Worth: $80 million, Follow her on Twitter.

Gaurav Munjal, Unacademy

Gaurav Munjal

Gaurav Munjal is the CEO and co-founder of Unacademy, which aims at providing free educational high-quality videos to facilitate learning for students from different streams. His first venture was Flatchat. He completed his bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from NMIMS University, Mumbai, in 2012. 

Find him on LinkedIn, and stay updated.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Bill Gates needs no introduction — he remains one of the most famous business leaders in history. He founded Microsoft, the world’s largest PC software company. Though over the years, Gates has slowly transitioned away from Microsoft and into philanthropic ventures.

He, along with his wife, now runs the world’s largest private charitable foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He believes, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

Net Worth: US $107.4 billion (2019), You can find his LinkedIn page here

Jeff Weiner 

Jeff Weiner

Born in New York, Jeff Weiner is an inspirational American business leader. He is the CEO of LinkedIn, a business-related social networking website. He joined LinkedIn in 2008, and under its leadership, it became one of the most-used social media platforms in the world.

Weiner played a significant role in LinkedIn’s acquisition by Microsoft for $26 billion in June 2016. He is also a board member of Malaria No More and He says, “You have to maintain a culture of transformation and stay true to your values.”

Net Worth: $3.94 Million dollars (2019), Here is his LinkedIn account.

Jan Koum

Jan Koum

Jan Koum is the face behind the world’s most significant mobile messaging service, Whatsapp. He found Whatsapp in 2009 and sold it to Facebook in 2014 for approximately $19.3 billion. Before that, he worked at Yahoo for nearly nine years. 

He resigned as CEO of WhatsApp in April 2018. He has also donated $1.15 billion of Facebook stock to charitable entities, including to his Koum Family Foundation. His business leadership skills are inspired by a single mantra — “Be simple and reliable.”

Net Worth: 1,030 crores USD, You can follow him on Twitter and stay updated. 

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is the CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He is one of the most successful investors in the world, and often referred to as the “Wizard of Omaha.” 

He has a net worth of US$88.9 billion as of December 2019, which makes him the fourth-wealthiest person in the world. He has written many books including, The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America.

Net Worth: US$88.9 billion, You can find him on Twitter

Sahil Barua, Delhivery

Sahil Barua

Sahil Barua is well-known for its company Delhivery, which is one of the fastest-growing Indian startups. He is the co-founder and CEO of Delhivery. Formerly, he was a consultant at Bain & Company. He studied a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka. His company is currently valued at around $800 million.

Here is his LinkedIn profile.

Deepinder Goyal, Zomato

Deepinder Goyal

Deepinder Goyal is the CEO and founder of Zomato. Before that, he worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company in New Delhi. He left Bain in 2008 to start Zomato, which was then known as foodiebay. He operated out of his apartment, and now the company has grown to have a valuation of $2 billion. He studied Mathematics and Computing from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. 

Net Worth: Rs 1900 crore, Check out his LinkedIn profile.

Sameer Nigam, PhonePe

Sameer Nigam

Sameer Nigam is the founder and CEO of PhonePe, an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company. He founded the company in December 2015 along with Rahul Chari. Prior to that, he served as the senior vice president of Flipkart. He completed his graduation from the University of Mumbai and did his MBA from The Wharton School. 

Find his LinkedIn profile here.

Kunal Shah, CRED

Kunal Shah

Kunal Shah is a founder and CEO of CRED, a members-only app that offers you exclusive rewards for paying your credit card bill. He started his career as a members-only app that gives you exclusive rewards for paying your credit card bill. Before CRED, he started a company named Paisaback. It offered cash-back promotions for organized retailers. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Wilson College, Mumbai, and pursued his MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies before he decided to drop out. 

Net Worth: $1.3 billion (2015), Follow his journey on LinkedIn.

Samay Kohli, GreyOrange

Samay Kohli

Samay Kohli co-founded the company GreyOrange in 2011. This Gurgaon-based AI company has now become a global giant in the robotics industry. It recently raised funds from US-based Tiger Global Management, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. He did his B.E in Mechanical and M.Sc in Economics from Birla Institute of Science and Technology. 

You can follow him on LinkedIn. 

These 30 famous business leaders are busy transforming the world. Are you following them?

Follow their work and stay inspired.

Shrushti K. Chaware Works as a Digital Marketing Executive, at SoftwareSuggest. She is a Sports lover and always curious to explore new stuff. When she is not working hard at work, she can be found writing, reading or just wandering.

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