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BW Businessworld

Methodology: From ‘Action’ to ‘Cut’

This year’s BW Businessworld 40 Under 40 Grand Jury had several doyens of the private equity and venture capital space (see photographs above), who were tasked with voting on the nominees based on certain parameters, such as vision, conviction, financial metrics, growth, impact and sustainability.

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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The annual BW Businessworld 40 Under 40 list, in association with BW Disrupt, is a premier categorisation that recognises the top 40 young achievers in India. The list includes entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and independent successes in various industry verticals and skillsets, who are cherry-picked from nominations received from across the length and breadth of  the country.

In the last few years, there has been heightened interest among young high-fliers to be recognised as achievers of the year. This is my first year of association with the BW Businessworld 40 Under 40 list as a consulting business head for BW Disrupt and I quickly realised that it has already come to be regarded as a gold standard in breakthrough achievement.

After launching the call for nominations in late July, we started reaching out to PR firms, co-working spaces and other conferences where high achievers would be present, apart from social media and email blasts. Soon enough, we were flooded with multiple queries ranging from the nomination process to the criteria for winning, and the odd request to “ensure” the award. A committed team internally handled these unabated query calls and emails, while emphasising on the fairness of the jury driven process.  

How the final 40 are selected is usually a matter of great curiosity too. Did we do a lucky draw from a fish bowl or was there more to it?  

To say that to finalise the list was an uphill task, would be an understatement. This year we had the largest number of nominations across all editions, and they were all of incredible quality. The nominees, who had filled up a detailed nomination form, underwent a rigorous screening of multiple rounds.

First were internal rounds, where after heated discussions of over 25 hours spanning several days, the BW Businessworld team chaired by the Chairman of  the group, finalised a shortlist of 120 nominations that were to be presented to the Grand Jury at the external Jury Meet. It is pertinent to note that this number far exceeded our initial shortlisting target of 80 – the quality of  the nominations was so good that we couldn’t leave out many even at this stage.

A further round of sleepless nights ensued for the internal team in curating the presentations for the Jury Meet day – this involved creating 120 folders for all of the 120 nominees, comprising their nomination forms, video pitch to the Jury as well as a short presentation on their work.

This year’s BW Businessworld 40 Under 40 Grand Jury had several doyens of  the private equity and venture capital space (see photographs above), who were tasked with voting on the nominees based on certain parameters, such as vision, conviction, financial metrics, growth, impact and sustainability.

After many hours at the Jury Meet where several nominees directly pitched to the Jury aka ‘Shark Tank’, followed by online voting on the presentations of the rest of the candidates, the overall consensus among the Jury was simply this – the future of India is in good hands, but choosing the winners is extremely tough. In fact, the final spots in the top 40 actually had to be adjudged through a tie-breaker amongst the Jury, such was the photo-finish in the race to the top 40.  

It is heartening to note that the 40 final winners and three special mentions of this year not only represent diverse sectors, but a number of them have a strong footing in social impact as well. Purpose and growth, it seems, were both valued by the Jury in making their final selections.

The laborious process of culling the best of the country was made every bit worth the sweat and grime of the three months, as it all culminated on D-Day at the BW Businessworld 40 Under 40 Conference on 23 October at Taj Palace New Delhi, where the winners were finally announced and felicitated.

Amidst the jubilant celebrations that day, one thing became clear– the top 40 winners are in no mood to slow down and indeed have miles to go before they sleep.


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