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BW Businessworld

Passion For Enterprise

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Pulkit Gaur is a young industrial engineer with robots on his mind. He has apparently been interested in robots since childhood. During his final year as an engineering student in Jodhpur, he designed a programmable hybrid vehicle. After college, he set up a company to build consumer and industrial robots with the help of IIM-Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship. He builds and sells a range of robots — from those employed for surveillance purposes to those meant for doing mundane domestic chores such as mopping floors.

Anirban Roy, formerly employed with Ernst & Young, and his wife Romira Roy, who worked with the Tatas as a CSR champion, have always wanted to do something that would improve the lives of the rural poor. A couple of years ago, they quit their jobs and set up a non-governmental organisation (NGO) funded by various corporations. Then, in 2008-09, the sources of funds dried up. The couple did not want to go back to corporate jobs. They changed the focus of the work they did. They became banking correspondents — those who bridge the gap between banks and the unbanked rural areas.

The Roys have little in common with Gaur. But the jury of Businessworld's Hottest Young Entrepreneurs contest found both to be worthy winners. The jury chose them because of their passion and the way they have gone about surmounting hurdles to build businesses.

This is the third year of the contest, and the winners of this year come from areas as diverse as corporate libraries, mobile applications, robotics and rural financial inclusion. They are all young, and they are passionate about what they are doing. They could easily have chosen to tread the conventional path of good corporate jobs but have chosen the lonelier path of starting out on their own. Associate editor Snigdha Sengupta, who manages the competition for BW, has a strong entrepreneurial streak herself. That is why she enjoys putting together this special issue every year. I am sure you will enjoy reading about our winners too.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 06-06-2011)