One of the key factors in a country's economic success is how conducive the overall environment is to entrepreneurship. This includes the regulatory, financial (credit availability), and social environments that influence how many entrepreneurs are created, and how many of them are successful. One of the most heartening things that has happened in the past few years, not just in India, but other Asian countries, has been the number of young entrepreneurs coming up.
Businessweek.com recently selected 20 of these young capitalists as part of a special report and has a competition going where you can login and vote for your favorite candidate, who will win the best Asian entrepreneur of the year award. Here are my favorites (disclaimer: I have a bias against scions of business houses):
- Arif Ayub, Softflux, Pakistan. Offers all sorts of software development, management consultancy and then some, with 70 employees and targeted revenues of $120 million by end of the decade. Ooh boy. The dude also has a private equity fund Saltflow!
- Sasikanth Chemalamudi, Habits, India. Is a creative learning company, and is also involved with projects in rural India to promote self-employment. Probably the only chap on the list with a strong social entreprenuerial streak.
- Mao Kankan, Majoy Entertainment, China. Tthis guy takes online gaming to a whole new level. Players actually play from the same physical location, and games involve players shooting each other with infra-red pistols. Bring it on, I say!
- Kentaro Iemoto, Clara Online, Japan. This guy is simply amazing. Battles and survives brain tumor at 14, launches his company at 16, and now manages six data centers.
- Victor Lang, Global Futures, HK and Chicago. This is one of the most unique ideas I have come across. Provides educational material for those interested in learning about international conflict resolutions and diplomacy. They also host simulated UN conferences!
- Hendy Setiono, Baba Rafi, Indonesia. I am a foodie, so this choice is now biased. This guy runs a chain of fast food outlets from portable booths to shopping center outlets.
PS: Of course, I would've qualified too, except that I'm 26. Anyone doing an under-30 list?