6 'Unicorn' Start-Ups are NDTV's Indian of the Year!

Celebrating the ideas and individuals who inspire India, NDTV Indian of the Year had winners ranging from India’s Unicorns to the Chennai Flood Heroes, Amitabh Bachchan and Saurav Ganguly as well as outstanding actors, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

The big winner, NDTV’S Indians of the Year were the Startups, 6 Unicorns, Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal, Quikr, Inmobi and Zomato. Speaking at the event, Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Shekhar made a strong pitch for Net Neutrality. Narrating why he said No to Mark Zuckerberg who called asking for support for Free Basics, Mr Sharma said India is not going be to colonized once again via the internet, we are not Third World when it comes to the Digital World.

Receiving the Award for Transformational Business Leader of the Year, SBI Chairperson Bhattacharya quizzed Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on different issues from mobile call rates to spectrum auction. The head of India's biggest bank suggested a model for handing out spectrum to only to those telecom players who commit to spending on improving India's infrastructure, but the Minister felt it’s an idea that won’t work, saying, “ One model cannot have universal application. In India, we have clear instructions from the Supreme Court that the natural resources need to be divided by auction. The fault in this model is that there won’t be competition. But in the end, it is good governance that will find a way out.’’

The LIC Outstanding Service to the Nation award was conferred on Chennai cadre IAS officers, actor Sidharth and youngsters Arjun Raman, Ashok with 8 year Arjun Murugan, all heroes who emerged from the Chennai flood crisis and who zealously worked selflessly to save human lives and towards rehabilitation.  

On the beef ban, top bureaucrat and CEO of the Prime Minister's policy think tank Niti Ayog, Amitabh Kant said, "I believe we are in a democracy, we should allow people to decide what they want to say, we should allow people to decide what they want to eat,". Mr Kant received the award for the Best Administrator.

Actor Ranveer Singh had a fanboy moment when acting legend Amitabh Bachchan was honoured for Lifetime Achievement at the awards. "I am a Hindi film fan first, then an actor. And if you are a Hindi film fan, you are an Amitabh Bachchan fan," said Ranveer, who joined the Big B and his family on stage. Interestingly, Mr Anand Mahindra who gave the award to MrBachchan confessed he was a huge fan of his wife Jaya Bachchan when he was younger and should have been honorary chairman of her fan club. Asked what its like being Bachchan Junior, Abhishek Bachchan quipped, ‘ its hard being an inheritor in a room full of start ups’, adding for him the biggest achievement of MrBachchan is that he is the ‘best father’

Tennis ace Sania Mirza and badminton champion Saina Nehwal, both were awarded the Sportsperson of the Year and joked about their mutual Hyderabad connection and the confusion over their similar sounding names.

Conservationists Valmik Thapar and Belinda Wright were honoured with Real Tigers Award at presented to them by none other than Amitabh Bachchan. They stressed the significance of tiger conservation and said that higher targets should be set, with Amitabh Bachchan pledging continued support for this cause.

Congratulating the winners, Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV said, "We take immense pride in presenting the Indian of the Year 2015 awards. This year, we have not only recognized the contribution of individuals who have played a significant role in nation building, but also ground-breaking ideologies. We are delighted to honour this year’s winners for their contribution to the nation.”

Sonia Singh, Editorial Director of NDTV said “ Everyone honoured here tonight is a real hero, from the little slum boys in Chennai who worked selflessly to help others during the floods to the Startups who are providing thousands of jobs and of course our film & cricket stars. All our winners make us all proud as Indians “

Mr Vinay Sah, Executive Director of Marketing, LIC also presented a memento to  Mr Amitabh Bachchan for his contribution to Indian cinema.

Award show will be telecasted on NDTV 24/7 on Saturday, 6th February, 10 am & 9:30 pm and on NDTV India on 6th February at 8 pm and Sunday, 7th February at 4 pm

Presenting Sponsor for the awards was LIC of India and Associate Sponsors were PayTm, Sensodyne& Titan Juxt.



Presented By

Indian of the Year

·         Flipkart – Sachin Bansal

·         SNAPDEAL – Kunal Bahl

·         PayTM – Vijay Shekhar Sharma

·         Quickr – Pranay Chulet

·         ZOMATO - Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah

·         Inmobi: Abhay Singhal

Deepika Padukone

LIC Outstanding Service to the nation

·         Sidharth, Actor

·         Amudha, IAS officer

·         Gajalakshmi, Collector Kancheepuram District

·         Gagandeep Singh Bedi, IAS officer

·         Master Arjun Murugan (8 years)

·         Master Arjun Raman

·         Master Ashok

·         Mr. V M Vasantha Kumar

Mr. SN Bhattacharya, Executive Director of Corporate Communication.



Lifetime Achievement Award

·         Amitabh Bachchan

·         SouravGanguly

Anand Mahindra

Babul Supriyo

Against all odds

·         Pranav Dhanawade

Abhishek Bachchan

Transformational Business Leader of the Year

·         ArundhatiBhattacharya, Chariperson SBI

Ravi Shankar Prasad

Business Leader of the Year

·         Dilip Shanghvi

Ravi Shankar Prasad

Special Entrepreneurial:


·         Srikanth Bolla, MD Aasadeep Projects Pvt Ltd.

Farooq and Omar Abdullah

Actor of the Year

·         DeepikaPadukone

PawanMunjal& Amitabh Bachchan

Best Male Actor

·         Irrfan Khan


Entertainer of the Year

·         Ranveer Singh

Farooq Abdullah

Sportsperson of the Year

·         Sania Mirza

·         SainaNehwal


Young Entrepreneur Award

·         Neha Kirpal

Rajeev Sethi

Global Indian of the Year

·         Satya Nadella


The Real Tigers

·         Valmik Thapar

·         Belinda Wright

Amitabh Bachchan



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