Rahul Sharma, who has undergraduate degrees from India and Canada, started Micromax in 2000 along with three friends. Before trumping global brands in a fast-growing category like cell phones, Micromax was an IT software company that worked on embedded platforms. Indeed, Micromax also distributed phones of Nokia, then the market leader. In 2008, Sharma decided to enter the mobile handset business by developing handsets designed specifically for Indian tastes.
Sharma’s idea of building a phone with 30 days of battery life set the tone for explosive growth. Micromax went on to become the first player in India to launch dual-SIM phones and devices with Qwerty keypads at affordable prices. Today, Micromax is the tenth-biggest mobile phone maker in the world with sales of well over $1 billion.
The company recently faced growth pangs—there was an acrimonious tussle with former chairman and a huge investment from Alibaba is hanging in balance. All this has little effect as Sharma seeks to maintain the sales momentum for the next big thing – affordable 4G devices. Sharma’s personal life is grandiose too–he is set to marry Bollywood actress Asin.