There are leaders, and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us.

It’s been a year of monumental challenges and change. And as the dust settles after many months of facing various uncertainties due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, there was finally a reason to cheer. For the first time, The Times of India Group created a unique platform to identify, encourage and provide recognition to professionals and businesses who have believed in innovation behind progress and success.

Times 40 Under 40 honoured and applauded 40 of the brightest corporate leaders, emerging entrepreneurs, artists, sportspersons, musicians and business professionals across south India under 40. These young people have taken the challenges of a relentless year head-on. They represent the opportunity for growth in South India and our country as a whole. The list is very dynamic and includes people from all walks of life, who have created something new and different, or redefined the way things are done.

Talent and people skills were some of the major change agents we got to see in 2020, and these Indian entrepreneurs sought opportunities when all else seemed doomed. These exemplary individuals recognised by Times 40 Under 40 have been new rays of hope, helping us see beyond the gloom, as they defy all odds to build new enterprises and succeed in their respective fields. They are true proof that ambition and innovation cannot be locked down. This list of Times 40 Under 40 highlights the young and visionary leaders who have the will to do what it takes and go the extra mile to reinvent business and society.

Miss Aparna Reddy, Executive Director, Aparna Enterprises Ltd., has been included in this exclusive club, and appreciated for her contribution towards the stellar growth of the company.

This event gave deserving youngsters a chance to share their success story and showcase their achievements, to inspire many more and pave the way for a better tomorrow. The success of the winners of Times 40 Under 40 goes beyond their excellence in business. The young achievers who made the cut have made distinctive contributions to the people they serve. They have demonstrated extraordinary commitment, innovation, zeal and compassion in delivering service to the community, which has led them to excel.

Innovation is progress, and innovative business models are generated by people who think differently. Identifying and encouraging those people requires sharp people processes that lead to such outcomes. The elite platform of Times 40 Under 40 identifies and honours the professionals who have envisioned and executed outstanding achievements.

Times 40 Under 40 was truly a celebration of success, recognising achievements and highlighting innovative young people across south India, who have pushed all possible boundaries, and continuously sought out ways to do and make things better. These young achievers who have grown and carved their mark are an inspiration to us all. The winners of Times 40 Under 40 unanimously felt that recognition of this sort would go a long way in encouraging many more young leaders in the making. Their determination, perseverance and zeal are sure to motivate many others to achieve greater heights.