Top 10 India
01 – Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals
For bringing high-quality medical care to Indians’ doorsteps. In addition to its network of hospitals offering everything from heart surgery to dialysis, the low-cost, high-volume provider started a new program last December called Home Health Care Services. Professionals administer care and treat minor illnesses in people’s homes, curbing long and costly trips to distant and crowded hospitals. READ MORE
02 – RedBus
For computerizing India’s analog bus system. RedBus pulled more than 350 of India’s estimated 2,000 risk- and tech-adverse bus operators into the digital age with a computerized reservation and bus tracking system. Travelers can book tickets and choose their seats over the phone, online, via SMS, or in person at 75,000 outlets, cutting out the fickle travel agent middleman. The ultimate goal: to fully computerize the nation’s unorganized private bus operator market. READ MORE
03 – Flipkart
For adapting the Amazon formula to local needs. Cash is king in India, accounting for more than 90% of the nation’s retail transactions. This online retailer was the first of its kind to provide a credit-card averse population with the option of speedy, cash-on-delivery shipment of books, electronics, and other goods. With 2011 bringing more than $50 million in funding, the company plans on expanding its delivery network to 25 new cities, causing its Western counterpart to take notice: Amazon launched an Indian warehouse to meet the nation’s unique concerns in February.
04 – Eko
For leveraging communities to ensure financial inclusion. Bank accounts and savings are a foreign concept to most Indians: Out of 1.2 billion people, less than 360 million use a bank. Eko created a mobile platform that lets its more than 180,000 users save and transfer money with the State Bank of India through SMS. Five hundred mom and pop shops–or kiranas–act as local banks, collecting customer info and recording 7,000 transactions a day through their own mobiles.
05 – Tata Motors
For still thinking small. Although India’s largest automobile company increased the price of most of its vehicles last year, it kept its best seller, the Tata Nano, affordable at $2,500. But it didn’t stop there. “The people’s car” got a few upgrades in the form of luxe interiors, Holi-bright exteriors, and improved fuel efficiency–making the Nano one of the lowest CO2 emitting vehicles in the country. Tata Motors expanded sales of the Nano to all of India in 2011.
06 – Wipro
For creating Supernova, India’s fastest supercomputer. Indian Space Research Organization and The Energy and Resources Institute are already using Supernova to process huge volumes of data to create virtual models on space launches and climate change. The result of three years’ work, Wipro hopes to eventually reach 500 teraflops of processing power (one teraflop can zip through one trillion mathematical instructions a second).
07 – Adani Group
For harnessing India’s growing solar power. Solar energy in India is poised to edge out coal as a cheap and viable power source by 2015, according to industry leaders. News of Adani’s plans to build India’s largest solar power plant in Gujarta hints at the nation’s growing interest in renewable energy. Gujarta’s government is already offering subsidies to homes and offices that install solar panels.
08 – Tree House Education
For filling a gap in preschool education. Mass vacancies in preschool (or KG) education throughout India are keeping some kids out of the classroom. But The Tree House has stepped in, offering a combination of Montessori and “play work” to children as young as a year old. With more than 200 preschools, Tree House Education runs the largest network of self-operated preschools in the country.
09 – Naandi Community Water Services
For showing the market can do good. Naandi builds village water purification plants that pump clean, filtered water into rural and urban communities. Government and individual donations fund the facilities; villagers pay a small fee (around 5 cents per liter, much cheaper than bottled water) for access. The organization, backed by Indian business bigwigs, including the chairman of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, currently runs 460 plants, with a goal of reaching 725 by 2012.
10 – ITC
For providing farmers with the information they need to succeed. ITC’s Agri Business division developed e-Choupal, a web-based program that provides India’s farmers (who make up a majority of the population living under the poverty line) with the know-how to compete in the market. More than 4 million farmers log on to the site to read up on market prices, weather warnings, tips, and farming techniques.