Four Indian Americans figure among Crain’s 2015 class of “40 Under 40” – described as “the most talented, driven and dynamic professionals under the age of 40 who are working in New York City today.”
Picked up from more than 450 firms, the business magazine’s choices range from a gifted ballerina to a charismatic marketing guru. The four Indian-Americans in the list are: Amy Jain, Aditya Julka, Reshma Saujani and Nina Tandon.
Amy Jain, 32, a Harvard Business School graduate and former investment banker, started BaubleBar, the accessories company that supplies high-end stores like Nordstrom and Anthropologie.
“You need to prove a value proposition and that the brand is cool and fashionable-that’s the biggest hurdle,” Jain told Crain’s. BaubleBar gets 1,000 orders a day, each priced between $30 and $75 and features about 75 new styles a week. Jain expects to supply four more retailers by end of 2015 and expand into pet and tech accessories. “We’ve made every mistake in the book,” she said. But that hasn’t deterred the Dallas native.
Aditya Julka, 33, CEO and co-founder of Paddle8, an online auction house described as one of the fastest-rising stars in the art market. “I take business problems and break them down into small experiments we can test,” he told Crain’s.
A biochemical engineer with a Harvard MBA, Julka got into auctioneering after two successful biomedical ventures. Paddle8, Crain’s says, is gaining buzz quickly and is a site for those interested in works below $100,000. Since its 2011 founding, the company has sold more than $50 million worth of art. It has also attracted more than $17 million in funding from investors including artist Damien Hirst and the backers of Uber and BuzzFeed.
Reshma Saujani, 39, founder of Girls Who Code, a three-year-old nonprofit that teaches computer skills to girls from low-income communities. It just finished its best year with 300 percent enrolment growth, 3,000 students in 24 states and more than $8 million raised.
Reshma Saujani is aiming higher: 10,000 students by the end of 2015, programmes in all 50 states and more success stories, like the two graduates who built their own feminist mobile game, Tampon Run. Democrat Saujani, mother of a newborn boy, has made several unsuccessful bids for elected office-Congress in 2010, public advocate in 2013. But politics continues to beckon.
The last race was hard, she told the magazine, but if another opportunity presents itself, she won’t back down. “Reshma,” she mused in the third person, “loves infiltration.”
Nina Tandon, 35, Chief executive of EpiBone. Her startup has successfully grown face bones for pigs and aims to move to human trials in three years. The company, whose nine employees are spread out among Italy, Kazakhstan and the US, has raised $3.2 million in funding since last summer.
For Tandon, an electrical engineer, a PhD and a Fulbright scholar, scaffolding is what the human body is built on. The living bones EpiBone grows-each one individually designed to fit a particular living being–are what she one day hopes to use to replace damaged bones in humans.
“Our product is a platform for your own cells to go in and repair your body,” Tandon was quoted as saying.