6 Inspiring Business TED Talks by Indian Speakers

Explore inspiring TED Talks by Indian speakers on business, innovation, and empowerment, offering fresh perspectives and actionable insight.

6 Inspiring Business TED Talks by Indian Entrepreneurs

His talk challenges conventional notions

In a world brimming with dynamic ideas and visionary perspectives, TED talks are beacons of inspiration, offering a stage for insights and innovations.

Through captivating talks and thought-provoking presentations, speakers illuminate the path towards progress, inviting audiences to embark on a journey of discovery and enlightenment.

Among these revolutionaries are Indian businesspeople and entrepreneurs who have embodied the hard-working nature of the nation.

From the frugal innovation to the revolutionary potential of paper-based scientific tools, each presentation offers a glimpse into boundless possibilities for those who dare to dream.

Through their stories and insights, we uncover the essence of human ingenuity and the impact it can have on business and budding entrepreneurs. 

Dr Shashank Shah – The World of Business: A Millennial’s Journey and Vision


During his TEDx presentation at BITS Pilani in January 2019, Dr Shashank Shah, a member of the millennial generation, recounts his intriguing journey through the realm of business.

Reflecting on its historical trajectory, particularly within the Indian context, he articulates a vision for the future.

Shah asserts that millennials possess the capacity to spearhead tangible advancements, envision transformative outcomes, and engender enduring impacts.

Thereby, they solidify their pivotal role in shaping a new India and a new global landscape.

Dr Shah is recognised as a stakeholder management strategist, scholar, and author in the business domain.

His affiliations include roles as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School and Copenhagen Business School and Consulting Editor at The Business India Group.

Parag Khanna – Why Asia is the Centre of the World (again)


As the new Silk Roads reshape the global economic landscape, Asians are undergoing a profound shift in self-perception.

No longer merely regional inhabitants, they are reclaiming their heritage and embracing a renewed Asian identity for the 21st century.

Parag Khanna, born in India and raised in diverse locales such as the UAE, USA, and Germany, has been a firsthand observer of this transformation.

Khanna articulates how Asia’s diverse markets, burgeoning middle class, and entrepreneurial spirit are driving unprecedented opportunities for business and investment.

By exploring the interconnectedness of Asian economies and the region’s pivotal role in shaping geopolitical dynamics, he offers valuable insights for businesses seeking to navigate this.

Residing in London and Singapore, Khanna is an intrepid traveller and a distinguished scholar.

He is also a bestselling author of six influential books, including The Second World, Connectography, and The Future is Asian.

Through his role as founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a strategic advisory firm, Khanna has become a trusted advisor to global leaders.

He has also shared his insights on prestigious platforms such as TED Global 2009, TED 2016, and various TEDx events.

Mr. Ankur Warikoo – Entrepreneurship As A State Of Mind


Ankur Warikoo, a prominent figure in India’s internet entrepreneurship landscape, has made significant contributions as the co-founder of Nearbuy.com.

Beyond his entrepreneurial endeavours, Warikoo is recognised as a motivational speaker and angel investor.

His illustrious career includes past roles as CEO of Groupon and board member at the Indian School of Business.

In his engaging talks, Warikoo shares insights drawn from his journey, emphasising how entrepreneurship has become ingrained in his mindset over the years.

Through anecdotes and life lessons, he inspires audiences to adopt a proactive approach to life’s challenges and opportunities.

Warikoo’s achievements have garnered widespread recognition.

He was named India’s Most Promising Entrepreneur in 2013 by Enterprise Asia and featured among Business Today’s Top 25 Executives under 40 in 2014.

Additionally, he was honoured as a LinkedIn Power Profile in India in 2018.

Warikoo holds a Master’s in Physics from Michigan State University, further underscoring his diverse skill set and expertise.

Nilofer Merchant – Got a Meeting? Take a Walk


Nilofer Merchant offers a modest suggestion that might significantly affect your life and well-being.

Consider turning your next one-on-one encounter into a “walking meeting”.

Here, you converse and exchange ideas while moving.

By encouraging individuals to step outside the confines of traditional meeting spaces, Merchant challenges conventional norms and inspires a shift towards more dynamic and inclusive work environments.

Her talk resonates with businesses seeking to foster a culture of innovation and well-being, empowering employees to thrive both professionally and personally.

Navi Radjou – Creative Problem-solving in the Face of Extreme Limits 


Having dedicated extensive time to the study of “jugaad”, or frugal innovation, Navi Radjou brings to light its transformative power.

Originating from the ingenuity of entrepreneurs in emerging markets, who maximised value from minimal resources, this approach has gained traction worldwide.

Through a plethora of real-world examples showcasing human creativity, Radjou illustrates the essence of jugaad.

Moreover, he outlines three guiding principles for individuals and organisations to achieve greater efficiency with fewer resources.

His talk challenges conventional notions of innovation and highlights the power of ingenuity and adaptability in overcoming adversity.

By embracing jugaad as a mindset, businesses can unlock new possibilities for growth and innovation, even under extreme constraints.

Manu Prakash – Lifesaving Scientific Tools Made of Paper


Manu Prakash, an inventor with a knack for repurposing ordinary materials, transforms them into remarkable scientific tools.

Demonstrating his ingenuity on the TED Fellows stage, he showcases the Paperfuge, a manually operated centrifuge inspired by a simple spinning toy.

This ingenious device, costing only 20 cents to make, is capable of performing tasks equivalent to a $1,000 machine, all without the need for electricity.

Manu Prakash shows how low-cost scientific paper tools can address pressing healthcare challenges.

Prakash demonstrates how these innovative solutions can revolutionise healthcare delivery in resource-constrained settings, offering hope for improved access to lifesaving diagnostics and treatments.

By leveraging the power of frugal innovation, Prakash underscores the importance of democratising access to essential technologies, particularly in underserved communities.

His talk serves as a powerful reminder of the profound impact that ingenuity and collaboration can have in tackling some of the world’s most pressing health disparities.

As we reflect on the myriad voices and perspectives showcased within these TED talks, one truth becomes abundantly clear: the human capacity for innovation knows no bounds.

These TED talks inspire and motivate those looking to tap into their businesses, dreams, and goals. 

These figures present visionary ideas, along with real-life examples to help guide people into tackling their future endeavours. 

Driving progress, possibility, and promise, these TED Talks will certainly provide some enlightenment.

Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

Videos courtesy of YouTube.

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