Bright young lights

With more than half of its population under 25, India's strength is its youth

Suhas Gopinath, 19, entrepreneur Said to have been the world's youngest CEO, Gopinath launched a web company when he was only 14 after discovering a passion for the internet. The firm now has offices in 11 countries and is developing an online school management system.

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, 28, novelist Described as the next big thing in Indian writing, this former chef from Mumbai won a Betty Trask award, given to first novels, for The Last Song of Dusk in 2004.

Anoushka Shankar, 24, sitar player Daughter of the legendary Ravi, in 2001 Shankar became the youngest ever Grammy nominee in the World Music category for her album Live at Carnegie Hall. She is also a writer and actor.

Sania Mirza, 19, tennis champion The Hyderabad-based teen tennis sensation, profiled last year by the NS, was the first Indian to win a WTA tour event. The cause of "Sania Mania" in India, she owes her following as much to her nose-ring and cool attitude as to her tennis.

Koneru Humpy, 18, chess grandmaster A shy teenager from a small-town background, Koneru was the youngest woman to achieve the rank of a men's grandmaster. The 2001 world junior chess champion has had no formal training. Her father is her only coach.

Virender Sehwag , 27, cricketer Indian cricket's latest pin-up is an audacious batsman who scores boundaries with unnerving regularity. Though his technique resembles Sachin Tendulkar's he plays with a swagger all his own. Much is expected of him in the forthcoming series against England.

Joshna Chinappa, 19, squash champion Ranked 75 in the world seniors, Chinappa is the only Indian to win the British Junior Open under-19 title (2005). The Chennai girl is known for her beaded bracelets, tattoo, pierced navel and Usher ringtone.