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10 Things You Didn’t Know about Naveen Tewari

Naveen Tewari

Naveen Tewari is the founder and CEO of tech companies Glance and InMobi. One of the most known Indian entrepreneurs, he is also a board member of Paytm. His company, Glance, is an outstanding example of innovative solutions to mobile-only and mobile-fast consumption. It serves content across multiple local languages and sees over 115 million active users a day. Below, we review 10 facts you probably didn’t know about the man behind this successful company.

1. He Founded InMobi and Glance

As mentioned, Tewari is the founder and CEO of InMobi and Glance. His work is rooted in the philosophy of constant disruption and innovation – an ideal shared by the team at InMobi. Tewari is dedicated to reimagining advertising so that it is more user-first and, in turn, unlocks the mobile ecosystem’s true potential. His other company, Glance, is a subsidiary of InMobi and a lock screen platform. It recently raised $145 million from Mithril Capital and Google, effectively achieving unicorn status in less than two years. Essentially, Glance uses AI to create personalized entertainment, sport, news, and video game content on Android smartphone lock screens in several languages. This includes Bahasa, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and English. The company continues to grow, currently boasting over 115 million daily users.

2. He Grew Up in Kanpur

According to his Wikipedia page, Naveen grew up in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He lived there with his parents, including his father, who was an Indian Institute of Technology professor. Tewari studied mechanical engineering in this same institution and completed his Bachelor’s degree in 2000. It was while he was studying here that he met Abhay Singhal and Amit Gupta, who would go on to found InMobi alongside him.

3. He Has a Vast Professional Repertoire

Tewari began his professional career as a business analyst at McKinsey and Company, where he worked from 2000 to 2003. He then served as an associate at Charles River Ventures in 2004 before founding InMobi in January 2008 and Glance in April 2019. Additionally, Tewari has served as a member of the board of directors at Paytm since 2015. His wide professional portfolio has equipped him with the technological and innovative experience he uses to run his highly successful firms today.

4. He Is Highly Educated

Tewari got his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 2000 before completing an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2005. While at Harvard, he received the Dean’s Award for exceptional contribution and leadership.

5. He Is an Esteemed Harvard Alumnus

Tewari pursued a Master’s degree in Business Administration at Harvard from 2003 to 2005. His “exceptional leadership and contribution” saw him receive a Dean’s Award during this time, and he founded and chairs India Schoolhouse Fund – a nonprofit that funds and establishes schools in rural India. Thanks to his efforts and achievements, Tewari remains a highly esteemed alumnus of HBS. Indian Institute of Technology, his alma mater, also awarded him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013 for his entrepreneurial excellence.

6. He Supports Several Non-Profits

Tewari founded and chairs India Schoolhouse Fund, which helps set up schools in rural India. He has mentioned several times that this is a cause that is very close to his heart. In 2015, he invested $1.2 million in NestAway alongside IDG Ventures. NestAway is the largest home rental network in India and aligns perfectly with Tewari’s mission to help people in rural India.

7. He Has Received Many Awards

Tewari is a highly recognized and decorated entrepreneur. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented Tewari with the Future Leaders Award in 2015. Over the past several years, he has also received the following recognitions and awards:

  • Business Insider’s the Mobile Power List’s ‘2nd Most Important Person’ in 2012
  • The Drum’s ‘Mobile Top 50’ in 2013
  • Business Insider’s the Mobile Power List’s ‘7th Most Important Person’ in 2013
  • The ‘Pathbreaker of the Year’ Award presented by the Indian Prime Minister in 2013.
  • 2014 ‘100 Most Creative People’ across the world
  • Forbes India Leadership Award in 2014 for ‘Outstanding Start Up’
  • The ‘Pathbreaker of the Year’ Award in 2014
  • ’40 under 40’ most powerful, influential, and important people in business in Fortune in 2015

8. He Has Invested in Many Startups

Tewari has been directly involved in fueling about 30 startups in India. Personally, he has invested in and supported several startups, including Razorpay, Zimmber, Bombay Canteen, Moneysights, Mettl, SlideRule, and NestAway. He believes that such companies present the future of growing India. In fact, he co-founded a think tank called iSPIRIT to promote product entrepreneur maturity, create market catalysts, and address government policies so as to turn India into a software product hub.

9. He Loves Cricket

According to InMobi’s official website, Tewari is a fitness enthusiast and an avid cricket fan. He spends his morning cycling in less crowded parts of the city or taking long runs outdoors. He is also a very early riser who likes to be on the move.

10. He Is a Revolutionary Industry Leader

Tewari has been dubbed “one of the most recognizable faces in the Indian startup ecosystem.” In addition to founding India’s first unicorn, he has grown his second company to unicorn status in less than 10 years. As an entrepreneur, he lends credibility to India’s growing startup ecosystem. His extensive and impressive academic and professional record make him a household and respectable name in the sector. His brainchild, InMobi, has gone head to head with tech giants like Google and competed favorably. Naveen told an audience at YourStory’s Techsparks 2019 that he plans to establish a global tech company for the world from India by 2025. If his progress so far is anything to go by, Tewari is set to revolutionize the tech industry in India and the world.


Naveen Tewari is one of the few entrepreneurs that keep attracting investors time and time again. From InMobi, his first tech venture, to Glance, his most recent startup, Tewari’s credit now includes two unicorns. His privately-held startups are currently valued at $1 billion, and this is just the tip of the iceberg that is his impressive career. Anyone with a stake in tech startups should be looking at what Tewari will do next because that might just be where the future is.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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