Cracking IIT JEE has never been easy and the competition has only increased in the recent years. Students devote years towards preparing for the exam and taking admission into one of the most prestigious engineering institutes of India. (Watch Kota Factory if you have no idea about the preparation.)

But apparently, there are a few famous people who did not prefer IIT even after cracking the exam or dropped out during the course. Let’s see who they are.

1. Prashant Bhushan

You know Prashant Bhushan, right? The ace lawyer who has over 500 PILs to his credit and was once fined one rupee for his tweets criticising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.

He cleared the IIT entrance exam, joined IIT-Madras but quit after one semester to pursue a two-year BSc programme with Philosophy, Economics and Political Science. He went pn to study at Princeton University, but returned to India without completing it. Thereafter, he started his career as a lawyer in 1983.

2. Mukesh Ambani

Yeah, you read the name right. Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest person since 2008, cleared IIT-JEE and joined IIT Bombay. It is believed that he left IIT-B to join ICT, Mumbai (then UDCT) to pursue Chemical Engineering as the Inter-Science results were announced a few weeks later.

Talking about his career choices in an interview with Money Life, he once said:

Nobody asked me to do Chemical Engineering. I chose to study science and which college I would go to. By that time, the early ’70s, Vimal was a fairly successful textile brand. So everybody expected me to do textile engineering. I shocked them by saying that I would go to IIT. Since Inter-science results were announced after the IIT entrance, I joined IIT, Bombay. After the Inter-science results a few weeks later, I left and joined University Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT) along with my friends.

3. Shashvat Nakrani

The 23-year-old co-founded BharatPe payment app in 2018 along with Ashneer Grover. He took admission in IIT Delhi in 2015 and dropped out in third year. Today, he is the youngest person to feature in the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List.


4. Vinod Rai – Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India

He cleared the IIT entrance exam but never really enrolled himself in an IIT. Instead he graduated with a master’s degree in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.

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5. Narayan Murthy

Narayan Murthy cracked IIT JEE but could not join any of the prestigious IITs as his father was not able to afford the cost. Instead he joined National Institute of Engineering (NIE) in his hometown Mysore. However, he did his Masters from IIT Kanpur.


6. Azhar Iqubal

He dropped out in his 7th semester from IIT Delhi and made news by introducing News in Shorts.  He is the Co-Founder and CEO at Inshorts.

How many of these did you know?