Fortunately, we are living in times where opportunities for women are galore. India currently has over 15.7 million women-owned enterprises which make up for 20 per cent of the total number of firms that are operational. Women are making their mark across industries and product categories including artificial intelligence (AI), fashion and entertainment, digital payments, healthcare, e-commerce, the list is long. Women are immensely contributing in generating employment and maintaining the gender demographics.
There is no stopping talented females from exploring new business ideas, and bringing about innovations in their workplaces that enhance both productivity and profitability. Here’s a look at trailblazers who have taken their businesses to newer heights and are inspiring an entire generation of budding female entrepreneurs to chase their dreams:
Miss Malini Agarwal – Founder & Creative Director, MissMalini.com – She definitely doesn’t need an introduction. Malini Agarwal, a.k.a. MissMalini is a renowned name in the field of media and entertainment. A digital influencer, TV host, entrepreneur and best-selling author, Malini founded the blog MissMalini.com that covers Bollywood gossip, fashion & lifestyle trends, etc. in 2008. She ranked No. 1 on IMPACT’s 50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising in 2017, was recognized as one of the top business leaders to watch on Fortune India’s 40 Under 40 List, GQ’s 50 Most Influential Young Indians List, and holds many more accolades under her belt.
Falguni Nayar -Founder, Nykaa – Having climbed the ladder of success in the job world, Falguni Nayar quit her job as the Managing Director at Kotak Mahindra Capital in 2012 to launch the beauty and lifestyle retail brand, Nykaa. She is said to have started Nykaa with $2 million of her own money. With a net worth of nearly Rs 480 crore, Falguni Nayar is known as one of the two self-made female, Indian billionaires (the other being Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw).
Radhika Ghai Aggarwal – Co-Founder & CMO, Shopclues – An Internet entrepreneur, Radhika Ghai Aggarwal is the co-founder of online marketplace ShopClues which was set up in 2011. With an extensive experience in industries like retail, eCommerce, fashion and lifestyle, advertising and public relations, Radhika currently serves as the Chief Business Officer of the company. She has launched a second venture by the name Kindlife.in.
Sairee Chahal – Founder, SHEROES.in – Sairee Chahal founded Delhi-based women-only social network Sheroes in 2013 with the aim of improving the life of the female section of the society. It is a unique platform that connects companies to women professionals, and works as an engagement platform for brand marketers looking for urban educated women. It allows women to showcase their hidden talents and skills to the world and enables them to discuss about health, careers, relationships, share life stories and achievements.
Shubhra Chadda – Co-founder, Chumbak – One of India’s leading design houses offering clothing, accessories and home décor items, Chunbak was started in Bengaluru in 2010 by Shubhra Chadda and Vivek Prabhakar. The idea behind launching Chumbak was to provide fun souvenirs and collectibles inspired by India, to the travellers. Under Shubhra spearheading products, design and sourcing at Chumbak, the brand has diversified its range to include personal care products such as moisturisers, body scrubs, soaps, shower gels and more.
Vandana Luthra – Founder of VLCC – Vandana Luthra founded the beauty and wellness conglomerate VLCC Health care Ltd. way back in 1989 in New Delhi. The company went on have a strong national and international presence. Responsible for taking the beauty and wellness industry to newer heights, Vandana was ranked 26th in Forbes Asia list 2016 of 50 Power Businesswomen. She is also the chairperson of the Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC), an initiative that provides training under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana schemes.
Upasana Taku – Co-Founder of Mobikwik – At a time (in 2009) when the digital payments landscape in India was close to nil, Upasana Taku co-founded MobiKwik with Bipin Preet Singh. The vision and aim was to simplify payment acceptance for retailers in India. Upasana is credited for being the first Indian woman to lead a payment company in India. She featured in Forbes Asia’s 25 Power Businesswomen 2019 list.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – Founder of Biocon Limited – Any list of successful and inspiration businesswomen is absolutely incomplete without the mention of the one who founded thr Bengaluru based biotechnology company. The former chairperson of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Kiran was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry, in 2014. She featured in the Financial Times 2011 top 50 women in business list; In 2019, she was listed as the 68th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, and was named EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2020.