Those days are gone when the society used to consider men as one of the prominent business personalities. In the present time, Women are breaking the stereotypical roles of homemaker and discovering new fields. From Technology, Automobile to lifestyle and fitness verticals, women entrepreneurs in India have done miracles in their respective projects.
Women from all over the world are overpowering the cynical thinking society has about them. The gales of revolution also revealed its influence in the Indian corporate domain, although very few women are leading best ventures and notions. Women Entrepreneurs are making the nation honored and inspiring other women. We can proudly say that women entrepreneurship in India is no longer a vague idea, with everyone functioning towards a commercial system where women entrepreneurs are fully empowered. The number of women entrepreneurs shining in India will only increase, and with the republic taking pride in women’s heights.
1. Falguni Nayar – The Founder of Nykaa
Envision a lady who is an IIM Ahmedabad graduate, a previous Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Investment Enterprise, mother of a 2-year-old. Now put yourself in her shoe. Would you prefer to start a web-based business or have a self-satisfied life ahead? As it is said, it’s never too late for starting something new; Falguni gave resignation at Kotak, where things were perfect, to turn into a successful business visionary. After working 20 years as a venture banker with Kotak Mahindra, she left the job to fulfill her dream.
In 2012, she launched an organization Nykaa, that sells online makeup and health products. Today, the company has become so popular among Indian women. Nykaa sells 35,000+ products from 650 brands, both global and Indian, extravagance and mass, and is continually adding new tags to its stock. As per the news, ‘TVS Capital invested around Rs.25 crores, and they have additionally got fundraising of Rs. 60 crore from Series C, a group of investors, including wealthy individuals, NRIs, and family workplaces.’ Moreover, it gets 15,000 requests per day, generally from shoppers between 22 and 35.
Falguni Nayar received the “Woman Ahead” Award at the Economic Times. In 2017, she won the title of “Most Powerful Business “by Business Today. Since 2014, The organization has collaborated with Femina. She is an example of one of the top women entrepreneurs across the nation.
2. Indra Nooyi – The Chairwoman of Amazon
Nooyi’s tactical redirection of PepsiCo has been fruitful to a great extent. She upgraded PepsiCo’s products into three classes: “fun for you, “better for you,” and “good for you.” She shifted the manufacturing of products from junk food to more healthy alternatives, intending to improve the nutrition of even the “fun” snacks.
Nooyi is one of the famous women entrepreneurs in India. Her entrepreneurship venture is nothing less than an inspiration. I hope you found one of the best female entrepreneurs success stories in India.
Indra Nooyi is the chairwoman at Amazon and also the former CEO of PepsiCo. After completing her post-graduation from Yale School of Management, Indra functioned as a product supervisor at Johnson and Johnson. Later she became the strategy advisor at the Boston Consulting Group. She began working at PepsiCo in 1994, and afterward, she directed the company as CEO. In 2019, she became a member of Amazon’s directorial board. According to Forbes magazine, she has also won the title of “World’s 11th Powerful Woman.”
3. Ritu Kumar – The Fashion designer
Ritu Kumar is a famous Indian fashion designer who began with her fashion career in Calcutta. She is an expert evening gown and wedding wear designer. Other than India, she works in different countries, including France and New York. In 2013, She was honored with Padma Shree by the Indian Government. She did her schooling at Loreto Convent and completed graduation from Lady Irwin College. Subsequently, she got a grant at Briarcliffe College in New York, and there she pursued Art History.
Presently, she has around 35 stores all over the world. Some big names like Deepika Padukone, Soha Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, Aditi Rao Hydari, Priyanka Chopra, and Aishwarya Rai embellished her outfits. It is intriguing to know that she has collaborated with the Femina Miss India to design attires for all the contestants in different beauty contests like Miss Asia Pacific World, Miss Universe, and Miss World. Furthermore, Late Princess Diana and Jemima Khan sponsored the designs of Ritu Kumar.
The first saree she designed was a sheer mishap; only two tables and four hand block printers created it. This mishap occurred because Ritu ran over a village called Serampore on the edges of Calcutta. She saw that the town had many skills but did not have gateways to showcase their talent. Gradually and consistently, she had her first exhibition in the Park Hotel, Kolkata. This event not only made her more self-assured but also helped the villagers gain more confidence. Her entrepreneurship career began, and now she is one of India’s top women entrepreneurs.
4. Vandana Luthra – The founder of VLCC
Vandana Luthra is one of the famous women entrepreneurs in India. She is the director of the beauty & Wellness sector skill council (B&WSSC). In 1989, she launched the company named VLCC as a beauty and fitness care center, which has its essence in 11 nations across Asia and Africa. It is broadly known for its fitness plans and remedial ways to deal with beauty treatments.
Subsequently, she included more services, such as hair construct, laser hair removal, grooming, and skin-related facilities. She was honored with the Padma Shri for her investment and is the 33rd most influential woman entrepreneur by Fortune India. Besides, she is a directorial body member of the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga in New Delhi. She is also an active member of the Executive committee and the Sub-Committee framed by the Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
“It took me a decent 5-6 years to persuade the clinical society to comprehend that wellbeing was a bigger area, and it required the contribution of beauty, health and wellness specialists; in other words, a beautician, a nutritionist, and a doctor. Finally, I managed to persuade them,” says Vandana Luthra.
5. Richa Kar, Founder of Zivame
Richa is the founder of a web-based lingerie store called Zivame, that got its name from a Hebrew term ‘Ziva’ which implies radiance and Zivame represents a ‘radiant me.’ She has brought about a revolution in the thinking by which women used to purchase their undies. Zivame has been effective in teaching Indian ladies across the nation about their intimate clothing. She is the most prominent women entrepreneurs to start an online lingerie store in India.
Richa boldly eliminated the timidity from intimate wear and added a style statement to it. She experienced her childhood in Jamshedpur and completed her graduation from BITS Pilani. She functioned in the IT companies for a short period and later pursued Masters’ from NMIMS (Mumbai). Subsequently, she worked in a retailer and worldwide tech organization.
So what made her go over this incredible idea of selling female inner wears online in a traditionalist nation like India. When asked, she says, “It was around March when I noticed a high flood in orders during Valentine’s Day sale. Just one-fourth of the undies producer’s sales were created on the web”.
6. Suchi Mukherjee, Co-founder Limeroad
Suchi Mukherjee launched Limeroad, which is an online shopping forum. The organization has collected 20 Million Dollars from LSVP.com, Tiger Global, and Matrix Partners. Suchi pursued her Masters’ from the London School of Economics and completed her graduation from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. In her life, Suchi received numerous honors and acknowledgment like Keshab Chandra Nag Economics Award, George K. George Memorial Grant. She got many Scholarships and Fellowships for merit during her college.
Suchi was 1 of 15 women who won the ‘Rising Talent-global leaders under 40’ at Global Women’s Forum. Previously, Suchi functioned at Ebay/Gumtree and Skype. However, Suchi and her partners confronted various difficulties like finding the best individuals to create a strong team with a blend of aptitude and can-do demeanor, getting the correct foundation.
Among the various obstacles like the intricate bank procedures, online payment portals, and refunds, supplying exclusive items at a cheap price; The most challenging part for Suchi and her associates was to collaborate with sellers to guarantee a supported stream of products. The current internetwork for expert sellers is an overwhelming undertaking to date. However, as she resolved to accomplish her dream, nothing could stop her.
7. Vani Kola – Founder & Managing Director of Kalaari Capital
I’m sure a large number of you probably won’t have a clue about this woman well indeed. Vani Kola gained a reputation for picking the best youthful personalities and coaching them to fabricate successful ventures. Have you ever thought of where the funds for the new companies like Myntra, Urban Ladder, Cure.fit, and Bluestone, Dream11 come?
She is known as the “The Mother of Venture Capitalism in India.” This miracle lady is profiled in various books and is one of India’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. Vani has been an influential business person in Silicon Valley and now works with new business visionaries to build reliable worldwide organizations. She centers around technology organizations, utilizing India’s native development to do high growth business.
The name Kalaari capital is derived from Kalaripayattu, which is a combat art that originated in Kerala. This art is known for its strength, creativity, and elevated movements. Kalaari Capital has become India’s top capitalist in start-up businesses and received around 2,000 offers every year and 55 investments. It not only funds but also deals with the entrepreneurs throughout every aspect of development and progresses.
8. Upasana Taku – Co-founder of Mobikwik
Upasana Taku hails from Kashmir but completed her education in Gujarat. She has continuously battled her way to the top. Taki worked on her wedding day, shared homemade food with 5, abandoned the lavish lifestyle, and calmly ignored the gender stereotypes. She confronted many difficulties to offer back to her country.
She quit a promising profession in Bangalore to provide financial support to the unprivileged in her nation. There was no turning back until she established MobiKwik together with her better half in 2009. “I’m proud to say that MobiKwik was the first portable wallet of India. We are usually dependant on the small sum for either loose change or paying for mobile recharges. With the launch of MobiKwik, one can conveniently make these payments without bothering over the actual money. Your smartphone thus acts like your wallet.” Says Upasana Taku.
9. Shahnaz Husain – CEO of Shahnaz Herbals
Shahnaz got married while she was an adolescent and turned into a mother soon. Recollecting the time, she says, “My baby was one month old, when I turned 16. She was similar to a little toy doll to me and subsequently, as she got older, we became best buddies too. She went to junior school, and I joined a senior school. We disclosed everything.”
However, she always knew that she is for much more than just a homemaker. She battled against all the hurdles and eventually turned into a brand in herself. She won the title of “The Queen of Herbal Beauty Care,” and India’s Government honored her with Padma Shri in 2006. Shahnaz Husain is one of the most famous women entrepreneurs in India. Her business expanded in more than 138 nations, which has around 600 affiliations and related centers worldwide.
While studying cosmetology, she dealt with various skin issues and realized that synthetic products caused derma infections. That is when Shahnaz got the idea of opening a herbal clinic. With a new idea of “Care & Cure,” along with her Ayurvedic products’ preparation, she started Shahnaz Herbals Inc.
10. Sairee Chahal – Founder & CEO of SHEROES
Sairee is one of the top women entrepreneurs who launched Sheroes. She is not only a motivation for other women but has also worked hard to have an immediate effect by securing jobs for them. Chahal was highlighted in India Today, selected for L’oreal Paris Femina Women Awards, and is a finalist for Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.
She is consistently strolling on the streets of women’s mutual development and towards their complete involvement in the working environment. Sairee, a former reporter, is leading a “Sheroes forum” in primary Indian cities to associate women leaders with business. “The step towards a Digital India is a turning point for all intellectual women in the nation. Virtual access is an advantage to those who can’t work in a 9-to-5 job yet wish to proceed with their profession”, says Sairee
Her vigorous drive has helped a large number of women from diverse backgrounds all over India. The service of Sheroes is being used by 2000+ companies, having its presence in 65 urban areas. As per Nasscom, there was a 50© rise in women joining the start-up companies over the last year.
11. Pranshu Patni – Co-founder of Culture Alley
Pranshu Patni is the founder of Culture Alley(Parent Company) that launched the English learning app in 2014. Within eight months, the app got 3 lac downloads on Android from India. They recently received a fund of 6 million dollars from Kae Capital and Tiger Global Management LLC.
Learning a foreign language is a necessary errand, atleast when it is urgent. Pranshu noticed this when her husband visited China for a trade program. Since he was a veggie-lover, it was compulsory for him to learn basic Mandarin, to make his food choices clear to the locals.
This notion made her think to a level where she chose to quit her job and work on her business and became one of the famous women entrepreneurs by launching Hello English. Since then, Pranshu and her associates did broad research on the idea and concluded creating an app that could help learn diverse languages. Yet, something altered her perspective.
Uncovering the numbers, she says, “Hundred Crore individuals from all over the globe attempt to learn a foreign language consistently; around 60 percent are learning English”. Consequently, they built up a free application that could help local Indian speakers learn English in the best way possible.
12. Aditi Gupta, Founder: Menstrupedia
Aditi Gupta is a social women entrepreneur and the co-founder of Menstrupedia, which aims towards spreading knowledge about period. She is from Garhwa(Jharkhand) and completed her Master’s from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She launched this company with her husband, Tuhin Paul. The enterprise originated from her personal experiences with this supposed taboo. The menstruation cycle was usually a tough time to deal with no assistance to relieve the pain. After realizing that several females reflect with her on a similar condition, she chose to create a site on a monthly cycle, supported with images and designs, to instruct women on periods.
Menstrupedia virtually defied several taboos, which cost her few insecurities and reluctance at first. However, today the forum has because incredibly popular among the young ladies and women trying to gain knowledge about period. The website has around 14 lac, active users, through relentless efforts. Aditi keeps educating women on menstrual cleanliness and supporting the need to eliminate myths against this natural cycle. She wants to make a future where the menstrual process is not considered evil but an inviting change in a young lady’s life.
13. Mansi Gupta, Co-founder: Tjori
Mansi Gupta is the Co-founder of the ‘Tjori,’ which is a lifestyle brand. She launched this brand to promote the traditional Indian handiwork with a hint of modern style to get worldwide acknowledgment. A plan created on the whiteboard of a Wharton college lodging room has become a worldwide online business site with consistently extending projects.
Tjori is a brand with Clothing, Home, Fitness, Ornaments, Footwear, Bags, and a newly introduced the category of Mother and kid so that all everyone follows the extravagance of native handiwork and the attribute of western standards. The brand reflects her fashion sense and charisma. The products are manufactured, keeping in mind the handicraft’s technic and details untouched while upgrading it with a western hint. The items go through several testings and are only then offered to clients.
To fabricate a brand is a titanic task which Mansi and her associates are serious about and committed to taking Tjori to an international level. “If we don’t have many hurdles to cross, then the battle is lost. A fight is only won when we stand true to our goals”, says Mansi
14. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Founder of Biocon Limited
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is amongst the most popular Indian Women Entrepreneurs. As an executive and MD of Biocon India Group, she led a novel venture that utilized India’s local scientific skills to make clinical study discoveries.
She could not get work in India as almost every employer said that being an ace brewer is “A man’s job.” She was aware of the traditional standards that regularly restricted the social versatility of ladies. Consequently, she started her job hunt outside India.
Kiran started Biocon India(1978) in the carport of her rented house in Bangalore with an initial investment of Rs. 10,000. Though the company was in partnership, according to Indian laws, a foreign share can be just 30% of the venture, which means Kiran had 70% ownership of the company.
Kiran led Biocon’s development from an industrial catalyst fabricating company to a wholly coordinated bio-drug. Kiran received the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s most outstanding regular citizen awards, for her novel work in modern biotechnology.
15. Ankita Gaba, Founder at Social Samosa
Ankita Gaba is the Co-founder of Social Samosa and an expert multitasker. Besides being a woman entrepreneur, she is an online media manager, a teacher, and a counselor. Before this, Ankita was a member of the Superchooha founder group, India’s first web-based media firm.
Later on, she established Social Samosa, an Indian Social Network Knowledge warehouse that will offer expert services with practical knowledge running in different media platform schemes and projects with Excellence. However, she did not hot everything so quickly. She had many battles and hardships, which she confronted boldly and conquered them and still decided to be the lady she is today.
Ankita is an online media lover and is always searching for better approaches to utilize social networking and draw in with an ever-increasing number of people through such forums. The thought behind Social Samosa is to be the go-to place for everything concerning the Indian Social Media Industry.
16. Radhika Ghai Aggarwal -Founder at Shopcules.com
Radhika Ghai Aggarwal is the Co-founder of an e-commerce website called ‘ShopClues’ set up in 2011 in Bangalore. She is an Online Woman Entrepreneur and India’s first lady to join the Unicorn Club. Radhika pursued her Masters’ Degree from Washington University and has functioned in some renowned US organizations like Nordstrom and Goldman Sachs. She set up Fashion Clues in 2006 as a vogue and lifestyle focusing South Asia and the US, which she ran without any assistance.
In 2011, with her insight and experience, she set up ShopClues, focusing on little details and creative advertising ideas. Today, the website professes to have more than 6 Lac traders and 28 million products on its forum, delivering at 32,000+ pin codes worldwide.
ShopClues is attempting to offer all the shopping requirements by supplying clients with a variety of products. Some of them include style, sports, tech, and cookware, among numerous others.
17. Ashwini Ashokan, Co-founder at Mad Street Den
Ashwini Asokan is the Co-founder of Mad Street Den (MAD). She is a courageous woman entrepreneur who gave up her job in Bangalore and advanced into the business.
Ashwini’s initial intention was not to be a tech lover—an artist, vocalist, or performer. However, she changed her aims when she went abroad to study Product Design. She got a job in Intel in Bengaluru, where she built up her enthusiasm for Artificial Intelligence.
MAD aimed to put together models of systematic insight that can be utilized by several individuals from different enterprises across the world. It has caught the eye of various retail giants and capitalists because of computerized work processes and operational proficiency.
So far, they have created 600 million product labels, more than 1,000 computerized models, and manufactured more than two billion attires. The start-up has produced 70 percent higher income per visitor and saved around 35 hours of the week per individual.
18. Sugandha Agarwal, Founder at Docttocare
With the emergency upon us, didn’t we turn our medical queries to computerized? It took a global disease for us to understand the significance of e-health. However, the young women entrepreneur, Sugandha Agarwal, saw it’s prospects.
She launched ‘Docttocare,’ an online medical care co-op that provides data to its clients about the best specialists, facilities, and clinics. It also provides an online step-by-step guide of the medical clinics and their services.
Docttocare has been successful in gradually winning the trust of specialists and patients. The venture has collaborated with all the prominent hospitals like Apollo, Manipal, Fortis, Medanta, and some more. The website is presently getting around 400+ requests every day and has performed 5000+ clinical tests through Docttocare. Through Docttocare, Sugandha is aiming to bring numerous positive changes in the medical care system of India.
19. Sabina Chopra- Co-founder at Yatra.com
Sabina Chopra launched Yatra.com, which is a famous travel reservation portal site. She up this forum when the travel trade was developing in the Indian market. She realized the travel trade capability in India and individuals moving towards less expensive or simpler travel. As the requirement for digital bookings increased, Yatra was a ready forum that people could access conveniently.
Sabina was Head of India based operations of eBookers, an online travel organization situated in Europe. Besides, she has also functioned at Japan Airlines, which further counts as her travel business experience. She also won the ‘The second annual Women Leaders in India Awards 2010’ in the Travel and Tourism group.
20. Nisaba Godrej, Chairperson – Godrej Group
Nisaba Godrej, the daughter of GCPL executive Adi Godrej, is one of the youngest women entrepreneurs. She is driving the organization towards more prominent achievement. Nisa is a graduate of The Wharton School and Harvard Business School.
Nisaba concurs that organizations with high gender diversity in entrepreneurship roles are more creative, client-focused, and beneficial. “Studies have indicated that individuals like to work in organizations that are diverse and have a comprehensive culture. In this way, assorted variety helps us pull in and hold the best talent,” she said.
The company has been prepping women entrepreneurs. In 2016, it became obligatory at Godrej to assess atleast 20% of women for a sales position; and atleast 55% for Human Resources, promoting and strategy for every vacancy at 3rd and 4th level(head supervisor and above).
She has positively contributed to its talent and development, with products like GoodKnight FastCard being an outstanding achievement. Besides being the Chairwoman of the Godrej company, Nisa is also the director of ‘Teach for India’, a non-profit association that offers education to the impoverished kids.
Hope this sneak peek into the lives and success stories of some famous women entrepreneurs in India in different phases of life, and provided a good doze of motivation to go ahead and carve your own success story.
While we are at it, also do check out the 20 Best Business Ideas For Women In India. More power to your, girl!