There’s nothing that’s holding our women back anymore, and the success stories of these women entrepreneurs in India are all the proof you need. We hope that the nation continues to empower the resilient and innovative women entrepreneurs in India. By supporting female entrepreneur in India we help close the gender gap in entrepreneurship and bring prosperity, security and equality not just to these women, but also to others who draw inspiration from them.
Here’s a list of the most famous women entrepreneurs in India. Have a look!
Better known as the original “Slumdog Millionaire”, she bought the distressed assets of Kamani Tubes Company and was able to successfully steer the company back to profits, such were her efforts. Saroj was on the board of Kamani Tubes when it went into liquidation in 2001 before she took over and changed the fortune of the company. She was born in poverty, subjected to inhuman abuse and worked towards changing her circumstances with much vigour. Overcoming the odds, she became one of the most sought after entrepreneurs in India. She was also awarded Padma Shri in 2013 in the field of Trade and Industries.
They say, ‘the future is female’ and Indra Nooyi is a living, breathing example of the same. She stepped down from the post of CEO of PepsiCo in 2018 and is serving as a member on the Board of Directors at Amazon. Her move to join Amazon, praised by many, took the percentage of women on its board up to 45%. She also serves on the board of the International Cricket Council. One of the most successful women entrepreneurs in India, Indra Nooyi has consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women. In 2016, Indra Nooyi gifted an undisclosed amount to her alma mater, The Yale School of Management, making her the school’s biggest alumni donor in history and the first woman to endow a deanship at a top business school with her gift.
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Indu Jain is currently the chairperson of India’s largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., which is better known as the Times Group. The seventy-five-year-old billionaire is a story of inspiration for budding female entrepreneurs in India. Indu Jain has her name in the list of Top 20 richest persons in India, while at the global level she ranks 317. Apart from being an entrepreneur, she’s also an educationalist. Jain has been awarded the International Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Congress of Women (ICW). She even addressed the United Nations in the Millennium World Peace Summit of religious and spiritual leaders in the year 2000.
A digital media entrepreneur spearheading India’s largest digital community of women, Priyanka Gill founded POPxo in 2014. Available in four languages, POPxo is India’s largest multi-lingual digital community for women with over 42 million users. In 2017 she launched Plixxo, India’s largest influencer marketing platform that brings together digital creators and connects them with brands to help create engaging content. After MyGlamm acquired POPxo in 2020, Gill went on to become the Co-founder and President of MyGlamm, one of the leading makeup brands in India.
It was Vandana Luthra who, in 1989, started the company called VLCC as a beauty and slimming service centre. She later added services such as hair build, full-body laser, grooming and Dermat services. Presently, her institute is providing a vocation training course that is known as the VLCC Institute of Beauty & nutrition. Currently the chairperson of the beauty & Wellness sector skill council (B&WSSC), she was awarded the Padma Shri award by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in April 2013. Vandana Luthra has been running an NGO, called Khushii, which offers free education to those who are underprivileged and physically challenged.
Suchi Mukherjee is the Founder and CEO of the online shopping portal Limeroad.com, which she founded in 2012. Mukherjee, now one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in India, was among the 15 women voted for ‘Rising Talent – Global Leaders Under 40’ at the World Women’s Forum in Paris in 2010, for her contributions in business and consumer technology.
Better known as India’s wealthiest self-made women entrepreneur, Shaw found a biopharmaceutical firm in 1978. According to Forbes, Biocon Limited is the first company to get approval from the USFDA. One of the most successful women entrepreneurs in India, she held the titles ‘Indian’s 54th richest person’ and ‘world’s 65th powerful woman’, in 2019.
Richa Kar co-founded Zivame, a Bangalore based startup for online lingerie shopping. Richa along with her husband, Kapil Karekar, started Zivame in 2011 with Rs 30 lakhs. As the business grew, the company raised $9 million in two rounds from investors. She is undoubtedly one of the most influential women entrepreneurs in India.
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As you may already know, dedicated to spreading the rich herbal heritage of India around the world, Shahnaz Hussain founded The Shahnaz Husain Group in India. One of the most trusted names in the Indian herbal cosmetics industry, she’s also one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in India. Reputed with an international claim, she’s been in the market for a long time and made beauty care essentials available to Indians way before many others cropped up in the game.
Started by Aditi Gupta, Menstrupedia is a guide that aims to educate people around the world about periods. Gupta was named in Forbes India 30 under 30, in 2014, for her work towards smashing taboos and breaking myths around menstruation. She was listed in BBC 100 women as well and was named the ‘Most Influential Woman’ by BW Business World Magazine. Aditi Gupta is also a UN Goalkeeper.
Building a company from scratch is a hustle only few people can understand. Taku built Mobikwik from the ground up and now, the company has 32 million users, 100,000 merchants, doing close to 500,000-1,000,000 transactions every day. She’s also founded Zaakpay – a Payment Gateway.
Started in 2009, Gurnani is the co-founder of an adventure tours and travel company, Thrillophilia Tours Pvt. Ltd. Thrillophilia runs a website, blog, and Twitter account and has a strong presence in the market. The successful startup helps people plan their holidays by providing a thrilling and amazing experience.
From a handful of women to now a stream of women, statistics show that around 252 million women around the world are entrepreneurs, and another 153 million women operate well-established businesses. Do we still have to ask about the role that women have in contributing to world economic development?
Srishti Tehri founded Artisans of Banjara in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Her website allows users to buy the work of the migrants who previously sold their offerings at the Banjara Market in Gurugram. With this initiative, Srishti is trying to help the artisans whose lives have been uprooted by Covid-19.
Another in our list of young women entrepreneurs is a fourteen-year-old who aims to help the “tech-challenged,” especially senior citizens. A student of Sishya School in Chennai, Tanvi came up with the idea of her startup when she would see her grandparents struggle doing simple things online. Founded in 2019, her business charges INR 500 for an hour’s individual session and INR 300 for an hourly session for four people. With an emerging ‘new-normal’, everything is online and having a grasp on the digital world is more than necessary.
You think you’re too young to make big moves? Avantika Khanna, a seventeen-year-old realised that many historical monuments in India suffered due to neglect by authorities and lack of proper preservation and saw an opportunity to fix it.
She decided to launch India Story, a student-run app that offers detailed guides on various monuments of our country. A student of Humanities at Shri Ram School’s Aravalli Campus in Gurugram, this woman entrepreneur brought together 30 history enthusiasts and students to form her force of writers, marketing experts, photographers and programmers who surfed through archives and research papers to curate content. Launched on both iOS and Android, her startup received seed funding from the Indian Angel Network.
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