15 Influential & Successful Women Entrepreneurs In India

15 Influential & Successful Women Entrepreneurs In India

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India has and had consistently been a  loved place for exchange and business. With a pleasant atmosphere, moderate luxuries, and a tremendous measure of labor, India has become a center for developing startups step by step. And keeping in mind that it is succeeding from the business front, our Indian women have investigated every possibility to make the most out of it. 

Influential Women Entrepreneurs in india

Since days of yore, the general public was ruled by guys, yet in contemporary occasions, ladies are breaking the pattern and coming out of the shadows in a mighty symbol. Ladies from all around the world are defeating the negative ideas that the general public has about them. The unavoidable trends likewise indicated their impact in the Indian corporate world; few drive top endeavors and thoughts. These women entrepreneurs in India have served the Startup Scenario in some way or the other.

The following article will throw some light on the most influential women entrepreneurs in India. 

The Most Influential Women Entrepreneurs in India

Vandana Luthra

vandhana luthara

” I am not VLCC; I am a part of the 6000 professionals who run it.”

Often women face a lot of restrictions before and after marriage because of these judgmental societies. But society can’t be blamed all the time. Women like here truly serve inspiration. From a housewife to being among the Most Influential Women entrepreneurs in India, she ventured to countries like France, UK, and Germany to get necessary insights for her company on nutrition, food, and beauty. 

Birthplace: Kolkata

Education: Completed her graduation from New Delhi’s Polytechnic for Women.

Present Work: Indian businesswoman, philanthropy, and chairperson of the beauty & Wellness sector skill council (B&WSSC).

Other Activities: Along with these accolades, this Indian woman entrepreneur was the Chairperson of the Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council by the Indian government. She is a General Body Member of the New Delhi-based Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. She also has been running NGO named Khushi, that offers a scholarship for underprivileged and physically disabled students

Her Journey: Vandana was a woman who refused to survive in the shackles of domestic life. Dating back to 1989 when her daughter was just a toddler, she started the company named VLCC as a beauty and slimming service center. Furthermore, she added more services, such as hair build, grooming, full-body laser, and Dermat services. 

Achievements

  • Vandana was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in the year 2013. 
  • Declared by Fortune India as the 33rdmost influential Indian female entrepreneur.
  • Featured in Fortune magazine’s annual listing of the ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business in India’ for five years in a row – from 2011 to 2015
  • Won the Asian Business Leaders Forum Trailblazer Award.
  • Ranked 26th in the distinguished annual Forbes Asia 2016 list of 50 Power Businesswomen in the APAC region.

 

Indu Jain

indu jain

“Living in the present means not having regret for the past, nor worrying for the future. Life is what is now. I was born a seeker. I was very inquisitive and curious to explore. I don’t see a choice between ‘being happy’ and ‘having a purpose’ in life. The alternatives that seem different may just turn out to be the same. Life is an incredible adventure and you should give it your best.” 

One of the best women entrepreneurs in India synonymous with power and respect, Indu Jain is courted by politicians, business tycoons, the rich, and the famous, universally. Being one of the most influential and traditional women with a multifaceted personality like a humanist, spiritualist, educationalist, an aficionado of culture, and the arts, Indu is a prominent Indian media personality belonging to the Sahu Jain family. She is a perfect example of a subtle Indian woman entrepreneur bringing a change in the startup world.

Birthplace: Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh

Present Designation: Chairperson of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. that owns India’s foremost news daily ‘The Times of India’ and much other news daily.

Other Activities

  • Indu Jain is the main pillar behind The Oneness Forum launched in 2003. Recently, the Forum recently awarded the Mahatma-Mahavira Awards to exceptional people from all walks of life and is involved in several activities to highlight a sense of Oneness and togetherness in the world.
  • Indu Jain is the founder President of the Ladies wing of FICCI (FLO) since March 2017. 
  • She is the Chairperson of Bharatiya Jnanpith Trust that awards the renowned Jnanpith award.

Achievements

  • Awarded with the prestigious Padma Bhushan by the Indian Government in 2016.
  • As per Forbes 2015 listings, she has a Net worth of USD 3.1 billion.
  • Ranked 57th richest person in India and 549th-richest person in the world.
  • Received the annual award for lifetime contribution to media from the All India Management Association (AIMA) for managing the Times Group.
  • Honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)

 

Indra Nooyi

“Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed.”

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-born American WOman entrepreneur and the first woman to enter and dictate the soft-drink and snack-food giant Pepsico. Also, she is one of only 11 female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies. Her strong acumen for business had helped garner 30 billion dollars worth of crucial deals for her company within the last couple of years.

Birthplace: Chennai

Education

  • Bachelor’s in Science degree from Madras Christian College
  • Post Graduate Programme Diploma in Marketing and finance from Kolkata’s IIM
  • Master’s degree in public and private management from Yale University.

Present Designation: Board of directors at Amazon 

Previous works: She was the Chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo, India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. She was a product manager at Johnson & Johnson and a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. She was also associated with Asea Brown and Motorola.

Her Journey: Her career commenced with being a manager at Johnson & Johnson and textile firm Mettur Beardsell. However, Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 and was named president and CFO in 2001.

Achievements:

  •  Indra Nooyi consistently maintained ranking among the world’s 100 most powerful women as per Forbes Magazine.
  • Nooyi was named one of the “Best CEOs In The World” by the CEOWORLD magazine in 2018
  • Received the Bower Award for Business Leadership.
  • Honored with the Outstanding Woman in Business award.

 

Shahnaz Hussain

shahnaz husain

“I believe that one should never stop trying because that way, you cannot fail. I believe that nothing is impossible. You can be what you will yourself to be. You can make your destiny.”

Among the famous women entrepreneurs in India, Shahnaz Hussain is known as the “Queen of Herbal Beauty Care”. With a totally new concept of “care and cure”, along with the formulation of her own Ayurvedic products, she began with Shahnaz Herbals Inc. which has now over 400 franchise clinics across the globe

Education: She completed her schooling from Lucknow’s La Martiniere and later on went to the Queen Mary’s, Allahabad for further studies. She mastered cosmetology and cosmetic therapy from leading Western institutions that include Lean of Copenhagen, Christine Valmy, Schwarzkopf, Lancome, and Helena Rubinstein.

Present Designation: CEO of Shahnaz Herbals

Her Journey: As it is appropriately stated, just dead fish takes the path of least resistance, Shanaz never let the difficulties beat her yearnings. This Indian woman entrepreneur was hitched while she was an adolescent and furthermore turned into a mother soon. At the point when she was 27, she moved to Tehran with her husband. She trudged and endeavored to find a new line of work as a Wonder Editorial manager of Iran Tribune. With a base venture of rupees 37,000 from her dad, she began her salon in Delhi’s veranda in 1977. Luckily, she had her innovation from abroad and was good to go flying and thus shaped The Shahnaz Husain Group. 

Achievements

  • Her contributions led her to receive the Padma Shri from the GOI back in 2006.
  • Among her plethora of achievements, some of them include National awards like Ayurveda Innovation Award, “Woman Super Achiever” Award, Woman of Substance Award, and International Awards like Leonardo da Vinci Diamond Award, Olympia Asia Award for Outstanding Contribution in Ayurveda and Plant Cosmetics, Golden Peacock Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.

 

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

kiran mazumdar shaw

“One of my objectives, when I started Biocon, was to make sure that I create a company for women scientists to pursue a vocation.”

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is known as India’s wealthiest independent Indian Woman entrepreneur. The tag of being the most extravagant woman entrepreneur in India disturbs her. She needs to be recalled not for the fortune she fabricated yet for the sheer difficult work she didn’t avoid placing in to arrive at the zenith of progress. It was an industrial enzyme manufacturing company in its underlying years however under Kiran’s initiative, today it is an out and out bio-pharmaceutical organization. Moreover, it has entered in US biosimilars markets and is getting the consideration of financial specialists. 

Birthplace: Pune

Education:

  • Completed her schooling from Bishop Cotton Girls High School, Bangalore. 
  • Attended Bangalore’s Mount Carmel College where she studied biology and zoology. 
  • Post-graduation in Malting and Brewing from Ballarat College, Melbourne University.

Present Work:  MD and Chairperson of Biocon Limited

Previous Designation: Former chairperson of IIM Bangalore 

Achievements:

  •  Kiran is a member of the board of governors of the prestigious Indian School of Business and Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. 
  • Kiran received the prestigious Padma Shri in 1989 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 from the government of India. 
  • In 2019 she held the title called Indian’s 54th richest person and the world’s 65th powerful woman.
  • She is on the 2011 Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list.
  • Some of her achievements include the Othmer Gold Medal, the Nikkei Asia Prize, the ‘Veuve Clicquot Initiative For Economic Development For Asia’ Award, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Life Sciences & Healthcare.
  • Her Net worth of US$3.1 billion as of January 2020

Also Read – 30 Startup Mistakes That Aspiring and Budding Entrepreneurs Must Avoid

Falguni Nayar 

falguni nayar

“I am building Nykaa to have a life of its own.”

Think of a woman who is an IIM-A alumnus, mother of two, and a fifty-year-old. Now place yourself in her shoe, would you like to launch a dynamic e-commerce business or lead a complacent life ahead? Some women won’t, just like, Falguni didn’t. As it is rightly said, it is never too late, Falguni quit the job at Kotak where everything was going absolutely right, to become a successful woman beauty entrepreneur in Indian. 

Birthplace: Mumbai

Education: Schooling from The New Era School, MBA in Finance from IIM Ahmedabad

Present Designation: Founder and CEO of Nykaa.

Previous Works: She worked as a Manager for A.F.Ferguson & Co and served Kotak Mahindra Capital Co. for 12 years until she left in 2012 as Managing Director.

After working 20 years as an investment banker with Kotak Mahindra, This Indian woman entrepreneur left the job to pursue her dream. Nayar says, “I wanted to experience the journey of creating something from scratch.” In 2012, she started company Nykaa as a product store at the T3 terminal (Indira Gandhi International Airport), selling online cosmetic and wellness products. Today the company offers more than 850 brands, has introduced 35 physical stores, and has entered the unicorn club of India.

Achievements:

  •  In 2017, she received the title of “Most powerful business “by Business Today.
  •  She also got the “woman Ahead” award at the Economic Times. 
  • Her net worth is ₹ 280 Crores as of March 2017.

 

Aditi Gupta

aditi gupta

“I had my first period when I was 12. I was told to keep it a secret even from my Brother and Father as if it was an unspeakable sin.”

Indian culture experiences numerous restrictions and one of them is the monthly menstrual cycle. A few people approached and led the issue with the goal that individuals can have a discussion transparently about it. Aditi Gupta was one of them who thought of Menstrupedia, a group supported activity, with assistance from Tuhin Paul. Aditi previously got the thought for Menstrupedia while doing her proposition regarding the matter for her post-graduation.

Birthplace: Garhawa, Jharkhand

Education:

  •  Post-graduate in New Media Design from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
  • Graduated in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering.

Present Designation: Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Menstrupedia. 

Her Journey: Aditi’s work was at first scrutinized for talking about an untouchable subject. Anyway, it became popular with the dominant part on the web and by the media. Aditi and her significant other made a comic book to delineate and teach young ladies about periods. In 2014, Menstrupedia turned into a band together with Murmur India for their school contact program and introduced “Touch the Pickle”, this development happened in four distinct urban areas.

Achievements: In 2014, she was named in the Forbes India 30 Under 30 2014 list.

Richa Kar

richa kar

“If you are strong, focused, and passionate about what you want to do, everything falls into place.”

Richa is the proud founder of online lingerie store Zivame, which is derived from a Hebrew word ‘Ziva’ which means radiance and Zivame stands for ‘radiant me’. Richa has practically changed the way women used to think and buy their inner wears after being a successful Indian woman entrepreneur.

Birthplace: Jamshedpur

Education

  • Engineering in 2002 from BITS, Pilani. 
  • Completed her master’s degree in management studies from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.

Present Designation: Co-founder of Zivame

Her Journey:   Richa faced a ton of trepidation and distress while disclosing her business thoughts to her family and others. Her mom was humiliated about her concept of selling lingeries as she feared what the others would say. However, she didn’t lose hope.

To get more experiences about lingerie business, she visited numerous shopping centers and shops and saw that ladies feel timid about purchasing undergarments as most shopkeepers are male. Likewise, ladies can’t anticipate fitting and styling tips from such shops. With an underlying venture of rupees 30 Lakhs, Zivame.com went on the web. At last, after some time, Zivame got a decent reaction from its purchasers. Richa got her first customer from Indore who was attempting to purchase materials from her of Rs. 7000. Step by step, Zivame claims development of 300% yearly.

Priya Paul

priya paul

“It is good to have a personal relationship with God, but another good thing is to pray with your brothers and sisters.”

 At 51, Priya Paul can be considered as an inspiration for women in India and budding women entrepreneurs in India who want to craft a path of their own despite having the experience and overcoming all the hurdles and pains of life and want to be an Indian woman entrepreneur like her.

Education: Bachelor in Economics from USA’s Wellesley College. 

Present Designation: Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels

Previous Works: President and executive committee member of the Hotel Association of India

Other activities

  • This Indian woman entrepreneur is a member of the National Council of Science Museums, National Tourism Advisory Council, and chair of the South Asia Women’s Fund. 
  • She is a member of the India Advisory Board of the Harvard Business School.
  • The vice-chair of the World Travel and Tourism Council – Indian Initiative Trustee and trustee of the India Foundation of Arts (IFA). 

Her Journey: Priya Paul made progress very from the get-go throughout everyday life, conquering the difficulties that came to her direction. At the point when she lost her dad and director of the Apeejay Surrendra Gathering, Surrendra Paul, she needed to assume the liability of taking care of three resorts. She conquered that challenge, despite her absence of experience. 

Achievements

  • This Indian woman entrepreneur was awarded the Padma Shri award by the Indian Government back in the year 2012.
  • The Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India conferred on her Young Entrepreneur of the Year award (1999–2000).

 

Radhika Ghai Aggarwal

radhika ghai aggarwal

‘Failures happen to those who give up,’ 

Radhika, one of the influential women entrepreneurs in India, is enthusiastic about engaging ladies to expect influential positions inside her association ShopClues’ dynamic network of trader accomplices. Radhika Ghai Aggarwal is an Online woman entrepreneur in India and India’s first lady to enter the Unicorn Club.

Birthplace: Chandigarh

Education

  • She has done MBA from Washington University, St. Louis
  • Holds a postgraduate degree in advertising and public relations.

Present Work: Co-founder of Shopclues.com

Previous Works: Equipped with more than 15 years of marketing experience in several industries such as Fashion & lifestyle, advertising & public relations, and others. She worked in marketing for companies like Nordstrom in Seattle and strategic planning at Goldman Sachs.

Her Journey: Being born to an Army Family, life wasn’t a roses bed for this Indian woman entrepreneur. However, amidst all ups and downs, she started on her entrepreneurial journey with her first venture, ShopClues, a social portal for NRI women. Today, this web-based business has become India’s biggest commercial center with 7 million guests every month. 

Achievements:

  • She won the Outlook Business Woman of Worth at Outlook Business Awards.
  • Won the Exemplary Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Won the CEO of the Year Award.

 

Ritu Kumar

ritu kumar

“Cool has become formulaic. You can walk into stores today, and it’s all there: Anyone can buy what’s perceived as cool”

One of the popular and influential women entrepreneurs in India’s fashion industry, Ritu was successful in creating a niche market for her brand consisting of designer ethnic wear, evening formals, and traditional wear. 

Birthplace: Amritsar

Education

  • Schooling from Loreto Convent. She later went on to enroll herself at Lady Irwin College
  • After returning to the country, she enrolled herself at the Asutosh Museum of Indian Art, to study museology. 
  • Later she obtained a scholarship at Briarcliff College in New York to pursue Art History.

Present Work: Indian Fashion designer

Her Journey: Initially, Ritu was making bridal wear and evening clothes. After decades, she entered an international market. Being one of the successful women entrepreneurs in India, she has been operating her business in several cities like France and New York. 

Achievements: Her designs created history three times in a row in the Miss India pageants. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the GOI in 2013

Ekta Kapoor

ekta kapoor

“As a producer, I am dying to explore the psychology and urban dilemmas – say, fatigue – in a marriage”

Known to be fiercely protective of her company and brand, Ekta is a professional Indian woman entrepreneur who has strong business acumen in the telefilm and media industry. Her production house has produced many hit serials – ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, ‘Kasauti Zindagi Ki’, ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’, and many others, giving her the title of Queen Bee of the Indian soap opera scene.

Birthplace: Mumbai

Education: She went to school at Bombay Scottish School, Mahim, and attended college at Mithibai College.

Present Work: MD and Creative head of Balaji Telefilms

Her Journey: Ekta Kapoor started her career at 15, interning with feature filmmaker Kailash Surendranath until she obtained financing from her father to become a producer.

Achievements:

  • She has won the Hall of Fame award at the 6th Indian Telly Awards during 2006.
  • She was honored with the Padma Shri in 2020.

 

Upasana Taku 

upasana taku

“Nothing will work unless you do”

Among so many women entrepreneurs in India, Upsana always wanted to contribute to the Indian startup ecosystem. And this played a crucial role in bringing a turnover in her career tracks. This is when she came back and founded Zaakpay, a Payment Gateway, now known as Mobiwik. She is also the first Indian woman entrepreneur to lead India’s first payment startup.

Education:

  • B.E from NIT, Jalandhar.
  • Masters in Management Science from Stanford University.

Present Designation: Co-founder of Mobikwik

Previous Works:  She initially worked with the HSBC in San Diego and with PayPal.

Her Journey: Upasana Taku, a truly Inspiration Indian woman entrepreneur, worked at her marriage day, shared home-prepared dinners with the group of 5, surrendered the extravagant way of life, left a promising vocation in the silicon valley, calmly overlooked to the sexual orientation predisposition and confronted different moves just to offer back to her country. 

Suchi Mukherjee

suchi mukhrjee

“Make a dreaming mandatory. Let the girls have ambition. That’s a start.”

Suchi started Limeroad back in the year 2012 along with Prashant Malik, Manish Saksena, and Ankush Mehra which has now raised a funding of $20 Million from Lightspeed venture partners, Matrix Partners and Tiger Global.

Birthplace: Haryana

Education: An economics graduate who, later on, went to pursue her masters in Finance and economics from the London School of Economics.

Present Designation: Founder & CEO of Limeroad

Previous Works: Suchi was associated with companies like Gumtree, eBay, and Skype. 

Her Journey: This Indian woman entrepreneur aimed to provide the safest platform for women who can shop online by knowing product information including manufacturer and shipping made out of India. Second, without customer technology making it easy and entertaining for women to find their local accessories and products.

Achievements

  • Suchi was chosen as 1 of 15 women worldwide ‘Rising Talents, high potential leaders under 40. 
  • She also received awards like Coolest Start-up of the year (from Business Today), Infocom woman of the year- Digital Business, and Unicorn Start-up Award (NDTV).

 

Vani Kola

vani kola

“Having a great work culture is not an option – it is a necessity”

Ever wondered where did the speculation for the new businesses like Snapdeal, Myntra, By means of, Applications Day by day, Zivame, Dream11, and Bluestone, originate from? All things considered, This Indian woman entrepreneur Vani is known as the ” The Mother of Venture Capitalism in India”. Vani is focused on helping more ladies along the way of business enterprise and empowers them to be pathmakers in their own one of a kind. Vani has been actively engaged in Women Entrepreneurship in India, Call for Women Pathmakers such as “Together for Change” and collaborative discussions with SoftBank on role models for women.

Birthplace: Hyderabad, Telangana

Education:

  • BE in electrical engineering, from Osmania University
  • Master of Science degree from Arizona State University.

Present Designation: venture capitalist, founder & managing director of Kalaari Capital.

Previous Works: During her 22-year career in Silicon Valley, she was the founder and CEO of Certus Software and prior to that was the founder and CEO of RightWorks

Her Journey: It took this Indian Woman entrepreneur, 2 months to decide to move back to India even after spending 22 years in the US. In India, she did a partnership with NEA (New Enterprise Associates) to start Kalaari Capital operation with a 150-million-dollar fund.

Achievements

  • This woman entrepreneur in India won the TiE Delhi-NCR 5th Edition of women Entrepreneurship Summit Award. 
  • She got the NDTV Women of Worth award for excellence in entrepreneurship.
  • She has been named as one of Fortune India’s ‘Most Powerful Women in Business’ twice in 2018 and 2019.
Final Thoughts on Women Entrepreneurs in India

In a nation like India where a majority of the Indian ladies are looked down upon, there are some who have taken off higher. These above- mentioned incredible women, have confronted battles, challenges, and advanced toward the top rundown of business people in India. Simply positive conviction and certainty could drive you to a surprising excursion. Women entrepreneurs in India have made some amazing progress from being only a homemaker to business, innovations, driving new thoughts. Truly they have been a role- model for all the women and girls worldwide.

Related – Successful Indian entrepreneurs

Also Read – Scope and Present Scenario of Entrepreneurship In India 

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