India being a growing economy is a hotspot for young entrepreneurs. With a large population of more than 130 crores, businesses all over the world see it as a potential destination for establishing a start-up. For years, males dominated the business industry, leaving less or no room for females. But the trend has changed now. More and more women are jumping into the business and many have successfully established globally renowned brands. Creating job opportunities for a large number of people, the women have braved the societal pressures and stereotypes to come up with the solutions that are far more reliable and innovative. In this blog, we will have a look at some of the top women entrepreneurs in India.
This Blog Includes:
- Falguni Nayar, Founder of Nykaa
- Vandana Luthra, Founder of VLCC
- Indra Nooyi, Former Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo
- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, MD and Chairperson of Biocon
- Shradha Sharma, Founder of YourStory
- Shahnaz Husain, the Pioneer of Herbal Beauty Care
- Aditi Gupta, Co-Founder of Menstrupedia
- Chitra Gurnani Daga, Co-Founder of Thrillophilia
- Khushboo Jain, Co-Founder of ImpactGuru
- Ritu Kumar, Internationally Renowned Fashion Designer
Falguni Nayar, Founder of Nykaa
Building one of the first beauty and retail empires in India, Falguni Nayar is the founder of Nykaa, a multi-brand retail business in beauty and fashion. Amongst the most famous women entrepreneurs in India, she originally worked as an investment banker at Kotak Mahindra for over 20 years and then decided to pursue her business idea of an online cosmetic marketplace which is now a colossal retail empire! Nykaa is now home to more than 850 brands as well as has opened 35 retail stores. Falguni Nayar was featured in Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen 2019 and was honored as the Businesswomen of the Year 2019 by Vogue India as well.
Vandana Luthra, Founder of VLCC
Everyone has heard of VLCC, a giant in cosmetic brands. But very few of us know that the brain behind the brand is a powerful woman Vandana Luthra. Started in 1989 as a beauty and slimming service in Delhi, VLCC has now become a globally recognized name in cosmetics and health industry. Vandana Luthra was born in Delhi in 1959 and she completed her graduation from Polytechnic for Women in New Delhi. From providing skin and hair care services in the beginning, Vandana Luthra through her years of dedication made it to the Forbes Asia 2016 list of 50 Power Businesswomen in the APAC region. Being among the top women entrepreneurs in India, she has received many recognitions in India and abroad. In 2013, the Government of India awarded her with the Padma Shri which is the highest civilian honour in the country.
Indra Nooyi, Former Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo
An astounding businesswoman who is consistently ranked among the top 100 influential women, Indra Nooyi has represented India at a global level. She rose to prominence when she was chosen as the CEO of PepsiCo, the position she held from 2006 to 2018. She also held the position as chairman of the company from 2007 to 2019. Born on October 28, 1955, in Chennai, Indra Nooyi is amongst the most powerful women entrepreneurs in India. In 1976, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Madras Christian College followed by an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. After finishing her degree, she moved to the US where she earned an additional masters degree in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management of the Yale University.
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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, MD and Chairperson of Biocon
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is a billionaire businesswoman who is the MD and Chairperson of Biocon Limited, a biopharmaceutical company based in Bangalore. From a company that manufactured enzymes to a full-fledged biopharmaceutical company, Biocon is one of the top employers in India, making Mazumdar one of the top women entrepreneurs in India. She did her schooling from Bishop Cotton Girl’s High School, Bangalore and later went to Bangalore’s Mount Carmel College. Inspired by her father, she decided to study malting and brewing for which she went to Ballarat College, The University of Melbourne in Australia in 1974. She was honoured with Othmer Gold Medal in 2014 for her contributions in Science and Chemistry. Listed among the most powerful women in the world by Forbes, Kiran Mazumdar was conferred with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India. She also received honorary degrees from the Abertay University, University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University and University College Cork.
Shradha Sharma, Founder of YourStory
Coming from a small area Patna, Bihar, Shradha Sharma has become a sensation on the virtual media platforms. Founder and the CEO of YourStory, an online platform that covers offbeat stories. With her unique idea of telling stories that are not part of mainstream media, she created a space for alternative media. Started in 2008, her start-up which now provides employment to more than 100 people, has more than 70,000 on it. The portal produces content in 11 local languages and it has a great readership. One of the most influential women entrepreneurs in India, Sharma completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and later moved to the US to pursue her MBA from Maryland Institute College of Art. Shradha has been conferred with L’Oreal Paris Femina Award and she is among the Top 500 LinkedIn Influencers.
Shahnaz Husain, the Pioneer of Herbal Beauty Care
Known as the Queen of Herbal Beauty Care, Shahnaz Husain is perhaps the most successful women entrepreneurs in India. With a minimum investment amount from her father, she started a salon 1977, on the veranda of her house in Delhi which later progressed to become one of the leading brands in herbal beauty care. Considered as the most prominent businesswoman in India, Shahnaz has her business running in more than 138 countries all over the world. Her business has around 600 franchises and beauty clinics associated with it. After completing her education from Lucknow, she decided to take up Cosmetology for which she studied at prestigious institutions like Christine Valmy, Lancome and Helena Rubinstein, Lean of Copenhagen, Schwarzkopf, etc. Shahnaz Husain has received numerous awards from the countries like UK and US. The Government of India conferred her with the Padma Shri for her contribution to the business industry.
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Aditi Gupta, Co-Founder of Menstrupedia
The co-founder of Menstrupedia, Aditi Gupta is one of the youngest women entrepreneurs in India and brought spotlight over a taboo topic like menstruation through her social venture. Initially, Aditi and her husband, Tuhin Paul, who designed a comic book to raise awareness on menstruation in India and using the art of storytelling and visuals, they decided to start Menstrupedia, a Friendly Guide to Healthy Periods! Aditi was part of the Forbes 30 under 30 list 2014 and was also amongst the Most Influential Women featured in BusinessWorld BW Magazine.
Chitra Gurnani Daga, Co-Founder of Thrillophilia
An alumnus of ISB, Chitra Gurnani Daga conceptualized Thrillophilia with her husband Abhishek Daga. She was passionate about entrepreneurship and travelling and blended both these together to curate a one-of-its-kind adventure portal, called Thirophillia that helps people plan their travel itineraries and activities beforehand. Chitra Gurnani Daga has been featured in the Young World Rising by Rob Salkowitz as well as CNN IBN TV’s Going Solo!
Khushboo Jain, Co-Founder of ImpactGuru
Having worked in the field of Fashion marketing at renowned brands like Jimmy Choo, Hackett and Valiram, Khushboo Jain co-founded ImpactGuru, a healthcare crowdfunding platform and presently leads the marketing and communications at this venture. As one of the famous women entrepreneurs in India, Khushboo Jain kickstarted her entrepreneurial career with ImpactGuru realising the need of a crowdfunding portal to help patients who are unable to find the right financial resources for their critical illnesses. She has been featured in the latest Forbes 40 Under 40 list as well as in the top women entrepreneurs by NITI Aayog and United Nations.
Ritu Kumar, Internationally Renowned Fashion Designer
Amongst the top fashion designers in India, Ritu Kumar began her designing clothes in Kolkata using hand-block printing and gained famed for her beautifully designed bridal wear as well as evening apparels for women. She started her fashion brand Ritu Kumar in 1969 and later founded a label by the same name in 2002. Kumar has also been awarded Padma Shri in 2012, and her designed clothes have been worn by many international personalities like Princess Diana, Jemima Goldsmith, Priyanka Chopra, amongst others.
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Breaking the taboos and social stigmas, women entrepreneurs in India have inspired women to follow their dreams and to do that, education is the fundamental thing. We at Leverage Edu believe in empowering through education, which is why our team work tirelessly to make your journey to the best education hasslefree. If you have plans for higher studies, book your free counselling session with our experts now!