Women Achievers of Indian Origin 2021

Leena Nair


Leena Nair is a British Indian business executive who took over as The CEO of the French luxury group Chanel on the 14th of December 2021. She is the youngest and the first woman CEO of the company. Before that, she was the Chief Human Resource Officer with Unilever and a member of the Unilever Leadership Executive.

Hailing from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Leena is an alumnus of XLRI- Xavier School of Management. She is married and has two sons.

When not leading corporates, she loves reading, running and Bollywood dancing.

Gita Gopinath

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gita_Gopinath

Gita Gopinath is an Indian- American economist who, at 50, is all set to take over as the first deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Currently working as the Chief Economist with the IMF, she will step into her new shoes in January.

Having graduated from Lady Shriram College, Gita went on to do her Master’s from the Delhi School of Economics. This was followed by another Master’s at the University of Washington and a PhD in Economics from Princeton in 2001. She has served the IMF for three years and was the first female Chief Economist in the IMF’s history. Her husband, Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal, is an ex-IAS officer working with MIT. The couple has a son named Rohil.

Falguni Nayar

Source: https://www.vogue.in/magazine-story/nykaa-founder-falguni-nayyar-business-advice-life-lessons/

Falguni Nayar, born in February 1963, is an Indian businesswoman and billionaire. She is the founder and CEO of the beauty and lifestyle retail company Nykaa. Born and raised in a Gujrati family, Falguni is now the wealthiest female Indian billionaire with her estimated wealth to the tune of $6.5 billion. She is amongst the top 20 richest people of India.

Nayar was born and raised in a Gujrati family in Mumbai. She graduated from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics and then went on to do her Master’s from the IIM Ahmadabad. Born into a business family, she met her future husband, Sanjay, while at business school. The couple has two children, Adwaita and Anchit.

Divya Gokulnath

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divya_Gokulnath

Divya Gokulnath, all of 35 years of age, is the co-founder of Byju’s Think and Learn India’s largest education technology company. She turned her company into a unicorn and managed to find a place for herself in Forbe’s rich list with a net worth of USD 4.05 billion. 

Divya studied at the Frank Anthony Public School in Delhi and then pursued her B.Tech in Biotechnology from RV College of Engineering.

Mother to two young boys, Divya’s typical day is about meetings, son’s online classes, recording video lessons and spending time with her little one.

Harnaaz Sandhu

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/harnaaz-sandhu-would-love-to-be-a-part-of-not-just-bollywood-but-hollywood-too-7672312/

Harnaaz Sandhu is an Indian model, actress and beauty pageant winner crowned Miss Universe in 2021. Before that, she won titles like Miss Diva Universe 2021 and Femina Miss India Punjab 2019.

She is the third Miss Universe from India.

Born in Punjab in March 2000, Harnaaz is the younger child of her parents, Pritampal Singh and Rabinder Kaur Sandhu.

A bright young girl, her answer to the panel of judges, is what probably sealed the deal for her at the Miss Universe pageant.

When asked about what piece of advice she would want to give to the young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today, she said,

‘The biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique makes you beautiful. Stop comparing yourselves with others, and let’s talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. Come out, speak for yourself, because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own. I believed in myself, and that is why I am standing here today.’,

Megha Rajagopalan

Megha is a journalist of Indian origin who won the Pulitzer Prize for innovative investigative journalism in 2021. Along with two other contributors, she won the prize for the category International Reporting. Her satellite technology reports exposed China’s mass detention camps for Muslim Uighurs and other minor ethnicities. China has secretly built these camps in the Xinjiang region.

Currently based out of London, Megha has previously reported from twenty-three countries, including China, Thailand and Afghanistan.

Born to parents from India, Megha was raised in Maryland near Washington DC and went to the University of Maryland. She writes for Buzzfeed and was previously associated with Reuters as their political correspondent.

Anju Bobby George

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anju_Bobby_George

Anju Bobby George, who hails from Kerala, is a retired Indian athlete. She was awarded the Woman of the Year Award in 2021 by World Athletics for grooming talent and encouraging young girls in India to take up sports and fight for gender equality.

She also made history in 2003 when she won the bronze medal in long jump at the World Championships in Athletics in Paris. Anju is married to Robert Bobby George, who was her coach and is a former national champion in triple jump. The couple has two children, a son Aaron and a daughter Andrea.

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Hello! I’m Sangeeta Relan. Aside from being an educationist teaching at the university level for the last 28 years, I have been a corporate wife and a mother to two boys who have now flown the nest. I love cooking, singing, travelling and exploring new places.

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