Women have made a name for themselves in various fields, and entrepreneurship is one of them. Looking around us, we find that there isn’t any field where women are not found. Despite being a part of a patriarchal society, women have broken barriers and made a name for themselves everywhere and in every possible way.
We at AboutHer have listed some of the top women entrepreneurs in India for you to know about them and their success stories.
Read about them and get inspired. If they can do it, so can you!
1. Aditi Gupta: Co-founder of Menstrupedia
Aditi is an author and the co-founder of the comic Menstrupedia. She founded this comic along with her husband in 2012.
Menstrupedia is a complete guide about periods and the myths surrounding them. It has been used in over 6000 schools and has benefited more than 10,00,000 girls. It has been translated into more than 14 languages.
Aditi was listed on the Forbes India 30 under 30 list in 2014 for her work towards raising awareness about menstruation and busting the myths surrounding it. She is a Ted Speaker, and her work has been covered by The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC and the BBC.
2. Chitra Gurnani–Daga: Co-founder of Thrilophilia
Chitra is the co-founder of Thrilophilia with her husband, AbhishekDaga.
Thrilophilia is an Indian adventure travel company that curates unique and offbeat travel experiences for people. With 3.5 million monthly users, it has become one of the largest online platforms for travel experiences.
An alumnus of the Indian School of Business, Chitra decided to get into business without any prior experience or background only because she was passionate about travelling. It was a unique and unconventional idea, but both husband and wife believed in it, so they got together to follow their dream.
3. Divya Gokulnath: Co-Founder BYJU’s
Divya co-founded this educational platform along with her husband, ByjuRaveendren. After completing her engineering, she wanted to prepare for her GRE to study abroad. This was when she joined ByjuRaveendran’s classes as his student. Soon she became a teacher at Byju’s and then got married to him.
Together they founded this platform in 2011, which grew to become a multinational educational technology company.
Byju’s offers learning through an app and website for competitive exams like JEE, CAT, NEET and IAS and for students of classes 1-12.
4. Farah Nathani Menzies: Co–Founder TheMumum Co.
Farah founded this company along with her partner Shreya Lamba. This woman-led start-up focuses on helping people get the proper nutrition to build a healthy life. Farah graduated from the Wharton School and College of Arts and Sciences, followed by an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
The company believes in consciously feeding kids 100% natural and nourishing foods to help their bodies grow better and faster- with no preservatives or additives.
5. Falguni Nayar: Founder of Nykaa
Falguni is the founder of Nykaa.com, a beauty and wellness E-Commerce platform for women. she took the plunge of starting her venture after spending 25 years in the financial services industry.
The brand has retail partnerships with well-known names like Unilever, P&G, L’Oreal, and Johnson & Johnson.
Falguni was named the Most Powerful Business Woman by Business Today and awarded the ‘Women Ahead award by Economic Times. Nykaa has recently entered the unicorn club with its fresh 100 crore funding.
6. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: Founder of Biocon Ltd
Kiran is an icon amongst Indian entrepreneurs. She started Biocon in 1978 with a capital of Rs 10000. Today the company has grown to become India’s largest biotechnology company.
Biocon is a biopharmaceutical company based out of Bangalore. The company manufactures generic pharmaceutical ingredients that are sold in over 120 countries across the globe, including the markets of the US and Europe. The company focuses on delivering affordable innovation and reducing the costs of therapy diseases.
Kiran has received several accolades for her accomplishments. These include being named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world and the EY World Entrepreneur of 2020, among others.
She has also been the Chairperson of IIM Bangalore.
7. Malini Agarwal: Founder and Creative Director of Miss Malini
Malini is the founder and creative director of her company Miss Malini which was set up in 2011. Miss Malini is a platform for news about Bollywood, Fashion and Lifestyle.
Malini is an entrepreneur who started from her couch to become a host, digital influencer, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. Today she is counted as one of India’s most influential women. She has been featured in lists such as GQ’s 50 Most Influential Young Indians and Fortune India’s 40 Under 40.
Her company is an entertainment establishment which covers lifestyle articles, celebrity news, tips, tricks and more. The platform has a reach of over 40 million people. It receives 3-4 million unique visitors monthly and even caters to an international audience from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and South Africa.
8. Meghna Agarwal: Co-Founder Indiqube
Indiqube is a chain of co-working spaces providing entrepreneurs with the right environment to work in without any everyday hassles. Meghna partnered with her co-founder to build a flexible workspace with facilities like food, a gym, transport and IT. The idea is to let people focus on their work without bothering about logistics while giving them some added benefits.
Meghna, an MBA and a Company Secretary, has over 14 years of experience in HR, Consulting, Commercial Real Estate and manufacturing.
The company has carved a niche for itself, becoming a name to reckon with in co-working.
9. Mehak Sagar: Co-Founder, Wed Me Good
Mehak founded this company in 2014 along with her husband, AnandShahani. Wed Me Good is the largest wedding portal in India where you can find the best wedding vendors with prices and reviews at the click of a button. It has become the go-to platform for Indian brides and grooms.
Mehak started with a blog called Peaches and Blushes, and when that took off, it led to her building a platform for weddings.
10. Radhika Ghai: Co-Founder & CMO, Shopclues.com
RadhikaGhai started Shopclues in Silicon Valley in 2011 after being part of industries like retail, E-Commerce, fashion and lifestyle, advertising and public relations for over a decade.
Shopclues is India’s first and largest fully managed marketplace, with more than 7 million monthly visitors. It is in almost 9000 cities, towns and villages all over India. It is where you source your kitchen, home, fashion and electronics utility items.
Radhika holds an MBA from Washington University and a Postgraduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Before starting her venture, Radhika worked with Nordstrom in its strategic planning and with Goldman Sachs in their Wealth Management group in the US.
She was the first Indian woman to join the Unicorn club.
11. Richa Kar: Co-founder & Ex-CEO, Zivame
Richa is the Co-founder of Zivame, an online lingerie store. Richa got the idea for the venture when she realized many women feel uncomfortable shopping for lingerie in physical stores. She also realized that most cities, except maybe the top ten, didn’t even have good lingerie brands. That is when she decided to start this online store.
Zivame started as a marketplace to be a selection for lingerie wear, but with time they started building their own lingerie wear to earn bigger margins. It has more than two thousand plus styles to choose from. The brand also works on educating women about their sizes, styles and more and has more than 2.5 million visitors every month.
12. Richa Singh: Co-Founder YourDost
Richa is the co-founder of the mental health online portal YourDost. During her time at the IIT, she lost a fellow student to suicide due to too much academic pressure. This incident prompted Richa to build a platform that could provide reliable and affordable counsellors to people in need at very reasonable rates.
The platform allows people to seek help and advice for their issues through an online interface. The user does not need to reveal their identity. The platform, founded in 2014, has been able to help over 70000 people till now.
Also Read: What is Business Casual for a Woman?
13. Ritu Kumar
Ritu Kumar is a well-known Indian fashion designer whose creations are known by her name. She is known to be the first designer to introduce the culture of boutiques in India. She started her career in Kolkata with her hand block printing techniques, and her use of traditional designs and their contemporary implementations set her apart.
Ritu launched her company’s sub-brand called Label in 2002, along with her son targeting a younger audience in foreign and local markets.
She was awarded the Padma Shri and the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini award for her role in the development of the fashion industry. Top Bollywood actors and other international celebrities wear her clothes.
14. Sanna Vohra: Founder & CEO of The Wedding Brigade
The Wedding Brigade, a one-stop-shop for everything related to weddings, is the brainchild of Sanna Vohra. The company is a portal which helps brides and grooms to discover and shop everything related to weddings. She started the company to help people plan their weddings hassle-free. You can find wedding content on the platform, buy from them and use their services to book verified vendors and services.
Sanna, a graduate of Brown, discovered her passion for building start-ups when she co-founded the largest student-run business during her graduation. She has been featured on the Forbes list of 30 under 30.
15. Sairee Chahal: Founder Sheroes
Sairee is like a serial businesswoman. She has founded several ventures like Fleximoms, Newslink and Sheroes. She is also a TED speaker and recipient of several awards, including the Femina Achiever’s Award, Cartier Award, Editor’s Choice for L’Oreal Femina Women’s Award, and Most Powerful Woman in Indian Business in 2012. In 2018, she was ranked 53 on Onalytica’s ‘Future of Work Top 100 Influencers” list.
Sheroes is a woman’s only platform that offers support, resources, and opportunities to women to connect, network and learn from each other. Sheroes also hosts events like the #SheroesSummit, and the #theshiftSeries to help connect women and help change the narrative around them.
16. Shahnaz Hussain: CEO of Shahnaz Herbals
Shahnaz, known as the ‘ Queen of Herbal Beauty Care”, started her salon in 1977 in her house with an investment of Rs37000, which she borrowed from her father. She specialized in cosmetology and trichology while managing her roles as a wife, mother and daughter-in-law. Deeply interested in ayurvedic herbal cosmetics, she started a herbal clinic. Today she runs her business in 138 countries.
Shahnaz has been recognized for her work and has been the recipient of several awards, including the Padma Shri in 2006 and the National Entrepreneur India Award in 2015
17. Shivani Poddar: Co-Founder FabAlley and Indya
Shivani founded these brands with her friend TanviMallik.
She is a graduate of Hindu College in Delhi and has done her MBA from FMS also in Delhi.
She worked at Avendus Capital before starting these ventures, and at FabAlley, she is responsible for sourcing products and the manufacturing process.
18. Shradha Sharma: YourStory Media Pvt Ltd
Shraddha founded YourStory.com, a platform for entrepreneurs to promote and discuss their start-ups. She started this venture to share untold start-up stories right from the days of struggle to the ultimate success.
The platform, Founded in 2008, now reaches over 10 million monthly readers and hosts several events like TechSparks, MobileSparks, YS Meetups and SheSparks, impacting over 1.7 million people.
Born and raised in Patna, Shraddha was an Assistant VP at CNBC TV18 and a brand advisor at the Times of India before starting her venture.
19. Shreya Lamba: Co-Founder The Mumum Co.
Shreya founded this company along with her friend Farah.
The company provides 100% natural and wholesome recipes in snackable sizes for children. The idea is to make food more fun while keeping it healthy.
She got the idea to start this venture while she was on her pregnancy break and was looking for healthy yet fun food for her soon-to-be-born child. The fact that parents have minimal options to choose from led to the birth of The Mumum Co.
Shreya holds an undergraduate and a postgraduate degree from LSE.
20. Shubhra Chadda: Co- Founder Chumbak
Shubhra co-founded Chumbak with VivekPrabhaker in 2009, Chumbak is the place for funky accessories and jewellery with an Indian touch.
The two of them got the idea for this when they noticed that most countries have several quirky souvenirs to offer to people who visit them. Still, despite its rich and vast cultural heritage, India had little to offer. While raising a two-year-old daughter, Shubhra managed to give time to her new company, and today the brand has over 120 retail stores all over the country. The brand includes several products, from fashion accessories to face masks.
21. Suchi Mukherjee: Founder & CEO Limeroad
Suchi founded this online clothing and lifestyle accessories marketplace called Limeroad in 2012 for men and women. The company has grown to include children’s fashion today.
Suchi has a Master’s degree in Finance from The Economic School in London. She had almost 18 years of experience in the top management of a leading consumer technology business before starting her entrepreneurial journey while on maternity leave. She has been recognized and awarded awards like Start-up of the year by Business Today, Infocom Woman of The Year -Digital Business and Unicorn Start-up Award by NDTV.
She is the only Indian to receive the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship for Studying Economics at Cambridge University in 1994.
22. Suchita Salwan: Founder & CEO of Little Black Book
Suchita founded the Little Back Book, popularly known as LBB, in 2012. LBB is an online platform for finding local brands and businesses and is used by more than 25 million people. It is a discovery-led e-commerce platform for retailers. It lets people discover local brands. It includes lifestyle, food, travel and other things.
Today LBB has over 1 million daily users and is an extensive online directory of local businesses.
Suchita is a graduate of Hindu College and has experience as a creative assistant with Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd
23. Tanvi Malik: Co-founder FabAlley and Indya
Tanvi entered the fashion E-Commerce space with ventures like FabAlley and Indya with her childhood friend ShivaniPoddar and aimed to make fashion trends affordable in India.
Tanvi is an Economics graduate from Lady Shriram College, Delhi and holds an MBA from MICA Ahemadabad. She worked with Titan before starting her venture in 2012.
FabAlley is a fashion brand that designs clothes for the millennial woman which are stylish and trendy.
The brand focuses on inclusivity and feminism and creates clothes that suit Indian aesthetics and body types.
Though they have an offline presence, they have grown to become the largest online fashion brand in India.
24. Vani Kola: Founder Kalaari Capital
Vani Kola is a venture capitalist, founder, and managing director of Kalaari Capital. She spent 22 years in Silicon Valley and founded two companies- Rightwrok and Certus software before returning to India.
In India, she started her career by partnering with New Entreprise Associates. Kalaari Capital started operations in 2012 with a 150-million-dollar fund.
Kallari capital is a venture company investing in technology-related companies in India. It helps businesses by nurturing them through every stage of growth. It has backed companies like Myntra, Urban Ladder and Curefit.
Vani is known for supporting the E-commerce sector in India. She is on the board of many start-ups, including Snapdeal and Urban Ladder, and was listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian business by Fortune India. She has won the NDTV Women of Worth Award for entrepreneurship and TIE Delhi -NCR 5th Edition of Women Entrepreneurship Summit Award.
25. Vandana Luthra: Founder VLCC
Popularly known as the Queen of Wellness, Vandana started VLCC, a one-stop beauty and wellness shop, in 1989. At that time, the concept was not very well-known.
Starting from her home, today VLCC has a presence in 350 plus locations in 165 cities spanning 16 countries in South Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle East and East Africa.
She has been featured in Fortune magazine’s 2018 list of Fortune India Next 500.
Also Read: 10 Reasons Women Make Great Leaders
You could take a cue from this list of successful women entrepreneurs in India and get started!