A wise woman once said, “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur.”
It is refreshing to see that so many women entrepreneurs in India have been just as enterprising as their male counterparts and made a name for themselves with their ventures.
Here is a look at the stories some of the most brilliant businesswomen India has seen-
1. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Truly symbolic of the potential for female success in India, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the ultimate definition of a self-made woman. Currently 60 years of age, she is an entirely self-made woman. Mazumdar-Shaw is India’s very first biotech entrepreneur. Educated in sciences at the University of Bangalore and at the University of Melbourne, Mazumdar-Shaw founded the biotechnology company Biocon. Biocon produces and sells affordable medication for the treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disease – the treatment of which is usually extremely expensive.
As India’s first angel network, it is a network of Angel investors keen to invest in early stage businesses which have potential to create great value. Started in April 2006, the Indian Angel Network in addition to money provides constant access to high quality mentoring, vast networks and inputs on strategy as well as execution. They are going global by partnering with Inventus Capital Partners to invest in two US-based start-ups. IAN has over 350 members globally.
Nykaa is an e-commerce website which sells fashion products of various brands, and ships to more than 900 cities across the country. Recently TVS Capital invested about Rs.25 crore and they have also got Rs.60-crore Series C fundraising from a clutch of investors, including high net-worth individuals, non-resident Indians (NRIs) and family offices. Nykaa has created a makeup segment to the online market.
“Empowered women, empower women.”
Ankita Vashistha launched Saha Fund, a venture capital fund for women centric businesses that are run by women. The Saha Fund, India’s first Securities and Exchange Board of India-approved venture capital fund focused on women entrepreneurs, would have a corpus of Rs 100 crore. It would invest in companies run by women entrepreneurs as founders or senior management.
The startup launched its English language learning application in October 2014. In eight months the English app has seen 3 million installs on Android from India. They have recently raised $6 million from Tiger Global and Kae Capital.
6. Richa Kar
A revolutionary and inspiration, Richa Kar managed to create a market in a space regarded taboo by our society. Zivame is probably the first in the online lingerie space in India and has played a role in educating women across the country about intimate wear and shaping consumer behaviour. It has recently raised a Series C round of Rs 250 crore from Zodius Technology Fund and Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
MobiKwik founded in 2009 that provides a mobile phone based payment system and digital wallet. Customers add money to an online wallet that can be used for payments. MobiKwik is India’s fastest growing mobile wallet trusted by 25 Million users & 50,000 merchants. With 17 M-wallet users, MobiKwik plans to raise $100 M.
Ask any woman today who binges on online shopping and this LimeRoad will definitely pop up. Founder Shuchi Mukherjee comes from a family with no business background and has managed to give biggies like Flipkart and Snapdeal tough competition. A post grad from London School of Economics, Shuchi has made her mark in the fashion world by delivering top of the line goods.
9.Priyanka Gill And Namrata Bostrom
POPxo is a dynamic digital media platform attracting over 3 million loyal and engaged readers every month for go-to fashion, beauty and lifestyle destination for young women across the country. The quirky and relatable content gives the website an edge over its competitors. POPxo has raised USD 2 Million in series A funding from IDGVI, Kalaari Capital.
With growing culture of nuclear families and both partners working, this idea comes as a solution to many household grievances. Timesaverz is a one-stop solution for home service requirement. It connects customers to home service providers who are certified, verified and curated. The service majorly includes home maintenance and one-time services. Recently Unilazer Ventures invested Rs 15 crores in Timesaverz.
There are much more examples to add to the brimming list of promising businesswomen of India. Feminism has arrived and the list is set to grow further. Eleanor Roosevelt said,
“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”