Source | Sumhr.com
According to online studies conducted earlier this year for rankings on the best places for female entrepreneurship, India went up on the list compared to its position in 2013! What’s more, India’s female entrepreneurship environment exposes statistics of improvement with respect to women finding opportunities to start ventures (60%), validation with respect to skills (52%) and do not feel the impending doom of failure for their startup (57%). On this happy note, we’ve compiled a list of top women entrepreneurs in India who have made a significant dent in the startup ecosystem.
Here’s your list of 30+ successful women entrepreneurs in India that have made a mark in the startup ecosystem:
She can’t enter the kitchen, the temple or her house even. She isn’t allowed to bake, come in contact with men and more often than not, she has no clue why she’s being ostracized and more importantly, what the hell is going on with her body. This is how menstruation is dealt with in most rural and certain urban areas in India… till Aditi Gupta could stand it no more. Having empathized with similar situations herself while growing up in Jharkhand, Aditi created a Hindi comic book with her now husband Tuhin Patel, illustrating and educating girls about menstruation. From here, Aditi and Tuhin’s venture has scaled to a whole website called Menstrupedia.com. Along with a comic book section to simplify menstruation for the reader, it has guides on hygiene, health and ways to be active during periods, plus – answers to frequently asked queries.
Founder & CEO, Mydala.com
Anisha Singh kicked off her career on Capitol Hill working with the Clinton administration aiding women entrepreneurs raise funding for innovative women led businesses. Her resume then boasts of her working at Centra Software, Boston before coming back to India and starting Kinis (Software) Solutions, a provider of customized e-learning solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Then in 2009 she founded Mydala.com, India’s largest coupon provider. Having dealt with her share of ups and downs, Anisha has successfully powered through with her founding team still intact and company at the top of its game even today. Anisha holds a Masters degree in political communication, as well as an MBA in Information Systems from American University in Washington DC.
Seemingly an ace at multitasking, Ankita Gaba is a social media strategist, entrepreneur, consultant, lecturer and the co-founder of Socialsamosa.com, an A to Z repository of Indian social media thoughts, ideas, trends, news and dialogue. She was previously one of the founders of Superchooha, an online media strategist for the likes of Colors, Zapak, Mahindra, Ponds and Idea Cellular. Her accolades include being in the list of “Global Top 100 Social Media Agencies and Consultants 2012-13″ and “50 Indian Women to Follow on Twitter”, among others. She has an in depth expertise at all things social media, and helps social media agencies build teams and a network of processes for their ventures. She has previously worked as a PR executive at Spin Communique, Spin Media and Universal Communications, Mumbai.
Founder, Mad Street Den
Ashwini, along with her husband Anand Chandrasekaran, founded a cloud based platform – Mad Street Den that makes use of artificial intelligence to get any smartphone with a camera to identify faces, detect facial expressions and emotions and react to facial gestures. Her career didn’t start right there though; she began with leading the mobile innovation team at Intel’s Interaction and Experience Research Lab (IXR) in Silicon Valley, one of the places that sprouted her keen interest in artificial intelligence. As for Anand, he had just finished his studies in neuromorphic engineering, which is building computer chips that imitate the human brain at Stanford University. Together this pair of geniuses moved back to India and amalgamated their love for artificial intelligence to start what we know today as Mad Street Den.
Co- founder, Thrillophilia
Combining their passion for adventure and adrenaline, Chitra Gurnani Daga, an alumnus of the Indian School of Business and her husband Abhishek Daga, alumnus of the IIT BHU, Varanasi started Thrillophilia. Thrillophilia is an Indian adventure travel company that curates the best local experiences with hand picked guides and vendors to expand your journey into something offbeat and super fun. Hailing from a family of people with high designations in the service industry, and with an MBA and engineering degree themselves, Chitra and Abhishek decided to follow their dreams and go the unconventional way with no previous business experience or any exposure in family business dealings, they took a shot in the dark and scored indeed.
Co-founder, Timesaverz Dotcom Private Limited
Debadutta Upadhyaya is an entrepreneur that had a problem and found a solution for it. A problem that many harrowed homemakers face and solution that turned into a business reality. She along with Lovnish Bhatia started Timesaverz.com, an online portal that helps one find reliable people to assist homemakers and such with personal tasks that range from cleaning, repairs, handyman jobs to running errands and helping in paperwork. This first-of-its-kind, progressive idea stands to not only help homemakers find time for themselves but also aid the working woman trying to balance domesticity with work life. Debadutta is known to find her main inspiration from taking up challenging tasks and consequently getting things done.
Post a grandly successful career of over 25 years in financial services, 18 of which were spent with the Kotak Mahindra group as Managing Director, among other designations, Falguni Nayyar took the entrepreneurial plunge and launched Nykaa.com, a beauty and wellness ecommerce, premier platform for women. This IIM Ahmedabad graduate launched her website in the latter end of 2012 and soon enough Nykaa was already boasting of retail partnerships with the world’s top notch personal care corporations like Unilever, P&G, L’Oreal, Beiersdorf, Johnson & Johnson and going onto raise 20 crores in funding from private investors with plans to expand to new technologies, a mobile app and physical stores in the country. Clearly an inspiring woman of the working sphere that has shined in every venture.
Garima Satija is a young entrepreneur and founder of PoshVine, a community marketplace for travellers and adventure seekers to offer, discover and book unique experiences. Before she started PoshVine, Garima had worked with Naukri.com, Quadrangle Consulting Services and Ozone Media. She studied Psychology from the University of Lucknow and did her MBA in Human Resources from Amity Business School. Coming from a business family, she learned from her father that it is only hard work that gets you where you want to be. Her venture, PoshVine not only appeals to the travellers and adventure seekers, but also the food lovers. What it does is, it enables you to pick a fine dining restaurant, make an instant reservation (for free) and earn credits for every time that you do — credits that can be redeemed for more awesome experiences.
Gurleen Kaur is the CEO of Hareepatti, a firm that deals in financial advisory offering its customers financial wisdom, investment solutions, short term and long term monetary goals and the like. Her impressive work experience and hold over the English language has enabled her to give financial literacy and freedom to upwards of a thousand people over the past few years. She also has a continually updated blog where she posts everything from the lessons she learnt from the movie ‘2 States’ to the 5 R’s of a Financial Advisor. Gurleen holds a BFIA degree in Financial and Investment Analysis from S.S. College of Business Studies; she studied Finance at Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad and further pursued her learning process till as late as last year acquiring the status of a Certified Financial Planner.
Co-founder, Love 4 Apple
Known to be a serial entrepreneur, Harpreet Kaur is the co-founder of Love 4 Apple, an e-commerce website where customers can buy accessories that are exclusively made for Apple products. Harpreet began running Love 4 Apple in 2013 with an aim to pay heed to the lack of genuine Apple products in India. What started out as an experiment with a choice of only a few products from various national and international brands has turned into a fully fledged venture making Love 4 Apple the sole distributor for genuine Apple products in India. Scaling boundaries of growth, the company has setup a manufacturing unit for iPhone and iPad covers made in-house with an entire line of covers designed by up and coming artists, thus also providing these creative designers a chance to showcase their talents.
Co-founder at InstaScribe, Pothi.com
Equipped with over 8 years of experience in the software, internet and startups sphere, Jaya Jha is the co-founder at two book related ventures, InstaScribe and Pothi.com. Along with being a successful entrepreneur, Jaya is also an author, poet and speaker with three poetry collections and one novel under her belt. She holds an MBA in Marketing & Strategy from IIM Lucknow and a B.Tech. in CS&E from IIT Kanpur. Clearly an avid writer herself, both the ventures that she has co-founded help budding writers bring their works to printed reality. Pothi.com is India’s leading print-on-demand platform where authors can go get their books printed and published, whereas InstaScribe is a platform where authors can create ebooks across various formats.
Founder, Dark Horse Network Media
Known to be a digital native for years now, Namrata Singh has worked with companies like Webchutney, Komli, Pinstorm and Colgate. She also has experience in running her own startups like Antfort People Technologies and Everymedia Technologies in the past and currently is the CEO and founder of Dark Horse Network Media. It is a consultancy that doesn’t go down the generic way to provide just solutions but instead creatively re-imagines your company’s entire digital communication spectrum. Their clientele boasts of enterprises like Yash Raj Films, Mukta Arts Ltd., Dharma Productions, Youngistaan and Luminosity Pictures. One of Dark Horse Media USPs is that the company has a ‘One Customer at a Time’ motto which goes to show their dedication to ace at every project.
Neeru Sharma is the co-founder and head of corporate and business development at one of India’s leading ecommerce portals, Infibeam.com. In its past Infibeam is known to have acquired Picsquare.com, a personalized photo printing website and just this year it acquired Odigma, a digital marketing company for USD 5 million. She has previously worked with Amazon USA in corporate development and media retail. Neeru holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon and an Engineering degree in Computer Science. Before this Neeru was responsible for conducting market research and financial due diligence for acquisition and investment activities, playing a pretty significant role in several strategic deals including the $850 million Zappos acquisition.
Co-founder & CEO, KyaZoonga
Investment banker turned successful woman entrepreneur, Neetu Bhatia is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of KyaZoonga. Started in early 2007, KyaZoonga is India’s first and largest sports and entertainment ticketing company. It enables you simple access to all kinds of ticketed entertainment and sports with various payment options via its retail, social, online and mobile portals. KyaZoonga is known to have ticketed major international events like the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, all forms of international cricket and a number of Olympic style sporting events. Neetu’s work experience boasts of her being a senior media & telecom investment banker on Wall Street. Her wildly impressive work escapades don’t end here, with over nine years of experience originating and executing several strategic advisory and financing transactions, she has executed deals for Time Warner, Google, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Cingular, AT&T and others.
The co-founder and one of two minds behind innovative digital jukebox service – Moojic, Neha Behani is an entrepreneur who’s inspirational story includes her bravely quitting her job and following her dream. Along with her co-founder, Kumaran Mahendran, Neha came up with the idea of Moojic which is a radio/jukebox like service for restaurants, cafes, bars, salons, gyms and other retail outlets. Where it stands apart is, Moojic allows customers that frequent such joints to alter and customize playlists according to what they want to listen to. Moojic thus works on the “customer knows best” motto which symbiotically (and ever so intelligently!) works for the music providing service as well as the venue it’s being played at.
Co-founder & CMO, GrabHouse
Pankhuri Shrivastava is an avid reader, dancer and the co-founder of India’s first free roommate search engine, Grabhouse.com. She has previously done a two year fellowship at Teach for India after acquiring a degree in Computer Science Engineering at Bhopal University. Seeing as personal experience tends to be the best teacher and guide, Pankhuri came up with the idea for starting a real estate venture when she moved to Mumbai in 2010 and saw that one had to spend exorbitant amounts on brokerage while having to deal with the hassle of shifting flats about five times. Grabhouse.com has now scaled its service to Pune, making house hunting a simpler affair and saving brokerage fees for this city full mainly of students looking for a place to stay!
Another dance lover on our list, Pranshu Bhandari is the co-founder of innovative, online language learning tool, CultureAlley. She has previously worked with companies like Sun Microsystems, Pitney Bowes and interned at Wipro. Along with her husband and batchmate at 500 Startups, Nishant Patni, Pranshu started CultureAlley where you can learn various languages through interactive videos after which you can practice your newly acquired language skills on your Facebook wall or Twitter feed. Pranshu and her husband came up with the idea for CultureAlley after Nishant returned from a trip to China having had the toughest time trying to learn Mandarin. Today, CultureAlley has taught over 500,000 people learn languages like Spanish or Portuguese.
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Founder, The Label Corp
Preeta Sukhtankar is the founder of elite retail brand; The Label Corp. She has previously partnered at Celebrity Marketing Agency and worked as a publisher at Seventeen Magazine for four years. Preeta has done her BA in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Her enterprise, The Label Corp, is the first of its kind online marketplace in India where niche products, curated by celebrity creative directors are showcased. It is for a section of women with purchasing power and upscale taste in home furnishings. Through connections and work experience in media and brand building, Preeta’s venture is also home to three brands by famous Indian celebrities. These being: 1) The Home Label with Suzanne Khan, 2) The Closet Label with Malaika Arora Khan, and 3) The Trunk Label with Bipasha Basu.
Co-Founder & CMO, ShopClues.com
Equipped with over a decade and a half of marketing experience in various industries like retail, ecommerce, fashion & lifestyle, advertising & public relations, Radhika Ghai Aggarwal co-founded Shopclues.com. It was birthed in Silicon Valley in 2011 and is currently India’s first and largest fully managed marketplace with more than 7 million visitors every month, serving nine thousand cities, towns and villages in India. Before this, she ran a fashion blog based out of the Silicon Valley, USA. Radhika has previously worked with Nordstrom at its corporate headquarters in strategy planning and with Goldman Sachs in its Wealth Management group in New York and Menlo Park, USA. She has an MBA from Washington University and also holds a post graduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations.