Entrepreneurship is the essence of economic growth as well as the development of a nation. However, in India, it was not a popular trend among women… Until they achieved success in many sectors of the industry.
You must have heard the name of some popular brands like Biocon ltd, Nykaa, Shopclues, Zivame, etc. Do you know who established these companies? Women! Yes, you heard right. The founders of all these famous and successful companies are women. See, how the tide is turning in this era! India ranked third for having the highest number of female entrepreneurs (over 2 million). Also, most of them built their businesses from scratch.
In this article, we will discuss the “Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs in India.”
A Brief Overview
These female business owners have positively impacted the development of e-commerce with brick-and-mortar firms.
|S.No.||Name||Company||Personal Net Worth (in USD)|
|1.||Kiran Mazumdar Shaw||Biocon Limited||$2.40 billion|
|2.||Falguni Nayar||Nykaa||$2.30 billion|
|3.||Vandana Luthra||VLCC Group||$1.7 billion|
|4.||Namita Thapar||Mcure||$85 million|
|5||Vineeta Singh||SUGAR Cosmetics||$36 million|
|6.||Shahnaz Husain||The Shahnaz Husain Group||$30 million|
|7.||Chitra Gurnani Daga||Thrillophilia||$20 million|
|8.||Ghazal Alagh||Mamaearth||$18 million|
|9.||Radhika Ghai Aggarwal||Shopclues||$10.4 million|
|10.||Richa Kar||Zivame||$8.6 million|
1: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Born in a Gujarati family in 1953, she built a famous biopharmaceutical company “Biocon Pharmaceutical Company.” She is one of the richest women in India with a net worth of $2.40 billion. But the journey was not that easy! She studied malting and brewing in Australia. Eventually, she became a trainee for the same. Unfortunately, she faced rejection for Master Brewer in India. However, these rejections motivated her to look for opportunities abroad. So, she began working as a trainee manager in an Ireland-based company. Then, she returned to India and set up her industrial enzyme manufacturing company.
Finally, she successfully converted it into a biopharmaceutical company in 1978. Hence, it became one of the first Indian companies that manufactured and exported enzymes to the USA and Europe. Do you know that she has been a recipient of numerous rewards like Padma Bhushan (2005), Padma Shri (1989), The Economic Times Award for Businesswoman of the year (2004), and many more? But she didn’t stop there. Also, she established two more subsidiary companies named- Syngene and Clinigene. Therefore, this journey gave her immense fame and success. Currently, her net worth is USD 2.40 billion.
2: Falguni Nayar
Irrespective of being a user of cosmetics and personal care products, you must have heard the name “Nykaa.” Falguni Nayar is a self-made Indian billionaire with a net worth of USD 2.30 billion. Even though she was born in a Gujarati family, she was raised in Mumbai. Also, she is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. Her entrepreneurship journey began after having a successful career in financial services for 25 years. But she wanted to pursue her dream of Entrepreneurship. So, in the year 2012, she founded an e-commerce company related to cosmetics and beauty products. Initially, she funded the capital with $2 million from her pocket and soon the company boomed with success.
So the company won the trust of people. So, recently Nykaa opened many retail shops in the country. Thus, her achievements include Winner of the Woman Ahead Category at ETSA (2017) and the Businesswoman of the Year Award at the ET Awards for Corporate Excellence (2019).
3: Vandana Luthra
Being born in a middle-class family in Delhi, Vandana Luthra completed her education there. Later she flew to Europe to learn about skincare, beauty, and nutrition. She is known as the “Queen of Wellness” for successfully establishing the company VLCC Health Care Limited in the year 1989. VLCC refers to “Vandana Luthra Curles and Curves.” Do you know that it has a wide range of weight management and beauty programs? Despite the beauty products, it offers various types of skincare and haircare treatments, advanced dermatology, and cosmetology solutions.
Also, it took years of hard work and dedication to build this brand from which she learned strong core values. In 2013, she won the Padma Shri award. Thus, VLCC is a globally recognized brand with a presence in 153 cities in thirteen different countries. Her net worth is USD 1.7 billion.
4: Namita Thapar
You must have seen her as a jury member in “Shark Tank India” an Indian television show promoting entrepreneurship. She is an Indian Entrepreneur and the executive director of “Emcure Pharmaceuticals.” Even though she was born in Pune (Maharashtra) in March 1977 but completed her education in the USA. She worked at Guidant Corporation (A company of medical devices in the USA) for six years. Then she joined her father’s company “Emcure Pharmaceuticals.” You must be wondering that if she joined a pre-existing company then how come she evolved into an entrepreneur? Well, that’s not the only company in which she works.
In the year 2017, she founded an education company named “Incredible Ventures Ltd.” Because, the objective was to promote youth entrepreneurship. Also, she encouraged the teaching of entrepreneurial skills to the adolescents and youths of our nation. Do you know that it has various branches in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and Ahmedabad? She is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization and Regional Advisory Board of Fuqua School of Business. Currently, she has a net worth of USD 85 million.
5: Vineeta Singh
If you are a regular viewer of TED talks, Shark Tanks, and cosmetics tutorials, then the name “Vineeta Singh is not a new one for you. Also, she was featured on the cover of Forbes’s Most Powerful Women (2021) and the exclusive range of products offered by her company “SUGAR Cosmetics.” She was born in 1983 in Gujrat and completed her MBA in 2005 from IIM Ahmedabad. She is the founder of the company “SUGAR Cosmetics.” The foundation was laid in 2015. Thereafter, she started to make exclusive beauty products that can match Indian skin tones. Hence, it gained immense popularity among cosmetic brands in India. Recently, it opened more than 2500 outlets in almost 130 cities in India. As of now, she has a net worth of USD 36 million.
6: Shahnaz Hussain
Born in November 1944, Shahnaz Hussain is one of the oldest and most successful women entrepreneurs in India. She is the founder of “The Shahnaz Husain Group.” She was one of those who commenced herbal care in our country by opening the first herbal clinic in 1970. Soon after, those herbal products gained immense popularity for pure herbal ingredients. Thus, it transformed into a successful company. In other words, she revolutionized the status of cosmetic care in India. Her products are recognized at the global level and have around 400 franchises worldwide.
Did you know she also received the award of world’s greatest entrepreneur by US business magazine? She also represented India at the world summit for Entrepreneurs during the reign of US president Mr. Barrack Obama. She took various corporate social responsibility, and government skill development projects, and trained more than 40,000 underprivileged women.
7: Chitra Gurnani Daga
Other than cosmetics and beauty products, women have successfully established the business in other sectors too like tours and travel. One such company is “Thrillophilia Tours Pvt. Ltd.” Chitra Gurnani Daga founded it. She commenced it in 2009 after lots of research, analysis, debates, and discussions. Therefore, it is a strong brand in the market of tourism. If you are a travel enthusiast, then you must be aware of this successful company because it also sells online adventure tours. To date, she has a net worth of USD 20 million.
8: Ghazal Alagh
Do you seek organic personal care products that are free of toxins and harmful chemicals? If yes, then you are aware of the brand “Mamaearth.” Ghazal Alagh founded this company in the year 2016 in Gurgaon (Delhi NCR). Because her objective was to create exclusive beauty products with natural ingredients to satisfy customers. She also used innovative marketing strategies due to which Mamaearth became a trusted brand in a short time. She was born in September 1988 and completed her education at Punjab University. Other than founding Mamaearth (Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd), she also works as its Chief Innovation Officer. Her company successfully earned a brand reputation in India as well as in foreign countries like Bangladesh and Nepal. Currently, her net worth is USD 18 million.
9: Radhika Ghai Aggarwal
Radhika Ghai Aggarwal is one of the prominent names in the Entrepreneurial World of India. She is the co-founder of the online marketplace- ShopClues.com. Do you know she is the first Indian woman to enter the Unicorn club? (Unicorn club: It refers to a private startup company worth over $ 1 billion.) Since she was born to an Army family. Her entrepreneurial journey began when her father opened a health club in 1992. She completed her MBA from Washington University and also worked in global giant companies like Nordstorm. Hence, after gaining expertise in the field of retail, e-commerce, fashion, lifestyle, marketing, and public relations, she founded the company “ShopClues.com” in 2011 along with Sanjay Sethi and Sandeep Aggarwal. Her company is famous in the online shopping industry. She has a net worth of USD 10.4 million.
10: Richa Kar
Born in Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Richa Kar is the founder of Zivame (a leading lingerie store). She studied B.Tech from BITS Pilani and completed an MBA from NMIMS (Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies) in 2007. Also, she worked as a retail consultant for Spencers Retail and SAP in Bengaluru. During this time, she was inspired by the owner of Victoria’s Secret to start her own company. She also received the Padma Shri award in 2016 for her contribution to the trade and industry sector.
Even though there is a long way to go for India to become an ideal business-friendly society, the story of these successful women entrepreneurs is truly inspirational for youths. Therefore, these developments have proved that women are actively participating in the world of entrepreneurship.