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There has been a dramatic rise in the number of Indian women entrepreneurs entering the start-up ecosystem.
More and more women today are coming out of their homes to play their part in the innovation economy.
Statistics show that about 30% of the start ups in India are spearheaded by women whereas out of the total number of senior management roles in India, about only 7% are women.
So, is a start up more convenient for women? Where they can have comfortable work spaces, flexi working hours, choose their set of colleagues.
Well, start-ups may provide a new way for more women to enter and stay in the workforce. At a time when established companies are turning cartwheels to meet their diversity targets (women being a key metric in this), the lure of the unknown and the thrill of entrepreneurship may be a bigger draw than the stability of a routine job.
We have many examples of such enterprising women in India in diverse domains. Currently, there are many women who have made big name for themselves in the business world but what about tomorrow?
Who will be the torch bearer for women power in the future?
Hence, we have compiled a list of leading women entrepreneurs from India who are definitely going to leave a mark.
Suchi Mukherjee, LimeRoad Suchi is the founder and CEO of the online social discovery platform for women, LimeRoad. She is extremely passionate about building consumer technology products. With LimeRoad, she has an aim of revolutionizing the way lifestyle products are discovered and bought by people online in India. Suchi was selected as 1 of 15 women worldwide ‘Rising Talents, high potential leaders under 40.
Aditi Gupta, Menstrupedia Aditi is the founder of menstrupedia.com. She co-founded the site with Tuhin Paul, who is also her husband, in November 2012. Menstrupedia is a friendly guide to healthy periods. It aims at educating girls and women about periods and breaking the various myths attached to this taboo subject. It is unique as it is India’s first such site which talks so openly about women’s monthly cycles.
Ajaita Shah, Frontier Markets Ajaita is the founder and CEO of Frontier Markets started in 2009 by focusing on energy products and connecting with a microfinance partner in Karnataka. She has a goal of making high quality, affordable products and goods available to rural India. She has an experience of over 5 years in Microfinance with esteemed organizations like Ujjivan Financial Services and SKS Microfinance behind her back.
Gloria Benny, Make A Difference Gloria is the co-founder of Make A Difference, which is considered one of India’s largest volunteer networks. India is a country with most difficult and complex socioeconomic inequalities in the whole world. Gloria is determined to take this problem head on. She has an aim of inspiring about 360 million people in giving at least 1 hour per week in helping underprivileged children across India. In 2013, the organization had around 1,300 volunteers teaching and mentoring about 5,400 orphaned and underprivileged kids in across 20 cities of India.
Sabina Chopra, Yatra Sabina Chopra founded Indian online travel portal Yatra along with Dhruv Shringi and Manish Amin in August 2006. Online travel commerce was in its nascent stage in the country then, and the Gurgaon-based startup soon grew to become one of the leaders of the space. Yatra is now funded by Intel Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Valiant Capital Management, Reliance Venture Asset Management Ltd, and Web18.
Chitra Gurnani, Thrillophilia Thrillophilia is a travel startup specialized in activity-based holidays. It offers travelers close to 1,500 offbeat adventures, activities, and experiences to choose from. Since inception, it has served over 90,000 travelers. Gurnani has an MBA from the Indian School of Business (ISB). She opted out of campus placements, and chose to run Thrillophilia full-time.
Minnat Lalpuria Rao – 7Vachan Minnat had the bug for entrepreneurship ever since she was pursuing her MBA at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. She made sure to live the dream through her venture 7Vachan, which is an online wedding consulting service. 7Vachan has allowed couples to plan the venue and other services for the wedding within minutes! Minnat’s superlative experience in the digital and managerial world is surely helping her to streamline the chaos of big fat Indian weddings!
Vijaya Pastala – Under The Mango Tree Vijaya Pastala believes in empowering communities and seconds the idea of environmentally feasible economic growth. She founded Under The Mango Tree to connect farmers, customers, and suppliers, and make the availability of honey ubiquitous. Under The Mango Tree works with farmers and makes sure that natural, single-origin honey reaches households. Having studied regional planning at MIT, USA, unsurprisingly, Vijaya thoroughly knows how to make superlative plans for her venture!
Shradha Sharma – YourStory Shradha Sharma has not only changed the way we perceive entrepreneurship and start-ups in India, but she has also bolstered the dreams of thousands of potential entrepreneurs. Shradha is the editor and founder of YourStory, which is one of the best media platforms in India for entrepreneurs (they have written about more than 14,000 entrepreneurs and still counting).Shradha has previously worked with CNBC TV 18 and The Times of India. Having been brought up in Patna by a headstrong mother, her passion for work speaks for itself! Although a bit late compared to her efforts, Shradha has been awarded L’oreal Paris Femina Women Awards 2015, in the ‘Online Influence’ category.
Mansi Gupta, Tjori Tjori is an exquisite online store launched in 2013 to deliver Indian handicraft products to North America. She studied at MHAC School, Nagbani and Maharaja Harisingh Collegiate School in Jammu. In 2004 she moved to Pune for her graduation. There she did her BCA from Pune University, followed by a post graduate degree from University of Whales, UK. Later, she returned to India and did a stint with corporate sales at IBM. Later, Mansi joined the Wharton Program for Working Professionals, and while she was at Wharton, the idea of Tjori started taking shape.
These women have made the difference because they have worked hard to earn their name. They are not running after name, fame and affluence but they crave to make a difference to the society in their own little way. So, gear on and brace up. You too can make a difference.
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