India is witnessing a major growth in entrepreneurship and there are millions of creative and innovative minds in our country who are adding to the growth of Indian economy with their businesses.
Through their out of box thinking, leadership qualities and execution styles, these women are taking Indian Entrepreneurship to the next level.
Here’s a list of top Entrepreneurs who impressed us in 2016 with their undying passion and grit:
Pranshu Patni, Co-founder, CultureAlley
CultureAlley’s product ‘Hello English’ is the No. 1 English learning and speaking app on the India Google Play store in the educational category.
“I believe, that the conditioning has to start at the very small age where girls should be told and encouraged to take up any profession or any career of their choice. The parents should not label it as it’s a man’s profession. Women can be and do whatever they want to.”
Palki Sharma, Founder, Revya
It was after an eleven-year career in journalism with CNN-IBN that Palki Sharma decided that it was time for her to move out of her comfort zone. She wanted to be a designer, and so it finally began, and she came up with a designer Saree brand called Reyva.
“Over the past couple of years, I had worked with Prime Time, something that was extremely challenging. Every day there was a new story, a different angle to see, different people to meet, and that’s something I cherish the most. And now that I’ve shifted to designing, I know I have the same excel sheets to fill, and the stress factor also exists, however, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Leela Bordia, Founder, Neerja International Inc
The Founder of Neerja International Inc is the pioneer when it comes to introducing Jaipur’s Blue Pottery art to the world. Leela Ji has adopted few villages in Rajasthan, falling under the range of 50 kilometers from Jaipur.
“Sadly, our country has many talented artists who die from hunger because they don’t find work that can earn them a quality livelihood. I wanted to support such people. Since I was dealing with the rural Rajasthan and had no significant industry backing me up, it took me some time to convince them. First, the men of the families rose. Once they gained trust and realized they could make decent money, they encouraged their wives and other distant relatives, too.”
Kalyani Saha Chawla, Fashion & Lifestyle Entrepreneur
From opening the 1st lifestyle boutique in Calcutta to having worked with Indian Express to being the face of Dior and now venturing into two new businesses, Kalyani has always been a stunner.
“I am working on a luxury silver venture with my ex-husband and let me tell you that I will always be emotionally attached to him. He is that one person whom I’m going to love till the day I die though I still want to strangle him to death.”
Anila Jyothi Reddy, CEO, Key Software Solutions
Once stuck in a whirlpool of poverty, Anila Jyothi Reddy is now the CEO of a $15 million IT company, Key Software Solutions, based in Phoenix, Arizona, US.
“I had an iron suitcase in one hand, and I had my younger daughter on my shoulder. My elder daughter was walking with me. I had only three saris with me, and the rest of my bag had their clothes and cooking utensils. My husband said, ‘If you fail, don’t bother coming back.’ I also started stitching and selling sarees to have more income. This was in Warangal Town. I first got a job as a librarian and was paid Rs. 395 per month. I wanted to support myself and not lose a government job.”
Shaili Chopra, Founder, SheThePeople.TV
Shaili Chopra, a journalist, a television news presenter, an author to three books, and now an entrepreneur has been successful in gathering a lot of prestigious feathers in her proverbial cap of achievements.
“Today social media is not only an aid to enterprise, but it can also be the enterprise itself. Hundreds and thousands of businesses have mushroomed online via social platforms like Facebook. The idea is to use that for business. Enterprise and its products should be where the people are, which is online.”
Vithika Yadav, Head, Love Matters India
Vithika is the driving force behind India’s first platform: Love matters that addresses relationship and sex queries of the youth around the world.
“My biggest takeaway was that I was blessed to have a safe environment around me throughout my life, but the reality is very different and harsh for many people. Having worked on rescue operations and prosecutions, I learned how people can be bought and sold as commodities.”
Bina Kedia, Owner, Exclusive
72-year-old Bina Kedia is one of the most promising entrepreneurs of Jaipur and is the owner of Exclusive which is one of the earliest ethnic brands for kids in Jaipur.
“Since I am not a very tech-savvy person to take the help of the internet, I grab my inspiration from daily soaps. For most of you, they are illogical but trust me, these saas-bahu serials are a great source of fashion knowledge.”
Kritika Parwal, Founder, Tomato & Company
Tomato & Company is a Jaipur-based venture by entrepreneur Kritika Parwal. The firm manufactures and markets plantable paper. They promote the sustainable use of paper and have the ambition of restoring the tradition of planting trees.
“Being a woman entrepreneur in India, it’s difficult to raise finance. Even your family sometimes doesn’t support you. Nobody takes it seriously because people plan other things for a woman’s life. It’s detrimental. It’s painful.”
Pankaj Sharma & Aditya Jain, Founders, Zeemlo App
Zeemlo is a mobile app which provides home-cooked food to the people. The whole idea of Zeemlo is to empower the housewives by facilitating easy earning through cooking and delivering fresh, homemade food to the people.
“Zeemlo is a social entrepreneurial venture and our main aim is to give the housewives an opportunity to earn from home thereby empowering them.”
Pranav Mokshmar & Dr. Priyanka Mokshmar, Developers, Vaayu India
A couple from Indore, Pranav, and Dr. Priyanka Mokshmar have developed a highly energy efficient hybrid air-conditioner that needs just 10 percent of the electricity consumed by the conventional ACs to operate.Low cost and eco-friendly!
“When a couple works together there is a lot of trust and confidence. You know that somebody will always be there. Many times I break down, and Pranav is always there by my side, and the same goes the other way around.”
Yogita Muttha & Laukik Bothara, Founders, Violet Box
The ‘Violet Box’ founded by Yogita Muttha and Laukik Bothara, aims at cheering women during their periods. It’s a beautifully designed menstrual box of luxury & vegan cosmetics, exquisite teas & coffee, and artisan chocolates that comes your home every month.
Laukik Bothara: “I quit my fancy paying job at Ernst & Young to pursue my dream to be an entrepreneur and create impact in our social and economic world. If you have a fantastic idea, work towards it. Do small pilots and validate it, test it. Persistence is the key.”
Rashmi Singh, Artist & Owner of Studio Moya
Rashmi Singh is an artist and the owner of Studio Moya, an online studio that sells products with regional artforms like Madhubani and Lal Paad.
“I think people are already aware of art. What they really need to be aware is the technique involved in making a specific type of art and the people that do it.”
Nabomita Mazumdar, Partner, CiteMan
Partner at CiteMan and evangelist at SHEROES.com, Nabomita Mazumda was one amongst the 100 women achievers selected under the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme awarded by the President Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
“We Indians are super warm and very eager to learn. The warmth in our behavior puts everyone at ease, and the learning curve we have helps us not just survive or adapt, but excel in every environment. And of course, we know how to make fun of ourselves and open up! We Indians, live in the moment, be it in India or abroad. We don’t miss any opportunity to laugh loudly at our own mistakes, and that’s what helps us achieve success.”
Anshul Khandelwal, Founder, Karosell App
Anshul Khandelwal is the founder KaroSell app which is the one stop for all your sale-worthy products.
“Girls are forced into marriage once they’re done studying and are asked to take care of their families. Women should know that their capabilities lie beyond cooking and cleaning. If they possess the interest and ability for it, they should definitely do it! I think that it is not only a woman’s job to cook and take care of the house. A man can be as good at helping manage a household as a woman can. I know that if I have a son, I will tell him to learn how to cook and clean.”
Vandana Panjabi, Founder, Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem is a brand that turns your favourite books into clutches. You get to be a fashionable bibliophile.
“Ah, there are always initial hiccups when you start a business, but getting the product right and sturdy enough was one of my challenges.”
Rashi Menda, Founder, Zapyle
The Startup is the brainchild of Rashi Menda, a woman with the finance background, decided to take things under control when she felt like she had NOTHING to wear!
“If a woman has an idea that she believes in, I see no reason why she can’t go out and make it happen. There will always be ups and downs but those serve as opportunities to learn, so there’s no real loss. Take a chance!”