‘Building a business is not easy. However, every entrepreneur must start somewhere. There is no magic shortcut to building a good business. However, there is no bias in business either. It doesn’t matter when you start or where you start your journey’ says, The Country’s top Astro-Strategist and Business Astrologer
These Business Women in India prove just that and hence, they have made it to ‘The Hirav Shah’s list of ‘The Most Successful Business Women in India who can inspire you in 2021’.
1.Roshni Nadar, Chairperson of HCL Technologies
Roshni Nadar Malhotra (born 1980/1981) is an Indian businesswoman, the chairperson of HCL Technologies and the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India . Last year, she was ranked 54th on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. According to the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List , Nadar is the richest woman in India.
38-year old Roshni grew up in Delhi and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Kellogg. She is the only child of tech billionaire Shiv Nadar, who founded HCL Technologies in 1976. Nadar started her career as a news producer in the UK. However, at the age of 27, she joined her father’s company.
Her turning point was when she joined her father’s company.
In July this year, Roshni Nadar became the first woman to head a listed Indian IT company as she took over as the Chairperson of $8.9 billion HCL Technologies.
2. Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder BYJU
Photo credit : https://www.youtube.com/user/divyagokulnath
About a decade ago, Divya Gokulnath who is now only 34, co-founded Byju’s, an online learning platform, along with her husband, Byju Raveendran. It is now one of the world’s most valuable startups.
Think & Learn Pvt Ltd (the parent company of BYJU’S) was launched in 2011 with a focus on the K-12 segment. Consequently, the flagship product was launched, BYJU’S-The Learning App, in August 2015. Between 2011 to 2015, she and her husband worked and developed the idea of making quality learning accessible for everyone in the form of an app. Instead of focusing on how teachers teach or what parents expect from the app, they focused on what the students need to learn effectively.
Online ed-tech platforms like Byju’s have seen unprecedented growth in users due to COVID-19 — raking billions of dollars in investments.
When PM Modi announced the COVID-19 lockdown in India, Byju’s decided to give free access to its learning content. Between March and April, it added 13.5 million consumers — taking the total to 50 million. Five months on, Byju’s now has 70 million students and over 4.5 million paid subscribers. It also added BlackRock, Sands Capital, and Alkeon Capital as investors a few days ago.
3. Ameera Shah, MD Metropolis Healthcare
Ameera Shah (born 24 September 1979 ) is an Indian entrepreneur and the Managing Director of Metropolis Healthcare, a multinational chain of pathology centers based in Mumbai, with presence in seven countries. She is the daughter of Dr Sushil Shah, the founder and chairman of Metropolis Healthcare.She has been honoured as a 2015 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
At the age of 21, young Shah was working with Goldman Sachs in New York. However, she quit the company to join a startup, which had only five employees at the time. She returned from the US in 2001 to become an entrepreneur. Unlike other uber-rich kids, Shah did not begin at the management position in her father’s company. She started at the customer service department and worked her way up the ranks in the company.
Over fifteen years, she turned her father’s single laboratory into a multi-billion dollar business. Metropolis has over 125 clinical labs across 210 cities in India. Last year, she decided to take her company public. The share price of Metropolis has gone up nearly 60% in 12 months.
In 2020, her company became the first private company to get the government’s approval for COVID-19 testing.
4. Vinati Saraf Mutreja, CEO, Vinati Organic(VOL)
In 2006, newly graduated Vinati, all of 36 now, had joined her father’s chemical company, Vinati Organic (VOL), as an Executive Director.
In the last fourteen years after she joined , VOL has witnessed a 500 fold increase in market cap and a 16-fold increase in sales, according to Forbes. Moreover, VOL has also increased its profits from ₹66 crore in 2006 to ₹1000 crore in 2020.
When she joined the company, it was mostly doing business domestically. However, today VOL’s 75% sales come from export.
In 2018, Mutreja was promoted from executive director to the CEO of the company.
A middle class upbringing, stress on education and knowing the importance of money has held Vinati in good stead. As a teenager Vinati started accompanying her father on sales visits and board meetings. This exposure led her to pursue chemistry, engineering and business at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2006 when Vinati returned to India, she joined VOL.
5. Vandana Luthra, Founder VLCC
Anand Swarup, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Vandana Luthra (born 12 July 1959) is an Indian entrepreneur and the founder of VLCC Health Care Ltd, a beauty and wellness conglomerate represented in Asia, the GCC and Africa.She is also the chairperson of the Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC), an initiative that provides training under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana scheme.
Luthra started VLCC in 1989, as a beauty and wellness service centre in Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi that focused on dietary modification and exercise regimen-based weight management programs . VLCC has a strong national and international presence. It offers weight management and beauty programmes (skin, body and haircare treatments and advanced dermatology and cosmetology solutions).
When she became one of the leading female entrepreneurs in India, it was the biggest turning point. The Beauty and Wellness giant has its presence in 11 countries including Asia, Africa and GCC.
Another turning point came when she was given innumerable awards for her business like Padma Shri, Woman Entrepreneur Award, FICCI Successful, Business Woman Award, Amity Woman Achievers Award, Outstanding, Business Woman Award and Rajeev Gandhi Women Achiever Award.
6. Falguni Nayar, Founder Nyka
Anurag Saboo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Falguni Nayar is the founder and CEO of Nyka, which is a company that sells online cosmetics and wellness products. She is one of the most successful businesswomen of India.
There were no case studies, no reference points, no guidelines when Nayar decided to sell something as tactile as makeup and skincare products online. She noticed how her friends in the States were dependent on shopping on Amazon. She noticed the paucity of a good beauty sale experience in India and combined the two to launch Nykaa in 2012. She could not define the Vogue Businessperson of the Year award better—revolutionising the beauty industry via technology, product curation and catalogue and influencing a vast majority of the country.
She was working as an investment banker in Kodak Mahindra; and then left the job to pursue her dream of starting her own company. That was the turning point in her life. Now Nyka has more than 850 brands and has introduced 35 physical stores.
7. Ritu Kumar, Indian Fashion Designer
Ritu Kumar is a well known Indian fashion designer who is currently the owner of three labels- Ritu Kumar’, ‘Ri’ and ‘LABEL Ritu Kumar.
Born in a middle-class family with liberal views, she started her designing career in Kolkata. Initially, she was making bridal clothes but later on, she stepped to the international market where she flourished like there is no tomorrow. Now with 35 stores across the world, she is being recognised globally with Bollywood & International celebrities customers for her designs.
Kumar began her fashion business in Kolkata, using two small tables and hand-block printing techniques. Beginning with bridal wear and evening clothes in the 1960s and 70s, she eventually moved into the international market in the subsequent two decades. And this was the turning point in her career. Moreover, her strategy for the brand was unique.
As Ritu Kumar says, “Each of our collection has three key elements: pure textiles, traditional embroidery and a highlight of the craft heritage from the country. This is our USP which makes each of our garments distinctive and beautiful to behold.”
8. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw- Founder of Biocon Limited
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (born 23 March 1953) is an Indian billionaire entrepreneur. She is the chairperson and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore, India and the former chairperson of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. She is on the Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list. Last year, she was listed as the 65th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. She was named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020. She is one of the most successful women in 2020 in India and the World, despite the pandemic.
Kiran began her professional career working as a trainee brewer at Carlton & United Beverages. After working there for four years she switched her job to work at Biocon Biochemicals Limited which was based in Ireland. Later that year she founded Biocon in India with an initial capital of only 10,000 rupees. Business was not easy due to lack of funds. All the banks she turned to for loans were hesitant because biotechnology was not a familiar concept in India at that time. Another reason was her gender. A female entrepreneur was another rare idea for Indians and one bringing in a completely new field was even stranger. She even had difficulty hiring people to work for her.Kiran was not discouraged from this lack of support. Instead she worked hard with whatever she had and built a company that is now recognized as one of the leading firms of the company.
After Biocon got an IPO in 2004, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw became the richest woman in India. Because of her strong determination, Kiran steered her company towards growth and success. She made more than 2000 high value R&D licensing deals from 2005 to 2010. She helped Biocon to achieve global recognition and develop markets by acquisitions, in-licensing and partnerships. In 2007, Biocon was ranked by Med Ad News as one of the leading biotech companies worldwide and the 7th biggest biotechnology employer in the world. Kiran is responsible for Biocon’s innovative abilities, worldwide reliability and global scale in marketing and manufacturing activities.
9. Aditi Gupta- Co-founder of Menstrupedia
Photo Credit : https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/30131592936/
Aditi Gupta is an Indian author and co-founder of Menstrupedia Comic. She, along with her husband, created this book to educate girls about menstruation. Later on, they collaborated with whisper India after launching their website menstrupedia.com. The book has gained a lot of success which is why it has been translated to Spanish and Nepali. They are also used by schools like Bright English School Ahmedabad, Ecole Mondiale World School, GlS Primary school, etc
She and her husband, both National Institute of Design Alumni, co-founded Menstrupedia Comic in 2012. In 2014, she was named in the Forbes India -Under 30 2014 list.
The strategy to educate girls was itself a turning point since it was unique at that point of time. Collaborating with Whisper India was another turning point, while launching their website. Success of their book was another turning point for Aditi and in 2020 too, she has been pretty successful in her business endeavours.
10. Shradha Sharma- Founder Of Your story
Shradha Sharma(born-6th July 1983) is the founder and CEO of YourStory, a digital-media platform for startups and entrepreneurs. The platform showcases stories that aids startups and entrepreneurs.
Before starting her digital business in the form of YourStory in 2008, Shradha served as an assistant vice president at CNBC TV18 and also a brand adviser at The Times of India.
Her business strategy proved to be a turning point for her.
Since the last ten plus years, she is driven to make stories and startups matter.
Thus she landed up with multiple awards like NASSCOM Ecosystem Evangelist Award, Villgro Journalist of the Year Award in 2010 for her coverage of startups, Listed amongst 500 LinkedIn Influencers across the world, L’Oreal Paris Femina Award’ for online influence, PAT Memorial Outstanding Alumnus Award, LinkedIn’s most viewed CEOs under Internet category etc..
The most influential adviser in India Hirav Shah concludes by saying, “Efforts for success in business are in our hands but sometimes we don’t succeed. So take Astrological consultation, which can really help in the business to grow. First, it lets you know whether you have the acumen to carry out the business. If you have the acumen, it lets you know the type of business you could do profitably. It helps you to decide the exact timing as to when to expand. It warns you beforehand of an anti-Dasha or a period . If you consult an able business astrologer, then sky will be the limit for your business.”