Every corporate environment is said to have a ‘glass ceiling’ when it comes to women moving up the ladder of success. However, these go-getters have surely proved this notion wrong by achieving success through sheer hard work and dedication.
Profiling some of the top 10 women entrepreneurs India has seen –
Strong-willed, with an acute acumen for financial strategizing, Nooyi is the CFO and President of PepsiCo. Her strong acumen for business has helped the company garner as much as 30 billion dollars worth of crucial deals within the last couple of years. With a Masters Degree in Public Management from Yale University and Masters in Finance and Marketing from IIM, Kolkata, Nooyi held several senior positions at Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri before joining PepsiCo.
Indra Nooyi – the most well-known face amongst Indian women entrepreneurs
Naina Lal Kidwai
From being Head of Investment Banking at ANZ Grindlays during 1982-1994 to Vice Chairman JM Morgan Stanley, Naina Lal Kidwai is one of the most successful and famous Indian businesswomen of today. The first Indian woman to graduate from the elite Harvard Business School, she is currently Country Head and Group General Manager HSBC Group India. Apart from working at HSBC, Kidwai has also held other eminent positions such as that of Global Advisor, Harvard Business School, non-executive director at Nestle SA and as a member of Governing Board NCAER, Auditor General of India and several other positions. Naina has received the distinguished Padma Shri award for her contributions in the segment of Trade and Industry.
Naina Lal Kidwai – one of the most successful Indian women entrepreneurs
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is one of the richest women in India studied zoology at Bangalore University and brewery at Ballarat University. She started her career as trainee brewer at Carlton & United Beverages in 1974. Four years later she started her own company, Biocon, in her garage with an investment of Rs 10000. Three issues –biotechnology was nascent at the time in India, she was a woman and her organization had almost nil assets – made financial institutions turn down her loan application. However, with hard work and commitment, Shaw transformed Biocon into one of the leading biopharmaceutical firms in India.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – From humble beginnings to being the richest woman in the country!
This multi-faceted lady used to be the Chairman of The Times Group – the most powerful and the largest media house India has known. Indu Jain is known by many different identities such as that of a spiritualist, humanist, entrepreneur, an aficionado of culture and the arts, an educationalist but her most prominent and eminent role has been that of Chairman Times Group.
Indu Jain – the perfect picture of the successful Indian woman entrepreneur
Armed with a Bachelor’s degree specializing in Economics from the Wellesley College in US, Priya Paul, entered the family business and is currently Chairperson, Apeejay Park Hotels. The Apeejay Surrendra Group has many different subsidiaries such as hotel, tea, retail, shipping, financial services and real estate. Her contributions in the segments of commerce and industry and her efforts have been recognized through various citations and awards – Young Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India, Businessperson of the Year, Economic Times Awards and the Park Hotel being rated as one amongst the best 101 Hotels Worldwide by ‘Tatler’ magazine in the UK.
Priya Paul – one of the most prominent personas amongst women entrepreneurs of India
Sulajja Firodia Motwani
Sulajja Firodia Motwani, the Joint Managing Director of Kinetic Motors and Managing Director Kinetic Finance, is responsible for Kinetic’s transformation from a moped company to a manufacturer of great versatility. Sulajja has single-handedly designed and developed marketing strategies to spearhead the company’s growth forward. The recent collaboration with Italjet Moto has provided Kinetic complete rights to launch 7 brand new models of scooters in India. India Today has honored Sulajja by naming her the ‘Face of the Millennium’ and she has been selected as the ‘Global Leader of Tomorrow’ by the World Economic Forum.
Sulajja Firodia Motwani – Responsible for single-handedly changing the face of Kinetic as we know it today
Holding the coveted title of being the ‘cosmetics czarina of India’ Simone Tata has been instrumental in changing a small subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills into the largest cosmetic brand in India – Lakme, synonymous today with Indian fashion. She became part of Lakme during 1961 and has been responsible for the metamorphosis of the company into the biggest brands of fashion in India. She became Chairperson of the company during 1982 and is now the Chairperson of Trent Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata group.
Simone Tata – the force behind Lakme as we know it today
Neelam Dhawan, the Managing Director of Microsoft India and is the head of marketing and sales operations of the company throughout India. At the start of her career she yearned to be a part of major players in the FMCG space such as Asian Paints and Hindustan Lever. Unfortunately, these organizations did not want a woman to be a part of their marketing and sales efforts and hence she was rejected at the time. Before joining Microsoft, Neelam has been part of many prominent companies such as IBM, HP as well as HCL.
Neelam Dhawan – from initial rejection in sales and marketing to heading Microsoft’s sales marketing division, Neelam has come a long way
Love them or hate them, you just cannot ignore Balaji serials and Ekta Kapoor is the woman who single-handedly founded and made Balaji Telefilms the household name it is today. This baby-faced teenager, who once dreamed of marrying and settling down just like any other woman in India, is the creative head of Balaji Telefilms and counted as one of the top 10 women entrepreneurs of today. Her production house has many hit serials to its credit – ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’ and many others, making her the Queen Bee of the Indian soap opera scene. She has won the Hall of Fame award at the 6th Indian Telly Awards during 2006 for her contribution to the Indian television industry. Known to be fiercely protective of her company and brand, Ekta is also very professional and has strong business acumen.
Ekta Kapoor – the woman who changed the face of Indian television
Mallika Srinivasan, currently the Director TAFE India, was honored with the title of Businesswoman of the Year during 2006 by the Economic Times. She joined the company in 1986 and has since been responsible for accelerating turnover from 85 crores to 2900 crores within a span of two decades. Mallika has an MBA from Wharton School of Business, Pennsylvania.
Mallika Srinivasan – responsible for spearheading TAFE’s growth and revenue potential
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Amrita Radhakrishnan has 8 years experience freelancing as a business content developer/business writer. She has in-depth expertise in writing articles on e-commerce, health and fitness, SEO content for websites, real estate and mortgage, lifestyle, fashion as well as travel.
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