This year, India will celebrate its 75th Independence Day. The lead up to the celebrations has been marked with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – the government’s initiative to commemorate 75 glorious years of our independence. India’s independence would not have been possible without the valiant struggle of freedom fighters who fought bravely to liberate the country. But this Mahotsav is dedicated not just to the people who have been “instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” says the Ministry of Culture.
India’s presence in the world today is thanks in large part of the businessmen and entrepreneurs who have put the country on the global stage. At the same time, often overlooked is the contribution of women in business. As India gears up to celebrate its 75th Independence Day on August 15 this year, here is a look at the women entrepreneurs of independent India who are shattering the glass ceiling.
Billionaire businesswoman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the founder and executive chairperson of Biocon. This first-generation entrepreneur started her biotechnology company in 1978 from a rented garage. This 69-year-old is today counted among India’s richest with an estimated net worth of Rs 29,000 crore.
Falguni Nayar, 59, is the founder and CEO of the beauty and lifestyle retail company Nykaa. She ranked second on the Kotak-Hurun list of India's wealthiest women of 2021 with an estimated net worth of over Rs 57,000 crore.
Fondly known as the ‘gentle revolutionary’, Ela Bhatt, 88, is the founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a trade union of self-employed women textile workers. She worked at the grassroot level to elevate and empower women.
Founder and managing director of early stage venture capital firm Kalaari Capital, Vani Kola is an established name in the world of business. A serial entrepreneur, Kola returned to India in 2006 after a successful 22-year career in the Silicon Valley.
Radhika Ghai Aggarwal
The co-founder of online marketplace ShopClues is now focussing on her second venture – Kindlife, an online marketplace for organic products.
The woman who built a beauty empire. Shahnaz Husain is the founder of The Shahnaz Husain Group and a Padma Shri awardee. Her brand also became a case study at Harvard Business School.
Upasana TakuUpasana Taku is a co-founder at MobiKwik, one of the country’s first fintech companies. This Stanford grad gave up her comfortable job in the US to join a non-profit in India before she started MobiKwik.