Top 10 Most Influential Women in the Indian Business Community

In the past few decades, strong women have shown tremendous courage and dedication in various sectors. Owing to their hard work and never-say-die attitude, the way society views women has changed drastically. These women have not only shattered the gender stereotypes but also proved to be a great source of inspiration for young girls in our country. Here are the top 10 most influential and dynamic women in the Indian business community-

#1 Vandana Luthra (VLCC)

Vandana Luthra is a businesswoman, philanthropist, and chairperson of B&WSSC (Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council). Back in 1989, she founded a beauty and slimming center called VLCC. Eventually, she added a plethora of other grooming services like full body laser, Dermat solutions, hair build services, etc.

Over the years, VLCC has faired exceptionally in the Indian market. Vandana also runs an NGO called ‘Khushii’ which provides scholarships to underprivileged and physically challenged students. Owing to this, she was awarded the prestigious Padma Shree award by the Honorable President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, in April 2013.

#2 Priya Paul (Park Hotel)

Priya Paul is an Indian businesswoman and chairperson of the Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. She completed her studies at Wellesley College, US, after which she started working as a marketing manager under her father. Today, at age 51, she is regarded as one of the most successful women in India.

In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Padma Shree Award by former Indian President Pratibha Shing Patil.

#3 Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Biocon)

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is one of India’s richest self-made businesswomen. She completed her Bachelor’s from Bangalore University and her Master’s from Melbourne University.

In 1978, she founded Biocon, a biopharmaceutical firm. Over the years, Biocon entered the US biosimilars market and garnered a lot of attention from investors. According to Forbes, Biocon is one of the first companies to have gotten approved by the USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration).

In 2019, Kiran bagged the titles of the 54th Richest Indian and World’s 65th Powerful woman.

#4 Suchi Mukherjee (Limeroad)

Suchi Mukherjee is an Indian businesswoman and founder of the online clothing and lifestyle marketplace, Limeroad. Suchi is an Economics graduate and has a Master’s Degree in Finance from the School of Economics in London.

Her start-up has garnered her numerous awards, some of which include the Coolest Start-up of the year by Business Today, Unicorn Start-up Award by NDTV, and Infocom Woman of the Year by Digital Business.

#5 Ritu Kumar (Fashion Designer)

Ritu Kumar is a renowned Indian fashion designer who kickstarted her fashion career in Kolkata. She completed her schooling at Loreto Convent and college from Lady Irwin College. She also secured a scholarship at Briarcliff College, New York, where she opted for a course in Art History. During the initial days of her career, she made bridal and evening wear. After several years, she made it to the international market. Since then, she has been operating her fashion business in numerous cities like France, and New York.

In 2013, Ritu was awarded the esteemed Padma Shree Award by the Indian government.

#6 Indra Nooyi (Amazon Board Member)

Indra Nooyi is an Indian woman entrepreneur, former CEO of PepsiCo, and one of Amazon’s present board of directors. She has a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Management. Initially, Indra worked as a product manager at Johnson & Johnson, after which she worked as a strategy consultant at Boston Consulting Group.

After working at Pepsico for nearly 12 years, she was appointed as the CEO of the company from 2006-2018. In February 2019, she was elected as one of the directors at Amazon. Owing to her incredible performances, she ranked 11th in the Forbes list of Most Powerful Women in the World.

#7 Falguni Nayar (Nykaa)   

After two long decades of working as an investment banker for Kotak Mahindra, Falguni Nayar finally pursued her life-long dream. In 2012, she founded Nykaa, an online cosmetic and wellness products company. Over the years, Nykaa has managed to expand its reach across the country. It has been a partner with Femina since 2014.

At present, the company offers over 850 brands with 35 stores across the country. Owing to the rapid success of the company, Nykaa bagged the title of ‘Most Powerful Business’ by Business Today, in 2017. She also received the ‘Woman Ahead’ award by Economic Times.

#8 Aditi Gupta (Menstrupedia)

Aditi Gupta is an Indian author and co-founder of Menstrupedia. Aditi and her husband initially came up with a comic book to educate young girls about menstruation. Eventually, they created Menstrupedia.com, a website designed to do the same.

Menstrupedia became a success almost overnight. In 2014, it partnered with Whisper India for the “Touch the Pickle” movement conducted in 4 cities across the country. In the same year, Aditi also launched a comic book which was translated into Nepali and Spanish.

Today, Menstrupedia comics are used by reputable schools like Ecole Mondiale World School, Bright English School Ahmedabad, etc.

#9 Radhika Ghai (Shopsclues.com)

Radhika Ghai is an Indian businesswoman with over 15 years of marketing experience. She completed her MBA from Washington University and has dabbled in several industries such as PR, advertising, Fashion & Lifestyle, among others. She became the co-founder of Shopsclues.com after the company was established in Silicon Valley in 2011.

At present, Shopsclues has become one of India’s largest fully managed marketplace. The website garners over 7 million visitors monthly and serves 9,000+ cities.

#10 Vani Kola (Kalaari Capital)

Vani Kola is an entrepreneur, founder, and managing director of Kalaari Capital. She is a venture capitalist who has completed her master’s of science degree from the Arizona State University. While working at Silicon Valley, she founded Rightwrok and Certus software.

She eventually moved back to India in 2006 and started working as a venture capitalist. She did a partnership with NEA (New Enterprise Associates), and in Sep 2012, she founded Kalaari Capital with a USD 150 million fund.

Her dedication and sheer perseverance won her the TiE Delhi-NCR 5th Edition of Women Entrepreneurship Summit Award. She was also presented with NDTV’s Women of Worth Award for Entrepreneurship.

These women have greatly contributed to the Indian Economy and curbed many prejudices against working women. Their sheer passion, hard work, and determination are great sources of inspiration for youngsters in our country.

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