In the past, Indian women were confined to domestic spaces and assigned jobs like cooking, cleaning, looking after their husbands, and nurturing their children. Their work wasn’t rewarded with a salary (like the men’s jobs), but they still excelled at it anyway. They planned meals, bargained while buying food grains and vegetables, sacrificed their own needs, saved up money, and ensured that the family was comfortable.
While yet unacknowledged, these women were developing valuable entrepreneurial skills like leadership, hard work, discipline, planning, budgeting, negotiation, and decision making.
With the spread of education and awareness in recent years, Indian women have overcome the pressure of conventional gender roles to emerge as leaders in various fields of work.
Here are some famous women entrepreneurs in India who have proven that both men and women have equally lucrative business ideas.
1. Shraddha Sharma: YourStory.com
Shraddha Sharma used to work with The Times of India and CNBC TV18. While collecting work experience, she found that there was no forum for young entrepreneurs to share their views. So, she decided to use the marketing strategies she had learned to create such a platform. Shraddha Sharma is now the founder of YourStory.com- India’s top media outlet for entrepreneurs to discuss and support start-ups in the business ecosystem.
2. Falguni Nayar: Nykaa.com
Falguni had a successful career with over 25 years of experience in financial services. For 18 years out of those 25 years, she served as a Managing Director with the Kotak Mahindra group. In 2012, Falguni Nayar took the entrepreneurial plunge and launched Nykaa.com. Today, Nykaa is India’s leading beauty retailer with an extensive network spread across 850+ brands.
3. Shubhra Chadda: Chumbak.com
While traveling, Shubhra noticed that almost every country had cute souvenirs to sell. In contrast, India had nothing but the quintessential Taj Mahal keychains. That’s when she, along with Vivek Prabhakar, founded Chumbak- an online store selling Indianised, custom, funky apparel. Today, the brand has over 120 retail stores all across the country.
4. Richa Kar: Zivame.com
Richa Kar is the co-founder and CEO of an online lingerie store, Zivame.com. Having studied the Indian lingerie retail market, she noticed the discomfort that women faced while purchasing lingerie in physical shops. With her experience in branding, retail marketing, and operations, she conceptualized Zivame- a place where women can understand and explore their lingerie needs without embarrassment. Zivame has acquired fame for being the first web platform to offer over two thousand styles of lingerie to choose from.
Indian women may be new to the world of business, but they are ready to take the risks required for a successful startup. At present, 14% of the entrepreneurs in India are women. Not all these women are from wealthy families. They didn’t sit back and wait for an opportunity to come knocking. Instead, they observed the world around them, identified specific needs, and used their skills to fill the gaps. And that, indeed, is the true spirit of entrepreneurship.