Women in India are consistently proving themselves in front of the society by excelling in the field of science, arts and commerce. And as a society, India too is determined in creating a fair space for competition. If we look at the history, women had been restricted to the four walls of the kitchen, where their opinion weren’t considered important in a male dominated society. But as they started getting education and independence, they exhibited as equal potential as men in various sectors.
Problem faced by Indian women to start their own enterprise
Women have always been the first to sacrifice their future for the sake of others. If given the condition of whether a brother or sister should study further, or a husband or wife should work further, women have generally let go of their dreams to let the male member carry forward with their career. Even when they are married or have a kid, the option to take care of the house has mostly been either accepted by women or forced on them by the society. If they are supported by their family, then they are restricted in a limited number of fields or sectors because of the constant harassment and abuse faced outdoors. There are enterprises who hire only men at night rather than women and also women voluntarily do not choose night shifts due to their own safety concerns. Because of various patriarchal notions many investors and families do not invest in women entrepreneurship and lack of finance has been one of the main reasons holding them back from starting their own business. As the capability to bear financial risk for women entrepreneurs is less, it leads them to drop their ambition and settle for less.
Despite all of the odds when a woman achieves a deal which is usually marked by men then she should be hailed for her courage. India has come a long way on the subject of women empowerment but has a long way to go, as it has only 14% of women entrepreneurs overall but was as low as 9.01% in 1989.
So let us have a look at the few successful women entrepreneurs who honoured the title and are bringing change by knocking down conventional.
- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – Founder of Biocon Limited
Kiran Shaw is one of the leading lady entrepreneurs to have founded a biotech company. At first she trained as a brewer in Australia just like her father, but after coming back to India she struggled to find work under the same name, as the brewer industry mostly consisted of men and hiring women was still not processed well. Many banks and investors weren’t able to trust a young woman to start a company which was still very confusing to understand. After getting a few people into confidence she started her venture which was actually introduced by another entrepreneur. Her enterprise is now one of Asia’s leading pharmaceutical company and producer of Insulin. She was also listed as 68th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes and EY entrepreneur of the year 2020.
- Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat – Lijjat Papad
Jaswantiben started with Rs.80 as an investment and along with her team of women have created a business worth millions. Her enterprise has over 60 branches all over India and also exports to foreign countries. In turn it also employs thousands of women who are uneducated but are determined to work. The skill which was often associated with women was utilized by them to create a big successful business. Mrs. Popat has received Padma Shri by the government of India for her incredible work and empowerment of women in India.
- Dr. Florida Tilton – Founder of Biozone Research Technologies
Dr. Florida Tilton used to work in a college as a professor and after quitting her job she started her own platform to teach students practical starting from her own balcony at her home. Biozone was started candidly after her former students started approaching her for practicals. It is a research based service provider to individuals or firms for academic and institutional research and solution programmes. Under this industry considering the financial and scientific challenges, she has faced all with grace and is continuing to work at par.
- Shahnaz Hussain – Founder of Shahnaz Herbals
Shahnaz Hussain was married at the age of 15 and was a mother till she became 16. Her life seemed to look like a dull loop after a period of time and that is when her interest got into cosmetics. She went on to study chemistry and cosmetology in London and took her daughter along with her wherever she travelled. After looking closely at harm done by chemical products she was insisted on to bring natural herbal products to the world. After studying Ayurveda, she started her own herbal salon and now has over 400 branches in 138 countries. She has also been awarded Padma Shri from Indian Government.
- Aditi Gupta – The Founder of Menstrupedia
Aditi Gupta along with her husband founded Menstrupedia. Aditi came from a conservative family where the subject of periods was a taboo and recognising the need of educating people about it and lessening the burden of women while experiencing periods, she started this enterprise which guides people through comics, blogs, quizzes and various other means. It was first started as a comic book then became a successful website which works like a wikipedia page for menstruation. She did all sorts of research by interacting with women and men in different fields and came together with her study. Her work is now used in various schools and NGOs to educate childrens.
- Vandana Luthra – Founder of VLCC
Vandana Luthra did her graduation in Delhi and studied beauty, body and nutrition in foreign. She was married and had two kids. She started her enterprise in 1989 named “VLCC Wellness Center”. Today VLCC has become one of the leading wellness center which offers various beauty services and products like beauty, skin care, hair care and hair transplant, slimming, etc. Her company has more than 300 branches in about 13 countries. It has hired a number of medical professionals and employees and has been involved in export services too. She has been named among 50 most influential women in business in India and has also been awarded Padma Shri and Enterprise Asia Women Entrepreneur of the year award.
- Falguni Nayar – The Founder of Nykaa
Falguni Nayar did her MBA in Finance and went on to become a management consultant for A.F. Ferguson & Co. director and also became managing director at the Kotak Mahindra Bank. She got interested in beauty care after she turned 50 and now wanted to start something of her own by herself. She founded Nykaa and was a keen believer in Indian startups for the coming age. Her enterprise has been awarded the title of prestigious “Unicorn Startup”. Between many giant e-commerce platforms, Nykaa has made a name of its own. She believes utterly in marketing and promoting her products and has worked well with the goodwill.
It’s important for us to provide as much opportunity to women as men in entrepreneurship and as an outcome we will see a well balanced and more empathetic and successful society. The quality of nurturance by women will only bring healthy and civil worker’s code.