Madam C.J Walker was the first woman entrepreneur in the 80’s era. But Today women have been playing a vital role in the growth of the Indian economy and have made a big impact and got success in almost every sector. Women have created their position in the society where they have equal rights, equal liberty, and equal status. Women entrepreneurs continue to break all the records in the industries. Recently we have noticed a large influx of female-founded companies who have achieved success within the entrepreneurial world.
India is inclined towards Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and focusing on the businesses to strengthen India's overall economy. This self-reliant India mission has been possible only when women, half of India’s population are included in the program and participate equally in terms of economic activities. Economic empowerment of women is the most viable solution to integrate women into the developmental goals of the nation and Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Women entrepreneurs have emerged and with their sheer passion, in-depth understanding of customer needs, and the thirst to excel in what they do. There are certain things that have proven effective over time for successful women entrepreneurs of today and can play a key role in business growth for emerging leaders across industries. women entrepreneurs that have changed the start-up landscape of India with their grit, determination, and strength of purpose. From making a social impact to being hands-on with technology to opening up new vistas and inspiring their own women are leading every field be it healthcare, fashion, e-commerce, or technology. Approximately three million Indian women-owned enterprises employ roughly eight million individuals. It is clear that woman business owners represent the most promising engine of the next phase of India’s remarkable growth and that an investment in India’s women entrepreneurs is not only an investment in the country’s economic future but also its collective betterment. Thus, gender is no longer a barrier to be a unicorn, or a simple start-up to begin with. All one needs is the will, the dedication, and the right strategy which helps them to soar to great heights.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas – Unfinished
The narrator of ‘Unfinished’, Priyanka Chopra is one of the world’s most recognizable women, renowned for her bold risk-taking, multiculturalism, and activism. Unfinished talks about everything from her 20-year-long career as an actor and producer, spread across two continents, to her work as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador. From losing her beloved father to cancer to marrying Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas opens up and shares her story to inspire a generation of young girls around the world to gather their courage, embrace their ambition and commit to the hard work of following their dreams.
Michelle Obama- Becoming
The narrator of ‘Becoming’, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As the First Lady of the United States of America – the first African American to serve in that role – she established herself as a global advocate for females. In her memoir, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is a deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations – and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Mariah Carey- The Meaning of Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is an award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and narrator of her memoir ‘The Meaning of Mariah Carey’. She has recorded 15 studio albums and holds numerous industry records, including the most number-one singles of any solo artist in history. Her memoir is composed of her memories, mishaps, struggles, survival, and songs. It is a humbling and healing story full of hope that moves us to a new understanding, not only about Mariah, but also about the resilience of the human spirit.
Kamala Harris- The Truths We Hold
The narrator of ‘The Truths We Hold’, Kamala Harris has made history as not only the first woman but also the first woman of color, to hold the office of the Vice President of the United States. ‘The Truths We Hold’ talks about the core truths that unite us and the shared values that will see us into the future. Drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values as we confront the great work of our day.
Oprah Winfrey- What I Know For Sure
The narrator of ‘What I Know For Sure’, Oprah Winfrey is an American television personality, actress, entrepreneur whose syndicated daily talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, led her to become one of the richest and most influential women in the United States. Her memoir is beautifully packed with insights and revelations about her life. Candid, moving, exhilarating, uplifting, and dynamic, the words Oprah shares in What I Know For Sure shimmer with the sort of wisdom and truth that listeners will turn to again and again.
Lilly Singh- How To Be A Bawse
From actress, comedian and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman) comes to the definitive guide to being a BAWSE – a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely, because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side. Narrated in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired millions of fans, and sharing stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success.
Tahira Kashyap Khurrana- My Ex-Breast
Narrated by TahiraKashyapKhurrana (author, professor, theatre director, and cancer survivor), ‘My Ex-Breast’ takes you on an intimate journey through a life-changing storm called breast cancer. In a single moment, she went from praying for her breast to grow to live and dealing with the curveball that is a mastectomy. Poignant, honest, and radically hopeful, Tahira shares how she and her loved ones chose joy in the face of fear.
Bhargavi Swami- People Who Matter
Bhargavi Swami is the CEO of an HR consulting company, Excel Corporation, and founder of BPlogs, a podcast content-generating company. Narrated by Bhargavi herself, ‘People Who Matter, Season 3’ is an exclusive podcast show for professionals, entrepreneurs, and start-up enthusiasts. It shares perspectives, strategies, and future predictions from the experts thought leaders, and influencers on the road ahead and the “next to normal”.
Mindy Kaling- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
The narrator of ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’, Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: comedienne, actress, obedient child of immigrant professionals, and now, writer. With a blend of witty confessions and unscientific observations, in her memoir ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’, talks about everything from being a timid young chubster afraid of her own bike to living the Hollywood life, dating, friendships, and planning her own funeral – all executed with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make those important phone calls.
Mel Robbins- Take Control of Your Life
The narrator of ‘Take Control of Your Life’ and a nationally-syndicated talk show host, Mel Robbins returns to help you tackle the single biggest obstacle you face: fear. This life-changing audiobook features a powerful mix of one-on-one life-coaching sessions and a personal narrative with vital take-aways that you can start using immediately. Each session is a goldmine of discovery as Mel guides you, in her own voice to find your purpose, improve your relationships, and ultimately take control of your life.
Rujuta Diwekar- Secrets Of Good Health
The narrator of ‘Secrets of Good Health’, India’s leading nutritionist, RujutaDiwekar, busts food myths, decodes diet trends and sets you on a path of sustainable health and weight loss with her audiobook. With easy-to-follow guidelines, do-at-home tips, and a healthy dose of “dadimaakenuske”, she makes losing weight and staying healthy a fun, relaxed, and exciting journey.
Anu Singh Choudhary- Mad Mommas
An award-winning journalist, Anu Singh Choudhary is an author, translator and screenwriter. In her latest audio series, ‘Mad Mommas’, she captures bittersweet realities of four women at different stages of motherhood who multitask through marriage, career, kids, family, life, and the Corona crisis. The central theme of this series also establishes how ‘motherhood’ very naturally becomes a community where women come together unknowingly for each other, while fighting their own lone battles.
Monika Halan- Let’s Talk Money
India’s favorite financial planner, Monika Halan, offers you a feet-on-the-ground system to build financial security. Not a get-rich-quick guide, this book helps you build a smart system to live your dream life, rather than stay worried about the right investment or perfect insurance. Unlike many personal finance books, Let’s Talk Money is written specifically for you, keeping the Indian context in mind.
Esper’s VP of Marketing, Emily Carrion shares her learnings on how to pioneer in any field. “Your life and your career are 100% your responsibility. Be intentional and live your life by design, on your terms. There is nothing you can’t do. Figure out what you want, then study people who have done it and reverse engineer their path. Apply the parts that make sense for you. There is no “right way”. It’s simply about figuring out what’s right for you and going after it. Tell people your goals and ask for help getting there. Work with people who challenge you, are committed to your growth, and who feed your energy.”
Neha Sanjay, Head of Marketing, Esper.io
The overall number of women in tech roles is still painfully low, but there are reasons for optimism. Evolving job needs are empowering women and leveling the playing field. It’s a refreshing change to see women emerging from across geographies who are driving change.
Most organizations and also most women now realize that great technology is created from diversity and innovation. It’s very easy for any of us to get caught up in negative patterns instead of the positive change that we can make. We need to learn to see challenges as stepping stones instead of hurdles. Make them into opportunities, because opportunities are never wrapped up in a pretty little box with a red ribbon on top.
This shift in mind-set is exciting! We need to create a network where we show up daily for ourselves and for the community.
Sathya Ramaganapathy, VP Marketing at Shoptimize, an end-to-end D2C eCommerce growth platform
At Shoptimize, we firmly believe in equal opportunity for women, and building an inclusive, bias-free organization has been our topmost priority.
The rise of Indian eCommerce has not only boosted India’s economy but has also opened up many opportunities for women. From entrepreneurs building and scaling businesses to increased representation across functions, be it in leadership, tech, or sales & marketing roles – we have been privileged to have a ringside view of the women fueling the eCommerce boom.
Ritu Pusti, Brand Manager- Hocomoco
“Women are breaking every stereotype and excelling across sectors, including real estate which is predominantly considered male-dominated. It’s also interesting to note that women are also amongst the fastest-growing group of consumers in terms of purchasing land/house.
At Hocomoco, we have always believed in giving weightage to talent/skill over gender, and to build a bias-free organization. Our project management team has close to 50% women employees, and some of the crucial departments (interior and marketing) in the company are headed by women.”
Srijana Bagaria, Co-founder, Pee Safe
Ensuring access to good hygiene and sanitation practices is one of the sustainable development goals. However, when it comes to women and their access to these amenities for better health, there is not much to talk about in our country. This is despite numerous campaigns and other initiatives both by the government and private sector entities. The pandemic brought out this gap further what with many women left without access to basic and affordable things like a sanitary pad. Pee Safe went a step ahead during this time and even before COVID-19 struck, we launched our sister concern Raho Safe, a brand that provides access to affordable personal hygiene and wellness products. At Pee Safe, we even launched our own range of female condoms called Domina, something that is yet to be popularly accepted in India. Pee Safe was a brand that started to address the need for hygienic solutions for women at the outset and diversified to other products later. As women, we are often challenged by limited opportunities, lack of products that suit our needs, among other things. On Women’s Day, it is important to bust the myth that these challenges are roadblocks. On the contrary, these are an opportunity in disguise. We must quit trying to prove ourselves but rather focus on growing and acknowledging our potential to succeed. We have been changemakers always and will continue to remain so for the times to come.
Shumita Kakkar – Founder, United We Care
My startup United We Care sprung out of an essential need in January 2020 when the pandemic was in its full course. Mental health issues are a huge problem in India primarily due to a lack of awareness and the stigma surrounding them. This came to the fore during the pandemic when the lockdown, etc. led to many people suffering from stress, anxiety, and related issues. For women and members of the LGBTQ community, it was an additional blow. At United We Care, we wanted to give people access to counselors, therapists, and even lawyers without the fear of stigma or judgment. We have been able to reach out to a number of people through our platform and integrated campaigns around mental health during this challenging time. As a woman, I challenged two stereotypes: the stigma around mental health issues and the fact that women cannot lead from the front. I was able to make a difference and believe every woman can do so in her capacity. We have the inherent ability to multitask and think laterally. On this Women’s Day, let us make use of this ability to forge ahead in what we are passionate about and move forward with conviction.
Naina Aggarwal Ahuja – Founder and COO, Talking Point Communications
I took the plunge as an entrepreneur at quite a young age when most people would rather get into a comfortable corporate job. My work is all about managing people’s reputations and communicating a brand’s messaging aptly to its target audience. This means I practically work round the clock. Being a woman makes this a tad bit more challenging given the different things I need to balance on a day-to-day basis – from running the company, being the trustee of an NGO, managing home, and also finding the time to follow my passion. However, what has kept me going in all these years is my ability to prioritize, set the right expectations across all aspects of my life, and staying true to my commitments. I think being at the helm of affairs does not have anything to do with gender. It is about believing in what you have set out to achieve and going full-steam ahead with diligence and perseverance. Even during COVID-19, when most business sectors suffered a setback, I did not let it deject me. We kept it going and tried to look for newer avenues in times like these.
Debasri Rakshit – Director of Operations and Strategy, Spark.Live
It is encouraging to see more and more women diversifying their portfolio and capabilities today. There are also new avenues to showcase their creativity and abilities now more than ever before. Horizontal marketplaces such as Spark. Live is not only helping them learn new skills but also enabling them to teach what they know to others.
During the lockdown, even as traditional jobs went askew, women began honing their inherent talents and skills in more ways than one thanks to platforms like Spark.Live. Women are leading from the front in everything they do – be it running a tech-based business or becoming an entrepreneur in their own right while ensuring that they have a healthy work-life balance. Gone are the days when being a woman was a hindrance to one’s professional success.
Conviction in what we do is everything – and, I believe, it is true for everyone, whether you are a man or a woman. It is, therefore, important that women give their best to anything they do – while supporting and encouraging each other in their endeavors and turning every adversity into an opportunity to achieve their goals. On a larger level, we hope to get more support from the government and corporates to bring in actionable, conducive policies and avenues to help us forge ahead.
Neerja Birla, Founder & Chairperson, Mpower
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate women from all walks of life! The modern Indian woman is a powerhouse – fighting for her rights and proudly flaunting the many other facets of her personality. She is making her mark in business, science & technology, politics, sports, the arts, and in society as a whole. In this age of globalization, India has seen the rise and triumph of women leaders who have pushed the boundaries and helped to strengthen the workforce by creating inclusive environments. It is heartening to see that this growth is not just limited to women in metros. Even rural and semi-urban entrepreneurs are taking giant leaps for womankind, and encouraging their peers to follow in their footsteps.
Over the last year, in particular, there’s no denying that the pandemic has been difficult for many, and the pressures have been compounded for women. It is apparent that socio-economic vulnerability combined with the control of their sexuality, societal pressure, harassment or violence, etc. gravely impacts both their mental and physical health. On our 1 on 1 helpline, we have received calls from women across India struggling with relationship issues, anxiety, depression due to loneliness, and self-esteem issues. As a nation, until we come together to create awareness and address the issues women face, only then will we able to create an environment where women can thrive. The change needs to begin with each one of us. We need to respect ourselves and not be apologetic about who we are and what we want. While we have come a long way in these last few years, we still have an even longer way to go. This journey has only begun.
Lakshmi Mittra, VP, and Head, Clover Academy
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day – ChooseToChallenge, is a call to action to recognize and celebrate women for their role in shaping a more democratic future, and building a gender-neutral society. Within organizations, women have already cemented their positions as innovators, thinkers, and go-getters. Now, the time has come for organizations to make this contribution to the next level by introducing forward-looking policies and initiatives for women to thrive. At the same time, women need to rise above the status quo and embrace challenges. This leads to the creation of amicable work culture that not only facilitates mutual growth but also strengthens an organization’s values and reputation, further assisting in attracting and retaining the right kind of talent and forming a diverse workforce.
Juhi Mishra, Manager, HR Business Partner-India, Randstad RiseSmart
For long women have been major contributors in corporate success stories, more often than not, while working behind the scenes. In a COVID-19 world where almost everything that we know and accepted as normal, has changed, there is a heightened need for this to be reflected in the boardroom as well. The unfortunate reality is that in India, we have only about 17% representation among women in board positions. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day – ChooseToChallenge, is a call to action to recognize and celebrate women for their resilience and achievements. It is also a reminder to women that they have the power to choose to challenge social norms and shape a more equal future.
Within organizations, women have already cemented their position as thinkers, doers, and as forces to reckon with. Now, the time has come to take this to next level; for organizations to create an even playing field, and give women professionals an environment in which they can thrive in. RandstadRiseSmart is a firm believer in creating an inclusive and diverse culture where our employees enjoy equal opportunities and can thrive to reach and exceed their goals. Organizations need to take a proactive stance to create an inclusive and respectful workplace. The effort has to be two-pronged – allow ease of entry and provide equal opportunities for development. In the long run, such measures will create a positive environment for mutual growth. Additionally, it will also strengthen the organization’s reputation as an employer of choice, attract and retain the right talent, and build a diverse workforce that’s future-ready.
Jyotsna Uttamchandani, Executive Director, Syska Group
During the pandemic, the world witnessed that countries that had women in leadership positions were in much better shape than the rest. Women have time and again proven that they are focused on continuously finding solutions for challenging situations. The world wants to change and this could definitely be a century where equality can be established in every field. A big example that showcased a country breaking the etch was when Kamala Harris became the first woman Vice President of the United States. It is key that in this post-pandemic world, we not only identify but accept the problems of patriarchy. We need a more humane and rational approach. Most importantly women always believe in working in a sort of comradeship. Be it healthcare, hospitality, politicians, innovators, women have been front liners. It is time we must discard the gender stereotypes, empower and let women take the lead towards this unrivaled gridlock. As Michelle Obama says, “there is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” Wishing All Women a Happy Women’s Day. May you all continue to be strong, and keep your heels and head high!
Manisha Raisinghani, Co-founder and CTO, LogiNext
2021 brought in the good news with a woman-led tech company going IPO. This success story was celebrated and ushers in a new age in the post covid world where we are all rooting for more women in leadership roles across the board. Less than 10% of the S&P 500 companies have a woman CEO but that number should grow rapidly in the coming times. And this will happen by changing mindsets at a cultural level by encouraging more young women to pursue their dreams. Technology and the internet is a great leveler because it gives access to a sea of knowledge and anyone can start a business from anywhere! At LogiNext, we have a special push to achieve a 50:50 gender ratio by the end of 2021 and we already have several women in leadership roles across the organisation. LogiNext is probably one of the most diverse high growth start-ups globally and we’d like to encourage more and more companies to take this route.