A time when India is fighting its worst economic hardships, it is delighting to see women holding up ventures that society considers fit only for men. The status of women in Indian culture has experienced an extraordinary change in recent decades- from being a mere homemaker to a multi-tasking professional.
In the present scenario, women have been a facilitating force in driving the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission. A study conducted by McKinsey stated that India could increase its GDP by 16% to 60% just by enabling women to participate in the economy on the same underpinning as men. Women leaders are now playing a crucial role in the growth of the economy and are helping the nation become self-reliant. With the approach of innovation and digitization, there is an insurgency in the manner in which women are leading their businesses and ventures.
Here are 6 women leaders elevating the Indian economy with their entrepreneurial contributions:
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon Limited
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the Executive Chairperson, Biocon Limited. She has received several coveted awards, honors and titles, both national and international, in recognition of her inspiring achievements. Kiran is a pioneering biotech entrepreneur, a healthcare visionary, a global influencer, and a passionate philanthropist. She has scripted a hugely successful entrepreneurial story by building Biocon, an innovation-led global biopharmaceutical enterprise. Under Kiran’s leadership, Biocon has made outstanding contributions to life sciences and research drawing global wonders for the Indian economy.
Vani Kola, Founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital
Indian venture capitalist, Vani Kola was listed as one of the most powerful women in Indian Business by Fortune India. She is the founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, one of India’s leading early-stage venture capital firms. Having been an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for 22 years, Vani returned to India in 2006. Her initial undertaking into venture capital in India, in partnership with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), was Kalaari Capital. Under Vani’s leadership, the firm has grown to have US$650 million in assets under management. Vani believes India’s digital opportunity is still at a nascent stage with the Indian Venture Capital industry perfectly placed to capitalize on supporting an increasing number of entrepreneurs looking to build products and services for a growing, aspirational population.
Roma Priya, Founder, Burgeon Law
Roma Priya is the Founder of Burgeon Law, India’s leading boutique law firm which is on a mission to guide the distressed stakeholders of the startup sector, including promoters and entrepreneurs. Roma has been proactively guiding promoters on the legalities of managing the uncertainty and extension of the runway in order to tackle various issues rising up with the lock-down and its impact on India’s start-up ecosystem whereas many startup founders are consulting Burgeon Law to understand legalities associated with the force majeure. Since the foundation of her company in 2015, Roma has facilitated 500+ deals and advises and mentors early-stage and high-growth startups, incubators, accelerators, angel investors, family offices, and venture capital/private equity funds.
Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO of JobsForHer
Neha Bagaria is the Founder & CEO of JobsForHer, an online platform to connect women with companies, community and skilling, to start, restart and rise in their careers. Neha took a 3.6-year break in her own career when she had her 2 children. During this personal journey, she became aware of the various difficulties a woman faces in order to re-enter the workforce. She then became committed to the cause of enabling women to accelerate their careers and founded JobsForHer.com on International Women’s Day, 2015. JobsForHer is not Neha’s first entrepreneurial venture. Right after she graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Neha founded her first company — Paragon, an educational startup to bring the Advanced Placement Program to India. She has been listed in Forbes India’s WPower Trailblazers of 25 Groundbreaking Women Achievers as a game-changer and innovator who is shattering stereotypes, and was also featured by Deccan Herald as ‘19 Changemakers to Watch Out For in 2019’.
Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder, Byju’s
Divya Gokulnath is an educator and co-founder at India’s largest edu-tech platform Byju’s. While Divya is the Director at Byju’s she strongly believes that she is a teacher first. She points out that being a teacher involves some crazy hard work where one needs to understand and explain concepts on camera, for students from different parts of the country. With an aim to make an impact in the education sector, Divya has been spearheading Byju’s with full enthusiasm and vision for the Indian education system, ultimately contributing to the benefit of the economy.
Sonya Hooja, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder at Imarticus Learning
Sonya Hooja, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder at Imarticus Learning, plays a key role in developing and implementing business strategy, directing business development, and recruiting top talent. In her career of over 12 years, she has been involved in strategy development and project management roles across diverse industries such as financial services, education, tourism, public sector and pharmaceuticals. In 2012, she co-founded Imarticus Learning along with Nikhil Barshikar with an aim to make aspiring professionals in the financial services and analytics domain fully equipped with the necessary skills to excel in their careers. Realising that professional skill development and training was the ideal solution to address India’s workforce shortcomings, Sonya along with Nikhil started Imarticus Learning. And in the times of COVID, they have launched placement centric programs like Income Sharing Agreement model, Placement before Admission, etc supporting and helping job seekers.