7 Successful Indian Female Entrepreneurs Who Broke the Glass Ceiling

Gone are the days when thinking about successful entrepreneurs brought the picture of a handsome young man in a well-fitted suit to mind.

Now, women entrepreneurs are making their way to success in India and are achieving the milestones many men could only hope for.

Here you can learn about 7 successful female Indian entrepreneurs who dared to do something different and made a difference.

1. Falguni Nayar, Nykaa

Indian Female Entrepreneur
Source: Elle India

It takes guts to resign from a comfortable job and start something of your own. Falguni Nayar who started beauty e-commerce giant Nykaa, clearly possessed the courage to forge her own path and destiny.

She resigned from the job of Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra and kicked off the operations of Nykaa. Falguni started this business because she wanted customers to get honest and factual advice on which products are right for their health and beauty concerns.

Today Nykaa also has its offline presence in 17 stores and expanding throughout India. It claims to have over 850+ curated brands and 35,000 products. To date, Nykaa has raised a total of $79.02 million funding, demonstrating the beauty e-commerce portal’s expansion and success.

The brand has made its mark in the beauty and wellness market in India and has reached the doorsteps and hearts of millions of Indians.

2. Suchita Salwan, Little Black Book (LBB)

Source: Medium

The zeal for helping people explore Delhi inspired Suchita Salwan to start Little Black Book (LLB), a local discovery digital platform.

LLB caters to people across different areas of interest and age groups. The interests it covers include everything from food to events, travel to adventure, lifestyle to shopping and much more. Essentially, the company is capitalising on the needs of millennials, who in the past few years have become the driving force for both young and old businesses.

The company is invested by Blume Venture and IDG Ventures in India, having raised Rs16 crore. 

3. Upasana Taku: Mobikwik

Source: The Financial Express


Initiating one business seems tough to most people, Upasna Taku became an inspiration when she started two. She was the brain behind online payment platforms MobiKwik and Zaakpay, with MobiKwik having achieved a valuation of $279m in 2018. 

In order to live her dream of becoming an entrepreneur, she resigned from a lucrative job in PayPal, California as a Product Manager and returned to India in 2009 to start her businesses.

4. Sakshi Talwar: Rugs and Beyond

Source: BW Disrupt

People who find it hard to find great handmade carpets and home décor items need to thank Sakshi Talwar.

A techpreneur by profession and an artist by passion, Sakshi started an e-commerce venture Rugs and Beyond to sell one of a kind products and help local weavers and artisans to be proud of themselves.

Rugs and Beyond is synonymous with producing the highest quality handmade carpets that are truly bespoke and have become the most trusted resource for today’s rug enthusiasts.

Sakshi also set up the YAK foundation, which provides weavers in rural areas of India, career opportunities with the aim of improving quality of life.  The foundation is also an advocate for the eradication of child labour in the rug making industry of India.

5. Kashaf Shaikh: Dealivore


Source: Google Plus

You might have come across different coupon websites to date but it’s very likely that none of them beats the experience provided by Dealivore.

Regarded as India’s number 1 coupons and deals website, Dealivore was started by another young and dynamic entrepreneur Kashaf Shaikh, a former computer engineer.

A graduate from the University of Pune, Kashaf is a proponent of self learning having developed her interest in digital marketing from a young age.

Dealivore lets users find valid coupons from stores from different brands across the country. It’s the website made for impulsive shoppers hoping to save money every time they shop, and because of that Dealivore has also evolved into a one stop shop for online shopping in India.

6. Richa Kar: Zivame

Source: sheroes.com

Shopping for innerwear has been quite embarrassing and difficult for most Indian women. Even when in the shop, they prefer to talk to women and can’t express what they want.

Richa Kar, founder of Zivame saw a gap and knew there had to be a solution. She created a platform where women could shop without hesitation. A former engineer from Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences. Richa was inspired to set up an online marketplace for lingerie in India after learning about Victoria’s Secret generating a fourth of their revenues from e-commerce. 

Today, Zivame  is India’s leading online lingerie retailer in India. The online marketplace offers over 5,000 styles, 50 brands and 100 sizes – but more important it offers privacy and dignity in shopping. 

Zivame has also successfully raised $48million between 2012 to 2016. Innterestingly Malaysian sovereign fund, Khazanah Nasional is a prime investor in Zivame. The site has 2.5 million unique visitors a month and sells two bras a minute. Revenues are projected to cross $15 million by March 2016 with about 200,000 items being shipped every month.

7. Sairee Chahal: Sheroes

Source: Indian Women Blog

Most Indian women let go of their careers after marriage or having kids.

Sairee Chahal recognized this pattern and founded SHEROES, a platform that helps women find work from home jobs and organizes job fairs, workshops and programs as well. It also helps women get coaching, mentoring and community resources so that they can restart their professional life once again.

Sairee who is also a TED speaker also co-founded Fleximoms, a platform that helps people find flexible jobs and return to work after a break.

Today SHEROES reaches over 65 cities in India, with a community of 200,000 women spanning these cities and over 2000 corporations use SHEROES to connect with women professionals.

All these women entrepreneurs have overcome a lot of doubts, failures, and fear to reach the heights they have achieved now. They have also become an inspiration for thousands of Indian women who hope to be entrepreneurs one day. All we would like to say is maybe this article will help some of our readers to get over their fears and try their hands at entrepreneurship, and who knows maybe you’ll be the front of the next big tech solution!

Actionable Takeaway:

Where there is a will, there is a way, and these successful female Indian entrepreneurs have proven that the glass ceiling can be shattered and that the impossible is completely attainable.

There are tonnes of ways to begin your entrepreneurial journey today! E-commerce platforms like Flipkart or Facebook’s Marketplace allows anyone to start selling their belongings! So try those out and let us know what you think.

Or read this article on 4 ways to kickstart your Indian e-commerce business!



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