30 Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs in India: Part 3
Women entrepreneurs in India comprise just 13.75% of total entrepreneurs in the country, with men still occupying most high-level business positions in India.
However, that’s not to say that the number of successful female entrepreneurs in India isn’t growing. In fact, over the last ten years, the percentage of women-owned businesses in the country has increased from 14% to 20%.
While female entrepreneurs may still be a minority, there are still plenty of incredible Indian women entrepreneurs to look to for inspiration.
This series will introduce you to 30 inspirational female entrepreneurs who have used MBAs to do incredible things in their respective industries. If you’ve missed the previous installments of this series, you can find more in Part 1 and Part 2.
Without further ado, here are the final ten successful women entrepreneurs in India.
1. Garima Satija, Founder of PoshVine
Garima Satija completed her MBA at Amity University and founded innovative travel company PoshVine in 2011 as a marketplace for travelers looking for off-the-beaten-track dining and travel experiences. Initially, PoshVine satisfied Garima’s desire to find unforgettable travel experiences, but it quickly gained a huge audience base.
Since then, the platform has transformed into an engagement solution for brands, helping companies like American Express and Visa offer customers exclusive experiences as loyalty rewards. In 2022, the platform was bought by India’s most-valued fintech startup, Razorpay, and is helping more merchants and banks develop relationships with customers across India and Southeast Asia.
2. Meghna Agarwal, Co-Founder of IndiQube
Meghna Agarwal achieved her MBA in Finance from IMT Ghaziabad, and after graduating, she immediately started working on her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Aged just 25, she founded HirePro Consulting, an innovative HR company using technology to provide recruitment solutions. However, her most significant success has been with IndiQube, a flexible workspace company.
In 2022, the Financial Times placed IndiQube at number 142 in their list of the top 500 Asia-Pacific High-Growth Companies. In the same year, the company raised $30 million in Series B funding, which will help bring flexible office and co-working space to more Indian startups, encouraging innovation across the country.
3. Shivani Poddar, Co-Founder and CEO of FabAlley and Indya
Shivaji Poddar completed her MBA in Finance at the University of Delhi in 2009 and spent the first stage of her career working in finance for Unilever and Avendus Capital. She left her job to found the online marketplaces FabAlley and Indya in 2012, with the help of her co-founder Tanvi Malik. The marketplaces aim to be the leading destination for all millennial Indian women, with a specific commitment to inclusivity in fashion and blending traditional Indian styling with modern Western style.
Most recently, FabAlley raised an investment worth over US$8.5 million, which the co-founders invested in offline marketplaces, including their first physical store in Asia. Shivani and Tanvi both appeared in the Fortune India 40 Under 40 entrepreneurs list, thanks to the success of their online fashion business.
4. Prukalpa Sankar, Co-Founder of SocialCops
With SocialCops, Prukalpa aims to solve some of India’s (and the world’s) biggest crises. The software helps organizations gather data-fuelled insights into vulnerable communities and global concerns like poverty, maternal mortality, and water scarcity, and has been praised by the World Economic Forum and the New York Times.
Prukalpa gained her MBA from Nanyang Technical University, Singapore, where she met her co-founder, her classmate Varun Banka. Now, the pair have set their sights further, founding Atlan, a data workspace tool. Prukalpa initially developed the software in-house for SocialCops, but now Prukalpa and Varun are scaling it to bring greater efficiency to data teams worldwide.
5. Neha Behani, Co-Founder of Moojic
Neha Behani worked in marketing before giving up her job to start Moojic. The innovative in-store radio platform helps retailers connect with customers using customizable playlists incorporating brand jingles and sound bytes and allows customers to add their favorite songs to playlists.
Today, Moojic is used in over 20,000 retail locations in 12 different countries across 350 brands. At the same time, the company has also shed light on the lack of digital transformation in the music industry in India. Before launching Moojic, Neha earned an MBA in marketing from the Asian Institute of Management.
6. Anisha Singh, Founder of Mydala and She Capital
After graduating with her MBA at American University, Anisha Singh spent almost ten years working as a senior manager and CEO in the software industry. However, she left that behind to found her first startup, the local marketing platform Mydala, in 2009; her startup quickly grew into one of India’s largest marketing services platforms. Her work with Mydala earned Anisha the e-INC/eTales Awards for e-Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year 2016.
However, Anisha’s primary goal is to assist other female entrepreneurs—a dream she first had at American University, where she worked with the Clinton Administration helping female entrepreneurs raise funding. In 2018, she founded She Capital, an early-stage investment fund that invests in businesses either led by or focused on women.
7. Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CMO of ShopClues
When Radhika Ghai Aggarwal set up her e-commerce business, ShopClues, in 2011, she was one of only a few women in the e-commerce industry in India. She launched the portal just as Amazon was also entering the Indian market, but Radhika still managed to make the business successful: ShopClues became the first Indian woman to lead a unicorn.
Radhika gained her MBA from Washington University after developing a taste for business by working in her father’s health club and starting her marketing industry in Chandigarh. In 2016, Radhika was named CEO of the Year at the CEO India Awards, thanks to her contributions to the burgeoning e-commerce industry in India.
8. Leena Nair, Global CEO of Chanel
Leena Nair graduated with her MBA in human resources at XLRI Jamshedpur in 1992 and quickly launched a career in human resources at Unilever. After 30 years at Unilever, during which she progressed to Chief Human Resources Officer, Leena started a new role as Global Chief Executive Officer at Chanel.
While Leena doesn’t fit the standard definition of an entrepreneur, she deserves to be on this list for her incredible achievements. While at Unilever, Leena helped herald a 50/50 gender balance across global leadership and was committed to raising working standards for employees across the supply chain. In 2022, she earned a place on Forbes India’s list of India’s Self-Made Women.
9. Neeru Sharma, Co-Founder of Infibeam
Neeru Sharma founded the e-commerce and fintech company Infibeam Avenues in 2009 and was the first company of its type to be listed on India’s stock exchange. She started her career in the IT industry, working at Tata Consulting Services and Alcatel. However, Neeru was interested in becoming an entrepreneur and did an MBA to help move her dream forward.
She graduated with her MBA from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business in 2008 and used her studies to research opportunities for an e-commerce brand in India. After returning to her home country, she quickly founded Infibeam as a one-stop place for online shopping in India. Today, the brand also offers B2B capabilities, helping small merchants in India to build an online presence and grow faster.
10. Priyanka Gill, Co-Founder of Good Glamm Group
Priyanka Gill started her career as a writer in the lifestyle and beauty space, developing the successful blog POPxo, which became a hub for inspirational writing for young Indian women. Seeing the opportunities for influencer marketing in India, Priyanka later founded Plixxo, India’s largest influencer marketing platform, with over 150,000 users.
After the merger of her two brands with MyGlamm, Priyanka became the co-founder of the media conglomerate Good Glamm Group. As part of the brand, she is helping invest millions of dollars in beauty and personal care brands across South East Asia, and helping young lifestyle creators in the region grow their personal brands. Priyanka is currently studying for the Global EMBA at London Business School and Columbia Business School.