Women Entrepreneurs – Changing The Indian Economy

In the last decade India has witnessed the emergence of highly successful women entrepreneurs. A report by International Labour Organization on women entrepreneurship points out the problems faced by women entrepreneurs like lack of family support, lack of capital, lack of confidence etc. which restricts a woman to start up. However, most Indian women do have natural entrepreneurial skill sets. The way our mothers and their mothers efficiently managed the household with no extra income proves the above statement. Today, there are many institutions, programs, bodies in India who have been instrumental in fostering women entrepreneurship and is helping in changing the myth that women cannot be economically independent. With the rise in opportunities and women empowerment we see a lot of women entering the corporate world and also taking up entrepreneurship especially in the SME segment.

Fighting against all the odds, India still has been a home to many phenomenal women entrepreneurs who have contributed to the growth of the Indian economy. These women have become the job creators and are regarded as role models by thousands of women.  Here’s a few of them worth mentioning:

Meena Bindra: Started as a hobby to earn some pocket money, today BIBA has a presence across 76 cities in India and has 192 exclusive outlets with an annual turnover of around INR 600 crores.

Indu Jain: She is currently the Chairperson of India’s largest media group, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. She was awarded Padma Bhushan by the in the year 2016.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw: She is the Founder and Managing Director of Biocon Limited. Started in 1978, Biocon is today one of leading players in biomedicine research with a focus on diabetes and oncology.

Vandana Luthra: Born in Kolkata, India she started VLCC in 1989. VLCC is today a beauty and wellness giant has its presence in 11 countries across Asia, Africa and the GCC. In 2013, she was awarded the Padma Shri award and has been recognized as the 33rd most powerful business woman by Fortune India.

Swati Bhargava: She is the CEO & Co-Founder of CashKaro, one of the largest cashback and coupons sites in India. Since its inception in April 2013, CashKaro has worked with more than 1500 brands like Amazon, Snapdeal, Jabong etc. and is constantly growing year after year.

Ekta Kapoor: She is the woman behind Balaji Telefilm serials who changed the face of the Indian television. Loved by thousands of people, her serials have been seen all over India and the world at large. Ekta Kapoor has also won the Hall of Fame award for her contribution to the Indian television industry.

A note to women entrepreneurs – Few things one must know before starting a business:

  • Do something that you are passionate about. Pursue it in a constructive way, do not worry about choosing between family and your startup.
  • Family is the joint priority of both men and women.
  • Hunt for co-founder with complementary skill sets.
  • Don’t start something without doing deep dive research on it. Do a proper feasibility due diligence before starting.
  • Try to understand all the stat & legal requirements well in advance and plan for making arrangements accordingly.
  • Assess capital requirement and plan your bootstrapping accordingly.
  • Find out how many have failed in your domain and why?
  • One has to do a lot of networking at events, meetups, one to one meetings etc, will you be able to do that? This will require travel and staying away from home.
  • A better planned road map is more important than a better plan.

Women entrepreneurship in India is increasing where females account to 40% of entrepreneurs (according to OECD survey). It’s never too late to start up, women in India are rising and will soon grab the world by the lapels.