Women-led startup in India is growing. The Indian startup system is witnessing aggressive growth, and some credit goes to our women too. It’s 2023, and women entrepreneurs are writing their own stories while changing the narrative in the Indian startup culture. The process might be slow, but we are heading in the right direction. And it fascinates me to see some of the incredible products and brands being built by women.
As per the National Survey Organization report, two years back, women were a part of just 10 per cent of the total number of entrepreneurs in the country, while today, the figure is 14 per cent. That means women run 14 per cent of the business organisations in India.
So, on this International Women’s Day, let us talk about some famous women-led startup in India.
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Top Six Women-Led Startup in India that are Shaping the Startup Culture
1. Nykaa- Falguni Nayar (Women-led startup in India)
Falguni Nayar is the name behind the online beauty and lifestyle store- Nykaa. And it was only recently when Falguni Nayar became India’s first self-made billionaire entrepreneur. Although Falguni Nayar’s startup journey started in 2012 when she founded Nykaa, she marked her presence in Indian startup history when in November 2021, Nykaa’s IPO created a buzz in the share market.
Before being the founder of Nykaa, Falguni Nayar served Kotak Mahindra as a Venture investor and merchant for 20 years. It was then only that she decided to quit her job and follow her dream. On the education front, Falguni Nayar is associated with the top-rated B-school in India- IIM Ahmedabad. This women-led startup in India is famous for being one of the largest cosmetics and lifestyle brands today.
- “Woman Ahead” award At the Economic Times Startup Awards in 2017.
- In 2019, “Businesswoman of the year” award, recognising her contribution to the Indian beauty industry.
- In 2021, she won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award at Monaco for her unstoppable positive contribution and innovation.
- Nayar won the CEO of the Year 2022 Award from The Economic Times.
2. Mobikwik- Upasana Taku
MobiKwik is one of India’s largest payment networks and another women-led startup in India. The mastermind behind this startup is Upasana Taku. She, along with her husband Bipin Preet Singh, started Mobikwik in 2009 as an online portal to make bill payments easier. However, today, Mobikwik is more of a mobile wallet.
It was in 2012 when Mobikkwik launched its first mobile app on the Android store that held the attention of venture capital fund Sequoia Capital, and since then, Mobikwik has raised a funding of $80-85 million from investors in three rounds of funding.
At present, Mobikwik has almost 120 million users and witnesses three million transactions daily. Besides, the platform also hosts three million merchants and 300+ billers.
Awards & Recognition:
Lattice80, the global fintech company, named Taku among Top 100 Women in Fintech 2018.
“Best Woman Entrepreneur Award 2017″ by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).”
Got fame under the Fortune 40 under 40 list in 2017.
Named as Forbes Asia’s 25 Power Businesswomen. Additionally, she has also been named as Asia’s Women To Watch 2016.
The first woman to lead a Payments startup award from the President of India
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3. Shopclues- Radhika Aggarwal
Radhika Aggarwal happens to be the first Indian woman who made her name in the Unicorn club. This women-led startup in India started in 2011 along with Sanjay Sethi, and today Shopclues is the leading name for the online marketplace in India. The current worth of Shopclues is over $1 billion.
Radhika Aggarwal is a management graduate from Washington University, and prior to founding Shopclues, she had worked for various sectors, including fashion, lifestyle, retail, and eCommerce for companies such as Nordstrom and Goldman Sachs in the US. As of today, Shopclues has 14 million registered users and around 3,50,000 medium and small-sized sellers on the platform.
Awards and Recognition:
- In 2016, Radhika Aggarwal was awarded “Outlook Business Woman of Worth” at the Outlook Business Awards,
- She was named “Women Entrepreneur of the Year” at the Entrepreneur of India Awards
- At CMO Asia Awards, she was given “Exemplary Woman Entrepreneur of the Year”
4. Yatra Online Inc- Sabina Chopra
Another name for a women-led startup in India is Yatra. In 2005, Sabina Chopra, along with Dhruv Shringi and Manish Amin, started the online travel portal- Yatra. Yatra in its initial days had only 21 million internet users and sold just 100 tickets a day. Today the number has increased to 25,000 tickets a day.
Yatra aims to become a one-stop shop for travellers. More than 2.8 million air travel bookings were made through Yatra in the financial year that ended in March 2016, which made the total transaction value to be more than $900 million.
Awards & Recognition
Sabina Chopra has been honoured with a number of awards. This includes:
- Ten Notable Women in the Indian E-commerce Ecosystem (January 2015)
- Was recognised for LinkedIn Power Profile in 2015
- 10 most viewed profiles in India in the Internet Industry among 20 billion-plus users by SheThePeople (October 2016).
- Additionally, she was given the Women Leadership Award for Excellence in Hospitality & Tourism Sector 2016 by Femina World Women Leadership Awards.
- Named as Women of the Decade in the category of Innovation & Enterprise (April 2017).
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5. Zivame- Richa Kar
Zivame is the leading lingerie-selling online store in India, and all thanks to the lady behind it- Richa Kar. She started Zivame in 2011, and in 2015, the company raised $40 million of funding from the Zodius Technology Fund and Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund Khazanah. Earlier also, Zivame had raised around $9 million of funds in two rounds.
Richa Kar is an engineer and management graduate. However, she resigned from the position of CEO at Zivame but continues to be a member of the board. One of the fast growing women-led startup in India, the company recently announced it to be opening almost 100 offline stores and fitting centres all over India in the next two years.
6. Ghazal Alagh- MamaEarth
MamaEarth is one of the names in the Indian beauty industry and baby healthcare products that has gained a lot of eye-turning moments in the last few years. Founded in the year 2016, MamaEarth is one household name known for its natural ingredients, attractive packaging, and cost-effective pricing. It was launched by Ghazal Alagh along with her husband, Varun Alagh. She is one of the inspiring figures for women entrepreneurs in India who fought in the male-dominated industry to achieve a big name for her brand.
MamaEarth launched initially for chemical-free baby care products, has now been extensively expanded to serve the beauty needs of men and women. Within four years of the launch, the brand crossed INR 100 crore mark. Known for its innovative marketing strategy, this women-led startup is one of the most inspiring examples for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Awards & Recognitions:
- Named BW40under40 in 2019
- Got Best Brand of the Year in 2018 for MamaEarth
- In 2019, she was given Super Startup Asia Award
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