The year is drawing to a close. The startup world has experienced and seen several unexpected as well as unpredictable trends this year. It has been equally surprising for the women entrepreneurs. Here, we have put the list of 8 interesting as well as successful women entrepreneurs who have etched their trails and are looking to soar high in the coming year. Read on.
- Aditi Gupta: Aditi Gupta did her graduation in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering and post-graduation in New Media Design from National Institute of Design. So during her post –graduation at NID she got the idea for Menstrupedia.com. In 2012, Aditi Gupta with Tuhin Paul co-founded the Menstrupedia. This company provides information for the women to stay healthy and active during their menstruation.
- Upasana Taku: Upasana’s mission is to simplify payment acceptance for Indian merchants/retailers. Her focus is on taking the MobiKwik Wallet to millions of retailers, bank partnerships, and talent acquisition. Upasana comes with a strong payments background as a senior product manager with PayPal (an eBay company) in Silicon Valley and prior to that with HSBC at San Diego.
- Arpita Ganesh: Buttercups is an amazing brand that offers customised services to the customers who want perfect sizes, fits, patterns and also exclusive consultations that will make buying and wearing lingerie a fun activity rather than a dreadful task. Women in general, are ashamed to discuss the discomfort that they face while wearing inappropriate lingerie because of the fear of expression. But this startup simply rubbishes the whole idea of suppression and encourages every woman with its manifesto to ‘BYOU’. With a vision statement that every woman wants to experience – For every woman to be comfortable and happy with her body. Arpita is our true badass entrepreneur.
- Ashwini Asokan: So you think women can’t run a tech business? With their startup Mad Street Den, Ashwini and her husband who is the co-founder want to bring in the change in Artificial Intelligence as it is capable of the same. She is very firm about the idea that startups are male dominated and the scenario needs to be altered to be in favour of women entrepreneurs. Ashwini has said to media that she wants to be known as a top entrepreneur where her gender isn’t a bias and her responsibilities are not hindrances. In her words on Your Story, “You can’t just sit there and say: ‘OK! You’re equal, come on prove it to us.’ You have to work to even the playing field, which has been uneven for generations.”
- Patricia Narayan: The story of this woman entrepreneur is nothing less than a fairy-tale gone wrong. From marrying at a tender age and coming out from an abusive marriage, Patricia has seen it all. Patricia took financial help from her mother and started a mobile cart at Marina Beach. She employed two disabled persons to help her in selling snacks, fresh juice, coffee, and tea. Patricia and her son started their first restaurant ‘Sandeepha’ in memory of her late daughter. She won the ‘FICCI Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2010 for her extraordinary life and struggles.
- Revathi Kulkarni Roy: Revathi was born to drive and her business does not seem like an exception to it. Revathi’s passion manifested in multiple ways and primary among them was ForShe (pronounced for-she), the first women taxi service in Asia, started in 2007, followed by similar initiatives such as Viira in 2010 and the most recent one being HeyDidi, a women-only platform focussed on providing delivery be it food, medical reports to even groceries, via an app. Awarded the ‘Women Transforming India Award’ in 2016 by NITI Aayog, Revathi, at 56, still enjoys driving, and as a seasoned driver and entrepreneur has weathered heavy storms.
- Nisha Dutt: Her story where she worked as an employee and became a CEO of the same in six years is extremely inspiring. The Intellecap-Aavishkaar group has geographic presence in US, South Asia, South East Asia and East Africa. Founded in 2002, it has directed more that $600 million capital to entrepreneurs working on such challenging problems like sustainably through consulting, research, investment banking, networking platforms, tech platforms, equity funds, venture debt vehicle, microfinance lending and investment banking intermediation.
- Lakshmi Menon: She employs elderly and disabled women to make paper pens that grow into trees. To battle the menace of disposable pens in her own special way, 42-year-old Lakshmi Menon runs PURE Living, a Kerala-based social enterprise that makes disposable pens from paper that grow into trees when disposed. The social enterprise that employs elderly and differently abled women, upcycles paper waste from printing press and develops these plantable pens.
And these women entrepreneurs give us hope that when we chase our dreams, impossible does not stand a chance in the dictionary of success. As 2016 comes to a wrap, this is a reminder to all the women entrepreneurs: Don’t stop yourself. Be what you are meant to be.