News Karnataka
Friday, March 31 2023

The heritage of top 10 Indian women entrepreneurs: A women’s day recall

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India has got many esteemed woman entrepreneurs. Here is the list of these women bigwigs; a rapid recall on them on an international women’s day.

Ritu Kumar: Ritu Kumar is one of India’s foremost fashion designer, and the first woman to introduce the ‘boutique’ culture in India under the brand name ‘Ritu’.

Since 1994, Ritu Kumar has also designed the wardrobes for the Femina Miss India contestants for their participation in international beauty pageants such as Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific.

Ritu Kumar’s outfits have also been patronized by style icons such as Late Princess Diana and Jemima Khan.

Ritu Kumar has been awarded the Padma Shri Award 2013, the country’s fourth highest civilian award for her exceptional and distinguished service in the field of fashion, textile and craftsmanship.


Simone Tata: Simone Tata, the chairperson of the Trent Limited. French by birth and educated in Switzerland, she moved to India in 1955, and joined Lakme, small subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills, as managing director in 1961, rising to become its chairperson in 1982. Lakme became one of the leading cosmetic companies of India. As its chairperson, she was referred in the Indian media as the “Cosmetic Czarina of India”

She was appointed to the board of Tata Industries in 1989.

Seeing growth in the retail sector, in 1996 Tata sold Lakme to Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL), and created Trent from the money it made through the sale. All shareholders of Lakme were given equivalent shares in Trent. The Westside brand and stores belong to Trent.

Tata was the wife of the late Naval Tata and is the stepmother of the former Tata group chairman, Ratan Tata, and mother of Noel Tata.


Priya Paul: Priya Paul (born 1967), is a prominent woman entrepreneur of India, and currently the Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels The Park Hotels chain of boutique hotels.

She joined the company, after finishing her studies at the Wellesley College (US) working under her father, as Marketing Manager at The Park New Delhi, at the age of 22.

After the death of Surrendra Paul, she succeeded him in 1990 as the Chairperson of the Hospitality Division of the Apeejay Surendra Group.

She has been conferred with Padma Awards in January 27, 2013.


Ekta Kapoor: Ekta Kapoor is the Joint Managing Director and Creative Director of Balaji Telefilms, her production company.

Ekta Kapoor is the daughter of actor Jeetendra and Shobha Kapoor. Her brother Tusshar Kapoor is also a Bollywood actor. She did her schooling at Bombay Scottish School, Mahim and attended college at Mithibai College.

She has been awarded and accolade several times in her life. She received iconic Dadasaheb Phalke Academy for Phalke Iconic Film & Television Producer.


Indra Nooyi:

Indra Nooyi is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. She was named as president and CEO in October 1, 2006.

She holds a B.S. from Madras Christian College, an MBA from IIM Calcutta and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University and has two daughters.

She has been coffered with prestigious Padma Bhushan Award by President of Indian in the year 2007.

Neelam Dhawan:

Neelam Dhawan is the Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard India.

Earlier, Neelam was the Managing Director of Microsoft India, a position she held from 2005 to 2008.

Neelam also successfully maintained leadership positions at leading Indian IT companies, including HCL and IBM.

Neelam holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw:

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon Limited. Shaw heads India’s leading Biotechnology enterprise, Biocon.

TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Recently, Economic Times placed her at India Inc’s top 10 most powerful women CEOs for the year 2012.

Recently, an U.S.-based Chemical Heritage Foundation has conferred Ms Shaw with the 2014 Othmer Gold Medal for her multifaceted contributions to chemical and scientific heritage.

Kiran is the founder member of the Karnataka’s Vision Group on Biotechnology and currently chairs  this forum.

completed her BSc Zoology Honours course from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She received a graduate honours degree in Zoology from Bangalore University in (1973). She later did her post-graduation work as a brewmaster in Malting and Brewing from Ballarat College of Advanced Education (1975), earning the degree of Master Brewer.

She has also received the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award (2002), the ‘Business Woman of the Year’ also several other awards have been conferred to her kitty.

Naina Lal Kidwai:

Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC India.

Kidwai was the first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School and also the first woman to guide the functioning of a foreign bank in India. She has also completed her Bachelors of Arts in the year 1977.

Naina, 57, is the mother of 2 children. She has been accoladedwith Padma Shri award for her contributions in the areas of trade and industry. She also honoured with ASSOCHAM Ladies League’s Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award 2013 for excellence in Banking.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani:

Sulajja Firodia Motwani is the Joint Managing Director of Kinetic Motor Company Limited.
She completed her graduation in Commerce from Pune University in 1990. She is an MBA holder from the reputed Carnegie Mellon University at Pittsburgh.

Before joining Kinetic Motor Company, she worked for a period of four years with an investment analytics company, BARRA International, based in California. She played a major role in setting the operations of the Kinetic Motor Company in India. Sulajja played a major role in designing and implementing new strategies for the company.

India Today magazine honoured her by presenting her with the title of business “Face of the Millennium”. It ranked her among the top twenty five business entrepreneur of the country.


Chanda Kochhar:

Chanda Kochhar is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Limited, India’s second-largest bank and the largest in the private sector.

She acquired the Masters Degree in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. She received the Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies as well as the J. N. Bose Gold Medal in Cost Accountancy for highest marks in the same year.

She named among Fortune’s 50 most powerful women in business for the fourth consecutive year. Received the ‘Mumbai Women Of The Decade’ award by ASSOCHAM.



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