Self-made women billionaires and entrepreneurs: India Chapter

It has been found via a few research studies that women have scored higher than men on almost all emotional intelligence competencies, including qualities like conflict management, adaptability, and teamwork – all essential components for a successful workplace. In this article we explore and celebrate the self made women who have the agility, resilience and perseverance along with their hard work of years to reach global status of success. These self made women billionaires are India’s leading entrepreneurs who have been featured globally for their successful organizations.
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This year, 2022, the latest Hurun Richest Self-Made Women in the world 2022 acknowledged three Indian women, lets learn a bit more on their journey and the brands:

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

She is the executive chair-person and founder of Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics, stands 26th women on the Huran list and is known to have a wealth of close to US $3.8 BN.

Daughter of a brewmaster, Mazumdar-Shaw planned to follow in her father’s footsteps. She earned a degree in Biology and Zoology and went on to study brewing from University of Ballarat, Melbourne in 1975. As a woman in the field, she found it hard to find herself a job in brewing in India. She did a few consulting projects before meeting Leslie Auchincloss, then owner of Irish firm- Biocon Biochemicals. Leslie took on Mazumdar-Shaw as a partner in the new venture, Biocon India, launched in 1978,  started with producing enzymes for alcoholic beverages, paper along with other products.

2010: Mazumdar-Shaw was named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
2011: She was in the top 50 women in business list for Financial Times.
2014 and 2015 : Listed as 92nd most powerful women in the world by Forbes and rose to 85th in 2015.
2022: She is ranked 26th women in the world in the Huran self made women billionaires list

For her work in the biotechnology sector, she has received a number of national and international awards that includes:
– Technology Pioneer – World Economic Forum, 2002
– Fourth Indian citizen to be honored with Australia’s highest civilian honor.
– Padma Shri – 1989
– Padma Bhusan – 2005

Biocon India– Today, Biocon India is a leading and pioneering enterprise that has utilized India’s homegrown and scientific talent to make incredible breakthroughs in clinical research. Within the year of its inception Biocon was able to manufacture enzymes and export them to the US and Europe, the first ever Indian company to do so.

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Falguni Nayar

She is the founder and CEO of the beauty and lifestyle based retail brand – Nykaa. A rather popular and sought after choice for many females and males across the nation. Nayar is known to be in the top 10 richest list with a wealth close to $7.6 BN.

Recently after the IPO of Nykaa, Nayar overtook India’s long time number one woman billionaire – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw to become the richest self made woman in India.

She is also known to be first in Hurun’s list of top 10 new faces.

Her journey to become an entrepreneur started at 49 years of age, this in itself reflects how she has defined all stereotypes to become India’s richest self made women. Prior to kickstarting Nykaa, Nayar has worked in the finance and banking sector including Kotak Bank where she recalls being encouraged to do new things. Her journey as an investment banker aided her for solving problems and finding innovative solutions. Her journey at the bank helped her to understand that return on equality and long-term sustainability of the business are key parameters that matter the most – a learning she implemented at Nykaa.

Nykaa – Founded in 2012, Nykaa is a e-commerce giant today leading the beauty and fashion segment in the Indian market. Offering beauty, wellness and fashion products to its customers at reasonable prices. With celebrity investors like Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif, the brand was founded by a former investment banker.

Unicorn entry:
In 2020 the brand entered the list of Unicorns becoming the first Indian Unicorn led by a woman. The brand has more than 84 offline stores and launched its own IPO in the last quarter of 2021.

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Radha Vembu

She is the co-founder and product manager of Zoho. Vembu today stands to be the second richest self-made women billionaire in India to make it to Huran’s list. She is considered to be the top riser in India and second across the world in the list of Biggest Risers. Her capital today stands at US $3.9 BN with a ranking of 25th on Huran’s list.

Vembu is a graduate in Industrial management from the prestigious and elite IIT Madras and is known as the invisible force and leadership behind the success of the brand. Post her graduation in 1997 – she and brother started Zoho Corporation, initially known as AdventInc.

Management style: In an interview to Forbes she mentioned how she is focused on
A -building a bias-free workplace
B -personally addressing internal grievances

She has also mentioned a few times via her interviews that the quality of product matters, not the people behind it.

Zoho Corporation – An Indian multinational technology brand that is making web-based business tools – best known for their online office offering Zoho Office Suite. This suite is known to be a unique and powerful suite software that helps you to run your entire business transforming the way you work. With 45+ integrated applications, including Zoho one – you can now manage, connect and automate business processes across the organization at various levels.

Work-from-home with Zoho: In 2020 Zoho launched a unique product – a remote work tool kit coined Zoho Remotely that helps businesses to switch to work-from-home.

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If there is one thing we can learn from these three women, it is the simple fact that entrepreneurship does not have an expiry date. You can begin your journey where you are and with what you have, just remember to start small, build a network and never forget to seek help when you need it. Each conversation with a person can bring the push you need and always remember that the most powerful resource you have is – you.

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If being an entrepreneur is on your list, we recommend you to research MBA-ESG program offerings. These programs will aid you to hone your skills to become entrepreneurs, connect you with industry stalwarts for masterclasses, workshops and conversations throughout your masters journey along with mentors and professors that will be there to guide you on every step.

Author: Mankiran