It’s the week of #StartUpIndia initiative and women are in the spotlight for the spectacular companies they have built and grown. SheThePeople.TV puts together a list of female founders who are cracking the code and getting ahead to built new, sustainable and innovative firms.
Shubhra Chadda, Chumbak
This is a brand the promise to put India’s quirky side on the world map. Along with Vivek Prabhakar, Shubhra Chadda founded Chumbak, an online store selling Indianised customized, funky apparel. The husband and wife duo love to travel and wanted to invest in ideas for souvenirs that go beyond the typical Taj Mahal key chains. Thus came the idea to bring India and all its eccentricities to fridge magnets and the like. Chumbak, in fact is the Hindi word for fridge magnet! Shubhra found a way to balance being the mother of her then two year old daughter and the inception year of Chumbak. Today they has over 120 retail selling points across the country.
Suchi Mukherjee, Limeroad.com
Suchi is the founder and CEO of the online social discovery platform for women, LimeRoad. She is extremely passionate about building consumer technology products. With LimeRoad, she has revolutionized the way lifestyle products are discovered and bought by people online in India. Suchi earlier worked with companies like Skype, Gumtree, eBay and Virgin Media. Suchi didn’t have a business bone in her until she turned entrepreneur. She decided to come to India start an online business especially for women and this is when LimeRoad came into existence. Suchi’s LimeRoad was selected as among the best apps at the Digital Women Awards 2015.
Sabina Chopra, Yatra.com
Sabina Chopra is the co-founder of the now famous travel portal Yatra.com. Online travel commerce was just at its beginning stages during this time and the startup soon grew to become the leading portal in this space. Before starting Yatra, she was the head of the India operations of eBookers, Europe’s leading online travel company. Additionally, she has also worked with airline companies and has over a decade and a half of work experience. Sabina is in charge of operations and sales, aside from heading the startup’s domestic hotel business.
Chitra Gurnani Daga, Thrillophilia
Thrillophilia is an Indian adventure travel company that curates the best local experiences with hand picked guides and vendors to expand your journey into something offbeat and fun. Combining their passion for adventure and adrenaline, Chitra Gurnani Daga, an alumnus of the Indian School of Business and her husband Abhishek Daga, alumnus of the IIT BHU, Varanasi started Thrillophilia. Chitra and Abhishek decided to follow their dreams and go the unconventional way with no previous business experience or any exposure in family business dealings, they took a shot in the dark and scored indeed.
Aditi Gupta, Menstrupedia.com
Aditi is the founder of menstrupedia.com. She co-founded the site with Tuhin Paul, who is also her husband, in November 2012. Menstrupedia is a friendly guide to healthy periods. It aims at educating girls and women about periods and breaking the various myths attached to this taboo subject. It is unique as it is India’s first such site which talks so openly about women’s monthly cycles. Aditi was born and brought up in Garhwa, a small town in Jharkhand, where she had to deal with the shame associated with the act of buying sanitary napkins, and had to resort to using rags. Aditi has worked with Ford foundation as research associate and user experience designer in other two companies. She was also recently listed in Forbes India ’30 under 30′ list for her efforts in making the masses aware about the myths attached to menstruation.
Garima Satija, Poshvine
Garima Satija is a young entrepreneur and founder of PoshVine, a community marketplace for travellers and adventure seekers to offer, discover and book unique experiences. Before she started PoshVine, Garima had worked with Naukri.com, Quadrangle Consulting Services and Ozone Media. She studied Psychology from the University of Lucknow and did her MBA in Human Resources from Amity Business School. Coming from a business family, she learned from her father that it is only hard work that gets you where you want to be.
Sneha Raisoni, Tappu Ki Dukaan
Sneha Raisoni is the founder of the Tappu Ki Dukaan, a creative store that curates fun items for use from stationary to home. She took a gutsy plunge by quitting her job as a chartered accountant and set up the store that managed to break even within a year of its inception. Sneha’s first store was opened in the unoccupied mezzanine floor of her father’s optician store in late 2009. Tappu Ki Dukaan has all the eccentric, quirky products from Haathi Chhap, Pop Goes the Art, Mixed Juice Design, Neil Dantas and Happily Unmarried on its shelves today.
Sairee Chahal, sheroes india
Serial entrepreneur, Sairee is founder of Sheroes.in, mentor, occasional writer and mother to a seven year old daughter. She is a TED speaker, a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Award Initiative for 2012 and voted Most Powerful Women in Indian Business, 2012 along with being featured on shows like What Women Want, Young Turks and Pioneering Spirit. Sheroes.in helps women of the workplace offering opportunities and resources. Sairee has work experience as senior editor at NewsLink Services and a consultant at the Confederation of Indian Industry and Heidrick & Struggles. Watch our interview with Sairee
Richa Kar, Zivame
Richa Kar is the co-founder and CEO of online lingerie store, Zivame.com. It has acquired its fame for being the first web platform having over two thousand styles to choose from. The company was setup in 2011 in Bangalore. Having studied the Indian lingerie retail market, she noticed that women weren’t exactly comfortable shopping for lingerie in physical outlet stores. Thus she conceptualized Zivame, a place where women can understand and get to explore their lingerie needs, browse through styles, sizes and get the items delivered at their doorstep without all the embarrassment. Furthermore, for the comfort of the Indian woman, Zivame even takes care to deliver its products discreetly, being packed without any show of branding and product description.
Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, ShopClues.com
Equipped with over a decade and a half of marketing experience in various industries like retail, ecommerce, fashion & lifestyle, advertising & public relations, Radhika Ghai Aggarwal co-founded Shopclues.com. It was birthed in Silicon Valley in 2011 and is currently India’s first and largest fully managed marketplace with more than 7 million visitors every month, serving nine thousand cities, towns and villages in India. Before this, she ran a fashion blog based out of the Silicon Valley, USA. Radhika has previously worked with Nordstrom at its corporate headquarters in strategy planning and with Goldman Sachs in its Wealth Management group in New York and Menlo Park, USA. She has an MBA from Washington University and also holds a post graduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Watch out interview with Radhika
Preeta Sukhtankar, The Label Corp
Preeta Sukhtankar is the founder of The Label Corp, which is consider a first of its kind online marketplace in India with niche products curated by celebrity creative directors. Through a strong network and work experience in media and brand building, Preeta’s venture is home to three brands by famous Indian celebrities. These being: 1) The Home Label with Suzanne Khan, 2) The Closet Label with Malaika Arora Khan, and 3) The Trunk Label with Bipasha Basu.
Falguni Nayyar, Nykaa
Post a grandly successful career of over 25 years in financial services, 18 of which were spent with the Kotak Mahindra group as Managing Director, among other designations, Falguni Nayyar took the entrepreneurial plunge and launched Nykaa.com, a beauty and wellness ecommerce, premier platform for women. This IIM Ahmedabad graduate launched her website in the latter end of 2012 and soon enough Nykaa was already boasting of retail partnerships with the world’s top notch personal care corporations like Unilever, P&G, L’Oreal, Beiersdorf, Johnson & Johnson and going onto raise 20 crores in funding from private investors with plans to expand to new technologies, a mobile app and physical stores in the country. Clearly an inspiring woman of the working sphere that has shined in every venture. Watch our interview with Falguni Nayar
Pranshu Bhandari, CultureAlley
Along with her husband and batchmate at 500 Startups, Nishant Patni, Pranshu started CultureAlley where you can learn various languages through interactive videos after which you can practice your newly acquired language skills on your Facebook wall or Twitter feed. She has previously worked with companies like Sun Microsystems, Pitney Bowes and interned at Wipro. Pranshu and her husband came up with the idea for CultureAlley after Nishant returned from a trip to China having had the toughest time trying to learn Mandarin. Today, CultureAlley has taught over 500,000 people learn languages like Spanish or Portuguese.
Valeria Wagoner, ZipDial
Valerie Wagoner quit her Silicon Valley job and moved to India to start ZipDial, an interactive mobile based platform for marketing and advertising. It’s a service that lets large companies give out their numbers allowing people to call and disconnect without getting charged. Post this, the company or brand can communicate with and send messages, coupons and deals to the customer directly to their phone. Today, ZipDial works with over 500 brands.
Upasana Tak, MobiKwik
Mobikwik on the other hand is a mobile wallet that easily enables you to pay for your recharge, bill payments and shopping at various ecommerce websites. While working on Mobikwik, Upasana and her co-founder noticed glitches in the setting up of payment gateways which did not seem to run smoothly, in the least and were expensive. Thus they also started Zaakpay, a payments company aimed at solving issues with eCommerce in India. Upasana holds a B.Tech. degree in Industrial Engineering from National Institute of Technology and an MS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University. Her overall work experience includes 12 years in the workforce, 10 years in Financial Service, and 4 years as an entrepreneur in India.