Women make great role models. And we need loads of them. Every day one inspiration story can fire many others and trigger new ideas. Today I am picking 8 entrepreneurs in Bengaluru who have been iconic in their contribution to fields of their choice but also in being a role model on multiple counts.
Sudha Murthy – Entrepreneur
This name needs no introduction. Sudha (born 1950) is the Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, member of public health care initiatives of Gates Foundation, Social worker, prolific Writer in Kannada and English, Teacher and Inspirational Human being. She began her professional career as a computer scientist and engineer, founded several orphanages, participated in rural development efforts, promoted the movement to equip Karnataka government schools with computer and library facilities, and established ‘The Murthy Classical Library of India’ at Harvard University.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw – Entrepreneur
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (born 1953, Bangalore) is an Indian entrepreneur, chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited and chairperson of IIM-Bangalore. She has won the Othmer Gold Medal, for outstanding contributions to progress of science and chemistry. Listed twice in Forbes top 100 powerful women in the world and on the Financial Times top 50 women in business list.
Where Fermentation Science, Malting and Brewing all are considered “Men’s Work””, Kiran studied these, pursued in the field and has carved a niche for herself as best in class Brew-master in India and the whole wide world.
Sunitha Krishnan – Social Worker
Sunitha Krishnan (born 1972 Bangalore) is an Indian social activist and co-founder of Prajwala, a non-govt organization that rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates sex-trafficked victims into society.
Working in areas of anti-human trafficking and social policy, Prajwala shelters rescued women and children and set up one of the largest rehabilitation homes in India. She was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2016. Sunitha is a warehouse of energy and optimism. With her never ending hope, passion, continuous struggle to reach goals set for herself, she is someone everyone looks up to.
Saalumarada Thimmakka – Environmentalist
Saalumarada Thimmakka is an Indian environmentalist from Karnataka. Honored with National Citizen’s Award of India, she is noted for her work in planting and tending to 384 banyan trees along a 4 km stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur.
Born and brought up in a village, she has received no formal education, yet has a long list of prestigious awards and “Thimmakka’s Resources for Environmental Education” based in Los Angeles and Oakland, California is named after her. Now that’s what we call truly self made and inspirational.
Sharmila Nicollet – Golfer
Sharmila Nicollet (born 1991, Bangalore) is an Indo French Golf Professional. In times when golf was considered as men’s sport, she started pursuing Golf in 2002 at age of 11 and won her first tournament at 15. A former national sub-junior swimming champ with over 72 gold and silver medals won in state and national aquatic meets (1997 to 2001), Sharmila is a true inspiration. She has proved that age is no bar when it comes to pursuing your passion in giving in your 100% to follow your dreams.
Arundhati Nag – Actress
Arundhati Nag (born 1956) is a film and theatre actress for over 25 years. She is known for multilingual theatre, various productions in Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and then in Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and English in Bangalore.
She performed several critically acclaimed plays in Kannada and also worked in many Kannada movies. She built a theatre space dedicated to quality theatre in Bangalore: Ranga Shankara. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Padma Shri and the National Film Awards, she is the true artist who has dedicated her life to theatre.
Anita Nair – Writer
Anita Nair (born 1966) is an Indian English-language writer. Born in Kerala and educated in Chennai, she has spent most of her work period in Bangalore. Working as the creative director of an advertising agency in Bangalore, she wrote her first book called Satyr of the Subway, which won her a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. A bestselling author of fiction and poetry, Nair’s novels The Better Man and Ladies Coupe have been translated into 21 languages. She has won multiple prestigious awards for her notable work in Literature.
Nisha Millet – Swimmer
Nisha Millet (born 20 March 1982) is a swimmer from Bangalore. An Arjuna Award winner, she was the only woman in the 2000 Sydney Olympics swim team for India. While still a sub-junior, Nisha won all five freestyle gold medals at the Senior National Level and beat India’s top swimmers. Nisha represented India at the 1998 Asian Games, World Championships and won medals for India at Afro-Asian Games and SAF Games. She was the only Indian athlete to win 14 gold medals at the National Games in 1999. With enormous awards list and distinctions to her name, Nisha has paved the way for young women who want to live their dreams.
Pooja is an independent writer and ooccasionallycurates @WeAreBangalore. Views, information expressed in the article is entirely the author’s not that of SheThePeople.TV