International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated on February 11 to honour and recognise the contributions that women have made to science, to encourage young girls and women to consider careers in STEM fields, and to educate men about their responsibility to support and mentor women and girls who are interested in technical and scientific fields in their academic and professional lives.
Indian women have often shown that science and business can coexist, either by doing great things in the field of research or breaking into the world of entrepreneurship. It takes far more than it can to turn a concept for beginning your own business into reality. These five ladies have merely overcome all expectations set by society to achieve their current status. They have decided to pursue entrepreneurship as a means of resolving the country’s current problems, and they are succeeding brilliantly.
Here is a list of some women entrepreneurs in India who, despite all obstacles and setbacks, managed to start their own companies from scratch thanks to their unwavering resolve and work ethic.
Women In STEM
Upasana Taku (MobiKwik)
Upasana Taku is the co-founder of MobiKwik and Zaakpay. Taku completed her secondary education in Surat before enrolling in the Industrial Engineering programme at the National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar. She subsequently completed her MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University in the US. She began her career in San Diego with HSBC before moving on to PayPal. She returned in 2009 and launched Zaakpay. She became a co-founder of Mobikwik soon after. Mobikwik launched its business as a mobile wallet to make digital payments simple for its consumers. In 2017, she was awarded for achievement as an entrepreneur.
Divya Gokulnath (Byju’s)
Byju’s, one of India’s largest ed-tech firms, was co-founded by Divya Gokulnath. Gokulnath pursued a B.Tech in Biotechnology from Bengaluru. She began working as a teacher before helping to co-found Byju’s in 2011. More than 150 million students worldwide receive highly adaptable, interesting, and efficient learning solutions from Byju’s, a leading company in ed-tech.
With tools that lie at the intersection of mobile, interactive content and individualised learning approaches, Byju’s offers a top-notch learning experience. Gokulnath oversaw brand marketing, content, and user experience during the COVID-19 shutdown in India. She won several honours, including Women Who Make India, the Entrepreneur of the Year, and the MAKERS India Conference.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Biocon Limited)
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the founder and current executive chairperson of Biocon Limited. Bengaluru-based Biocon Limited is a biopharmaceutical business. After pursuing her undergraduate degree in Zoology at Bangalore University in 1973, Mazumdar-Shaw obtained her master’s degree in brewing from the University of Ballarat in Melbourne. In 1978, she founded Biocon India in the garage of her Bangalore rental home.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted its clearance to Biocon in 2001 to produce a cholesterol-lowering chemical, making it the first Indian firm to do so. India’s largest and fully integrated biopharmaceutical business, Biocon Limited, was publicly listed in 2004. In the meanwhile, Mazumdar-Shaw began to receive several honours, including Padma Bhushan, Businesswoman of the Year, and Technology Pioneer.
Khushboo Jain (Impact Guru)
The co-founder and chief operating officer of Impact Guru, a platform for fundraising for organisations, personal causes, and medical costs, is Khushboo Jain. From 2004 to 2007, she earned an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in business and management.
She has degrees in a variety of other fields as well. Through its crowdfunding platform and international partners, ImpactGuru has raised more than $200 million since its founding in 2015, which has aided in providing medical care for Indians suffering from serious illnesses. Through the website, over 10 lakh contributors from 165 countries have given an average of $1.50 each minute.
Sonam Srivastava (Wright Research)
Sonam Srivastava is the Founder of Wright Research, an Artificial Intelligence-powered Robo Advisor.
Wright Research is a Mumbai-based SEBI Registered Investment Advisory firm and an AI-powered Robo advisor creating multi-factor tactical model portfolios. It was founded in 2019 by Sonam Srivastava (IIT Kanpur alumnus). Through artificial intelligence and data science-based research in investing, they help investors find the best investments. They work across market factors, time horizons & asset classes to maximise returns while minimising the risks.
Suggested reading: More Women Are Studying STEM But Workplace Barriers Still Persist