Indian entrepreneurship scene is changing. And women entrepreneurs are leading the pack. Here’s our tribute.
Think about the Indian woman and a sindoor-clad, saree-draped, village-dwelling woman would be the picture typical advertising agencies would pitch with. “There’s fire in her eyes, but she has her hands tied…” quips the art director with empathy in his voice. So cliche!
Well, that image is changing. The image of today’s women of India is one with fire in her eyes, power in her pace, and a Ferrari or Merc Maybach to zip by – a red one at that! Welcome to the new India.
Overcoming familial, societal, and gender norms and challenges, women today are proving to the world that they are capable of everything!
When we searched for female entrepreneurs in India, Google showed a list of the top players like Indra Nooyi, Shahnaaz Husain, and other names which we’ve all looked up to while growing up.
But are they the only female entrepreneurs India has produced?
Most definitely not.
There are women from all over the country, even in the remotest parts of India, who have shouldered amazing endeavors, and earned every ounce of success they achieved.
One fempreneur who changed the beauty industry, another who brought a new wave in the electronics industry, this Women’s Day, Dukaan celebrates some exceptional fempreneurs from India.
Presenting, the women that inspire us every day:
- Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs of India
- Devita Saraf
- Vineeta Singh
- Namita Thapar
- Ghazal Alagh
- Chahat Pahuja
- Priyam Singh
- Niti Singhal
- Kalpana & Uma Jha
- Rishika Nayak Shetty
- Malvica Saxena
- Riya Khattar
- Esha Shah
- Dinckle Goel
- Mouli Suvarnakar
- Ashna Chand
- Avisi Agarwal
- Sakshee Vijay
- Arshia Kaur Vijan
- Aiman Siddiqui
- Sakshi Mungad
- Aastha & Srishti
- Leesha Agarwal
- Tithi Soni
- Anusha Goswami
- Komal Soneji
- Rutuja Bhombe
- Nishi Tulsyan
- Sunaina Rajput
- Chase your dreams, start your business today!
Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs of India
Fuelled by the desire to be as respected and powerful as male entrepreneurs, Devita Saraf is one woman who paved the way for her next generations by being unapologetically ambitious.
She started Vu Televisions when she was just 24 years old, and has grown her business into a multimillion brand with sheer determination. Her unique store on Dukaan offers a range of revolutionary TVs that everyone is going gaga for!
Vineeta, who most recently gained all the attention for being a judge on Shark Tank India, is one of the most inspiring women entrepreneurs of India.
Her business venture Sugar cosmetics was started in 2012 and has garnered a lot of praise from people for focusing their range of products on Indian skin tones.
Namita is one of the leading entrepreneurs in India who is one of the recipients of The Economic Times ‘40 under Forty’ award. She is the CEO of Emcure, a multinational pharmaceuticals company based in Pune, India.
She is very passionate about improving women’s health and she addresses it through her own YouTube talk show.
Mama Earth is the brand that creates clean, chemical-free, toxin-free products. This brand was founded by Ghazal and her husband in the year 2016.
This inspiring entrepreneur always knew that she wanted to be a businesswoman and with the support of her family.
“Farda” is an Urdu word that means “tomorrow”. Co-founders Chahat Pahuja and Sanskar Mishra envision this brand to be the ‘Tomorrow of Fashion.’
"Farda is for people who want to express through their style what they're all about. We're bringing emotional intimacy back into street fashion." - said Chahat Pahuja
Paws India was started with a noble mission of providing top-quality pet foods and premium pet accessories for dogs and cats.
This ‘tech-infused’ pet product store was founded by Priyam Singh in April 2016.
Single apparel that can be a formal dress during the day and a sexy jumpsuit for the night, that is what Twee in one is all about.
This store hosts a range of stylish reversible and convertible outfits designed by Niti Singhal. She is a New York fashion week designer and consultant who believes that “Innovation in design can bring about a revolution.”
Kalpana & Uma Jha
When Kalpana and Uma from a small town Darbhanga in North Bihar started out on the handmade pickle business, little did they know that they were creating an empire.
Today, their spicy and delicious pickles have worked their magic on even the sharks of Shark Tank India.
Rishika Nayak Shetty
Donuts, waffles, popsicles, cupcakes, mousse jars, sweet boxes, and much more!
No, we are not talking about food, we are talking about artisanal soaps by The Sass Bar!
These soap bars are a vision and sell for themselves as they look delicious enough to eat! The sass bar was one of the brands to get funded in Shark Tank India.
The quirky Naari is a new age store that sells a range of quirky, fun, and edgy line of footwear for women.
Recently, Malvica Saxena was featured on Shark tank India and also got funded by one of the sharks. We can expect more such quirky products to line up in her store including jackets and kidswear.
This trendy store sells a range of detachable sleeves that can add some flair to any of your outfits!
You can use them to style your outfits in different ways depending on the event.
Maisha is a lifestyle accessory brand based in Ahmedabad, India. Our products are handcrafted and handmade by local artisans from the finest weaves of cotton and jute.
The products are designed keeping in mind the aesthetics and versatility that lies in cottons & jute and the fine woven textures we’ve been inherited with. We use minimal vegan leather instead of animal leather.
Threads by Dinckle is one such cute store that sells that cutest hair accessories and scrunchies. And yeah, hair accessories are more than hairbands and clips.
The fempreneur who owns this business (we couldn’t get her name unfortunately), sells scrunchies, bonnets, and also face masks, phone cases, etc.
Sew scrunchies was started on a whim by Mouli, who is a self-proclaimed scrunchie expert. In the beginning, this was a small, family-run business that was between her parents herself!
Today, Sew Scrunchies has a team of 10 people who strive to produce unique, chic, and elegant scrunchies of all sizes and all materials.
Another fempreneur with a drive to save the environment, Ashna runs a thrift store committed to sustainable fashion.
“Thrifting is about more than just finding amazing deals on your favorite brands. It’s about shopping with intention, rejecting throwaway fashion culture, and standing for sustainability.” - Ashna Chand
Adding candles to a place can light up the space and add some fragrance. It can add some color and set the mood.
With candles from AV aesthetics, you can make your interiors look aesthetic as well.
Avisi creates the most aesthetically pleasing candles using pure soy wax, hence these candles are completely vegan and biodegradable.
Skinmushh is all about effective skincare that comes in the most aesthetic packaging ever! Their products are all aimed at targeting and curing a range of skin issues like acne, dry skin, oily skin, etc.
All the products are chemical and paraben-free. You can also find a range of hair care products, hair accessories, satin pillow covers, etc. in the store.
Arshia Kaur Vijan
Tint Cosmetics was born with the intention of making makeup simple, hassle-free, fun, and suitable for one and all. They have a range of products that are clean and kind to skin.
“Tint Cosmetics was a midnight idea which transformed into reality with a combination of a lot of hard work, passion, enthusiasm, and commitment.” - Arshia Kaur
A store that carries it all!
From cute scrunchies to lip balms, and dresses. You can find the best of it all with Riwayat Jaipur.
The owner, Aiman, is a simple girl with big dreams and works relentlessly to make those dreams real.
Sakshi is a fashion design student who started this little store from her home in 2020. She hand makes each and every scrunchy sold in the store.
This store also sells a range of headbands, bows, pins, neckpieces, bracelets, and much more.
Aastha & Srishti
Started from a dorm room conversation, Ode Studio has now become a full-fledged business, all because of the hard work and dedication of Aastha & Srishti.
Launched in August 2019, Ode Studio helps businesses create strong, unique logos & brand identities through their products like desk stationery, planners and other gifts, etc.
Aastha & Srishti’s vision is to leave a lasting impression and be a symbol of passion and creativity for design and organisation lovers that span all over the globe.
A brand with a cause is what Adah is, more than anything else. At her fashion school, Leesha noticed how much scrap fabric was wasted contributing to the landfills.
Adah was created intending to promote ethical practices and zero waste. Apart from hand-block and Ikat printed outfits, the scrap fabric is used to create accessories, scrunchies, hair bands, etc.
A teenage fempreneur from Gujarat, Tithi runs this amazing store called crafteria which is full of amazing accessories.
“A little obsession of jewellery - Good for health”
In her own words, she’s obsessed with jewellery and is proud of it. Well, aren’t we all?
Yellow Melon was started in 2018 by an 18-year-old as a hobby. Soon she realized that her store had a lot more potential, and she took on the role of a full-fledged entrepreneur.
This store has a carefully curated range of cool accessories that is trendy, fashionable, and gender-neutral. Over and above all, they are pretty easy on your pocket too!
Komal Soneji is the chief creator of this business, and there’s a beautiful reason behind it.
Even though Komal started this business, she learned the art of sewing from her grandmother and her business acumen from her father.
Not just that, her whole family helps out by handling different departments of the business, making it a proudly run family business.
Thread 101 will completely change the way you look at home decor. Rutuja, the owner of this store, creates a range of Macrame decor from backdrops to wall hangings.
She also makes the cutest earrings, soaps, candles, and beautiful wall baskets all made from natural ingredients.
Scarfs have always been our favourite piece of accessory, and we’re sure you love them too. Well, good news for you, we found this young fempreneur who sells super awesome accessories like scarfs, crochet accessories and tie-dye products as well!
Launched in June 2018, this amazing store has an even more amazing fempreneur to run it. Nishi sells handmade scarfs, crochet earrings, tie & dye scrunchies, and much more!
Fluffy velvet scrunchies that look like your favorite stuffed toy or bouncy organza scrunchies that look like little pieces of cloud, this is the store that has it all.
Sunaina says that with every purchase you make in her store, you are being a small part of her huge dream.
“You're buying a moment of sheer yet pure joy!” - Sunaina
Women, even in today’s day and age, have to battle a lot of stigma and societal norms in every step of the way to success, and these women have proven to us all that nothing can stop them from taking their rightful place in every sphere of life.
We followed their careers for the past year, and the above-mentioned fempreneurs inspired us. We’re hoping that they’ll stir some motivation in the entrepreneur in you.
Right from the moment Kalpana Saroj paved the way as the 1st woman entrepreneur in India, she has inspired millions of us to step outside of our gender roles and break the glass ceiling, so that for our future daughters, the sky is the only limit.
We vow to return next year with a celebration of more fempreneurs, and till then, will keep hustling with them.
Chase your dreams, start your business today!
We didn’t want to leave you with just the list though.
At Dukaan, we believe that we are enablers. Given the talent and fire India holds, we wanna be able to help you fire them.
Entrepreneurs listed above did have their fair share of struggles.
One of them – setting up their online stores, without external help.
Many entrepreneurs we talked to mentioned that setting up a website to sell their products online, felt like jumping through hoops and fire.
Expensive eCommerce applications, domain name, hosting, consultants… The list was scary.
We wanted to challenge it.
Setting up a website to sell your products online shouldn’t need you to take another online course. It should be as easy as setting up a WhatsApp group.
This is why we built Dukaan. Now you too can start your own venture, with no investments, no technical knowledge, in no time.
Watch this video to learn about starting your online store:
Yes, a fully functional online store that lists your products, accepts online payments, ships products and anyone can buy from.
Whatever be your business idea, candle making, clothing store, makeup products…. Dukaan can create your own online store in 5 minutes or less.