Women Entrepreneurs on Why They Chose Entrepreneurship

Ashwini Ashwini
Mar 8, 2022 41 min read
Women Entrepreneurs on Why They Chose Entrepreneurship

It is Sunday. You wake up in the morning, as usual and grab the newspaper to go through the headlines and you are pleasingly surprised to know that SBI is willing to step up and invest in the already troubled Yes Bank. Well, this may sound like any other acquisition news but there's something different. What is it? Well, it is the leadership - the statement that SBI is putting at a time when the banking sector is going through one of its worst phases. Well, from being an old traditional bank which believes in playing it safe to becoming the new risktaker of the banking era - SBI has come a long way. But who shall be credited with the transition? Well, the answer is Arundhati Bhattacharya - the now retired banker who was the chairman of SBI for 4 years before retiring in 2017. What was so special about her role? The answer lies in the smooth transition that SBI underwent which was evident in the way fearlessness and risk taking ability was planted in the banking sector's DNA over the period. This is not just about Arundhati. It is about many other women out there who have time and again, put weightage on the quote that 'Every great accomplishment in the universe started off with a woman.'  The importance of a woman in this ecosystem and in our lives is a no-brainer. Everyone knows and acknowledges it. However, the true achievement lies in how we've managed to witness the social growth of women from donning several roles - a wife, a mother, a daughter, an employee, an employer and an entrepreneur as well. This has been a remarkable journey - a story that needs to be told to the universe and we thought what can be better than this day, to speak about everything that we have seen over the years, and all the roles they've played in our lives either directly or indirectly. We do not intend to glorify what they've already accomplished because what they have done for this start-up ecosystem and the change in aroma that we can feel among the business fraternity - deserves a raw and royal tribute, the most original version of themselves. So today - on International Women's Day - here is a small glimpse of what women in business  have to say about their journey in this ecosystem. Let's hear from them:

Sunila Bahl, Co-Founder of Koolchas
Sadiya Khan, Founder at Akund Communications
Divanshi Gupta, Director at The Marcom Avenue
Shristi Banka, Co-founder and CEO at Banka CFO
Harshita Gupta, Founder at Hail Women
Kriti Jindal, Owner and Designer at Kari by Kriti
Harjinder Kaur Talwar, National President at FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and CEO at Comvision India Pvt Ltd
Himani Khanna, Co-Founder & Director at Continua Kids
Avni Kaul, Founder at NutriActivania
Moqierish Tak, Co-Founder at India Assist Insights
Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO at JobsForHer
Nishtha Gupta, Co-founder at Rein Games
Neelam Gupta, Founder President & CEO at AROH Foundation
Kamakshi Sood, Co-Founder at Petveda
Ruchi Jhawar and Anju Modi, Co-Founder at Cogitus
Freny Jariwala, Founder at The Secret Ingredient
Kanika Tekriwal, Founder & CEO at JetSetGo Aviation
Kavea R Chavali, Anchor & Co founder at KALANECA- House of Handloom
Malika Sadani, Founder & CEO at The Moms Co
Regila Marinus, Cofounder at Vidhya Vidhai Foundation
Nupur Khandelwal, Co-founder at Navia Life Care
Mansi Gupta, Founder at Tjori
Kavya Dommeti, CEO at iB Hubs
Kusum Bhandari, Director at Bhookha Haathi
Himani Ahuja, Communications Director & Founder at One Digital
Divya Gupta, Founder at Dialogue Room
Aarti Gill, Co-founder of OZiva
Ayushi Gudwani, Founder at Fablestreet
Swati Chugh, Director at 7th Heaven
Swapnil Mahajan, Founder at MyStarHub
Diksha Chhabra, Founder at Diksha Chhabra FItness Counsultations
Poonam Prahlad, Founder & CEO at CafePopShop
Vani Kabir - Writer, Divorce Monk
Khushboo Sharma - Founder, Zero Gravity Communications
Shrishti Bhandari - Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Mangalam Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Anchal Kadam and Arpan Mahtani - Co-founders, Carat Crush
Ms. Sonia Shah - Founding and Managing Director, SOVI&TYDI

Sunila Bahl, Co-Founder of Koolchas

Sunila Bahl, Co-Founder of Koolchas
Sunila Bahl, Co-Founder of Koolchas

In this society of preconceived notions about women entrepreneurs, at the age of 68, I believe that age and gender have no barrier especially when you have the required skills and passion to present your talent to the world and all you need is a chance to portray the same. I believe in turning dreams into reality and working hard towards achieving goals that lead to the start of Koolchas. I want to inspire every woman regardless of age to believe in themselves and take a step forward towards achieving their dreams. I always wanted to start something on my own in the food segment and let the world taste my recipes.
Mrs. Bahl is the mastermind behind the 2 outlets of Koolchas and is personally involved in preparing all the masalas and pickles while supervising the outlets to maintain the highest levels of hygiene standards at the restaurants.

Sadiya Khan, Founder at Akund Communications

Sadiya Khan, Founder at Akund Communications
Sadiya Khan, Founder at Akund Communications

I have always desired to do something on my own, without the boundaries of a 9-5 routine. This meant that I was looking for something that was long-term (professionally), where I could work on my convenience and be my own boss.
This naturally led me towards entrepreneurship and a startup. As an entrepreneur, you maintain a sense of responsibility and accountability towards your work. My background in communications naturally made me leverage my strengths in publicity.
If not an entrepreneur, well… I don’t think I would have ever thought of life any other way! Entrepreneurship is as focussed as raising a baby, but the best part of it is that I work on my own terms - interact with clients directly, implement new ideas and take my venture to the next level.

Divanshi Gupta, Director at The Marcom Avenue

Divanshi Gupta, Director at The Marcom Avenue
Divanshi Gupta, Director at The Marcom Avenue

The world is a dynamic place and people are finding solutions to new problems every day, and I am someone who loves to solve problems. If we look at any enterprise, we’d see that it is fulfilling one or the other need of the client, and I have been motivated through-out my life till today to help the people involved get what they want.
If I see it today, I never wanted to have any other option than being an entrepreneur. Even while I was pursuing my graduation, I researched about the issues in the dance industry and tried to come up with a solution, hence, DanceHelpline was born.
Another reason why I chose to be an entrepreneur every single day is that it enables me to do something for society, it allows me to create job opportunities for many people, especially women.

Shristi Banka, Co-founder and CEO at Banka CFO

Shristi Banka, Co-founder and CEO at Banka CFO
Shristi Banka, Co-founder and CEO at Banka CFO

I have always wanted to create an establishment by putting my skills, knowledge, and experience into building something that can have a considerable impact on society. Being an entrepreneur allows you to do just that. Once I had obtained requisite educational qualifications and gained sufficient work experience, I decided I should venture out on my own and pursue my dreams.
If not entrepreneurship, I would’ve pursued literature and been a full-time writer. Right now, I am able to write only in my spare time and my first poetry book, “Summer Solstice and other poems” has been published and released by Locksley Hall Publishing LLP on Valentine’s Day this year.

Harshita Gupta, Founder at Hail Women

Gupta, Founder at Hail Women
Gupta, Founder at Hail Women

It was always more than a dream for me to start something of my own, to use my creative ideas and put them to good use, everything or everywhere I worked with the mindset of learning from it so that i can use all those experience for myself. if not entrepreneurship then i have no idea , then i believe i still be looking for opportunity to start it and still be learning from my job experiences.

Kriti Jindal, Owner and Designer at Kari by Kriti

Kriti Jindal, Owner and Designer at Kari by Kriti
Kriti Jindal, Owner and Designer at Kari by Kriti

I have always loved working with textiles and luckily for me that I was able to pursue my interest in textiles through a formal education in textile and apparel management. In 2012, while nursing a broken ankle, I started my blog, Handmade Talks. I shared stories about my love for textiles and interviewed passionate, creative entrepreneurs. Inspired by these stories of men and women turning their passion into a creative outlet, I created my blueprint for Kari by Kriti. In 2014, I was finally able to build this business from scratch with an online store on Etsy. Etsy gave me a global platform and the wings that I needed to take off!
If it wasn’t for Kari by Kriti, I would have still been working with textiles, probably as a home textiles merchandiser/buyer for an overseas home decor brand.

Harjinder Kaur Talwar, National President at FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and CEO at Comvision India Pvt Ltd

Harjinder Kaur Talwar, National President at FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and CEO at Comvision India Pvt Ltd
Harjinder Kaur Talwar, National President at FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and CEO at Comvision India Pvt Ltd

When I was  a child, my dad always felt that I have all the raw materials for being a business woman and a successful one. Probably that was set deep in my mind and I always dreamt of becoming one. As I grew up I decided at the age of 23, that I need to do business. Even though my dad was very established in his business and he offered me the money to start my business. However, I refused because I wanted to do everything on my own. Dad agreed to my request and I applied for a bank loan. Being a woman entrepreneur, my first challenge was I never got a bank loan on my name, so I had to make my Dad partner in my company to be able to receive the loan. A meagre INR 3 lakh loan it was.

I have always believed that economic empowerment of  a woman is a true empowerment and that can lead to empowering many other aspects she is looking at. Again this is deep set in my mind so much so that I never had to spread my hands for taking anything rather one should be a giver then only you will be empowered and people will listen to you. So I got into business and as you know business is slow process, it’s not a miracle that things will start happening from day one  and you will soon be a successful business woman. You have your failures, your successes as well. Each failure teaches you something , each failure makes you stronger and this is what has made me the only woman in India who is offering intelligent traffic and transport solutions to Government of India and I also became the first woman in India who gave multiple citizen services of government under one umbrella first time in India in Hyderabad in the year 2000 and this project was seen by none other than former US President Bill Clinton.
It is no way that I would not have been an entrepreneur. As told earlier, my father who was a successful businessman, always told me that I have all the ingredients of becoming a successful entrepreneur. I had to be an entrepreneur, there was no second option I kept in my mind.

Himani Khanna, Co-Founder & Director at Continua Kids

Himani Khanna, Co-Founder & Director at Continua Kids
Himani Khanna, Co-Founder & Director at Continua Kids

It was a very conscious decision and proud to be calling myself as docpreneur as the stage had arrived where I was feeling that plateau has been achieved in terms of providing care to the society. One becomes a doctor because of the nobility associated with the profession but personally speaking, I have started feeling an entrepreneur can do much more if one is willing in terms of providing help to the society. I shall give you an example. When I was a doctor I was trying to help patients who are entering my chamber but as a docpreneuer I am being able to help not only the patients who are coming to me but we are running an institution where we are trying to fulfill aspirations of so many people in the society which not only includes therapists, front office people, housekeeping staff or security for that matter. My philosophy is If you want to help other people, be a manager. If done well management is among the noble of professions. You are in a position where you have 8-10 hours every day from every person who works for you. You have the opportunity to frame each person’s work so that your employees go home feeling good.
If not entrepreneurship, I would have continued to serve the society as any other doctor to handful of patients who are coming to me. A most fulfilling part of my job currently is that I am in a position where I can serve the weaker sections of the society who simply cannot afford to pay by generating funds through CSR activity.

Avni Kaul, Founder at NutriActivania

 Avni Kaul, Founder at NutriActivania
Avni Kaul, Founder at NutriActivania

I would say if as a woman you have a dream and a vision to fulfill them then there is no reason why something should stop you. One needs to understand that every good thing in life has to face stiff resistance first. It is this phase that actually decides how long one can go. If you are strong and determined enough nothing will bother you and your concentrated effort to establish yourself will win eventually. Life is full of ups and downs so it is important not to get distracted by it. If you aim to get something just go for it come what may. A woman should not forget that she herself has a lot of potentials and is not someone who needs to be dependent on anyone. One must not forget we live in a country where a woman once became the Prime Minister so nothing can be a greater example than this. Women must trust their own abilities rather than focus on what others are saying or doing. As a woman, you should know you are not weak and can achieve anything on her own these are the qualities that one needs to succeed.

Moqierish Tak, Co-Founder at India Assist Insights

Moqierish Tak, Co-Founder at India Assist Insights
Moqierish Tak, Co-Founder at India Assist Insights

I am one of those 1% that didn’t choose entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship chose me. I was bestowed with an idea and a journey that gave me the opportunity to impact people’s lives. India Assist is a product that has the potential to make a huge impact, this alone was reason enough for me to leave my previous career and embark on the journey of entrepreneurship.
Now that I have begun this journey, I do not see myself being anything else but an entrepreneur. Regardless of how difficult the journey is, I would choose entrepreneurship over a corporate career every time.

Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO at JobsForHer

Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO at JobsForHer
Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO at JobsForHer

I took a 3.6-year break in my own career when I had my children. During this personal journey, I became aware of the various difficulties a woman faces in order to re-enter the workforce. This also opened my eyes to the accomplished and qualified women around me who stopped working for personal reasons such as marriage, motherhood or elderly care, and then never returned to the workforce. I started delving into the reasons behind this female brain drain and it became clear that there are many re-entry challenges that need to be addressed in India. These range from requiring flexibility, regaining confidence, retraining, overcoming biases and changing mindsets. It made me determined to enable other women to restart their careers and connect them with whatever they require to do so. And so I founded JobsForHer on International Women's Day, March 2015.
Our Vision is to reverse the female brain drain from within the Indian workforce. We do so by connecting women who want to restart post motherhood/marriage to companies looking for such experienced female talent available at no notice period.

Nishtha Gupta, Co-founder at Rein Games

Nishtha Gupta, Co-founder at Rein Games
Nishtha Gupta, Co-founder at Rein Games

I like building things (big & small), I care a lot about people and I love problem-solving, so being an entrepreneur was my dream. In fact, in my previous companies, I was mostly operating as an intrapreneur. I like taking ownership and fixing things end-to-end, so even when I was not working for my own startup I was operating like one.
I and Vaibhav, both always wanted to build a great product and debated different ideas and it is with gaming we took our first bet. If we wouldn't have taken this bet, I might still be working for a gaming company. There a few gaming companies in India which have a global culture, value employees and have high standards for product & technology quality. I would have looked for such companies.

Neelam Gupta, Founder President & CEO at AROH Foundation

Neelam Gupta, Founder President & CEO at AROH Foundation
Neelam Gupta, Founder President & CEO at AROH Foundation

I chose to be an entrepreneur because I wanted to make a difference to other people’s lives. I wanted to change the world! I had a vision of an equal society where all people live in dignity and security and there are equal opportunities for all. As a young girl, had seen people and young children suffering poverty and it was my dream to help them live a better life. There was no other way to fulfill my dream, other than being on my own and being an entrepreneur. There was no other way of finding solutions to the problems such problems which brought poverty and misery to people, but entrepreneurship. Furthermore, I had always felt that a routine nine to five job does not suit my temperament and I always wanted to be my own boss working in my own style. To me entrepreneurship was the only option for me.
I never had a Plan B. It had to be entrepreneurship or nothing. I think I was not made for a job. I had several offers and opportunities to take up decent jobs after finishing my studies. But I declined all and started my journey towards being an entrepreneur and finally ended up in the field, in social sector, which has my heart and soul in it.

Kamakshi Sood, Co-Founder at Petveda

Kamakshi Sood, Co-Founder at Petveda
Kamakshi Sood, Co-Founder at Petveda

My journey of Entrepreneurship began with Dhruv, when we realized that there is a dire need for some care essentials for the pets. So, I come from a corporate background. Having worked for KLM, as an HR for 4 years & at Mizuho Corporate Bank for 9 years, the thought of Petveda grabbed my attention because of its USP, as organic goodness for pets. I got involved with building the brand and with its positioning, as a part of which I participated in the first Global Pet Expo in Orlando in 2016. Since I was working as well, at the time of Petveda’s conceptualization I had to manage a lot many things. I initially started taking care of Petveda’s social media, which extended to brand promotion and its marketing strategies.
Had I not been on the entrepreneurial journey, I definitely would be working as a banker.

Ruchi Jhawar and Anju Modi, Co-Founder at Cogitus

Ruchi Jhawar and Anju Modi, Co-Founder at Cogitus
Ruchi Jhawar and Anju Modi, Co-Founder at Cogitus

We both have been passionate about education and trying out new ways of developing Higher order thinking in kids. As we kept thinking about giving kids in India the gift of thinking in a structured format, we kept evolving and then we joined hands with the world's best! It was not a choice but a natural way for us.
Also being an entrepreneur gelled well with our personal lives and gave us time for our own schedule and families. We saw launching Cogitus as an important Solution to fill in the lacuna in the Indian system of education.

Freny Jariwala, Founder at The Secret Ingredient

Freny Jariwala, Founder at The Secret Ingredient
Freny Jariwala, Founder at The Secret Ingredient

Being an entrepreneur has always been in my veins. Before starting my own brand - The Secret Ingredient, I have always been helping my dad in his business. My family always inspired me to be independent and take care of my own expenses and that drove me to put my ideas into action, and a few years on, here I am, Women Entrepreneur.
I learned very early that you have to make your own future. So, even if not entrepreneurship, I would still be thinking about what I can do or how I should find a way to be self-reliant to create and be part of something that is bigger than myself.

Kanika Tekriwal, Founder & CEO at JetSetGo Aviation

Kanika Tekriwal, Founder & CEO at JetSetGo Aviation
Kanika Tekriwal, Founder & CEO at JetSetGo Aviation

When you belong to a typical Marwari family, you know that entrepreneurship is in your blood. I always knew, from a very young age, that I would be running a business of my own at some point in my life. Though my parents were all prepared to pack me off into a ‘nice Marwari family,’ which would have put my chances of doing business near zero, they have been incredibly supportive since JetSetGo was founded. The idea for JetSetGo came up because I sensed a need for an aggregator in the private jet space. I would meet a number of people using private jets who complained that booking one in India was a very shoddy experience and they felt cheated that the entire private jet experience is a far cry from travelling business or first. At the same time, private jet owners were selling planes due to the escalating costs, regular maintenance, and other hindrances as well as not getting the real pleasure of actually owning an aircraft.

Kavea R Chavali, Anchor & Co founder at KALANECA- House of Handloom

Kavea R Chavali, Anchor & Co founder at KALANECA- House of Handloom
Kavea R Chavali, Anchor & Co founder at KALANECA- House of Handloom

The single most empowering thing one can do for yourself is to create that change for others. It would have always been entrepreneurship because I have been working independently already as an Anchor for the last 9 years so it was easy to adapt to all the roles of understanding management and most importantly connecting with people. It would have always been entrepreneurship because I love to create- be it new designs for our weaves, new opportunities for our weavers or new ideas for the team.

Malika Sadani, Founder & CEO at The Moms Co

Malika Sadani, Founder & CEO at The Moms Co
Malika Sadani, Founder & CEO at The Moms Co

Before becoming an entrepreneur, I was a banker with degrees in engineering and management. However, when my daughter had her first skin reaction, I realised it was so hard to find great quality natural products that were safe and effective. I would often ask friends and family members to bring natural products when they were coming to India from abroad. After speaking with over 200 moms, I realised that we were facing the same struggle of finding safe, natural and effective products for our babies. That was when the idea to create a brand that can truly be a partner to moms’ journey into motherhood came alive in the form of The Moms Co., with a mission to help moms make natural, safe & effective solutions for themselves and their families.

Regila Marinus, Cofounder at Vidhya Vidhai Foundation

Regila Marinus, Cofounder at Vidhya Vidhai Foundation
Regila Marinus, Cofounder at Vidhya Vidhai Foundation

Being part of the Social Entrepreneurship Cell in Azim Premji University set the start to my entrepreneurship journey. I was inspired by many organizations and its intend to bring change in their own way. Opportunities to lead change from my school days gave me a strong urge to be part of change in the society. Entrepreneurship cell gave me a platform to develop my skills and knowledge on entrepreneurship.
If not entrepreneurship I would have been part of initiatives in educational organizations.

Nupur Khandelwal, Co-founder at Navia Life Care

Nupur Khandelwal, Co-founder at Navia Life Care
Nupur Khandelwal, Co-founder at Navia Life Care

Having spent close to 4 years in the corporate world, I was never quite content with the limited stretch of possibilities an employment has to offer. I felt like a total misfit as I was bound to operate within a small range of issues that were far away from substantive real world problems.
This deep sense of disconnect made me quit what I was doing, determined to be ‘directly' involved in something I was truly passionate about.
So when Kunal, my co-founder pitched the problem Navia is trying to solve and his idea to bridge real information gap between doctors and patients, I knew I felt strongly for it. With govt healthcare spending as low as 1% of GDP, poor doctor to patient ratio and lack of proper infrastructure, India’s healthcare sector requires significant structural and technological changes to be able to meet the needs of growing population. We at Navia are committed to bring about these changes with our digital tools, assisting doctors in recording EMR and eventually building predictive analytic tools around it to streamline healthcare ecosystem.
Given my inclination towards companies that are solving real world problems, if I was unable to fulfil my dream of being an entrepreneur, I would probably hope to be on the VC/PE side, helping manage investments in purpose driven start-ups.

Mansi Gupta, Founder Tjori

Mansi Gupta, Founder Tjori
Mansi Gupta, Founder Tjori

The passion for the authentic Indian arts and crafts has motivated me to pursue this dream with great persistence, which was further supported by the demands in the global market for exclusive and authentic Indian handicrafts. The idea of being an entrepreneur gives me the confidence to take care of my life on my own terms and give equal time to my venture and my 7-month child. This life of an entrepreneur gives me a sense of purpose which helps me live my life in content.

Kavya Dommeti, CEO at iB Hubs

Kavya Dommeti, CEO at iB Hubs
Kavya Dommeti, CEO at iB Hubs

I’ve always been keen on optimising and solving things. I feel Entrepreneurship is all about that. More than a choice, I’d like to think of it as a mindset. I found my passion early on and soon, I found a bunch of other passionate people like me at iB Hubs.
Our founding team has a pack of entrepreneurs passionate about making India a global leader in 4.0 technologies and transforming the country into an innovation powerhouse.
For this vision to become a reality, becoming an entrepreneur was a natural choice.

Kusum Bhandari, Director at Bhookha Haathi

Kusum Bhandari, Director at Bhookha Haathi

After working for 18 years for others, being an entrepreneur finally gave me the freedom to work on my own terms. Though, it is more challenging than working for others; when you start the journey of your entrepreneurship, you have to manage several tasks and roles at once rather than performing just one assigned task or role. You have to be more hands-on with everything and it makes you learn things that you wouldn’t have learned in any job. The adrenaline rush of being on your own is much greater than any high in the world. It helps you grow as a person and as a professional as you learn to overcome many challenges and hurdles on the way, which is very rewarding.
If not entrepreneur, then I think I would still be a small-time business owner, having a small café or home-stay in the hills of my homeland Uttarakhand while at the same time following my passion for painting and other crafts.

Himani Ahuja, Communications Director & Founder at One Digital

Himani Ahuja, Communications Director & Founder at One Digital
Himani Ahuja, Communications Director & Founder at One Digital

The world around us is experiencing an advanced wave of new technologies in every bat of the eyelid. Choosing entrepreneurship does not come easy and it’s ultimately one of the biggest challenges you can work upon in your lifetime. The panoramic field of architecture has numerous divergent maneuvers beyond designing liveable spaces and the implementation of structures.Hence, it becomes an imperative step to establish ‘architectural communications and journalism’ as a mainstream option for architecture students of design. When you can amalgamate both Architecture & Journalism, then why not? It’s about getting the best of both worlds! Entrepreneurship comes with its own pros and cons, and my journey with One Digital has been driven on passion and conviction to succeed against all odds. I am exactly where I want to be and stand devoted to my ambitions.

Divya Gupta, Founder at Dialogue Room

Divya Gupta, Founder at Dialogue Room
Divya Gupta, Founder at Dialogue Room

I realised there is a very strong glass ceiling in the legal industry in India. Women are not treated at par with men. They are not paid as much, not respected as much and are not taken seriously. I wanted to change this. Rather than changing it from the inside, which might not have been possible as a junior, I want to do so from the outside. Therefore, my platform 'Dialogue Room' really focuses on women in business.

If not entrepreneurship, then definitely a writer. I have traveled a lot, changed multiple schools and have met a lot of people. All of this accounts for great stories that I'd like to share them with the world.

Aarti Gill, Co-founder at OZiva

Aarti Gill, Co-founder at OZiva
Aarti Gill, Co-founder at OZiva

The seed thought behind being an entrepreneur was sown during the IIT days. My mother is a healthcare professional. While growing up, I saw a lot of problems faced by people could have been easily avoided, only if they just had a better lifestyle. This was the seed thought behind starting OZiva, ‘making living healthy convenient.’ We started with the goal of enabling 100 million+ people to a better and healthier life.

Ayushi Gudwani, Founder at Fablestreet

Ayushi Gudwani, Founder at Fablestreet
Ayushi Gudwani, Founder at Fablestreet

During my stint at McKinsey & Co. as a Senior Engagement Manager, I consulted and worked with numerous companies. It was a very exciting journey and eventually got me thinking about setting up something of my own. Having an MBA also opened up horizons across categories and industries - I was very keen to experience and learn about business-building and multiple industries, and did not want to restrict myself to just the technical area. So, running my own company seemed like a natural progression.
I always sought continuous learning and growth in my career, corporate or otherwise. So, had I not been an entrepreneur, I would definitely be doing something else that involved these factors.

Swati Chugh, Director at 7th Heaven

Swati Chugh, Director at 7th Heaven
Swati Chugh, Director at 7th Heaven

Entrepreneurship lets you be creative, your own boss, earn as much as you want to, motivates you to work tirelessly and helps you grow internally as a person. Entrepreneurship gives you the freedom to be creative & artistic; contrary to the popular opinion that business means boring and dry work.I call it an artistic process because it brings out your individuality as your personal planning, decisions, strategies, creativity and philosophies will lead to the final outcome (your company) which is like an artwork which finally reveals itself after the artist finishes her processes. It has been 5 years since I became an entrepreneur and there is no looking back, from one store of 7th Heaven we have expanded to 150+ outlets becoming the largest bakery chain in India in terms of number of cities and states covered and I honestly do not see myself doing anything else. In fact, this month I am launching our second brand – Miraflor which is a gifting and home décor brand. However, apart from entrepreneurship I have deep interest in psychology; I used to be a professor of psychology and this something I would still love to do at the side though I apply my psychology and philosophies in my personal and professional life deeply.

Swapnil Mahajan, Founder of MyStarHub

Swapnil Mahajan, Founder of MyStarHub
Swapnil Mahajan, Founder of MyStarHub

The most fascinating thing about being an entrepreneur for me is to bring ideas to life. I have had an extensive run with the corporates – Managing people to looking after regional sales, P&L evaluations and taking up marketing and finance challenges within or outside of my jobs to comprehend how a business operates so this has really been instrumental in driving me to passionately pursue Entrepreneurship.

The Plan B is to make sure Plan A works so nothing but an entrepreneur.

Diksha Chhabra, Founder at Diksha Chhabra FItness Counsultations

Founder at Diksha Chhabra FItness Counsultations
Founder at Diksha Chhabra FItness Counsultations

The decision to become an entrepreneur was not something planned. My transformation from overweight and unfit mother to a Fitness Model and influencer made me realize that the right information and treatment is needed to be spread amongst the masses. People struggle for years to get back in shape which is doable and achievable if done in the right manner in short span of time. I have worked in corporate sectors before my startup in the HR and Admin sector but when I founded my company I was a stay at home Mom.

Poonam Prahlad, Founder & CEO at CafePopShop

Poonam Prahlad, Founder & CEO at CafePopShop
Poonam Prahlad, Founder & CEO at CafePopShop

Entrepreneurs are never appeased with the knowledge they have and are always on the lookout for more. Entrepreneurs are optimistic in true sense as they seek opportunities even in a place where others might find problems. For me this is the best part of entrepreneurship. I chose to be an entrepreneur because of my love for undertaking challenges, pushing boundaries beyond imagination and exploring things on my own terms. As an entrepreneur, I am responsible for the decisions I take, good or bad and this gives me immense satisfaction. If not an entrepreneur, I would probably be trying my hands in the fashion space as a designer with a renowned brand.

Vani Kabir - Writer, Divorce Monk

Vani Kabir - Writer, Divorce Monk
Vani Kabir - Writer, Divorce Monk

I was always an entrepreneur but my divorce forced me to shut my companies and return to consulting. But now after consulting for 4 years, I am rekindling that desire through Vani Kabir Worldwide Pvt Ltd, which actively works to help people battling their marriage or seeking a divorce or wish to rebuild from there. I was married at 19 and divorced at 28, with a 5 year-old son Kabir. I have come a long way from my divorce and I seek to chaperone people who are going through a bad phase of either taking a divorce or have already taken it. Having helped thousands of people in the last few years, I decided to take it upon me to create programs where people can find healing and growth and find their own tribe too. A community that respects the fact that an individual doesn’t need to be tagged to be respected. I create firebirds out of the battered ones!


The Challenges Women Face as Entrepreneurs
For a long time now, bollywood and the storybooks have been raking mullahsthrough selling the idea of a fairy-tale. Something that’s so deeply rooted andthen marketed in and around women that many have started believing that afairy-tale is the ultimate destination for a woman in our country and e…

Khushboo Sharma - Founder, Zero Gravity Communications

Khushboo Sharma - Founder, Zero Gravity Communications
Khushboo Sharma - Founder, Zero Gravity Communications

There has been a paradigm shift in the mindset towards women entrepreneurs over the past few decades. Initially, women took up entrepreneurship as there were limited career options available to them that provided them with the flexibility and comfort to manage their homes. It is well-known that managing a household is thought to be a woman's responsibility instead of shared responsibility with their spouses or other household members.

However, more and more people are warming up to the idea of entrepreneurship. Women are choosing to become entrepreneurs because they want to make a mark in a particular industry or solve a specific solution to a problem through a disruptive idea.

While working in a full-time job,  I reached a ceiling of growth as my capabilities and exposure to new challenges were limited due to motherhood over my professional aptitude. That gave birth to my venture. In a way, it was a blessing in disguise, but not all women who face such a situation can be an entrepreneur.

I am an engineer by education, but I have always been a people’s person with a creative mind. This prompted me to establish my venture- Zero Gravity Communications, an integrated advertising and marketing company. Like a typical entrepreneur and mother of two, I too have a set of challenges, but I believe taking one step at a time overcomes every obstacle.

Shrishti Bhandari - Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Mangalam Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Shrishti Bhandari - Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Mangalam Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Shrishti Bhandari - Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Mangalam Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Entrepreneurship, in my opinion, is having the ability to dream and having the fire in the belly to chase it. Over the years, women have managed to break the stereotypes and make a mark across various sectors such as defence, space, engineering, manufacturing, etc. Women are known to be more organized, diligent and possess great people skills that are an asset to entrepreneurship.

After having worked for several renowned companies, I chose entrepreneurship as it gave me the opportunity to utilise my technical expertise and transform my creative ideas into reality. At Mangalam Information Technologies, we have also instituted measures to foster a women-friendly culture as women comprise 30% of our workforce. Mangalam has implemented a pathbreaking initiative wherein it has created an exclusive night shift WFH platform for women to provide an opportunity to those with working constraints. Mangalam thrives on building a strong work culture and pride in its people and achieves this goal through inter-department employee engagement activities, an open-door policy, and other initiatives such as annual health checkups, anti-sexual harassment committees, rewards and recognition programs and a hybrid work environment.

Anchal Mehta - Founder, The Knowbility

Anchal Mehta - Founder, The Knowbility
Anchal Mehta - Founder, The Knowbility

Being your own boss" has a special ring to it. Through entrepreneurship you choose to wake up everyday and make a source of income out of your own ideas. Here are some of the reasons why women choose to become an entrepreneur:

To enjoy independence:

When you're incharge of your own business not only do you get the financial independence but you can make your work life as flexible according to your preference.

To become an inspiration:

Adding to the sense of pride that you get when you know you started something on your own and made a living out of it, women entrepreneurs have become a sense of inspiration for many. Everyday there are more women who get inspired and choose to become independent.

To have a secure career backup:

You don't need to quit your job to become an entrepreneur, you can have a job and work on your own business plan side by side. It not only ensures a career back up but also works as another source of income.

Entrepreneurship is providing women with the much needed freedom to work for themselves, giving them a pathway to build something on their own and become the boss that they're meant to be.

Ms. Pooja Nagdev - Founder, Inatur

The route to entrepreneurship for me has been part destiny and part design. My father has been one of my earliest role models and hero. He built his business from scratch with grit determination and lots of sacrifices. Watching him inspired me to study business and do my MBA. Handling his business was my first taste of entrepreneurship. As a person, I have always been drawn towards nature and wellness. I believe nature has more to offer than we have ever known through beautiful ingredients that have caring and healing properties. This inspired me to study Aromatherapy and Ayurveda eventually leading to the creation of Inatur, a brand of natural & organic skin, hair and wellness products.

Entrepreneurship also allowed working on and contributing towards Women's Empowerment, a subject very close to me. Today over 80% of our employees are women and I take pride in this fact.

Anchal Kadam and Arpan Mahtani - Co-founders, Carat Crush

For Aanchal & Arpan starting Carat Crush was about filling a gap in the market for affordable fine jewellery. As women we wanted to give others the option to purchase something dainty, that they could enjoy wearing everyday and that was affordable, would always hold its value and be a saving. We wanted to create a legacy brand which focused on daily diamonds essentially jewellery you live your life in. Our brand plugs the gap and empowers women to purchase their own fine jewellery. The Carat Crush  usp lies in empowering women and their every day choices, so in a way it’s like entrepreneurship chose us.

Vaishnavi Rangarajan - Co-Founder & CEO, The Nestery

I chose entrepreneurship because it was an idea that demanded to be executed. It was a pain point that I personally felt as a raised my daughter from 2015. While the needs of the parents had changed, the experience of shopping for the parents hadn't changed and hadn't kept up with the change on how parents have really evolved in the last two centuries, that's what prompted me to start The Nestery. I just felt like I was at that stage where I had to step away and sort of take this leap of faith and jump into entrepreneurship. It was, in hindsight, it's still the best decision I've made. I wouldn't change this for the world. There are highs lows and every single thing between and it's been a fabulous journey.

Aparna Vasudevan, Co-Founder & COO, The Nestery

I don't think I chose entrepreneurship as much as it chose me. My dad was a first-time entrepreneur but I did not really think it was my cup of tea until The Nestery happened. An idea that I thought could work and demanded to be executed led me to join hands with Vaishnavi and TSV. And here we are 3 years later building something absolutely loved by parents with 450+ brands and trusted by a large community of parent!

Ms Charushilla Narula Bajpai, Founder, Director & Key Mentor, University Connection


Entrepreneurship is often not a choice for women, it is a necessity. Personally, when I wanted a better early childhood experience for my daughter, I plunged into Montessori and soon enough when I found that overseas education was dominated by agents who had vested interest in universities, I just felt the need to start University Connection - an unbiased career and college guidance organisation -making so many scholarship dreams come true. I know so many who created products and services because no one else was – from women hygiene and better fitting innerwear to her apps that track pay parity and equity at work place – you can see the woman behind these ventures and see her not just as crusader for her organisation, but also the consumer of what she’s built! It’s also important to map that women often choose sectors such as healthcare, education, wellness, food, sustainability and ventures that are linked to growth and community enhancement. So instead of wondering why women choose entrepreneurship, we must ask why not!

In my opinion, encouraging women to take up entrepreneurship is like creating an army of nation builders.

Sakshi Aggarwal, Founder, Gharobaar.com

Entrepreneurship happened to me by chance, not by choice. I took a break from my banking career when I had my second child, and I did see some challenges in getting back to a corporate work culture where I could face issues with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Thus, I wasn’t sure that time if I want to resume working, but 4 years down the line, when the idea of Gharobaar came up, it immediately became my passion.

I always used to think that entrepreneurship is easier than a regular job because you can work on your own terms and with flexible timings. However, I soon realised that starting a business from scratch is equivalent to raising a child, and you need to give it time day and night to nurture and grow it. Gharobaar immediately became my third child, and since then, there has been no looking back.

Taking a plunge in entrepreneurship gave me everything I was craving for in the past few years, and can safely be the best decision of my life (so far).

Ms. Ravina Jain, Founder & CEO, The Skin Story & The Beard Story

Women entrepreneurs are purpose-oriented minds that choose the uncharted route to achieve their dreams and fulfill their inherent potential. They have a self-mastery over fear and are known to stan up after every fall. For them, entrepreneurship is a natural extension of their passion and gives shape to their purpose by employing creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Leading woman entrepreneurs are turning as inspirations and mentoring potential younger women to bring value into what their passionate about. This rechanneling has helped raise their skills to the next level and brought in the much-needed support system necessary to sustain and thrive in the real hard world.

Sejal Pravin Purohit, Founder, Seven Spring

There are a few reasons why I choose Entrepreneurship

1) "The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious, the desire to reach the heart is wise” This quote is exactly what I aim for with our venture ‘Seven Spring. Although my qualifications were in the financial field, my interest always lay in the health and fitness sector. I wanted to come up with something that brought my passion and qualification together and without entrepreneurship, it wasn't possible.

2) I always wanted to carve my own niche, something (Legacy) which I could pass to my son as I believe why always father passes the legacy and why not mother. I decided to create my own story when i saw my son for the first time. I decided that i wanted him to be proud of me. I want him to see me in every role possible, be it a mother, Wife, Daughter-in-law, Daughter, Homemaker, Best Friend and Business woman.

3) I chose Entrepreneurship because it is in my blood.  My family has been in business for the last 80 years so I actually grew up seeing all these. So I can say, the entrepreneurship spirit is in my genes.

4) Besides the above reasons, I chose Organic Tea business because so many people choose entrepreneurship but how many businesses we know where you are fulfilling commercial as well as social aspects. We are into such business where we lift people's spirits by making their health and habits better.

Devidutta Dash, Founder, Lemme Be

With a long profound passion for creating a disruptive brand and building a supportive community in the period-care category, I started ‘Lemme Be’, which is how Gen Z says “Let me be”. I founded the company in 2020, amidst the pandemic when I discovered the lack of a bold and gender-inclusive brand that caters to every menstruator. With Lemme Be, I have created an innovative product range, with novel design, to ensure comfort and sustainability. My vision for Lemme Be is to create a safe space for all menstruators and to add lustre and joy to an otherwise bland, unresearched and neglected industry.

Shreya Mehra, Founder, Aab Label

The single most empowering thing that one can do is to find ways to channelise one’s energy & creativity. And this is precisely what pushed me to foray into an absolutely new field of fashion & e-commerce despite coming from a media background. After working in various capacities in the media industry, I started to feel the creative blocks and lack of freedom in the work I did. That was my nudge to finally make a transition to entrepreneurship. And ever since, it has been gratifying and fulfilling in ways I never imagined.

In building Aab Label from scratch, I have found ways to direct my energies in expressive & creative ways and, alongside, have come the responsibility of managing teams as a founder & leader. It’s challenging and constantly pushes me to my limits, and in these challenges I find my growth.

Anamika Pandey, Founder, Naario

Entrepreneurship or Starting Up as many would call it, gives an individual absolute ownership of his or her decisions. When you look at women, they have traditionally been denied the chance of absolute ownership of anything- be it their life choices or something as simple as what to wear. These choices in a matter of time start defining our degree of freedom.

It's this freedom- to make our own choices, that leads a lot of us to Entrepreneurship. When we start up, we don't just have power over how the venture shapes up but also have a say in everyday things. It somehow makes women feel more valued, more listened to, more present. The power dynamics start looking more balanced, even when they go back home after a long day of work. Over a period of time, the woman gets a say in not just which school her son should be admitted to but also in where the family's long term savings should be invested.

Neha K Bisht - Founder and CEO, Blue Buzz

One of the reasons I chose to start my own business was because I wanted to create, lead and make a difference. Society makes us think it’s going to be very difficult since we are not conditioned to be financially independent but having your own enterprise is a great way of challenging that myth. When I decided to take the plunge, I was sure that I wanted to bring a different set of ideas to the table and ensure greater equality in my own organisation. I knew there will be stumbling blocks, but my zeal to build my own brand was greater than my fears. The entire journey from following others, imbibing skills and learning to run my own organisation has been a long and scintillating one. It has been an enriching experience and I hope more women have the courage to come forward and lead and discover themselves in the process.

Padmaja Jalihal - Director, Indic Inspirations

I, Padmaja Jalihal been born to a working class family had never aimed to start my own business. I did my graduation in commerce and pursued my MBA in finance and was happy to work in a finance company . I worked for 6 years and after that took a gap for my daughters . When they were growing up I took up consultancy and was my own boss. Later on , I wanted to give back something to the society and hence started the trust Heart for Art , in arts and crafts, my passion  where I was able to connect to more than 300 artisans where many of them were women artisans . The satisfaction of doing something for their welfare and for their upliftment was not enough. We wanted to bring back the pride and give our arts and crafts a much needed boost by narrating stories behind each art and craft. Thus Indic Inspirations was born where we narrate stories through objects based on our tradition, culture, heritage and achievements. We work with the same artisans and get our collectibles made as per our design and giving the craft a new dimension which could be relished by today’s generation.

We work with many woman artisans who proudly display their workmanship and we take those to the market. With the new technology , the rural artisans are now self sufficient , they no longer depend on others to showcase their work and also get paid directly for their work.

Mrs. Sneha Visaria - Founder and CEO, PDD Falcon

Women are striving very hard to achieve everything that their heart desire. This has changed the whole scenario of women working and doing even better in their respective fields. Women entrepreneurship is something as an individual, I have always been looking forward to. Being an IT Professional and coming from the corporate background, I always wanted to start something of my own and be my own boss. I wanted to make a difference and bring changes in the society and lead forward with all other women. This is how I came up with PDD FALCON along with my husband Mr. Chirag Visaria, as per the blessings of my father-in-law Late Bhupendra Visaria. Falcon PDD manufactures stainless steel home and kitchenware products, and the steel is 100% recyclable. My vision is to offer a safe and healthy alternative to plastic storage, with stainless steel. As a mother and consumer, myself, it was easier for me to see the gaps in the market for safe and reliable stainless steel products as an alternative to cheaper plastic and inferior variants. What gave us a breakthrough was to get a chance to pitch our ideas and business on the popular reality show, ‘Shark Tank India-Season 1’.

Namrata Rupani, Founder & CEO, Capture Life Dental Care & Studio Capture Life

Women entrepreneurs are fearless women who choose to overcome every obstacle and are determined to withstand every challenge with an overcoming mindset. In a way, the entrepreneurial spirit chooses these leaders who go on to build inspiring legacies for other potential women to follow. For them, leading an enterprise that closely resonates with their dreams is an extension of them chasing their dreams. Women entrepreneurship is a voice that is getting louder and stronger and is transforming itself into a force that will help society to grow and flourish. They develop and create original solutions that not just solve the problems, but also highlight their proficiency in handling multiple roles with superior competence.

Ms Sharmilee Agrawal Kapur, Co-Founder, Atmantan Wellness Centre

Entrepreneurship to me is about doing or creating something that hasn't been done before. I chose to create a wellness haven where people would put themselves first, and not be judged, deprived or coerced, but instead supported and applauded as they took on personal wellness journeys; I wanted to create a place that exactly reflected this wellness vision and service, and I knew that a place like that didn't exist in India. For me doing this from scratch made sense.

And yes there is another important reason entrepreneurship looked doable to be. I grew up seeing my Dad (and joint family) do it; there were struggles, but it needed guts, persistence, and I am happy to say that I also went on to see the glory of it. I can truly say that I saw the real side of entrepreneurship and not just the glitz of it. even today there are tough periods (like the pandemic which shook the best of us) but I knew then and I still know that this is exactly what I was meant to do.

Shreya Sharma, C.E.O and Founder, Rest The Case

I come from a family that is a first generation business house and so all through my childhood I have seen and understood  the thrill and the ambition to run a business. Looking at that while I was growing up has been a major reason to make me get into business. I dived into entrepreneurship the first chance I got. right out of university I started working on my company. It has always been a dream and I’m glad I could do something that I felt was solving a purpose.

Ankita Thadani, Co founder, Secret Alchemist

As Michelle Obama said –“There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish”

Women can choose and excel whatever they set their heart on. For many it might be a conscious decision, one made after a lot of deliberation, but for me it was in the belief of my product and the need for wellness in India.

I dint choose entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship choose me. My mother who is my biggest role model, was an entrepreneur in 1996, way ahead of her times. She choose this path out of her need to support her family and her children’s need, and she stepped up when everyone else failed her.

She mastered the science of clinical aromatherapy and believed in the true potential of Mother Nature. Her mindset and her belief in her decisions, and her determination each day to show up and further her business, has been instrumental in my up brining. The torch she lit, was like magic and all I wanted was to hold on to her vision.

Powerful things happen when you start putting in the work to achieve your goals. Entrepreneurship became a drug to me, truly addictive to bring mine and my mothers dream an inch closer each day, every day.

Niraali Parekh - Founder and Creative Director, Bokaap Design

I believe the reason to become an entrepreneur is the same for both men and women. They want to create something of their own rather than work for someone else. They want some amount of flexibility and independence and want to build their own legacy. There is a segment of women, who also choose to make their hobbies or creativity into a business for financial independence from their husbands or fathers.

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, right from my great-grandfather to my father. I often tell people that our parents or grandparents had their own "startups" long before it even became a term. And that too with having to support a spouse and young kids when they were young and starting themselves. I have seen the entrepreneurial spirit ever since I was a child. I saw the hard work in building something; I also witnessed many lows upfront. When moving back to India in 2009, it was a natural thought that I would start my own business as well. I wanted to nurture the idea of a collaborative design studio - a concept that I had been inspired by since my student days in the USA. I happened to move to India at the right time, as there was an entrepreneurial boom and many of my clients were from the startup eco-system.

Ms. Sonia Shah - Founding and Managing Director, SOVI&TYDI

In the society where we mainly witness the biasness between male and females, more women are starting businesses to escape the glass ceiling.  Entrepreneurship is the cue to economic development in many countries across the globe. Women entrepreneurs have always been there and shaped the economy in an unforeseeable way. Fortunately, Female Entrepreneurship has attracted increasing attention in recent years especially in India.

Many women are leaving corporate life because their jobs just aren't inspiring them anymore. Starting a business allows you to find meaning and gives you the ability to leave behind a legacy that you can be proud of. Women entrepreneurs keep pushing themselves to achieve their goals and beyond. For women, success is not only about profits, although it is obviously a major concern. The legacy of their business for the next generations is very important for women to feel successful, as well as the social impact of their enterprises. This is one more reason why women generally make better social entrepreneurs and are more likely to start a social enterprise.

Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO, JobsForHer

Neha-Bagaria - Founder, JobsForHer
Neha-Bagaria - Founder, JobsForHer

I have always been an entrepreneur at heart. One ambition that continued during my journey of being a Wharton grad, a wife, a mother-of-two and a woman who restarted her career, was to create something substantial for women professionals.

I took a 3.6-year break in my own career when I had my children. During this personal journey, I became aware of the various difficulties a woman faces in order to re-enter the workforce. I then became committed to the cause of enabling women to restart their careers and founded JobsForHer.com on International Women’s Day, 2015.

JobsForHer was founded to reverse the female brain drain from within the Indian workforce. And now it has expanded to being India’s largest online platform to enable women to start, restart and rise in their careers.

Final Words

This list of women entrepreneurs looks long but we haven't even touched the surface! Most of these WonderWomen also juggle family life and their businesses like a boss! We hope these stories from women entrepreneurs inspired you to final start writing down your brand strategy and taking the next step. The road will be rocky but will be so fulfilling. We wish you all the best on your entrepreneur journey. We also hope to feature you in a similar article in the feature!

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