Women are the new super-achievers in the world of business. NB Rao lists nine enterprising women under 40 in India
Richa Kar, founder and CEO, Zivame.com
Originally from Jamshedpur, Richa Kar pursued an engineering degree from BITS, Pilani, followed by an MBA from NMIMS. During her job as a retail consultant, she thought of starting an online lingerie portal. The result: Zivame, which means “Radiant me” in Hebrew. “Women are welcoming new lifestyles and career choices. These women are my inspiration,” she says.
Rati Rajkumar, chief product officer and co-founder, BankBazaar.com
Rati Rajkumar chucked her cushy job at Kraft Foods to enter financial services. She co-founded Bank- Bazaar.com – India’s first neutral online marketplace that provides customised rate quotes on loans, credit cards and insurance products.
Ajaita Shah, founder and CEO, Frontier Markets
US-born and educated Ajaita Shah has been working in India for eight years in the microfinance and clean-energy-distribution sectors. She founded Frontier Markets to introduce rural India to clean energy products. “Being a woman in this space is challenging. But encouragement from villagers keeps me going,” she says. Shah is a 2006 Clinton Service Corp Fellow.
Swati Bhargava co-founder, Cashkaro.com
A mathematics whiz kid, Swati Bhargava, originally from Ambala, won a scholarship to the London School of Economics. After graduating, she joined Goldman Sachs in London. With her husband she started PouringPound, a cash-back website. Two years later, she returned to India and started Cash Karo, now a leading cash-back and coupons website.
Ritu Kapur, co-founder, Quint.com
After successful stints at History Channel and CNN-IBN, Ritu Kapur co-founded Quint, an online news portal, with business and real-life partner Raghav Behl. Talking about women entrepreneurs she says: “They lead with ideas… are conscientious, more sensitive and perceptive to the team’s needs.”
Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and co-founder, JetSetGo.in
Kanika Tekriwal was just 17 when she interned at a Mumbai aviation firm. After a stint as an aviation consultant in the UK, she returned to India. Also a cancer survivor, Tekriwal co-founded Jet SetGo, which is a leading online marketplace, bringing together passengers and operators of private jets, small aircraft and helicopters.
Kavitha Iyer RodrigueS, director and COO, Theramyt Novobiologics
A marathon runner, painter and actor, Kavitha Iyer Rodrigues co-founded Inbiopro in 2007, but quit after she launched Theramyt Novobiologics in 2013. A unique bio-enterprise, Theramyt develops therapies for diseases such as diabetes and metabolic disorders. “Women bring in a great perspective of work-life balance,” says the entrepreneur, who often cycles to her office in Bengaluru.
Minnat Lalpuria, founder and managing director, 7Vachan.com
After having worked with international brands across the world, Minnat Lalpuria, founder and managing director, 7Vachan.com, decided to pursue her masters at the Indian School of Business. An engineer by qualification, she believes every couple should be able to create unique memories on the big day.
Manju Bhatia, joint managing, director, Vasuli Recoveries Ltd
Recovery agencies usually hire tough-looking men to get the money back. But Manju Bhatia, who helped set up Vasuli Recoveries Ltd (also known as Adhikrut Jabti Evam Vasuli), hires only women as recovery agents. “Women are respected across the country,” she says. Today, Vasuli is the preferred partner for almost all public-sector banks and has a presence across the country