Women since ages were stereotyped to belong to the domestic sector. Their potential lied in a derelict, unheeded as they were considered debutantes for the household chores inside the four walls and not beyond that.
Nobody ever envisaged an era where these homemakers, could be seen running successful enterprises and businesses. But nobody either imagined Airplanes, televisions or any of such technological advancements anywhere near future. Thanks to an incredible workforce of indigenous scientists, researchers, who have made these advancements possible, and hence forth we started seeing a spark of insurgency amongst women to be as equally self-established as men.
Today there is no dearth of women working successfully with their self-established business; say eatery, a boutique, a textile industry, media or even an IT industry. We today live amongst the most creative, talented, confident, dauntless and enthusiastic women, who can by every means, match pace with this fastest growing economy. They can be seen hustling everywhere, be it marketing, engineering, finance, banking, manufacturing, laboring etc.
Let me introduce you to some of these remarkably blessed creatures who have successfully established their enterprises in this competitive market:
- Meena Bindra
The founder of the brand name BIBA, she started off her business as a passion, by designing clothes for women in her household in near about 1983 and within years she managed to make it rise to a highly recognized position in Indian market amongst the brands for women’s ethnic wear. ‘BIBA’ is the Punjabi endearment for women she says. She has been entitled with APEX Lifetime Achievement Award-2015, and is still on her way to acquire the bigger fish; she wants BIBA to become a global brand, running across seas, launching her stores in Dubai and London doing a remarkable business in international market.
- Patricia Narayan
Talking about the winner of ‘Ficci Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’ award, she got into a love marriage at an early age, but her husband turned out to be abusive alcoholic. She was left all alone with the two children to take care of. Being a college dropout, she did not lose hope instead she chose to endeavor her cooking skills and became a caterer in Chennai. Her efforts became stagnant for a while when her newlywed daughter died. But she came out to be total powerhouse when she opened a restaurant by her daughter’s name thereafter. Today after 30 years of hard work she successfully runs a chain of restaurants. She proves to be a perfect epitome of an entrepreneur who overcame her never ending hurdles and has become an idol for a number of uneducated women.
- Indra Nooyi
Indra Nooyi was born in a conservative Tamil family in Madras, her father worked in the bank of Hyderabad and her grandfather, a district judge. She joined IIM Calcutta to pursue her studies in Finance and Marketing. She worked with Johnson & Johnson for almost two years from here. She went to US to pursue higher studies in management from Yale business school with a very little money. Here she worked as a receptionist to make her two ends meet. Today Nooyi is 12th highest paid women in the world currently working as the CFO and president of Pepsi co since past 15 years. She is currently settled in Greenwich happily married to Raj K. Nooyi raising two beautiful daughters. Hers is a perfect epitome of success story depicting the highest glory a woman can achieve, being my favorite, she is truly an idol to me.
- Naina Lal Kidwai
Naina Lal Kidwai (born 1957) is an Indian banker, Chartered Accountant and business executive. She is currently the Group General Manager and Country Head of HSBC India. She is also a former President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) School. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Delhi University and an MBA from Harvard business. Naina’s father was a top notch professional with an Insurance company. Business ran in her blood from her mother’s lineage too, who was closely related to Lalit Mohan Thapar, the famous industrialist. Both Naina and her sister were inspired by their parents and walked on paths of success in their chosen career paths. Naina’s sister is a famous golf player.
- Geeta Menon
Geeta Menon’s currently works as dean of the Undergraduate College at New York University’s Stern School of Business and the Abraham Krasnoff professor of global business and professor of marketing. She has worked in a number of leading business institutions in India and the US such as Wharton School, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B), Stanford Business School and Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Menon grew up in a family surrounded by women who were independent and determined and drew lessons from them. “In a leadership role, belief and perseverance are key traits to keep yourself and the people around you motivated to continue to strive towards important, as well challenging goals,” she says.
- Zulekha daud
Zulekha daud, 63 currently works as the Managing Director, Zulekha hospital, Sharjah. She is an Indian origin woman who grew up in Nagpur. She did her MBBS from General Medical College, Nagpur. She belonged to an orthodox family. Emerging as educated young girl, she faced a number of challenges as educating girls wasn’t a norm those days. Her family, her mother specifically supported her and helped her complete her studies in Medical. Dr Zulekha Daud came to the UAE at a time when life was tough. Undeterred, she went on to realize her dream to offer affordable quality medical facilities to all. Today, the Zulekha Hospital in Sharjah is testimony to her ideals and beliefs. Lovingly called Mama Zulekha by her patients, she may be 60-plus, but age has not dimmed her passion to make the world a better and healthier place.
- Kapoor Collins
Kapoor Collins is a humble Indian woman, a businesswoman and a mother. She is the founder of Enscient Corporation, which specializes in security and business development for the public sector. She combined her twin passions of public life and technology to launch Root Square, an innovative fundraising platform using gaming to enable political candidates and non-profits to raise funds across social media sites. Kapoor Collins received attention in 2012, when she served in a number of appointed and advisory positions for US president Barack Obama and helped raise millions of dollars for his re-election at the platform committee of the Democratic National Committee. She is currently a national co-chair for technology for Obama and has also been named a founding member of the “Ready for Hillary” super political action committee, which is laying the groundwork for former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential run.
- Mira Nair
Mira Nair is the woman who introduced Indian culture to the global audience. Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam Bombay, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988. It won a number of other popular awards. In 1977, Mira Nair met her first husband, Mitch Epstein, when taking photography classes at Harvard University. They divorced by 1987, and in 1988 Nair met her husband Mahmood Mamdani while in Uganda doing research for the film Mississippi Masala.
- Nina Lekhi
Nina launched this brand baggit, meant “bags with attitude” in 1984 as a fun enterprise with her friends while she was a student at Sophia polytechnic in Mumbai. She took her design seriously in her second year and started selling canvas bags around the locality. Soon the business emerged a success and by 2005-06, the company managed to raise a turnover of Rs. 7 crores with 50 staff-members and 450 job-workers. Today her company raises an annual turnover of Rs. 34 crores. She says, “I followed the path of the inner search. The most important things in life for me are peace and joy – not the pursuit of money.” These have kept her going.
- Deepa soman
Deepa soman is the founder and CEO of Lumière business solutions private limited providing marketing research and business solutions. Her father was in the media, which gave her lots of exposure to reading, analysis and research. She worked in HLL, and then moved to Jamaica with her husband on account of his IT job. Thereafter she launched this venture, mainly powered by women working from home. It offers employment opportunities to a number of women and also flexible work options. It specifically deals with training women in skills and making them professionally adept. Back in Mumbai, Lumière started as a one woman show. It clocked revenues of Rs 3.5 crore in March 2012 and aims to cross Rs 10 crore in 5 years’ time.
This is not the end to the list of women working and running successful enterprises all over the world, this list going to keep growing with proliferation of mankind. These women have not only proved a women’s worth in the society beyond the four walls of their houses but have also earned respect and recognition from their fellow men entrepreneurs.