1E-commerce & Entrepreneurship in India
While e-commerce in India has gone through its own share of glory, highs and now turbulence, the sector has definitely pushed the envelope as far as entrepreneurship in India goes.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi being a torch bearer of the sector – his ambitious Startup India initiative – the sector is booming for budding entrepreneurs, especially women, who are stepping up to show their skill and vision and proving their mantle in taking these budding ventures to scaling heights.
In fact, a 2015 Global Entrepreneurialism Report conducted by international bank BNP Paribas has ranked India on top for the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs.
Conducted among 2,500 entrepreneurs in 17 markets spanning the US, Europe, Middle East, and Asia, the survey found that 49 per cent of the entrepreneurs in India were women. India performed better than Hong Kong and France, which were next on the list.
As the World is all set to observe Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on 19 November, here’s a list of ten women entrepreneurs in Indian e-commerce space who are making a difference in the sector and are crucial in building these successful businesses.
2Swati Bhargava, Co-founder, CashKaro.com
At CashKaro, Swati spearheads the Marketing & Business Development team and is also responsible for Investor Relations. She is an alumnus of the London School of Economics and worked at Goldman Sachs in London for five years before starting UK Cashback business Pouring Pounds along with her husband Co-Founder, Rohan. She is also one of the top social media influencers in India.
Swati also represented India at the coveted Blackbox Connect – Female Founders Edition 2015- powered by Google for Entrepreneurs program from April 27 – May 8, 2015 in Silicon Valley, California. She was awarded at the India’s first Digital Women Award for category- Best Service Offering Company in the Ecommerce Industry.
To provide women entrepreneurs a strategic platform to grow their business, network with counterparts and get introduced to industry experts and investors, CashKaro also organises #SheCEO every year, around International Women’s day. The campaign which entered its second year on March 8, 2016 reaches out to women in business and helps them in strategic business planning, connects them with potential partners and investors and provides insights on how to harness social media to network.
Swati is also an active speaker at many high profile events such Ad:tech, TEDx, TieCON, among others.
3Falguni Nayyar, Founder, Nykka
The former managing director Of Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, India’s leading investment bank, Falguni Nayyar, launched a beauty and e-commerce portal called Nykaa in the year 2012.
Falguni has received many accolades through her career including the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) award for the top woman achiever in the field of banking and the Business Today award recognizing her as one of the top 25 women in business. Her attention to detail, involvement in every aspect of the firm and passion for the business are qualities that make her a great leader.
She lives by the mantra ‘retail is all about detail’ and is often heard propagating the same. Through exclusive launches, product innovation, sharp communication and appealing design elements, Nykaa aspires to reach new echelons in terms of their vision.
4Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Chief Business Officer, ShopClues.com
Radhika brings over 14 years of marketing experience in diverse industry segments like retail, e-commerce, fashion & lifestyle, advertising and public relations with best-of-breed global brands. As Co-Founder and CMO of ShopClues, she has carefully nurtured the brand to make it a household name in less than four years.
She is an accomplished speaker and a strong proponent of women entrepreneurship, having shared her thoughts on several fora including TiE and other industry events.
Radhika is passionate about empowering women to assume leadership roles within her organization as well within ShopClues’ vibrant community of merchant partners. Before co-founding ShopClues in 2011, Radhika worked with Nordstrom at its corporate headquarters in strategy planning in Seattle and with Goldman Sachs in its Wealth Management group in New York and Menlo Park, USA. Radhika has an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and a post-graduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations.
Richa Kar is a CEO and Co-Founder of Zivame.com, an online lingerie shopping portal in India. Hailing from Jamshedpur, Richa pursued an engineering degree from the prestigious Institute of BITS, Pilani followed by a MBA from NMIMS. She has a rich experience of eight years – working across functions in SAP Retail consulting and Spencer’s store, where she learnt the facets of Retail Marketing, Branding and Operations.
It was at SAP, consulting with a global lingerie retailer, that the idea of an online lingerie portal was born. Following her passion, Kar launched Zivame in year 2011 from Bangalore.
6Jagrati Shringi, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Voylla
An electronics engineer from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Jagrati Shringi started Voylla.com, a traditional jewellery store and e-retail portal, in 2012. Voylla was born by a combination of both Shringi’s passion and her love for fashion and technology.
After acquiring a graduation degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Telecommunications, Jagriti started her career in August 1999 at C-DOT, a telecom research and development organisation as a trainee. She was promoted to the post of a research engineer in May 2000. In January 2005, she was appointed by Laurel Networks in the US as a software engineer where she was the only woman employee in software development. After her stint in Laurel, Shringi started Voylla.
Today, Voylla operates 15 stores, including shop-in-shops and EBOs pan India and is planning to take the number to 100 stores by the end of this financial year. Voylla is also present in foreign markets such as the US, Germany, and Dubai through different marketplaces, such as Jadopado.com, Amazon.com and Ebay.com.
7Anisha Singh, Founder and CEO, mydala.com
Anisha Singh is the Founder and CEO of mydala.com, a discount coupon website. Singh stepped her way through a checkered academic career in Delhi and Washington D.C. studying art, political communication, management and information systems marketing. She started off working for the Clinton administration in D.C. before moving on to e-learning, and eventually founded her first company, mydala.com in 2009. She was two months pregnant when she started mydala.com. People thought she was crazy. Maybe she was.
In her own words, “The best part about being the CEO is that I get to be the ‘jack of all trades’ and do a bit of everything and yes am cool with being ‘master of none’ since there are plenty of great people on my team who are amazing at what they do.”
The Women Leadership Award at the World Women Leadership Congress in 2014 and the Leading Woman in Retail Award in 2012 have both been conferred upon her.
8Suchi Mukherjee, CEO and Founder, Limeroad
(pic courtsey: entrepreneur.com)
Suchi Mukherjee is the Founder and CEO of online shopping portal Limeroad.com, which was founded in 2012. She was a part of the early ebay UK team, on the executive board of Skype, and the managing director-cum-CEO of Gumtree. She is Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar from Cambrige University, a British Chevening Scholar from London School of Economics and a graduate from St. Stephens college, New Delhi.
With nearly 18 years of experience in the top management of leading consumer technology businesses, Suchi launched LimeRoad in October 2012 with a vision of creating the largest women’s-only marketplace in South East Asia.
9Vishakha Singh, Founder, Red Polka
Vishakha Singh, Founder and CEO of Red Polka, a curation-led podium which showcases brands, designers, their trendsetting products, and the unique stories behind them, launched her website in 2015. Being a marketing and brand building professional for more than 16 years, Vishakha’s faith lies in ‘what gets seen gets sold’. She advocates that brand building is a growth strategy and thus needs a structured approach.
She believes in supporting women in their dedication to their work. Red Polka is in line with this philosophy, since 80 per cent of their merchant partners are women who are creating dynamic designer products, and Red Polka work culture supports working mothers through flexi-timing.
Vishakha has been in the business of shoppers experience and behaviour for more than 15 years. She has worked with some of country’s top media brands. Her last corporate stint was at Future Media, a Kishore Biyani firm, where she was involved from its inception after which she launched her own Shopper Marketing Agency which worked with reputed brands.
10Upasana Taku,Co-Founder and Director, Mobikwik
Upasana Taku is the Co-Founder and Director of Mobikwik, India’s fastest growing mobile wallet. Upasana’s mission is to simplify payment acceptance for Indian merchants/retailers. Her focus is on taking the MobiKwik Wallet to millions of retailers, bank partnerships, and talent acquisition.
Upasana comes with a strong payments background as a senior product manager with PayPal (an eBay company) in Silicon Valley and prior to that with HSBC at San Diego. She graduated with a Bachelors in Engineering from NIT Jalandhar and a Masters in Management Science from Stanford University.
11Nidhi Agarwal, Founder and CEO, Kaaryah.com
Nidhi Agarwal’s Kaaryah.com is a brand that caters to women’s needs in relation to their appearance and lifestyle. Kaaryah deals with non-casual wear that fits in 18 sizes. It offers you solutions to make your wardrobe happy.
Previously, Nidhi has worked as a director, at Honeywell India, that dealt in building the Space and Missiles business. She has also worked as a Strategy Consultant at Bain&Co.
Her exceptional thought process and service delivery skills have won her immense recognition and rewards. Her designs, creativity, and her innovative approach, make her an amazing professional. She is known for her detailed oriented attitude towards things and her way of managing the market challenges.