The saying goes, behind every successful man, there is a woman. In modern times, however behind every successful business, there is for sure, a determined woman. Over the past few decades, the worldwide focus on gender equality and women empowerment has revolutionized the position of women in the society and placed them on the same pedestal as men. From the field of education right up to the top level of corporate echelon, women are matching men, shoulder-to-shoulder everywhere and in many cases are even challenging the intellectual dominance of men, in the so-called man’s world. In such a scenario it’s imperative though that the world has seen and will continue to witness a surge of women entrepreneurs in different industries.
On the occasion of Women’s day on 8th of March, 2017, Vinculum Group salutes those illustrious women, who have played a critical role in the growth and expansion of the retail and eCommerce businesses in India as well as world over. A big Thank YOU & Kudos to the “Sheroes” who have carved out a niche for themselves with their achievements in this space and whose names are right up there with the stars for observers to gape in awe.
- Swati Bhargava (Co–Founder, Cashkaro) Swati, hailing from a small town called Ambala in India co-founded Cashkaro.com, a leading cash back and coupons site in India. She has successfully managed to bring over 500 e-commerce partners onboard including Amazon, Myntra, Yatra, Jabong. Bhargava believes that entrepreneurship is like marriage unless it’s a very straight ‘Yes,’ the answer is a ‘No.’
- Radhika Ghai Aggarwal (Co- Founder & CBO, Shopclues) Radhika is the first Indian woman founder to enter the prestigious echelons of the Unicorn Club. She has been the driving force behind the brand to make it a household name in less than 5 years. With diverse experience across industry segments such a retail, e-commerce, fashion, and lifestyle, advertising, and public relations, all summing up to 16 years, Aggarwal was recently awarded the ‘CEO of the Year’ Award in the Startup category at the prestigious CEO India Awards, 2016.
- Richa Kar (Co-founder and CEO, Zivame) she is one of the most influential women entrepreneurs of the country. She has changed the face of lingerie shopping for women through her first startup, Zivame. She had launched the first lingerie website in India that helps women find their lingerie in all sizes, colours, types and materials.
- Falguni Nayyar (Founder, Nykaa) She quit her 25 year career in finance to chase her dream of building India’s premier online retailer for beauty and wellness. With a start in early 2012, Nykaa launched its online portal Nykaa.com by December 2012 and has since progressed to offering 300 leading brands on a single platform. Within a short span of 18 months, Nykaa had become India’s no. 1 online destination for beauty products. Currently, Falguni serves on the board of a number of blue chip companies including Tata Motors Limited, ACC limited and Dabur India Limited.
- Jagrati Shringi (Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Voylla Retail Pvt. Ltd.) For Jagrati Shringi, taking all the decisions to trundle down the entrepreneurial path was synonymous to turning all the corners that led to roads less traveled. Jagrati simultaneously took on a very critical role, i.e. digitizing a shopping category that people were the most cautious about, i.e. online jewellery shopping and has achieved it quite successfully.
- Preeta Sukhtankar (Founder, TheLabelLife) A Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Preeta has worked with many fashion, lifestyle & entertainment brands like MTV, Seventeen Magazine, India and Celebrity Marketing Agency. The notion of bringing personalization into the eCommerce industry inspired Preeta to become an entrepreneur. Her “tastemaker-led eCommerce portal”, The Label Life, is a one-stop online destination for independent Indian women wanting a curated mix of clothing, accessories, home décor and much more.
- Jesrina Arshad (Co-Founder & CEO, PurelyB) Jesrina has over 9 years of experience in the digital industry starting out in web design, digital marketing with some of the leading creative agencies in Southeast Asia. It is during that time that she realized the difficulties in keeping up with a healthy lifestyle while being busy with work. On a mission to make it easy for anyone to lead a healthy lifestyle, she and her team started PurelyB – a one-stop destination and guide for all your nutrition, fitness and wellness needs. Jesrina is a passionate advocate for healthy living and is determined to contribute towards positive lifestyle change in Asia.
- Vivy Yusof (Co-Founder, Fashion Valet) Vivy Sofinas Yusof is among those Malaysian entrepreneurs that managed to achieve success at such a young age. At the same time, she is also a model, blogger, fashion icon, a mother to two and an important person in Malaysian online business world. Vivy co-founded Fashion Valet, one of the popular multi-label online sites in Asia. Being a working mom, Vivy Yusof knows how to balance her time between family and her team at Fashion Valet. She is a law graduate from London School of Economics, and her living and shopping experience in England motivated her to start her own venture.
- Neeru Sharma (Co-Founder, Infibeam)Neeru heads Corporate and Business Development at Infibeam.com, one of the leading eCommerce portals carrying over 100 lakh Stock-keeping Units (SKUs). She holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and an Engineering degree in Computer Science. Pre-MBA, she spent 5 years working in the technology sector, most recently working as Product Manager, Alcatel India where she led R&D related projects in the Intelligent Network services domain for major telecom partners in India, Australia, and France.
- Pearl Uppal (Founder, FashionAndYou)Pearl is an Internet Start-up and Growth specialist, an Entrepreneur and an Investor. She founded and led India based e-commerce marketplace Fashionandyou.com. She then moved on and founded 5ideas Startup Superfuel in 2012 with her husband Gaurav Kachru. The Startup Superfuel Fund is a seed & early stage fund focused on digital assets based in India. It has been 13 years since Pearl is being a strong guide in helping building start-ups and high growth businesses in the Internet Industry across media and commerce. Uppal is part of the male-dominated venture capital ecosystem in India. And the gender imbalance is not a rarity where Uppal is concerned.
- Sabina Chopra (Co-Founder, Yatra.com) Sabina Chopra is the EVP Operations at Yatra.com. She is a graduate from Delhi University and in the past headed India based Operations of ebookers, a Europe-based online travel company. Taking her learning and experience from her time at ebookers, in 2006, she co-founded Yatra.com and shaped it into one of India’s most popular travel portals.
- Suchi Mukherjee (Founder, Limeroad) She founded Limeroad.com in 2012 and the idea stemmed during her second pregnancy when she wanted a piece of jewellery at one of the stores and realized that women did not have access to any such online platform from where they could purchase lifestyle products across India. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts with specialization in Maths and Economics from the University of Cambridge. Adding on to this, she is a holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics as well.
- Cheryl Tan (Co-Founder & Business Development, Clozette Pte Ltd) An alumni of National University of Singapore and Marketing Institute of Singapore, Cheryl has been involved in marketing affairs for companies like CNET, Oracle, SAP. With time, saw the rise of social media and e-commerce in Asia wanted to do something to do something different- a marriage of social media and commerce to make the shopping experience fun. She and her founding team then went on to create Clozette to make shopping an entertaining experience where you can interact with your peers and with people who have similar interests as you.
- Tanvi Malik & Shivani Poddar (Founders, Faballey) FabAlley was started by Tanvi Malik and Shivani Poddar, who quit their high-paying jobs in Titan Industries, Unilever, and Avendus Capital to follow their dream of entrepreneurship. FabAlley is an online fashion destination for taste-makers and trend-breakers all over the country.
- Swati Gupta (Co-Founder, IndustryBuying) She has an experience of over 12 years in Management Consulting, Supply Chain Management and Private Equity Operational Advisory Business. Swati pursued BE in Computer Science from Delhi College of Engineering and completed her MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her professional career began with the role of a consultant in the reputed firm, Bain and Co., located in Boston. She further supervised the setting up of India Operations at Opera Solutions, a famed Data Analytics company based in New York, growing it to 100+ employee strength.
As mentioned at the beginning this is a humble way of offering our respect and admiration to these brave and exceptional women, who “dared to dream” and furthermore were determined to relentlessly pursue their dream passionately with grit and focus, so as to convert them into reality.
In the process, we might have inadvertently missed out some more individuals, whose names deservedly can be taken in the same breath as of those mentioned above. Our sincere apologies to all of them. On the occasion of Women’s Day, Vinculum Group takes a bow to appreciate the contribution of these unique group of Women, who have shown us the path, to follow in order to make life better for millions other around our globe.