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Indian women lead start-ups that turned into unicorns

To break the glass ceiling has not been easy but these women are setting all the right examples for their future generations to follow and lead. Women have been leading and growing exponentially over the past few decades and stepping into leading roles changing the entire gamut of business operations and increasing revenues. The start-up sector is one where women are making a significant mark of their own while building from scratch their own legacies. Every year, there are new brands that are entering the unicorn club and with this article, we celebrate the women who have built their start-ups from and led them into unicorn status.

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1 Falguni Nayar, Nykaa
She is the founder and CEO of the beauty and lifestyle retail brand – Nykaa.

Nykaa – Founded in 2012, Nykaa is an e-commerce giant today leading the beauty and fashion segment in the Indian market. Offering beauty, wellness, and fashion products to its customers at reasonable prices. With celebrity investors like Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif, the brand was founded by a former investment banker, Falguni.

Her journey to become an entrepreneur started at 49 years of age, this reflects how she has defied all stereotypes to become India’s richest self-made women. Prior to kickstarting Nykaa, Nayar has worked in the finance and banking sector including Kotak Bank where she recalls being encouraged to do new things. Her journey as an investment banker led her to solving problems and finding innovative solutions. Her journey at the bank helped her to understand that return on equality and long-term sustainability of the business are key parameters that matter the most – a learning she implemented at Nykaa.

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2 Priyanka Gill, MyGlamm (The Good Glamm group)
Priyanka Gill is the founder and CEO of POPxo that falls under the MyGlamm group.

PopXo: The brand is known to be one of India’s largest digital community platforms for women where they can connect as a community to read, watch, shop, or hangout. The content on this platform deals with everything women need from fashion, beauty, lifestyle, work and more.

Priyanka is also known as a journalist and angel investor. She started her journey with POPxo in 2014 to help millennial women engage with content that was related to their personal care, beauty, and fashion. The brand slowly received roaring popularity and in 2021 became part of the Good Glamm Group that had a house of brands under it. Each brand under this group strengthened each other’s position in the beauty, personal care, and fashion market space to rule the digital FMCG industry.
The group became a unicorn in 2021 with a $1.2+ billion valuation.

3 Naiyya Saggi, BabyChakra, MyGlamm (The Good Glamm Group)
Naiyya Saggi is the founder of BabyChakra, a co-founder and President of MyGlamm, and the co-founder of The Good Glamm Group. She is counted as one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in India.

BabyChakra: BabyChakra is one of India’s largest and fastest growing digital platforms for pregnancy and childcare. They are known to bring together age-old traditional wisdom and professional parenting tips and advice to help parents with a balanced view of their parenting decisions.

Saggi completed her MBA from Harvard Business School and was a Fulbright and J.N.Tata scholar. She also served as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company and founded the brand BabyChakra post her completion of MBA.

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4 Ghazal Alagh, Mamaearth
Ghazal Alagh is the co-founder and CIO of Mamaearth, Alagh is known as a prominent female entrepreneur in India and is today one of India’s top businesswomen. She finished her graduate degree from Punjab University and attended the New York Academy of Arts in figurative art.

Mamaearth is today one of the most sought-after beauty and personal care brands that offer chemical and toxin free skin care products for females and babies. The products range from hair care, face care to baby care products.

She co-founded Mama Earth with her husband Varun Alagh in 2016, a brand introducing chemical and toxin-free skincare products to India. What started as an infant care products/ baby care products firm is now covering all types of skincare products/ a personal care brand that are 100 percent organic and free of chemicals. Alagh is known to have a net worth of close to $15-20 million.

She has also been one of the Shark on the popular TV show – Shark Tank India and her brand Mamearth today is one of India’s fastest growing FMCG brands in the last 4-5 years.

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5 Rajoshi Ghosh, Hasura
Rajoshi Ghosh is the co-founder of brand Hasura with Tanmai Gopal.

Hasura: A brand that started with a home-cooked food delivery service company to become an entire software-as-a-service company. Today Hasura offers services to other companies where they can connect Hasura to their data and get APIs in under a minute. The brand works to give instant GraphQL & REST APIs on new and existing data sources.

Founded in 2017, the brand achieved its unicorn status in 2021 with over $1billion valuation.
Rajoshi has been an alumnus of National University of Singapore and Stanford Ignite. She has also been a founder of ‘Find A Kadai’, which is an award winning crowdsourced local food delivery application.

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