5 Indian Women Entrepreneurs from different walks of life

Indian Women Entrepreneurs

As you know, building a business and brand is hard. However, every female entrepreneur must start somewhere.

If you are good, you will succeed. There is no shortcut to building the best business. However, there is no bias in business either.

It doesn’t matter when you start or where you start your entrepreneurial journey. These Women Entrepreneurs in India prove just that.

Oftentimes we look at our favorite Indian women entrepreneurs for guidance, motivation, and inspiration. Let’s take a look at the top 5 successful women entrepreneurs in India below!

Each one of their entrepreneurial journey is an motivation for every women to challenge their limits. Each one of them has built their names in their fields.

Here we have listed the top 5 successful female entrepreneurs, who have done something different to inspired other women entrepreneurs.

We hope after reading through the entrepreneurial journey of Successful Women Entrepreneurs in India, you too feel more inspired and ready to achieve your business and life goals.

5 Famous Women Entrepreneurs in India

  1. Rachel Goenka – Founder & CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company
  2. Karen de Souza, Director of Shillim Institute
  3. Akanksha Chaturvedi, Founder and CEO of Eduauraa
  4. Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good
  5. Tanya Swetta, Co- Founder & CEO – id8 Media Solutions

1. Rachel Goenka – Women Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company

Rachel spearheads the hospitality venture The Chocolate Spoon Company and is the author of ‘Adventures with Mithai’ – her debut recipe book with 50 original recipes of Indian classics with a modern twist. 

Rachel Goenka – Women Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company

Rachel Goenka was recently inducted at NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India) as the Youngest Managing Committee Member.

This multifaceted chef and restauranteur is an alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu, London, and started her journey at the age of 24. 

She has managed to create a successful chain of 7 restaurants, 10 patisseries, 2 central kitchens, and 3 cloud kitchens across Mumbai & Pune in less than a decade. Some of her brands include 

The Sassy Spoon, House of Mandarin, Wicked China, Baraza Bars & Bites, Sassy Teaspoon, and The Sassy Children’s Cafe.

Shy to boast of it’s many firsts, TCSC dared to bring in Eclectic European cuisine to India in 2012.

Rachel was instrumental in redefining how restaurants in India curated desserts with a range of innovative offerings at her restaurants.

Education

Rachel graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a double degree in English and Journalism.

She trained under celebrity chef Rachel Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, and then moved to Le Cordon Bleu in London to specialize in patisserie.

Career

A young businesswoman and woman entrepreneur, at 24 Rachel embarked on her entrepreneurship journey and is best known for her astute business sense and a strong belief that your employees are the most critical ingredients of your business platter!

Sassy is what best describes her approach to all that she does from restaurant conceptualization to delighting the customer with holistic dining experiences.

There are a few non-negotiable fundamentals that TCSC is obsessive about – business ethics, high quality ingredients & internationally established processes both for the front of house as well as the Heart of House. (TCSC’s equivalent of Kitchen!)

Currently, her restaurant portfolio comprises 17 outlets and 2 central kitchens across Mumbai and Pune. The brands include:

  • The Sassy Spoon – a multi-award winning European restaurant in Mumbai and Pune.
  • House of Mandarin – a chic authentic Chinese premium diner in Mumbai.
  • Baraza Bars & Bites – a unique Portuguese themed, shack-inspired resto-bar in Pune.
  • Wicked China –a contemporary, quirky Asian restaurant in Pune.
  • Sassy Teaspoon – a chain of premium patisseries and bakeries across Mumbai and Pune.
  • The Sassy Children’s Café – The Amazeum Children’s Museum, Pune.

In addition to the traditional dine-in business, under Rachel’s leadership, TCSC has been aggressively diversifying its revenue streams via outdoor catering, corporate lunch box services, private labelling and banqueting.

Rachel Goenka has also launched Cake Me Home, one of the first cloud-based dessert only delivery brand, as well as 2 other cloud kitchens – Chan’s Chinese Kitchen and Soul Tadka.

Rachel is also the youngest member of the Management Committee of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) and is spearheading initiatives around sustainability & employment in hospitality.

Growth & Expansion Plans

Rachel has aggressive growth plans for TCSC. She has recently launched The Sassy Spoon & House of Mandarin in Powai.

She will be launching Sassy Spiked, her first food truck with a focus on alcohol-based desserts at The Bar Bank in Powai.

In 2020 in the first quarter, she will be launching House of Mandarin in Pune and The Sassy Café in BKC.

Awards, Honors & Accolades

TCSC & Rachel have both been extensively recognized and won numerous accolades over the last couple of years.

Her debut book- Adventures with Mithai most recently won the prestigious ‘Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020’ for India in the category of Pastry & Desserts.

In 2019, she won the award for ‘Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’ at Times Hospitality Icons followed by a ‘Woman Empowerment Award” by Asia One magazine and the “Green Crusader Award” for sustainability from the Asif Bhamla Foundation.

In 2018 she won the award for ‘Young Restauranteur of the Year’ at the Restaurant India.

Awards 2018 and was also featured in The CEO Magazine article on ’30 Women Entrepreneurs to watch in 2018 in India’.

TCSC featured among ‘India’s Most Admired Brand’ & Rachel was awarded the title of ‘India’s Most Inspirational Business Leader’ by White Page India.

She was also presented with the title of ‘Most Admired Leader’ by Herald Global and given the ‘Hospitality Superstars’ award by the World HRD Congress.

In September 2018, Rachel was also a part of the Economic Times ‘Leaders in Business’ Round Table.

Rachel was also invited to speak at Restaurant India 2018, a conference that brings together industry veterans to promote innovation and understand trends in the restaurant business.

In 2016, Rachel was invited to speak at the LBS’ Family Business Conference in London on the topic of ‘Innovation in the next generation.’

The Sassy Spoon has racked up numerous awards including Best Resto-bar (Restaurant India Awards), Best Mediterranean (Eazydiner), Best Independent Restaurant – Critic’s Choice (Time Out) and Top Voted European & Mediterranean (Zomato) for 2 years in a row.

House of Mandarin too was awarded “Best Chinese Cuisine” at Times of India Hospitality Icons Awards.

CSR – Corporate social responsibility

CSR is one of Rachel’s core beliefs and TCSC has associated with organisations such as Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hands Foundation, Srujna Charitable Trust, Akanksha, Teach For India, The Asif Bhamla Foundation and Pall Can Care to name a few.

There is also an annual Christmas gift donation drive in collaboration with orphanages in Mumbai and Pune.

Rachel has also hosted her mentor and celebrity chef Rachel Allen and the Irish NGO, GOAL, for their work in India.

Publications

Rachel Goenka has written features for magazines like Hello!. She is a published journalist from Reuters. She is extremely gifted in the art of communication.

Hi Blitz, Uppercrust and BBC Good Food as well as for leading newspapers such as Mint lounge, Hindustan Times, DNA etc.

Work / Life Balance

Ms. Sassy, as Rachel is widely known, has made her mark on a heavily male dominated industry and is intent on blazing a trail for other aspiring women-entrepreneurs across all industries!

As her tribute to all working moms, she has launched a line of healthy and wholesome snacks for kids, inspired by her son Kabir, called Sassy Littles.

Her first book, ‘Adventures with Mithai’ released in October 2019. A first of its kind with 50 original recipes, Rachel explores the world of mithai in a contemporary format.

2. Karen de Souza, Women Entrepreneur, Director of Shillim Institute

Karen de Souza, Director of Shillim Institute
Karen de Souza, Women Entrepreneur, Director of Shillim Institute

Karen is the daughter of the late William de Souza. In January 2015, Karen de Souza joined the Shillim Institute as the Director. Karen de Souza studied international business management and economics in Brussels.

Her interest in sustainability began with a interest in food. While working in Brussels, she understood the relationship between production of quality ingredients and the sustainability.

This realization led Karen to seek a deeper understanding. She subsequently worked on a project to restore native plant species and recently set up the organic farm at Shillim.

Karen has also set up the Shillim Institute with a focus on research and project implementation in sustainability, conservation, and healing. Karen de Souza is fluent in French.

Karen de Souza studied economics and international business management in Brussels and Karen is fluent in French also.

3. Akanksha Chaturvedi, Women Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Eduauraa

Akanksha Chaturvedi, Founder and CEO of Eduauraa

A young entrepreneur on a quest to bring about a change in the education scenario in India, Akanksha Chaturvedi founded Eduauraa, an Edtech venture that aspires to provide high quality education at an affordable cost.

Realising that education is the central pillar of any country and the access to quality education should not be limited to a child’s socio economic background, Akanksha aims to make Eduauraa a household concept. 

A graduate from UCL, London and postgraduate from Columbia University, Akanksha spent her college days studying urban planning and business, which made her realise how the development of a country can be accelerated through a disruptive and relevant business idea.

Her in-depth research on the subject helped her understand that access to quality education can change the face of the economy and aid the development of a country. She started working towards her goal of providing affordable, accessible and quality education of the highest standard, reinstating education as a right and not a privilege.

Her quest to provide quality education as a self sustaining business model of the highest standard was a reflection of the most superior quality education she received from her esteemed alumni.

It is her vision to be able to provide this quality of education at an affordable price to the young students of India through Eduauraa. 

Keeping in mind the need for quality education and to make Eduauraa a part of most households, she partnered exclusively with ZEE5 making her a pioneer in the EdTech industry.

With easy access and an opportunity to reach out to a wider audience on an OTT platform, Akanksha envisioned to digitally disrupt the educational system in the nation which will open gates to premium education at an affordable cost.

The educational content on Eduauraa will be available in English and Hindi, so that the vernacular hindrance is completely annihilated. 

If digitization can democratize entertainment then why not education? With Eduauraa, Akanksha strives to achieve what multiple OTT platforms have done for movies and drive an education revolution in the nation by creating a self-sustaining entity that proliferates with time. 

Akanksha is a conscious millennial of today’s India. In her free time, this young disruptor likes to read fiction, travel and is a trained contemporary jazz dancer.

Besides this, Akanksha sits on the board of the prestigious YNG (YPO Next Generation) as Learning chair and the EO future leaders committee.

A people’s person, Akanksha positively leads a team of 210 bright minds into the future of Eduauraa. 

Eduauraa was founded with the vision to be the premier learning platform and provide world-class education at $3(approx) per month, a very competitive price to ensure pricing is not a barrier for anyone who wants to learn and educate themselves and to collectively take India to the next level of health, development prosperity.

4. Katrin Ley, Women Entrepreneur, Managing Director, Fashion for Good

Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Fashion for Good
Katrin Ley, Managing Director, Women Entrepreneur, Fashion for Good

Katrin Ley is the Managing Director of a platform for sustainable fashion innovation, Fashion for Good. She steers Fashion for Good’s global efforts to enable the daring invention and widespread adoption of good fashion practice. 

Katrin Ley does this by harnessing the power of innovation, cross-sector collaboration, and practical action to drive the transition to a circular apparel and textile industry.

Katrin brings 20+ years of rich industry experience in fashion innovation and impact investing with her.

She joined Fashion for Good from Pymwymic, the ‘Put your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community’ of European wealth holders who invest for impact. 

Under her leadership Pymwymic launched the first-ever peer-to-peer impact holding company, welcoming mission-aligned individual investors and families as shareholders.

In the adidas Group (U.S. and Netherlands), Katrin was Managing Director and in the Boston Consulting Group (Germany and Scandinavia), she was Principal – with a focus on private equity, technology and consumer goods.

Katrin was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is the founding curator of the Amsterdam Global Shapers Hub.

About Fashion for Good 

Fashion for Good is a global platform for innovation, made possible through collaboration and community. It is the global initiative that is here to make all fashion good.

With an open invitation to the entire apparel industry, Fashion for Good convenes brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators and funders united in their shared ambition. 

At the core of Fashion for Good is our innovation platform. Based and headquarters in Amsterdam. The company recently expanding the programme to South Asia. It’s accelerator Programme gives access to funding they need in order to grow and promising start-up innovators the expertise.

Our Scaling Programme supports innovations that have passed the proof-of-concept phase, initiating pilot projects with partner organisations and guided by our dedicated team that offers bespoke support and access to expertise, customers and capital.

Good Fashion Fund catalyses access to finance to shift at scale to more sustainable production methods. 

Fashion for Good also acts as a convener for change, with the world’s first interactive museum dedicated to sustainable fashion innovation.

In Amsterdam, Fashion for Good houses a creates open-source resources like its Good Fashion Guide, Circular Apparel Community co-working space.

Good Fashion Guide provides white papers, practical advice to implement cradle-to-cradle™ certified apparel and reports investigating industry developments.  

Fashion for Good’s programmes are supported by founding partner Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation), co-founder William McDonough and corporate partners BESTSELLER, Adidas, C&A, Kering, Otto Group, CHANEL,Galeries Lafayette Group, Target and Zalando, PVH Corp., Stella McCartney, and affiliate partners Norrøna, Arvind, and Welspun.

5. Tanya Swetta, Women Entrepreneur, Co- Founder & CEO – id8 Media Solutions

Tanya Swetta, Women Entrepreneur, Co- Founder & CEO – id8 Media Solutions

Like all “big things have small beginnings,” the story of id8 Media Solutions is also a similar one, dreamt up and realized by Tanya Swetta in 2001, the Founder and then Joint Managing Director of the company.

With a passion for managing brands, she pursued this passion early on by studying Public Relations from the Xavier’s Institute of Communication in Mumbai and was driven to deliver the best branding experiences to consumers and brands in the industry. 

At the young age of 21, Tanya is the key ideator who started building her empire! For her successful ventures, she has been featured in some of the top Fortune magazines. Tanya believes that there are no shortcuts to success.

Jointly leading a team of 60 intellects, Tanya is the backbone for some of the most iconic brands in the industry such as Marks & Spencers, Di Bella Coffee, SS Homme, Grand Hyatt Goa, Mocha Coffee, Tommy Hilfiger, Lindstrom India, Leena Mogre, Pooja Makhija and many more.

The brands that we have launched in India from the luxury perspective are Jimmy Choo, Coach, Giorgio Armani, Di’Bella, Evion Water Net A Porter.

We also launched Sunburn as a music festival property in India and Mad Over Donuts, Mocha, Vogue and many more.

Currently, id8 Media Solutions is handling a host of fashion brands such as Giorgio Armani, Coach, Jimmy Choo, Tommy Hilfiger, ALDO, Berleigh Luxury and many more.

In hospitality, to name a few are Socials, Slink and Bardot, Pa Pa Ya, Smoke House Deli,  Hilton Shillim, All the project series such as The Bandra Project, Runway Project, etc across Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi. 

Along with balancing her work life being a mother of 2 children, she is also a fitness enthusiast, never forgets her daily yoga routine. 

In 2008, Aman Swetta, her husband is also a Joint Managing Director of id8 media solutions.

He joined the company and foresaw the growth of the communication industry and the potential that the company had to grow exponentially.

Today, id8 Media Solutions is one of the most successful start-up which developed organically.

It is an agency that creates and fosters brands and brand development with sound know-how and efficient solutions.

Being the one-stop solution, the company offers an array of 360-degree brand management services ranging from Design, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Influencer, and Corporate Marketing, Event Management, Filming & Production, and many more services under its umbrella and key associations with top international Fortune brands in the market.