Women are the personification of love, resilience, strength and beauty. International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on 8 March. It is an opportunity to reflect on progress made, to change and celebrate the acts of courage and determination of ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. This day is celebrated to observe women’s success and part in cultural, political, social and economic development. It is also acknowledged to make people aware of women’s rights and gender equality.
Neha Bagaria Founder & CEO, JobsForHer
Neha BagariaTrue to the saying – only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches Neha Bagaria had no clue about the difficulties women face when they get back to work after pregnancy till she herself restarted her career after 3.5 years because of the birth of her two children. This firsthand experience made her realize that 50% of all working women in India drop out of the workforce in 3 years– as a result of which over 10 million graduate and postgraduate women spend their whole time babysitting at home. She also realized that these women needed a helping hand— confidence, moral support and up-gradation of skills to get back to work. This made her start JobsForHer to help women restart and rise in their careers – thus reverse the female brain drain from the Indian workforce.
Mahima Gupta – bhu botanicals
Beautiful skin is the most magnificent gift of God and cannot be recreated once it loses its glow and charm. But ironically though everyone needs to take care of their skin and keep it in good condition – girls from the middle and lower class cannot afford to buy expensive skin care products available in the market. In the initial stages of life, Mahima Gupta who grew up in a middle-class family hardly used any cosmetics to enhance her physical appearance and beauty as a teenager. However, when she grew up, she realized the need for organic and natural products for her body care. She learnt of Ayurvedic texts which describe many herbs that can be used for skin and body care but the authentic formulations in the market cost a bomb so she started searching more intensely for – affordable, natural and organic ingredients. Mahima Gupta’s quest for organic and natural organic skincare products – free of harmful chemicals and dyes led to the formation of ‘bhu’ botanicals which as the tagline suggests come straight ‘From the house of mother earth’.
Sheetal Saxena, Co-Founder, Colocal
For anyone looking to see how chocolate is made and get some wholesome chocolate experience, Colocal is a place to be for anyone who loves chocolate. The name Colocal is an amalgam of cocoa and local is the brainchild of thirty-year-old Sheetal Saxena a banker by profession and her husband Nishant Sinha who own the Roastery Coffee House India with outlets in Hyderabad and Kolkata. They came up with the idea to start Colocal while seeing a video of cocoa being roasted in Vietnam and starting working on the project in July 2019. The launch however got delayed because of the pandemic. Sheetal Saxena loves to create different tastes and flavours by adding cocoa to the food and beverage. Colocal is today a Bean to Bar Chocolate Factory and Café. Her vision is to create awareness about chocolate and put Indian cacao on the world map.
Shruti Aggarwal, Co-Founder, Stashfin
Shruti Aggarwal is the Co-Founder of StashFin a digital lending venture that is disrupting traditional lending in India. Founded in 2016, the team at Stashfin is an eclectic mix of professionals who have worked with reputed firms in Banking and Financial Services such as Bank of America, Merill Lynch, Citi, Deloitte, Kabbage etc. in India and the USA. StashFin also received astounding recognition on LinkedIn’s recent list featuring the ‘Top Startups from India’. Shruti considers her ex-boss Sonia Toledo, a successful financial executive based in New York and Nykaa founder, Falguni Nayar as her role models.
Dr Mitsu Chavda – the restless fighter looking for a cause
A lawyer by profession Dr. Mitsu Chavda is a biker, career counsellor, motivational speaker, and sexual wellness whisperer. Her major accomplishments include a spectacular 17000 km journey called “Ride for Soldiers” in which she covered -102 cities in 65 days. The idea behind the journey was to make the people aware of the wheelchair-bound or bedridden paraplegic soldiers and their achievements in sports and higher studies. During the journey, she visited various schools and colleges and gave lectures to students about the plight of disabled soldiers. The army declared 2021 as the “year of disabled Soldiers”. Her endeavour as a motivational speaker is to raise awareness about depression and make people overcome it by positivity. Her advice to today’s youth not to get frustrated. “Many people are committing suicide for a mobile phone or over a love affair. Life is precious. All of us can bring changes in others’ lives through some efforts,” she says. Chavda has been awarded the Gaurav gurjari Naar Award – Pride of Gujarat Noble Asian award by the World record foundation, and Veerta Puraskar by the Global Counterterrorism Council.
Sonali Priy Kapoor, Founder and Managing Director, the Hatch Project
With almost 2 decades of experience in Brand Solutions and Communications, Sonali has showcased excellent leadership skills, interpersonal communication, analytical ability, and team management while working for Corporate, Sports, Lifestyle, FMCG, Fashion, Hospitality, Tech, Education and Travel & Tourism. Prior to founding The Hatch Project, Sonali was leading Marketing & Communications for several global brands and has played a pivotal role in establishing its brand recall value. Some of her prestigious clients’ include Endemol, Franchise India, Bradford Licence India, Indian Premier League, Master Chef India, Ambuja Cements, Petals PreSchool Club Chain, Ryan Schools, Lakme Fashion Week, India Today, Sunburn, Massive Restaurants to name a few.
Mukta Kumar, Director Communications, Konnections IMAG
Mukta Kumar began her entrepreneurial journey in 2010 by setting up Konnections – an integrated marketing communication agency. Mukta is a multitalented personality who has won many accolades and awards for her exemplary work in business communication and women leadership. She bagged the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award by Exchange4media group in 2020. She has also received the TV5 Business Leader Award, “Pearl of Telangana” Award by Telangana Chamber of Events Industry (TCEI) & Brand Leadership Award by CMO Asia amongst others. She is an advocate of women empowerment and supports many socially relevant causes. She has faith in the concept of an equitable society with no class & gender issues and tries to make her contribution in little way possible.
Tanya Khanna, Director, Epistle Communications
After completing her Master’s degree from University College London, Tanya Khanna worked for a number of companies in London before returning to India help establish Morphogenesis one of India’s leading award-winning Architecture and Urban Design practices with offices in Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. Since then, she has helped countless architectural and design firms (both in India & the United Kingdom), particularly those spearheaded by women designers in curating their content and encapsulating their communications vision through publications, exhibitions, books, lectures and awards, primarily through a larger outreach strategy. Traditionally Indian women architects and designers steered away from communication and marketing activities. Tanya has sought to change this, putting India’s architectural talent on the global map.
Deepika Sharma – Hempstrol
Born in a traditional family from Himachal Pradesh based in Delhi Deepika Sharma was exposed to hemp a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use and is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth. From an early age, Deepika developed a liking for Bhang Chutney (Hemp Seeds Dip) and learnt about the medicinal properties of hemp which was grown and used for a variety of reasons in her ancestral home. Her 85-year-old grandmother made Hemp Seed Oil at home and applied it whenever someone from the family had any pain and added it to the bath water to keep the skin moisturized for the whole day in the harsh Himalayan winters. This working knowledge about the curative properties of Hemp was at the back of Deepika’s mind when she founded Hempstrol and never looked back.
Midhula Devabhaktuni Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder at Mivi
Midhula Devabhaktuni and her husband Viswanadh realized the potential of introducing quality products in the electronics segment in the Indian market so they laid the foundation of Mivi in October 2015. Midhula strongly believes that their locally built products are better than any International brand and that Made In India products are going to change the face of Electronics in the coming few years. Her one mantra for Mivi is, “No one can promote your product better than a happy customer”.
Sarika Mangesh, Co-founder, True Frog
Sarika Mangesh is someone who wears many hats– as a daughter, mother, wife, educator and entrepreneur. A veteran in the field of cosmetology Sarika launched True Frog – an Indian personal care brand in early 2020 along with Subrata Nag, and Mangesh Gawande. While Sarika had experience in product formulation and design, the other two founders had more than 20 years of experience in building organizations, turning around companies, and managing setups. The chemistry worked. Today True Frog is known for skin and hair care products that are good, harmless, and are environmentally friendly. Starting with a set of five products in the haircare range, to begin with, True Frog is now in the process of introducing more products in the skincare range and add 3 – 4 products every quarter.
Sujata a pioneer in solo woman’s tourism India
Sujata also called ‘Sue’ from Pune is a pioneer in solo woman’s tourism in India and has travelled to more than 40 countries all by herself. Coming from conservative family background, she did not marry and has faced many hardships in life. Over the past 20 years, armed with a masters degree from London, she has tried many career opportunities, as well as lived and worked in different countries. She has travelled all over the world and worked in the Health and Beauty sector. Now in India she runs Allure Laser and Beauty Clinic in Pune and offers lifestyle coaching to help youngsters cope with Life challenges.
Dr Kamal Kapadia, Co-Founder and Course Creator of Terra.do
Dr Kamal Kapadia is a climate change educator, clean energy advocate and co-founder of Terra.do a fully remote learning platform that is on an ambitious mission to get 100 million professionals to learn from world-class environmental experts and come together to solve the planet’s most urgent threats. Dr Kapadia has 22 years of research and teaching experience in the fields of climate change, clean energy and sustainable development. A known environmental educator and freelance writer, she created Terra’s foundational course “Climate Change: Learning for Action.”
Megha Sharma, Co-Founder and Director at Luster PR
A Media enthusiast by background and a Public Relations consultant by profession, Megha has handled a varied list of clients, ranging from lifestyle, luxury, art, education, hospitality, health, and real estate. Megha’s entrepreneurial career began with the formation of Luster PR a Consultancy firm. She envisages transforming the PR industry and bringing in a revolution in terms of the way it operates. She wishes to transform PR from just being a bare medium of communication to a hardcore communication plan of action. Her robust understanding of the business has been applauded by a host of her clients and has also led her company to win the International Excellence 2017 Award for best PR Company by Shilpa Shetty. Her list of clients includes Casio, FIITJEE, Neeraj Bhagat & Co, Toray Industries, NLUD and sports personalities like Yogeshwar Dutt and Prabhjot Singh (Ex captain of Indian Hockey Team).
Soumita Saha- eminent painter and singer of international fame
After the resounding, her debut solo exhibition ‘Imagining Neverland’ eminent painter and singer Soumita Saha is all geared up to host her second solo Exhibition “Nari Katha”. “Nari Katha enunciates the veiled commiseration of women. I have always observed that nothing is more multifarious and multilayered than the life of women. Nari Katha narrates the story of every woman who dared to walk against the tide” she says. Soumita’s paintings are also exhibited abroad in Portland’s Art Museum’s Art Reach Gallery.