Biography of Indian Business Women

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Indian Business Women Biographies

A list of Indian business women who make the woman proud by bringing glory to the community.

Indian women are no more showpieces to adorn the household. They have carved a niche for themselves in this male dominated world and taken full advantage of the fruits of globalization. As a result they are becoming increasingly visible in the domestic and international sphere.

Chanda Kocchar Executive Director, ICICI Bank

Ms Chanda Kochhar joined ICICI as a Management Trainee in 1984. She heads the Corporate Centre of the Bank, is the Chief Financial Officer ( CFO ) and is also the official spokesperson for ICICI Bank.

Her responsibilities include the global treasury, principal investments & trading, risk management and legal functions. Also responsible for day – to – day guidance and administrative matters.

She did her Masters in Management Studies from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai where she topped her batch and received the Wockhardt Gold Medal for Excellence in Management Studies.

Ms Kochhar was born on November 17, 1961, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Presently, she resides in Mumbai and is married and has a daughter and a son.

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Ekta Kapoor Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms
Ekta Kapoor can be aptly called as the reigning queen of Indian television industry. The serials produced by her company Balaji Telefilms are a great hit with the masses and are dominating all the major TV channels in India.

She has broken all previous records of TV serial production and popularity in India. Her most famous television venture has been “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” which began in 2000 and is still leading the TRP ratings in India.

For her entrepreneurial skills and achievements Ekta Kapoor was awarded with Ernst & Young ( E&Y ) Startup Entrepreneur Of The Year award in 2001.

Born on June 7, 1975, Ekta Kapoor is daughter of former Bollywood superstar Jeetendra and sister of current Bollywood hero Tusshar Kapoor.

Swati Piramal

Director – Strategic Alliances & Communications, Nicholas Piramal

Her current responsibilities include research & development, strategic alliances, new products and technologies, knowledge management, corporate communications and government policy.

Dr Piramal’s special research interests include herbal, clinical discovery and nutrition research in pharmaceuticals.

She graduated with a Masters Degree from Harvard School of Public Health, Boston USA, where she had the unique honour of being selected Commencement Speaker at the 1992 Graduation Ceremony.

Dr Swati Piramal is married to India’s well – known Industrialist Ajay Piramal and they have two children, Nandini and Anand.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Chairman and MD, Biocon

Biocon is today recognised as India’s pioneering biotech enterprise. Her unique vision has steered Biocon’s transition from an industrial enzymes company to an integrated biopharmaceutical company with strategic research initiatives.

As Chairperson and Mission Leader of CII’s National Task Force on Biotechnology she has led several delegations to USA, Canada, UK, etc to propel India into the global super league of biotech trailblazers.

She is married to John Shaw, a Scotsman and Indophile, who headed a leading textiles MNC, Madura Coats from 1991 – 1998 as Chairman and Managing Director. John Shaw has since joined Biocon as Director, International Business and is the Vice Chairman of the Board.

Lalita D Gupte Joint MD, ICICI Bank

Mrs Gupte has about three decades of experience in the financial services industry, having started her career with ICICI Limited in 1971. She is the Joint Managing Director of ICICI Bank Limited, which is the largest private sector bank in India.

Mrs Gupte played a key role in making ICICI the first Indian company and second bank from Asia to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Management.

Mrs Gupte has two children and lives in Mumbai. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends.

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Naina Lal Kidwai Deputy CEO, HSBC

Naina Lal Kidwai is the Chief Executive Officer of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation India branches.

She began her career in banking with ANZ Grindlays Bank ( acquired by Standard Chartered bank in 2000 ) and then moved on to head the Indian operations of Morgan Stanley. Joined HSBC India as head of its investment banking businessin 2002. In May 2005, she was named country head of the HSBC Group in India.

Fortune magazine listed Kidwai among the World’s Top 50 Corporate Women from 2000 to 2003. According to the Economic Times, she is the first woman to head the operations of a foreign bank in India.

Her mother is the industrialist Lalit Mohan Thapar’s sister and her cousin, Gautam Thapar currently manages Ballarpur Industries Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers of paper in the country.

Naina Lal Kidwai ( born in 1957 ) was the first Indian woman to graduate from the Harvard Business School. She is married to Rashid Kidwai who runs the NGO, Digital Partners.

Preetha Reddy MD of Apollo Hospitals

Preetha Reddy is one of the pioneer businesswomen of India in the segment of healthcare industry.

Under her leadership, The Apollo Specialty Hospital emerged as a major oncology referral centre in Asia. The hospital is one of the few places with facility to offer bone marrow transplantation. The hospital was first to perform cord blood transplantation in India.

Currently, the Apollo Group has more than 6,400 beds and 16,500 employees, and has emerged as an integrated global healthcare provider, attracting patients from all over India, the other countries of the Indian subcontinent like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Pakistan, the Middle East and the Gulf states.

She was born in 1957 in Hyderabad, but spent her early years in Chennai.

Priya Paul Chairman, Apeejay Park Hotels

When Ms Paul was 22 her father appointed her marketing manager of Park Hotel. She was only 24 when she took over the fledgling Park Hotels, part of the Apeejay Surrendra Group, one of India’s family – controlled conglomerates after her father Surrendra Paul was assassinated in 1990.

Priya plays an active role in many bodies connected with the hotel industry. Appeejay Surrendra Group has several subsidiaries such as, tea, hotel, shipping, retail, real estate and financial services.

At present, Priya is the Chairperson of Appeejay Park Hotels.

Priya is also a member of the Young President’s Organization and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Her interests include reading, art, cuisine and its history, and yoga.

Vinita Bali MD of Britannia

Vinita Bali was appointed Managing Director of Britannia on 31st May 2006. Vinita joined as Chief Executive Officer of the Company in January 2005.

She started her career with Voltas Lt – a Tata Group company focusing on consumer products, where she launched Rasna soft – drink concentrate.

In 1980, Vinita joined Cadbury India, where she had a successful career in roles of increasing responsibility, not just in India, but also in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa. Vinita also served on the Boards of Cadbury Nigeria and Cadbury South Africa.

The Coca – Cola Company chose her as its worldwide Marketing Director in 1994 where she was responsible for the worldwide strategy for Coke, and was one of the key players in doubling its historical growth rate.

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from LSR at the University of Delhi and her MBA at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies at Bombay University.

Vandana Luthra Founder, VLCC

Started in 1989 by the founder and mentor, Mrs. Vandana Luthra, the VLCC group has grown exponentially over the last 17 years.

Today VLCC a ‘Super brand’, serves as an umbrella for all its other brands; VLCC Health Care Ltd., VLCC Personal Care, VLCC Workout Factory, VLCC Spa, VLCC Institute, VLCC Alive / Retail, VLCC Beauty Zone and VLCC Foundation.

VLCC’s beauty service business currently spans across nearly 102 locations in 52 cities across India & 5 locations in UAE.

VLCC plans to expand to 300 centers in India and VLCC International will have spread to an additional 5 countries and to a total of 28 centers in the Middle East, including Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

VLCC has evolved into a company offering a variety of health care and beauty products supported by a well – knit organization of related services.

Ritu Kumar Fashion Designer

Ritu has pioneered the term ‘fashion’ in the Indian context, and more importantly, has demonstrated that hand made products can be as profitable and even more glamorous than those made by machine.

From humble beginnings forty years ago Ritu became the first woman to introduce the ’boutique’ culture in India under the brand name ‘Ritu’. Today she has outlets in all over the country, retailing under her traditional brand.

Over the centuries, traditional skills that had been lost have been revitalized and this has enabled the craftsmen to continue working in their own environment.

Ritu began with hand block printers and two tables in a small village near Calcutta, and since then Ritu’s team of dedicated workers have progressed to produce some of the country’s most exquisite garments and accessories in cotton, silk and leather.

In 2002 Ritu Kumar, joined by her son Amrish, launched a sub brand – Ritu Kumar, LABEL. LABEL retails from most Ritu Kumar stores as well as some stand alone stores.

Ritu Nanda CEO, Escolife

Ritu Kapoor – Nanda, currently the Chief Executive Officer of Escolife, is a prominent Indian entrepreneur associated chiefly with the life insurance business.

She has more than 55,000 clients, and is the recipient of the Brand Ambassador and the Best Insurance Advisor of the Decade awards from the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

She is also CED of Raksha TPA, which provides third party administrative services for health care, in 2000, she established the RNIS College of Insurance, which today has over 50 branches all over the country.

Ritu Nanda entered the Guinness Book of Records for selling 17,000 pension policies in a single day.

She is the daughter of Raj Kapoor, and was born in Mumbai on 30th October 1948. She is married to Rajan Nanda, a distinguished industrialist of India.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani Joint MD, Kinetic Engineering

Joint Managing Director of Kinetic Engineering Ltd, she is the in charge of the Company’s overall business developmental activities. She is also very well performing the role of the Director of Kinetic Motor Company Limited and Kinetic Marketing Services Limited.

The Company has witnessed tremendous expansion during her tenure. From being a mere moped manufacturer, today, it has set its foothold in the industry as a manufacturer offering a complete range of two wheelers right from mopeds, scooters to motorcycles.

“India Today”, a well known magazine honored her by presenting her with the title of business “Face of the Millennium”. It ranked her among the top twenty five business entrepreneurs of the country.

Her hobbies include traveling, outdoor sports like skiing & scuba diving and spending time with her 5 – year – old son Sidhant. She is also a fitness enthusiast and has been a national level badminton player.

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