India as a country, has been the victim of patriarchy since men decided they just had to have the last word. Ironically, there have been only a smattering of women in power and it has been only now that the times have finally changed. The 21st century brought forth a new wave of growth, change and ideas. Women started revisiting their inner potential and are moving forward with renewed vigour.
Spanning diverse fields like food, fashion, technology and education, these women have challenged the startup game from being housewives to creating a brand new niche for themselves. Here is a list of women who have set the ball rolling for a brand new path in innovation and creation.
1. Shubbra Chadda – Chumbak
Shubbra Chaddha took a while to realise her dream and when she finally knew what it was, boy, did she make a splash! Shubbra’s brand, Chumbak, took the country by a storm by becoming one of the first companies that sells funky and creative designs, with a wide array of accessories, bags and nick nacks. A store that resonates with class, style and easy sophistication, Chumbak has set the stage for those who dare to dream.
2. Chiki Sarkar – Juggernaut Books
After heading major publishing houses like Penguin India and Random House India, Chiki Sarkar decided the time had come to branch out into the world of smartphones. With this in mind, she began Juggernaut Books, the country’s first smartphone publishing house. Through this platform, Chiki Sarkar plans on expanding the number of books available to the world. As one moves into a world governed by technology, this company comes as a refreshing change for growth.
3. Suchi Mukherjee – Limeroad
When Suchi Mukherjee returned to India from the United States, after a gap of 17 long years, she wanted to create something that was truly wonderful. However, her road to success was not easy. Armed with a goal in mind, the path to achieving the impossible was not a simple task. With a dream in hand and a world of opportunities in front of her, Suchi created Limeroad in 2011, an online shopping platform for those who did not have the patience to go shop in actual stores. A fashion portal that uses social discovery to stand out from competitors with features such as personalised stylist recommendations and scrapbooking to customised looks, Limeroad is every shopper’s dream come true!
4. Suchita Salwan – Little Black Book
A foodie with a desire to look for new places set the ground for Suchita Salwan’s Little Black Book. Established platforms like Just Dial, Zomato and Swiggy failed to satiate her continuing hunger pangs. With the aim of creating something out of the ordinary, Suchita founded a platform which caters to a very niche and exclusive clientele. The rest, as they say, is history.
5. Richa Singh – YourDost
Richa Singh saw people continuously facing negativity which more often than not, would lead to depression. When a fellow hosteler ended their life, Richa realised empathy and compassion are what is needed to make the world a better place. With this one thought in mind, Richa Singh started YourDost, a platform that not only gives you a friend for life but also gives you an opportunity to get over all the problems one faces on a regular basis.
6. Kanika Tekriwal – JetSetGo
The saying, “the sky is the limit” perfectly suits Kanika Tekriwal. The founder of JetSetGo, India’s first private planes chartering service, Kanika succeeded with flying colors. This company lets people book private planes for everything from weddings to business purposes. Often described as the Uber of the skies, JetSetGo boasts of having the largest fleet of aeroplanes.
7. Falguni Nayar – Nykaa
After a long stint as an investment banker, Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa.com in the year 2013. An online one stop shop for beauty products from Indian and international brands, Nykaa changed the world of online shopping. Who would have ever thought buying makeup online would be so easy? Falguni Nayar proved all of us wrong and created a brand new place for people who love experimenting with styles, designs and colors.
8. Sairee Chahal – Sheroes
Sheroes is the first website of its kind, giving women the chance to work in the field about which they are really passionate. If you are a woman looking for a career change or a new workplace, then Sheroes is the perfect platform for you. Sairee created this website solely dedicated to women. Besides connecting businesses and interested employees to each other, Sheroes provides mentorship and support to career oriented women.
9. Shahnaz Husain – Shahnaz Herbal Inc
Despite being married off at the very young age of 16, Shahnaz Husain realised where her true passion lay. With a major interest in everything related to fashion and beauty, Shahnaz turned her dream into reality with Shahnaz Herbal Inc. Best known for creating herbal skin care and cosmetic products without animal testing, Shahnaz has grown like never before. With over 400 clinics in 138 countries across the world, Shahnaz has been bestowed with the Padmashree Award in 2006 for her commendable effort in making the world of cosmetics a better, cleaner and healthier place.
10. Rashmi Sinha – Slideshare
Rashmi Sinha, a PhD holder in neuropsychology from Brown University, co founded SlideShare with her husband in 2006. Within just a couple of years, the website was so popular, it got acquired by LinkedIn for $ 100 million in the year 2012! Ranked number 8 in Fortune’s Most Powerful Entrepreneurs List, Rashmi was also named as the World’s Top 10 Women Influencers in the world of web.
From the accomplishments of these pioneering women, one thing stands out. The times, they are a changing. Women know what they want and what needs to be done to get what they want. They are here. They are now. They are finally coming into their own and soon, the world is going to be a much better place.
Rupert Murdoch Unknown Facts
Rupert Murdoch is an Australian born businessman and the founder of News Corp, who turned media into a lucrative business empire. With holdings in The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins, Fox News and 20th Century Fox, Murdoch is one of the richest people in the world. Here are some unknown facts about the media mogul who is considered the inventor of the modern tabloid.
Unknown facts about Rupert Murdoch
1. As an ambitious 7 year old, Rupert Murdoch would hunt water rats for their skin and manure, which he would then sell for sixpence in his town. He would use his earnings to gamble in school.
2. Murdoch was an excellent cricket player and led his school’s cricket team to National junior finals.
3. His journalism career began with the Adelaide News, which he took over after the death of his father at the age of 22. Rupert Murdoch transformed the failing business into a successful newspaper.
4. He once counter bid for a New Zealand local newspaper, The Dominion, at the spur of the moment during a vacation and ended up winning the bid.
5. He was once declared dead by his own newspaper, The Sun, after digital vigilante groups Anonymous and LulzSec hacked into the newspaper website and published an article, claiming Murdoch died because of drug overdose.
6. He has appeared in two episodes of the hit series The Simpsons and his entrance line was “I’m Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire tyrant, and this is my skybox.”
7. Murdoch has a bad intuition towards social media, which was proven when Myspace, which Murdoch bought for $ 580 million, had to be sold due to its poor performance. He also passed a chance to buy Twitter and warned investors against investing in it.
8. He was awarded a papal honour award, Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, by John Paul II in January 1998.
9. He once launched world’s first iPad only daily newspaper app, named The Daily. Murdoch invested $ 30 million in building the app. The app eventually shut down as the company started losing money after the launch.
10. He was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 2014 for launching Fox Broadcasting Company and changing the television landscape with shows like The Simpsons and The X-Files.
With a career spanning almost 6 decades, Rupert Murdoch saw many failures and controversies, but overcame them all and is now worth $ 21.9 billion.
Women Scientists Turned Entrepreneurs
There are hundreds of innovations and discoveries born in the field of science and engineering every year in universities around the world. However, only a few of them are able to make it into commercial ventures. Today, we will be looking into women who turned their groundbreaking research into successful businesses.
1) Nina Tandon
Nina Tandon is a biomedical engineer and co founded the company Epibone. The main aim of the Company is to develop technology to develop bone reconstruction solution through stem cells. The Company creates bone tissues from a patient’s stem cells and grows them in vitro for use in bone grafts. Tandon serves as the CEO of Epibone and is also an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at the Cooper Union in New York. Tandon was named a TED Fellow in 2011 and a senior TED Fellow in 2012. In 2013, she received an award at the Marie Claire’s Women on Top Awards.
2) Anuradha Acharya
Anuradha Acharya is the founder and CEO of Mapmygenome, a company which focuses on preventive healthcare options through genome sequencing. She also founded another company called Ocimum Biosolutions, a genomics outsourcing company for discovery, development and diagnostics. In 2015, Mapmygenome made news for raising funds worth $ 1.1 million from a group of investors. Acharya was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award by the magazine Biospectrum in 2008. Her name was included in the 2018 W-power trailblazers by Forbes.
3) Sinead O’Sullivan
An aerospace engineer, Sinead O’Sullivan specialises in space technology and is currently the CEO of Avioptix, a company which captures, stores and analyzes real time data from satellites, drones and ground robotics. Her Company created the first ever platform to crowdsource drone data. Avioptix tailors their insights to the needs of their clients, supporting agriculture, oil and gas, insurance and NGOs.
4) Rana el Kaliouby
Rana el Kaliouby is a computer scientist and the co founder and CEO of Affectivia. Affectivia is an emotion measurement technology company which develops software to recognize human emotions based on facial expressions and physiological responses. As a research scientist at MIT, her initial focus was on ways to improve human-computer interaction, but she quickly realised the possibility of using the technology to improve human to human interaction, especially for those affected by autism. She was inducted into the Women in Engineering Hall of Fame and was mentioned in Forbes’ America’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018.
These women serve as perfect examples and inspiration for women working in the STEM field to grow their research into a business empire. If we missed mentioning any such women scientists who turned into entrepreneurs, comment and let us know.
Panasonic Founding Story – Journey of Konosuke Matsushita
From starting his journey with an electric light bulb idea to creating a multinational electronics corporation, the rags to riches story of Konosuke Matsushita is truly inspirational. Known as the “God of Management,” the founder of Panasonic was involved in many other business ventures, which, together, gave him a net worth of $ 3 billion.
Matsushita had humble beginnings. Being born to a gambling father, Konosuke Matsushita started working at the age of 9 to support his family. Eventually, he started working for the Osaka Electric Light Company, where he climbed the ladder of success very quickly, without any prior school education. This is the company where he came up with the design of an improved light socket, which was far superior than the bulbs available at the time. After getting rejected by an unenthusiastic boss, Matsushita took it upon himself to sell the light bulbs and started his own company.
At the age of 23, in 1918, he founded the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company and began making light bulbs in his garage, with the support of his wife and 3 assistants. The business was unsuccessful in the early years, but the sales picked up with time. By 1922, his Company, which now had a new factory and 50 employees, started introducing new products every single month, which were far superior than the competitors’. Matsushita’s business strategy was to launch products which were lower in price by 30 % and better in quality by 30 %.
The battery powered bicycle lamp is considered one of Matsushita’s best inventions. Candles and oil lamps were used as bicycle lamps in the 1920s and only lasted a few hours. With a keen eye to identify markets with non serviceable goods, Matsushita quickly realised, developing efficient bicycle lamps would be profitable for the Company. He created oval shaped lamps, which had light bulbs for illumination and ran on battery.
In 1930, when the Company’s sales dropped, Matsushita truly proved his leadership and management skills. He cut the production in half without laying off any employees. He said, “We’ll halve production not by laying off workers, but having them work only half days. We will continue to pay the same wages they are getting now, but there will be no holidays. All employees should do their best to sell inventory.” According to Panasonic, this strategy worked and the company survived.
In 1935, the Company, bearing in mind its various businesses, was incorporated as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. The Company suffered greatly during World War II as Japan lost the War, but was saved due to Matsushita’s amazing skills as a leader. In the post War era, the Company came out with devices like washing machines, rice cookers, air conditioners and the product for which Panasonic is most famous—monochrome televisions (TVs.) The Company also started expanding globally during the 1950s and introduced its first colored TV set in 1960.
After Konosuke Matsushita retired in 1961, his son in law, Masaharu Matsushita, became the president of the Company. Post Konosuke Matsushita’s retirement, the Company was faced with the 1970s oil crisis, but managed to overcome it and only continued to expand its business. Konosuke Matsushita passed away in 1989, but his legacy continues even today.
The 101 year old Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., which changed its name to Panasonic Corporation in 2008, is now one of the top electronics companies in the world.
Panasonic now has over 272,000 employees and at the completion of its 100th year (2018,) it reported an annual revenue of $ 72.32 billion. The Company has been climbing the ladder of success continuously. This was all made possible because of Konosuke Matsushita’s determination to succeed and excellent management skills.
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