Meet the 94-year-old whom Anand Mahindra termed ‘Entrepreneur of the year’

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International Women’s Day, is celebrated every year on March 8. 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. 

Today we bring before you the top five young women entrepreneurs in India who have made it big with their hard work and perseverance. But wait, the list also has a 94-year-old entrepreneur whose story will definitely inspire you to dream in life.

Divya Gokulnath, co-founder of ‘Byju’s – The Learning App’

Divya Gokulnath started her career as a teacher at the age of 21, a decision that changed her life forever. She would go on to marry Byju Raveendran and build Byju’s, which is today an ed-tech behemoth, valued at over USD 12 billion. She is the co-founder of the education app ‘Byju’s – The Learning App’.

Divya Gokulnath was born in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The daughter of a doctor, her love for learning started early on and inspired her to pursue science and maths. 

Divya and Byju Raveendran fell in love and started not just a new life, but a new company together, BYJU’S – The Learning App. An overwhelming 70 million registered students are learning with the app.

According to a recent report, Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath have been ranked 46th on an India Rich List and have a combined net worth of USD 3.05 billion (approximately Rs 22.3 thousand crores) in 2020.

Roshni Nadar, Head HCL Technologies

Roshni Nadar became the first woman to head HCL Technologies, the listed IT company on July 17. Roshni Nadar has inherited the entrepreneurial venture founded by her father Shiv Nadar. She holds an MBA degree from Kellogg School of Management. 

The highly coveted chairperson position of HCL Corporation puts her at the helm of the USD 8.9 billion enterprises, which is the holding company for the group businesses under the banner. The entities in the HCL group include HCL Technologies, HCL Infosystem, and HCL Healthcare.

She has made her way into the latest Hurun Rich List with her net worth of Rs 36,800 crore as in 2020.

Roshni Nadar joined the firm, HCL in 2009 at the age of 27 and within a year of her entry into the firm, she was promoted to the post of executive director and CEO. In 2013, she came on the board of HCL Technologies.

On July 17, 2020, Roshni took over the mantle as the chairperson of the prestigious HCL Corporation – succeeding her father Shiv Nadar.

Sonakshi Nathani, Co-Founder and CEO, Bikayi

Sonakshi Nathani is the co-founded the e-commerce start-up Bikayi.  A headstrong leader and strategic thinker, Sonakshi was inspired by a real-life experience and built Bikayi and made it profitable in under one year.

Using in-depth insights, she introduced merchants to e-commerce via WhatsApp a platform they are adept with. By minimising the challenges of setting up an online store, Bikayi is empowering local merchants in earning sustainable revenue and becoming microentrepreneurs.

Integration with Whatsapp enables these merchants to run, manage, and market their business with ease. From 25,000 merchants in July 2020, Bikayi now has over one lakh merchants onboard.

Amrita Sawant, Mommy Shots

Amrita is a pioneer in the Maternity and Child photography Industry in India. She started her business ‘Mommy Shots by Amrita’ in 2013, with setups in India and Singapore, specialising in newborn and Baby portraiture.

Amrita has completed over 1400 shoots across ten countries and has scaled her Business with an all-womens’ team, this being her way of supporting women in the creative field.

From a portrait photographer to a family-documentary photographer, trying to capture the reality of life and helping children in any way possible Amrita has come a long way.

She spends her free time using photography as a medium to either help save NICU babies by raising awareness on Breastmilk Donation or Help raise funds to nourish kids fighting cancer.

Also an educator, she conducts her Photography workshops across the country and also personally mentors aspiring photographers.

She has worked with several celebrities such as Actress Gul Panag, Actress Sameera Reddy, Cricketer Suresh Raina, Cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin, Robin Uthappa, Murali Vijay, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Actor Arun Vijay,  Director Hari, Actor Reshmi Menon, and Bobby Simha, and many others. 

Harbhajan Kaur, startup ‘Harbhajan’s’

Harbhajan Kaur, 94, began her entrepreneurial journey four years ago. She was encouraged by her daughter to start the brand called ‘Harbhajan’s’. She makes organic besan ki barfi and her daughter sells them at the organic mandi in Chandigarh. 

In fact, her journey and story is so inspiring that even business tycoon Anand Mahindra took to Twitter to call her ‘Entrepreneur of the year’. 

‘Harbhajan’s’ was established with the help of Harbhajan’s granddaughter who came up with the branding and packaging of the products and the tagline they come with – ‘Bachpan Yaad Aajaye’.

Over a course of four years, Harbhajan has made over 500 kg of barfi and prepares five to 10 kilos every few days. 



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