Our society has always made the grave mistake of undermining a woman’s capabilities, and continues to do so. And this never deterred women from proving the naysayers wrong over and over again. From fighting for their rights to becoming world leaders, women are a force to be reckoned with. They have time and again proven that the sky is the limit and that they are unstoppable. This Women’s Day, we present to you the women who have been totally slaying it as entrepreneurs. May you be inspired by their journey!
1. Michelle Vazifdar
Nothing feels more fulfilling than converting your sheer love for something into a business. And Michelle Vazifdar is no exception to this. Her love for Asian cuisine led her and her husband, Neville Vazifdar, to open restaurants such as Royal China, Jia: The Oriental Kitchen, and Kuai Kitchen. “It’s never too late to treasure the things you love. We women need to stand up for ourselves and not let our passions and our desires take a backseat, come what may,” says Vazifdar.
2. Eesha Sukhi
Had it not been for Eesha Sukhi’s creative genius and passion for food, Bluebop Cafe would never have become the award-winning, cutting edge, stylish all-day cafe it is today. She is the founder and CEO of this stunning restaurant that serves a variety of American and Italian delicacies. From working as a marketer for 15 years across brands like Starbucks, Vogue, and Yahoo, to running a successful restaurant, Sukhi is indeed a woman to look up to. “As a female entrepreneur, I feel like there is a new confidence surging through my very being. I feel like I am capable of making anything possible despite what the world throws at me,” says Eesha Sukhi.
3. Rachel Goenka
Rachel Goenka is a celebrated restaurateur, author, and chef who runs a chain of restaurants such as The Sassy Spoon, House of Mandarin, Baraza Bars and Bites, a beach shack-themed pub, Wicked China, an Asian resto-bar, and Sassy Teaspoon, a chain of patisseries and bakeries. She is also the owner and CEO of The Chocolate Spoon Company. After graduating in journalism, she found her calling in the culinary field, which led to the birth of The Sassy Spoon in Mumbai’s Nariman Point, in 2013. One thing led to another, and she was named one of The CEO Magazine’s 30 ‘Women Entrepreneurs to Watch For,’ in 2018. “Looking back, I feel proud of myself for listening to my inner voice and carving out my own path. Nothing would make me happier than a woman feeling inspired by my journey. This is who I strive to be,” says Rachel Goenka.
4. Mitisha Mehta
As the co-founder and CMO of Aquatein, a protein water brand, Mitisha Mehta has emerged as one of the leading forces in the FMCG industry. She is the creative force behind the company and sets the visual language and tone of Aquatein. Her expertise in design and strategy has made Aquatein a formidable force that aims to become a turning point in the health and fitness space. “With Women’s Day just around the corner, I want every woman to never limit herself to other people’s opinions of herself. You are a lot more than what they think of you and how they perceive you,” says Mitisha Mehta.
5. Komal Hiranandani
The desire to bring sustainability and socially conscious spending to the mainstream and etch them in the minds of many is what made Komal Hiranandani start SaltScout, a social enterprise. Being a development economist, she has always been passionate about putting her marketing and business acumen to good use. This is evident in the resounding success of Dolce Vee, a store for thrift and vintage finds that is also a brand of SaltScout. Many Bollywood A-listers, including Bhumi Pednekar, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Arjun Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, and Deepika Padukone, have collaborated with the store on numerous occasions due to its commitment to sustainability.”As a woman, I take pride in the fact that many women are stepping up and are taking the lead to fight against climate change, fast fashion while spreading awareness about sustainability. These are the women who inspire me to do more and never give up hope,” Hiranandani says.
6. Tanushri Biyani
Anaar, a contemporary, dynamic, and eccentric footwear brand, allows women to embrace all of their quirks in the most stylish way on their wedding day. And the driving force behind it is Tanushri Biyani, who also founded the footwear brand CERIZ. Her keen interest in this industry can be seen in Anaar’s one-of-a-kind, artisanal range of footwear, which includes the iconic bridal sneakers. “With Anaar, my aim was to make a woman express herself to the fullest on her wedding day. I feel that we women need to shatter the shackles that society binds us to and be our bold, fiery selves,” says Biyani.
7. Niharika Jhujhunwala
Niharika had a vision to help women get the best results with skincare products backed by cutting-edge science and technology. This is what led to the birth of ClayCo, a brand that brings ancient skincare traditions from all over the world to you through its products. “With ClayCo, I want women to realise that beauty lies in simplicity and in being real. We women shouldn’t fall under the pressure of conforming to the unrealistic beauty standards of our society that are superficial and, at the end of the day, serve no purpose. This Women’s Day, let’s pledge to not let the world define us,” says Niharika.