The participation of Indian women in business is too less even now, despite having a tradition of excelling in it, given an opportunity.
But, due to changing socio-economic conditions in the country, the number of women entering the business arena is increasing year-by-year.
As the world is celebrating International Women’s Day, let’s have a look at some of the wealthiest women in India.
Following is the list of the 10 richest women in India.
savitri jindalSavitri Jindal and family has a global rank of 453rd and in India, she is the 16th richest person. Jindal’s ranking declined this year from 283th richest in 2015 but made an improvement in India ranking from being 23rd, last year.
According to Forbes, over the last five years, Savitri Jindal’s wealth has declined by close to $10 billion due to a downward slide in shares of her O.P. Jindal group companies. The most notable fall has been that of Jindal Steel & Power, run by younger son Naveen, which saw its shares halve in the past year. The loss-making company recently suffered a downgrade by rating agency Crisil. JSW Steel, which Mumbai-based son Sajjan runs, is faring better after the government imposed import duties to protect domestic producers against cheap Chinese imports. Eyeing expansion of his cement interests, he’s bid for Lafarge’s Indian assets. His son Parth leads JSW Venture Fund, a new VC firm to invest in technology startups.
indu-jainIndu Jain is the chairperson of the media conglomerate Bennett Coleman & Co. that publishes the daily newspaper The Times of India, the world’s largest daily newspaper by circulation; The Economic Times, the world’s biggest financial newspaper after the Wall Street Journal, and the Indian edition of The Huffington Post. She also owns popular TV channels Times Now and ET Now. She has a global rank of 549 and her net worth stood at $3.1 billion.
Forbes says matriarch Indu’s sons Samir and Vineet run the $1.3 billion (revenues) group, which reported a 44% jump in net profits in 2015 on the back of a surge in advertising revenues. They are setting up Bennett University near Delhi to offer entrepreneurship education in collaboration with Babson College. Jain was conferred the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third highest civilian honor, this year.
Smita Crishna-GodrejSmita Crishna-Godrej has got a rank of 810 on the list, with a net worth of $2.2 billion.
Smita Crishna-Godrej is making her maiden appearance on the billionaires’ list by virtue of a one-fifth stake in family assets. Her brother Jamshyd runs consumer goods firm Godrej & Boyce. Her husband Vijay Crishna, a well-known theatre actor, and daughter Nyrika, work in the group. Two years ago, Crishna-Godrej made news when she bought a heritage bungalow that once belonged to Homi Bhabha, India’s atomic energy pioneer, for $60 million.
leena-tewariThe fourth Indian woman billionaire in the list is Leena Tewari. Like Smita Crishna-Godrej, she is also making her debut on the billionaires’ list. She was India’s 54th richest person in the Forbes list released in 2015. She has improved her ranking and is now ranked as the 46th richest Indian.
According to Forbes, Leena Tewari chairs and owns privately held Indian generics maker USV, known for its drugs for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, among others. The firm has its roots in a small venture started by her grandfather, Vithal Balkrishna Gandhi, a noted social reformer and politician, to import medicines. It expanded into manufacturing in a joint venture with Revlon in 1961. Her late father took charge in the 1960s. Husband Prashant, a Cornell University grad, is USV’s managing director. Tewari has authored Pipes and Dreams, a biography of her grandfather.
Vinod Gupta, the wife of late Qimat Rai Gupta, has assets worth $1.1 billion. She has maintained her rank of 74th richest person in India and she has a global rank of 1577.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the chairman and Managing director of Bengaluru-based biotechnology company Biocon Ltd. According to Forbes, her net worth is $994 million.
She founded Biocon at the age of 25 and with her leadership skills, the company has grown as one of the biggest biotechnology firms in India. Forbes has listed her as the 85th most powerful woman in the world.
The current chairperson of Indian Institute of management (IIM) Bangalore, she has received Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry.
Anu Aga was the chairperson of Thermax Ltd, an energy and environment engineering company from 1996 to 2004. After retirement, she is now focusing on social work. Her net worth is estimated around $790 million.
She joined the company, which was run by her husband, in 1985, and took charge as chairperson in 1996 after the death of her husband. She was ranked 94th on the Forbes list of richest Indians. She is also a co-founder of Teach for India, a not-for-profit organization that recruits people to teach in schools for low-income kids.
Shobhana Bhartia is the chairperson and editorial director of The Hindustan Times media group. The group runs an English daily and a Hindi daily of the same name and a business paper, Mint.
The group also owns four Fm radio stations across the country and many prominent websites, including the job portal Shine.com. Bhartia is the granddaughter of industrialist KK Birla. She joined Hindustan Times in 1986 as the chief executive.
With a net worth of $645 million, she had ranked 93rd in the Forbes list of powerful women last year. She is the pro-chancellor of the renowned Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences – Pilani.
Vidya along with her son Narendra Murkumbi has a net worth of $490 million. They own Shree Renuka Sugars, one of the fastest growing sugar companies in the country based in Belgaum, Karnataka. It has a refining capacity of 4000 tonnes a day.
Shree Renuka Sugars has 21% market share in India’s fuel ethanol market. The company founded in 1998 had bought a Brazilian sugar company for $82 million. She was ranked 93rd on the Forbes list of richest Indians.
Managing Director of Sun TV network, Kaveri Kalanithi is one of the highest paid business women in India. She is the wife of the media tycoon Kalanithi Maran. In 2014, her compensation package was around $11 million.
Sun TV network is a Tamil satellite television station launched on April 14, 1993. Founded by Kalanithi Maran, Sun TV is one of the most viewed entertainment channels in India.