India has produced a substantial number of female leaders at the national and organisational levels throughout the years, breaking past the barrier of a strong patriarchal society. Indira Gandhi, India's first female Prime Minister; Kiran Bedi, India's first female Inspector General of Police; Indira Nooyi, PepsiCo's first female CEO; and Chitra Ramakishna, India's first female CEO of the National Stock Exchange, are prominent Indian women leaders who have held major national, governmental, and business leadership roles. These female leaders, who have risen to the pinnacle of their professions and left an enduring legacy on the next generation of female leaders, continue to set an example for all aspirant young Indian women. When compared to their counterparts in other regions of the world, Indian female employees have a greater proportion of senior leadership positions.
Following in their footsteps, this year too we saw a bevy of women leaders break the glass ceilings and achieve greatness. Be it the world of finance, politics or tech startups, women leaders routinely made headlines and gave us all a reason to cheer on.
Here are some of the most renowned Indian women leaders who made headlines in 2021 through their marvellous achievements.
Gita Gopinath is the IMF's first deputy managing director. She had already made history as the IMF's head economist. She will begin her new post in January 2022, according to the worldwide fund. Gopinath has already made major contributions to the Fund's efforts. Her contribution to the Fund's work has already been exceptional, notably in terms of intellectual leadership in aiding the global economy and the Fund in navigating the twists and turns of the world's biggest economic crisis.
The IMF's first female Chief Economist has won the respect and admiration of member countries and the organisation for her track record of doing analytically rigorous work on a wide range of issues.
Falguni Nayar launched Nykaa, an e-commerce cosmetics website, at the age of 50. She became India's richest self-made woman billionaire in November of this year, at the age of 58. According to AFP, Nayar has amassed one of the world's largest fortunes, a claim supported by Nykaa's recent IPO. The founder and CEO of Nykaa is one of just six female billionaires on India's Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which she has been adding to since 2012.
Leena Nair is the first Indian woman to be appointed as the next global CEO of Chanel, the French luxury fashion company. Chanel's worldwide chief executive officer (CEO) has been named Leena Nair. Nair will join the firm in January, according to Chanel, and the new appointments will ensure the company's "long-term growth as a private organisation." The business leader, who previously served as Unilever's top HR executive, has joined a growing list of CEOs of Indian ancestry who have ascended to the top of huge multinational firms. Nair will join the luxury fashion brand known for its No. 5 perfume in January.
Rachna Bahadur, a former partner at Bain & Company, has been designated senior vice president of Byju's worldwide development plans. According to a news release, Bahadur will oversee the whole planning, strategy, and roadmap for Byju's development in new and existing markets.
She will be responsible for expanding Byju's recent purchase of Epic's footprint in the US market, as well as developing the company's next development phase, establishing new alliances, increasing sales, and cementing the company's global market position.
Bahadur was previously a partner at Bain & Company and a consumer product business leader. She has over 15 years of expertise in the profession. She also co-founded the India branch of 'Women @ Bain,' which strives to create a gender non-conforming (GNC) workplace for women.
Ruchi Kalra, the founder of OfBusiness, was named a unicorn in July after receiving $160 million in funding from SoftBank. OFB Tech (OfBusiness) is a technologically enabled platform that allows SMEs in the industrial and infrastructure sectors to source raw materials and secure financing. It integrates technology with SME purchasing patterns in order to provide better products.
Nandita Sinha has been appointed as the new CEO of Myntra. Nandita takes over as CEO of Myntra from Amar Nagaram, who stepped down last month after almost three years in charge. She was Vice President of Customer Growth and Marketing at Flipkart before to joining Myntra. Nandita is now in charge of the whole marketing charter.
As a seasoned leader in the consumer internet market, Sinha has extensive experience overseeing organisations and driving technology-driven development and innovation. She has worked at Flipkart in a range of positions and industries, including beauty and personal care, books and general retail, home and furniture, and has built a robust organisation, according to the firm. As a consequence of her extraordinary people abilities, she has also created a multitude of future leaders.
Padmaja Chunduru has been appointed as the National Securities Depository Limited's managing director and CEO (NSDL). She will take over for GV Nageswara Rao.
Chunduru was previously the CEO and Managing Director of Indian Bank.
The depository said, “the Securities and Exchange Board of India had accorded its approval for the appointment of Padmaja Chunduru as managing director and chief executive officer of NSDL. Padmaja Chunduru assumed charge ... on September 22, 2021. The appointment has been ratified by the shareholders of NSDL at its meeting held on September 29, 2021.”