20 Indian Women Achievers Of Recent Times Who Made The Country Proud


Indian women achievers have long ruled the roost in India’s business world, as evidenced by their inclusion in numerous lists of young achievers or self-made wealthy and powerful individuals.


These women are not only defying patriarchal norms, but they are also excelling in fields that have traditionally been dominated by men. Here are some of the most powerful Indian women of 2020, ranging from the co-founder of a billion-dollar start-up to India’s wealthiest woman.

1. Dutee Chand

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After winning the 100m dash event at the 30th Summer University Games in Napoli, Italy in July 2019, national record holder Dutee Chand became the first Indian woman track and field athlete to win a gold medal. Dutee, 23, won the gold medal in 11.32 seconds, leading the race from start to finish. The ace sprinter made history by becoming the first Indian athlete to publicly declare that she was in a same-sex relationship.

2. PV Sindhu

Source: Instagram

PV Sindhu, another one of the Indian women achievers became the first Indian to win gold at the BWF World Badminton Championships on August 25 in Basel, defeating familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a lopsided final. In a match that lasted only 38 minutes, India won.

Sindhu is also the world’s joint-most successful women’s singles shuttler, with five medals in just six appearances.

3. Hima Das

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Hima Das became the first Indian sprinter to win gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Tampere, Finland, in 2018. She went on to win gold and silver medals at the Asian Games in Jakarta a few years later. With a time of 50.79 seconds, she currently holds the Indian national record in the 400 meters. Hima Das, the daughter of a humble rice farmer near Dhing, Assam, became a national phenomenon at the age of 18. She also won five gold medals in 20 days in 2019!

4. Mary Kom

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Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte is a Manipur-born Indian Olympic boxer. She is the only woman to ever hold the coveted No. 1 spot in the International Boxing Association (AIBA), having won the World Amateur Boxing Championship six times. Kom is also the only female boxer to win a medal in each of the seven world championships, a world record. She’s been dubbed ‘Magnificent Mary,’ and she’s become India’s favorite sportsperson, shining on a number of international stages. She is another one of the most desired Indian women achievers.

5. Falguni Nayar

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Falguni Nayar, an IIM Ahmedabad graduate, spent nearly two decades with the Kotak Mahindra Group as an investment banker and broker. She became the Managing Director of the investment banking business in 2005, and she led the firm to become India’s leading IPO banker and was instrumental in the closing of several successful mergers and acquisitions (Mergers and Acquisitions).

Her entrepreneurial spirit, on the other hand, won out, and years of experience and successful interactions gave her the confidence to launch her own health and beauty brand, Nykaa, which is now well-known. Nykaa brings a diverse range of beauty products to the homes of millions of Indians. The store was built with a lot of advice and a concern-based product selection. It has also been a pioneer in bringing international luxury brands to India, providing Indian customers with a comprehensive range of products and services. Nykaa is now valued at $750 million.

6. Tulsi Gowda

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The Karnataka-based environmentalist, also known as the ‘Encyclopedia of Forests,’ is a member of the Halakki tribe in Uttara Kannada.

Gowda is one of the Indian women achievers but not without reason. She has a thorough understanding of plants and herbs, which she acquired while working with her mother since she was 12 years old. Her work as an environmentalist includes planting more than 30,000 saplings and volunteering to protect the environment.

Gowda is from the Honnali village in Karnataka, and she has never attended school since her father died when she was only two years old. The environmentalist went to work at a local nursery with her mother and was married off before she reached her adolescence.

Gowda’s spirit, on the other hand, was unfazed, and her commitment to preserving Mother Nature earned her a permanent position with the forest department.

Her demeanor while attending the Padma award ceremony with top ministers and dignitaries has piqued internet users’ interest. Photos of Gowda accepting the award while barefoot in the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Durbar hall have elicited emotional responses.

7. Sneha Dubey

Sneha is the First Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs at the United Nations General Assembly. She is a 2012 batch IFS officer who earned her MPhil from the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

The young diplomat was born and raised in Goa, where she also completed her education. Sneha aspired to join the Indian Foreign Services since she was a child, and in 2011 she passed the civil services examination on her first attempt.

Sneha is the first member of her family to work for the government. In India’s right of reply at the United Nations General Assembly, Sneha Dubey, India’s First Secretary at the UN, made headlines after she slammed Pakistan for supporting terrorism (UNGA). In her fiery speech, Dubey stated that this is not the first time Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has used the UNGA platform for his propaganda. She also stated emphatically that Pakistan is a country that gives terrorists a “free pass” while ordinary citizens suffer.


Shortly after her speech, the young diplomat, who had managed to hold a key position for India, won the hearts of millions of Indians with her feisty, well-documented response to Imran Khan and the manner in which she handled it.

9. Gita Gopinath

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Gita Gopinath, a Harvard economist, was the first Indian woman to be appointed Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the daughter of a farmer-entrepreneur and hails from Kerala!

She is the Harvard University John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics. Ms. Gopinath is also the co-director of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s International Finance and Macroeconomics program. Her outstanding abilities and extensive experience make her an ideal candidate for the IMF.

Gopinath is an exceptional economist and a great leader, according to IMF Chief Christine Lagarde. She is the second Indian to be granted permanent membership in Harvard’s Economics Department, following Amartya Sen.

10. Avani Chaturvedi

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Flight Lieutenant Avani Chaturvedi is another one of the outstanding Indian women achievers. She became the first woman fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force to solo fly the MiG-21 Bison. The MiG-21 Bison is known for having the world’s fastest take-off and landing speed of 340 kmph. By making her mark in a field dominated by men, Avani inspired many young women.

11. Kiran-Mazumdar-Shaw

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In 1978, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw founded her own company, Biocon. She is currently ranked 60th on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women and India’s richest self-made woman billionaire.

She is the Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Limited (one of India’s largest biotechnology/biopharmaceutical companies), as well as the Chairperson of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.

She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, and the Government of India has honored her with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards for her achievements.

12. Indra Nooyi

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Indra Nooyi is a former CEO of PepsiCo and a business executive. She has consistently ranked among the top 100 most powerful women in the world. She was also named the world’s second most powerful woman on the Fortune List in 2015. Nooyi was named one of the “Best CEOs in the World” in 2018, and he has also received the Padma Bhushan and the CNN-IBM Indian of the Year-Global Indian Award 2019. She is currently a member of Amazon’s board of directors, and she is the company’s second female board member.

13. Richa Kar

Source: Instagram

Richa Kar is the creator of the popular lingerie line Zivame. Richa Kar’s journey to success, as well-known and acclaimed as it is now, was a difficult one. Kar, who was born into a traditional family in Jamshedpur, received her education at the prestigious BITS Pilani and went on to complete her Master’s degree at the Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies, after which she worked in the IT industry.

Her parents thought selling apparel, bras, and panties online was embarrassing and that people would make fun of their daughter’s profession, so her idea of a lingerie brand was rejected. Despite the odds, she founded Zivame in 2011 with all of her savings and a borrowed fund from friends.

14. Vandana Luthra

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What began as a small business in New Delhi has grown into a well-known brand in 13 countries across South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and, most recently, East Africa. VLCC, a prominent health and wellness conglomerate and a leader in the Indian beauty and wellness industry, was founded by Vandana Luthra. It also owns and operates the VLCC Institute of Beauty & Nutrition, India’s largest chain of vocational education academies for beauty and nutrition training.

Vandana Luthra has received numerous awards over the years, including the Padma Shri for her contributions to trade and industry. Forbes magazine has named her one of the top 50 most powerful businesswomen in the world.

15. Vani Kola

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Vani is also one of the many Indian women achievers. She returned to India in 2006 after 22 years as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, where she became involved in the start-up ecosystem when it was still in its infancy. Kalaari Capital is her current company, and she is the founder and managing director. Vani has invested in brands such as Zivame, Urban Ladder, Myntra, VIA, and Bluestone as a mentor and enabler of startup companies in India.

She also received the NDTV Women of Worth award for business and entrepreneurship leadership excellence. She is known for her ability to identify the brightest young minds and nurture them into successful entrepreneurs. Kalaari Capital has risen to become India’s leading investor in start-ups, with 55 investments and around 2000 proposals per year.

All of these Indian women achievers, as well as many others who aren’t named here, have defied stereotypes and fought for their rights. They are role models for both men and women, having demonstrated exceptional dedication in their fields.

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