Investment has become an important subject across industries. Pointing to the same over the last few years we have seen that India has emerged as a startup hub and an attractive investment station for investors.

However, have we ever realized how difficult it is for women to enter the world of entrepreneurship compared to men? Most of the women entrepreneurs struggle to sustain against the constant societal pressures. Thus on the face of facts concerning women in the startup scene of the country, the numbers might look very less in comparison to men. Women are steadily becoming the major factors behind the new dawn of the startup ecosystem of the country and are playing a key role in shaping the investment ecosystem in India.

On account of the upcoming International Women’s Day, here we look at some women entrepreneurs who are bringing a shift in the investment ecosystem in India.

  1. Anjali Bansal, Founder of Avaana Capital: Anjali is the founder of Avaana Capital, a fund platform that invests in the scaling up of growth-stage startups. She was previously global Partner and Managing Director with TPG Growth PE, Spencer Stuart India Founder CEO, and strategy consultant with McKinsey and Co in New York and India. She has been an active investor and mentor in companies including MakeMyTrip, Nykaa, Safari, Alphavector, Lenskart, UrbanClap, Darwinbox, Loantap. She has a BE in computer engineering from Gujarat University and a master’s in international finance and business from Columbia University. She also serves as an independent non-executive director on the boards of Siemens Ltd, Tata Power, Voltas, Kotak AMC, and Delhivery. Anjali even co-founded and chaired the FICCI Center for Corporate Governance program for Women on Corporate Boards and also has been listed as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Indian Business” by Forbes and Business Today.
  2. Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder, IAN: She is the co-founder and president of Indian Angel Network (IAN), one of India’s largest angel funds. She is powering the platform’s vision of funding at least 500 startups to create over 30,000 jobs in the next decade. Padmaja has done it all from building her own real estate business to handling corporate communications and corporate social responsibility before becoming an angel investor. Today, she is also a part of multiple councils and boards like the Governing Council of EM3 Services, National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation, and Technology Entrepreneurship and Committee of Telecom Centre of Excellence, Selection Committee of MSME.
  3. Vani Kola, Co-founder, Kalaari Capital: Vani Kola is the co-founder and MD at Kalaari Capital – one of India’s leading early-stage, technology-focused venture capital firms based out of Bengaluru. Having been an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, she now works with first-time entrepreneurs with disruptive ideas to build strong global companies with a focus on technology. Her mission with Kalaari is to support founders who demonstrate passion, maturity, and strong leadership abilities, and can leverage technology to develop scalable products and solutions. Vani has successfully led more than 30 investments at Kalaari in e-commerce, gaming, digital content, healthcare and more. Some of her successes include Dream11, Myntra, Cure.fit, and Snapdeal. Vani currently serves on the board of several companies that are redefining the landscape of Indian business. She is also actively involved in supporting various organizations fostering entrepreneurship and women leadership.
  4. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM: Debjani is the President of the National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM) since April 2018. A veteran of the technology industry, she is the fifth president of NASSCOM and the first woman at the helm. NASSCOM, is the premier trade body of the industry in India, with over 2800 Indian and multinational member companies. Debjani is responsible for establishing new growth areas for the technology industry in India and works with governments and industry stakeholders to establish policies and initiatives that help accelerate the growth of the sector in India and across the world. With multiple feathers in her cap, before joining NASSCOM, she was the first woman to lead Intel India and the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), she was also a member of the executive council at NASSCOM. She is a firm believer in the power of technology in enhancing lives and livelihoods, leveraging it for societal good. She was instrumental in developing ‘Think Digital, Think India’ strategy to support India’s digital transformation journey, especially as an enabler of inclusive growth and development.

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