The number of women entrepreneurs in India in the IT industry is deplorably low. While the number of women tech graduates has been increasing in the past few years, the majority of them prefer jobs in existing companies, as opposed to starting up ventures of their own.
Here’s a list of a select few Indian women who took the plunge, and have achieved much success as entrepreneurs in the IT sector.
The founder and CEO of the Laqsh Job Skills Academy, Revathi Kasturi is a highly successful IT entrepreneur. She started her career in Wipro, and after 17 years in the company, moved on as Co-Founder and President of Tarang Software Technologies. She also served as the Managing Director of Novell India before going on to establishing Laqsh.
Business Today named her Woman of the Year in 2001. An electrical engineering graduate of IIT Bombay, this Bangalorean served with NASSCOM as an Executive Council Member for 6 years – and is now on the Regional Council of NASSCOM Karnataka. She is also a charter member of TIE Bangalore.
Laqsh Job Skills Academy provides courses and training to companies and individuals in life skills development, English-speaking skills, computer literacy, sales skills and service skills. The company is also committed to provide “quality training for skill repair at an affordable cost and [to] reach out to urban and semi urban India . . . [providing] holistic training and placement services for youth.”
Neetu Bhatia is the Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of KyaZoonga. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, and an M.S. in Management and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Her résumé reads like a dream: a high-profile executive at Lehmann Brothers in New York, working on projects involving media and telecom advisory, capital raising and restructuring transactions; a senior media and telecom investment banker on Wall Street; a Director in the Media, Communications & Technology Investment Banking Group of the Bank of Montreal – and the head of KyaZoonga, of course.
KyaZoonga, launched in 2007, is India’s first – and largest – sports and entertainment ticketing company. The company has handled ticketing for several large-scale events such as the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. With a presence in over 40 cities, and over a million tickets sold in total, KyaZoonga is set to only keep growing.
Based in the United States, Rashmi Sinha is a designer and entrepreneur who founded SlideShare, an Internet space where users can share presentations with each other. She has a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University.
Her early entrepreneurial efforts led to co-founding Uzanto, a “user experience consulting company,” (now a development firm for SlideShare based in New Delhi).
With 50 million visitors and 90 million pageviews a month, SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations, PDF files, and webinars.
Dr Nita Goyal:
With a B.Tech from IIT Kanpur and a PhD from Stanford University, Dr Nita Goyal wouldn’t particularly need to do anything extra to sound more impressive. Yet, she goes past that label: her achievements are astounding.
She began her career working in research at Hewlett-Packard Labs from 1993 to 1998; to go on to co-found Exemplary Software, Inc., in 1998, where she served as the Vice President (Engineering) for a year. She returned to India to co-found Tavant Technologies, based in Bangalore, in 2000.
Tavant Technologies is a “collaborative commerce software solutions company that enables manufacturers and brand owners to manage, streamline and enhance multi-level distribution channels.”
Dr Goyal served as the Vice President (Engineering) from 2000 till 2002, taking a break for 10 months to serve as a fellow with the Reuters Digital Vision Programme. When she returned in 2002, she continued with Tavant as the Vice President for New Product Development for six more years.
As part of her time at Tavant, she was also involved in the creation and development of the Vancouver, BC-based environmental-themed venture Social Way, which encourages people to reduce their carbon footprints in several innovative ways.
Ever the entrepreneur, she moved on from Tavant to establish ngpay in 2008, a start-up mobile commerce company that brands itself as “India’s largest mall on your mobile.” Today, ngpay has become the largest mobile channel for Indian Railways, multiplex chains, hotels, and major airlines.