1. Meena Bindra, Biba:
Meena Bindra, is the Chairperson and Founder of her much known brand, Biba.
The brand, with 150 exclusive outlets as of June 2014 (As per Forbes) started when a bored house wife, also a mother of two, took to designing as a hobby soon, and soon converted the same into a business, with an initial investment of Rs. 8000, in the 1980s.
Initially her customers were friends and relatives, but once she realised that fashion was her forte, she took to designing on a commercial level. As her business flourished, Meera managed Marketing of the brand, handled the Sales, and strategized expansion, all by herself. Her first big break was when Benzer, Mumbai’s famous fashion store was stocking Indian womens’ wear and she was given the opportunity to to move her product out of home. This is when, and how Biba was born.
Meera opened her first exclusive store in Mumbai Inorbit Mall in the early nineties. She took to this business when readymade Churidar and Kurta was unheard of and getting the fabric for the same also required tremendous amount of effort. This proved to be of a great advantage to her.
Since then it has been a good journey for Biba, with an approximate annual turnover of 600 crores today.
BIBA won the Best Women’s Ethnic Wear Brand of the Year at the CMAI Apex Awards last year. In 2012 it also won the Images Award for Most Admired Women’s Indian wear Brand of the Year.
2. Nina Lekhi, Baggit:
“Every failure is not a failure” ~ who knows this better than Nina Lekhi, Founder Baggit.
A bright student through out and always the teacher’s favourite could not believe her fate when she failed to clear her first year at the Sophia Polytechnic College in Mumbai. After 2 months of the exam, Lekhi decided that she needed to prove herself again. While she was permitted to take her exams again, but was not allowed to sit for classes. In the one year of spare time, she took various other classes, started designing bags and selling them at Rs. 65 back in 1985.
As a ‘Sales Girl’ during the holidays, Nina convinced her boss to display her bags, interned with Shyam Ahuja – a big name in floor decor, and 5 years later INXS – a store for Baggit merchandise opened at at Kemps Corner. Lekhi‘s brand Baggit (a name born of Michael Jackson’s song – Beat it) is now a 10 crore business that has diversified into belts, laptop cases, caps and scarves.
In its first year of business, Baggit made a profit of 50,000. It was in mid-1991, that Baggit touched the million mark.
Mother to a 14-year-old daughter, Lekhi also runs a school along with her husband, known as Rishi Gurukulam at Katarkhdak Hills, on the outskirts of Pune.
3. Shruti Chaturvedi, Chaaipani-
India’s fastest growing media platform to discover and share stories – Chaaipaani, was founded by Shruti Chaturvedi in 2015.
A graduate from Xavier’s Ahmedabad(Psychology) and a university topper, Shruti, prior to Chaaipani, interned with AIESEC and Coca-Cola and was also the first runner up in the Myntra blog contest in June 2015.
Initially taking up blogging as a hobby for one year and returning back to the cliche life of Graduation-Job-Marriage-Children, fate had different plans for Shruti, as Chaaipani – a one year old project came to be a well known platform for sharing inspirational and positive-vibed stories of people who are making our world a better place to live in.
In a short span of time, Chaaipani has featured more than 300 articles. Their vision is simple: To bring attention to the most important stories in the world.
4. Ria Sharma, Make Love Not Scars:
Ria Sharma, a student at the Leeds College of Arts, United Kingdom returned to India during her third year and made a documentary on acid attack survivors. In the process of creating the documentary, she met several survivors and their stories touched her and inspired her to help them in way bigger than what she was already doing.
Subsequently, she founded Make Love Not Scars, an NGO working towards providing help and support to acid attacks victims in India. The organization not only aims at providing medical and legal assistance to the victims, but also helps them to resume and regain their life.
The services provided by MLNS include; Contacting survivors and family, Assessing financial situation, Assisting with legal affairs, Assisting with medical paperwork, Psychological and Moral support for survivor and family, Social skills assistance, Social media connection via blog and Facebook for each survivor, Government support via campaigns, Crowd sourcing for financial support, Education for survivors etc.
She claims to have found her calling at a young age and hopes that her efforts will one day contribute towards making a change. Ria frequently writes for various online blogs and her work has also been featured in the Times Of India. An outspoken young individual, Ria is quick to voice her opinion on social issues.
5. Falak Randerian, My Little Chatterbox:
My little Chatterbox, founded by Falak Randerian, is one of the unique ventures that aims to help children develop healthy reading habits.
Randerian is a Post Graduate in Communication, an experienced Phonics Trainer, a Trained Storyteller, a natural with children and a Parenting Blogger. She founded “My little Chatterbox” at the age of 30 and hasn’t turned back since. It is a club which believes in creating a lifelong association with reading, and books. It does so in various ways, be it The Reading Room – where their Book clubs, Phonics workshops, and communication sessions take place; or the Tale in a Mail, which is a one-of-its-kind monthly subscription box of hand-picked books for children between 0-6 years of age.
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