07 January 2022 12:55:11 IST

Women behind unicorn start-ups of 2021

Falguni Nayar, Priyanka Gill, Upasana Taku, Ruchi Deepak, and Ruchi Kalra, pave the way ahead.

Clearly, 2021 was a year of Omicron and unicorns. 42 unicorns were born in 2021, the highest ever in India. Here is a list of five women who lead some of these start-ups:

Ruchi Kalra is Co-founder and CFO of financing and fulfilment platform Ofbusiness. A chemical engineering graduate from IIT Delhi, she went on to pursue an MBA from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Karla had worked in McKinsey, a management consulting company, prior to starting her own business. In an interview, she said, “OfBusiness is a financing and fulfillment platform for procurement of bulk materials for SMEs. We currently focus on manufacturing (fabrication), infrastructure, furniture and sanitary-ware as segments.”

Priyanka Gill is co-founder of the online beauty store The Good Glamm Group. Gill currently serves as the President as well. She had started the digital community platform POPxo in 2015, followed by which, she launched an influencer management platform Plixxo in 2018. POPxo-Plixxo merged with Myglamm, which later became Good Glamm Group in 2021, after consolidation of their strategies.

Upasana Taku is co-founder and COO of e-wallet company MobiKwik started in 2009. Takubegan the company with a vision to transform the digital payments landscape in India. A Stanford University graduate, she had worked as a product manager at PayPal, San Jose, and HSBC, San Diego, in their auto-finance division, prior to starting Mobikwik. With a diversity of experiences and expertise, she is one of India’s highly recognised leading tech founders.

Ruchi Deepak is co-founder of digital insurance company ACKO Insurance. With global experience from working in India and the UK, Deepak has advised on some of the most sophisticated financing, exits, IPO and strategic matters across sectors such as healthcare, retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, tech and mobile, in her career spanning 11 years.

Though Nykaa became a unicorn in 2020, the company led by Falguni Nayar , became India’s biggest cosmetics e-retailer in October 2021 with its initial public offering, making Nayar India’s wealthiest self-made woman. Before founding Nykaa in 2021, she had worked for the Kotak Mahindra Group for 19 years. Nayar started the company without any prior experience in the beauty and cosmetics industry and built it from scratch.