Never say die

Outlook Business chronicles inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs who were not afraid to pursue their passion

I am delighted to bring you the 2018 edition of Outlook Business Women of Worth. Over the past four years, we have travelled across the country to chronicle inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs, who were not afraid to pursue their passion to build successful businesses and empower the lives of others.

We have chronicled the tales of women of varied ages, from those in their twenties to those in their late sixties. Take the case of Rashmi Daga. This IIM graduate gave up her corporate career to pursue her love for cooking and channeled that passion into building one of India’s most successful food-tech companies, FreshMenu. Or, consider Srividya Kannan. She gave up a cushy job at SAP India to build a digital tech start-up, which is not afraid to take on the big guys and now has some leading Indian brands as clients.

Not all of them enjoyed the benefit of a good education. Some like Kalpana Saroj came back from the brink. She survived an abusive marriage and soul-crushing poverty to turnaround a sick company. Then there is the kindhearted Lakhimi Baruah, who was moved by the patient, but fruitless, wait of poor women for banking services. She worked relentlessly for eight years to get the Reserve Bank of India’s approval to start an all-women bank in a little known town in Assam. It has transformed the lives of more than 10,000 underprivileged but tenaciously optimistic women.  

And each journey had its own share of trials and tribulations but not one of the women let them stand in their way. In fact, these were just challenges they couldn’t wait to overcome. In this edition, we have put together an eclectic mix of women from various backgrounds. It didn’t matter where they came from or with what — with an Ivy League education or without having seen the inside of a college. It is their relentless persistence and self-confidence that has been the secret of their success. Read on as they share their stories with us.