You Must Know – The Women Behind 12 of India’s Most Famous Online Platforms

If you’ve got a smartphone, you’re using apps. And if you’re using apps, you have to have a favourite. And if you have a favourite, there’s a very good chance that it was created or co-created by a woman.
We just celebrated International Women’s Day. We probably came across a number of articles on inventions by women, books by women, and even discoveries by women. But, what about apps by women? We know that the popular American app ‘Hey! VINA’ was created by women. But, what about apps in India? Given the fact that India is home to numerous app developers and start-ups, it comes as no surprise that some of the most famous apps in the country are also brilliantly created. And… some of these have been brilliantly created by amazing females. From Shopclues to MobiKwik, some of the country’s most indispensable and famous platforms are now widely-used apps that have had their beginnings as platforms founded or co-founded by women. So, here’s a look at 12 such creations…
India’s first boutique fashion marketplace for women was envisioned by Suchi Mukherjee, and now even packs stunning fashion for men. The former eBay UK executive decided to create the platform when she realised there was no way to discover such products easily.
With its foundation laid in 2012 as a platform for connecting consumers with retailers, CouponDunia is now a widely used app that was co-founded by one enterprising Ankita Tandon. She got the idea for the same when she would order food online while working in London.
Who hasn’t heard about Yatra? The now ubiquitous travel app was originally co-founded by Sabina Chopra in 2006. The COO of corporate hotels at Yatra, Sabina earlier headed India-based operations of the Europe-based travel company, ebookers.
The Timesaverz portal, which helps you reach service providers via your phone or desktop, was co-founded by Debdutta Upadhaya. She said,
“Being mom to an infant in a nuclear family, with no support system in the fast-paced metro existence, finding affordable help for daily chores and errands was the biggest challenge not just for me but many others like me. Seeking a solution to this problem, while eyeing opportunities in the $4 billion ever-expanding market, my co-founder and I thought of Timesaverz, and the brainchild is now a business reality.”
One of India’s most inspiring platforms for learning about the stories of entrepreneurs, YourStory is the creation of Shradha Sharma. Shradha was a busy professional even before YourStory, working in the field of reporting for The Times of India and CNBC TV18.
MBA-holder Anisha Singh’s 2009 venture is now one of India’s largest online coupon and discount platforms. Anisha holds a master’s degree in political communication and an MBA in information systems from American University. She has even worked for the Clinton administration, and raised funds to help women entrepreneurs.
Covering the ever-growing sectors of online retailing, e-commerce, software and internet services, Infibeam was co-founded by Neeru Sharma. Neeru has even worked for Alcatel India, and holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, and an engineering degree in computer science.
The innovative platform that connects parents to services and products in order to make parenting less tedious, BabyChakra had Naiyya Saggi as its co-creator. Her background in law and her work experience with McKinsey combined to help Naiyya finally develop the now popular BabyChakra.
Bringing healthcare to your doorstep, Portea is an incredible medical services platform that was co-founded by current CEO Meena Ganesh and her husband. The idea for Portea came up when the couple had a tough experience with a family member who was diagnosed with cancer, and they realised that quality home-based care in India is hard to find.
One of India’s leading mobile wallets, MobiKwik was co-founded by Upasana Taku. However, it isn’t her only platform. Upasana is also the proud creator of Zaakpay. She did her B.Tech from NIIT, and MS in management science and engineering from Stanford University. Upasana has even worked with PayPal in San Jose, California.
This incredibly useful lingerie shopping platform was co-founded by Richa Kar when she realised lingerie is an underserved category in India. She thought of creating Zivame when she saw that a big quarter of Victoria’s Secret’s sales came from their e-commerce tie-up with Limited Brands.
One of India’s biggest e-commerce platforms, Shopclues was co-founded by its current chief business officer, Radhika Ghai Aggarwal. Holding an MBA from Washington University and having studied Web 2.0 and Creative Writing at Stanford, Radhika even worked with Goldman Sachs and Nordstorm before she thought up Shopclues.
Sources – Gadgets Now, YourStory