TomorrowMakers

Get inspired by knowing the stories of these successful Indian-origin women

12 Indian-origin women achievers who made us proud in 2018

Indian women have come a long way. Having broken the proverbial glass ceiling a while back, they are now proving their mettle on the global platform as well. The year that went by saw several Indian-origin women rise to the top. Let’s look at some of them.

Gita Gopinath 

Harvard economist Gita Gopinath became the first Indian woman to be appointed as the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF chief Christine Lagarde describes her as an outstanding economist with great leadership qualities. She is the second Indian after Amartya Sen to get a permanent membership at Harvard’s Economics Department.

Hima Das

Hima was the first Indian athlete to win gold at the IAAF World Under 20 Athletics Championship. She went on to win gold and silver medals at the Asian Games held in Jakarta last year. This 18-year old current national record holder is also called the ‘Dhing Express’.

Mary Kom 

Mary created world history after winning her sixth gold in the World Boxing Championships last year. This has put her on the coveted No.1 position in the International Boxing Association's (AIBA), the latest world rankings. This Indian boxer, who hails from a small town in Manipur, has become India’s favourite sportsperson after shining at several International platforms. 

Avani Chaturvedi 

This young flying officer became the first Indian woman fighter pilot to fly solo. Avani became an inspiration to many young women by flying the MiG-21 Bison, and aircraft known to have the highest take-off and landing speed in the world at 340 kph.

Aruna Reddy 

Aruna became the first Indian gymnast to win a medal at the Gymnastics World Cup. This 22-year-old gymnast trained for 13 years before she won the bronze in Melbourne last year. 

Dhivya Suryadevara

Dhivya earned accolades last year when General Motors appointed her as the first female CFO. She also made it to Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list. She did her MBA from Harvard Business School. At GM, she displayed her leadership capabilities during several deals such as the Opel divestiture, the Cruise acquisition, and Lyft investment. 

Padmasree Warrior 

This former Cisco CTO made it to Forbes’ list of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech. Padmasree studied chemical engineering at IIT Delhi. In 1984, she moved to the US and started working at Motorola. Later she moved to Cisco and spearheaded several acquisitions. Her next stint was at a startup, NIO, where she grew the company from scratch to a 700-strong team.

Komal Mangtani 

Komal is hailed as one of the world’s most influential female software engineers and heads the Business Intelligence Team at Uber. Her team ensures safe rides to customers, smooth communication, and fraud prevention. Her meteoric rise at Uber scored her a spot in the Forbes’ list of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech. 

Indu Malhotra 

In 2018, the Supreme Court saw a new woman judge in Indu Malhotra. She became the first woman to be raised directly from the Bar. She is only the second woman to hold the post of a Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court. 

Sudha Balakrishnan 

Sudha became the first CFO of RBI last year. She was chosen after the central bank scanned the market for prospective candidates for almost a year. Sudha will oversee several functions, including government and bank accounts, corporate strategy, and budget.

Debjani Ghosh 

Debjani is a proponent of women occupying leadership positions, and Nasscom fittingly saw its first woman head in her last year. She has worked with Intel in the past and spent almost 20 years with the IT firm as Managing Director for South Asia. She is also an angel investor in several startups. 

Neha Narkhede 

At 32, Neha added a prominent feather in her cap when she made it to Forbes’ list of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech. She is the CTO at Confluent, a market leader in Apache Kafka technology. Some big names in its client roster include LinkedIn, Netflix, and Uber.

As we just saw, Indian-origin women are taking leadership roles and breaking records. Their outstanding performance in different fields globally is making India proud.

How I did it

Rahila Khan
Homemaker

I am a single mother of one. I lost my husband just 5 years into my marriage. Life has been a struggle for me, but I have managed it and today I have no complaints. 

I was a young widow with a 3 year old son when my husband passed away due to a heart attack. My parents were my rock… Read more

Piya Sharma
Chartered Accountant

I am a CA by profession. As my training has taught me, investing is a big part of my financial strategy. I am slightly risk-averse and invest heavily in mutual funds, FDs and ULIPs. I stay away from the stock market. 

As the household expenses are taken care of by my husband, I use most… Read more

Rajesh Singh
Corporate Executive

Growing up I did not have much other than the bare necessities. Though my mom tried her best, she could not fulfil our wishes. I always knew I had to study and improve my life. Today, I own a bike, a car and my own humble house. This has only been possible because of my prudent wife.

We… Read more

Suraj Chandwani
Gas Station Owner

I like to work hard and live a good life. I want to give the best to my wife and son, as well as my parents who live with us. I own a gas station in the suburbs of Mumbai. I had taken a loan to set up my business. So a major chunk of my earnings goes in repaying the loan. I also have a car loan… Read more

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