Indian women have long been struggling to assert themselves in positions of power. While advancements are being made, and some strong female Indian voices are campaigning for change, today only 5 of the top 100 richest Indians are women: There is still a long way to go.The five women listed below are independently wealthy, and they represent an important step in the improvement of gender equality in India.
They open up the option of female empowerment to fellow Indian women and encourage other ambitious Indian women to ask – ‘why not me?’ They symbolise a modern femininity which they strive to promote around them, and invite reflection on women’s capacity to innovate and prosper even in the traditionally male-dominated domains of business, science and politics.
Although it’s certainly worth noting that only one of the women in our list is ‘self-made’ according to Forbes. However, as is explored below, the women who were born or married into wealth have made sure that their voices resonate in society by supporting gender equality campaigns and institutions, occupying political roles, attaining high-powered jobs in the media, or getting involved in human rights and the arts.Powerful and loaded, these five women are part of the Forbes’ list of the richest Indians. These billionaires and multi-millionaires are an inspiration – with vision in their eyes and the world at their feet
India’s Top 5 Richest Women 2016
Savitri Jindal :-
Savitri Jindal is an Indian steel baroness, the wealthiest woman in India and the world’s 80th richest person. She is the non-executive chairperson of O.P. Jindal Group, and member of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, (Legislative Assembly). She also served as a Minister of Power in the Government of Haryana until 2010. She became the chairperson after her husband, O. P. Jindal, died in a helicopter crash in 2005. As of March 2012, Savitri Jindal and her family were listed by Forbes as the world’s 80th “richest person”, with a net worth of US$10.9 billion.
They ranked as the fourth richest in India.Among the billionaire mothers listed in 2010, Jindal had the most children (nine).Savitri Jindal is India’s richest woman. She is also the 14th richest Indian person, and thus an important symbol of female power for the country. Jindal’s primary source of wealth is OP Jindal Group, a steel and power organisation which her husband Om Prakash Jindal established in 1952. He brought significant innovation and international attention to the Indian steel industry. Today, it is an 18 billion dollar conglomerate , and one of India’s most dynamic businesses of the past thirty years.
- Net Worth :- $7.6 Billion
- Born: March 20, 1950 (age 63), Tinsukia, India
- Spouse: O. P. Jindal (m. ?–2005)
- Children: Naveen Jindal, Sajjan Jindal, Ratan Jindal, Prithviraj Jindal
Indu Jain :-
Indu Jain belongs to the Sahu Jain family and is the current chairperson of India’s largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., which owns the Times of India and other large newspapers. She is widowed with two sons.Indu Jain is currently the chairperson for India’s largest media conglomerate Bennett, Coleman & Co. The media house publishes 13 newspapers and 18 magazines, one of which is the Times of India – the magazine with the highest circulation rate in the world. Jain’s enthusiastic and entrepreneurial approach to her work as chairperson has given new life to Bennett, Coleman & Co.
Most notably, she founded the Times Foundation which runs programs encouraging social cohesion, equality, inclusivity and social development, as well as encouraging the improvement of discussion and relations between Indian citizens and their government. Jain also holds an important role in the development of gender issues in India. She actively supports women’s rights and encourages female entrepreneurship: for example she is the proud founder and president of the Ladies wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), an association of Indian business enterprises.
- Net Worth :- $2.6 Billion
- Source of Wealth Media, inherited and growing
- Nationality India
- Born: 1936, Faizabad, India
- Spouse: Ashok Kumar Jain (m. ?–1999)
- Children: Vineet Jain, Samir Jain
Anu Aga :-
Anu Aga is an Indian businesswoman and social worker, who led Thermax Ltd., the 32.46 billion energy and environment engineering business, as its chairperson 1996–2004.She was awarded with the Mumbai Women of the Decade Achievers Award by ASSOCHAM Ladies League, the all ladies wing of ASSOCHAM. After retiring from Thermax, she took to social work, and In 2010 she was awarded the Padma Shri for Social Work by the Government of India. She is currently Chairperson of Teach For India.
She was nominated to Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament on 26 April 2012, by President Pratibha Patil.Anu Aga’s wealth originates in her family’s shares in Thermax, an engineering company. Her father founded the firm which Aga and her husband then inherited. Upon her husband’s death, Aga ran the company alone. She retired in 2004 but retained an important position with the company as Director on the Thermax Board. From this position she has been able to enhance the company’s standing on the world stage and made it a key player in environmental projects.
- Net Worth :- $730 million
- Born: August 3, 1942 (age 71), Mumbai, India
- Education: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, St. Xavier’s College-Autonomous, Mumbai
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw :-
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is an Indian entrepreneur. She is the chairman & managing director of Biocon Limited a biotechnology company based in Bangalore, India and the current chairperson of IIM-Bangalore. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the ultimate definition of a self-made woman. Currently 60 years of age, she is the only entirely self-made woman on our list. Mazumdar-Shaw is India’s very first biotech entrepreneur.
Educated in sciences at the University of Bangalore and at the University of Melbourne, Mazumdar-Shaw founded the biotechnology company Biocon. Biocoin produces and sells affordable medication for the treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disease the treatment of which is usually extremely expensive. India faces a serious problem that Mazumdar Shaw has devoted her life to countering the number of cancer diagnoses is growing yet the country is unable to provide treatment for all.
- Net Worth :- $655 million
- Born: March 23, 1953 (age 60), Bangalore, India
- Spouse: John Shaw (m. 1998)
- Education: Federation University Australia (1974), more
- Books: Ale and Arty
Shobhana Bhartia :-
Shobhana Bhartia (born 1957) is the Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times Group, one of India’s newspaper and media houses, which she inherited from her father. She has also recently taken charge as the Pro Chancellor of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (founded by her grandfather) and is the current chairperson of Endeavor India. Closely associated with the ruling Congress party, Shobhana served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper chamber of the Indian parliament from 2006 to 2012.
Her name is sometimes written Shobhana Bharatiya or Bhartiya, but the preferred spelling is Bhartia.Shobhana Bhartia followed in her father’s footsteps to the publishing industry. Living in Delhi, she runs the mass media company Hindustan Times Media that publishes the English and Hindi versions of the Hindustan Times daily, and the business newspaper Mint. The group also operates four radio stations and a diverse selection of websites. She inherited the Hindustan Times Group from her father and has proceeded to run it with much success since 2008. She has been accredited with pioneering the company’s long term vision and strategy. Currently 57 year old, Shobhana Bhartia is one of India’s most powerful businesswomen.
- Net Worth :- $645 million
- Born: 1957
- Parents: Krishna Kumar Birla
- Education: University of Calcutta