With the dawn of the New Year, everybody is setting new goals and keenly planning how to achieve them. While some of us do actually make things happen, the rest just give up midway. Here’s a list of women trailblazers who are the personifications of perseverance and success and are sure to inspire you to keep persisting in your own individual goals.
Chairperson, State Bank of India
It has been a long and hard but very fruitful journey for Arundhati Bhattacharya.Bhattacharya first started out as an intern at the State Bank of India (SBI) at the age of 21 and eventually went on to become its youngest head and the only woman to reach this position. It is no wonder then that in 2016, Forbes ranked her 25th in its list of the ‘100 Most Powerful Women In the World’ and Fortune magazine ranked her the fourth most powerful woman in the Asia Pacific. The end of last year saw Bhattacharya dealing effectively with the chaos and confusion that was brought on by demonetisation. This year, Bhattacharya will continue in her endeavours to evolve SBI into a bank for the modern day.
US ambassador to the UN
The South Carolina governor, who has been chosen by Donald Trump as the US ambassador to the United Nations (UN), was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, to Sikh immigrants from Punjab, India. Haley made history in 2001 when she was elected as the first ever woman governor of South Carolina and has since garnered immense popularity within her state while being recognised as a future political force to be reckoned with. As the US ambassador to the UN, 2017 will be the year Haley springs up to the international platform where the world can recognise her administrative potential.
From slaying the red carpet at the Golden Globes in her hand-embroidered metallic Ralph Lauren gown to getting invited to Barack Obama’s farewell speech at the White House, Priyanka Chopra is doing an excellent job so far of representing India in the West. While her hit TV show, Quantico, where Priyanka is seen as the leading lady Alex Parish, continues to find success, her much awaited Hollywood film,Baywatch, starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, is set to release in May this year and could be key in deciding whether the Bollywood star has well and truly cemented her place in Hollywood.
Co-founder, Ginkgo Bioworks
An innovator in the true sense of the word, Reshma Shetty is the Co-founder of GinkoBioworks, a company that’s setting new standards in engineering through biology. One of Ginko’s inventions includes using yeast as a base for all kinds of substances, including perfumes, cosmetics, and even sweeteners. A French fragrance company has even started selling rose oil perfumes using this technology and has vastly reduced the cost of procuring the actual flower petals, which are far more expensive. Forbes has already named Shetty as one of ‘Eight People Inventing the Future’, and with this she’s only getting started.
Listed by Business Insider as one of the hottest startups by women, Hooked is a company that’s reimagining fiction by turning it into compact stories resembling text message conversations. The Founder of this popular digital venture is Prerna Gupta, an American businesswoman of Indian origin. Gupta, alongside her husband Parag Chordia, had previously started a venture called Khush, which helped make music apps and had over 50 million users worldwide. It will be interesting to see how Gupta, who was named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company in 2012, takes this new age publishing to innovative heights and redefines storytelling for the world.
The 27-year-old Prarthna Desai is a modern-day messiah who’s come up with an ingenious idea of using drones to get medication to people in the developing world. This brilliant young mind dropped out of Harvard in order to work with healthcare company Zipline, where in her role in operations, she is spearheading the work to integrate the medicine-delivery-by-drone service with the healthcare system in Rwanda. In 2016, her path breaking efforts were recognized by Forbes, which named her as one of the 30 under 30s in the healthcare sector. In the coming year, Desai and her team can bring a true revolution in the healthcare sector with their pioneering work.
Chairman and CEO, Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited
Known as the ‘Tractor Queen’ of India, Mallika Srinivasan has taken her company to dizzying heights to become the third largest tractor manufacturer in the world. Her efforts have lead the company to revenues of ₹96 billion.Accolades aren’t anything new to Srinivasan, who’s been listed in the top 125 most successful alumni of Wharton School of Business. She was also named the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 by Ernst and Young, and in 2016, BBC chose her as one of the 100 most influential women in the world.
Having made the nation gush with pride after winning the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics last year, Saina Nehwal hasn’t slowed down one bit. This year, she has been training with fiery intent to regain her World No. 1 status, and it all starts with performing at the top level at the coveted All England Championship 2017, which is scheduled to start in March.