India is home to some of the richest people in the world, but only a handful of them are women. According to the Forbes India Rich List 2023, there are nine women billionaires out of 100 in the country. This number has remained unchanged since last year, despite the economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are some of the facts and figures about these remarkable women and their sources of wealth.
Savitri Jindal: The richest woman in India
Savitri Jindal is the chairperson emeritus of the OP Jindal Group, a power and steel conglomerate founded by her late husband Om Prakash Jindal. She inherited his stake in the group after his death in a helicopter crash in 2005. She is also a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly, representing the Indian National Congress party.
Savitri Jindal is the only woman billionaire in India who ranks among the top 10 richest people in the country. She is fourth on the Forbes list with a net worth of $24 billion (Rs 199,656 crore), up 46 percent from last year. She saw the second largest wealth gain in absolute terms this year after software tycoon Shiv Nadar. Her fortune increased due to the September IPO of ports unit JSW Infrastructure, which is led by her son Sajjan Jindal.
Rekha Jhunjhunwala: The stock market queen
Rekha Jhunjhunwala is the wife of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, one of India’s most famous and successful stock traders. She replaced him on the Forbes list in 2022 after his death. She manages her own portfolio of stocks, which includes blue-chip companies like Tata Motors, Titan Company, Lupin and NCC.
Rekha Jhunjhunwala is the second richest woman in India and ranks 28th on the Forbes list with a net worth of $7 billion (Rs 58,233 crore). She moved up two spots from last year, despite a slight decline in her wealth. She is known for her low-profile lifestyle and philanthropic activities.
Vinod Gupta: The electrical appliances heiress
Vinod Gupta is the widow of Qimat Rai Gupta, who founded Havells India, one of the leading electrical and electronic appliances companies in India. He started the business in 1958 with a small shop in Delhi and grew it into a global brand with presence in more than 60 countries. He died in 2014 and left his stake in the company to his wife and son Anil Rai Gupta, who is now the chairman and managing director.
Vinod Gupta is the third richest woman in India and ranks 30th on the Forbes list with a net worth of $6.7 billion (Rs 55,737.30 crore). She moved down three spots from last year, as Havells faced lower demand and higher raw material costs amid the pandemic. She and her son are also involved in various social initiatives through their QRG Foundation.
Renuka Jagtiani: The retailing giant’s chairwoman
Renuka Jagtiani is the chairwoman and CEO of Landmark Group, a Dubai-based retailing giant that operates over 2,200 stores across 24 countries. The group was founded by her husband Micky Jagtiani, who migrated from India to Bahrain in 1973 and started with a single store. He expanded into fashion, lifestyle, hospitality and leisure sectors over the years. He died in May this year and left his stake in the group to his wife.
Renuka Jagtiani is a new entrant on the Forbes list this year and ranks 44th with a net worth of $4.8 billion (Rs 39,931.20 crore). She joined the group in 1990 and played a key role in its growth and diversification. She also heads the Landmark Foundation, which supports education, health and women empowerment projects.
Leena Tewari: The healthcare firm’s chair
Leena Tewari is the chair of USV India, a privately held healthcare firm that specializes in diabetes, cardiovascular and anti-infective drugs. The company was founded by her grandfather Vithal Balkrishna Gandhi in 1961 as a joint venture with US-based Revlon. Her father Prashant Gandhi took over the reins in 1989 and made USV one of the leading generic drug makers in India. He died in 2014 and left his stake to his wife and daughter.
Leena Tewari is the fifth richest woman in India and ranks 45th on the Forbes list with a net worth of $4.7 billion (Rs 39,113 crore). She moved down six spots from last year, as USV faced regulatory hurdles and competition from other players. She runs the company with her husband Prashant Tewari, who is the vice chairman and managing director. She also oversees the USV Foundation, which supports education, health and environment causes.
Mallika Srinivasan: The tractor tycoon’s daughter
Mallika Srinivasan is the daughter of industrialist A Sivasailam, who founded TAFE (Tractors and Farm Equipment), India’s second largest tractor maker. She joined the company in 1986 and became the chairperson and CEO in 2011, after her father’s death. She is credited with transforming TAFE into a global player with presence in over 100 countries. She also acquired the iconic British brand Eicher Motors in 2005.
Mallika Srinivasan is the sixth richest woman in India and ranks 83rd on the Forbes list with a net worth of $2.84 billion (Rs 23,625.96 crore). She moved up 17 spots from last year, as TAFE benefited from the strong demand for tractors amid the rural recovery. She is also a board member of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, and AGCO Corporation, a US-based farm equipment maker.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: The biotech pioneer
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the founder and executive chairperson of Biocon, India’s largest biopharmaceutical company. She started the company in 1978 as a joint venture with an Irish firm to make enzymes. She later diversified into biologics, biosimilars, research services and novel drugs. She is also the co-founder of Biocon Biologics, a subsidiary that focuses on affordable insulin and other diabetes treatments.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the seventh richest woman in India and ranks 86th on the Forbes list with a net worth of $2.8 billion (Rs 23,296 crore). She moved up 14 spots from last year, as Biocon’s shares rose on the back of strong earnings and growth prospects. She is also a prominent philanthropist and a vocal advocate for innovation, healthcare and gender equality.
Anu Aga: The social worker and former businesswoman
Anu Aga is the former chairperson of Thermax, an engineering company that provides energy and environment solutions. She took over the company in 1996 after the death of her husband Rohinton Aga, who was the son of the founder A S Bhatena. She retired from Thermax in 2004 and handed over the reins to her daughter Meher Pudumjee, who is now the chairperson.
Anu Aga is the eighth richest woman in India and ranks 95th on the Forbes list with a net worth of $2.5 billion (Rs 20,775 crore). She moved up five spots from last year, as Thermax’s shares recovered from the pandemic-induced slump. She is also a former member of parliament and a renowned social worker. She supports various causes related to education, health and women empowerment through her Thermax Foundation.
Falguni Nayar: The online beauty retailer’s founder
Falguni Nayar is the founder and CEO of Nykaa, India’s leading online beauty retailer. She started the company in 2012 after quitting her lucrative job as an investment banker at Kotak Mahindra Capital. She leveraged her financial expertise and industry connections to build Nykaa into a one-stop destination for cosmetics, skincare, haircare and wellness products. Nykaa also has its own range of private label products and offline stores.
Falguni Nayar is the ninth richest woman in India and ranks 96th on the Forbes list with a net worth of $2.4 billion (Rs 19,956 crore). She dropped 44 spots from last year, as Nykaa’s valuation fell from $3 billion to $1.8 billion amid the slowdown in consumer spending. She runs the company with her husband Sanjay Nayar, who is a private equity veteran and former CEO of KKR India.