One of the World’s Richest to IMF First Deputy MD: Gita Gopinath, Falguni Nayar, Other Women of 2021

A Year of Women: We are soon to bid adieu to 2021, which brought in a whirlwind of changes and progress for us. For one, 2021 has largely been a year of women taking charge of important roles, breaking glass ceilings and achieving the most. From Gita Gopinath to Leena Nair, women this year have showed the way forward and inspired many in India. They have made it possible for millions to dream big, and Nykaa CEO Falguni Nayar, who started her business at 50 and became a billionaire years later. In this article, we have showcased the achievements of five such women, who made it big this year.

Here are 5 women, who broke the glass ceiling this year, jumping over all barriers:

Gita Gopinath

Mysuru-born Gita Gopinath made it to the headlines earlier this month by becoming the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Before this, she had already made history by being the chief economist at the IMF. She will take up her new role in January 2022, the global fund has announced. “I believe that Gita—universally recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists—has precisely the expertise that we need for the FDMD role at this point. Indeed, her particular skill set—combined with her years of experience at the Fund as Chief Economist—make her uniquely well qualified. She is the right person at the right time,” said IMF’s Kristalina Georgieva, IMF’s Managing Director.

Falguni Nayar

Falguni Nayar started her e-commerce beauty platform business, Nykaa,  at the age of 50. In November this year, at 58, she became India’s richest self made woman billionaire. According to an AFP report, Nayar has become one of the world’s wealthiest, which was backed by Nykaa’s recent initial public offer that got listed recently. With this achievement, the Nykaa founder and CEO joined only six other women billionaires in India Bloomberg Billionaires Index, adding another feather to her crown since 2012. “I started Nykaa at the age of 50 with no experience. I hope the Nykaa journey can inspire each of you to be the Nykaa of your lives,” she said ahead of her company’s listing at the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

Leena Nair

Leena Nair became the first Indian to take over as the new global head of French luxury fashion house Chanel. Leena Nair will now be serving as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Chanel at the global level. As per a statement by Chanel, Nair would join the group in January and that the new appointments would ensure its “long-term success as a private company.”  The business executive, who served as the top HR executive of Unilever, joined the growing list of Indian-origin CEOs getting the topmost ranks at major global companies. Nair will join the luxury fashion brand, known for its No. 5 perfume, in January.

Divya Gokulnath

Divya Gokulnath, co founder of edtech platform Byju’s Think & Learn, is another entrepreneur to turn her company into a unicorn. The 35-year-old has also entered the Forbe’s rich list with a net worth of $4.05 billion. Like her husband Byju Raveendran, Gokulnath also is fond of dissipating her knowledge to the world and that worked exceptionally well for her business.

Ruchi Karla

OfBusiness cofounder Ruchi Kalra in July turned her startup into a unicorn after receiving a funding of $160 million from SoftBank. OFB Tech (OfBusiness) is a tech-enabled platform that facilitates raw material procurement and credit for SMEs with focus in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. It integrates technology to SME’s buying behaviour to make available better products.

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