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Richest 100 women in India worth Rs2.72 trillion

‘Kotak Wealth Hurun – Leading Wealthy Women’ report is a data-driven attempt to analyze wealth creation among Indian women:

Oisharya Das indicates that women will continue to play a crucial role as wealth creators and helping India in becoming $5 trillion economy by 2025

Kotak Wealth Management, a division of Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak), and Hurun India, which brings out the Hurun Rich List, which is a comprehensively evaluated list of the wealthiest individuals across the globe, have recently launched the 2nd edition of ‘Kotak Wealth Hurun – Leading Wealthy Women’, a compilation of the wealthiest women in India. The listing is based on the net worth of women as of 30 September 2020. The 2020 edition of the report focuses exclusively on women who play an active role in their family business, entrepreneurs, and professionals. The report is a data-driven attempt to understand wealth creation among Indian women and celebrate the success of the top 100 entrepreneurs, professionals, and businesswomen in India. The average wealth of the women on this list is about Rs27.25 billion.


With a wealth of Rs548.50 billion, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, 39, of HCL Technologies is the wealthiest woman on the list, followed by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (67) of Biocon having Rs366 billion and Leena Gandhi Tewari of USV with Rs213.40 billion. Eight $ billionaires are on the list, while 38 have wealth of Rs10 billion and above. The cumulative wealth of women wealth creators on the list is at Rs2.72 trillion.

As much as 12% of the list are those born under the zodiac sign Cancer and 11% under Scorpio. There are 8 Padma awardees and the average age of those featuring on the list is 53 years.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has the highest number of social media followers among the women finding their place in the list. She has 1.5 million followers on Twitter. Fashion designer Anita Dongre comes second with 390,000 followers.


The report is compiled based on the net worth of all women entrepreneurs, professionals, businesswomen, and investors as on 30 September 2020, when the exchange rate of the Indian rupee to the US$ was at Rs73.57. The list considers only Indians, defined as born or brought up in India and who are actively managing their businesses or are self-made.

Kotak Wealth and Hurun India claim they conducted in-depth research to understand the trends and direction of wealth creation indicated by the women featured on the list. In addition to ranking the women entrepreneurs and professionals by wealth, they have also analyzed the source of wealth, the industries these women belong to, where they live, etc. The source of wealth includes both inherited and self-made wealth. For unlisted companies, the valuation is based on a comparison with listed equivalents using prevailing industry multiples such as price to earnings, price to sales, EV to sales, EV to EBITDA, and other methodologies, including discounted cash flow, Tobin’s Q, and so on.

Hurun India has ascertained the level of activity based on parameters, which include whole-time director, executive director or managing director, former whole-time director, executive director or managing director; and a person who is mentioned as key managerial personnel based on remuneration; responsible for attending a board meeting or any functional activities.


Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the wealthiest self-made woman in the list. Of the 31 self-made women in the list, 6 are professional managers. With a wealth of Rs102 billion, Arista Network’s Jayshree Ullal, 59, is the richest professional manager. The financial services industry dominates with 4 out of the 6 professional managers in the list working in banking/ finance and 1 in insurance.

In the self-made category, within the financial services space, Renu Sud Karnad of HDFC with Rs9 billion wealth is at the 13th rank; followed by Padmaja Gangireddy of Spandana Sphoorty Financial Services with Rs6.90 billion at 15th rank, Shanti Ekambaram of Kotak Mahindra Bank with Rs2.30 billion at 25th rank, Shikha Sharma, formerly MD and CEO of Axis Bank with Rs1.5 billion at 29th rank, and Vibha Padalkar of HDFC Life Insurance with Rs1.4 billion at 30th rank.


Anas Rahman Junaid believes that women-led businesses are the No 1 harbinger to achieve inclusion at the workforce level

There are 6 women entrepreneurs from the startup ecosystem featuring in the list, of which 2 have built their companies into Unicorns – Falguni Nayar of Nykaa and Divya Gokulnath of Byju’s – The Learning App. Four women in the list aged 40 and below are from the startup ecosystem (having incorporated their companies on or after 2010), while 19 women are aged 40 or below. Kanika Tekriwal of JetSetGo, Anjana Reddy of Universal Sportsbiz, and Vidhi Shanghvi of Sun Pharma are the youngest women on the list.


The pharmaceutical sector leads the list with 13 followed by textiles, apparel & accessories with 12 and healthcare with 9 women featuring in the list. As many as 19 women from this list also feature in the Hurun India Rich List 2020, and 6 women have made it to the Hurun Global Rich List 2020, which features 68 self-made women entrepreneurs from around the world, of which 3 are from India – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon, Radha Vembu of Zoho and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks.  With 4 entrants, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise produced the most number of women leaders on the list, followed by Godrej Group which contributed three entrants on the list. The primary philanthropic causes that the women identified with are education and healthcare. Four women on the list find a place on the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020.



As one turns attention to India’s leading wealthy women, it would be important to note that women-led enterprises already experience significant barriers to entry including limited funding opportunities. The challenges faced by them are far greater, creating a disproportionate impact especially during the covid pandemic.

Oisharya Das, CEO – Wealth Management at Kotak Mahindra Bank, says: “One of the defining developments over the last couple of decades is the giant strides that women have taken as wealth creators. The 2020 report reveals an interesting and inspiring trend of more and more trailblazing women leading the way and scripting success stories across a wide variety of industries and encompassing cities and towns pan India. For India to achieve its aspirational target to be a $5 trillion economy by 2025, women will continue to play a crucial role as wealth creators in order to achieve that goal.”

She sees 3 parallel and exciting trends at play. The first is the set of women who are custodians of the family wealth, leading the family business as they seek to preserve and grow its legacy. The second is the exciting new breed of entrepreneurs who are creating new wealth and the third is the enterprising group of women professionals. She says each woman’s story and the challenges faced by her are unique; however, what these women have in common is the drive, commitment, and passion to succeed.


Anas Rahman Junaid, MD & Chief Researcher, Hurun India, describes the women in the list as the most successful women leaders in India. “Their stories deserve to be shared and studied. What is it that makes them successful? How did they do it? I hope this list can inspire more women to become entrepreneurs, run businesses or lead companies,” says he.

He also observes that women-led businesses are the No 1 harbinger to achieve inclusion at the workforce level. It is rather obvious that only if gender parity is achieved, can India timely register the 5 trillion GDP mark and women-led creation directly improves women employment, and correspondingly that of families and society says he.

“Inclusion of women, who represent 50% of India’s population, cuts across members of the community. Wealth creation by women benefits gender equality and gender equality benefits everyone! We truly hope this list will inspire other young women to pursue careers of their own,” he adds.

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