Women in Family Business Succession_ The Legacy continues
Women in Family Business Succession The Legacy continues

Women in Family Business Succession: The Legacy continues

For generations, the trajectory of succession in family businesses has been firmly entrenched in tradition, with sons typically inheriting the mantle of leadership and the lion's share of wealth. Women, often relegated to the sidelines due to socio-cultural norms, have historically found themselves excluded from the succession narrative. However, winds of change are sweeping across this landscape as women increasingly assert their presence and stake their claim as frontrunners in family businesses. While this shift marks progress towards gender equality, the reality remains that such instances of equal succession are still far from common place in most family businesses today.

Challenges Faced by Women

Despite the growing recognition of women's contributions to family businesses, significant challenges and barriers persist. Cultural biases, societal expectations, and traditional gender roles continue to hinder women's access to leadership positions. Juggling familial responsibilities alongside professional aspirations poses a distinct challenge for women, frequently resulting in a lack of visibility and recognition within the family business ecosystem.

Success Stories

Despite the obstacles, there are incredible stories of women who have overcome challenges to become leaders in family businesses.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra of HCL Technologies

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, the daughter of Shiv Nadar, founder of HCL Technologies, has charted an extraordinary path to leadership within the company. In 2009, she joined HCL Technologies and within a year of her joining, she was elevated as Executive Director and CEO of HCL Corporation, the holding company of all HCL Group entities. Her rise to prominence as Chairperson of HCL Technologies in 2010 marked a historic moment, making her the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India. Roshni's exemplary leadership has been recognized globally, as evidenced by her inclusion in prestigious lists such as Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women.

Vinita D. Gupta of Lupin Pharmaceuticals

Vinita Gupta's leadership at Lupin Limited has been important for the company's growth into a big global pharmaceutical company. Coming from a family with a strong history in pharmaceuticals, Vinita's leadership has helped Lupin become well-known worldwide. Her smart ideas and constant push for doing things better have made Lupin a top player in the pharmaceutical industry. Vinita D Gupta, who is one of the richest Indian women CEOs, heads a company worth Rs 35,000 crore. When she started, only 5 percent of Lupin's sales were in the US, but she grew that to over 45 percent. Vinita has won many business awards and been listed as a powerful leader over the years. She led Lupin when it made its biggest-ever overseas purchase, buying US-based Gavis Pharma in 2018 for Rs 5,610 crore ($880 million).

Nisaba Godrej of Godrej Consumer Products Limited

Nisaba Godrej, also known as Nisa, is the youngest daughter of Adi Godrej and Parmeshwar Godrej. Her leadership journey at Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) showcases her strategic thinking and dedication to innovation. Nisaba started at Godrej Industries in 2001 and quickly climbed the ranks. In 2007, she led Project Leapfrog, a game-changing initiative that expanded GCPL both domestically and globally. Later, in 2008, she joined the board of Godrej Agrovet. In 2017, she was appointed as the Executive Chairperson of Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL).

Sulajja Firodia Motwani of Kinetic Engineering

Sulajja Firodia Motwani's journey in the Indian automotive industry is fueled by a passion for innovation and sustainability. With a rich family legacy in Kinetic Engineering, Sulajja embarked on a transformative journey by founding Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions Limited in 2008. Her visionary leadership has propelled the company to the forefront of electric vehicle manufacturing, making clean mobility accessible to all. Sulajja's dedication to driving positive change is an inspiration to aspiring women entrepreneurs everywhere.

Currently, she holds the position of Vice-Chairperson at Kinetic Engineering Limited and serves as the founder and CEO of Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions Limited.

The 4 Apollo Sisters

The Apollo 4 Sisters, Preetha Reddy, Sangita Reddy, Sunita Reddy, and Shobana Kamineni, daughters of Dr. Prathap Reddy, the founder of Apollo Hospitals, have each played a significant role in the growth and success of the company.

1. Preetha Reddy, the eldest sister, holds the position of Vice Chairperson at Apollo Hospitals, and she is a member of the Governing Council of the International Hospital Federation (IHF), which is committed to building healthy communities worldwide.

2. Kamineni Shobana, from a young age, has been deeply involved in the Apollo Group, holding various positions. Currently, she serves as the Executive Vice-Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals. Notably, she made history as the first woman to hold the position of President at the Confederation of Indian Industry from 2017 to 2018.

3. Suneeta Reddy began her journey with Apollo Hospitals in 1989 and currently serves as its Managing Director. In acknowledgment of Apollo Hospitals' exceptional medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic, Suneeta Reddy was honored with the prestigious Economic Times Businesswoman of the Year award.

4. Sangita Reddy, the youngest sister, is a global healthcare influencer and humanitarian, serves as the Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals. She currently chairs G20 Empower, a key initiative in India, and has previously served as the President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

Together, these sisters have made significant contributions to the healthcare industry, embodying the values of leadership, innovation, and excellence.


The stories of these remarkable women in family businesses remind us of the vital role they play in driving change and shaping the future of enterprise in India. Despite facing obstacles, their determination and contributions are invaluable, paving the way for a more inclusive and empowered business landscape. As we applaud their achievements, let's continue working towards a future where every woman can thrive and leave a lasting legacy in family enterprises and beyond.

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