Women who made a difference in the year gone by.
Nykaa has always believed women can make a difference. Not just to their nuclear ecospheres but to the world at large. We believe that a woman of substance—like the ten women we have listed below—has the power to change the world in her own unique way; giving wings to her dreams and using her special gifts to make a difference. Nykaa’s Top Ten list comprises women from different walks of life; Bollywood, television, banking; sports, business and even royalty. They are perfect examples of women with laudable accomplishments, leadership qualities and a commitment to positively influence the lives of people around them.
A style icon and sex symbol Deepika Padukone has been described as a strong woman, “someone who makes up her own mind and motivates herself." She is a professional, disciplined performer, who has been described as “simple,” “grounded,” and “accessible,” by those who know her. The talented actress gave four back to back hits in 2013. Ranked twenty-second on Forbes’ “Celebrity 100,” a list based on the income and popularity of India's biggest entertainers. Nykaa loves the ease with which Deepika slips into character, her commitment to the work at hand, and of course her irresistible dimples and melting chocolate eyes!
Gauri Shinde’s directorial debut English Vinglish, a delicate film about a woman’s quest for approval and respect from her family and society at large, was a runaway success. The talented director says she will continue making films which showcase emotions that both men and women can relate to. Nykaa applauds Shinde’s honest admission that the film’s protagonist, Sridevi, reminded her of her own mother’s struggles with spoken English when she was growing up. We also love her unaffected, tousled style. There is beauty in simplicity.
Author, journalist, film critic and host of the hugely popular TV show, Front Row, Anupama Chopra is admirable for many reasons. Her no-nonsense, witty film reviews, the warmth that comes across as she interviews Indian and international film personalities, her impeccable dress sense and porcelain complexion has garnered admirers from every corner of the globe. Married to uber talented director-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, this is one formidable filmi family.
The super talented daughter of West Indies cricketer Viv Richards and Indian actress Nina Gupta, Masaba Gupta is the newest designer kid on the block to make waves. Showcasing under the label 'Masaba', she was the youngest designer to unveil at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, 2010. She has designed outfits for Bollywood actresses including Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Mandira Bedi. Nykaa loves Masaba’s penchant for silhouette and eye catching colors and prints, her daring creativity and her fearless style that dares to be different.
Joining the State Bank of India as a Probationary Officer, Arundhati Roy is the first woman to be the Chairperson of SBI. She is the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company in India. In fact she is the only woman banker in the world on that list. SBI is the largest bank in India with 15000+ branches and almost 22% of the country's total deposits! Nykaa loves Roy’s calm demeanor, her unassuming manner and of course her unarguable intelligence.
Just 26, Shalmali Kholgade is already making waves as a playback singer in Hindi films. Her Bollywood playback singing career began with Pareshaan in the film Ishaqzaade, for which she won several awards including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer. A versatile singer who sings both in English and Hindi, Shalmali paid a two hour tribute to one of her favorites, Amy Winehouse, at Blue Frog, a popular hangout in Mumbai. Nykaa loves Kholgade’s cherubic appeal, her shimmering tresses and her awesome voice.
This fresh faced beauty is the first Indian female squash player to break into the Top Ten in the WSA rankings. Dipika Pallikal won three WISPA tour titles in 2011, bettering that with a Top ten ranking in December 2012, and going on to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open in 2012. She won her sixth WSA title by winning the Meadowood Pharmacy Open on February 2013. Initiated into squash at the age of just 11, she played her first international tournament in London. So far she’s won the German Open, Dutch Open, French Open, Australian Open and Scottish Open on the European Junior Squash Circuit. Nykaa loves her simple, vivacious beauty; the streaks in her tresses and million dollar smile.
Bigg Boss 7 Winner, model and actress Gauhar Khan is as talented as she is beautiful. This porcelain beauty with model perfect features is the muse of designers Manish Malhotra, Ritu Kumar and Neeta Lulla. She’s also a popular television and film actress. Zooming to fame after her participation in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, Gauhar earned bouquets and brickbats in equal measure during her recent stay in the Bigg Boss house. Nykaa admires this strong-willed woman who isn’t afraid to voice her opinion and her dogged determination that has seen her slowly and steadily making a name for herself in Bollywood.
Dr. Swati Piramal, one of India’s top most scientists and industrialists, leads a team of scientists in cancer, diabetes, inflammation and infectious disease research, with a portfolio of over 200 international patents, and 14 new drugs. She has spearheaded public health campaigns against chronic disease, malaria, TB and polio. As Director of the Piramal Foundation she helps promote health in rural India with HMRI - a mobile health service, women’s empowerment projects, and supporting community education that creates young leaders. Dr. Piramal received the Padma Shri in 2012 and the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite” (Knight of the Order of Merit) in 2006, one of the highest honors awarded by the French government. Nykaa loves the grace and gentle creativity that epitomize Dr. Piramal.
The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is clearly one of the most stylish royals ever. Yet it’s her sensible upbringing, her warmth and down to earth attitude that has won her accolades both in the UK and elsewhere. Nykaa applauds this future queen’s adaptability, the ease with which she fits into the Royal household, dons designer togs, slipped into motherhood and captivates the public without batting an eyelid. She’s truly a Princess Royal.