Shining the spotlight on just a few women who are in the music business and who have
also founded and are successful companies in music. Thanks to the rise of women empowerment in the music industry, women from across the business are inspiring the
next generation. Of course, they have faced challenges, but their leadership strategy
and business principles can be a guiding light to women in the music industry, looking
to follow in their footsteps.
Here are some famous musicians who have also started their own businesses.
> Ananyashree Birla
An Indian singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, Ananyashree Birla made her debut
single in 2016. Belonging to a business family, she is the daughter of Kumar Mangalam Birla, an Indian industrialist and the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group. She has collaborated with artists including Sean Kingston, Afrojack, and Mood Melodies. Significantly, in 2020, she became the first Indian to sign with Maverick Management in Los Angeles and released “Let There Be Love” and “Everybody’s Lost” becoming the first Indian artist to be featured on the American national top 40 pop radio show, Sirius XM Hits.
She has spurned off many businesses – she is the founder of SvatantraMicrofin, a company that provides microfinance to women in rural India; she also founder of IkaiAsai and cofounder of Mpower. Many awards have come her way – for her work and entrepreneurship, including the ET Panache Trendsetters of 2016 award for Young Business Person and, was listed as one of GQs Most Influential Indians of 2018. In 2020, she launched the Ananya Birla Foundation to support: mental health, equality, education, financial inclusion, climate change and humanitarian relief efforts.
> Asha Bhonsle
She needs no introduction, whatsoever. Legendary singer Asha Bhonsle has sung millions of songs in almost each and every possible Indian language. Bollywood cannot be described elaborately without taking her name.
After tasting success in the singing industry, she went ahead to launch a successful restaurant business in Dubai and Kuwait. She runs restaurants in Dubai and Kuwait, called “Asha’s”, which offers traditional north-western Indian cuisine. As part of her chain of restaurants, she has recently opened a new restaurant in Birmingham, UK.
> Chinmayi Sripada
Singer Chinmayi Sripada has given her voice to many Bollywood and regional songs too. Business is also on her plate. The regional artist also serves as the CEO of Blue Elephant, a translation services company she founded in August 2005; and her company has been the language service provider for various MNCs like Scope E Knowledge, Ford, Dell, Ashok Leyland, Reliance India, to name a few.
She also received an award in 2010, from SAARC Chamber for Women Entrepreneurship – for Excellence in a niche industry for Blue Elephant. In 2011, she became the first-ever woman entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu to be selected for the prestigious FORTUNE/US State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership Program.
> Vasundhara Das
The profile of Vasundhara Das spells out that she wears many hats! She is an Indian singer, actress, composer, entrepreneur, speaker, songwriter, and environmental activist. Films have been in her domain too, for she has appeared in many films like – Hey Ram (Tamil/Hindi), Monsoon Wedding (English), Citizen (Tamil), RavanaPrabhu (Malayalam), LankeshPatrike (Kannada) and several others.
Tracking her illustrious career, she has worked with iconic composers such as A. R. Rahman, Vijaya Bhaskar, Yuvan Shankar Raja, and G. V. Prakash Kumar to name a few. Vasundhara’s current focus is on music composition at her Bangalore-based studio called “The Active”. She has also been involved in several independent projects such as Channel V Jammin’, BBC’s HIV awareness anthem for India ‘HarKadam’, Mission Ustaad, Arya, Global Rhythms, Nylon Soundz and most recently, The Shah Hussain Project, a collaborative album with Sufi singer Mir Mukhtiyar Ali. To her credit is that she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer – Tamil for the film Mudhalvan.