“I started out at a time when startups were not cool as it is today. Since we are a social enterprise, it was even hard to prove that we are a for-profit startup”. - Ajaita Shah.
Catering to over a million digital savvy rural women, Ajaita Shah has reimagined digitisation in rural India with Frontier Markets. Founded in 2011, Frontier Markets started with manufacturing solar-powered products with the help of rural women in India’s villages. It has now grown into a rural marketing, sales, and service distribution company focused on providing access to affordable and quality consumer durables to low-income households in emerging markets.
Founder and CEO of Frontier Markets, Shah is one of the most prominent social entrepreneurs in the country with some of the most prestigious awards and accolades up her alley including Forbes 30 under 30, Most Influential award in Microfinance for people under 30, Business Week’s 30 under 30, CNBC’s Young Business Woman of the Year, Vodafone’s Women of Pure Strength, L'oreal's Women of Worth 2016, and the Global Enterprise Summit’s GIST Competition 2017 Winner, among others. After spending her growing up years in the US, Shah returned to India to work in the microfinance sector, only to start up Frontier Markets later.
Today, the platform has grown to accommodating over 10,000 women entrepreneurs and has sold over two million solutions helping 350,000 rural customers. Watch the video to know more about her journey.
(Interviewed by Athira Nair; video edited by Nang Tanvi)