Top ‘Puneri’ women entrepreneurs changing the landscape of entrepreneurship


Pune is setting an example of exemplary work coupled with entrepreneurial expertise. The city is fast becoming the nation’s blend of cultural creativity and thought-provoking inventions. To add to that, there is hardly any sector where Pune women are not excelling and leading the pack. This Women’s Day, let us have a look at these ‘Puneri’ entrepreneurs who are slowly and steadily changing society in their respective fields.

They signify independence, they signify intelligence, they signify India!

Namita Thapar

One of India’s leading businesswomen, Namita is the Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals based in Pune. Now in the public eye through an investment-based reality television show, she has always been a familiar face in the business arena. She studied at a school in Pune, Maharashtra, and later graduated from ICAI with a degree in chartered accountant. Namita later completed an MBA and degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. In addition to her work, she is also a speaker at various prestigious forums such as Harvard Business School, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM A), the ET Women’s Conference, FICCI, etc.

Meeta Makhecha

Returning to India with her husband, she worked as a food consultant for some time before starting out on her own in 2012 at 43 years of age with the Flour Works Café and Bakery in Pune. Word of mouth recommendations worked wonders for her and pulled customers towards her restaurant. Meeta slowly learned the ropes of the restaurant business and is quite happy with how far her venture has come. Flour Works today has expanded greatly with three outlets in Pune. Meeta is now working hard to expand her business even more and get 6-8 outlets in and around Pune.

Sharmila Bhide

Sharmila Bhide came back to Pune from the US with her husband, outsourcing was in its initial stages and internet access was not easily available. This was the situation in which Sharmila Bhide along with her husband started Calsoft. Her 16-year old technology venture, which employs around 500 professionals, is a specialist in software product development services with niche expertise in storage, virtualization, cloud computing, embedded, and networking. They started out with a capital of just Rs 4 lakhs and HP as their first client. There was no looking back from there.

Dr Maithili Tambe

A Bachelor in Dental Surgery from Bharati Vidyapeeth, Dr. Tambe is now CEO of The Academy School, Pune, an unconventional and affordable school chain, and has set off on a path to transform the education sector for the better. Dr Tambe believes Pune to be the educational hub and the melting pot for productivity and creativity. She is instrumental in changing the education landscape of Pune since the school, run by a not-for-profit organisation, focuses on the overall development of the student and gets away with the rote culture that runs amok in the current education system. Starting from bringing a change in Pune, she is committed to providing an environment that nurtures and enhances the unique talent of every student joining The TAS Family.

Suruchi Wagh

Suruchi Wagh is Founder and Chief Products Officer at, an award-winning Talent Measurement & Analytics company. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the College of Engineering Pune, before flying away to the U.S. for her Masters at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. And after her master’s, she founded returning to India.