The companies on this year's 50 Fastest list span a range of industries, from consumer products to STEM-related fields.
“All 50 of the accomplished leaders on this list display amazing resilience, passion, and drive. They have found innovative ways to reach their goals. To grow their business given the myriad challenges in the current environment—from supply chain issues to the war for talent—is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said Camille Burns, CEO of Women Presidents’ Organization.
The companies were honored at the 2021 WPO Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
Live-clean lifestyle wellness brand in the spotlight
Modere, a global leader the categories of collagen, nutritional supplements, personal care and household products led by CEO Asma Ishaq, was named the top company on this year’s list. The California-based brand debuted in the
third spot in 2020 before rising to the top of this year’s list, propelled by its 1,700% increase in revenue from 2016 to 2020.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by the WPO and JP Morgan Chase, and we owe it to the many exceptional individuals who have supported and championed our brand, from our talented team members and advocates to our millions of loyal customers around the world. This recognition is a testament to the booming global consumer trend toward clean health and wellness in general, and the replenishing benefits of collagen in particular,” Ishaq told NutraIngredients-USA.
Ishaq said she credits the company’s foresight in positioning itself at the intersection of two converging macrotrends—wellness and ecommerce—for much of its success.
“As an omnichannel, ecommerce and direct-to-consumer business, Modere remains ahead of the curve in our focus on meeting consumers where they are and building toward a more personalized customer experience. Market trends over the past decade confirm a steady rise in consumer interest in clean health, and we witnessed an additional surge in demand over the past 18 months. Modere has been ideally positioned to respond to this changing landscape and continues to drive impressive growth by focusing on what our customers want. From our very beginning, we have been committed to providing market-leading, scientifically advanced lifestyle products that enhance our consumers’ quality of life, and we look forward to continuing to deliver on this mission,” said Ishaq.
Indeed, collagen protein supplements with a focus for beauty recorded an increase in sales of 64% over from June 2020-21, making up for $59.4 million out of $107.9 million in total beauty supplement sales across the multioutlet and natural channels, according to SPINS data.
Burns said this achievement speaks both to Ishaq’s brilliance as a leader and the strength of the company she has built.
“We were not at all surprised to see Asma take the number one spot. Asma’s drive and commitment to providing excellent products has been apparent for a long time now. She was #3 on the list last year, and her rise to #1 is proof that she continues to innovate and reach new levels. She’s a member of the WPO, and we have seen her talent and strength as an individual and a leader first-hand,” added Burns.
More about this year's 50 Fastest:
- Average honoree age: 49
- 74% started with their own funds
- 66% do business globally and another 18% plan to go global in the future
- 76% do business with Fortune 1,000 companies
- 76% delivered new product or service lines within their traditional portfolio as part of their growth strategy in response to the pandemic
Words of Wisdom
During the conference, JPMorgan Chase hosted a panel discussion featuring the honorees, who shared insights and advice for women looking to grow their business.
“What stood out from our panel discussion with the top 3 was their incredible grit and ability to overcome personal and professional challenges,” said Burnes. “Each of the women are committed to the well-being of themselves and their staff, and it’s clear they value and take care of their employees. They were also very clear on their purpose—who they serve, and why. Despite being in very different industries, they had a laser focus on doing good for the people they serve: Paxon through clean energy, SimpleHealth through healthcare for anyone with a uterus, and Modere through scientifically-based and clean beauty products. Each of them and their companies exemplify the idea of doing good by doing well.”
Driving global economic growth
To qualify for the ranking, businesses must be privately held, woman-owned or led, and reach annual revenues of at least $500,000 in each of the past five years. All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth. Applicants were not required to join or be members of the WPO.
In 2007, the list’s inaugural year, the nominees’ combined revenue amounted to $75 Million. From January to December of 2020, the 50 Fastest generated a combined $4.1 billion in revenue and collectively employed over 24,000 people.