At a power packed evening in Mumbai, Business Today, India's largest business magazine felicitated the Most Powerful Women in business. The awards were given to 31 women business leaders who have broken the glass ceiling and are creating impact in corporate India.
Prosenjit Datta, Editor, Business Today in his welcome address, said, "The number of women achievers going up in different sectors is extremely heartening. And yet, as I look at the overall statistics of women in the workplace, it reminds me how much journey women need to traverse. Despite the increase in the numbers of women breaking the glass ceiling, their representation in the overall workplace is growing at a sluggish pace."
This time round, apart from the regular women in business, BT identified Rising Stars. These are eight women under 35, who are making an impact in business. They are Ashni Biyani, MD, Future Consumer; Gazal Kalra, Co-founder, Rivigo; Lavanya Nalli , Vice Chairperson,Nalli Group; Manasi Tata, Executive Director, Kirloskar Systems; Neha Singh, Cofounder, Tracxn; Prerna Mukharya, Founder, Outline India amongst others.
In 2003, Business Today was the first publication to identify the Most Powerful Women (MPW) highlighting the achievements of women in the areas of business, economy and policy in India. What has changed over the years is when we started majority of the women were from financial services and IT and ITeS background. That has changed drastically over the years. The list reflects how business is changing. This year we have a vast representation of women from media and entertainment industry. Oscar winner of movie Period, Guneet Monga, Gully Boy director Zoya Akhtar, Raazi's Film director and writer Meghna Gulzar, Apurva Purohit, President of Jagran Group, Monika Shergill, Head of International Original Series, Netflix India all are dazzling the winner's list.
The startup craze hasn't left the MPW winner list untouched. Women are making their mark in entrepreneur fraternity too with founders such as Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder, Think & Learn (Byju's), Meena Ganesh, CEO, Portea Medical and Falguni Nayar, CEO of Nykaa.
Two women - Ashu Suyash, MD and CEO, CRISIL and Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas have now won the BT MPW for the seventh time and enter the coveted 'BT Hall of Fame' being consistent performers.
The awards were presented by Zia Mody, Founder and Managing Partner, AZB & Partners. In her keynote address "The Glass is more than Half full", she said as more and more women are joining the boards it creates a ripple effect and gets more women leaders to workplace. She concluded, in today's emerging India, women are being heard and what makes them heard is economic power.
Felicitating the winners, Raj Chengappa, Editorial Director, Publishing, India Today Group said, "All of the women present here are not only contributing to our great nation's well-being but also to its continuing quest for gender equality and your presence is inspiring to all of us."
The event was accompanied by a series of talks. Jinal Shah, from team Rujuta Diwekar kickstarted the event with a presentation on "Food For Thought: Eating Right To Manage Stress" where she spoke about the diet to chew stress away and living a life where it is fear and guilt that is fattening, not food.
The first Power Talk was by Ameera Shah, Promoter & MD, Metropolis Healthcare, on "Being a woman entrepreneur". It was a talk on challenges women face in starting up and how to navigate the society the way it is without compromising on one's own principles and purpose in life. She said, "It is very important to learn to get comfortable with conflict and learn how to deal with it."
The highlight of the day was the Power Couple Session between Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Group and Sanjay Purohit, Group CEO, Sapphire Foods where they spoke about managing their careers and the support they provide to each other to grow personally and professionally. Apurva said, "Love lasts for 4-5 years and later the relationship is about respect, friendship and shared value." She adds, it is important to have the other's best interest at heart and have the vision that it is not about one partner or the other but both together. "It's important how you see yourself as a unit and do best what's best for it," she says.