Business Today

Power Pack

Business Today showcased the rapid strides made by women in corporate India at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai.
twitter-logo Sarika Malhotra        Print Edition: October 11, 2015
Power Pack
In good company: (From left): Kirthiga Reddy, MD, Facebook India; Neelam Dhawan, MD, Hewlett Packard India; Prosenjit Datta, Editor, Business Today; Priya Nair, Executive Director (Home Care), Hindustan Unilever; Geetu Verma, Executive Director (Foods), Hindustan Unilever; Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, State Bank of India; Deepika Arora, Regional Vice President (Eurasia), Wyndham Hotel Group; Heather Bresch, CEO, Mylan; Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India; Shanti Ekambaram, President, Consumer Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Ipsita Dasgupta, Chief Commercial Officer, GE South Asia; Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; Chitra Ramkrishna, MD & CEO, National Stock Exchange; Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO and MD, Eros International and Raj Chengappa, Group Editorial Director (Publishing), India Today Group. PHOTO: Danesh Jassawala

It was an evening to remember. Business Today's Most Powerful Women in Indian Business awards ceremony -at Mumbai's ITC Grand Central on September 10 - saw a packed house. As always, the event celebrated the remarkable achievements of the awardees. Some had taken up challenging roles successfully, some came up with innovative solutions in a competitive market while a few others reinvented themselves to impact their organisations and the community in a big way.

Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto, addresses the audience at BT's Most Powerful Women in Indian Business awards
The awards were given by chief guest Heather Bresch, CEO of global generic pharma giant Mylan, and Raj Chengappa, Group Editorial Director (Publishing) of the India Today Group. Bresch pointed out that the US numbers did not differ much from the Indian numbers, when it came to women entering the workforce and eventually reaching the top of their organisations. Women only account for six per cent of the senior management in corporate India and at the board level they are even lesser.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch (left), talks to Nita Ambani, Director, Reliance Industries, at the awards
Bresch asserted that the best management style has to be open, and must welcome diversity. "Most people want work ethics, competency? irrespective of gender." Women bring unique skills to management, stressed Bresch, adding: "Women are better at multitasking, tend to be more compassionate and can be more balanced."

Heather Bresch interacts with Raj Chengappa (left) Group Editorial Director (Publishing), India Today Group and Prosenjit Datta, Editor, BT
The effervescent Chairman of Bajaj Auto, Rahul Bajaj, who had also chaired the jury meeting for the awards to decide on the winners, gave an inspiring speech. Sam Balsara, another jury member and Chair-man and Managing Director of advertising and media buying house Madison World, also attended the event.

Founder, MD and CEO of Multiples Alternate Asset Management Renuka Ramnath (left) shares her views with a guest at the awards
The award ceremony was preceded by intellectual sparring, as top women business leaders - and some men as well - took part in two panel discussions. "Glass ceiling: Are there some industries that are still women-unfriendly?" was the topic for the first. The panellists came from a wide array of sectors. Veteran corporate lawyer Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; Radhika Piramal, MD of VIP Industries; Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO and MD of Eros Interna-tional; GE's Chief Commercial Officer for South Asia, Ipsita Dasgupta; and Santrupt Misra, Group HR Head, Aditya Birla Group, took part in the brainstorming session.

(From left) Santrupt Misra, Group HR Head, Aditya Birla Group; Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO, MD, Eros International; Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; Radhika Piramal, MD, VIP Industries; Ipsita Dasgupta, Chief Commerical Officer, GE South Asia; Shweta Punj, Associate Editor, India Today
The speakers agreed that, increasingly, there were more discussions on the need for diversity in businesses and it was rare for organisations to have women-unfriendly policies. They echoed that most companies need to promote diversity for innovation and also realise that they are not doing women a favour by giving them more representation.

Heather Bresch, Mylan CEO and Raj Chengappa, Group Editorial Director (Publishing), India Today Group, field questions from the audience at the event
The second panel had India's top banker Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman of the State Bank of India. Joining her in the discussion was Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India; Kirthiga Reddy, MD, Facebook India; and Renuka Ramnath, Founder, MD and CEO of Multiples Alternate Asset Management. The discussion was moderated by Sudhanshu Tripathi, Group President-HR of the Hinduja Group. This group debated the topic: "Mid-career breaks: Is it difficult for women to come back?" The panelists believed that there was a dire need for organisations to fix the issue of 'leaking pipeline', referring to the trend of women give up their careers early.

(From left) Sudhanshu Tripathi, Group President, HR, Hinduja Group; Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini; Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI; Renuka Ramnath, MD and CEO, Multiples Alternate Asset Management; and Kirthiga Reddy, MD, Facebook India
SRM University was the presenting sponsor of the event

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