As one set of women is rising up the corporate ladder, another set is making an impact at the grassroots level. At Business Today, like every year, the Most Powerful Women awards celebrate women at the helm of power signing billion dollar deals, creating new businesses, acquiring companies and building brands.
What makes this year special is we have introduced a new category - Impact Women. These are women who are activists, entrepreneurs, animal lovers, foundation heads, or very driven individuals who have been touched deeply by issues and haven't deterred from spending their life to bring about change.
We started off in June with a list of around 250 names, which included suggestions from BT editors and reporters. For the Impact category, we received recommendations from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Impact Investor Council and the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
A team of senior editors shortlisted 64 names in business and 47 in Impact, on the back of financial data provided by Team BT.
This list was presented to a power-packed jury that included Naina Lal Kidwai, former Chairman, HSBC India; Shyamal Mukherjee, Chairman, PwC India; Shardul Shroff, Executive Chairman, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; Mukesh Butani, Managing Partner, BMR Legal; Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director, HDFC Ltd; Rajesh Srivastava, CMD, Rabo Equity Advisors and Ajay Kela, CEO, Wadhwani Foundation who delved deep into each profile deliberating on the women who have made a mark.
After hours of brainstorming, the august jury members identified 30 winners in business and 23 in Impact. Of the latter category, 11 got 100 per cent vote of all the jury members while the rest got six out of seven votes. Theirs are the stories of resilience and exceptional career trajectories. It was definitely tough finding the gems among them. From the winners in business, we have two women - Ekta Kapoor and Vishaka Mulye - winning the award the seventh time, entering the coveted Hall of Fame. Now that we have made a start, we would identify more women who make an impact over the years.