Express awards: Insights from Sheryl Sandberg & by Deepak Parekh-chaired iconic jury, steal the show

Watching the evening unfold, one could not help but agree with Deepak Parekh who in the name of Harry Belafonte said “let us conclude that women of today are smarter than men in every way!”    

The Express Awards for Women Entrepreneurs (or ExpressAWE) announced on Friday, January 14th evening saw a tidal wave of entrepreneurial success.

It will arguably go down as an evening to remember showcasing a genuine corporate solidarity and oneness of purpose in supporting women entrepreneurship. The Express Awards for Women Entrepreneurs (or ExpressAWE) announced on Friday, January 14th evening saw a tidal wave of entrepreneurial success. But what also added glitter and weight to the memorable evening were rich and insightful conversations between industry veterans with takeaways for life for the many leading and budding women entrepreneurs.

The evening began with a keynote interview of Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Meta by Anant Goenka, executive director, Indian Express Group, which covered the entire changing landscape of women entrepreneurship. The author of ‘Lean In’, a milestone book for working women, Sandberg urged the growing number of women in Indian colleges not to “leave before you leave”. Congratulating the Indian Express Group for instituting ExpressAWE and for engaging in conversations that matter, she reminded that while the proverbial glass ceiling still needs to be shattered by more women, there was also a broken rung that needed fixing. Or to quote a snippet from the interview: “Even before we get to that glass ceiling there is a broken rung and it is that first promotion to manager… men are promoted and hired based on their potential, women have to prove it… So the inequity starts few years after college.” 

This was followed by a free flowing and engaging discussion between the Indian industry veterans and the members of the grand jury who chose the awards in the organisation/ established business segment. Each of them a lodestar for many budding entrepreneurs (both women and men) – Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC and also the jury chair, Arundhati Bhattacharya, CEO and Chairperson, Salesforce India, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon; and Biocon Biologics, Preetha Reddy, executive vice chairperson, Apollo Hospitals and Zia Mody, co-founder and managing partner, AZB & Partners. They discussed what was enabling and hindering the ‘power of Her’ and tried to address some crucial questions around the changing landscape of women entrepreneurship in India, their advice to budding women entrepreneurs, what industry could do to enable this, what government and policy makers could do to facilitate it even more. They also spared a few minutes pondering on what they would do differently if they were to start all over again today. The message that stood out in the discussion was that it was imperative for women entrepreneurs to stay the course, not to give up and to remember that their time has come. 

A highlight of the evening was a delightful and engaging conversation between the Newsmaker of the year award winner Falguni Nayar, founder and CEO, Nykaa and the lifetime achievement award winner Anu Aga, former chairperson, Thermax. Looking at a range of issues women leaders grapple with and how they sort them out and carve out a niche. From the nurturing ingredients that they build on to the role that spouses and families play, the way inheritance is viewed and how merit really counts. This and a lot more emerged from the discussion between the two – one, a leader who emerged as an icon of entrepreneurship and leadership in adversity and then go to institution-building while the other made news and inspired others with a deep entrepreneurial ability to spot an opportunity and ensure wealth creation for the stakeholders while staying focussed on brand building.   

Watching the evening unfold, one could not help but agree with Deepak Parekh who in the name of Harry Belafonte said “let us conclude that women of today are smarter than men in every way!”    

Here are the award winners:

The first segment for Winners in the Rising Business Segment. These are companies that have been in business for under 9 years. 

The winners in this segment have been selected by The Indian Express Editorial team  & FICCI Flo,  duly audited by EY

Sr.Award CategoryOrganization nameName of the nomineeDesignation of
the nominee
1Education & Skill Development
Rising Segment
Josh TalksSupriya PaulCEO & 
Co-Founder
2Fashion & Lifestyle
Rising Segment
Tribe AmrapaliAkanksha AroraChief Executive Officer
3Health & Wellness
Rising Segment
MedMarvel Software Solutions Pvt LtdRupal MehtaFounder & CEO
4Media & Entertainment
Rising Segment
Suno IndiaDVL Padma PriyaCo-Founder & Editorial Lead
5Social Impact
Rising Segment
MukkaMaarIshita SharmaFounder & CEO
6Technology
Rising Segment
InventIndia InnovationsJyoti SudhirDirector & COO
7E-Commerce
Rising Segment
SuperBottomsPallavi UtagiFounder & CEO
8Travel & Hospitality
Rising Segment
GoStops Hospitality Pvt LtdPallavi AgarwalFounder & CEO

The next segment for Winners in the Organisation / established business segment. These are for companies that have been in business for over 9 years.

The winners in this segment are Selected by our eminent jury.

Sr.Award CategoryOrganization nameName of the nomineeDesignation of the nominee
9Education & Skill DevelopmentByju’sDivya GokulnathCo-Founder
10 Fashion & Lifestyle House of Anita DongreAnita DongreFounder
11Health & WellnessMetropolis HealthcareAmeera ShahManaging Director
12Media & EntertainmentYourStory MediaShradha SharmaFounder & Chief Editor
13Social ImpactMann Deshi BankChetna SinhaFounder
14TechnologyMapmygenomeAnu AcharyaFounder & CEO
15Food & BeveragesMrs Bectors Food SpecialitiesRajni BectorFounder & Chairperson Emeritus

The FICCI-FLO Excellence Award:

16FICCI-FLO Excellence AwardHT Media LimitedShobhana BhartiaChairperson & Editorial Director

The Legacy Spin-off Award:

17 Legacy Spin-off Award Nalli Group of CompaniesLavanya NalliChairperson

The Newsmaker of the Year Award:

18Newsmaker of the Year AwardNykaaFalguni NayarFounder & CEO

The Lifetime Achievement Award:

19The Lifetime Achievement AwardThermaxAnu AgaFormer Chairperson

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express Telegram Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.