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 Category||Organization name||Name of the nominee||Designation of |
|1||Education & Skill Development|
|Josh Talks||Supriya Paul||CEO & |
|2||Fashion & Lifestyle|
|Tribe Amrapali||Akanksha Arora||Chief Executive Officer|
|3||Health & Wellness|
|MedMarvel Software Solutions Pvt Ltd||Rupal Mehta||Founder & CEO|
|4||Media & Entertainment|
|Suno India||DVL Padma Priya||Co-Founder & Editorial Lead|
|MukkaMaar||Ishita Sharma||Founder & CEO|
|InventIndia Innovations||Jyoti Sudhir||Director & COO|
|SuperBottoms||Pallavi Utagi||Founder & CEO|
|8||Travel & Hospitality|
|GoStops Hospitality Pvt Ltd||Pallavi Agarwal||Founder & 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 Category||Organization name||Name of the nominee||Designation of the nominee|
|9||Education & Skill Development||Byju’s||Divya Gokulnath||Co-Founder|
|10||Fashion & Lifestyle||House of Anita Dongre||Anita Dongre||Founder|
|11||Health & Wellness||Metropolis Healthcare||Ameera Shah||Managing Director|
|12||Media & Entertainment||YourStory Media||Shradha Sharma||Founder & Chief Editor|
|13||Social Impact||Mann Deshi Bank||Chetna Sinha||Founder|
|14||Technology||Mapmygenome||Anu Acharya||Founder & CEO|
|15||Food & Beverages||Mrs Bectors Food Specialities||Rajni Bector||Founder & Chairperson Emeritus|
The FICCI-FLO Excellence Award:
|16||FICCI-FLO Excellence Award||HT Media Limited||Shobhana Bhartia||Chairperson & Editorial Director|
The Legacy Spin-off Award:
|17||Legacy Spin-off Award||Nalli Group of Companies||Lavanya Nalli||Chairperson|
The Newsmaker of the Year Award:
|18||Newsmaker of the Year Award||Nykaa||Falguni Nayar||Founder & CEO|
The Lifetime Achievement Award:
|19||The Lifetime Achievement Award||Thermax||Anu Aga||Former Chairperson|