Come Friday, March 24th , and there will be a rare coming together digitally of some of the finest minds from the entrepreneurship arena – both globally and from India. The link node for this rather unique alignment of entrepreneurial leadership is the Express Awards for Women Entrepreneurs, or what we often refer to in short as, the ‘ExpressAWE.’
While the event is essentially to recognise and honour women entrepreneurs, it is a power-packed package offering a lot more. There are to be insightful sessions on the women entrepreneurial landscape with thought-sharing, idea-swapping and guidance by some of the highly regarded entrepreneurs and role models in their own right.
The programme, that can be accessed on FinancialExpress.com site at 4 PM, is to unfold with Indra Nooyi, the global business leader, author and former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo in conversation with Anant Goenka, executive director of the Indian Express Group. Anant Goenka follows this up with an interaction on the subject of women entrepreneurship (the ‘power of her’, as we like to call) with Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC
Despite all the pious talk about women empowerment and entrepreneurship, there is no denying that it is still a tilted playing field for women globally. They are not just thinly represented in leadership roles but also happen to be those who took a big hit during the pandemic. The global instability and economic uncertainties that followed only added to the challenges.
Apart from the ground reportage during the pandemic, which made this quite palpable, there have been studies by leading global consultancy firms, pointing to a pull back by women from the workforce. All of this, made it imperative for Financial Express Online to embark last year on a journey to recognise and honour women entrepreneurs.
Therefore, in partnership with FICCI FLO, ExpressAWE took shape last year. The aim being to celebrate the achievement of those women entrepreneurs who not just stood their ground but also forged ahead and made a mark and became an inspiration for others.
In both the inaugural edition last year and in the second edition this year, leaders from India Inc., Deepak Parekh, Zia J. Mody, Preetha Reddy were the grand jury members with Meher Pudumjee also joining them this year.
The awards are across select categories like e-commerce, education and skill development, pharma, finance, social impact, fashion and lifestyle, wellness, hospitality. There is also an award for a legacy spin-off – a woman entrepreneur, who is from a family-led business with a huge legacy but has made her mark. That apart, there is also to be a lifetime achievement award for a woman entrepreneur, who has made a huge impact and is an inspiration with her long list of achievements.
Apart from the ‘established category’, awards are also for women entrepreneurs from the ‘rising category’ – that is businesses that have been younger and in existence for less than a decade.
The jury members for this are some of the award winners from the ‘established category’ last year and include – Ameera Shah, managing director, Metropolis Healthcare
The entries for the awards were all vetted by Deloitte and there were also the nominations for the various categories and the jury members, who were all very generous with their time and saw merit in the effort by Financial Express, finally chose the winners.