The felicitation ceremony of 18th Business Today Most Powerful Women in Business awards was held on the evening of March 12, on the lawns of the Taj Lands End hotel in Mumbai.
Apart from a galaxy of powerful and influential women gracing the ceremony to collect their awards, the evening was also host to some superstars of business: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta (Facebook); K.V. Kamath, Chairperson, National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development; Uday Kotak, MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank; and Aaditya Thackeray, Cabinet Minister of Tourism and Environment, Government of Maharashtra.
In addition, Business Today’s top leadership was in attendance in full strength, including Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the India Today Group; Rahul Kanwal, Executive Director, Business Today and News Director, TV Today Network; Sourav Majumdar, Editor, Business Today; Siddharth Zarabi, Managing Editor of Business Today TV; Business Today magazine’s Managing Editors Alokesh Bhattacharyya and Anand Adhikari; Alok Nair, Chief Revenue Officer, Business Today; Aayush Ailawadi, Technology Editor and Presenter, Business Today TV; and Aabha Bakaya, Senior Editor & Presenter, Business Today TV.
Apart from the award presentation to the winners, the evening also saw some exciting intellectual sessions. Two deep-dive panel discussions – on New-Age Women Leaders and on Diversity in Organizations provided much food for thought to the august audience. The panels debated around the shortage of women in middle and senior management positions, despite their higher numbers in education. The panelists also felt that apart from having a regulation (Companies Act) that mandates having a woman in every Board, what is also needed is to inculcate a culture of gender inclusion in the workforce of organizations. Plus, men were seen as active participants in this transformation, and not necessarily a negative force.
The celebrated panelists included Dipali Goenka, CEO & Joint Managing Director, Welspun India; Jyoti Deshpande, CEO, Viacom18; Anjali Bansal, Founder, Avaana Capital; Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder, LXME; Ashima Goyal, Member, RBI Monetary Policy Council, Vibha Padalkar, MD and CEO, HDFC Life, Suparna Mitra, CEO, Watches and Wearables Division, Titan Company, and Parizad Sirwalla, Partner and National Head - Tax, Global Mobility Services, KPMG in India.
Apart from these two panels, the evening also saw intense fireside chats with three luminaries - K.V. Kamath, Chairperson, National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development; Uday Kotak, MD & CEO of the bank; and Aaditya Thackeray, Maharashtra’s Cabinet Minister of Tourism and Environment.
The 18th edition of the Business Today Most Powerful Women in Business awards listing this year had a record 17 debutants, reflecting the democratic spread of women leadership across industries, including traditionally male-dominated ones such as the alcohol industry (Hina Nagarajan of Diageo India), steel (Soma Mondal of SAIL), and regulation (Ashima Goyal of RBI Monetary Policy Committee).
As Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the India Today Group, so aptly put it: “This year’s listing has a mix of great women leaders across multiple industries and regulatory bodies. Today, no industry dominates the list, because women are succeeding everywhere. That can only be good for the country and its economy.”