Free Press Journal

WOW! Celebrating ‘Women of Worth’ for their entrepreneurial skills


Mumbai: Women achievers from all walks of life were awarded at Outlook Business ‘Women of Worth’ (WOW) 2017. This recognition was not just about being an entrepreneur but also about celebrating the willpower of women who free themselves from the clutches of societal norms to emancipate women as whole.

During the glittery evening names like (alphabetical order) Aakanksha Bhargava, CEO, PM Relocations; Aditi Kothari Desai, head sales and marketing, DSP BlackRock Investment Managers; Lara Balsara Vajifdar, ED, Madison World; Lata Bajoria, owner, The Hooghly Mills; Meena Kaushik, chairman, Quantum Consumer Solutions; Monica Liu, Restaurateur; Monisha Advani, Co-founder, Emmay Entertainment; Neeru Sharma, Co-founder, Infibeam; Sandhya Chandrasekharayya, Co-founder, Indiahikes; Schauna Chauhan, CEO, Parle Agro; Vandana Mohan, Founder, The Wedding Design Company; Vidya Balan, Actor; and Zarina Screwvala, Managing Trustee, Swades Foundation, were awarded for their contribution to society.

Women, Child Welfare, Rural Development Minister of Maharashtra, Pankaja Munde gave away awards to various WOW winners. Munde also engaged in a panel discussion ‘Rise up’ which also had Swades Foundation’s Zarina Screwvala participating. Munde pointed out that India has a vast variety in people. She added there are some who live in the 12th century and some live in the 23rd century. This difference in lifestyle is not limited to women but is faced by men too. Munde stressed that the only problem is that women in India has to walk that extra mile. Presenting the same idea, Screwvala painted a different picture, she said poverty is the lack of the ability to dream. “It is lack of the ability to aspire for themselves,” Screwvala added. The foundation has trained women in 2,000 villages to become healthcare workers are even ready to work for free for the society, she added.  Screwvala shared that when these women were given money there was a fundamental change in the family, as opposed to giving it in the hands of a man.

Munde who has also worked with women through her NGO and also as the minister, believes that women should be the financial centre of the family then only the women will be respected. Adding to that, Screwvala revealed she has observed that women with money send their children to school, their children are not malnourished anymore and so. She mentioned that women working in farm contribute towards increasing productivity of the farm from 20 to 50 per cent.

Yet another interesting session was the interaction between Actor Vidya Balan and Outlook Group’s N Mahalakshmi. Balan shared her view on sexism in Bollywood and the need to take a stand around such issues. She also touched on the myth about the short career of women in film industry compared to men. Balan also congratulated the winners of WOW 2017.  The organisers kept the night going with some ramp walk and live performance.