Day 2 of Global Economic Summit on Women’s Empowerment Witnesses Tremendous Participation

Change is here! Women feel more empowered and possess the confidence to emerge as High Achievers – Minister Deepak Kesarkar

Day 2 of Global Economic Summit on Women’s Empowerment Witnesses Tremendous Participation

March 28, 2017, Mumbai: Day 2 of the Global Economic Summit on Women’s Empowerment, the flagship event of World Trade Centre Mumbai (WTC Mumbai) and All India Association of Industries (AIAI), was attended by Minister Deepak Vasant Kesarkar of the Maharashtra Government.
Mr. Vijay Kalantri, President, AIAI and Vice Chairman, WTC Mumbai, delivered the welcome note and spoke of the importance of empowering women and creating an environment beneficial to women entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the event, the Minister congratulated WTC Mumbai and AIAI for the session and spoke proudly as a representative of a district with more women than men. He discussed the many initiatives his Ministry has undertaken to increase the proportion of rural women in the workforce. He noted that change is in the air! And, political change is empowering women to the extent where they are no longer the relative of politicians but are lawmakers themselves. He noted that women are poised to emerge more powerful!

The first session for the day involved a discussion on Leadership and Women’s Foray into the Business Domain. Mr. Yonov Fredrick Agah, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva, categorically stated that governments need to frame trade policies to include the cause of furthering women’s empowerment. Global trade can lift millions of women from poverty from around the world by making them stakeholders in the process.

The thoughts were seconded by a panel made of: Ms. Brigit M. Liodden, Nor Shipping Director & Norway Trade Fairs; Ms. Damchae Dem, Founder & CEO, Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs; Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President, AVTAR I-WIN; Ms.Lakmini Wijesundera, Co-founder & CEO, IronOre Technologies, Sri Lanka; Ms. Tejal Gandhi, Founder & CEO, Money Matters; Ms. Selima Ahmad, President & Founder, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BWCCI); Ms. Mitu Samar, Founder, Eminence, a brand relationship firm; and Deepika R. Rajnoor, Founder & Lead Consultant, Image Mantra.

Ms. Liodden of Norway spoke of her journey on becoming the first female leader in the shipping industry and called for the need for visible role models for women around the world. Her work seeks to progress women in the maritime industry. Ms. Dem of Bhutan, recounted her journey as an entrepreneur making potato wafers to becoming the leader of an organization processing and suppling 200,000 metric tons of iron ore across Bhutan to various industries.

Dr. Saundarya directed the spotlight to Digital Fluency and the need for women to network, upskill and ensure that their work speaks for them. Her organization has facilitated the re-entry of 15,000 women post a career break. Ms. Ahmad of Bangladesh also noted that it is necessary for women to assert their independence and that international trade is a tool that facilitates women’s empowerment, if one is willing to look out of their safety zones.

Image consultant, Ms. Deepika R. Rajnoor stressed on the importance of projecting power and success to being a successful entrepreneur. She discussed the importance of values and how it makes the difference in establishing oneself. Ms. Samar handles reputation and brand management for large organizations, spoke of the need for women to work more proactively and prove themselves as independent thinkers and doers. She noted that women in the boardroom bring diversity and a different perspective on doing business.

The session was moderated by Ms. Chhaya Sehgal, Founder and CEO of The Winning Edge. Later, women entrepreneurs were celebrated and felicitated at an award ceremony.

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From Left to Right: Mr. Vijay Kalantri – President, All India Association of Industries and Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai, Prof. George T. Haley, Dr. Monisha Behal – Executive Director North East Network, Guwahati, Mr. T. Kalyan Chakravarthy – Founder Sevak and Executive Director, PanIIT Alumni Reach For India Foundation, Ms. Karon Shaiva – Chief Impact Officer & MD, IDOBRO, Mr. Deepak Kesarkar – Minister of State for Finance and Home in Government of Maharashtra, Ms. Rupa Naik – Director Project, WTC Mumbai, Ms. Abha Singh – Senior Advocate, Ms. Dorothy Ng’ambi Tembo – Deputy Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva, Ms. Roshini Diwakar – Leads Women Empowerment Initiative, Jagriti, Ms. Anupama Kapoor – Founder, Reboot, Ms. Pallavi Jha – Chairperson & Managing Director, Walchand People First Ltd, Mr. Yeshwant Warerkar – Executive Director, World Trade Centre, Mumbai