There has been a steady rise of women up the corporate ladder. We at Business Today know that very well, since we were the first publication to highlight the achievements of women in Indian business starting 2003. Last year, we widened the scope to identify women who are making an impact at the grassroots level.
We start off the process for identifying the Most Powerful Women (MPW) in June with an initial list of 150-odd women, many of who have featured in our list in earlier years. That's when BT editors and reporters suggest names of women who have made a difference over the last fiscal. But, locating the women who have made a social impact was difficult, since there is not much available on them in the public domain. Our team did the groundwork to identify these women based on the impact they have created.
In the second phase, a BT team evaluates each of these women on their performance - backed by our Principal Research Analyst Niti Kiran. Post that, the senior editors shortlisted 71 women in business and 30 in the impact categories. This list was presented to a power-packed jury that included Rashesh Shah, Chairman, Edelweiss Group; Shailesh Haribhakti, Chairman, MentorCap Management; Jayshree Vyas, MD, Sewa Bank; Ashok Wadhwa, Group CEO, Ambit Capital; historian Gita Piramal; and Madhukar Kamath, Chairman Emeritus, DDB Mudra Group.
This jury, after two hours of deliberation, identified the winners. The list of winners includes first generation entrepreneurs, marketing wizards, banking leaders and deal makers. This year, besides 12 fresh entrants in the business category, we have two women - Zarin Daruwala and Aruna Jayanthi- winning the award for the seventh time, and entering the BT Hall of Fame, and, of course being consistent performers. But, the big difference is the list of Impact Women, many of whom are well known names for the work that they are doing at the ground level.