Mumbai: Forbes India released its “W-Power Trailblazers” issue this weekend, featuring 25 women stars, on the ascendency in business. Now in its second edition, the issue places the spotlight on female role models: entrepreneurs and professionals who are driving businesses, shattering stereotypes and aiming high.
We need to specify that this is not a ranking but a qualitative selection – a grouping of ground breakers, game-changers and innovators working across diverse sectors such as technology, law, banking, insurance, media, biotech and the startup sector.
In order to make the selection, our jury of hall-of-famers – Vinita Bali, Naina Lal Kidwai, Zia Mody, Kalpana Morparia, Swati Piramal, Ashu Suyash and Ireena Vittal- whittled down a longlist provided to them by the Forbes India team. The criteria to consider included: The women-entrepreneurs or professionals-had to be rising stars in business, they should have achieved something significant over the last calendar year, their business models had to be robust, entrepreneurs had to have raised external funding or if bootstrapped, had to have a path to profits, and importantly, they had to be role models in terms of setting the tone of what is possible. The final list of 25 was identified based on jury votes.
“Mandated quotas smack of tokenism, and we have as many women who favour reservations as those who would like merit to be the decider,” says Brian Carvalho, Editor, Forbes India, referring to the lack of women on company boards. “It’s the latter that Forbes India’s W-Power Trailblazers list of 25 women achievers celebrates.”
Daring is the common thread uniting all these extraordinary women. Gender doesn’t shackle them, neither does self-doubt. They bet big, have a higher purpose and are unafraid of failure. A lack of role models is often cited as one of the hurdles that prevent women From reaching the top, but together, these 25 women provide hope that having more female role models is actually not a far-off dream.
Speaking on the launch, Joy Chakraborthy, CEO-Forbes India and President – Revenue, Network18 said, “With the overwhelming response that we received for the first edition of W-Power last year, a second edition was imminent. Forbes India is pleased to unleash this special issue that profiles twenty-five rising women stars in business. This issue is unique because of the methodology used in selection of the leaders. We believe that this list cannot be ranked hence we adopt a qualitative approach – a grouping of leaders, game-changers and innovators who are driving businesses, shattering stereotypes and aiming high. This is what makes the Forbes W-Power Trailblazers issue so exclusive.”