Sandberg, industry leaders at ExpressAWE today

With the economy in general malaise and most lives upended by the pandemic, the times have been the toughest for women in workplaces. It is with good reason, therefore, that Financial Express chose to institute ExpressAWE – Awards to Women Entrepreneurs.

Put together, in its inaugural year in partnership with FICCI FLO and with Ernst & Young as knowledge partners, ExpressAWE is to recognise the grit and perseverance of those inspiring women entrepreneurs who not only held their ground but also forged ahead and created an impact in their respective domains. All of it is to unfold on Friday when the winners will be announced across eight categories — e-commerce, technology, social impact, education & skill development, health & wellness, media & entertainment, fashion & lifestyle, food & beverages, travel & hospitality. Apart from these, there are the FICCI-FLO excellence award and special awards for lifetime achievement, newsmaker of the year and the Legacy spin-off.

But what makes the Friday evening function a not-to-miss treat is the thought sharing and insightful discussions that are to unfold with iconic global and Indian business leaders. The evening is to begin with Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Meta, in conversation with Anant Goenka, executive director, The Indian Express Group. This will be followed by discussion on what is enabling and hindering the ‘Power of Her’ by Indian industry veterans and the grand jury members who chose the winners in the organisation /established business category. They are: Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC, Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairperson & CEO, Salesforce India, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon and Biocon Biologics, Preetha Reddy, vice chairperson, Apollo Hospitals and Zia Mody, co-founder  and managing partner, AZB Partners.

A highlight of the evening will be a conversation between ExpressAWE Newsmaker of the year, Nykaa founder and CEO Falguni Nayar and the lifetime achievement award winner Anu Aga, former chairperson, Thermax.

Not to miss will be the award recipients in the rising category — under 10-year-old business entities or start-ups across the eight categories with winners selected by Financial Express & FICCI Flo and audited by Ernst & Young. These rising stars, as it were, are those to watch out in the many months and years ahead. FE

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