kotak mahindra bank: ET Prime Women Leadership Awards 2023: Unveiling our eminent jury

ET is proud to reveal the initial list of names of our distinguished jury for ET Prime Women Leadership Awards 2023 – India’s most illustrious awards conferred upon present-day and next-generation women leaders who personify the spirit of excellence in business, entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership.

This year’s jury includes Shanti Ekambaram – Group President, Consumer Banking and Member of Group Management Council, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Naina Lal Kidwai – Chairperson, India Sanitation Coalition & Chairperson, Rothschild & Co, India; Devina Mehra – Chairperson and Managing Director, First Global; Amit Chandra – Managing Director, Bain Capital; Karthik Reddy – Managing Partner, Blume Ventures; Dr (Prof) Vikram Singh – Former DGP, UP; Puneet Gupt – COO, Times Internet Limited; Abha Singh – Advocate and Women’s Rights Activist; and Vaishali Nigam Sinha – Co-Founder & Chairperson – Sustainability, ReNew; Founding Chair, ReNew Foundation.

ET Special

Diving into the ever-evolving paradigm of women in leadership, the ET Prime Women Leadership Awards (ETPWLA) has – over the past three editions – recognised and celebrated leaders who have defined the benchmark of success for women in business and paved the way for millions of others to overcome challenges and continue to raise the bar to wield the baton of excellence. ETPWLA 2023
The ETPWLA initiative, which is currently in its fourth edition, will celebrate and recognise women leaders, trailblazers, and changemakers for their achievements and the important milestones reached by them in the past year.

The current edition of ET Prime Women Leadership Awards 2023, which has received a record number of over 5,000 nominations across the 16 award categories, boasts an impressive jury line-up comprising eminent personalities across business, banking and finance, investment, tech and entrepreneurship, law, uniform, and social advocacy and governance.

This year, ETPWLA includes some new award categories that expand the scope of the initiative beyond corporate India and into the services, social advocacy, and governance realm, and as such, the ETPWLA 2023 jury has been expanded to include influential leaders and changemakers from these fields.

The new award categories include Women Pioneer of the Year, DEI Ally of the Year, Women Leader of the Year in (Civil & Defence) Services, and Women Leader of the Year in Governance. These additions were made based on the feedback and recommendations made by past jury members, previous edition participants, and industry leaders.

ETPWLA Award categoryET Special

With Accord India as Knowledge Partner, the latest edition of ET Prime Women Leadership Awards 2023 initiative is powered by Sequoia Spark and has Maersk and Accrete Executive Search as Associate Partners; Hero MotoCorp as Mobility Partner; GAIL and Siemens as Bronze Partners.

The initial shortlisting of nominations will be carried out by ET Editors along with Knowledge Partner Accord India, followed by a rigorous evaluation process by the jury panel, with the aim of acknowledging the efforts and achievements of women in different sectors as well as encouraging more women to take on leadership roles to pave the path for a more equitable society.

Meet the ETPWLA 2023 jury

  • Shanti Ekambaram: As Whole-time Director at Kotak Mahindra Bank, Shanti Ekambaram oversees Treasury, 811 (zero balance digital account) and corporate functions including Human Resources, Group Marketing and Corporate Communications, Public Affairs, Vigilance, and Financial Inclusion. Ekambaram is part of the bank’s Group Management Council that drives Kotak Mahindra Group’s growth charter. She has been associated with Kotak Mahindra Group for over 30 years and has been responsible for successfully setting up and running several business units, steering them to a position of market leadership.
  • Naina Lal Kidwai: Naina Lal Kidwai is Chairman of Rothschild India, Senior Advisor of Advent Private Equity, a non-executive Director on the boards of global and Indian companies, and past President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). She is also the Chairperson of India Sanitation Coalition. She retired as Executive Director on the board of HSBC Asia-Pacific and Chairman of HSBC India. An MBA from Harvard Business School, she is the recipient of several international and Indian awards and honours including the Padma Shri for her contribution to Trade and Industry.
  • Devina Mehra: Devina Mehra is Chairperson and Managing Director of global asset management firm First Global, which manages over $700 million in assets in India and globally using a unique Human + Machine model. She spearheaded First Global’s globalisation over 20 years ago, making First Global the first Asian (ex-Japan) firm to become a member of the London Stock Exchange and then the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). She has identified many turning points in the markets in her role as research head and global strategist.
  • Amit Chandra: Amit Chandra is the Chairperson and Founder of Bain Capital’s India Office and was a part of the Asia leadership team for over a decade. Prior to this, he spent most of his professional career at DSP Merrill Lynch, India’s leading investment bank at that time, and retired as its Managing Director (MD) and Board Member in 2007. Chandra has served on the boards of some large companies including Tata Sons, Piramal Enterprises, Genpact, Emcure, and L&T Finance. In the not-for-profit sector, he has served as a trustee of the Tata Trusts; as Chairperson of Give India and The Akanksha Foundation; is a founder/trustee of Ashoka University; as a member of the advisory boards of Bridgespan India, and the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy. Chandra has or continues to serve on multiple committees constituted by the central and state governments relating to finance, NITI Aayog, CSR, and economic affairs.
  • Karthik Reddy: Karthik Reddy is a Co-founder and Managing Partner at Blume Ventures, one of India’s pre-eminent early-stage venture funds. Reddy also serves as the Chairperson of the Executive Committee at the IVCA (India’s Venture and Alternative Capital Association)—India’s apex association for Venture & PE Funds working alongside the Indian Government in policy and regulatory issues concerning alternative investment funds. At Blume, Reddy has led and/or serves on the boards of some of the leading investments at the firm: Unacademy, Grey Orange, Dunzo, Healthifyme, Servify, Smallcase, IntrCity, Exotel, and Webengage, amongst other emerging stars.
  • Dr (Prof) Vikram Singh: Former officer of Indian Police Service (IPS) 1974 batch and former Director General of Police – Uttar Pradesh (The largest police force in the world), Dr Vikram Singh is one of the most highly decorated police officers in the country, who has relentlessly fought against national, international terrorist outfits and organised crime syndicates. Dr Singh has directly worked for the modernisation and induction of state-of-the-art technology to make police effective and people-friendly. Rated as a star trainer and speaker on issues related to security, man-management, crisis resolution, team building, values and ethics, Dr Singh is currently working as Chancellor of Noida International University.
  • Abha Singh: A former civil servant-turned-lawyer, Abha Singh presently practices at the Bombay High Court and is a renowned social activist for her considerable work in the realm of women’s rights, gender equality and justice. Recognising the power of women’s rights for the development of the nation, Singh founded Rann Samar Foundation, which works primarily in rural areas to provide vocational skills to women and girls for financial inclusion; free legal assistance to helpless women and slum dwellers, among other pertinent causes.
  • Puneet Gupt: With a formidable career in building, growing, optimising and investing in digital businesses that matter, Puneet Gupt is the COO of Times Internet. Gupt, who took on the role of COO in 2018, joined Times Internet in 2012 as Vice-President and Business Head, The Times of India Digital (Web & Mobile) and was elevated to the role of COO and Business Head, News in 2016. Gupt has built and led 15+ category-leading businesses including those in media and media tech, ad tech, fintech, food tech, gaming, loyalty, business to business (B2B), software as a service (SaaS) and classifieds. He is also an active angel investor and his investments span healthtech, mediatech, nutrition and wellness, and B2B commerce.
  • Vaishali Nigam Sinha: Co-Founder and Chairperson of Sustainability at ReNew, a Nasdaq-listed global renewable energy company, and the Founding Chair of ReNew Foundation, Vaishali Nigam Sinha is a pioneer in advancing the net-zero agenda and in steering corporate social responsibility initiatives in the remotest corners of India. The initiatives are estimated to have positively impacted more than 6,50,000 lives across 250 villages in the country. Under her leadership, the company has emerged as a global environmental, social, and governance (ESG) entity advancing the net-zero agenda. Championing the cause of sustainable and inclusive development, she sits on the Board of the UN Global Compact Network India and is the chairperson of their Gender Committee. Sinha is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s South Asia Regional Action Group.

*This article will be updated with more jury names.
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