From boardrooms to the parliaments, from the sports field to Bollywood, women in India are making their presence known and how. Especially, with the world order upended by the pandemic, we have seen several examples where women have shown the determination, grit, and agility to deal with the toughest challenges head-on.

In the corporate arena, there were several instances where women leaders remained undeterred in the face of adversity and taken their companies forward. In almost all the sectors, we have seen women leaders and techies come forward and make a difference that went well beyond the profit and loss accounts of the companies they led.

This International Women’s Day, TheDataTeam brings celebrates the journey of five such inspirational women, each of which is a force to reckon with in her own right.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and MD, Biocon Limited

What better way to start the list than her. Kiran is one of the most important names whose companies Biocon and Syngene have made significant contributions to addressing the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Biocon’s novel biologic drug, Itolizumab, was among the only few drugs that were approved by DCGI for the treatment of cytokine release syndrome ( a major cause of death) in Covid-19 patients. Not only this Kiran’s company Syngene repurposed one of its labs to set up an RT-PCR-based Covid-19 testing facility. 

Syngene also developed an ELISA kit that helps identify the presence of  SARS-COV-2 antibodies in blood samples.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson HCL Technologies

Roshni is ranked eighth in the global ranking of top 25 women in IT compiled by The IT Services Report. Nadar, the chairperson of a $10-billion IT service company, HCL Technologies is the first woman chairperson of an IT service company in India. The only child of Shiv Nadar, Roshni took charge of the company in July 2020 that commands a market cap of over $30 billion. She joined the firm’s board in July 2013 and proved her worth by being a part of HCL Tech’s largest acquisition ever worth $1.8 billion.  

Zarin Daruwala, CEO of India Standard Chartered Bank

The bad economy and the poor state of the Indian banking state are known to one and all. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that despite benign the largest foreign bank network, Standard Chartered Bank’s retail arm was facing consistent losses i.e. until Daruwala took charges.

She directly oversaw the operational and financial turnaround and put a plan in place to ramp up growth, improve cost, sharpen risk management and redesign client acquisition strategy. In just a year, she was able to turn the table and register a positive operating profit swing of nearly ₹360 crores. The bank’s revenue grew by 15%, impairments reduced by 5% and the share of digital in the overall financial transactions grew from 83% in March 2019 to 92% in March 2020.

Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India       

Nivruti, the country head of Intel India has worked closely with the Indian government to monitor and combat the spread of Covid-19 in India. She led Intel India’s collaboration with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, to develop a platform that used AI, genomics, and co-morbidities for Covid-19 diagnostics and analytics. Nivuti journey from a design engineer at Intel in 1994 to Intel’s country head in 2020 is nothing short of phenomenal.

Savitha Saranathan, Director, TheDataTeam         

In a world where women in tech’ are still stereotyped, Savitha is a co-founder, partner in one of the path-breaking tech start-ups, TheDataTeam. Here, she played a key role in the development of one-of-its-kind technology ‘Cadenz, which is the market’s first customer intelligence platform’. She worked for more than a decade understanding the nuances of the corporate world, before taking on the entrepreneurial stride.  Inspired by her multi-talented and equanimous grandmother, Savitha who was from a data science background learned to and now superbly handles the legal and financial aspects of the company

TheDataTeam salutes the aspiring ladies across all walks of life and wishes each one of them a Happy Women’s Day, each day, every day!

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