Every successful nation’s story is written by confident individuals and organisations that dare to dream and lead. India’s rise on the world map is the result of the hard work of these individuals, who’ve worked relentlessly for years. As the world toasts us, it’s imperative, then, to raise a toast to these visionaries who made this happen. On December 21, at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai, these stars were honoured at WCRC’s Pride of India ceremony.
World Consulting and Research Corporation (WCRC) has, for years now, dedicated immense time and research into studying India’s growth story and honouring those who’ve propelled its growth. Fast on the heels of its very prestigious trophies like Asia’s Most Promising Brands, Global Indian Excellence Summit, Most Valuable Brands, Asia’s Most Admired Brands, India’s Most Promising Brands, Brand of the Year and India’s Most Valuable Workplace, Pride of India focuses on recognising the work of leaders from diverse fields such as entertainment, business, sports, social work, arts and literature.
Lord Raj Loomba of the Loomba Foundation, the Chief Guest for the Summit, welcomed the august gathering with a rich opening message, where he highlighted just how crucial it is to recognise great work, to keep the wheels of society running. This was followed by an invigorating panel discussion on “Modernisation Approach with huge influx of local brands – what are the new marketing challenges for the icons and peeping toms”.
The panel was attended by Mr. Ajay Dang –Marketing Head Godrej Consumer Products, Mr.Sandeep Kothari – VP Marketing Titan, Mr. Siddharth Mukherjee – Director Marketing Mondelez, Mr. Puneet Anand – Marketing Director Hyundai, wherein the very learned panelists engaged shared their experience and predictions for the coming years. The much awaited Gala Evening then opened with the grand book launch of Brand Of The Year Emerging No1. The book commemorates the work of the award winners in a beautifully designed coffee table book that’ll add value to every room that it’s kept in.
The Award Ceremony, which had a special focus on awarding the women of India who’ve fueled India’s growth with their achievements, honoured India’s crème de la crème. Some of the Pride For Women award winners were Ms. Nadia Chauhan (CMO Parle Agro Industries), Mrs. Kiran Nadar (Trustee Shivnadar Foundation), Ms. Apurva Prohit (CEO Jagaran Group), Ms. Gunjan Jain (Author/Blogger), Ms. Adhuna Bhabani (BBlunt), Roshmitha Harimurthy (Miss Universe India 2016), Ms. Susanne Khan (The Charcoal Project), Ms. Farah Khan Ali (Jewelry Designer), Ms. Taapsee Pannu (Actor), Ms. Simi Grewal (Actor) & Ms. Shradha Sharma (Founder & Editor-In-Chief – Your Story). They all thanked the organisers for recognizing their work. This was followed by a one-of-its-kind fashion show, helmed by India’s most eminent names. Designed in association with First Step, Lakshyam and Lord Loomba Foundation, the fashion show was themed on ‘Empowering the Girl Child Today, to Building Women Leaders of Tomorrow’. Underprivileged children walked the ramp, hand-in-hand with India’s top models. The show was cheered on by the likes of Anupam Kher, Sussanne Khan, Farah Khan Ali, Shibani Kashyap, Varun Bhal, Arti Surendranath, Mughda Godse, Rohit Roy, Rajeev Khandelwal & Taapsee Pannu.
The night continued with the much-coveted Marketing Mastermind Awards. The recipients included Chandrashekhar Rashakrishnan (Sr. VP Nestle), Vipul Prakash (CMO – PepsiCo), Nikhil Davda (Marketing Head – Lakme), Sandeep Kulhani (Sr. VP – Titan), Jitin Paul (CMO – Bharti Axa), Anant Pejawar (ED Marketing, – SBI Life Insurance), Manmeet Vohra (Director, Marketing – Tata Starbucks), Kartik Kalla (EVP – Radio City), Debasis Sarkar (Marketing Head – Cipla), Saumitra Prasad (CMO Kokuyo Camlin), Bedraj Tripathi (VP – Godrej Interio), V.S. Mehta (VP – Donear), Rajesh Nambiar (CMO- Birla Sun Life) and Siddharth Mukherjee (Director, Marketing – Modelez).
A special section was devoted in recognizing the brands that are going to further fuel India’s growth story. Top 50 brands were honoured with The Brand of the Year Emerging No1 accolade. This announcement was followed by an engaging session on Corporate Social Responsibility, where the business leaders discussed not just its growing importance, but also how they were using their might to make a difference.
A bevy of beauties were bestowed with Women of Substance Awards, for their contribution to their professions. The winners included, amongst others, Anu Ranjan, Krushnaa Patil, Gunjan Jain, Parineeta Sethi, Anjana Kuthiala, Parul Mahajan, Nisha Jamwal, Shibani Kashyap, Dimple Luniya, Mehra Gehna and Farhana.
UK Parliamentarian Lord Raj Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman-Trustee, The Loomba Foundation “I am privileged to be here at the Pride of India Summit hosted by WCRC which inspires Indians to expand their contribution to nation-building and make the country proud by causing impact on this planet. When my mother became a widow in Punjab, she had to face several hardships. She was my inspiration behind starting The Loomba Foundation, with an intention to provide support to poor widows who are the victims of double discrimination – they have to feed and educate their family single-handedly, and often get ostracized and abused by their own relatives and the society. My heart is filled with humility to note all that The Loomba Foundation has achieved in the last 20 years. More than the global recognitions, we have provided scholarships to over 10,000 children of poor widows and are now empowering 15,000 impoverished widows through sewing machines projects in India. As there are estimated over 46 million widows in India, our work is like a drop in the ocean and there is much more to be done. The United Nations recognized 23 June as the International Widows Day, which helped increase awareness on the needs of impoverished widows exponentially. As I invite you to support our cause, I want to share my learning so you become the next Pride of India – mere intention will not help forward a cause. Just focus on your actions, and pride will automatically follow.”
Ecstatic after winning the award, Madam Grace Pinto, MD Ryan Group said, ““I’m pleased and honored to receive this award and thank our Lord Jesus Christ for this prestigious recognition. At the Ryan International Group of Institutions, we have always aspired to go beyond mere academics to contribute positively to the society. I accept this award on behalf of the entire Ryan Family, our staff, teachers, students and well-wishers. I thank WCRC for recognizing the contributions made by the Ryan Group to society.””
Mr. Abhimanyu Ghosh, Editor-In-Chief, WCRC said, “The list of awardees was created after months and months of research, study and analysis. These honorees were picked after considering many important factors such as results, ethics and the work culture they’ve created. Every person & brand who walks in this room tonight, is a true achiever. Our team has worked hard to make this night the success that it is. The encouragement we’ve received tonight will fuel us to make our next chapter even more grand!”
Ms. Kiran Nadar, Trustee Shiv Nadar Foundation & Founder KNMA said, “I would like to thank WCRC for the award given to me and the museum. The Kiran Nadar Museum of Arts was started 6 years ago and we are trying to bridge the gap between people and art. Since we have a great heritage of Art in India, we felt that there must be some effort made to fine tune this. I would once again like to thank the World Consulting and Research Corporation for the award given to me in recognising the work that has been done by KNMA”.
The elite gathering exchanged notes and numbers, as they discussed their visions and ideas over a lavish spread of delectable food. The evening went on till the wee hours, when the winners and participants finally decided to head home. But not without their trophies and the will to continue making India a better place!
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