01st April 2023: On March 24, 2023, India’s top business leaders and global changemakers gathered at the Forbes India Leadership Awards 2023 held at The Grand Hyatt in Mumbai to honour business leaders who have defined success in business and economy. FILA 2023, Forbes India’s flagship annual business awards distinguishes itself from the sea of business awards by focusing on people who represent transformative leadership.
“Now in its 12th edition, the Forbes India team has attempted to be consistent with the original vision of shining the spotlight on the best leaders, founders and innovators. Award categories like Outstanding Startup, Best CEO and Entrepreneur of the Year—selected by a crack jury headed by jury chair Harsh Mariwala—are thus par for the course. Yet, every year we make changes to reflect the rapidly changing times or to capture facets of significant businesses that tend to often get short shrift in the mainstream deluge. The result, is new categories like Regional Goliath, Bootstrapped Hero, Climate Warrior and Emerging Innovator,” Brian Carvalho, editor, Forbes India says.
Ruchika Shah, deputy editor, Forbes India, in her welcome address emphasised the significance of persevering and of stubborn leaders in challenging times, “If the last three years have taught us anything, it’s that plans don’t tend to work out the way you thought they might. And in an ever-changing world, if the show has to go on…you need leaders who refuse to give up in the eye of a storm, are willing to evolve, and even listen to the softest voice in the room.”
The Forbes India Leadership Awards 2023 Distinguished Keynote was delivered by Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president, The Rockefeller Foundation, and he took the stage to emphasise on the importance of leadership and collaboration to achieve a green, sustainable and inclusive future. He spoke about the pathway that India needs to take to become not only one of the world’s richest economies by 2047 but also the world’s most inclusive.“Philanthropy can play a tremendous role in reshaping the societies in which we live, making them more just, making them more inclusive, and making them live up to the ultimate Gandhian principle that every person should be treated with dignity and be given an opportunity,” he said.
The event also saw high profile panellists discuss ‘How to Unlock India’s Philanthropy Potential’, with Amit Chandra, cofounder of ATE Chandra Foundation; Luis Miranda, chairman & cofounder of Indian School of Public Policy; Upasana Kamineni Konidela, vice chairperson, CSR of Apollo Hospitals and Zarina Screwvala, cofounder, full-time managing trustee & director of Swades Foundation, on the stage, moderated by moderated by Neera Nundy, cofounder & partner at Dasra.
The evening’s momentum surged with a compelling fireside chat featuring Guneet Monga, the producer of the 2023 Oscar-winning documentary short film, ‘The Elephant Whisperers.’ At FILA 2023, Monga spoke about the business of independent films, and the importance of telling good stories. Monga expressed, “With less than 5% of women holding directorial positions, the odds are stacked against us. Our film industry is fuelled by equity and built to serve the diaspora. The equity-driven approach of this industry allows us to reach a larger audience with our content.”
FILA 2023 also saw a panel on the importance of inclusion in business, sports, and entertainment featuring, Tokyo 2020 Gold medal-winning paralympic champion and Khel Ratna Awardee, Padmashri Avani Lekhara; Meena Ganesh, chairperson, and co-founder of Portea Medical; and Sushant Divgikar aka Rani KoHEnur, performer, singer, LGBTQIA+ activist—speakers who have been trailblazers for diversity and inclusivity in their respective fields. They shared their unique journeys, learnings and perspectives on accelerating inclusion. A discussion on the valuations gam and startups saw Vinod Murli, MD & cofounder of Alteria Capital; Anand Shah, head, PMS & AIF Investments at ICICI Prudential AMC; and Sudhakar Adapa, founder & CEO of Commerzify discuss and debate their opinions.
The evening concluded with a captivating debate between Rajeev Thakkar, CIO & director of PPFAS MF, and Saugata Bhattacharya, chief economist at Axis Bank, who discussed their views on whether ‘India is immune from the global storm brewing in the markets and the economy’. The evening was truly a magnificent illustration of excellence, knowledge, and inspiration. Below is the complete list of winners for the 12th edition of the Forbes India Leadership Awards 2023-