Women’s Day Celebrations 08.03.2019

International Women’s Day was a special occasion at IIM Visakhapatnam, in celebration of womanhood. Several key events marked the day.

Dr B R L Row, an eminent scientist in the field of Chemistry and a native of Visakhapatnam, announced a large donation in memory of his late daughter Ms Vani Row, who was an alumna of IIM Ahmedabad. Late Ms Vani had a distinguished career in consulting and investment banking in India and the US, working for renowned corporations like Boeing, Columbia University, Citibank and Bank of New York. She returned to India after about a decade and half of successful stint in the US and headed a Securities firm in Bangalore. She had an untimely demise at a young age of 47, in 2017. Dr Row and his younger brother Dr Rama Mohan Gandhi, a retired Professor & HoD of Electrical & Electronics Engineering of BHU Varanasi recalled Ms Vani’s hunger for knowledge in topics beyond the normal curricula, her childlike innocence, fertile-mind, winning-attitude and fine judgment. Dr Row and Professor Gandhi were accompanied by their nephew Shri V Veda Vyas, a well-known industrialist.

The Donation made was for two objectives, one, for constructing a building in the permanent campus of IIM Visakhapatnam worth Rs.4.0 Cr. in memory of Late Ms Vani; and the other, as a Gold Medal to be presented every year to the girl student standing first in the MBA program.

Ms. Malavika R Harita, Chief Guest for the occasion, was the first ever distinguished alumna of IIM Bangalore and a Member on the Board of IIM Visakhapatnam. She won the first Gurukul Chevening Scholarship for Leadership Excellence. In her career spanning over twenty-five years in top leadership roles such as CEO of the Saatchi & Saatchi Group, she built the company as a knowledge-based communications agency driven by innovation, in traditional, digital as well as in new media. Ms Harita shared her experiences from her stints at Columbia Business School, MIT Sloan School, London School of Economics, as well as from her workplaces. She shared valuable tips on women becoming successful in educational and work careers and in the life at large. Later, in her interaction with the cohort of about 25 aspiring women-entrepreneurs whose business ideas are being incubated at the IIM, she shared her insights in the value of availing mentoring in domains such as branding and business development. Drawing on her experiences in many verticals like manufacturing, banking, pharma, healthcare etc, she drove home the importance of SWOT Analysis, coping with challenges, living with resolve and dignity, being realistic, flexible, resilient, perseverant and confident.

Believe in yourself, have a point of view and build your identity on your credibility! Was her piece of advice in conclusion.

Earlier, welcoming the distinguished guests and addressing the gathering, Director Prof Chandrasekhar acknowledged the immense help the donation would provide to the student community and the Institute at large. He recalled the Board of Governors placing on record Dr Row’s remarkable kindness, generosity, philanthropic bent of mind and commitment to charity. The Director assured Dr Row that the iconic facility that would come up with the donation would spread the light of learning and perpetuate the memory of late Ms Vani. She will eternally be alive in the hearts of all the students who will continue to benefit from this large donation. Ms Vani will always be remembered as an inspiring role-model for success in life.

Prof Chandrasekhar also highlighted in his address, the continuing commitment of the Institute to gender diversity and development. He highlighted the positive role and contribution of the Central Government schemes like the MUDRA Yojana and Stand-up India, in empowering women. Prof. Deepika Gupta proposed a vote of thanks.

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