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Women Transforming India

Women Transforming India Awards 2019

NITI Aayog organized the Fourth Edition of the Women Transforming India Awards on 8 March 2020 and Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, presided over as the chief guest of the event and conferred the WTI Awards. WTI Awards are NITI Aayog’s initiative to highlight the commendable and ground-breaking endeavours of India’s women leaders and changemakers. Since 2018, the Awards have been hosted under the aegis of NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform with a special focus on entrepreneurship.

Launched on International Women’s Day, two years ago, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform has become a forum dedicated to educating, enabling and empowering women entrepreneurs.

The event began with a recap of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform’s journey over the last two years through a video. The event featured three spotlight speakers, Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscomm; Ms. Ani Choying Drolma, musician and women’s rights activist; and Ms. Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder and Chair, Mann Deshi Bank and Foundation who delivered spirited talks on the importance of the three pillars of WEP: Iccha Shakti, Gyan Shakti and Karma Shakti.

Addressing the audience, the Raksha Mantri emphasised on the role of women in the workforce in contributing to the economic growth of the nation. He went on to remark, 'Today's awardees have overcome financial and societal challenges to not just redefine the word entrepreneurship but also refine it. I congratulate NITI Aayog and WEP for providing women entrepreneurs with a platform to share their dreams, failures and victories with each other and grow from them.'

Today’s award ceremony recognized women across verticals of healthcare, education and food tech amongst other fields. The WTI Awards 2019 received over 2,300 applications of which the Top 30 were shortlisted through a three stage evaluation process consisting of independent assessment and Jury and Super Jury Rounds.

The cohort of WTI’s Top 30 women constitutes an impressive array of trail blazers who have led strong business models or made groundbreaking innovations, shattering the glass ceilings to achieve success.

The WTI has continuously brought to the fore, inspiring female role models who have been impacting change in the nations. This edition was no different in providing the much needed limelight for the stellar work of women-led businesses in both commercial and social sectors.

See below for the full list of winners:

  1. Dr. Priyanka Mokshmar is the co-founder of Vaayu Home Appliances. Vaayu provides economically affordable and environmentally feasible alternatives to traditional AC units across India - selling their products from Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra and Delhi.
  2. Ramya Venkataraman’s Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA) has created a certification framework that allows for teachers’ skills and competency to be assessed as well as improved.
  3. Shilpi Kapoor started BarrierBreak, a company focused on the accessibility of technology for those with disabilities. The company uses digital access as a way to bridge some of the challenges differently-abled people face daily.
  4. Rinka Banerjee’s Thinking Forks is a consulting organisation, with expertise in the food and nutrition industry which has allowed them to create products to combat acute malnutrition; a program aligned with the Indian Government’s public health efforts.
  5. Nidhi Pant combats the issue around waste and farmer living standards, through her Science for Society team,’s innovative idea of selling dehydrated vegetable snacks.
  6. Anupriya Balikai’s Spookfish Innovations has created a standard for products and ensure quality control for food packaging. Via inspection machines that are retrofitted and integrated into existing manufacturing lines
  7. Kalpana Sankar, with a double doctorate in Nuclear Physics and Gender Issues, through her organization Hand in Hand is empowering the most marginalised and impoverished women in India through capacity building and training.
  8. Khushboo Jain created ImpactGuru which is a crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals,NGOs and social enterprises, by helping them raise funds for healthcare, social, and personal needs, from family, friends as well as strangers.
  9. Sneha Sundaram’s company Kutuki focuses on bridging the learning gap that exists in Indian pre-schools through their mobile application, which has garnered over 50,000 users till date and attempts to use data to
  10. Jayanti Pradhan is an agro-processor and farmer from Odisha who has been educating women in her community and equipping them with the tools and knowledge of mushroom farming to enable them to become financially independent.
  11. Jugnu Jain is the founder and CSO, of Sapien Biosciences which is addressing this need for tissue-banks in India by successfully using medical waste to create medical innovations.
  12. Pratyusha Pareddy founded her startup, NemoCare, in 2017. Her company aims to combat infant mortality and promote neonatal care.
  13. Poonam Bir Kasturi started the Daily Dump which is building products and services for decentralised waste management in homes, community offices and public spaces.
  14. Ruchi Jain founded Taru Naturals which focuses on sustainable agriculture, striving to empower a network of small-scale farmers by leveraging upon India’s ancient wisdom and sustainable agricultural practices
  15. Sujata Sahu’s 17000 ft Foundation is a social enterprise focused on providing education and exposure to the communities in the most rural and isolated regions of Ladakh.
  16. Dr Praveen Nair is a Founder Trustee of Salaam Baalak Trust that has successfully worked in rehabilitating over 81,000 destitute and homeless children. Ms. Nair received the Special Jury Award.




Women Transforming India Awards 2018

Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards is one of the flagship events of NITI Aayog, launched in 2016 as an online contest.  And organized in partnership with United Nations. The idea behind WTI Awards is to award and showcase exceptional women entrepreneurs who have broken the glass ceiling and have challenged stereotypes through businesses, enterprises, and initiatives that provide innovative solutions to address key development challenges and/or impact communities.


The campaign recognizes women, who are flag bearers of the next wave of innovations and aims to connect them with potential business opportunities, through NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), a unified access portal to help women realise their entrepreneurial aspirations.


2018 saw the third edition of the awards, receive an overwhelming number of nominations — more than 2500, demonstrating an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit amongst women in India. Each story was screened and evaluated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on pre-determined parameters, to create a shortlist of qualified entries. The shortlisted entries were further screened through a two-tiered process – an online jury with nine area experts and a super jury of 24 industry leaders. The super jury declared 15 winners based on their combined score. The winners were felicitated by the Hon’ble Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu at an event on 16 December, 2018 in New Delhi.


Watch interviews of winners 2018

Stories of Women Entrepreneurs  2018

Women Transforming India, 2017 - Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Women Transforming India Awards 2016

Women Transforming India, 2017 - Breaking The Glass Ceiling



The theme for International Women’s Day, 8th March 2017, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. This advances the Government of India’s commitment to ensure Gender Parity in India, with special focus on women’s economic empowerment. India has taken bold steps towards creating new opportunities of job creation, entrepreneurship, skill building and access to new industries particularly ICT, through its national initiatives like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Skill India, Make In India and Digital India.


NITI Aayog’s 15 year Vision Document, which will replace the five-year plans in India, also proposes key reforms to encourage women’s workforce participation across sector in India. This is also in line with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals being steered by NITI Aayog.


Achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, rests upon unlocking the full potential of women in the world of work. When economies are geared towards achieving women’s rights and gender equality, the benefits, such as fairer societies and greater economic growth, accrue to everyone.


In 2016, NITI Aayog, in partnership with the United Nations India and MyGov, launched the first-ever Women Transforming India, an online contest to crowd source stories of women making a difference, in form of essays. This year again, NITI Aayog is launching the Women Transforming India campaign to recognize powerful women of India’s workforce, who are influencing positive change in their communities and furthering the Government of India’s mission of inclusive economic growth.


Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work implies not only empowering female entrepreneurs and business owners, but also recognizing women’s unpaid care, domestic work and the overwhelming majority of women in the informal economy.


This year, NITI Aayog, along with the UN in India and MyGov, launches the campaign to award inspiring women from across India through entries in two categories:

Short video and photo contest on Women Breaking Gender Stereotypes: This can be a homemade video shot on the mobile phone. Both photos and videos are to be accompanied with a short caption (not over 50 words) encapsulating the story of the woman. Written entries of women in the workforce, across sectors, irrespective of their educational qualifications. We encourage stories of women working in non-traditional occupations and women who are working to empower other women, their neighborhoods/society in anyway. (Stories should not exceed 500 words.)



Stories of Courage, Inspiration & Change



Women Transforming India Awards 2016: Celebrating Women Change Makers



On International Women’s Day 2016, NITI Aayog, in partnership with MyGov and the United Nations in India, launched the first-ever ‘Women Transforming India’, an online contest to crowdsource stories of women making a difference, in form of essays.


Women Transforming India was launched with the aim to celebrate the indomitable spirit of women working tirelessly to empower communities and transform India. The campaign is also consistent with the government’s renewed commitment to advance gender equality. The many interventions, including Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana and Janani Suraksha Yojana are testimony to its resolve to empower its girls and women, and tackle discrimination.


Launched on 8 March, the contest was hosted on and ran till 15 April. The contest was supported by an extensive outreach campaign, including social media - #WomenTransform, print ads in local newspapers, talks on MyGov, posters and more. A number of prominent individuals including Smriti Irani, Minister of Textiles, Dr Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Saina Nehwal, Olympic medalist in Badminton, Sania Mirza, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Aishwarya Dhanush, UN Women Advocate for Gender Equality, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator delivered special messages in support of the campaign, which were shared extensively on social media.


Stories came pouring in…

The campaign received nearly 1,000 entries of exceptional girls and women across India who are breaking new ground by empowering themselves or others. After a rigorous process of shortlisting, 25 stories were put to poll on MyGov to select the top 12 stories. 


A high-powered jury comprising of Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator; Chanda Kochhar, CEO, ICICI Bank; Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman, Biocon and Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, MyGov also ranked each of the 25 stories. 

Finally, 12 winners were declared based on the combined score of the jury and the online poll. 


Winners of Women Transforming India, 2016