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India Britain Trade Expo On 12 March, London

I am looking forward to participating at the India Britain Trade Expo on 12 March 2019, which takes at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in London, where I am moderating a ‘women in business’ session.

I will be joined an illustrious line-up of inspiring women that includes entrepreneur Penny Power, OBE; British banker and financial adviser Kamel Hothi, OBE; journalist and founder of the children’s charity Paint Our World based in India, Dr Priya Virmani; and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and politician Arlene Foster.

Together we will be exploring the challenges that women in business face both here in the UK and in India; are these challenges the same; what are the solutions and importantly each of the women speaking will be sharing their own experiences and stories. It promises to be an interesting and spontaneous conversation.

The backdrop to this session, is the India Britain Trade Expo, a timely event with Brexit looming, particularly as India is the world’s fastest growing trillion-dollar and poised to become the fifth largest economy overtaking the UK by 2019 according to the IMF. The wealth of opportunities for both countries to benefit from each other is enormous.

This one-day action packed event is being supported by the House of Lords, with a delegation from the Indian High Commission and is set to be one of London’s biggest trade events focused on India, where Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Deputy Mayor for business will open the Expo.

This is an event for anyone who wants to expand and go global. It will be here where conversations will happen and partnerships created. Tickets and information visit http://www.indiabritainexpo.com/ or call +44 (0)20 3693 1940

 

 

Woman At Work: #Backtoschoolweek

 

In June this year I was delighted to be approached by the Indian women’s magazine, Woman At Work for an interview about my background and career. It’s a magazine for the working woman, where in India, women constitute to more than 30% of its workforce. Working women here, have made their presence felt across sectors and professions. Woman At Work magazine is a first-of-its-kind professional magazine and with a digital platform for talented women at work in India, which launched in 2015.

The magazine aspires to go beyond the conventional domains of home and family management, instead showcasing the different aspects of an everyday career woman. Perhaps quite understandably and to be expected, within a year of its launch, the magazine reached more than 300,000 readers across India; showing how ready people were and are for – Woman At Work.

The questions asked were really thought-provoking and made me take stock of my diversity and cultural heritage. It was a great personal exercise for me to do – a chance to reflect and actually be proud of myself of how far I had come and all what I had done. Sometimes we can be really focused on providing others with encouragement and support that we can forget to do the same for ourselves. Or perhaps, we are moving from one task or challenge to another without a chance to stop and take stock, to realise how far we’ve come and to congratulate ourselves for what we’ve done.

So, it was a lovely surprise to see the magazine, which arrived through my letter box last week, during #backtoschoolweek

A great start to my new term!

 

#WorldEnvironmentDay2018

If you did not know already, today is World Environment Day – to raise awareness about protecting the environment, United Nations (UN) has designated June 5 as World Environment Day. Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern.

The theme for the World Environment Day 2018, “Beat Plastic Pollution”. Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is India.

We’re all guilty of using too much disposable plastic – and despite the EU’s plans to end all non-recyclable plastic by 2030, change can’t happen soon enough. So with the theme #BeatPlasticPollution – here’s four simple things we can all do to help clean up the planet:

 

  1. Invest In  A Canvas Bag
    Every year the world uses 500 billion plastic bags with each one taking an average of 100 years to decompose and that’s only if it’s exposed to sunlight and air, which landfill rubbish often isn’t. That means that plastic bag you are using will probably outlive us all. Instead carry a canvas bag.
  2. Say No To Straws
    Straws are the fifth most common item of rubbish – taking up to 500 years to break down! Only a fraction of plastic straws that we use for our drinks are recycled and the majority end up in landfill, in rivers and the sea, where they seriously damage marine life. The EU has proposed a total ban on plastic straws and cutlery, and many restaurants and bars have already switched to biodegradable options in a bid to help the environment.
  3. Use A Reusable Cup
    Only one in 400 coffee cups are recycled in the UK and many can’t be reprocessed due to their inner plastic coating, designed to stop the liquid making the cardboard soggy. Now coffee shops are rewarding customers for bringing in their own reusable cups. Starbucks offer customers with reusable cups 25p off their beverage, they also sell reusable cups for £1, and will soon begin to charge 5p more for takeaway paper cups; Pret and Costa give 50p off any hot drink; while Caffé Nero gives double loyalty stamps; and independent shops have their own discount schemes.
  4. Drink Tap Water
    Globally, we buy 1m plastic bottles every minute and each year 17m barrels of oil are used to produce them. Instead, invest in a reusable water-bottle.

 

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Jedimenta44

 

 

Indiaaaaaah!!

The last time I was back in Delhi was a year ago and each time I arrive back in the city, I notice how much it has changed. It’s a place that is continuously growing with new buildings, new suburbs and new brands. It’s a hub of activity and while I was there, numerous international conferences and events were taking place.

Delhi is a place that I used to know and a place that I love. It has something called the Delhi vibe, wrapped up in its own special smell of heat and dust…and so, it was here that I found on 27 April, where I stayed till 2 May. As I was fortunate to be invited to speak at two different events – the first was at the India CSR conference on CSR and Leadership, and the other was the Women’s Economic Forum (WEF) where I spoke about the power of networking, PR and social media.

At both events I was honoured to receive two different awards, but both awards acknowledging my work, for which I am very grateful.

The first accolade was the India CSR Author’s award and I have been writing on this topic globally for more than seven years…working on this topic since the 90’s. The WEF award was for an ‘Exceptional Woman of Excellence’ in my field.

Delhi is alive, vibrant and there are huge opportunities right now for doing business, collaboration, networking and creating new ideas.

On this trip to Delhi, I also took my client, LID Publishing who publishes business books, as they are keen to explore the Indian market. It was important for them to experience India, see how it operates and breathes, and of course for me to make them a few strong introductions.

And I too was making connections for my next business venture, which is an Indian British Trade Expo taking place here in London in November, which is being supported by the House of Lords. I am proud to say that Serendipity PR is one of the media sponsors for this event.

I shall leave you with this last thought – India is set to become the third largest economy in the world.

 

 

We Are The City

 

Every now and again wonderful opportunities come our way and about a few weeks ago, I was approached by the very talented Ashish Bhardwaj, who is based in New Delhi and writes for the platform ‘We Are The City’ – a news platform that supports what the it calls the ‘female pipeline’. Ashish asked if he could do a Q&A with me, and of course I said yes! I was thrilled to be on an Indian news platform that supports women; it was a huge honour.

Ashish one of those rare people who works tirelessly to connect with and interview Indian women across India and abroad; he is proud to actively be involved in empowering Indian women.

Here is the piece that was recently published, that has been well received. I hope you enjoy reading it and finding out more about me, the person behind Serendipity PR & Media and here is the piece that I am very proud of…

 

 

 

 

Serendipity PR’s Award & Recognition At The Women’s Economic Forum, Delhi

 

I have just returned from an incredible time in Delhi, India where I attended the Women’s Economic Forum as a speaker, this May. It was a privilege to be able to speak in one of my home countries and I am also honored to have been recognized by the Women Economic Forum and All Ladies League as an ‘Iconic Woman Creating Change for a Better World For ALL’.
The members of my Media and Entertainment Advisory Council were also recognized, but for me, this award was a recognition of the great work we are doing at Serendipity PR & Media.

 

There were over 2,000 delegates from 150 countries. It was a colourful, powerful and joyful event with great speakers – Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty; yoga master Baba Ramdev; acid survivor and activist Laxmi; Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati an inspirational spiritual social worker – all making positive changes in India, and so many more other great names.

 

It would be amiss of me not to mention Dr. Habeen Aurora and her husband Vinay Rai who for their visionary work on behalf of women’s empowerment, global citizenship and peace. They are a wonderful power couple behind the Forum.
My experience at this week long conference was made all the more special when I saw and experienced so many Indian women entrepreneurs of different ages with a voice; they interacted, interrupted and were full of fun in all the sessions. I wish these women were there when I lived in India in the 80’s, as I may have just stayed on in India! I also met many India female social entrepreneurs, working to empower other women in rural India.

 

But this story would not be complete without a little bit of serendipity – on the Thursday evening of the conference, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati somehow randomly sat at my table. I have always been inspired by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati’s story. How she sat at my table, was a small miracle. There were so many tables…our table wasn’t even close to the stage, but she sat there waiting to be called as a speaker. I plucked up courage and spoke to her, we connected and I am due to do a story with her, so watch this space.

 

This year I really wanted an adventure and I had one…