In a glittering ceremony with emotion-packed moments and a soul-stirring musical performance, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented BusinessLine’s Changemaker of the Year award to Bharat Biotech for its stirring work during the pandemic in producing a homegrown vaccine in super quick time. The prodigiously talented Mithali Raj, who single-handedly put women’s cricket centre stage, was crowned the iconic changemaker of the year. Receiving the award, the cricketer said, “My lesson to young girls would be not to dream to be like Mithali Raj but be bigger than Mithali Raj.”
Talking about their 27-year journey, Suchitra Ella, JMD Bharat Biotech stressed that they wanted to get away from copycat products and generics, “We have believed India needs to innovate and develop indigenous technologies and also manufacture them here,” she stressed.
The fourth edition of the event saw awards being given in six categories – digital transformation, social transformation, financial transformation, young changemaker, iconic changemaker, and changemaker of the year. DeHaat (a one-stop shop for agricultural services), Ramesh Raliya (the inventor of nano urea), Zerodha (a pioneer in discount brokerage), Prachi Shevagaonkar (a climate action warrior) and Akash Singh (who upskills prisoners and also addresses river pollution ) were among the winners.
Giving away the awards, the FM said she was heartened to see that the slant of the winners was predominantly agriculture and environment. “We need to rapidly and in a ferocious pace change how we live, how we treat the environment,” she noted.
She also sought a positive outlook on India saying that negativity impacts the younger generation. She said that we should draw inspiration from the changemakers . “The awards are a first step.They highlight how there are solutions available. I am very happy that BL has focussed on areas like this. It humbles me that we have people around us who have done so much work, and not made much noise,” she said.
Earlier, Malini Parthasarathy, Chairperson of THG Ltd, described how the prestigious BusinessLine Changemakers Awards are intended to recognise “human catalysts”. “These awards are unique as unlike other corporate awards which honour corporate excellence or financial success, these are for the real agents of socioeconomic change, whose work on the ground have a transformative impact on the quality of our lives. “
Describing the process by which the winners were chosen, Raghuvir Srinivasan, editor, BusinessLine, said, “We received an overwhelming response with over 600 nominations. These were screened and shortlisted with the help of our knowledge partners Deloitte and Ashoka Foundation. “ He pointed out that it was apt that the FM, a changemaker herself, was giving away the awards. “
“ Ms. Sitharaman has been at the forefront of bold reforms and particularly noteworthy are the schemes that her government has rolled out to protect and assist the needy during the pandemic,” he said.
The event was enlivened by a melodious performance by beatboxing and flautist duo Divyansh Kacholia and Manuraj Rajput.
The 2022 awards function is presented by Life Insurance Corporation of India and powered by State Bank of India and Sastra University. Other partners are Manipal Hospitals (Healthcare partner); Karnataka Bank (Banking partner); Punjab & Sind Bank (Associate partner); PepsiCo (Sustainability partner); City Union Bank (Co-Partner) Zee Business (Telecast Partner) and Anand Prakash (Gift partner).