WATC Man of the Year Award | Ashish Bhardwaj

I am a Management Graduate, and I have over 20 years of work experience in India's leading corporates. I am based in New Delhi.

I am currently working as a Sr.Manager - Customer Service. I have good experiences in multiple industries like capital goods, FMCG and telecom. About my background, both my parents are BA, MA, Mphil and Phd graduates and are retired Professors from Delhi University. My father was a Professor of English and my mother is a retired Professor of Sanskrit.

I have always supported women empowerment and I am very happy to be associated with, which I think is doing amazing work.


Vermeen Kapoor | Barclays

Vermeen Kapoor is a change management leader with over 15 years of experience in Banking & Financial Services Industry. As a Director with Barclays, she is responsible for driving large scale transformational programs that will help the bank comply with the changing regulatory landscape. Earlier, in her association with Shinsei Bank, she has led various technology initiatives for the Retail Banking group thereby enhancing customer experience.

A mother and business-woman, she takes immense pride in the mentoring and sponsorship she has received from many leaders at various stages in her life and career and has taken up the mantle of mentoring colleagues at workplace. She is currently the co-Chair of Women’s Initiative Network (WiN) at Barclays Noida, with an aim to attract, develop and retain women at all levels and empower them to develop their full potential.

The daughter of an Army officer, she owes her outlook towards inclusion and cross-cultural sensitivity to the services background and to her association with Melton Foundation, an International foundation that actively promotes global citizenship as a way for individuals and organizations to work together across boundaries of place and identity to address global challenges.

Vermeen has a passion for technology, reading, coffee and nurturing relationships.


Rashmi Anand | Woman of the Elements

Once a victim of domestic violence, I now work with issues that devastated the lives of my children and me. Having voluntarily counseled thousands of women and children at the crime against women cell, I now run a trust that gives free legal aid to women and child victims of violence below the earning capacity of Rs 5000.

Today, I am a published author of 13 books - on gender and violence, children's books, books on life and death, and on love happiness, joy and abundance.

I give talks and lectures in educational institutions and corporates on gender, on love, joy, positivity, dignity and respect, and work with the sexual harassment at the workplace law.

Recipient of the Naari Shakti Puraskaar by the President of India, the Neerja Bhanot Award, the Karmaveer Puraskar, the CNN IBN Zindagi Live Award, the Bharat Excellent Award, amongst others, I have also been awarded in the Literary Category by the Indian Council of UN Relations.

The 2010 Delhi Police Calendar was based on my life and my first book.

I was felicitated as a Karamyogi by the Chinmaya Mission World Head and I have also worked extensively with the Regional Bishops Council of the Catholic Church (North Indian Diocese) on women’s issues.

I have been been on social awareness shows on various national channels and documentaries and articles on my life have been done across the globe. The latest issue of the Chicken Soup for the Soul inspirational series of books carries the story of my life entitled Awakening.

More about me can be found on


Hema Balakrishnan | Color D Earth

Hema Balakrishnan is a social entrepreneur and founder of Color D Earth, an Eco Socio Enterprise.

Born out of a passion to create one of a kind jewelry with river bed clay, Color D Earth was founded in June 2003 and works towards the sustainable and economic growth of the Terracotta Artisan community.

Today, Color D Earth empowers nearly 200 terracotta artisans, predominantly women, i.e 12 artisan groups from 6 different states across the country, by giving them the true value for their craft so that they earn a fair wage and get a steady income.

A Post Graduate in Personnel Management, she started her career in 1993, as a Career Counselor and worked as a Placement Consultant at  Randstad India.

She is an alumnus of the 10000 Women program, a Goldman Sachs funded Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs in 2009.

In March 2012, she was chosen by the U.S Department of State to attend the prestigious, International Visitors Leadership Program on Women and Entrepreneurship in the U.S.

She was an investee at UnLtd Hyderabad in 2014, an organisation that finds, funds and supports Social Entrepreneurs.

Hema is also a passionate speaker, story teller and mentor at several forums, and conducts workshops to mentor women entrepreneurs. She was a panelist at the TEDX women Hyderabad event in June 2015.

Color D Earth currently retails their one of a kind artisan jewelry at Color D Earth - The Terracotta Studio in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

In 2013, Color D Earth  launched their online store,, the first social ecommerce store that showcases and retails only terracotta jewelry to their customers across the world.

Their future plan is to bring 500 terracotta artisans under their umbrella  from rural and urban areas in the next three years.

Recently Hema has been a speaker at TedX IIM Raipur and Color D Earth was one of the 12 selected enterprises at Facebook's first India SME Council.


Deepika Chawla | American Express

Deepika Chawla, a certified Chartered Accountant & Six Sigma Green Belt, having a rich experience of 22 years in Retail & Investment Banking, Finance, Business Development, Financial Operations, Migrations, Control & Compliance.  She  is currently  part of American Express since last 12 years & prior to AXP, she has served as Chief Branch Manager for ICICI Bank Ltd.

A mother & business-woman, she is a kind of person who possess immense Self Belief & Passion for People, Women & Society.  To smile in all situations & face difficulties in a resilient and Tenacious manner are key mantras of her success which she ensures to pass on to all the people who are connected with her.

She is very passionate of using her strengths and knowledge to give back to society in different forms. She is on the advisory board of Taleem, an NGO supporting Health and Education of the underprivileged. She also  a core lead for WIN – An American Express global initiative, promoting women in industry to reach their full potential. She participates in external & internal Mentoring programs with organizations as a Mentor. Not only this, for >10 years she has promoted cancer awareness programs in the office and society through NGOs called  ‘Forum for Breast Cancer Protection’ & say ‘Yes to Life’. She strongly believe that youth are the future of the world & contributing there  development can bring the change which everyone desires. She contributes through participating in various speakers session like as a TedX speaker and other college events, motivating students to be Passionate, Resilient and Tenacious in everything they do.


Bharti Singh Chauhan | PraveenLata Sansthan

Bharti was born in a middle class family at Jaipur. An incident with her younger brother becoming handicapped pushed the family into a financial crisis, also hindered by her mother was paralyzed.

When Bharti was in 9th class, her father told her that he could not afford her education due to major responsibilities at home and his growing age. Bharti wanted to study and did not lose her hope and started stiching falls of sarees, managing to complete her 10th STD. However with time, her responsibilities increased and she had to take care of the family earnings and health expenses of her handicapped brother, ill mother and father. Her father had had an accident and due to vision issues he lost his job.

Now, alongside with stiching falls in sarees, she also started taking tutions and a part time job at Lingerie shop. It was not easy, as her personal safety become a challenge. Men working with her tried to abuse her, and she had to deal with a lot of abusive comments from relatives. She moved out of the house to work from home to home and at a lingerie shop, giving negative waves to her family who were asking her to get married.

She had a clear vision about her better future. Without hearing all the negative words, she stood strong and continued her studies as a non colliagite. After completing her graduation she started her career  from small outsourced bank; later working with Print Media Rajasthan Patrika and Dainik Bhaskar. With time her hard work paid off. Currently, she is working with leading Telecom MNC Vodafone as an Assistant Manager.

Her story does not end here; she always wished to support children who were facing issues in the society hence started community work from her teenage, volunteering with various NGOs. In 2013 she started an NGO named PraveenLata Sansthan by investing all her savings  and working at a grassroot level at  various slums and communities for Holistic Development of Child Welfare and Women Empowerment. She has educated over 11,500 girls on personal safety through workshops, 55,000 community people on the importance of saving girls, educating girls and stopping child marriages through roadshows and Nukkad nattak with the support of volunteers. She is also supporting more than 150 kids in their education, grooming and development from various slums.

As a Professional & Social Activist she has won many national and international awards for her contribution towards the society. She was the winner of the World of Difference Program by Vodafone Foundation in 2012, for working for Street Living Kids at Mumbai and is known as Ambassador for Vodafone Foundation. She is Ambassador for the International Girl Rising Campaign which was launched by US First Lady Micheal Obama and is promoting girl's education in Rajasthan. Recently, she has been recognized by Hon. President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Smt. Maenka Gandhi for her contribution towards society under the Women Empowerment category and Ministry of Women and Child Welfare Department – Government of India in association with Facebook as 100 Women Achievers Nationally under Women Empowerment Category. She is the State Chairperson of Women Economic Forum All Ladies League (Rajasthan).