Anurima Roy | Entrepreneur

I have held top positions across the publishing industry in India, with the biggest players in both editorial and marketing. Having worked with the world's biggest writers, I realized it's time to do something for India, small publishers and Indian writers who have been struggling to make a mark in an ecosystem which is dominated by the big international players. I am a consultant and entrepreneur now helping to make a difference to take majority of the Indian writing abroad and promote our literature.


Megha Bajaj | Miraaya Holistic Growth Centre

I have grown up in the ever changing, ever alive city of Mumbai. I come from a land that is steeped in sages and spirituality, in yoga and meditation, in diversity and divinity. All of these have been an integral part of my growing up years as the youngest member of a 25-member joint family. Loud, opinionated, loving family – who would suddenly turn silent as I would ask them questions like, what is love, who is god, who makes everything work? An unconventional student of sorts, I would prefer bunking school, sitting on my terrace that faced the sea and think about Life.

This, I believe, lay the foundation of Miraaya Holistic Growth Centre – the first centre across the world dedicated completely to working on the BEING of a child or adult, with little focus on the DOING. I believe we need an education system that needs to get children LIFE READY and not just EXAM READY. We don’t teach children chemistry, but we do teach them about the chemistry of relationships. We don’t teach children history, but we do teach them about how to become history makers. We don’t teach children language from the text books – but instead make them fall in love with communication itself. We operate as an after-school development set-up and also tie up with schools to bring in the miraaya magic within curriculum.

We started with one centre at Chembur and today have franchisees at Tardeo, Lokhandwala, Pune, Ghatkopar and three more coming up at New Jersey, Singapore and Dubai.

I also happen to be a word-a-holic. I have written a few books – and each has given my soul deep fulfillment. The first, at 23, was Thank You Cancer published by Hay House. This won a lot of media acclaim and was written about in Times of India, The Hindu, DNA, Dainik Bhaskar, Mumbai Mirror, Life Positive, Reader’s Digest and many more. It also got translated into two languages.

The next was a series for Grade 1-Grade 8 called the WoW Text books. I have attempted to make English come alive with key life skills and this series has been adopted by a few schools in India.

Finally, the last book is called I Inspire – the story of Neerja Malik as told to Megha Bajaj. This has been published by one of the oldest publishers in India called Jaico. Thousands of copies have been sold and the publishers see this as a potential best seller.

Children, words, love and laughter– keeps me waking up each morning believing Life is Beautiful.


Suniti Nanda | Barclays

A leader, executor and innovation evangelist - with an executive business management from IIM-C, I have been in the Banking industry for over 15 years.

I have completed a B-Tech from NIT Rourkela, and come from a conservative family background. In the past I have taken some hard stands to pursue my career to this stage.

Currently, I am heading the Mobile channel development for South Africa in Barclays. Innovation is my passion; hence I led the Rise Mumbai setup and currently part of the execution core committee ( This is the global innovation co-creation platform created by Barclays.

At work I have taken credit for starting from scratch and setting up highly energetic dynamic team to deliver excellent products to market in most agile manner. I have deployed Agile in cross location dynamic development environment in banking development areas.

Outside work, I am a Social Investor and Member, Engagement committee for Rang De Pune. Rang De is a crowd funding platform which works in financial inclusion space and has a target to enable people and eradicate poverty from India. I am also a marathon runner and follows a fitness regime through yoga or gymnasium. My long term goal is to become a social entrepreneur.


Dilshad Billimoria | Dilzer Consultants

Dilshad is an independent Certified Financial Planner, certified by Financial Planning Standards Boards of India; and Director of Dilzer Consultants Private Limited: Investments and Financial Planning Division.

Dilzer Consultants is a Sebi Registered Investment Advisor. The organisation provides Professional Investment Advisory and Financial Planning Services for a fee.

Dilshad Billimoria has over 14 years of experience in the financial advisory domain. With over 262 clients and Assets Under Management of over 150 crores, we have created financial peace and independence in the lives of many people and helped them realise their financial goals.

Our clients are from all over the world, including, India UK, USA, New Zealand, Brazil, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. We offer a progressive planning practice that differentiates itself by being disciplined, well researched and profitable. Our processes and practices start at grassroots, ensuring all angles are covered in the decision making process.

It is our belief that by providing a personalized and consistent service experience, we ensure long and fruitful relationships with our clients.


Neha Arora | Planet Abled

Neha Arora, is the founder of Planet Abled, an organization which provides accessible and inclusive travel solutions for people with different disabilities.

With a totally un-utilized degree up her sleeve, Neha worked with companies like HCL, Nokia and Adobe before taking the plunge to start Planet Abled.

Born to parents with disabilities and the personal challenging experiences faced in travelling, she realized a huge gap existed in the society. When it came to people with disabilities indulging in travel and leisure activities, no avenues were available.

St. Augustine said, 'The world is a book and those who don't travel, read only one page.' Then why should one miss out on reading the most beautiful chapters of life just because s/he has a disability? Planet Abled was conceived to fill this gap and give people with disabilities the freedom to travel and to break their limitations. Giving them an avenue to visit places freely and confidently, leaving behind social inhibitions and apprehensions about their capabilities.

Planet Abled has been awarded the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award for the year 2016.


Akansha Kataria | BlackRock

Akansha Kataria is Head of Gurgaon Portfolio Compliance Group. In this capacity, she is responsible for implementing controls and processes necessary to ensure compliance with all applicable firm-wide thresholds and client requirements relating to trading and investments.

Akansha's service with the firm dates back to 2005, including her years with Helix Financial which was merged with BlackRock in 2010. She has held a variety of roles within the Financial Markets Advisory, global team focused on providing advisory services to public and private institutions. Prior to her current role, she had been part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) project management team, responsible for implementation of FATCA in the APAC region. Akansha earned a MBA degree in Finance from Birla Institute of Management Technology in 2005.

She launched Women's Initiative Network (WIN) in BlackRock India office in 2011 and made BlackRock at par with industry's practices. She is currently driving the culture of appreciation though Employee recognition initiative and thereby driving employee motivation and engagement at India platform level. She has also led APAC Innovation and Connectivity initiatives in India office. She led the Diversity and Inclusion initiative for Portfolio Compliance team and established initiatives at a global level to foster collaboration amongst all operations members across functional groups (Regulatory / Business Management) and global teams (Americas / EMEA / APAC).


Harsha Saxena Mukherjee |

Harsha Mukherjee, an entrepreneur, studied engineering and management in India and the US. After starting her venture "Pearls and Pashminas" in the US and working in the Middle East she started her first Social Venture Ekjaa in India. Harsha was awarded National Social Entrepreneur Fellow (NSEF - 2011) and selected as one of the Top 10 Indian Women Entrepreneurs by DELL Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN-2012). She also recognized the emerging significance of CSR and guided various Private and Public sector companies in developing their CSR strategy.

She has served organizations such as IndiaCSR, Soul Ace, Indian Center for CSR (ICCSR) among them. She has been awarded CSR Visionary of 2012 by Lakshya Bhartiya Foundation (LBF) and CSR Women Leader - 2012 by Institute of Public Enterprises (IPE), GIANTS International Award (2013) for committed work in noble services and Women Excellence in CSR (2014) by Lala Management Institute - Mumbai.

In 2012, she founded CSR Development Stories Pvt Ltd and in 2013 co-founded CSR Advisors both the businesses are in CSR Consultation. In order, to fill the gap of CSR knowledge, she has launched International Institute of CSR in 2015. Ms. Mukherjee has authored book Sustaining CSR (CSR Basics).

She has consulted on CSR Projects to NGOs such as Empower people (Haryana) working on human trafficking issue, Each One Teach One (Mumbai), Shekinah Foundation and Network for physically disabled Organization (NPDO) (both working in Differently abled), Naandi Foundation, Omkar Builders Corporate House, Living Guard Water purification social venture and other similar organizations. She also runs Ekjaa Foundation where they run public libraries in the slums of Mumbai. At present the library has 7000 books and regularly conducts books donation camps in schools, colleges and public places such as malls.


Piya Bose | Girls On The Go Club

Piya Bose started Girls On The Go, a travel club for women after quitting her job as a lawyer in 2008. She started off on a zero cash business model and today sends women on expeditions to Antarctica, Northern Light viewing in Arctic, camping in Mongolia, trekking to volcanoes, meteorite craters, Everest Base Camp, and staying with the tattooed headhunters of Nagaland with the aim of empowering women through travel. Today, she has managed to get men join the dialogue in helping women rediscover themselves through travel. She has also spoken at various forums and inspired new startup founders to take risks and follow their dreams.

She is also a freelance travel writer with National Geographic and has blogged for 'WeAreTheCity'. She is currently learning Sanskrit to study ancient manuscripts that may hint at geological and climatic factors that led to the disappearance of the Indus Valley Civilization and how we can apply the learnings to our times.

Her next aim is to get women with disabilities and from less privileged economic backgrounds to experience a perspective shift through travel and make travelling truly accessible for all women.

Nominee additional information 2018

Nominee additional information 2018

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Step 1 - Rising Star Awards checklist

Please note: if you do not wish to accept any of the below, then you will no longer be eligible to continue with the process.
*excluding Entrepreneurs category


Oindrila De | Barclays

Oindrila is a dreamer in her 20s who juggles multiple lives. When she's not poring over spreadsheets at her workplace (Barclays Investment Bank), she escapes into the wilderness to get her creative juices flowing. She's one of India's favourite travel bloggers ( with a fan-following of over 10k on Instagram. She often writes for travel websites and magazines. Her interviews have appeared on various platforms and some of her articles have been recognized.

Additionally, she's an avid runner, and has finished long distance runs in the mountains of the Himalayas and the Sahyadris and several other Indian cities, villages and forests. In 2015, Oindrila became the first Indian to complete the Danske Bank Vilnius (half) Marathon in Lithuania.

Oindrila believes in giving back more to the society than she has received. She has mentored over 100 students and blue-collar workers through NGOs that work with the lesser privileged and the visually challenged. In her zeal to reduce the culture-distance between Barclay's employees across the globe, she won executive backing for her idea- Culture Lab.

Oindrila is also a corporate Toastmaster (trophy winner at the Area Level) and a certified dancer in Katthak and ballroom dances (rumba, cha-cha, jive, samba and paso-doble).


Richa Sethi Agarwal | The Writer's Bug

I started my career as a sales and marketing professional in the corporate world. After a successful stint of eight years in various national level roles with Philips Electronics, I decided to follow my passion for creating impactful learning pathways for children.

I co-founded 'The Writer's Bug, with the purpose of making creative, literary and life skills more accessible to children. Over past few years we have created many avenues that laud the creative expression, as well as empowers children to pursue their literary and creative dreams confidently. The Writer's Bug hosts Junior Writer's Bug literary festival for children, that celebrates not just stories, books, colourful illustrations but also provides students the opportunity to lead the event. Another initiative 'Young Sparks' is a student mentoring program that provides talented students in the field of creative writing and illustration, an opportunity for mentoring by professionals. We have partnered with Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai to create experiential storylines based on the wide history curated at the museum.

My work as a mentor with Technoserve and Cherie Blair Foundation, supporting other women entrepreneurs is my contribution towards strengthening the much needed ecosystem. I am a certified NLP practitioner and MBA from MDI, Gurgaon. Car rallying is one of my passions. I live with my two children and husband in Mumbai.