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Business News/ Brand Stories / A step towards diversity & inclusion: Leaders’ take at India Diversity Conclave
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A step towards diversity & inclusion: Leaders’ take at India Diversity Conclave

The 2nd Edition of India Diversity Conclave 2022, conceptualised by India Diversity Forum, managed and executed by Sapphire Connect, focused on Building an Inclusive India.

Guest of Honour Satish Rao, Firmenich India.Premium
Guest of Honour Satish Rao, Firmenich India.

India, 14th April 2022: “Diversity & Inclusion is a great toolkit to leverage that leaders can use to deliver on their business goals," said Satish Rao, Chairman & Managing Director, Firmenich India as the Guest of Honour in his opening keynote at the 2nd Edition of India Diversity Conclave 2022.

Continuing his address, Rao mentions, “Today India is a young country and you need to tailor your strategies and your tactics to this generation. They are your future citizens, future employees and future stakeholders." While sharing his personal experience of hiring a visually challenged employee he specified that they are loyal, efficient, independent and ready to help others. This is one of their best ROI in the department.

Building a strong DE&I foundation requires leaders to focus on building trust and creating a culture where everyone feels free to express themselves. The 2nd Edition of India Diversity Conclave 2022, conceptualised by India Diversity Forum, managed and executed by Sapphire Connect, focused on Building an Inclusive India. Hosted at The Lalit Mumbai, this conclave witnessed 35+ speakers, 250+ member companies, 200+ Attendees and 1000+ virtual delegates which included leading D&I experts and CHROs pan India along with 16 partners and 12 Diversity Champions.

As IDF, we are committed to accelerating equality for all and to creating a work environment in India where everyone feels like they belong. The annual conclave strengthened India’s commitment to diversity. The speakers, attendees and member organizations all echoed the unanimous notion that companies have the responsibility to create and sustain an inclusive environment for all. Diversity and Inclusion should be fundamental to one’s culture and core values. Organizations should leverage India’s rich diversity to be more innovative and more creative.

Anisha Motwani, Founder & Director - STN Ventures, Independent Director (On Boards of Abbott, Welspun India, L&T Investments etc and Advisory Board Members, IDF mentioned that “The mega-success of the Second India Diversity Conclave was a testimony to the increasing relevance of IDF; an industry body that was created by a passionate set of professionals to give structure and form to the most productive tool in the hands of organizations. The post-Covid world has changed the rules of the game with flexible & virtual working becoming a norm. This has provided a newfound impetus to gender diversity. But the dialogue is now moving beyond gender to many other aspects of inclusion & we as the Board of IDF are now focusing our efforts on driving organisations towards an equitable workplace including pay parity, skill balancing, culture & demography to name a few".


India Diversity Conclave, 2nd Edition, 2022
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India Diversity Conclave, 2nd Edition, 2022

Introducing a unique concept, IDF hosted a Spotlight Session with Divyanshu Ganatra, Founder & Director, Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation titled Inspiring Stories - Diverse India, Inclusive India. His inspiring journey and words made the audience mesmerized. He said that “The biggest challenge of diversity & inclusion is the mindset, people's beliefs and attitudes. My biggest challenge is not my disability but that we don't have accessible rams, educational facility and accessible transport along with discrimination".

Ankit Bansal, Founder & CEO, Sapphire Human Solutions & Advisory Board Member, IDF mentions that “D&I needs to move from talks to action. The business case for D&I is well established now. What we need is leaders who champion the cause and drive change at a ground level in their organizations. IDF is committed to making India a shining example for the world in the D&I space."

This conclave also included leading speakers like Sanjeev Rao, CEO, Being Human; Krishna Raghavan, Chief People Officer, Flipkart; Maninder Kapoor Puri, Global Chief Human Resource Officer and Diversity Officer, Mastek Group; Chandra Balani, Head – Global Enterprise, India, AWS (Amazon Internet Services); Ekta Singh, Global CHRO, AGS Health; Seema Trikannad, EVP & Chief of Human Resource & Management Services, SBI Life Insurance; Mamata Banerjee, Strategic Initiatives Lead - NTO and D&I Chair, Novartis Healthcare; Anjali Chatterjee, Chief Human Resource Officer, AirAsia India; Dhananjay Naithani, Associate Partner, Sapphire Human Solutions; Krity Sharma, Chief People Officer, Mahindra LifeSpaces; Sandeep Das, Senior Director, Head Learning & Development/Diversity & Inclusion, JLL India and many more.

The conclave also witnessed the launch of the first of its kind D&I a Hand Book - D&I Best Practices 2021-22 which comprises leading D&I practices by prominent IDF members. This unique knowledge sharing book will make proven D&I initiatives available to all and provide a ready reckoner for organizations wanting to adopt or imbibe them.

Voted as the top 3 Organizations with leading D&I Practices by IDF members, The Boston Consulting Group, Sodexo and Tata Consultancy Services got a unique opportunity to showcase their provenD&I best practices to the audience. BGC mentioned that they began their D&I journey over 20 years back when they had their first few women employees joining them and they have come a very long way since. Today they are recognised as one of the best workplaces to work for women.

Book Launch
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Book Launch

Sanjay Rao, Director HR, Owens Corning India and Singapore, a keen promoter of diversity and inclusion shared, “At Owens Corning (OC) we start with inclusion as we believe that inclusiveness helps sthe diversity to grow. Here we aspire to create a culture of appreciation, where all employees are heard and appreciated for the value each distinct voice brings to the team. To leverage the power of each employee, OC has formed ERGs or Affinity groups that come together as allies who understand the struggles of an underinvested community and treat them as their own and are willing to carry their weight whilst supporting them along the way. The focus should be to create an inclusive leadership culture, which helps to move the needle from repulsion/avoidance to acceptance/appreciation. Understanding different dimensions of diversity is another way to create an inclusive workforce."

Rishi Kapoor, Head Management Committee, India Diversity Forum and a D&I enthusiast himself, feels honoured to be furthering India’s D&I Journey along with 250+ organizations. The conclave was a converging point for all the D&I voices in India. Discussing the success of the event he mentioned, “After a year of remote and virtual discussion, our members were eager to meet in person and discuss how to bring about on-ground change. As we move back to pre covid times and working models, as organizations we need to be more conscious of our workforce and cater to being more inclusive. As this thought resonates with all future-facing companies, India Diversity Conclave was a major stepping stone for organizations waiting to refresh their D&I journey and move forward towards an inclusive era."

India Diversity Forum aims to make D&I conversations mainstream in India. To become a member or to request a copy of Best D&I Practices, mail to

Disclaimer: This content is distributed by SRV Media. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content.

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Updated: 20 Apr 2022, 01:41 PM IST
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