Winner of ASSOCHAM Women Achiever of the Year Award – 2019
‘ASSOCHAM Women’s Achiever of the Year Award 2019’ in association with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and the National Commission of Women was conferred on Dr. Daphne Pillai, Co-Founder of the Pillai Group of Institutions. She received the award from the Union Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in New Delhi on November 13, 2019.
Dr. Pillai was the Principal of the Pillai College of Arts, Science and Commerce and took the college through three successful cycles of National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) accreditation, getting an ‘A’ Grade in all three cycles. The college was also awarded the Best College Award during her tenure. She was also responsible for the international collaboration with the St. Mary’s College of Business and Economics in Moraga, California where students were exposed to American style of business through visits to Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Intel, Google, Yahoo, Bechtel, Adobe, Genentech.
She is the founder of two NGOs, namely ‘Soroptimist Welfare Association’ which works for underprivileged women and the ‘Forum of Women in Commerce and Industry’ to encourage women to become entrepreneurs and to help them to network globally. Dr Pillai got the Forum affiliated to the International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry (IWFCI) that is headquartered in Australia, in the process providing opportunities for its beneficiaries to look at the world for entrepreneurial aspirations. She is currently the President of IWFCI India National Chapter.
Her work towards women empowerment includes the project ‘The Power of a Second Chance’. This is done for women school dropouts who have missed out on the first chance in Education. This is done through Adult Literacy Drives where underprivileged women are given a second chance in Education through skill impartment and spoken English skills. The ‘Power of a Second Chance’ has impacted hundreds of such women who have been able to find their voice in their communities and become financially independent. The initiative found mention at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 62) as a ‘successful intervention’ towards women’s upliftment.
In recognition of Dr Pillai’s contributions to the education and social sectors, especially in the field of women empowerment, she has been an invitee as speaker at international forums in Turkey, United Nations, Portugal, San Francisco, South Korea, etc.