NRIs Shine at Light of India AwardsBy Lavina Melwani • Jul 3rd, 2011 • Category: Little Black Book: Events
Light of India Awards recognizes Indian Achievements in America
Bold-face names and big accomplishments amid the opulence of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria – the perfect place for The Light of India Awards, the first ever major recognition of NRI movers and shakers by Remit2India, a Times Group company. Over 200 of the who’s who of the South Asian community gathered to pay tribute to their own, the doers and dreamers of the corporate, business, arts and technology world.
It was a place to see and be seen. Meera Shankar, the Indian Ambassador had come in from Washington DC, and big names from Salman Rushdie to Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar were there. Raghav Sachar had come in from Mumbai to entertain the guests and television host and model Nina Manuel, along with Jitin Hingorani emceed the evening. Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart had the audience in splits.
So who is the best in NRI-Land? Javed Akthar, Shabana Azmi, Pranay Gupte, Prasoon Joshi, Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Priya Paul and Mahesh Dattani were among the jury that selected the Light of India Jury awardees, while a People’s Choice Award was also given through voting via the Internet. Ajay Banga, president and COO of Master Card won the Jury award for corporate leadership, while the People’s Choice Award went to Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup.
Vinod Khosla, CEO of Khosla Ventures, and Naveen Jain, founder of InfoSpace and Intelius were the awardees in business leadership.Mira Nair walked away with both the Jury and People’s Choice Awards in Arts and Entertainment – rather her friend Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director of Indo-American Arts Council, walked away with the awards as Mira was out of town.
As to literary lions ranging from Jhumpa Lahiri to Amitav Ghosh, how do you choose from a distinguished bunch? Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni won the Jury Award, Vikram Seth the People’s Choice Award and Salman Rushdie, the Power of Influence Award.
Some other major awards included the award for Research and innovation in Medical sciences for Shiladitya Sengupta, Assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Vinod Dham, CEO of Silicon Spice, bagged both awards for science and technology.
The Winners’ Circle
Recognition in Corporate Leadership:
Jury Award – Ajay Banga, President and Chief Operating Officer – MasterCard
People’s Choice Award – Vikram Pandit, Chief Executive Officer – Citigroup
Recognition in Business Leadership:
Jury Award – Vinod Khosla, Chief Executive Officer – Khosla Ventures
People’s Choice Award – Naveen Jain, Founder of InfoSpace and Intelius
Recognition in Political Leadership:
Jury Award – Dr. Ruby Dhalla, Member of Canadian House of Commons
People’s Choice Award – Swati Dandekar, IOWA State Senator
Recognition in Science & Technology:
Jury Award & People’s Choice Award – Vinod Dham, Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Spice Inc.
Extraordinary Contribution in Research & Innovation in Medical Sciences – Shiladitya Sengupta, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences at Harvard Medical School
Recognition in Journalism & Literature:
Jury Award – Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni, Writer & Novelist
People’s Choice Award – Vikram Seth, Poet, Novelist, Travel Writer, & Biographer
Power of Influence Award – Salman Rushdie, Writer & Novelist
Recognition in Arts & Entertainment:
Jury Award & People’s Choice Award – Mira Nair, Film Director & Producer
A photo gallery of the Light of India Awards Gala at the Waldorf Astoria.