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south asian women's leadership forum
Puchase your "don't call me auntieTM" t-shirt today! Proceeds benefit SAWLF's scholarship for South Asian women. $15. To order, please e-mail: sharetheexperience

SAVE-THE-DATE! Congress 2006 will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2006

Two dynamic business leaders will be the principal speakers at Congress 2006 presented by the South Asian Women’s Leadership Forum on Saturday, February 25, 2006 in Manhattan. SAWLF is pleased to announce that Ms. Indra Nooyi, president and CFO for PepsiCo., Inc. will participate in an interactive segment with Ms. Meena Mansharamani, vice president for strategic initiatives at Pepsi-Cola North America.

This special segment will bring together two, leading-edge professionals for an engaging discussion that will highlight winning business strategies and practices as well as their individual experiences of challenge and achievement at one of the world’s best known and established consumer brands.

SAWLF Second Annual Congress 2006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
10:00 AM to 7:30 PM
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
300 Madison Avenue (SW Corner of 42nd Street)
New York, NY 10017

Anita Itty joins South Asian Women's Leadership Forum as contributing essayist. Each quarter, Ms. Itty will write on topics of leadership, identity, business & culture.

SAWLF is committed to the advancement of South Asian women in the workplace. In the June 2004 issue of Working Mother magazine, SAWLF's National Director is featured in Can We Talk? A candid conversation about race and career by Caroline Howard

Recent SAWLF Events:
JoinSAWLFat the Working Mother Best Companies for Women of Color Multicultural Conference, July 20-21, 2005 in New York City. SAWLF will host an interactive session for conference attendees from 5 - 6 PM on July 20. in Central Park West, Sheraton New York & Towers.

Asia Society & SAWLF present a season of special events highlighting Asian and Asian-American women business leaders, including:"Trailblazers: Asian Women Entrepreneurs" on May 4, 2005.

Special guest speakers include Shoba Purushothaman, CEO and Co-Founder, The NewsMarket and Geeta Anand, Senior Special Writer, Wall Street Journal.

Geeta Anand, Senior Special Writer, Wall Street Journal

Additional speakers to be announced. To register on-line, click here

SAWLF presents its inaugural Congress 2005 on Saturday, February 26, 2005 in Manhattan. Sara Mathew, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation and Zeyba Rahman, Chairperson, World Music Institute and Producing Partner, Jungli Billi Productions will deliver the keynote address. Additional special guests and participants to be announced. To register on-line, click here

In December 2004, SAWLF presents Behind the Scenes:Women In Film Series at the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) December 1 - 5, 2004 in New York City. SAWLF is proud to sponsor a selection of films: Meenaxi (2004); What r We Doin' Here & Ladies Special. For additional information, visit SAIFF

"Getting Real Success", Join SAWLF on October 19, 2004 as we explore the complexity of defining and achieving success amid converging personal and professional goals and demands with Subha Barry, First Vice President of Multicultural and Diversified Business Development for Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.; Jeanine Prime, Director of Research for Catalyst; and Jyoti Chopra, head of South Asian business in Merrill Lynch Global Private Client’s Multicultural and Diversified Business Development Group. Additional speakers to be confirmed. To register, click here

Join the SAWLF table on Saturday, October 16, 2004 for Celebrating Women's Lives, the annual SAKHI Benefit Gala at Chelsea Piers. This special event features actress Nandita Das & the Vagina Monologues' Eve Ensler. For ticket information, please contact SAWLF

Join SAWLF on Sunday, September 19, 2004 for a special performance and reception with the UK comedy sensation, Shazia Mirza and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF SHAZIA. Click here to register. This event is made possible by the generous support of Western Union.

Join SAWLF at the Working Mother Best Companies for Women of Color Multicultural Conference, July 20-21, 2004 in New York City.


 So, what's The BIG iDEA?

 Introducing the SAWLF on-line newsletter and blog - click here:

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The South Asian Women’s Leadership Forum (SAWLF) held its second annual Congress on Saturday, February 25, 2006 at the global headquarters for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York City.

The sold-out Congress united more than 350 women professionals, representing the U.S.; Canada; Europe; and Asia,. in order to discuss the opportunities and challenges women address as they pursue lives and careers.

As a part of the day-long conference, SAWLF presented twenty-six private and public sector women leaders who shared their stories of challenge and achievement.

Program Agenda
9:30 AM Registration Opens & Continental Breaskfast

10:00 AM
Opening Keynote Presentation

Ms. Vani Kola
Founder, Certus Software and Rightworks
Ms. Lakshmi Pratury,
Career Catalyst

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Panel Presentation:
Women Initiating Change
Opening remarks by Ms. Vanita Gupta, Esq., NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Ms. Irshad Manji, Best-selling Author, The Trouble with Islam Today:
A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change

Ms. Fawzia Naqvi, Microfinance Specialist
Ms. Sonal Shah, Vice President, Goldman Sachs and Founder, Indicorps
Ms. Shamina Singh, Director and Vice President, Community Relations, Global Consumer Group, Citigroup

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
India: Opportunities in Today's Marketplace
A Dialogue with Consul General Ms. Neelam Deo

12:30 - 2:30 PM

The Congress 2006 Distinguished Luncheon Keynote Presentation

Ms. Indra Nooyi,
President & CFO, PepsiCo, Inc.
Ms. Meena Mansharamani,
Senior Vice President, Innovation and Insights, Pepsi-Cola North America

2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Panel Presentation:
Women in Media
Ms. Sabrina Dhawan, Screenwriter, Monsoon Wedding
Ms. Beena Kamlani, Senior Editor, Penguin Group
Ms. Padma Lakshmi, Founder, Lakshmi Films
Ms. Madhulika Sikka, Former Senior Producer, Nightline/ABC News
Ms. Puja Vohra, Director, Consumer Marketing, Bravo

4:15 - 5:15 PM
Interactive Session (I): Women in Law and Public Policy

Ms. Prabha Sipi Bhandari, Esq., VP Senior Counsel,
Mergers & Acquisitions, Viacom, Inc.
Ms. Megha Bhouraskar, Esq., Partner, Poppe and Bhouraskar LLP

Interactive Session (II):Women in Finance
Ms. Neetu Bhatia, Vice President, BMO Financial Group's Media & Communications Investment Banking Group
Ms. Sheila Hooda, Managing Director, Global Equities Division, Credit Suisse
Ms. Shanthi Weeransinghe, Agency Sales Director, North Shore Financial Group, MetLife

Interactive Session (III):Women in Business
Ms. Shoba Purushothaman, President, CEO & Co-Founder,
The NewsMarket, Inc.

5:30 - 7:30 PM
Closing Musings by UK Comedic Sensation
Ms. Shazia Mirza

Congress 2006 Corporate Partners

Presenter Level
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Leadership Level
Merrill Lynch

Partner Level
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson     Harris Nesbitt
Kamboh Financial Planning

Corporate Participants
Goldman Sachs      KPMG
Deutsche Bank     Ernst & Young

As a part of Congress 2006 activities, SAWLF will host
a sensational silent auction!
To view silent auction items and contributors, click here
Auction proceeds will benefit SAWLF's mentoring and scholarship program for South Asian women.


SAWLF Small Business Leaders Series
November 16, 2005

Special Guest Speaker
Ms. Ayla Hussain Farnos
Co-Founder and Former CEO, SUNDARI Skincare

Alya Hussain Farnos meets with SAWLF members on an individual basis prior to her presentation.
SAWLF members listen to speaker Ayla Hussain Farnos as part of the inaugural SAWLF Small Business Leaders Series event.

Drawing from her own experience as an entrepreneur, Ms. Farnos addressed key issues for new and prospective business owners to consider including:
- Recognizing Opportunities in the Marketplace
- Identifying Investment Capital and Other Equity Resources for New Businesses
- How to Manage Marketing and PR - Effective Relationship Management
- Exit Strategies

SAWLF Small Business Leaders Series
As a part of its new small business leaders series, SAWLF will feature successful entrepreneurs and investors who will introduce members to effective strategies for building and financing successful businesses and share their personal experiences of challenge and achievement.

“As a marketing professional and an aspiring entrepreneur, I got exactly what I wanted through this event: the personal setting ensured that I spoke and networked with most of the attendees and the guest speaker (Ayla Hussain Farnos); the Q&A format with casual; and frequent interjections from the diverse audience was extremely informative and insightful. Most of all it was very motivating to see that there are so many successful South Asian women who are embarking upon, or have already established small business ventures of their own.” - - A. S., MBA, Mattel, Inc.

"I was inspired by Ayla Hussain Farnos’ story. As a creative person and a marketing professional who aspires to start my own business, I learned from Hussain Farnos’ pragmatic thinking and focused approach to building and selling her own brand. Kudos to SAWLF for asking well thought and incisive questions that drew out relevant facets of Hussain Farnos’ business experience. What I really liked, too, was that I was able to meet, discuss and share ideas with other (really interesting) participants in the time allotted for networking. " - - S. B. M., Triton Container International Incorporated


VERTICAL SAWLF: Inaugural Speaker Series for Women Law Professionals

“Effective Networking…Beyond Ball Games and Golfing Events”
Thursday, November 3, 2005

Special Guest Speakers

Bina Kalola, Esq.

Director, Senior Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary at Merrill Lynch & Co.

Laurie Nicole Robinson, Esq.
Assistant General Counsel (Labor and Employment), CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
Ms. Robinson and Ms. Kalola presented effective network and relationship development strategies relevant to attorneys seeking to broaden their client roster as well business development acumen.

Vertical SAWLF (Law) serves as a primary network for South Asian women working in all areas of the legal profession. Vertical SAWLF offers information, networking opportunities and mentoring relevant to the needs of South Asian women in the legal profession and serves as a catalyst for interdisciplinary communication, professional development, and camaraderie for women choosing careers in law. Vertical SAWLF serves as a platform for academic and practical applications of law and accommodates the wide variety of topics that are relevant to practice within the legal profession.

For additional information, please contact: Kaumudi Goda, Esq. (917) 843-9479 / kaumudigoda@gmail.com or Ritu Malik, Esq. rmalik2000@hotmail.com / (917) 449-0955



On June 18, 2005, for the second year in a row, SAWLF participated in the annual South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) Convention at Columbia University.


Over 225 women and men attended Spring Ahead! on Tuesday, May 10 2005 at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery in SoHo. Proceeds from this annual reception event will benefit SAWLF's new mentoring and scholarship program for
South Asian women.
As part of the evening’s highlights, SAWLF offered a silent auction featuring donated items including: exclusive handbag by TULCI by Anjali Kumari; Jewelry for the Soul by Ferzana; Select books by author & poet Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; a handmade quilt by Fabindia; the new children’s book Going to School in India by SHAKTI for Children as well as select products from Donna Karan; and the Rubin Museum of Art.
This special event would not be possible without the generous contributions of Devi ( New York City ); the Sundaram Tagore Gallery and Sula Wines compliments of Dreyfus, Ashby and Co.



Special Guest WB11 Morning Anchor Sukanya Krishnan
and Guest

Author and Journalist Anita Jain
with Spring Ahead! Guests


Spring Ahead! Interactive Presentation with Special Guests Sukanya Krishnan, Morning News Anchor, WPIX-TV (Channel 11), New York; Ms. Porie Saikia-Eapen, Chief Architect for MTA New York City Transit; and Anita Jain, Author, Is Arranged Marriage Really Any Worse Than Craigslist? (New York Magazine, April 4, 2005)

Spring Ahead! Chairwomen
Rupa Bhargava and
Sonia Inamdar


Deepali Bagati of Catalyst with Spring Ahead! Guests

Raja Ramachandran of Citgroup
with Tom Capellini


Win $25,000 to Start or Grow Your Business!
South Asian Women's Leadership Forum has joined forces with Oxygen’s Oh! Get the Money: Build Your Own Business Initiative!

The program is designed to make it easier for women to get the tools and funds they need to start or grow their own successful business. A combination of seed money, one-on-one business mentoring, business-building workshops, local community events and valuable business tools are among some of the components of Build Your Own Business.

If you’ve got a head for business, or just have a great idea, now is your chance to get the money. Enter to win $25,000 and to access valuable small business resources!
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