September 27, 2012



Bangalore (PRWEB) September 27, 2012

WEConnect International, the Washington, D.C.-based, corporate-led non-profit that empowers women-owned businesses to thrive in global markets, today announced that Mr. Srikant Rao, a senior executive at Accenture, has been unanimously elected as Chair for the WEConnect International – India Advisory Board. Additionally, Ms. Shannu Kaw, Cisco; Mr. Parul Soni, Ernst & Young; Mr. Abhishek Mathur, IBM; and Ms. Ranju Alex, Marriott have been nominated as Co-Chairs representing diversity in industry, geography and gender.

The WEConnect International – India Advisory Board will provide guidance and support to WEConnect International for inclusion of Indian women-owned businesses in corporate and government supply chains; women’s business enterprise development; and policy education on measures that help enable the growth of women-owned businesses through market access.

“We are seeing very active interest in buying from women-owned businesses, and rapid growth in the number of women’s businesses registering with us over the last six months. This shows how women are playing an active role in the global economy. The time has come for women to lead the way to new models of economic and human development,” says Sucharita Eashwar, Executive Director of WEConnect in International India.

“Leading organizations have the responsibility and opportunity to drive a more inclusive and empowered marketplace. By helping women-owned businesses develop skills and compete for contracts, we promote increasing levels of self-reliance and socio-economic well-being,” said Srikant Rao, Accenture. “WEConnect International is uniting corporations to identify and advance women-owned businesses and help generate more inclusive and sustainable supply chains.”

“Economic independence for women and gender empowerment remains at the forefront for ensuring sustainable socio-economic development across nations. According to the World Bank, women own or operate 25% to 33% of all private businesses worldwide; so an investment in women entrepreneurs contributes not only to their well-being, but also creates a stronger economy for all of us”, says Mr Parul Soni, Executive Director & Leader – Development Advisory Services, Ernst & Young and Co-Chair, WEConnect International – India Advisory Board.

In addition, other Members nominated by their corporations to the WEConnect International Advisory Board in India were: Riju Vashisht, Bharti-Walmart; Mr. Shatrughan Singh; Goldman Sachs; Mr. Sunil Uthappa, HP; Ms. Vasantha Erraguntla, Intel; Mr. Hemanth B.L, Microsoft India; and Ms. Sucharita Eashwar, WEConnect International. Board members will hold office for two years.

WEConnect International is the first non-profit organization that registers and certifies women-owned businesses outside of the U.S. and connects them with multinational corporations interested in tapping women suppliers to produce relevant, innovative products and services. With the success of each certified women-owned business entering the global supply chain, it becomes a little easier for the next.

WEConnect International expanded into India in 2011, largely due to the optimism, opportunity and expected growth rate of India’s women-owned businesses. Sucharita Eashwar, Executive Director of WEConnect International in India, a social entrepreneur and former Senior Director with NASSCOM, is leading India’s women entrepreneurs toward opportunity. Through WEConnect International, India’s women-owned businesses are now able to overcome geographic, financial, and educational barriers.

Examples of WEConnect International activities in India over the next year will include:
-Member corporations will help to develop the global online database of women’s business enterprises, especially those based in India.
-WEConnect International, through their global network, would work to create market opportunities for women suppliers in India and beyond.
-A study is planned to create a Roadmap to 2020 for a quantum growth in the numbers and size of women-owned businesses in India.


WEConnect International, a corporate-led non-profit, helps build sustainable communities and economic growth by empowering women business owners to succeed in global markets. WEConnect International has since 2009 provided certification, resources, mentoring and peer/corporate connections to businesses based outside the United States that are at least 51 percent owned, managed and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect International corporate members represent $700 billion in annual purchasing power and are true pioneers in inclusive sourcing and global supplier development: Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Boeing, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Cummins, D.W. Morgan, Dell, Dun & Bradstreet, Ernst & Young, ExxonMobil, Full Circle Exchange, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, HP, Hospira, IBM, Intel, Interpublic Group, Johnson & Johnson, Manpower, Marriott International, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, Pfizer, PG&E, RBS, Verizon, Walmart and WellPoint.