NEW YORK: ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar is among three Indians selected for this year’s Asia Game Changer awards given by Asia Society to honour “true leaders making a positive contribution to the future of Asia.”
Indian-American actor Aasif Mandvi, 49, and designer Kiran Bir Sethi, 49, also made it to the list besides Kochhar, 53.
Champion Boxer and Philanthropist from the Philippines Manny Pacquiao is the 2015 Asia Game Changer of the Year “for using his sport and his star power as forces for good,” Asia Soceity, the leading global cultural organisation, announced.
The honorees will be bestowed the honour at the Asia Game Changer Awards dinner and celebration at the UN in October.
The New York-based organisation said Ms Kochhar “not only made history” by becoming the first woman to head an Indian bank but she also transformed the entire Indian retail banking industry.
“Under Kochhar’s leadership, ICICI Bank has achieved great milestones year-after-year by expanding its businesses, leveraging technology to bring value to its urban and rural customers and partnering with the public and private sectors to create new opportunities,” it said.
By shattering the proverbial “glass ceiling,” Ms Kochhar has been an inspiration to many young women and has racked up numerous awards and accolades, it added.
Mr Mandvi has become a powerful spokesperson for Muslims and Asian-Americans. Mumbai-born Mandvi has “challenged stereotypes” and provided a voice for Muslim-Americans, changing the game in terms of how Asians are viewed on TV.
In 2015, he co-wrote, produced and acted in the web series ‘Halal in the Family’ for the popular comedy site Funny or Die, using the sitcom format to tackle Islamophobia.
“Mandvi aspires not only to provide positive representation for Muslim America – he also hopes to challenge non-Muslim audiences,” Asia Society said.
Interior designer Ms Sethi founded The Riverside School in Ahmedabad in 2001, aiming to provide an alternative model which focuses on “quality of learning,” “student well-being,” and “empathy in education,” a game-changing move in India.
In 2009, Ms Sethi expanded on the principles practiced at Riverside to found the ‘Design for Change’ movement with the goal of getting children to drive change in their communities by unleashing what she calls their “I can superpower.”
The award addresses the lack of recognition for Asians who are transforming ideas into action and improving lives, said Asia Society President Josette Sheeran.
The honorees are selected through a global survey of more than 1,000 thought leaders. The other seven honorees include 2014 Nobel Laureates in Physics and inventors of a new energy-efficient light source – the blue LED Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for lighting our world in a groundbreaking and sustainable way.”