The Hyderabad chapter of FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), the women wing of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), .an all India forum for women completes 20 years of transforming the state through Industry, Trade & Innovation.
Founded in the year 2002, FLO Hyderabad, one of the most vibrant chapters of FLO, has been promoting entrepreneurship and professional excellence among women through workshops, seminars, conferences, training and capacity building programmers etc.
Starting small with 50 members, today it has 800 members strong from varied entrepreneurial and professional backgrounds and is a name to reckon among 17 chapters across India.
The objective of the organization, Ms Uma Chigurupati, the current chairman informs, was to encourage and facilitate women to showcase their talents, skills, experiences and energies across sectors and verticals of the economy, for a truly inclusive economic growth trajectory.
To mark the 20 years of its successful journey and to celebrate Women’s Day, a special program “FLO Hyderabad Women of Vision” is called for on 8th March evening at Taramati Baradari, which will be graced by Smt. Kalvakuntla Kavitha, MLC, Nizamabad. On this occasion, the services of a few top women bureaucrats of the state will be recalled and recognized.
The twenty past chairpersons of the organization will also be feted. They include Shanti Reddy, Mangaish Rao and Suchitra Ella from the year 2002 to 2004.; T. Lata Reddy (2004-2005)- ; Heena Shrivastava (2005-2006; Manjula Reddy (2006-2007; Vani Subhas (2007-2008) ; Sarita Reddy (2008-2009); Ajita Reddy (2009-2010) ; Chandana Chakrabarti (2010-2011); Aparna (Pinky) Reddy (2011-2012) ; Rekha Reddy (2012-2013) ; Jyotsna Angara (2013-2014) ; Monika Agarwal (2014-2015); Rekha Lahoti (2015-2016) ; Padma Rajagopal (2016-2017); Kamini Saraf (2017-2018); Priyanka Ganeriwal Arora (2018-2019) ; Sona Chatwani (2019-2020; Usharani Manne (2020-2021).
The phenomenal work done by the FLO Hyderabad chapter over the past 20 years has made a substantial difference in the lives of women from all economic sections of the society, adds Uma, who will be laying down in her office at the end of March.
Effective leadership is one of the greatest fundamentals to building great organizational cultures. She added.
Many women who led FLO Hyderabad as Chairperson during the last two decades shaped the Chapter through their vision, business acumen and leadership skills; accomplishments. Uma recalled their contributions as follows on the eve of the 20th Anniversary of FLO which will serve as an inspiration to many women.
It is also an occasion to draw curtains for the tenure of the current chairperson Uma Chigurupati, a woman with many accomplishments to her credit. An Executive Director of Pharma major, Granules India, Uma is a multiple Guinness Record-holding marathon runner.
“It is one’s reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how one’s life story will develop”, she believes.
Steering an organisation like FLO during the most unpredictable times like the past one year was not easy. But, Uma rose to the occasion.
With her theme for the year “Together We Can”, she showcased programs that by working together women can rise above any hurdles.
She is the 21st Chairperson of the Chapter. She comes from the rich corporate background of Granules India which she founded along with her husband. It has a presence in over 70 countries and employs over 6000 people. Uma and her husband Krishna Prasad hold a record of being the only couple to have participated in marathons in both the North Pole and the South Pole, in the same year. The couple has another unique distinction. They are the world’s first couple to cover seven half-marathons across seven continents in seven days. They were the only couple out of 11 people from 10 countries who set that record. Unlike many, they always did marathons only in rough terrains. Besides running, the two appreciate the art of winemaking. Uma is also an Ikebana master and landscaping enthusiast. She was a Chairperson of Hyderabad 10k run foundation and also was President, Ikebana International Hyderabad Chapter.
Having known her abilities to understand the needs of others, Uma and the team set up “Covid Care Cell” which facilitated information and medical assistance to the members and families. Health and wellness initiatives such as “Feet on Fire” helped members focus on their mental and physical well-being.
On finding that many lost jobs and livelihoods due to covid, Uma was quick enough to come out with the Job Connect initiative. In collaboration with Hyderabad City Police 7 “Mega Job Drives” were organised and 6000 youth were placed in various jobs. This unique initiative connected talented unemployed youth with employers who would have otherwise been out of reach.
The much talked about FLO Industrial Park, is being inaugurated on Women’s Day by Shri K.T. Rama Rao, Minister of IT, Commerce & Industries. The 50-acre Industrial Park located in Sultanpur area in the outskirts of Hyderabad currently houses 25 women-led enterprises from multiple industries. The Park will house 100% women-owned and women-run businesses representing varied Industry Verticals. The Flagship Project in collaboration with TSIIC is the first for both FLO and its parent body FICCI.