“Humbled & honoured,” Dr Sushma Paul Berlia, on receiving Distinguished Fellow of Institute of Directors 2023  


New Delhi, 17 August 2023: The Advisory Council of the Institute of Directors (IOD) India, has awarded Dr. Sushma Paul Berlia, Chairperson & President, Apeejay Stya and Svran Group, the prestigious honour of ‘Distinguished Fellow of IOD’ for the year 2023, for her outstanding contribution to public welfare & public policy, women empowerment and social inclusion.

The felicitation of the IOD Distinguished Fellowship – 2023 was by the esteemed Chief Guest – Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Law & Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture, Govt. of India. The fellowship was recently conferred during the Annual Directors’ Conclave in New Delhi. The first such fellowship by IOD was conferred on Bharat Ratna, late Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, in 1994.

Commenting on the honour, Dr Sushma Paul Berlia said, “I am delighted,   humbled and honoured to receive this distinguished fellowship. I have always believed that human values, selfless service, a sense of stewardship and wealth creation rather than just income generation is what truly drives corporate governance in letter and spirit.” She complimented IOD for the commendable work being done by them in corporate governance, quality assurance and thought leadership. The citation to Dr Berlia was given by Ms Ruchi Ghanshayam, Former High Commissioner of India to UK.

The Chief Guest for the occasion, Union Minister Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal, said, “The 21st Century will belong to Asia and it will be led by India.” He said that there are several parameters that indicate the same including the Indian Economy and GDP, a thriving democracy, strong family values and the fact that India is a philanthropic society, which believes in reaching out to those in need.

Dr Berlia is a leading Entrepreneur, Industrialist and Educationist who has devoted her life to nation-building with global footprints. She was the first woman to lead a multi-state apex chamber of commerce in India, serving as the President of the PHDCCI in 2005-06. She was the first woman in India to lead her own pharmaceutical company, when not yet 30 and was the first woman entrepreneur of a major educational group in India. Dr Berlia has a track record of immense contribution of around four decades in the Pharmaceutical industry. As Chairman of Apeejay Education, which runs 26 Educational Institutions (Schools and Higher Education Institutions), she has made an outstanding contribution to education and society.

Dr. Berlia has won innumerable awards and accolades over the years in the realms of education, industry, governance and social outreach. She is a thought leader on all these domains and has spoken at major forums on the same. Recently, she delivered a special address in the House of Lords, UK, at the ‘2022 London Global Convention on Corporate Governance and Sustainability.’

The Institute of Directors (IOD), India was established in 1990 as an independent, ‘not for profit’ apex Association of Corporate Directors, to spearhead India’s quality and good governance revolution and build ‘Brand India’ by focusing on Corporate Directors’ training and development. The IOD is mentored by a very distinguished Advisory Council, currently headed by Hon’ble Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah, Padma Vibhushan, former Chief Justice of India.

The theme for this year’s IOD Annual Directors’ Conclave was ‘Emerging Trends in Corporate Governance and Building Futuristic Boards 2030’. It deliberated on various emerging trends that are shaping the corporate agenda, including the impact of geopolitical disruption across all facets of the global economy.

Apeejay Stya Group and Svran Group is one of India’s most respected business conglomerates comprising diverse businesses with global footprints. It manifests its social commitment through the more than 50-year-old Apeejay Education and the Apeejay Stya University. The Group’s business leadership is reflected in sectors such as Automotives, Chemicals and plastics, Distribution, Logistics and retail, Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences, Real Estate, International Trading, Merchant Banking and Financial Services and Publishing. It has several alliances and foreign collaborations with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia.


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