Day 1 New Delhi, Global Ambassadors in India
Today, Vital Voices staff and Bank of America partners greeted six Global Ambassadors and six mentees here in Delhi for the first official day of the mentoring forum running through October 20.
A robust five days of programming lay ahead — a mix of two conferences in Delhi and Mumbai to explore pathways for women’s advancement in India’s economy; and one-to-one mentoring sessions between Global Ambassadors and mentees focused on impact and results toward growing their businesses and organizations and enhancing their leadership, business and networking skills.
To get acclimated — with just a few hours’ sleep for participants who had just arrived — we set off on a half day of site visits around the city to meet with small business owners and artisans associated with two of the mentees. The experiences allowed us to better understand the intersection of sourcing, production and retail, and it also opened our eyes to the day-to-day realities for women running businesses in an emerging market.
Afterward, the Global Ambassadors and mentees gathered back at the hotel for a round of lively introductions before breaking off into pairs to tackle goal setting and planning. They shared reflections on their personal commitments to mentorship and what they hope to get out of the interaction these next few days and beyond.
“I need to get to the next level,” said Archana Surana, founder and director of the Arch Academy of Design as she connected with Geraldine Laybourne, her new mentor. “I have a new aspiration to look at where I want to be in 10 years.”
For her part, Oxygen Media founder and Global Ambassador Geraldine acknowledged she has a lot to give, but insisted “We’re the ones getting mentored.”
A lovely dinner graciously hosted by Kaku Nakhate, president and country head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, India, for regional executives and Global Ambassadors Program partners and participants capped the end of a very full first day of an exciting week.