2006 Winners of Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Awards Announced

Dec 2006
India , December, 21 2006 - At a joint briefing today, Citigroup India CEO Sanjay Nayar and Country Business Manager of Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group PS Jayakumar announced the 2006 Winners of the Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Awards.

Selected by a six-member National Jury comprising of eminent citizens such as Ms. Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Akshara Foundation; Mr. Gautam Thapar, Chairman, Ballarpur Industries Limited; Mr. Kumar Ketkar, Chief Editor, Loksatta; Dr. SK Tamotia, Dean & Director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; Mr. H.N. Sinor, Chief Executive, Indian Banks Association and Dr. MS Thimmappa, former Vice Chancellor, Bangalore University, the twelve 2006 Winners have emerged from amongst a thousand eligible nominees belonging to urban, semi-urban and rural areas across 22 states in the four regions of the country.

Also present on the occasion was internationally acclaimed actor, Member of Parliament and, most recently, recipient of the prestigious International Gandhi Peace Prize, Ms. Shabana Azmi. Ms Azmi, along with Ms. Anu Aga, Director, Thermax Ltd; Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman of the Board & Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies Limited’ Ms. Maxine Olson, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative’ Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC’ Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons; and Mr. Shekhar Gupta, Group CEO & Editor-in-Chief, The Express Group, is a member of the Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Award program’s National Advisory Council.

The 2006 Awards assume special significance as the year marks a decade since Citigroup began partnering with NGOs for capacity building of the micro credit sector in 1997. Since, Citigroup has partnered 7 NGO partners through multi-year grant support of almost US$10 million from its philanthropic arm, Citigroup Foundation. This has been further strengthened through employee volunteerism, cause-related marketing, Best Practices sharing, management training programs, and advocacy both within and outside the organization, with the active engagement of Citigroup senior management.

A notable demonstration of Citigroup’s support to the micro finance sector is in its dedication of the Citigroup Centre for Financial Literacy to the Indian School of Microfinance for Women (ISMW). Made possible by a US$ 3.5 million (Rs 15 crore) grant from the Citigroup Foundation in 2004, the Ahmedabad-based school is the world’s first educational institution to focus solely on the discipline of microfinance, and helps address the huge need for training that exists in the sector. The school is a partnership between microfinance pioneers, SEWA Bank, Friends of Women’s World Banking and Coady International Institute, a Canadian organization specializing in sustainable community development. The Citigroup Centre for Financial Literacy provides training for both CEOs of grassroots microfinance institutions and industry practitioners in financial education, needs assessment, curriculum development, campaign execution and evaluation.

In addition to its support to the micro finance sector, Citigroup India focuses its CSR efforts in two additional areas of Financial Education and education of underprivileged children.

Speaking on the occasion, Sanjay Nayar, CEO, Citigroup India and Area Head, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, said, “2006 has been a very fulfilling year for us at Citigroup India with several of our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives touching important milestones. I am proud of our well-balanced approach of fulfilling our responsibility to helping strengthen our communities whilst investing in our business operations and pursuing market opportunities. Employee volunteering received a major boost this year with our participation in the Habitat for Humanity indiaBUILDS event and Global Community Day. 2007 is likely to see many more of us utilizing the privilege provided for by the global Volunteer Incentive Program.”

Congratulating the Winners, Shabana Azmi said, “Having been associated with the Awards program since its inception in 2004, I can proudly say that the rigor of the process is what sets it apart. Through its uncompromising emphasis on transparency and egalitarianism and its grassroots approach, the Awards have unveiled true role models for the sector and for its participants. The Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Awards have given me yet another opportunity to express my empathy with the economically disadvantaged and become a partner in their struggle for success and recognition.”

Added PS Jayakumar, Country Business Manager, Global Consumer Group, Citigroup India, “As a leading institution with a proud history of over a century in India, financial inclusion is a key corporate goal. Micro finance is often the first step. The Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Awards play an important role in illustrating that the impact of broader economic participation is profound for the individual and for the economy as a whole.”

Each National Winner of the 2006 Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Awards will receive a cash endowment of Rs.200,000/-. The National Runners-Up and winners in the Social Responsibility category receive prize money of Rs.100,000/- each. In addition to the cash awards, this year onwards, winners will also be granted fully sponsored opportunities for training and skill enhancement.

The Citigroup Foundation has supported Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Award programme through a grant of US$ 200,000 (approx. Rs.1 crore) to Partners in Change (PiC), a Delhi-based NGO, for implementing the programme.

The specific goals of the Citigroup Micro Entrepreneur Award programme include:

  • To recognise the entrepreneurial skills of the underprivileged who have exhibited best performance that has helped them emerge from below the poverty line, create jobs and add value to society.
  • Analyze and disseminate select best practices derived during the award process
  • Create the next generation of microfinance networks, build more inclusive financial sectors, and lay the foundation for a flourishing microfinance sector.

In this 3rd year of the Awards programme the volume of eligible nominations for the Awards increased to a thousand from 273 in 2004 and 885 in 2005. About 60 per cent of the applications received were from semi-urban and rural areas and nearly 50 per cent of all applications received were from women micro entrepreneurs.

As in the past two years, the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, the Faculty of Management Studies, New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, have served as Screening Organizations for nominations from the East, West, North and South respectively.

CMEA 2006
List of Winners & nominating organizations


Winner: Malti Bai; Mahila Chetna Manch, Bhopal
Runner up: Shubhangi Mhatre, Parth Development Foundation, Pune
SR category: Manisha Kirad, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust, Pune


Winner: Bansi Lal, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust, New Delhi
Runner up: Javed Ansari; Radhika Singh Shikshan Sansthan, Varanasi
SR category: Gopal Sarup Mangla; Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust, Faridabad


Winner: Nalini Mohanty; Sanjeevani, Bhubaneshwar
Runner up: Moirangthem Muktamani Devi, Women’s Education Development Association, Imphal
SR category: Aolemba Longkumer, Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati


Winner: D Rani; BAJSS, Pondicherry
Runner up: Sarojini PS; INFACT, Kerala
SR category: Lila John; INFACT, Kerala

About Partners in Change

Partners in Change, a not for profit organization, promoted by Action Aid International India in 1995, has the promoting and deepening of the Corporate Social Responsibility as its focus. A pioneer organization in CSR, its origins lie in the recognition that business will have an increasing impact on society and this impact, especially on the poor and marginalized communities can be positive and negative. To maximize the positive and minimize the negative impact, it is critical to engage with the business sector. Developing partnerships between business and civil society organizations representing disadvantaged communities and other vulnerable and marginalized stakeholders in PiC’s means to influence the impact of business on society.


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