Published: 27th June 2017
Goddess of the G20: Meet Anannya Parekh, the SRM student who just represented India at the G20 Summit and runs a firm to promote women entrepreneurship
Twenty-one- year-old Anannya Parekh has been chosen as the Indian delegate for the annual G(irls) 20 Summit in Germany and she's determined to make this oppoortunity count
She has set up an organisation that empowers women to become entrepreneurs, she's the board member of a family company, she was the Vice President of AIESEC, Sales and Marketing (International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences) for three years, she's a Kathak dancer, she's a graphic designer and she studies ROCKET SCIENCE. Oh and also, she's only 21! Meet Anannya Parekh who just represented India at the G(irls) 20 Summit, at Munich.
The G(irls) 20 or G20 is a Canadian globally active social enterprise that cultivates a new generation of female leaders through education, entrepreneurial training, leadership, and global experiences with the aim to increase female labour force participation around the world. Annually, one young woman is chosen from all the G20 countries to attend a conferences, workshops and finally put together a set of proposals to achieve this aim. This year, Parekh was that chosen one.
After the conference, the selected delegates are expected to come back to the country and implement their new ideas to empower the women in their own countries. However, what is different about Anannya and what became one of the plus points on her application is that she had already set up an organisation in 2014 that works towards increasing female labour force and empowering women entrepreneurs - The Inner Goddess Academy (TIGA).
Where did it all start?
Anannya says that she has always been a voracious reader but when she read Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, it changed her life. "The book spoke about how most women don't have access to leadership positions simply because they are women and it surprised me. Sandberg has over 50,000 lean-in circles across the globe, I also wanted to start a lean-in circle here to help empower women," Anannya said. But there were already such circles in the city, "I discussed it with my dad and he encouraged me to start something on my own."
Business in her genes
Both of Anannya's parents are business-people, and she credits them for passing on their business-genes to her, which helped her confidently establish TIGA. "I was part of AIESEC for many years so I already know a lot of youth and youth leaders. So we conduct workshops for young women students and also give guidance to small time business owners and give them a launchpad that will let them flourish," the 21-year-old explained.
Making her way to the stars, literally
From a young age, Anannya says she been fascinated by space crafts and wanted to become an astronaut, but when she learned that she would have to study too much, she decided to choose something less difficult- Rocket Science. Anannya is currently in the third year of Aerospace Engineering at SRM University and manages to balance both her studies and work perfectly well. She manages to put in 3-4 hours work everyday into the company.
Initially my teachers would get annoyed with me because I wouldn't attend classes. They had no idea about the other things I was engaged in. But after I got selected for G20, my mother forced me to tell my faculty, so now they know and they're very appreciative, they have special classes for me too
Anannya Parekh, Entrepreneur and Student
G(irls) 20 was a long cherished dream
The young woman said she was always very inspired by the work that G20 did and was ecstatic when she heard she had been selected, "The application process was quite comprehensive and the interview also wasn't too easy. I got in touch with the previous delegates and sought their guidance as well. But I had sort of given up on it when I suddenly got a call that I had been selected."
Anannya said she was already in touch with the delegates and was waiting to meet them in Munich. "I'm particularly looking forward to the talk by Malala Yousafzai's father. This year they're going to be discussing digital economy, migration and climate changes - all of which appeal to me." she added.
The big dream
It would be unfair to ask where Anannya where she saw herself in five years, considering she's making achievement every few months but she told EdexLine that she eventually wants to become the CEO of either Boeing or Airbus! But for now, she's looking forward to the Summit, "I hope I come back and become better equipped to do ensure that young women entrepreneurs have a brighter future to look forward to."