15 Jun The Virangana Project officially launches
Not-for-profit initiative The Virangana Project held its official media launch on June 13, 2018 in Ferrier Hodgson’s Barangaroo boardroom, in a bid for more Australian investors to get on board with the worthy cause and further develop Australia-India bilateral relations.
The event featured speeches from Chairperson Anmol Saini, Director of Communications Tony McAuslan and advisory board member Anil Chhikara, who each used their position and status to explain the importance of the project to the people and economies of India and Australia.
The speakers said the project has already received a number of outstanding applications from Indian women entrepreneurs, including a woman who has been conducting research into stem cells to treat cancer, and another who has raised $7 million just from renting out homes across India.
Sharing her story of how she initially became involved with The Virangana Project, Chairperson Anmol Saini had always been conscious of the inequality demonstrated to women and girls in developing countries such as India.
During a trip to Bangalore as part of her MBA at the University of Sydney, Anmol became abundantly aware of the dedication these Indian women entrepreneurs put into their work and businesses, despite living in poverty.
“What I was met with were women who were incredibly proud of showing off their houses that were smaller than my average-sized bedroom, and they were excited to tell you what their kids were doing in school, and what their ambitions were for the future,” she said.
“They are running businesses, and although they may live and work in slums, that’s their reality and they are very proud people.
“They don’t want handouts; they just want the opportunity to be treated as equals.”
After the first round of applicants make their way to Australia to pitch their start-up ideas at NSW Spark Festival in October, Anmol said she hopes the initiative will be successful enough to continue to fund the ideas and businesses of Indian women every six months.
“As long as we line this round up correctly, we can show Australia what we can do with this and how amazing it would be for both countries, from a commercial and cultural stand point,” she said.
The final 12 applicants as part of The Virangana Project’s first round will be announced on August 15, as part of celebrations for India Independence Day.