The 12th Annual Awards and Conference of International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Foundation, IWEC 2019 was organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) on Monday. In the event, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar delivered the keynote address to the gathering of over 250 women entrepreneurs from 20 countries.

There were a set of questions asked by Harjinder Kaur Talwar, FLO President and Co-Chair of the IWEC Conference to Sri Sri regarding maintaining balance between the family and work as being businesswomen as well as on stress management.

While addressing the women entrepreneurs, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “We have individual personalities from different countries but we are same. Globalisation happened through Information Technology, industrialisation and education. We must identify ourselves as an individual and not restrict ourselves as Asian, African or American. Nationality is a part of our identity but a small part, the bigger part of our identity is that we are a part of one global human family. Similarly, our identity as gender is different but we are global human being”.

Speaking on Emotional Intelligence in business and leadership, he said that emotional intelligence needs to be nurtured.

On the question of negativity in the surrounding and how to get rid of it, Ravi Shankar said, “We need not get rid of the negative emotions, in fact, we need to move our emotions towards the positive direction. When the emotions are going high on mind, we need to steer it towards the positive direction”.

During the interaction, Harjinder Kaur Talwar asked Ravi Shankar about how he became well-versed about Gita in his childhood itself. While answering her question, he said, “Nowadays as we can see that there are many children who are just seven or eight years old but are really good at playing musical instruments like Guitar or Piano, which needs at least four to five years of good training and practice. Such children are exceptional and I think I am one of them. It’s a god’s gift”.

Pointing out at the theme of FICCI FLO, ‘The Power to Empower’, Ravi Shankar said, “The power to empower is not necessary as you (women) have the power to empower and there is no one outside who can empower you. You are yourself empowered, ‘full stop'”.

The statement was applauded with a loud cheer by the women entrepreneurs attending the conference.

Kaur further asked about the formula to strike a balance in life. She said, “As women we are considered as primary care-givers, especially in India, and I am sure in other parts of the world as well. In this scenario, how do we strike balance in work, with kids at home and other things, as our stress is of different types”.

Ravi Shankar took a small pause and answered, “I think you are doing it and doing it very well. This is evident from the conference itself as there are many women present here who are doing good in business and have made a good balance in their life. You have demonstrated that you could be successful in business as well as take care of your responsibilities back at home.”

“There are many sitting here who are capable of taking good care of their household better than those who are not even engaged in business. We need to believe in our abilities that we can do it all”, he added.

Praising the achievements of Ravi Shankar, FICCI FLO President in her address said, “You are absolutely a theme builder and institution builder and these are the two traits required for every business person, would you give us some tips so that we can also be the same as businesswomen?”

“First thing is that what comes in front of you is what you can definitely take on. Second thing is, a stress-free and calm mind is a prerequisite for all this. So, any moment you feel stressed, it’s better to take a break of a couple of minutes to move away from the scenario and just sit relaxed. Take a couple of deep breaths and think about the next steps. Third thing is that the conflicts are bound to rise, it’s normal. In those situations, try to resolve it right away, give a little bit of time and become calm and collective”.

Later, multiple questions were asked by the women entrepreneurs from 20 different countries who attended the conference. The questions were related to stress management, definition of success and tips to tackle negativity in life apart from others.

Answering on the question of formula that leads to stress, Ravi Shankar said, “When we think that we have too much to do and too less time to do it, then that is the formula to stress. When we are stressed we think we have not done justice to our work and family, and we feel that we are not in our balance”.

“The best way to make that balance is to relax and take few minutes for meditation every day,” Ravi Shankar said.

Ravi Shankar gave the definition of success as “undying confidence with a smile that doesn’t wither away”.

Answering a question on making a shield to protect ourselves from negativity, Ravi Shankar said, “We need not to consider anybody as negative person, that will scare us. As sisters and mothers, you know that kids sometimes play tantrum, sometimes they are nasty but, as a mother you say he is in a bad mood. You need to expand the same vision for everyone on the planet. A person behaving negatively might be having a bad day”.

At the end of the talk, a 10-minute guided meditation to experience calm and peace within was conducted by Ravi Shankar.

The conference is to be followed by the prestigious Award Ceremony where 39 women entrepreneurs are to be felicitated for their outstanding performance in their business. Sangita Reddy, Senior Vice President, FICCI & Joint Managing Director Apollo Hospitals Group; Kalli Purie, Vice Chairperson of the India Today Group and Kiran Chopra, Director, Punjab Kesari Publishers Pvt. Ltd are the three awardees from India, besides 36 others from 18 countries.