“Food relaxes and brings people together.” says Pinky Lilani, founder owner of Spice Magic Ltd, a company incorporates cookery lessons into corporate team building programs.
“People often ask what I'm doing with a wok inside a big organisation! But it demonstrates my passion and creativity as I’m talking about leadership and intelligence. It is a way of nurturing and sharing with people.”
Pinky is also an adviser to British supermarkets that manufacturers Indian meals. What's surprising is that Pinky - who moved from Calcutta to Britain thirty years ago - knew nothing about cooking at first. But that did not stop her.
She went on to author cookbooks on Indian delicacy, consults for brands such as Sharwood’s and contributes to the development of sauces for Tesco and other supermarkets. In 2009, Pinky was named as one of Britain's 100 most entrepreneurial women and among the 50 most influential Muslim women in the UK.
Pinky is the force behind the various awards and initiatives to recognise distinguished and inspiring women from all around the world, including the Women of the Future Awards, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, The Ambassadors programme, The Inspirational Women’s Network, The Women of the Future Summit and the Global Empowerment Award.
Women of the Future Awards was established in 2006 to showcase and celebrate female talent in Asia, who are effecting positive global change.
The winners were selected from a shortlist of 50 candidates from ten countries across the region. Malaysian lecturer Chern Ein Oon was named winner in Arts & Culture, Property, Infrastructure & Construction and Science, Technology & Digital category this year.
Speaking to AWANI Review at the awards ceremony in Singapore, Pinky says the biggest setback for women to achieving greatness often stems for the lack of self-belief. But she believes, with more support system in place, women can thrive, be it at the workplace or at home.
They want to be good mothers, they want to good wives, they want to be good whatever they do.”
“I think you have to believe in yourself. A lot of women don’t believe in themselves. Therefore, they can’t truly do want they want to. But I think you also need people around you, who encourages you, champion and also mentor you."
Women of the Future Award Winners with British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell (6th from left) and Pinky Lilani (7th from left)