April - 2014 Speakers

Ms. Mrin Agarwal
One of the Top 10 Investment Advisors in India

Mrin Agarwal is one of the top 10 independent investment advisors in India managing portfolios over Rs 500 cr. Mrin has over 18 years of experience in wealth management and has worked with Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Birla Sunlife. In the last 7 years, she has been running her own Independent advisory business under Mrin Investment Advisory Pvt Ltd (www.mrinvestment.in). Mrin has extensive and multi -faceted experience in investment advisory and banking and has experienced various phases in debt and stock markets. Mrin has appeared on CNBC and has also contributed to various articles in print media.

In the Womenspire workshop on 5th April, Mrin will be addressing the gathering on Money management by women - why and how?

The topics covered will be :
- Differences between men and women while dealing with financial matters
- Some statistics on women investing
- Some questions to ask yourself to asses your position on understanding of financial matters
- How to plan your finances
- Some important things to plan for

Dr. Mini Rao

Dr. Mini Rao is an Award Winning Psychologist whose expertise lies in diagnosis and treatment of mental dysfunctions and disorders. She was awarded the Best Outgoing student in her BA and the 2nd rank in the University in her MA as well as stood first in her M.Phil. Her Ph.D thesis was published in the “Journal of Psychological Researches”, an International Journal.

She has a successful practice counselling patients with various mental health problems and also develops questionnaires, conducts workshops on personality and motivation, trains contestants of beauty contests and has written over 75 articles on mental health in various newspapers and magazines and has monthly columns in five leading magazines.

Dr. Mini Rao is also the Psychologist for the Chennai Plastic Surgery team where she evaluates patients before surgery and counsels them after surgery. She volunteers for Banyan (an NGO for destitute women) where she does individual and family therapy.

She won the TEDx Star award for her contribution as a Psychologist to the Chennai Community. She was also recently made member of the prestigious IHAP (International Association of Holistic Psychology). She won the WE (Women’s Exclusive) Award for being an Intellect Shielder recently. She also won the Penn Vetrikku Pinn award for being behind the success of women.

She was a panellist at the Women Manager’s Convention 2013, organized by the Madras Management Association (MMA), where she spoke about Re-inventing Equality.

She walked the ramp as a Woman Achiever at the Chennai International Fashion Week (CIFW) for a famous designer. She also walked the ramp as a Woman Achiever at the Duchess Utsav Fashion show.

Her television show on Jaya TV where she addressed mental health issues once a week received a lot of positive feedback. She was also in a panel discussion on Sun TV talking about Actresses and their controversies. She has spoken on various radio channels on mental health. She also works with film directors who want her inputs for scripts relating to mental illness.

She will be doing case study analysis in a Television show named “Dr Mini Rao says......” which will go on the floor in a few months. She is planning to come out with a book by end of this year which will be kept in the waiting room of doctors and dentists.

Her long term goal is to build a mental health facility in Chennai which is affordable and effective.

Watch the Event held on 8th March 2014

Take a look at the pictures of the Womenspire Event held on 8th March 2014

March - 2014 Speakers

Mr. Donn Kabiraj
Best-Selling Author, President & CEO of Donn Corporation

Donn Kabiraj who has been named and listed as America’s Premier Expert in the USA, recently hit five separate international best-seller lists with his book*** --“The Secret to Winning Big”.After such a successful release Donn Kabiraj has been recognized & inducted into The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors® in the USA.And he has also donated all royalties from this book to the charity.

A Celebrity Expert and a Thought Leader, Donn S. Kabiraj, is the President and CEO of Donn Corporationwhich provides customized Business Strategy and Branding Solutions to top corporates as well as aspiring entrepreneurs in India and abroad. Donn Corporation has been honored with the prestigious “Udyogshree Award” for achieving Excellence in Business Management&Strategy Planning by the Council for Industrial & Trade Development - India.

His company has now launched Celebrity Image & Personal Branding Solutions in India with a mission to ‘transform Ordinary people into Extraordinary persons and elevate Successful people to an Ultra-successful repute’!

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM-Calcutta), he has taken to writing to share his expertise and spread his knowledge to create several successful entrepreneurs. He also believes, increase in women-entrepreneurship would add that momentum in developing our country much faster and make a positive impact to the greater economy as a whole. Based out of both Toronto (Canada) and Chennai (India), he is now busy mentoring numerous aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe.

Donn Kabiraj will be conferred the very prestigious EXPY AWARD in New York this April-2014, by The National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers (USA).

Author on diverse subjects ranging from ‘Women’s Liberation’ to ‘Cybernetics’, Donn Kabiraj avers, “Every business is in essence a marketing venture! Flexibility in approach is a must today to respond and maneuver in the present dynamic market condition”!!

***The book is now being distributed in India by TATA-Trent (Landmark) and available across the country. Please follow the link below for reviews and details about book : http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/the-secret-to-winning-big-by-donn-kabiraj-books-9780985714338-24127656/

Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar

Flautist Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar, who has been performing for over three decades, continues in the tradition of her famous gurus, the Sikkil Sisters – Padmashri, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Kunjumani and Neela. In playing style, Mala combines the strongest aspects of both Kunjumani’s clear classic lines with Neela’s flair and expressiveness. Other major influences on Mala’s playing are the expertise and repertoire of noted vocalist and teacher Radha Viswanathan and of Radha’s mother and guru M.S.Subbulakshmi whose family Mala joined by marriage.

Mala, A TOP graded artiste by AIR. (All India Radio) concretizes throughout India and abroad USA, CANADA, LONDON, DUBAI, SINGAPORE, AUSTRALIA, NEWZEALAND to name a few. Mala is the first classical flautist to have visited JORDAN By ICCR in 2009.


Year Title Conferred by
2013 “Meritorious Award” Maharajapuram Santhanam Foundation
2012 “Madurai Murali Puraskar" Vipanchi,Chennai
2011 “Lifetime Achievement Award” Sahara India Parivar, Lucknow.
2008 The 2008 “Excellence Award” United Nations & YCMA, U.S.A.*
2006 "Shanmukha Sangeetha Shiromani” Shanmukhananda Sabha,Mumbai
2003 “Venu Gana Sironmani” Dubai Thamizh Sangam, Dubai
2000 “Isai Peroli” Karthik Fine Arts, Chennai
2000 “Kalki Krishnamurthy Award” Kalki Memorial Trust, Chennai
1996  “Yuva Kala Bharathi” Bharath Kalachar, Chennai
1996 “Palladam Sanjeeva Rao Award” Sri Ragam Fine Arts, Chennai
1995 “Kalaimamani” Govt. of Tamilnadu
1993 “Flute Mali Award” Music Academy, Chennai

 * The Award was conferred in NEW YORK on 11th November 2008” by the CEO and President of Nation to Nation Networking Ltd and YCMA -USA in connection with the “WORLD PEACE AND HARMONY CONCERT” performed at the UNITED NATIONS. Besides the above, she has won accolades from prestigious organizations for the “BEST SENIOR FLAUTIST”.


i.She was the FIRST FLAUTIST to represent India at the “NATIONAL FLUTE CONVENION” held in Atlanta, USA, in the year 1999

ii. She participated as the FIRST INDIAN in the Musical Festival organized by “The American Musical Instruments Society”, Vermillion, South Dakota, USA, in the year 2006.

iii. She presented a paper designated as “THE MAGIC FLUTE” at the “ALL INDIA WIND INSTRUMENT CONFERENCE” at Chembur Fine Arts, Mumbai ..She has also given LECTURE DEMONSTRATION on various topics on Flute for many sabhas and Institutions like The Music Academy,Chennai,Australia,NewZealand,Chennai Fine Arts, Music Forum-Chennai, Sri Parthasarathy Sabha-Chennai etc

iv. Mala, as a “VISITING PROFESSOR” in the Govt. Music College, Chennai had been teaching flute music for several years.

Mr. Mario Doyle
CEO, National Guardian Security

Mario Doyle, CEO of National Guardian Security has more than 20 years of international experience in designing and implementing security standards and measures for world renowned clients, organizations, and VVIPs.

His team which consists of former defence, special force commandos such as the NSG (National Security Guard) and SPG (Special Protection Group) and civilian, provide armed and unarmed world class security solutions.

He is an international certified instructor who aims at educating people and creating awareness of crime and the criminal mind. He says crime is everyones problem and therefore everyone's responsibility. In his words "Crime cannot be stopped it can only be controlled".

Mario insists that having a proactive approach towards crime is the only way to prevent it. He goes on to say that 95% of the victims have unknowingly given an invitation to the assailant.

His ideas, approach and methods towards crime prevention was acknowledged by the Tamil Nadu Police which was telecasted on National Television.

He has a passion for flying, wildlife, and reading.

Prof. Geetha Viswanathan
Educationist, Fashion Designer, Image Consultant & Author

Geetha Viswanathan born on7th December 1949 , a senior Fashion Designer, is the proprietrix of PREYASI- a leading Fashion Studio  located  at  Adyar  Chennai-India.
From her childhood, she  developed  a passion for  Fashion.

Geetha , is  an  MBA    in  Apparel Management  from Madras university, BSc.  In Apparel  and Fashion Designing.

Her technical  qualifications include
Diploma  in  Fashion Designing –ALT, Bangalore
CAD (Computer Aided  designing) –  from CLRI.
Pattern Making –REACH  CAD ,Reach  Technologies  Bangalore.
Fabric painting –Camlin  Industries
Textile Processing – Weaver’s Service Centre ( Ministry of  Textiles)
Handicrafts –Ministry  of Textiles  , office  of  the  DC  Handicrafts New Delhi.

Geetha, ventured into the business world  and  started  PREYASI  a leading  Fashion Studio  in  1985, PREYASI  today  caters  to  a clientale  spread  over  60  countries. 

Apart from fashion business  she has also  been  a successful  Image consultant.  In this  role  she  has  been  counselling  people  from  different  background  and  culture.

Geetha’s  dream  of  setting  up  an  Educational  Institution  providing  quality , hands  on  knowledge  on Fashion Designing has  taken  shape  in 1991 ,  when SIFT - SRIJATI  INSTITUTE  OF  FASHION  TECHNOLOGY  was established.   Her constant  touch  with  contemporary  artists  in  this  field   is  helping  SIFT to  specialize  in  providing practical  experience  to  the  students.

SIFT  has  tied  up  with  LOYOLA  INSTITUTE OF  VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (LIVE _LOYOLA College, Chennai.) to offer  Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma in the field of Fashion Designing until  recently.

SIFT  is an approved centre  for conducting  Degree /Diploma  courses  in Fashion  Designing  for TNOU,(Tamilnadu Open University) which  has  now  been  upgraded  as  SIFT COMMUNITY  COLLEGE .
Geetha is a proud Indian and she has shown great interest towards Indian art and handicrafts. Her non – profitable organization “THE KUTIL CRAFTS OF INDIA” helps the women to learn the traditional arts direct from the  ancient artisans and develop them to become successful entrepreneurs.


Geetha has  been honoured  with  several prestigious awards and the following are some  worth mentioning:

National Award - “SHIKSHA BHARATI PURSKAR” in 2011.(for outstanding contribution  to  National Developnent)

“THE BEST WOMEN ENTERPRENEUR OF TAMIL NADU” award from the Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr. J. Jayalalitha in 1995

An  International award  for “ THE BEST BRIDAL WEAR ” was crowned on her by  M/s  MARKS AND SPENCERS , LONDON – 1999

Other awards would include:



Exclusive collections have been created by her studio PREYASI for KHADI BOARD. Her collection done for CO-OPTEX was well recognised. She has conducted a number of fashion shows in and around the country.


Geetha Viswanathan is also the founder and President  of Marketing Organization Of Women Entrepreneurs India – MOOWES INDIA. She  has developed more than 600 entrepreneurs  across India. More than 500 exhibitions have been conducted all over India, where the women entrepreneurs have been benefitted.

Geetha is the author of text books for Fashion Designing for  T.N.O.U –Bsc;Degree in Apparel &Fashion Designing  and “Apparel Manufacturing Technology” for MBA course in Madras University.She is currently on the job of writing a book on”Textiles And Fabric science.”for MBA in Madras  University.

She has skills and knowledge essential for managing key areas in Fashion Designing and Apparel Management such as colours, Inspiration and creativity,Design Development, History of fashion,Merchandising and Marketing, Surface emblishments,textile science  and Indian Costumes.In this connection on the request of various colleges She has conducted Special programmes  and given guest lectures on the above subjects.

Geetha is a powerful speaker.Her recent lectures and addresses on Women Empowerment,sustainability ,Entre preneurship etc;in the various colleges and schools throughout India including IIT  Kharagpur  have been greatly applauded by  the students  and educational authorities. Her speeches were instrumental for motivating and transforming women students to become successful entrepreneurs.

Geetha has  served  various  committees  in and outside the universities. She  is appointed as a Board Member for Syllabus  formation (BOS) for a period of two  years from april 2013 by the Avinasilingam University, Coimbatore.
Recognising  her capacity to teach and address the students on any given subjects , the University of Madras is frequently  calling  her to teach the MBA students on different subjects.

Placements for students;
Geetha is proud to say that many deserving students of SIFT are absorbed  as  desigers /advisors  by the leading Garment units & Buying Houses,besides thefilm industry on lucrative pay pckets. Some aspiring students of SIFT have started their own Fashion Houses. One  of the ex students  of  SIFT ,Mr .Siva is the costume designer for the popular movie “ Sudhu Kavvum.”

Colour Chaos
Chennai’s All Girls Band

‘They’ve got the looks, the attitude and oodles of talent. Meet the front women of Chennai’s music scene.’ quoted a popular daily about Chennai’s very own All Girls Band – Colour Chaos.

Listen to them perform and share their journey on how they are rocking Chennai’s live music circuit.


Take a look at the pictures of the Womenspire Event held on 8th March 2014

Know more about our speakers at our event on
8th February 2014

Take a look at the pictures of the Womenspire Event on 14th December 2013

Know more about our speakers at our event on
14th December 2013

Take a look at the pictures of the Womenspire Launch on 16th November 2013

Know more about our speakers at our launch event
on 16th November 2013

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