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Australia India Business Council Women in Business Chapter Vision 2019/2020


The Australia India Business Council (AIBC) is the only non-government business council and peak body in Australia devoted solely to promoting, developing and maintaining bilateral trade and business relationships between Australia and India.

Its focus is on building stronger business links between Australia and India for the benefit of its members and both countries. The AIBC had advocacy initiatives, conducts forums and business networking events for members to provide information on trade and business opportunities. The AIBC facilitates opportunities for its members to meet with industry, business and government leaders from both countries and do business with inbound trade delegations. Members get the opportunity to travel with outbound delegations organized by AIBC.

The ‘Women in Business’ (WIB) Chapter, was founded by Sheba Nandkeolyar and initially launched by the AIBC NSW in July 2011. It has members with a strong interest in establishing business relationships or/ are actively engaged in doing business with India.

The Chapter soon proved to be highly successful and CBA requested to become a sponsor of the WIB Chapter as a part of the Platinum Partnership Package in 2014.

In view of the success, Sheba recommended the WIB Chapter be launched nationally. Sheba’s association as a Board member of AIC, wherein she has been tasked with Economic Diplomacy and Women in Business initiatives, has linked in well with the AIBC WIB vision.

Sheba selected WIB members and chairs who would lead the WIB initiatives in the States of Victoria, ACT, and SA. These are voluntary positions and members selected had to passion for women related initiatives, energy, and connectivity in their roles. QLD & WA are in planning. State Presidents, as well as AIBC members, have often recommended members, some of who have been considered for WIB membership.

An annual signature event was held under the banner – the ‘AIBC Women in Business Speaker Series’ which first commenced in 2015 with an AIC grant which Sheba had applied for on behalf of AIBC WIB. Kiran Majumdar, Chairman of BIocon was hosted by WIB both in Melbourne and in Sydney. Sheba did an interview with Biocon Chairman on behalf of AIC and AIBC which was applauded on both their websites and shared with DFAT.


The `Women in Business’ Chapter members have a strong interest in establishing business relationships with India and/or actively engaged in doing business with India. The vision of AIBC WIB 50-50 is to encourage equal gender representation of all businesses in the bilateral India-Australia space.


The primary functions of the Chapter which is National are:

  • Drive bilateral trade relationships between Australia and India, with a prime focus on trade and investment between businesses run by women. This includes collaborating for strategic initiatives and events with other Chambers of Commerce and businesswomen groups both in India and Australia. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI FLO), the ladies’ business wing already has an association with AIBC WIB. Incidentally, Sheba was a member of FICCI and was an active member of FLO when she was in India.
  • Drive membership and activities for the Chapter within the Australian Indian Business Council.
  • Create a professional atmosphere where business owners, professionals, and business leaders can share experiences, learning and best practices, contextual India – Australia.
  • Create momentum for Women in Business to gain an equal footing in all that they do, including recruiting and mentoring younger women getting into business life.
  • Strive to promote pride, passion, and goodwill amongst all women business owners and professionals involved in the WIB chapter.
  • Build the reputation of AIBC as a dynamic organization, an ethical organization, an organization that respects diversity and inclusivity.

Committee Composition

The current committee members are drawn from various industries ranging from Marketing & Communications, Cross-Cultural Consulting & Training, Manufacturing & Sales, and Investment & Venture Capital, Financial Services, Fashion & Design, legal services, Education & skills training among others.

They are passionate and informed women who are contributing to bilateral trade between Australia and India. The WIB members create a hub of informed communications, and opinion, in addition to promoting the benefits of cross-cultural understanding to further positive business interactions.

WIB Committee

  • WIB National Chair – Sheba Nandkeolyar
    • Committee members to be proposed by State Chairs/Sheba/AIBC State Chapter Presidents. Please send through the names to Sheba with links of their CVs so that she can approve and have them endorsed by National Chair. They need to be members of the AIBC before they are nominated.
  • WIB Victoria Chair – Molina Asthana (Anoushka Gungadin has resigned)
    • Preeti Daga
    • Reet Phulwani
  • WIB ACT Chair – Anna Palathinkal
    • As there are no Committee members, members to be proposed by Anna/Sheba/AIBC ACT President. Please send through the names to Sheba with links of their CVs so that she can have them approved by National Chair. They need to be members of the AIBC before they are nominated.
  • WIB NSW Chair – Sonia Gandhi (Co-Chair Pallavi Sinha has resigned from AIBC membership)
    • Preeti Bajaj
  • WIB SA Chair – To be Announced
    • Committee members to be proposed
  • WIB WA Chair – To be announced
  • WIB QLD Chair – Tamanna Monem
    • Dr. Tanya Unni
    • Dimity Doman
    • Neena Mitter
    • TBC

WIB initiatives

  • Business policy-shaping

  • Inspirational talks/panel discussions

  • Social and business networking sessions – including personalized boardroom sessions

  • Assistance with bilateral trade enquiries & facilitation

  • Trade delegation facilitation to and from Australia/India

  • Organise AIBC WIB delegation to India and commence strategic dialogue in this space.

  • Be the role model and set up bilateral businesses


  • The WIB team meets once every 2 months, sometimes more frequently if required.

  • State Chairs present their plans to National WIB Chair for go-ahead (which are discussed by the state team members before it is presented to National WIB Chair.

  • The process is collaborative and needs to finally receive approval by the National WIB Chair. WIB chair liaises with AIBC National Chair/ Board to keep them updated.

  • As per AIBC rules, every program needs to be self-funded and create a surplus as we are a non-profit body. It is important to organize these programs such that they are fully hosted in terms of venue and catering.

KPIs for WIB 2019 – 2020

  • Increase Committee Members in every state by members (please share CV and access approval from the National Chair prior to inviting on the committee)

  • Increase AIBC women membership in respective AIBC states for 2019 – 2020.

  • Highly outstanding events delivered, very professionally, raising the brand reputation of AIBC.

  • All events must be sponsored and revenue-generating.

  • A WIB 2020 delegation is proposed to India and will need to promote the following participation:

    • 6 members from NSW

    • 6 members from Victoria

    • 2-4 members each from WA, SA, ACT, and QLD

    • Delegates should be high-quality women in business, who are in the bilateral Australia India business space.

    • The group will then be arranged with sectoral interests to maximize business opportunities and meetings in India.

  • MoU with FICCI – FLO to be reaffirmed in 2019 – 2020.
  • Organize joint events and initiatives with other bilateral chambers of commerce – as has been done in the past with ACBC
  • WIB to extend to SA and WA in 2019 – 2020.


  • National Secretariat looks after all WIB national initiatives, as it has become a National Chapter.

  • Local Secretariats to provide assistance for local events as requested by WIB State Chairs.


For National Initiatives:

Sheba Nandkeolyar, National Chair, AIBC Women in Business

For NSW initiatives:

Sonia Gandhi, Chair, AIBC Women in Business, NSW

For VIC Initiatives:

Molina Asthana, Chair, AIBC Women in Business, Victoria

For ACT Initiatives:

Anna Palathinkal, Chair, AIBC Women in Business ACT

WIB National Secretariat:

Wendy Farrell