Meera believes that every citizen of India who cares about our country, must take a stand, if we want to free India from corruption, criminalisation and communalism. In 2009, Meera stood as an independent candidate from South Mumbai for the Lok Sabha. She inspired many others across the country to fight local and state elections. She has been awarded the:
- Karmaveer Puraskaar, a national people’s award instituted by iCongo, a countrywide confederation of NGOs
- Philanthropist of the Year award by FICCI,
- Woman Banker of the Year award by the Indian Merchants Chamber,
- Woman of Substance Award by the Rotary Club
Mentor to women entrepreneurs :
Meera believes that if you finance a woman to set up her business, you help her entire family on the path to self-reliance, dignity and prosperity. Over the past 4 years she has visited over 120 villages in 15 states staying in the homes of women who live in threatened ecosystems in tribal and forest areas, experiencing their struggles but also their enterprise and success. Meera has :
- Mentored a Micro Finance program for over 650,000 women entrepreneurs in rural India.
- Helped provide Direct seed funding & skill based training for 75,000 solo-preneurs (solo entrepreneurs).
Intrapreneur and job creator :
Meera believes the people of India are very hard working, honest, generous, enterprising and innovative. We do not need hand-outs or charity. We need affordable and reliable education and infrastructure. We need freedom from harassment and corruption. We need jobs and an enabling environment to set up and run businesses. She has direct experience of doing this as she :
- Set up and built a global BPO in India.
- Created >21,000 direct jobs in banking operations and technology services.
- Set up the project finance team that financed core areas of India’s infrastructure.
Ambassador for India:
In 2011 Meera was invited by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to join the International Council on Women's Business Leadership as the sole representative from India. She has been invited to speak at Global seminars such as:
- the Climate Summit in Copenhagen;
- Swedish Agency for Economic & Regional Growth;
- the Women of the Future summit in the UK,
- the Asian Institute of Finance, Kuala Lumpur
- Nikkei Summit for Asian Women Leaders in Tokyo
- Competitiveness Summit, Seoul Korea
Meera believes that we must have simple policies : that ensure our safety; that empower us to work hard, set up businesses and grow prosperous; that provide equal opportunities for education and basic health care to all citizens; that make the environmental future of our children more secure. Meera spends a great deal of time in understanding and helping formulate good policies. She is :
- President of Liberals India for Good Governance – the Indian Liberal Group.
- On the National Executive Council of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)
- Chairperson of FICCI’s Financial Inclusion Committee.
- On the National Councils for Public Policy and Women's safety of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Board Member & Banker :
Meera has had a distinguished banking career of over 30 years with Grindlays Bank, Lazards, and most recently as CEO & Chairperson of RBS India (formerly ABN AMRO). She is a Board Member of
- PRADAN, a highly respected NGO that provides entrepreneurship skills to the poorest women in rural India.
- Right to Play, a global NGO that works with over one million children in more than 20 countries and uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity.
Lifelong student :
Meera is an MBA from INSEAD, France and an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK). She graduated from Sydenham college Mumbai, and studied at Cathedral & Fort Convent in Mumbai, and Loreto Convent in Delhi.
More important than formal education Meera believes we must learn from those around us particularly young people. She knows the youth of this country will lead us forward.
Meera has interacted with students at many educational institutions throughout the country, including the IIT's, IIM's, ISB, BITS Pilani, and BHU, and with students of colleges in Mumbai such as Xavier’s, Jamnalal Bajaj, SP Jain, Narsee Moonjee, Sydenham, KC college, and Jaihind, to gain an insight into their dreams and aspirations. In 2012, she travelled on the Jagriti Yatra, a 9000 km train journey around India, and was mentored by 450 young aspiring entrepreneurs. To remain in direct touch with young people Meera serves as
- Chairperson of the national Advisory Board of AISEC
- Board member of Jaihind College, Mumbai.
Home- maker & Daughter
Meera is married to Ashish her partner and friend, who has always supported her to follow her dreams. She is the daughter of the late Admiral G M Hiranandani, a gallantry award winner and highly respected naval officer. From her father Meera learnt that the fight to defend our country is not an easy fight – but it's the only fight that really matters.