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Women in Business lead the charge during INZBC panel discussion

Press Release issued on 6 April 2022

India New Zealand Business Council partnered with the Indian High Commission in Wellington, NZ and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, recently to facilitate an online panel discussion on "Women in Business".

Moderated by Dr. Pushpa Wood ONZM Director, Massey Fin-Ed Centre, Wellington Chapter Head, INZBC, the discussion focused on this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #Breakthebias where the speakers shared stories from their own field and how they have made a solid impact in business in New Zealand and India.

Earl Rattray, Chair, INZBC opened the discussion and said, “This discussion is aimed at reinforcing the message that all of us at the Council are here to provide support, a nurturing environment and the right business conditions for women to succeed and excel in business.”

Speaking about the speakers for the discussion, Earl said, “It is the leadership of the women here who will help shape the ambition and aspiration of many of our young female students today, whose participation in business will be vital if we are going to reach the potential of our business relationships with India and New Zealand in the future. In terms of new opportunities, we firmly believe that the connections and relationships forged along with the collaboration developed between the indigenous women of New Zealand and India, will lead to fruitful and profitable business ventures in the future.”

Talking about the growth of entrepreneurship in India, His Excellency Muktesh Pardeshi, Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand said that more Indian women are chasing the enterprise dream and flourishing in their ventures. Indian women business owners could potentially create 150 – 170 millions jobs by 2030, although some of these were held back due to lack of funds.

He said, “Women while running their business face multiple difficulties and the biggest of this is gender bias in accessing funds. This has been the focus of the Indian government in last few years. We invariably find that loans applications coming from women are more likely to be delayed or rejected. Keeping this in view, the government has taken initiatives in India to encourage women participation specially to schemes providing access to for loans and finances.”

Simon Arcus, Chief Executive, Wellington Chamber of Commerce shared his observations after his years of experiences in leadership roles especially as the former Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors. He said that while discussions about gender equality can continue and are important, women in business needs mentors, champions as well. He said, “We need people who are champions with us to grow us in business and in the governance world and to make a difference. We can sit together and talk as much as we like about that there are issues but actually we need those champions out there who are representing women and who are prepared to help lift into the boardrooms and senior management roles.”

Talking about their individual journeys and organisations, the speakers shared the purpose of their roles, their organisations and how they are helping other women in business grow.

Teresa Tepania-Ashton, MNZM – Nga Puhi, Māori Women's Development Inc said “I believe we need to talk about indigenous women coming together. In the last 5 years, we have worked quite tenacious around entering into indigenous forums, talking about how we can collaborate, and share our stories. We have the solutions among ourselves. So, this is the type of conversation that I would like to encourage as we move forward where we come together as one, to talk about it together.”

Focusing on export businesses in particular, Anna Guenther - Women in Export Lead, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise said, “Women in export is the focus of the New Zealand government as they keen on creating a productive, ambitious and sustainable economy. And currently we are not there yet. Around 15% of NZ’s good exporters are led by women, according to MFAT research. But our vision for the future is that our companies reflect our diverse country, including that 50% of export companies are led by women.”

Having grown a business in India, Jo Pennycuick – Founder, Redesign Group provided her valuable insights about establishing and growing a business in the market. She said to succeed in a male dominated industry, women in business have to be strong, persistent and to ensure that they communicate with their teams and partners.

Dr. Aarti Gupta - Chief Investment Officer at DBR Ventures, National Head FICCI FLO Start-up Cell spoke about how NZ and India can build a strong relationships. She said, “Personally for me, women in business, India provides better access for NZ businesses to India’s vast market and more opportunities to export raw materials and intermediate products needed by Indian manufactures. With the start-up ecosystem thriving in India, we are seeing innovative and disruptive tech solving issues in the country and I would like to invite women and entrepreneurs and investors from NZ, especially in start-ups to collaborate with us and lets us explore how we can mutually benefits from our synergies

Talking about NZTE’s role in helping promote women in business, Rachael McGuckian – International Market Manager, IMEA region, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise said, “NZTE has been very intentional over the ten years under the leadership of our current CEO, about making sure that people are at the front and centre of what we do. Our purpose is to grow companies internationally, we are here to help them grow bigger better and faster for the good of NZ. Our role is really pivotal in ensuring that NZ is positioned well to provide a safe and inclusive haven for that live within our shores.”

The event concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Dr Pushpa Wood.

About INZBC:

The India New Zealand Business Council is the premier trade organisation in New Zealand, which has been working since 1988 to build trade relations between India and New Zealand. INZBC has promoted and encouraged trade, investment, scientific, technical and economic cooperation between the two countries.

To know more about us, please visit our website:

For more information contact:

Garry Gupta, Secretary, INZBC: secretariat@inzbc.rg | 0212924519


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