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Breaking the glass ceiling

The India Nightlife Convention and Awards (INCA) in association with Heineken, hosted The Sisterhood Soiree – an initiative to recognise and encourage women in the nightlife and hospitality industry at Saligao Stories and Soro – The Village Pub.

The event saw key business leaders from the hospitality industry under one roof and students from different colleges aspiring to pursue a career in the nightlife industry with an ultimate aim to achieve equal participation of women in the industry. To commemorate the potential of women, Heineken in association with INCA witnessed stalwarts from the industry like- entrepreneurs, bartenders, DJs, staff and bouncers – all being women.

The Sisterhood Soiree is specifically designed to create awareness about opportunities for women in the nightlife industry. The event opened with a workshop by lifestyle and fashion journalist, Ethel D’Costa in conversation with founder and CEO, The Chocolate Spoon and author of ‘Adventures with Mithai’, Rachel Goenka who discussed the various opportunities for students. This was followed by a Q&A session.

The afternoon sessions included a panel discussion at Saligao Stories featuring head of institutional sales, UB, Bhargavi Naidu; owner, Café Mira, Radhika Timblo, chef patron/ co-owner, A Reverie, Aakritee Sinh; owner, The Black Sheep Bistro and Black Market, Sabreen Sukhtankar; actress and model, Shveta Salve; owner, Villa Nova, Aliya Rashid; and VP, SKAL Club, Reshma Alves.

Women achievers on the panel shared their journey and experiences of being associated with this industry, while established male business leaders discussed how more women can be encouraged to participate and contribute to this industry. The panel also discussed how to address challenges that act as deterrents for women in this industry – safety, societal mindset, recognition were some of the issues that came up. The evening continued at Soro – The Village Pub featuring entertainment by DJs Ayesha Pramanik, Shania and Ana Lilia.

With women contributing a substantial amount at every level in the nightlife domain, it is imperative to bestow recognition and allow this energy to transform the hospitality sector.

Speaking on the successful reception of this event, director, INCA and Kickstart Entertainment, Aman Anand said: “With an aim to encourage equal participation of women in the nightlife, hospitality and F&B space, the whole execution of Sisterhood Soiree has been taken by a team of women right from event management, bartenders to bouncers acknowledging and promoting the women workforce of the industry. As we step forward, this year, we have encouraged college students to participate and interact with the women entrepreneurs while they share their journey.”

Speaking on Heineken’s association, head marketing, United Breweries Limited, Gurpreet Singh said: “Heineken’s association with INCA is a testament of our commitment towards building a safe and gender-neutral nightlife industry. India boasts of a vibrant nightlife and we realise the immense scope that lies in empowering and providing a level playing field for women. It is our endeavour to further build a nightlife landscape that is safe, welcoming and most of all, inclusive.”

Furthering the cause of INCA and in recognition of the massive talent pool in the nightclub Industry, President of NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India) and executive director and CEO DeGustibus Hospitality Private Limited, Anurag Katriar said: “Hospitality comes naturally to women and with Sisterhood Soiree, we aim to build a platform that encourages equal and active participation of Women in the hospitality industry. The event also offers an opportunity of interaction between the youth and the veteran hospitality experts.”

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