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October 2018: Manasi Kirloskar, Executive Director and CEO, Kirloskar Systems Limited, has been appointed as the first United Nations in India Young Business Champion for the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

As an emerging young business leader, Ms. Kirloskar has the unique ability to expand the dialogue on SDGs and business responsibility among her peers, and inspire other young leaders to be proactive in their support and action for the SDGs.In addition, Ms. Kirloskar will focus on the role of business in development, and work with the UN on issues such as climate change, plastic, waste and women empowerment. She will play an enabling role in driving the objectives of the UN-India Business Forum (UNIBF).

“With privilege comes responsibility and social accountability. I am honoured and inspired by this opportunity to work with the UN as their first Young Business Champion. The SDGs present an unique opportunity for industry to participate in India’s growth story for generations to come. Businesses have the potential to become catalysts and accelerators of sustainable development. Through my work here, I look forward to amplifying this message amongst all young business leaders, whether employed, or employers in start-ups themselves,” said Ms. Kirloskar.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in the US, Ms. Kirloskar underwent comprehensive training at Toyota Kirloskar Motor for three years, developing a close understanding of technical processes, manufacturing practices, industry-leading quality management systems and business functions. After that, she shepherded the creation and launch of Toyota Material Handling Private Limited, a joint venture with Toyota. One of her latest initiatives is a residential complex, with a commercial project in the planning stages.

After graduation, Ms. Kirloskar’s first project was to set up a 300-bed multi-specialty hospital in a joint venture arrangement with a Japanese hospital chain. Ms. Kirloskar worked to create the interiors of the Sakra World Hospital in Bangalore with specialised materials that could build a vibrant environment and aid the healing process. Ms. Kirloskar is also the Managing Trustee and CEO of Caring with Colour, a non-profit initiative that promotes classroom learning through the arts and activities focused on exploration and innovation.

 “I am delighted to appoint Ms. Kirloskar as the Young Business Champion for the SDGs in India. She exemplifies how committed young business leaders can play a significant role in catalysing action for the SDGs. With her involvement, we can build a deeper understanding of the importance of business in ensuring a more sustainable planet,” said Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator in India.

The UN in India works closely with the Government of India, elected officials, civil society organisations and the corporate sector on a range of development issues, in support of the priorities defined by the government and the SDGs. As part of the UN’s efforts to accelerate growth and achieve the SDGs, the UN in India launched the UNIBF, a ground-breaking alliance of India’s key economic influencers, aimed at addressing the country’s most urgent development challenges and unlocking opportunities to innovate at scale.Since its launch in 2017, the UNIBF has evolved from a dialogue forum into a tangible partnership. It has helped steer innovative and disruptive partnerships as well as action for the SDGs.

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