New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Thirteen business leaders, among them Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata, Essar Group chairman Shashi Ruia, ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and Singapore Airlines chairman Lee Ching Yen, were conferred with the Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) awards at a glittering ceremony here.
Ratan Tata along with Singapore-based Infocomm's executive chairman Gopinath Pillai and Oman-based Zubair Corporation's founder Mohammad Al Zubair were conferred ABLF lifetime achievement awards.
Other categories of the awards included 'ABLF Global Asian of the Year', 'ABLF Business Courage', 'ABLF Business Excellence' and 'Woman of Power'.
The awards have been instituted by Indian Expressions -- a Dubai-based company -- that seeks to connect the Gulf region with India and the larger South East Asian region, and bring closer their respective business communities, top policy-makers and civil society.
Three senior union cabinet ministers - Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi - honoured the business leaders at the gala event Monday evening here.
Ruia, Lee Ching Yen and chief executive officer of Dubai-based Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority and Economic Zones Worldwide Salma Hareb were honoured for business excellence.
Addressing the event, Kamal Nath said business leaders were playing a very important role in sustaining a high economic growth in India and other emerging economies in the region.
Three business leaders - one each from India, the Gulf region and South East Asia - were conferred ABLF Woman of Power award. Kochhar from India, president of Singapore-based Hyflux Group of Companies Olivia Lum Ooi Lin, and director of Oman-based Bahwan Group Hind Bahwan were honoured with the award.
Sibal said women entrepreneurs were playing increasingly important role in the growth and development of emerging economies, including India and the Gulf region.
Sibal congratulated managing director of Indian Expressions Malini N. Menon for creating the ABLF Awards platform, saying it would motivate the business leaders in the region.
'Women leaders have sensitivity, patience and soft touch that male leaders do not have. Women leaders of this world know how to take care of family, how to invest money, how to distribute wealth, how to sustain a family and take it forward,' said Sibal, who also holds the human resource development portfolio.