Change of Guard

A new team took over the Northeast chapter of FLO, the women’s wing of FICCI reports ANINDITA DAS

These women actually mean business. As women entrepreneurs from Guwahati gathered at the city’s Gymkhana Club for the change of guard ceremony, there was a sombre air spiced with a dash of glamour.


Monisha  Baruwa took over as the Chairperson of the organisation from the outgoing Chairperson Queen Ojah.  The special guest on the occasion was Shiva Keshavan, the first Indian representative to compete in Luge at the Winter Olympic Games. He set a new Asian speed record at 134.3 kmph after beating previous record of 131.9 kmph and won gold medal in Asia Cup 2011 at Nagano in Japan.


Established in 1983, FLO is the women Wing of FICCI, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry which is the apex body of industry and chambers of commerce in India.

As an all India forum for women, FLO has members comprising of entrepreneurs, professionals, executives and others, who may not be working full time or are homemakers wanting to contribute to developmental initiatives.

FLO believes that the resources and strengths of women need to be channelised, to help develop their full potential. The primary objective of FLO is to promote entrepreneurship and professional excellence in women. It does this through its educational and vocational training programmes, talks, seminars, panel discussions and workshops on a vast range of subjects especially concerning women and business.

The evening began with a Sarwasati Bandana, rendered by Uma Deorah, a member of FLO, followed by an interactive session of the members with Shiva. When asked Shiva said, being born and brought up in Himachal Pradesh he indulged in winter sports since childhood, initially using the available materials to build the equipments required, “it was an indigenous kind of development,” he added. Thrilling and dangerous at the same time, winter sports provided him a unique identity in the realm of winter sports in India and he is happy that he has brought it to the notice of all, including the Government. He looks forward for the organisations like FICCI (FLO) to promote winter sports in their respective manner.

The next programme in the agenda was the most awaited moment for the gathering, when Meghali Das announced the change of guard ceremony. Queen Ojha handed over the Chairpersonship to Monisha Baruwa, and the latter announced the new committee members and expressed her special gratitude all the members who guided her.  Baruwa is an entrepreneur, who is into the hospitality business. “I have been running a bed and breakfast guest house in Guwahati for the past five years. I have of long list of corporate clientale to my credit,” she says. She has been actively associated for 11 years with one of the oldest ngo of the region, Eastern India Women’s Association.

Baruwa recalls her four years of active association with the organization and her responsibility now to carry on with the good work as demonstrated by the erstwhile Chairpersons with their respective team members. She urged to each and every member to encourage new members join so that within a year the group becomes double.

She aims to work more aggressively on women empowerment, motivating the rural women to be self-sufficient and spreading the need of active participation of women in all affairs. FLO in near future also intends to extend their work in the various parts of Northeast India.

Anindita Das

Anindita Das

Anindita Das is currently pursuing her PhD from the Department of English, Gauhati University. She contentedly follows her heart by being a content writer and dabbles at poetry which is her passion. While music soothes her soul, she travels and reads to unwind herself. Another favourite pastime she indulges in is cooking her way into anybody’s heart.