Dr. Bina Modi’s description can’t just be limited to a businesswoman. She is an institution unto herself. She is a leader, an entrepreneur, head of one of Indian industry’s most illustrious business families, and the torchbearer of Modi Enterprises – KK Modi Group’s unparalleled legacy. The Group is among India’s successful business conglomerates with diverse businesses in FMCG, agro-chemicals, retail, fashion, lifestyle, direct-selling, food and hospitality sectors.
Along with being the Chairperson of the Group, Dr. Modi is also the Chairperson and Managing Director of Godfrey Phillips India (GPI) and Indofil – the Group’s flagship companies. In fact, she is one of the few women Chairpersons in the Fortune 500 India companies. But she wishes to be remembered most for the positive impact that her philosophy and efforts have made on society.
FIRST FORAYS IN BUSINESS
Dr. Modi married Mr. KK Modi, the late founder of Modi Enterprises in 1961. While the name Modi was already making huge waves in the Indian industry, the family was rooted in its traditions. Dr. Modi’s creative fire and passion to make a difference was supported and nurtured by her husband. After acing the roles of daughter, wife, daughter-in-law and mother, she began her journey as an entrepreneur rather late at the age of 40. Her first foray into business was in the fashion industry. With Bina Fashions, she brought glory back to the complex and beautiful art of Parsi gara and chikankariwork. With the success of her fashion house, her appetite as an entrepreneur grew stronger.
From fashion, Dr. Modi expanded to the food industry. She brought authentic Italian and Thai cuisines to India’s national capital. Today, Ego is amongst the most popular and sought-after restaurant chains. She further established herself as a successful lifestyle entrepreneur with a luxury beauty salon.
Dr. Modi’s business acumen was appreciated further by Mr. KK Modi. Her partner in life made her his business partner as well by inducting her into Godfrey Phillips India’s Board of Directors, in 2014. Soon after, she also became part of GPI’s Executive Committee, actively participating in strategic business decisions, reconstruction of business processes, and strengthening of the business portfolio. Since her first foray into the world of business, reinforcing the human factor has been as important to her as strategising for building business.
A true leader, Dr. Modi credits her success to her people. Keeping people first is an intrinsic part of her business philosophy. She is determined to empower people for she strongly believes that businesses are successful only when the people involved are confident to do their best and explore their potential. The validation for it comes with the recognition that GPI is one of India’s ‘Great Places to Work’ for four years in a row. With her “people first” philosophy, she also has a strong inclination towards community welfare and sustainability. She takes deep interest in the companies’ corporate social responsibility initiatives too. As GPI strengths its sustainability and ESG efforts, Dr. Modi leads from the front.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
Dr. Modi has been conferred twice with Ph.D, Honoris Causa. Dr. K.N. Modi University presented her with an honorary doctorate for her contribution to the fields of arts, technology, management, commerce, agriculture, fashion and hospitality. More recently, Jharkhand Rai University recognised her iconic and outstanding contribution towards society with an honorary doctorate too. In April 2022, she was awarded as ‘Women Transforming India’ by Indo-American Chambers at the ‘6th Entrepreneur Leadership Awards 2022’.
In 2020, she received an Award for Excellence in Business by the President of Egypt, at the Women Economic Forum 2020. She has also featured in India’s Most Powerful Women, a book by Prem Ahluwalia. She was awarded the prestigious Achiever’s Award in 2019, and has also been recognised among the ‘Women of the Decade in Business & Leadership 2018’ by Women Economic Forum. AsiaOne’s ‘Women Empowerment Principles Leadership Award, Asia, 2023’ adds another feather to her elaborate cap.
MAKING A MARK
In a male-dominated industry, Dr. Bina Modi has made her mark. Along with being an inspiration for women around the world, she actively supports women in her Group of Companies by ensuring equal growth opportunities for them. With an impressive career that spans over three decades, and a philosophy that always puts people first, Dr. Modi is truly an institution.