Dr. Daphne Pillai is the Chairperson of the Management Board of Mahatma Education Society (www.mes.ac.in) and Co-Founder of the Pillai Group of Institutions. The Society runs a total of 48 educational institutions spread over six elegant campuses, providing quality education from kindergarten to post-graduate professional courses in the faculties of Engineering, Architecture, Management, Teachers Training, Arts, Science and Commerce to more than 30,000 students with 2,000 teachers and 1,500 members of non-teaching staff.
Dr. Daphne Pillai holds a doctorate in English Literature from Mumbai University. She is the Campus Rector of Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai Campus Panvel. She was the Principal of Pillai College of Arts Commerce and Science, Panvel from 2002 to 2017 during which the college won various accolades in the areas of academics, sports, art and culture.
She founded the NGO, Soroptimist International of Bombay-Chembur (SIBC) in the year 1997 with the objective of helping underprivileged women, specially women who lost out on the first chance in Education through the project ‘The Power of A Second Chance.’ This is done through Adult Literacy Drives which empowers women through skill based education and spoken english skill.
She is also co-founder and Director of Vidhyadhan Education Pvt. Ltd., a company whose core area is in providing education infrastructure facilities like hostels and staff housing. The company also runs several play schools under the name of Edukidz.
In keeping with the changing ecosystem in the country, where the climate is charged with the entrepreneurship spirit, Dr. Daphne Pillai founded the Forum of Women in Commerce and Industry in 2019 and got the company affiliated to the International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry (IWFCI) a Federation which works globally to promote entrepreneurship among women.
She, and her husband, Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai, had the honor of representing India at the BRIC-IBSA summit in Rio-de-Janeiro in April 2010 as a part of the Prime Minister’s Indian delegation.
She is an Honorary Advisory Member of the scholarly Social Science & Humanities Research Association (SSHRA) which is an international committee of researchers, practitioners, students and educationists for the development and spread of ideas in the field of social sciences and humanities. The SSHRA organizes its international conferences and events under the banner of ‘Eurasia Research’.
She has been invited to international forums in USA, Turkey, Portugal, United Nations and South Korea to speak on various issues and challenges faced by women in India.
She has been the recipient of several University of Mumbai, Department of Commerce Awards for her contribution to the field of education.
Dr. Daphne Pillai was awarded the SI-Achiever Award by National Association of Soroptimist International in December, 2012 for her exemplary work in the field of women welfare and development.
She was also the recipient of the Savvy Honors Celebrating Success Award in 2016.
She was selected to represent the Federation of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 62) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in March, 2018.
She was elected as President of The International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry (IWFCI), India Chapter in August 2018, a global organization dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs grow globally.