Vijay Eswaran is an Indian born, Malaysian based entrepreneur and philanthropist. His professional experience includes various roles in multinational organizations including Procter & Gamble (P&G) where he headed the Pampers brand for most of Asia. In 1998, he founded QI Group, a diversified holding company with businesses in e-commerce, logistics, property development, and education.
Beyond his professional achievements, Vijay Eswaran is also highly committed to promoting gender equality. In speeches and writings, he has highlighted the important economic and moral implications of gender inequality.
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From an economic perspective, Vijay argues that gender equality is essential for sustainable growth and development. He points to the fact that women account for half of the world’s population and 60% of its workforce, yet they earn only 10% of global income and own 1% of global assets. This imbalance not only widens the gender gap in education and employment opportunities, but also reduces overall productivity.
Vijay Eswaran goes on to explain that women’s greater involvement in economic activities enhances the growth process because of their generally lower income requirements than men. He highlights research findings which show that when given equal opportunities women invest more of their income (compared to men) in their families and local communities, leading to increased economic activity and growth.
From a moral perspective, Vijay Eswaran believes that the full participation of women in society is a fundamental human right that should be championed for its own sake.
He has been ranked as one of the most powerful people in Asia and his company was listed as one of Forbes top 200 best large employers for women. Despite this, he still found himself pondering gender inequality. “The population imbalance between males and females has reached alarming proportions,” said Eswaran to The Straits Times. “It requires radical changes.”
Eswaran points out that there are many economic implications to this issue: from marriage to property ownership; from female employment rates to social stability; from healthcare costs to education expenditures; not mentioning the moral implications.