Indian scientist and industrialist Swati Piramal was conferred the top French honour

Indian scientist and industrialist Swati Piramal was conferred the top French honour

Prominent Indian scientist and industrialist Dr Swati Piramal has been conferred France’s top civilian honour for her contributions in the fields of business and industry, science, medicine, and towards strengthening Indo-French ties.

Piramal, 66, is the vice-chairperson of the Mumbai-headquartered Piramal Group, a business conglomerate with interests in pharmaceuticals, financial services, real estate and glass packaging.

The Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur or Knight of the Legion of Honour was conferred on her in an investiture ceremony by Catherine Colonna, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, during a visit to India this week. The award was conferred on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Dr Piramal is not only a leading and outstanding businesswoman, but also a businesswoman who gives back to society,” said Colonna.

“Her strong influence on business and industry, public policy, healthcare governance and women’s leadership is widely recognised in India and abroad. Through this award, France also wishes to recognise Dr Piramal at the highest level as a true friend of France, a driving force to advance Indo-French ties in the fields of science, arts, culture, cuisine, and business,” she said.

For Piramal, it follows the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite, France’s second highest civilian honour Knight of the Order of Merit, in 2016.

As a leading scientist and industrialist, Piramal says her focus has been on innovations, new medicines, and public health and she also believes in encouraging India-France ties across business and industry, innovation, and arts and culture.

“I am truly humbled to be conferred the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur. This honour is also a recognition of the efforts by my colleagues at Piramal, both in India and internationally, across trade and business, science, arts, and culture

“The recognition motivates us to work towards further strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations. Piramal Group has a long relationship with France, both in arts and culture and in business. I am confident that the recognition will take our partnership to even greater heights in the coming time,” she said.

Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honour is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of nationality.

Piramal is also a recipient of the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian honours of India, as a champion of developing frameworks and policies to support women in leadership roles. She has served as a member of the Prime Minister of India’s Trade Advisory Council and the Scientific Advisory Council and is currently on the Harvard Global Advisory Council.

“As the director of Piramal Foundation, she is also involved in developing innovative long-term and scalable solutions that will provide further impetus to India’s economic and social progress. She leads the foundation’s efforts towards effective public policy and governance in public health, water and education through private-public-partnership (PPP) models for solutions and contributes to India’s Sustainable Development Goals,” the Piramal Group said.

The company highlighted that the Piramal Museum of Art in Mumbai is currently hosting the ‘Science beyond Borders’ exhibition, running until the end of September. Curated by the French Institute in India and its partners, the exhibition showcases the rich history of scientific cooperation between the two countries.

The exhibition is part of Bonjour India 2022, a large-scale cultural and artistic festival organised by France to mark India’s 75th anniversary of Independence and 75 years of diplomatic relations between France and India.