Dr. Daphne Pillai, Secretary, MES

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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 today manages a total of 48 educational institutions 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 2000 teachers and 1500 members of non-teaching staff.

Dr. Daphne Pillai holds a doctorate in English Literature from Mumbai University. She is the founder patron of the MES Research Forum which gives a platform to budding researchers to present their work to accomplished academicians and solicit feedback. She is also technical advisor to ‘EuroVision’ an International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities.

She is the Founder President of Soroptimist International Bombay-Chembur, which is affiliated to the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland; a women’s organization which has consultative status in the United Nations. She was introduced to the Soroptimist movement in 1995 and was enthused with the various causes it represents which led her to start a SI Club in Mumbai with a dedicated group of women in various streams of education. The SI Club under her inspiring guidance has helped many women along the way to aspire, achieve and enrich their lives. She was selected to represent 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 is well travelled and has a deep understanding of the socio-economic issues affecting women and girls. She has initiated and implemented several projects for the upliftment of women including Adult Literacy Drives for women in slums. 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.

Awards and Achievements

ASSOCHAM Women Achiever of the Year

Dr. Daphne Pillai, CO-Founder of Pillai Group of Institutions was the recipient of the ASSOCHAM WOMAN ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR AWARD at the ‘Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Summit’ held in New Delhi on 13th November, 2019. The award was in recognition of her tremendous contribution to women’s empowerment through social entrepreneurship initiatives. The award ceremony was held in association with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.

The award was conferred on her by the Hon. Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani.


Dr. Daphne Pillai, was awarded the SAVVY HONOURS CELEBRATING SUCCESS AWARD at a star studded, glittering function at the Taj, Santacruz on 24th July, 2016 organised by “SAVVY” magazine.

Dr. Pillai, a leading educationist for over 30 years, is the Chairperson of the Management Board, Mahatma Education Society and co-founder of the Pillai Group of Institutions which runs 48 educational institutions where 30,000 students study annually. She was felicitated for her contribution to education and especially for her efforts to empower the underprivileged women in society through Adult Literacy Drives and Skill Development Programmes. She firmly believes that “women are naturally empowered as they are the child bearing gender and only need the right environment within which to blossom and it is much our duty and obligation to choose the right environment for ourselves”. She received a trophy and a citation honouring her for her well deserved contribution to society. Dr. Daphne Pillai is also the founder of the Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur, a women’s international organization which works for the welfare of women and works towards “Educating, Empowering and Enabling” women to build better lives for themselves.

SI – Achiever Award

Dr. Daphne Pillai was awarded the SI – Achiever Award by NASI in December 2012.


Dr. Daphne Pillai was felicitated for her Research Work in Women Studies on 14th January, 2016 by Department of Commerce, University of Mumbai on the occasion of the 13th International Conference of Commerce and Management held at the Kalina Campus.

Dr. Daphne Pillai was felicitated by the Mumbai University in an International Commerce and Management Conference by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Honourable A. D. Sawant for her contribution to the field of Education on 31st January, 2009.