The Performance Theatre is, at heart, about inspiring better leadership. And so an integral part of each theatre is the presentation of the Inspired Leadership Award (ILA).

The Inspired Leadership Award was founded in 2006 and is traditionally presented at The Performance Theatre each year.

In past years, the award has celebrated global business pioneers who embody our ideal of what a leader should be. Starting 2015, it is awarded to emerging leaders who have shown that they have the potential to achieve positive change on a global scale. In its new form, the prize represents a fantastic opportunity for the recipient: not only will they join a list of awardees that includes leaders from Ratan Tata to Richard Branson, but they will also be mentored by senior business leaders from the TPT community.

In 2016, the award was won by Arunachalam Muruganantham, social entrepreneur and founder of Jayaashree Industries.


  • Arunachalam Muruganantham

    Arunachalam Muruganantham is a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India. He invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine and has innovated grass-roots mechanisms for generating awareness about traditional unhygienic practices around menstruation in rural India. His motivation for inventing the machine was to help poor women live with dignity. His mini-machines, which can manufacture sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads, have been installed in 23 of the 29 states of India and have created livelihoods for thousands of women. He is currently planning to expand the production of these machines to 106 nations. In 2014, TIME magazine placed him in its list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.

  • Jeremy Heimans

    The 2015 ILA went to emerging leader Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO of Purpose. “I’m honoured to have been awarded this prize amongst a cohort of fantastic and innovative nominees. The scale and complexity of challenges facing the world today – from climate change to LGBT rights – demand a new type of leadership. At Purpose, we’re building movements and new crowd-based social and economic models to tackle some of these global problems, and we’re working with organisations to put purpose at the core of what they do.”