Daphne Pillai is an educationist and social worker. She is the Chairperson of the Management Board, Mahatma Education Society and co-founder of Pillai Group of Institutions, which runs 48 educational institutions in India, in the faculties of Engineering, Architecture, Management, Teachers Training, Arts, Science and Commerce, teaching 35000 students annually. She holds a doctorate in English Literature from Mumbai University. Her thesis was a study of "gender bias" reflected in English poetry. She spearheads a collaboration with Saint Mary's College of California, USA on their Social Service Management Programs. She founded the Soroptimist International Bombay-Chembur Club along with a dedicated group of women in various streams of education. She has initiated and implemented several projects for the upliftment of underprivileged women including Adult Literacy Drives and Skill development programs.