L-R: Ms Kiran Pasricha, CEO Ananta Aspen Centre; Roopa Purushothaman (Class 2), Chief Economist, Tata Group, Mr Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman Tata Group at the inauguration of the new wing of the Avsara Academy

Roopa Purushothaman (Class 2), Chief Economist, Tata Group, understands the leadership journey of a woman only too well. It comes as no surprise therefore, that this Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellow (Class 2), is also the founder of Avasara Academy – a unique, nonprofit residential school that identifies and nurtures exceptional young women to become leaders of tomorrow.

Interestingly, the name Avasara translates into opportunity and the academy is definitely one. It is the level playing ground that young girls need to realize their potential unfettered by their economic or social background. The school provides extensive educational and personal development resources to help students explore their personal strengths and interests. The transformative educational experience equips them to attend the world’s finest universities, serve as leaders in their communities and effect positive change in the world. Avasara is currently housed in four buildings at Pune with 272 students between 6th and 11th grades.

Charu and Masood help Fellows of the Ananta Leaders Fellowship realise the Promise of Leadership

The inaugural class of Ananta Leaders Fellowship came to close on the 1st of March 2019. This unique programme was created to help leaders of the uniformed forces and their corporate and civil society peers develop an understanding of each other’s world views and challenges. It was fitting therefore that two Fellows from distinctly different professions hold the closing seminar. Charu Sinha (Class 4) is the Inspector General of Police, Central Reserve Police Force, Bihar while Masood Hussainy (Class 5) heads Aerostructures and Aero-Engines at Tata Aerospace and Defence.

The duo moderated the final seminar The Promise of Leadership. The seminar focused on helping the participants explore the issues of balancing work and family, community engagement and personal legacy. At the end of the session, 20 participants graduated with a sense of camaraderie, better understanding of each other’s context and a greater commitment to better society.

The vision of a good society: James, Sudha and Sameer help young leaders frame their own at the second ASEAN India Leaders Fellowship seminar

The ASEAN India Leaders Fellowship is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate 25 years of the India – ASEAN Dialogue Partnership. This leadership programme is an opportunity to enhance socio-cultural ties among India and ASEAN member states.

James Abraham (Class 3), Founder and Director SolarArise, Sudha Iyer (Class 1) Founding Director, Quadratic Insights Pvt. Ltd. and Sameer Walia (Class 4), Founder and Chief Executive, Ripples of Hope, conducted the second seminar of the Fellowship. They guided the participants to look at the important issues that exist across the region, learn to appreciate the challenges that each country faces and look for ways to overcome them so as to make a significant difference in the world.They also guided the diverse group to present a homogeneous view of their vision of a good society through the play “Ramayana” which reflected their learnings from the readings and discussions.

Anil enthralls the audience with his recital at the Ananta Annual Awards

The first ever Ananta Annual Awards was held on February 9th, at New Delhi. Ananta Centre has instituted this award to honour leaders whose values are a hallmark of their leadership journey – Mr Rahul Bajaj was the first recipient.

Anil Srinivasan (Class 6), a classical pianist enthralled the audience with his renditions of well known Western and Indian classical pieces, concluding his performance with the iconic Humara Bajaj jingle.

No small talk: Anuj and Sameer ensure meaningful conversation at The Banyan Tree Dinners






The Banyan Tree Dinner, pivoted on a Socratic Reading, is designed to be an evening of meaningful discussions. The dinners at Mumbai and Pune saw engaged conversations thanks to Anuj Poddar (Class 1), Executive Director, Bajaj Electricals Limited in Mumbai and Sameer Walia (Class 4), Founder and Chief Exec, Ripples of Hope in Pune. They elicited participation from young entrepreneurial leaders and ensured that the conversation that resulted was truly food for thought. Vivek Pandit (Class 1), Senior Partner, McKinsey & Co. and Anu Aga, Former Chairperson, Thermax Limited and Trustee, Ananta Aspen Centre, chaired the Dinners.

Technology for the greater good: Govind and Rajan broaden the discussion at the inaugural seminar on Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain for Efficient Public Services Delivery

Ananta Centre, supported by KPMG India, is holding a series of seminars on ‘Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain for Efficient Public Services Delivery’. These sessions intend to broaden the conversation around adoption of future technologies by including those who are in position to use it for the larger good. The first seminar held on the 17th of December, 2018, at Mumbai, saw very engaging discussions with a diverse audience.

Rajan Navani (Class 3), Managing Director, Jetline Group of Companies chaired a session on the value of embracing innovative technologies such as AI and Blockchain, while also thinking about the broader social impact of such technologies. Govindraj Ethiraj (Class 2), Founder, BOOM and IndiaSpend highlighted the various social and political problems resulting from fake news and also suggested actionable solutions to combat the phenomena

The ceiling-breakers: Pratibha, Reshma and Suparna kickstart The Woman Speaks series with a discussion on Women in the workplace. Amitav moderates the session.

Ananta Centre is broadening the gender conversation with The Woman Speaks dialogue series. Supported by JCB, these discussions aim to facilitate the creation of gender agnostic policies that ensure a level playing ground for working women.

It was fitting that three women achievers - all Bajaj Fellows- set the series rolling with a panel discussion on What Glass Ceiling? Indian Women in the Workplace. Reshma Anand (Class 2), CEO, Hindustan Unilever Foundation; Pratibha Jain (Class 7), Partner, Nishith Desai Associates; Suparna Singh (Class 4), CEO, NDTV Group were the panellists and Amitav Virmani (Class 3), Founder CEO, The Education Alliance, moderated the session. The panel shared insights on the challenges that women face at their workplace and consequently on the need to strengthen existing policies at multiple levels. Charu Sinha (Class 4), Inspector General, Central Reserve Police Force, Bihar, shared her views from the audience.

Sameer guides the conversation at the Aspen International Network NextGen – AI Workshop

Sameer Walia (Class 4) and Founder and Chief Executive, Ripples of Hope moderated a discussion between Dr Gautam Shroff, Chief Scientist and Head of Research at Tata Consultancy Services and 20 select NextGen leaders from different walks of life, at the Aspen International Network NextGen Network – AI Workshop held in New Delhi on March 7, 2019.

Participants explored, examined and debated salient issues concerning the advent of AI, broadening outlooks and enhancing capacity in the pursuit of sustainable and home-grown solutions and ways to influence policy discussions at the local, national and international levels.

Arunabha takes part in the 8th India – US Track II Dialogue on Climate Change and Energy

Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment And Water was part of the 8th meeting of the India – US Track II Dialogue on Climate Change which was jointly convened by Ananta Aspen Centre and the Aspen Institute US.

The meeting contextualised the political atmosphere around climate change policy at the global, national and sub-national levels and set the tone for key discussions on air quality and reduction of short-lived climate pollutants, shared and electric mobility, financing the energy transition, and the role of science and technology in climate and energy policy.

Newer elements like Artificial Intelligence were added to the mitigation discourse.

Helping reshape the partnership paradigm: Nikhil nominated the Co-chair of the India Israel Forum

The 11th India Israel Forum was held against the backdrop of enhancing bilateral ties between the India and Israel. It was especially noteworthy since it was preceded by Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Israel in June 2017 and the subsequent visit of Prime Minister Netanyahu to India in January 2018.

The Forum was co-chaired by Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman of the Board, Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd and Nikhil Sawhney (Class 3), Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Triveni Turbine Limited and Director, Triveni Engineering and Industries Limited from India and, Aharon Fogel, Chairman, ZIM Integrated Shipping, Stan Bergman, CEO and Chairman of Henry Schein from Israel.


4 sight: Class 4 reunion in Mumbai

WhatTheHex: Class 6 reunion in Goa

Hasina Kharbhih (Class 3), Founder of Impulse NGO Network, one of the six extraordinary Indians who were covered in Readers Digest, January 2019 issue for changing the world through courage, compassion and service through her campaign against human trafficking.

Anant Maheshwari (Class 5), President, Microsoft India
We’ve culturally moved from know-it-all to learn-it-all: Anant Maheshwari
Economic Times / 11 March


Manoj Kumar (Class 2), CEO, Naandi Foundation

Labourer to estate owner: How the Araku Coffee project changed the lives of adivasi farmers

Scroll.in / 3 February


Radhika Piramal (Class 7), Executive Vice Chairwoman, VIP Industries Ltd

How Radhika Piramal is steering VIP Industries towards bigger and global roads

Economic Times Magazine / 17 March


Saloni Malhotra (Class 5), Vice President, Invest India and Head of AGNli

ET Women’s Forum: 'She-preneurs ask for more permission, men for more forgiveness'
Economic Times Panache / 11 February


Nyrika Crishna Holkar (Class 6), Executive Director, Godrej & Boyce

In the spotlight at Godrej, Nyrika banks on consumer business for growth

Business Standard / 28 February


Lavanya Nalli (Class 7), Vice Chairperson, Nalli Silk Sarees Private Limited
Lavanya Nalli learnt family business on the job, thanks to a tenured employee
Economic Times / 4 February


Umang Bedi (Class 7), President, Dailyhunt
Discovery Communications India signs content sharing pact with Dailyhunt
The Asian Age / 19 March



Vikram Misri (Class 2) is now the Indian Ambassador to China 


  • Banyan Tree Dinner: 12 April 2019, Kolkata, moderated by Abheek Singhi (Class 4), Senior Partner & Managing Director, Asia-Pacific Leader, Consumer and Retail Practice, Boston Consulting Group.
  • G P Birla Fellowship for Women Leaders Class 2: Seminar 1 to be held from 18–22 April, Delhi, moderated by Reshma Anand (Class 2) and Sameer Walia (Class 4).
  • Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship Class 7: Seminar II to be held from 30 April–6 May 2019, Kovalam, moderated by James Abraham (Class 3), Manoj Kumar (Class 2) and Sejal Shah Gulati (Class 5).
  • The Shri Ram Ananta Aspen Leadership School: 19 May–1 June, 209, Rishikesh - 8 Fellows moderate at TSAALS. James Abraham (Class 3), Amitav Virmani (Class 3), Sudha Iyer (Class 1), Vinati Kilambi Kastia (Class 6), Neera Nundy (Class 3), Arun Kumra Padmanabhan (Class 3), Rahul Mirchandani (Class 4), Aradhana Mahna Khaitan (Class 4) and Shikha Sharma (Class 3).
  • Ananta Godrej Ideas India: 6–8 September 2019, Hari Mahal, Jodhpur, Anuj Poddar (Class 1) is the Convener and Govind Ethiraj (Class 1) is the co-convener.
  • Emerging Leaders Fellowship: 4th class, 10–15 June, 2019 at Coimbatore



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