Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship

Class 2 - Profile of the Fellows

Adarsh Kumar – Senior Rural Development Specialist-Agriculture Global Practice The World Bank
Adarsh Kumar is a Senior Agribusiness Specialist with the Food and Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. His work focuses on skills training and enterprise development, with a focus on the agricultural sector. Prior work stints include founding an investment promotion facility for agri-producer enterprises; co-founding AIACA, a non-profit organization that works to strengthen enterprise growth in the crafts sector; and working on strengthening microcredit institutions and livelihoods initiatives across South Asia at the Ford Foundation. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Georgetown University and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Adarsh has been nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and has been awarded both the Echoing Green and Ashoka fellowships for social entrepreneurship. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Social Stock Exchange
Adarsh is working on creating a Social Stock Exchange that lists innovative social sector projects and serves as a platform where such projects can get investments from interested companies and individual citizens. Additionally Adarsh is creating The Community Exchange initiative to procure computers donated by middle class citizens and corporations and give them to poor students studying in government schools in Delhi. Computers typically have a life cycle of three to four years, with most households and businesses upgrading to a new computer every two to three years. Though these computers are somewhat obsolete for advanced users, they are perfectly functional for basic office/classroom use and for connecting to the internet. Adarsh has contacted both Microsoft and Google to obtain basic office and educational software for free. He will also work with the government to obtain free internet services and warehousing for the donated equipment. Eventually, his hope is that the program will be expanded to other major Indian cities.

Alkesh Wadhwani – India Country Director, Poverty Alleviation, Bill and Medinda Gates Foundation, India
Alkesh currently leads the poverty alleviation portfolio for the foundation’s India Country Office, which comprises programmatic work in Agriculture Development, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Financial Services for the Poor (FSP), and Gender Equality. Previously, Alkesh led the health, nutrition and family planning portfolio for the foundation in India. Alkesh joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India in 2003, and was one of the key members who helped conceptualize and implement the $338 million funded Avahan program, the AIDS initiative of the world's largest HIV/AIDS prevention programs. Before joining the foundation, he worked for McKinsey & Co., where he served clients in India, Asia, Europe and U.S. in the financial services and pharmaceutical sectors. He co-founded IIT Invest Trust Ltd., with seats on the BSE and NSE, and interests in institutional and retail broking, and investment banking. He has also worked in the Financial Institutions Group of Citibank in Mumbai. His educational background includes a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering, IIT Mumbai and MBA from IIM Calcutta, in Finance and systems. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network

Leadership project/venture: Integrating HIV testing into specialized clinics for sex workers
Alkesh’s project integrates HIV testing in 13 STI clinics in Mumbai/Thane and Pune, and for those individuals found HIV positive, links them to care, support and treatment centres run by the Government of India. With concerted advocacy efforts by Alkesh, the government of Maharashtra agreed to provide free HIV testing kits to these 13 STI clinics. They also agreed to provide training to the lab technicians of these clinics in the use of these kits, and to include these clinics in the national quality control system for HIV testing. In return, the STI clinics agreed to provide the government with data on the number of persons tested and to refer those positive for HIV treatment. Alkesh intends to scale up the testing at these 13 sites and also improve quality. The data will be used to inform the prevention activities of the project. The goal is to work with the Government in order to incorporate HIV testing at STI clinics into the national guidelines.

Kartik Bharat Ram – Deputy Managing Director, SRF Ltd.
Kartik is the Deputy Managing Director of SRF Ltd., a chemical intermediates business with a turnover of US$ 860 million*. SRF is a market leader in refrigerant gases and a preferred supplier of specialty chemicals and packaging films, besides being the country’s largest technical textile player with manufacturing plants in India, Thailand and South Africa. As Deputy MD, Kartik is involved in the creation and strengthening of a performance based culture within the organization, through value-based leadership. He is also passionately involved in driving the aspirations of the company and an advocate on issues related to environmental responsibility. With interests’ that center on human motivation, leadership, corporate transformation and accountability, Kartik has successfully shaped SRF into being a trusted corporate brand – one that is respected for its commitment to deliver sustainable growth through total excellence. In addition, Kartik is the Chairman of KAMA Holdings, a company that holds a majority share in SRF Ltd. He also serves as a Director of Shri Educare Limited, a company in the school education consultancy space. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In the past, he has served as the President of the Indian Blind Sports Association and as Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Delhi State Council for the year 2007-08. Kartik is a graduate from Santa Clara University, California and earned an MBA from Cornell University, New York. He is an avid golfer and winner of multiple pro-am Golf tournaments

Leadership project/venture: Teacher Training in Rural Schools
Kartik seeks to strengthen teacher training in rural schools. In 2009, his company Foundation adopted 25 semi urban/rural schools in the District of Mewat. Kartik came to know that the proficiency of the teachers’ English language skills at the English medium schools was very poor. As the teachers were keen to enhance their skills Kartik got teachers from The Shri Ram School (TSRS) to train the teachers in Mewat in English speaking skills. He will ensure that the TSRS teachers are paid for the services they provide to the Mewat schools (paid by the government schools as part of their development costs) so that they remain committed to the project. He is also looking at setting up a Language Lab which will be a permanent fixture at the Mewat Schools and allow the teachers there to continuously practice and refresh their skills.

Manoj Kumar – CEO, Naandi Foundation
A Robert S McNamara Fellow of the World Bank, Manoj Kumar shifted career from banking to social sector with a pit stop in micro-finance, before taking over as CEO of Naandi in 2000 AD. As the founding CEO of Naandi Foundation, Manoj disrupted the NGO space in India by being the first to create a sustainable model of outsourcing government programs and demonstrating successful large scale implementation with efficiency and outcomes. Naandi was most famous for providing a billion meals to over a million children as part of the Midday Meal Program of the Government of India. Naandi also became the watchdog on child malnutrition through its work with the HUNGaMA (Hunger and Malnutrition) Reports and high-level advocacy with a group of multi-party parliamentarians called Citizens Alliance against Malnutrition, of which Manoj is a founding Core Member. Today, Naandi is probably the largest multi-sectoral non profit in India that is also the fastest growing with transformative impact all over the country. Naandi runs over 2200 Skilling & Employment Centres and about 6300 Girls Education and Empowerment Centres impacting a million young lives. These are run under the aegis of Mahindra Pride Classrooms and Project Nanhi Kali respectively - both brand names today for their scale and impact. Manoj recently led the Naandi team to conduct the country’s first ever Teen Age Girls Survey across 30 states and published the TAG Report representing the 80 million teenage girls in India. Under Manoj's leadership, Naandi has also established a large footprint in the area of Sustainable Agriculture and Small Farmer Livelihoods. His two-decade long work in the hilly Araku region of south-eastern India is transforming lives of 100,000 adivasi farmer families – making the region famous for its world-class coffee. Manoj's pioneering work has transformed the eco- fragile Araku region into the world's largest Biodynamic Agriculture hub spread across 1500 square kilometres, where the active participation of all the farmer families has resulted in the planting of over 10 million diverse fruit trees. Another 10 million are in the process of being planted now. Not one to rest on the laurels of success, Manoj is now spearheading the replication of the Arakumodel in the farmer-suicide-prone Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Instead of coffee here it is pomegranate. After taking Naandi to a scale and prominence that makes it one of the top-notch not-for-profits in India today; Manoj took the bold step of spinning off some of the verticals as separate for-profit social businesses. These address some of the most pressing problems of the country today – ensuring elementary school children learn (NEST – Naandi Education Support and Training), providing safe drinking water (NCWS – Naandi Community Water Services) and creating value and niche markets for small farmer agriculture produce (AOL – Araku Originals Limited). Apart from being on the Board of the social businesses he created, and the NICE Hospital for newborns at Hyderabad, Manoj is influencing positively a number of other organizations through his formal engagement such as: Global Livelihoods Fund, Paris; Sustainability Board, Firmenich, Geneva and CSR Council, Mahindra Group. Manoj is a John P McNulty laureate. The McNulty Foundation recognised Manoj's pioneering entrepreneurial work in reversing climate change in the tribal mountains of the Araku region to uplift the adivasis (indigenous people)from poverty by creating a world-class gourmet luxury coffee, .which is retailed in Paris, by the name Araku Coffee. Very soon this Paris acclaimed Araku coffee will retail in India on www.arakucoffee.com.In 2012, Manoj was named by Financial Times, London as one of 25 Indians to watch. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Araku Originals Limited
Manoj Kumar with Naandi Foundation has been working to improve the livelihood of Adivasi coffee growers in the Araku Valley region by creating a “social venture” business—Araku Originals Limited (or AOL). The efforts made by Naandi include: introduction of organic and bio-dynamic practices for coffee cultivation, encouraging alternate income-yielding shade crops, training of farmers, processing and marketing support apart from setting up of Small and Marginal Tribal Farmers Mutually Aided Cooperative Society (SAMTFMACS). AOL has organized an international coffee tasting event—Gems of Araku— at which the high quality of Araku coffee was acknowledged by international experts. The objective is to make each and every coffee grower in the area a ‘lakhier’ through coffee cultivation. Coffee grown by Araku farmers has been successfully exported to Europe, and certified as fair-trade & organic. Manoj also plans to reach out to farmer groups in other parts of the country, with the objective of eliminating 'middlemen' and providing greater value through increased prices for the producers. His project has proven to be very successful and was shortlisted as a finalist during the McNulty Prize award in 2013. 

Meher Pudumjee – Chairperson, Thermax Limited
Ms. Meher Pudumjee is the Chairperson of Thermax Ltd, a company focused on providing energy and environment solutions. A postgraduate in Chemical Engineering from the Imperial College of Science & Technology, London, Meher joined Thermax as a trainee engineer in August 1990. A year later, along with her husband Pheroz, they took over the responsibility of turning arounda Thermax subsidiary in the UK. After her return to India in September 1996, she was appointed on the Board of Directorsand worked closely with thefinance function of Thermax. She was also involved with overseeing a Joint Venture Company focused on drinking water, as well as the Air Pollution Control businesses of the company. In the years 1999 to 2001, she played an active role in the turnaround of Thermax. Meher took over as Chairperson on October 5, 2004, after the retirement of Mrs. Anu Aga.  She represented India at the Asian Business Women’s Conference in Osaka in 2006. The World Economic Forum in 2008 selected her as a Young Global Leader for her professional accomplishment, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. She was selected CEO of the Year 2009 by Business Standard. She served as the Chairperson of Pune Zonal Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). When a member of CII's Young Indians, she chaired the National Employability initiative. Meher is a philanthropist, musician and on the Boards of multiple ‘not for profit’ organisations - Teach for India, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, Pune City Connect Development Foundation and also Chairs theBoard of Akanksha Foundation and Social Venture Partners in the city of Pune. She is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network
She has two children and enjoys spending time with her family.


Leadership project/venture: Education as a Bridge
Meher's project helps bridge the inequity in education through the two municipal schools adopted by her company foundation and through Teach For India. 

Nidhi Mani Tripathi – IAS, Private Secretary-Minister of State for Textiles
Nidhi is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer of 2001 batch. She is currently the Private Secretary of Minister of State for Textiles. Her previous posting was in Manipur as Secretary-Science & Technology/Tourism, Government of Manipur. Prior to this she was District Magistrate and District Collectorate in Nainital. Earlier, she held the post of Additional Secretary & Project Director (ADB), Urban Development Department. Nidhi held roles of District Magistrate of Almora and she was Chief Development Officer of Nainital District for about two years. She also worked in the Manipur Government as SDM/ADM looking at the law and administration of different districts. Nidhi is especially interested in development of the poor through self help groups and NGOs, adopting the participatory development model. She is also interested in the holistic development of women and children in terms of their education, health and economic needs. Nidhi holds a Masters degree in Political Science and History from Gorakhpur University and also holds an M.Phil in International Politics from JNU, New Delhi. She is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

R. K. Misra – Founder, SAHYOG–Indian Council for Public Private Partnership
RK Misra is a leader recognized as a 'doer' whose agenda for the nation is to improve governance through a transformational change in the political system of India. RK is a graduate from IIT Kanpur and a post-graduate from Tokyo University. He is a Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School of Government. RK spent early years of his professional career in Japan. He returned to India in 1995 and over a period of 10 years, he founded Tenet Technologies, Tenet Telecom & Tenet Retail with business spanning US, Europe & Japan. He also founded India's first Travel Portal, Traveljini.com. In 2005, on turning 40, he decided to leave the corporate world to engage with the issues of Public Policy & Governance to fulfill his long held desire to make a difference through 'Good Governance & Inclusive Development'. In 2006, he committed his personal financial resources to SAHYOG - Indian Council for Public Private Partnership, to focus on "Sustainable Development in Urban India" and "Livelihood Opportunities for Rural Poor". He has transformed several rural areas in UP through his pilot-to-policy rural livelihood initiatives. His urban Infrastructure Policy Initiatives & Interventions in Bangalore as a member of various task forces, BBMP-TAC and ABIDe are well publicized. In 2008, RK was recognized for his social commitment & leadership skills as the WINNER of LEAD INDIA, a nationally televised & voted for initiative, to identify new generation political leaders of India. As Charter President of Rotary Bangalore (IT Corridor) he conceived the world's first & only 'Midnight Marathon' as a fund-raiser for Rotary’s community projects. He is the Chief Patron of this annual International Marathon in Bangalore. RK is the founder member of "Nav Bharat", a national political alternative, to bring about transparent democracy & accountable polity by identifying, fielding and helping win the committed & credible leaders of our society as our elected representatives. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: www.sonari.info
RK has focused on the bottom up approach to rural development. He has divided each rural block into four demographic categories - farmers, semi or uneducated youth, students, women and the elderly - and works in tandem with government & development agencies to create opportunities for each of these categories. His Integrated Rural Development programme in Sonari, Uttar Pradesh, is a pilot project that aims to help farmers & unemployed rural youth (www.sonari.info). He introduces farmers to high yield cash crops so that they can supplement their income. Community Dairy Farming is another enterprise he targets in villages. For unemployed youth, he has established a Rural BPO (www.ruralshores.com) where rural youth are trained & subsequently employed in the village & its vicinity. The first and only rural call centre of Uttar Pradesh was set up in Sonari in 2011 and is doing extremely well. RK’s project has received wide appreciation & is being adopted by state agencies. 2011 RK was awarded "Transformational Leadership Award" from the State Governor for this initiative.

Reshma Anand – Chief Executive Officer Hindustan Unilever Foundation
Reshma is a business school graduate with over 20 years of leadership experience in mission driven non-profits and social ventures. She started out with a conventional corporate career at Unilever in India in roles including market intelligence, product innovation and brand management. As work took her to rural outposts across India, Reshma decided to shift gears to work on development challenges through marketbased solutions. She is the founder of two social ventures including a specialist advisory firm on sustainable social responsibility and an accelerator for agri and artisanal micro entrepreneurs. She has worked extensively with non-profit organizations and donors on strategy design, impact assessment and leadership development. Reshma has anchored efforts to drive informed philanthropy in India through thought leadership, collective funding platforms and collaborations with government. She is an Economics graduate from the University of Delhi, an MBA from IIM-Bangalore, a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a TED India Fellow. In her current role, Reshma heads Hindustan Unilever Foundation; a corporate foundation focused on water conservation and community governance. She has a bag packed at all times to take a road trip!

Leadership project/venture: Canvas for Craft
Reshma's project aims to contemporise India's traditional and endangered tribal folk arts using functional, aesthetic and relevant lifestyle product canvases that meet the aspirations of India's young consuming class. The project gives artisans ownership over their design and links it to a remunerative long term royalty model. As it makes their craft more market relevant and viable, it also ensures that artisans continue to train their next generation to pursue their traditional skills. The program is implemented in four phases: identifying representative artists, designing development workshops, creating prototypes and samples of representative products, and then marketing the items. The first range of products was launched in 2010 & 2011 and sold out. The artisans’ incomes grew by over 40% through the pilot. A foundation is being registered that would create (1) India’s first online directory of leading artisans across 40 predominant craft forms; (2) an online marketplace for member artisans who can be approached directly by retailers, customers and exporters.

Rohit Poddar – Managing Director, Poddar Developers Ltd.
Rohit works in the realm of real estate, sustainable textiles, organic farming and ITES. The Poddar Group of companies include Poddar Developers Ltd., Wearology Ltd., Eco-Shield LLC., Organically Grown LLC and Idhasoft Ltd. Rohit and his colleagues have, over the last four years, been responsible for transforming the family business from a commodities player into a virtual manufacturing, services and knowledge driven business, with an emphasis on environmentally sustainable practices. Rohit is currently managing two businesses namely Poddar Developers which handles real estate and infrastructure and Wearology Brands Ltd which deals with integrating organic farming into lifestyle and medical brands. Rohit is 39 years old and holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Engineering and Management from Kings College, UK. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Affordable housing townships for Lower Income Groups
The project has two fold goals: (1) constructing affordable housing townships for the economically weaker sections and lower income groups; (2) creating vocational training for the spouses of the construction workers on this site. A sewing training centre for the spouses of construction workers in Mumbai is operational and women are taking part in a 4 month training program. A crèche has been set up. There is also a tie-up with an Indian Company called S. Kumars who will employ trained tailors in their factory. S Kumars has agreed to pay a monthly stipend to each of the women undergoing the training process. The average salary that a trained tailor will make will double the wage of their husband (now dual income family). As a result, several of the construction workers on the site have expressed interest in buying a house on the site. The first batch of 40 trained tailors graduated in 2010 and the following batches of 40 tailors every 4 months thereafter. On the other construction sites, options are being explored to provide other forms of vocational training.

Roopa Purushothaman – Chief Economist and Head of Policy Advocacy Tata Sons Ltd /Founder and Director Avasara Leadership Institute
Roopa Purushothaman is the Founder and Director of Avasara Leadership Institute,a non-profit educational institution focused on accelerating educational and leadership outcomes for adolescent girls in India. Avasara has worked with over 2,000 young women in scholarship, after-school, and residential academic programmes since 2011.
Ms. Purushothaman has held leadership positions at Everstone Capital Advisors and Goldman Sachs, where she provided expert advice on demographics, income and consumption patterns, and long-term economic growth. A co-author of the path-breaking Goldman Sachs BRIC report, she has contributed to a number of publications on globalisation and development, as well as writing on the economic potential of enhancing women’s workforce participation in India. Currently, as Chief Economist and Head of Policy Advocacy at Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd., she leads a team of economic and policy researchers assessing significant macroeconomic, geopolitical, and legislative developments. She also leverages the experience of the Tata Group, one of India’s oldest and largest conglomerates, to drive thought leadership on key policy and economic issues. Ms. Purushothaman is a graduate of Yale University and the London School of Economics. She has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, She is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and has served on the Prime Minister of India’s advisory council on urban infrastructure.

Leadership project/venture: Avasara Leadership Academy of India
Roopa's project, Avasara, is a non-profit educational institution intended to educate and encourage young women with strong academic and leadership potential to become future leaders in India and around the world. This goal is achieved through two major projects, Avasara Academy and The Avasara Leadership Programs. Avasara Academy is a residential secondary school located just outside Pune that focuses on educating young women of exceptional promise for a lifetime of leadership and contribution to society. The Avasara Leadership Programs include scholarship and after-school opportunities for motivated young women from low-income backgrounds in Mumbai. For the Avasara Young Talent (AYT) scholarship program, the program identifies and gives financial aid to highly motivated girls who are at risk of dropping out of school because of economic hardship. The program also runs an intensive after-school Avasara Leadership Fellows (ALF) program for girls that gives young women the opportunity to excel academically, develop their leadership skills, benefit from personalized mentorship, and access internships through the Avasara network. More information can be found on: www.avasara.in. 

Sugata Srinivasaraju – Founder and Editorial Director of Factloom Media Innovations Private Limited,
Sugata Srinivasaraju is an award-winning journalist, writer, and translator. He is currently the Founder and Editorial Director of Factloom Media Innovations Private Limited, a digital news and technology start up. This evolved from FirstPerson Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd, which ran two unique products: The State and SouthWord. He was earlier Editorial Director of Asianet News Network Pvt. Ltd, and Editor-in-Chief of the 50-year-old mainstream daily Kannada Prabha. Prior to this, he was Editor-in-Chief of a leading Times Group newspaper, Vijay Karnataka, with an average daily readership of four million. Before entering the regional media space, he was Editor (South) of Outlook, India’s premier newsmagazine, and News Editor of the Hindustan Times. Since 2015, he has also served as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Mangalore University.  Sugata started his career with Deccan Herald and was later a founding faculty member of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media. Among other publications, he has contributed to the Irish Times, The Caravan, TheWire and HT Mint. For excellence in print journalism, he was awarded the British Chevening Scholarship in 2000.  Sugata is a student of English and comparative literatures. He has a postgraduate degree in English literature from the Central University of Hyderabad, and was a research scholar in comparative literature at the same university. He has written/translated/edited eight books in English and in his mother tongue Kannada. ‘Pickles from Home: The Worlds of a Bilingual’ and ‘Keeping Faith with the Mother Tongue: The Anxieties of a Local Culture’ are his books that have received critical acclaim. He won the translation prize of the Karnataka Academy of Letters (Sahitya Akademi) in 2005 for his book ‘Phoenix and Four Other Mime Plays’. His most recent book is ‘Kittale, Nerale, Perale: Avasarakke Yetukida Maatu Baraha’ in Kannada, and it won him the VeeChi Literary Prize. Sugata lives in Bangalore with his wife, son, and daughter. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network

Leadership project/venture: Linguistic Observatory of Indian Languages
Sugata’s Aspen project is to build an observatory of Indian languages in cyberspace. In order to do so he is cooperating with a number of linguists at the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL). Sugata works on building a network of contributors for the observatory to report on eight Indian languages - Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Assamese, Konkani, Marathi and Bengali. The focus is to get the observatory to report on twenty-five Indian languages. The website will be partially funded by The Culture Department of the Government of Karnataka. Two students of an engineering college in Bangalore were recruited to develop the website for a nominal cost.

Sunisha Ahuja – Consultant, Ministry of Human Resource Development
Sunisha is the Former country director of Room to Read. Sunisha has been working in the development sector since completing her Masters in Child Development from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University. Starting her career as a Research and Documentation Officer with Mobile Crèches, an NGO working with children and families of migrant construction workers, Sunisha grew to lead the Delhi operations of the organisation as Program Director. Sunisha then worked as a Senior Consultant to the Department of Elementary Education, Government of India to support the District Primary Education Program. Sunisha contributed in developing the national policy on the Education Guarantee Schools and Innovative and Alternative Education, a program that supports education of children in remote areas and children at risk. Sunisha went on to work with Care India as Technical Specialist on Early Childhood Development. In April 2003, Sunisha set up the India operations of Room to Read a global non profit. Room to Read, through its programs in seven Asian countries of Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and India is ensuring quality education opportunities for disadvantaged children. Early 2008 Sunisha moved to the Asia Regional Office of Room to Read, as Program Director. In July 2010 she returned to India as Country Director. Room to Read India has so far set up 3500 reading rooms and the target is to set up 6000 reading rooms in the next five years; the Girls Education Program currently supports 3000 girls, while the plan is to support 10000 girls in the next five year. She is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Addressing the Issue of Child Domestic Workers
Sunisha is developing an awareness campaign against child domestic workers in partnership with the National Commission of Protection of Children's Rights (NCPCR). The eventual goal of the project is to train former child domestic workers in other job-related skills to increase their employment opportunities. Given her belief that children can be the best spokespersons for children, Sunisha plans to work with local schools and Resident Welfare Associations. She has been in discussions with the NCPCR and their team has offered to support her in developing and implementing the initial activities. They have also implemented awareness campaigns in several other cities, which can provide the model for the Delhi campaign. 

Tejpreet S Chopra, President & CEO Bharat Light & Power
Tejpreet S. Chopra is the Founder & CEO of Bharat Light & Power. Bharat Light & Power (BLP) is one of the leading clean energy generation companies in India (IPP). BLP has 3 companies in the group. The first focuses on developing, owning, and operating large utility scale wind and solar farms. The second provides distributed solar solutions to the commercial & industrial sector. The third group company provides monitoring, reporting and advanced analytics that helps improve productivity in manufacturing companies, and machine performance in wind and solar farms across the world. This is done through Orion, BLP’s AI based advanced IOT platform. Orion leverages the cloud, big data analytics, mobility, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The BLP Group has joint ventures with the Italian utility, Enel Green Power, and the Norwegian utility, Statkraft. Tejpreet’s 18 years of global management and finance experience was gained in various business roles held in France, England, Hong Kong, India and USA, of which over 14 years were at General Electric. Until 2010, Tejpreet was the President & CEO of General Electric in India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh, and was responsible for directing GE's strategies for growth in these countries. Prior to that, Tejpreet served as President & CEO of GE Commercial Finance in India, where he successfully restructured and expanded the business, thereby establishing GE Commercial Finance as one of the premier financial institutions in India. Since joining GE in 1996, he has held positions in marketing, structured finance and risk management, in Stamford and Hong Kong for GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). In 2005, he moved from the unit's headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, to open GECAS’s office in Delhi. As Senior Vice-President and Country Head-India for GECAS, Tejpreet arranged over US$1 billion in financing for India's growing airline industry. At present, he is an Independent Director on the board of SRF Limited, the Anand Group (top 5 Automotive Component Groups in India), IEX (Indian Energy Exchange) and Chairman of the board of APM Terminals Pipavav port (A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S group). He is also on the board of the World Economic Forum Foundation for YGL’s; and the UK based Clean Air Fund. He is the National Skill Development Corporation (Govt of India and Indian Industry initiative) Nominee Director on the Board of the Power Sector Skill Council.
Tejpreet is involved in various industry associations. He is a member of the National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), was the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM), and was on the Board of Directors of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC). He is a member of the Council of Management of the All India Management Association (AIMA). Tejpreet was recently appointed the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s, Global Future Council (GFC) on Advanced Energy Technologies. He is a participant of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the Cornell University Council. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. He was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2010. Tejpreet has also spoken at several international conferences, including Asia Society’s CEO Forum Series in New York and LA, the Economist’s India Business Summit in London, the Wharton India Economic Forum, the Harvard Business School India Conference, and the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. He graduated from The Lawrence School, Sanawar. Tejpreet holds a MBA degree from Cornell University and a B.A. Honors degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. He also attended an executive program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Vikram Misri – Ambassador of India to China, Embassy of India
Vikram is the Ambassador of India to China. Prior to this posting, Vikram was the Ambassador of India to Myanmar and Spain. He has served as Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, in the PMO. He has also served as the Consul General of India in Germany, responsible for the states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg. Previously he was Deputy High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka. He has spent nearly twenty years on diplomatic assignments as a member of the 1989 batch of the Indian Foreign Service. Most notably, he served in Islamabad, where he briefly led the mission when the officers senior to him were expelled by Pakistan; Tunis, where he also helped found Tunisia's first polo club; and Brussels, where he was also special assistant to the ambassador. Vikram has also served on the staff of the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of India and as the desk officer responsible for Pakistan affairs. Vikram was counselor for congressional affairs at the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC. During this tenure, he was closely associated with the landmark 2005 visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the US and the subsequent consideration of the Indo-US nuclear legislation in the US Congress. Before joining government, he worked for three years in the advertising agencies Lintas and Contract, as well as for an independent advertising filmmaker. Vikram holds a bachelor's degree in history from Hindu College, University of Delhi and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA)
Based on the request from the government of Sri Lanka, the government of India accorded sanction for a project to empower women of Eastern Province by imparting vocational training. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Indian and Sri Lankan governments in 2010 to implement the project. The project includes setting up the training centers including installation of equipment and providing training to 800 Master Trainers from Sri Lanka. The project is expected to benefit about 50,000 women-especially war widows to get training in vocational trades which would help them to earn a livelihood. The Project proposes to impart training in seven vocational trades: textiles and garments, surface ornamentation, agro food processing, computers, enterprise development, solar lantern, and rain water harvesting. The project has already generated tremendous response from the women of the Eastern Province and would have a trickling effect on the lives of women across the Northern Province as and when the training reaches them.

Vivek Pandit – Senior Partner and Director at McKinsey & Company
Vivek is a Senior Partner and Director at McKinsey & Company. He joined McKinsey’s New York office in 2000, where he was elected a Partner of the Firm in January 2005.Vivek leads McKinsey’s Private Equity and Principal Investor group globally, serving the world’s leading institutional investors, private equity funds and shareholders. Previously, Vivek led the Telecom, Media and Technology (TMT) Practice. Vivek serves non-profit boards in education, healthcare and policy. He is a Trustee of the Ananta Centre and a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. He holds an undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California and Stanford University. He resides in Mumbai.

Leadership project/venture: St. Judes Child Care Centers, Mumbai
Vivek's project seeks to improve the survival rate of children recuperating from serious chronic diseases, primarily leukaemia. The primary targets are children 14 years and younger that come to Mumbai from other parts of the country for cancer treatment. His project addresses three important and underserved factors: improving treatment compliance among the poor to ensure that children continue with their entire treatment over the course of what could be three years; providing a holistic environment for pastoral care for the children and their parents to help them cope with and eventually overcome psychological and physical trauma; and providing parents with simple communication that educates them on their child's disease and provides sources for financial assistance. Some important milestones include 1000 children admissions, 67% of which are returnees with 98% compliance, and 95% survival rate. There are 80 beds operational across six centres and plans to expand to 200 beds over the next two years.

Yashashree Gurjar – CEO Sulochana Thapar Foundation
A career development professional, Yashashree has spent three decades working with diverse organisations which include grassroots organizations, the government, large business houses and at the helm of a young non-profit in India. As an early entrant to Corporate Social Responsibility in the 90s, she has conceptualized and executed sustainable programs on a range of themes like primary health, education, income security, poverty alleviation, and care for people living with HIV, which have ably demonstrated that “doing well” and “doing good” are not mutually exclusive, a well-strategized CSR program can create long-term value for business. After having spent two decades leading CSR programs, she moved to the non-profit sector. As the CEO of Sulochana Thapar Foundation, she is currently focused on evidence-driven and sustainable solutions to address two critical development challenges – child malnutrition and governance deficit. She holds an Executive MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Cross Sector Partnerships from Cambridge University, United Kingdom. She is a Fellow of Class 2 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Creating Nutritional Security for Children in Hunger Pockets in India
Yashashree's project addresses the issue of malnourishment amongst women and children in remote areas of India where government feeding programs rarely reach. In February 2009 she collaborated with Amhi Amchya Arogya Sathi (AAAS), an NGO based in Napur, to create a sustainable intervention program that engages communities, and more specifically women, in resolving the issue. The program's multipronged strategy includes: teaching mothers how to prepare nutritious food out of locally available ingredients and to create their own kitchen gardens; converging government schemes on child development and food security; and engaging ICDS, Primary Health Centre (PHC), and the Rural Hospital (RH) to help follow up on the management of malnourished children. The project is on-going in 16 villages and shares its outcomes with other organizations, such as the Avantha Foundation, to help them address related issues. 

Goldman Sachs Fellows: 2008-2010

Anshul Krishan – Chief Operating Officer-Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Pvt. Ltd.
Anshul is Chief Operating Officer for Investment Banking in India. He moved to Mumbai in 2008 after spending three years in Hong Kong and Singapore as a Vice President in the Financing Group covering South East Asia and India. Prior to relocating to Asia, he spent five years in London as part of the European Equity Capital Markets team. Anshul joined Goldman Sachs in 1999 as an analyst in the Equities Division. He was named managing director in 2009. Anshul is a representative for the Capital Markets Committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry. Anshul earned a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Hull and attended The Doon School. He is a Fellow of the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Divyata Ashiya – Managing Director-Investment Management, Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte.
Divyata is responsible for Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s business development efforts across South East Asia including coverage of central banks, sovereign wealth funds and government and other financial institutions. Previously, Divyata was with the firm's Equities Division in London, with specific sales responsibility for Holland and Scandinavia. Prior to this, she worked in the corporate finance division of Lehman Brothers in New York, Hong Kong and Mumbai. Divyata received a BA from Amherst College, where she completed a senior thesis on the Indian diaspora; she also holds an MBA from INSEAD. Originally from Rajasthan, Divyata currently resides in Singapore. She is a Fellow of the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Gautam Trivedi – CEO, Religare Capital Markets Ltd.
Gautam has been appraised to CEO of investment banking and institutional equities arm of Religare Capital Markets Ltd. He joined Religare Capital Markets Ltd. in 2011 as Managing Director and Head of Institutional Equities, India. He will continue to be based at RCML’s Mumbai office and will now report directly to Shachindra Nath, Group CEO of Religare Enterprises. Prior to joining Religare Capital Markets Gautam was the Managing Director and Head of Equity Sales & Distribution at Goldman Sachs India Private Limited where he advised funds on equity investments in India. Previously, he served as Executive Director in Asian Equity Sales in Hong Kong. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Gautam was Vice President, corporate finance, for Reliance Industries Limited in Mumbai from 1999-2004. Before that, he worked as Head of India Sales for Jardine Fleming Limited in Hong Kong (1996-1998), at Institutional Equity Sales for Credit Lyonnais Securities Limited (1995-1996) and as a research analyst for DSP Merrill Lynch Limited in Mumbai (1994-1995). Gautam has MBA from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Law and Commerce from the University of Bombay. He is fluent in 3 Indian languages and enjoys cricket, tennis, and yoga. He is a Fellow of the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks, Mumbai
The primary objective of Gautam's project was to establish the culture of community service among employees of Goldman Sachs in Mumbai. He used the annual Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks (CTW) program to create a permanent platform for employees to contribute to the community. Gautam selected 3 volunteers from Goldman Sachs and divided responsibilities between them. The team met, profiled and researched 14 NGOs and finally chose 5 to work with. They conceived and planned individual projects suited for each NGO. The team marketed the merits of the CTW program internally and motivated employees to sign up and achieved 70% participation of the 90 employees in the Mumbai office.

Heramb Hajarnavis – Founder and Managing Director, SeaLink Capital Partners
Heramb is the Founder and Managing Partner of SeaLink Capital Partners (SCP), a private equity fund focused on high potential, mid - sized companies in select industries. He is passionate about collaborating and partnering with entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth with global best practices. Prior to founding SCP, Heramb was the head of KKR’s Indian private equity business from 2010 to 2014 and led the investments in Magma Fincorp, TVS Logistics, Alliance Tires and Gland Pharma. Prior to KKR, Heramb was with Goldman, Sachs & Co. over a period of 10 years where he focused on evaluating investment opportunities for the firm’s global private equity and mezzanine debt funds across various industries. Most recently, he was a founding member of Goldman Sachs’ India office and served as Managing Director and Co-Head of private equity investing in India. Heramb’s prior experience also includes being part of the senior management team at Centennial Communications Corp. (a NASDAQ listed telecommunications services provider that was subsequently acquired by AT&T). Heramb has served on several committees including as a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Committee on Venture Capital & Private Equity, the CII Sub - Committee on Issues Pertaining to Foreign Investment in India (part of the National Committee on Regulatory Affairs) and on a special taskforce focused on healthcare financing as part of the US - India Health Initiative. Heramb earned an S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS). He is a Fellow of Class 2 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network..

Krishna Sudarshan – Chief Executive Officer, Aspec Scire, Inc
Krishna is the Chief Executive Officer of Aspec Scire, Inc, Previously, he was the Managing Director, Technology of Goldman Sachs. He joined the firm in NY as a managing director and moved to Bangalore in Oct 2006. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Krishna was a serial entrepreneur focused on building software product companies with a footprint spanning the USA and India. He strongly believes that building intellectual property and software assets is the best way to leverage the immense talent in markets such as India. Most recently Krishna was the co-founder of Volante Technologies, a financial-services software firm in New York, where he had been the chief technology officer and head of Development since 2001. He started his career with stints in PriceWaterhouse Management Consulting Services and Oracle in the core kernel group. Krishna earned a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering from Bangalore and a master's degree in computer science from State University of New York. He is a Fellow of the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Leadership project/venture: Community Leadership Project
Krishna embarked upon a project to introduce leadership awareness and training at schools in Bangalore. With the end of imparting training at a young age, identifying talent and driving awareness, Krishna proposed to leverage the community outreach programs at Goldman Sachs, and target junior and secondary schools.

Fellow's Speak

Fellows in Action