Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship

Class 2 - Profile of the Fellows

Adarsh Kumar – Senior Agribusiness 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 the Second Wave 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 – Director Health, India Country Office, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Alkesh is currently the Director Health, India Country Office, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, he was the Head of India Programs at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He joined Avahan the AIDS initiative (of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in India) in 2003, and was one of the key members who helped conceptualize and implement the $338 million ten year program—one of the world’s largest HIV/AIDS prevention programs. Avahan provides services in more than 600 towns and cities in six of the worst affected states and national highways of India, serving more than six million at-risk individuals. Alkesh currently oversees the Avahan program. Prior to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alkesh worked in Mckinsey & Company, Mumbai as a Project Manager for five years. He led strategy assignments with some of the largest banks in Singapore, UK and India. He was also involved in a year long effort by the McKinsey Global Institute in 2002 in identifying barriers to a 10% GDP growth for India. During 1992-97, Alkesh co-founded IIT InvesTrust, an equity broking form with seats on the BSE and NSE. He also worked in the Financial Institutions Group at Citibank. Alkesh completed his M.B.A. at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta where he stood 4th in a class of over 150. He graduated in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, where he represented the institute at the bridge nationals. 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: 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 over $750 million. It is the country’s largest technical textile player, the market leader in refrigerant gases and a preferred supplier of specialty chemicals and packaging films with plants in India, Thailand and South Africa. In addition, Kartik is the Chairman of KAMA Holdings, a company that holds a majority share in SRF Ltd and is in the school education consultancy space. Before taking up his current position in SRF as the Deputy Managing Director in February 2007, Kartik had assumed various responsibilities across different verticals in SRF ever since he joined the company in 1993. Kartik’s primary role today is in the creation of a performance culture and nurturing value-based leadership in the organization. He is also passionately involved in driving aspirations and corporate image of SRF besides spearheading a company-wide awareness on environmental issues. He was the President of the Indian Blind Sports Association. He has had the opportunity of serving CII as Chairman of its Delhi State Council for the year 2007-08. An avid golfer and winner of multiple pro-am Golf tournaments, Kartik is a graduate from Santa Clara University, California and MBA from Cornell University, New York. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. 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: 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
As the founding CEO of Naandi Foundation, Manoj disrupted the NGO space in India by being the first to implement large scale government programs with efficiency and measurable outcomes. This included feeding 1.3 million school children midday meals, assuring learning outcomes in 2100 government schools, creating the world's largest organic coffee cooperative (marketing it as branded ARAKU coffee in Europe and Japan is his Aspen Project) and looking after education of 100,000 girls (www.nanhikali.org) on a daily basis. Naandi has so far impacted 5 million lives. A Robert McNamara Fellow of the World Bank, Manoj shifted career from banking to social sector with a pit stop in micro-finance, before taking over leadership at Naandi. He is once again breaking new ground by carving out of Naandi a bunch of for-profit social businesses. These address some of the most pressing problems of the country today: ensuring elementary school children learn, providing safe drinking water, training and placement of unemployed youth in corporate jobs and creating value and niche markets for small farmer agricultural produce. Manoj serves on the Boards of the Paris based Global Livelihoods Fund, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Sustainability Council, Firmenich SA, and is the CSR Advisor for the Mahindra Group. He is a 2013 Laureate of the John P. McNulty Prize. The Financial Times London (2012) named Manoj as one of the 25 people to watch out for in India. Manoj is a Fellow of the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship, as well as moderator for 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 India Limited
Meher is the Chairperson of Thermax Ltd, a company focussed in the businesses of energy and the environment. 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 Pudumjee, they took over the responsibility of managing the Thermax subsidiary company in the UK. After her return to India in September 1996, she was appointed on the Board of Directors. With her newly acquired interest in Finance, she worked closely with the treasury and working capital management functions of Thermax. In January 2001 she became a non-executive director and was appointed Vice Chairperson in 2002. During this period she played an active role in the turnaround of the company. She has taken over as Chairperson, Thermax Limited, effective October 5, 2004, after the retirement of Mrs. Anu Aga. Meher has a keen interest in music, especially western classical and is a member of a Pune based choir. She is a proud mother of a 14 year old boy and a 10 year old girl. She 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: 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 the Second Wave 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 the Second Wave 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 – Founder Earthy Goods, Two Worlds Meet and Senior Advisor, Tata Trusts 
Reshma Anand started a conventional corporate career with Unilever in India (Hindustan Unilever Limited; HUL) in roles including market intelligence, product innovation, sales and brand management. At HUL, she led and delivered a successful turnaround for the company’s largest rural hygiene brand Lifebuoy. She guided the company’s flagship brands on their growth strategies for rural markets through rigorous research, consumer insights and activating innovative channel partners including women’s self-help groups and micro entrepreneurs. After working and travelling across the breath of India’s rural markets, she transitioned from a fast track corporate career to get directly involved in driving social and economic change in rural communities; particularly women. Reshma has since held leadership positions with organizations aiming that work in India’s remote rural outposts to deliver sustainable economic impact. She is the founder of two successful social ventures including a specialist advisory firm on sustainable social responsibility called Two Worlds Meet. She has worked extensively with non-profit organizations and donors on strategy development, program design, impact assessment and leadership development. She’s also set up an open access online national platform for India’s artisans for transparent access to markets. Reshma is a Fellow of the Second Wave of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a TED India Fellow. She is an Economics graduate from the University of Delhi and an MBA from IIM-Bangalore. In her current role, she mentors India’s leading philanthropic organization on strategy & multi-donor partnerships working on a cross section of areas including rural prosperity, innovations for social impact, data driven governance and strategic philanthropy in the country. 

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 the Second Wave 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 – Managing Director and Head of Research, Everstone Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd.
Roopa is the Managing Director and Head of Everstone Research, the research effort of Everstone Holdings. In her role, she covers macro and thematic issues on demographics, income and consumption patterns. The group's last research paper (The Next Urban Frontier: Twenty Cities to Watch), in partnership with the National Council of Applied Economic Research, analyzed spending, savings and demographic patterns in twenty of India's most dynamic urban centers. She is a member of the Prime Minister’s advisory committee for JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission). Previously, Roopa was a vice president and global economist at Goldman Sachs. While at GS, Roopa co-authored the report: “Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050”, along with other published papers on topics such as long-term growth in India, global trade, migration, women's employment and global aging and consumption patterns. Roopa holds a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics and International Studies from Yale University and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. She 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: 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 – Editor in Chief, Vijay Karnataka
Sugata Srinivasaraju is an award-winning journalist, writer, and translator. He is currently the Editor in Chief, Vijay Karnataka. Previously, he was the Editorial Director of the Asianet News Network. He was earlier an editor with the Times Group, Outlook newsmagazine and Hindustan Times. He started his career with Deccan Herald and was also the founding faculty member of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media in Bangalore. He has also contributed to the Irish Times and the Caravan magazine. For excellence in print journalism, Sugata was awarded the British Chevening Scholarship in 2000. In 2013, he won the Excellence in Journalism Award of the Karnataka Media Academy. Since 2015, he also serves as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Mangalore University. 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 seven books in English and Kannada, his mother tongue. '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 in 2005 for his book 'Phoenix and Four Other Mime Plays'. Sugata lives in Bangalore with his wife, son and daughter. He is a Fellow of Second Wave of Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the 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 the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen’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, Founder, Predient & CEO, 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 provides monitoring, reporting and advanced analytics to wind and solar farms across the world leveraging the cloud, big data, mobility and machine learning. This is done through Orion, BLP’s advanced IOT platform for renewables. 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 and CEO of General Electric in India, Sri Lanka and 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. 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). He is a participant of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the Cornell University Council. He is also an Aspen Institute Fellow, a part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010. Tejpreet has also spoken at a number of 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. In 2008, he was named by Business Today as one of “India’s Hottest Young Executives”. At present, he is an Independent Director on the board of SRF Limited, the Anand Group (top 5 Automotive Component Groups in India), Religare, Genesis Colors Limited, and Chairman of the board of APM Terminals Pipavav port (A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S group). He is also the National Skill Development Corporation (Govt of India and Indian Industry initiative) Nominee Director on the Board of the Power Sector Skill Council. 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. He is a Fellow of the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Vikram Misri – Ambassador of India to Myanmar
Vikram is the Ambassador of India to Myanmar. Prior to this posting, Vikram was the Ambassador of India to 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 the Second Wave of Ananta Aspen’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, McKinsey & Co
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 across Asia, serving the world’s leading institutional investors, funds and shareholders on topics spanning investment strategy, deal origination, value maximization, organization, turnarounds and exits. Previously, Vivek led the Telecom, Media and Technology (TMT) Practice where he advised leading TMT firms on strategy, operations, sales, joint ventures and M&A across Asia and North America. Vivek is a contributing co-author of two books “Reimagining India” (Simon & Schuster, 2013), “Granularity of Growth: Asia” (Marshall Cavendish, 2008). He has written several leading reports including: Social Impact Investing – Has the Time Come (2017), Global Private Equity Markets Review – Defying Expectations (2017), Private Equity and India’s Economic Development (2016), Indian Private Equity – Route to resurgence (2015), Private Equity in India – Once overestimated, now underserved (2015), The family-business factor in emerging markets (2014), Transforming Learning through mEducation (2012) and several articles in the McKinsey Quarterly and leading press and business publications.Vivek serves several non-profit boards in education, healthcare and policy. He is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute in India, serves the Leadership Council of the Center for Advanced Studies of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania and Board member at Avasara Academy (education for underprivileged girls), He served previously as a Board of Governor of The Doon School and a Director of St. Jude’s Cancer Care Centers. Vivek has served as a member of India’s Planning Commission Panel to support on Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital, the Power Ministry’s Advisory Panel, and a SEBI panel on investment reforms. In 2008 he was appointed an Aspen Fellow, in 2010 he was named one of “India’s Hottest Young Executives” by Business Today, in 2012 he was named one of “India’s leading Philanthropists” by the Times of India, in 2014 he was named a Global Young Leader by FICCI. Vivek received a dual Master’s Degree in Management and Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where he graduated as a Valentine Fellow. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the University of California, where he was a Regents Scholar, graduating Magna cum Laude. He resides in Mumbai with his wife, Priyanka. Priyanka is the founder and CEO of Music in Measures – a program focused on early child development and a Director of Project Rangeet to raise awareness of social issues among the regions most impoverished children through music. They have three children Kaiya, Nirvaan and Tahira. 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: 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, Avantha Foundation and VP Group CSR, Avantha group
Yashashree is the CEO of Avantha Foundation and Vice President, Group CSR, for the Avantha Group. In a career spanning more than 25 years, she has worked with the Government NGOs, and Corporates. As one of the early entrants in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, she has successfully demonstrated that ‘doing well’ and ‘doing good’ are not mutually exclusive and a well strategized CSR program can create long term value for business. Yashashree has conceptualized and executed sustainable programs on issues such as poverty alleviation through income security, primary health, education and care & support for persons living with HIV, for some of the most marginalised communities across the country. As the CEO of the Avantha Foundation, she is presently focused on two critical issues: reducing malnourishment through sustained advocacy efforts with various stakeholders and through projects implemented in partnerships with NGOs, and engaging with elected representatives, bureaucrats and civil society to develop their capacities for improving democratic governance and strengthening democracy. Yashashree has an EMBA from Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Cross Sector Partnerships from the University of Cambridge, UK. She 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: 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 the Second Wave of 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