Aditya Natraj – Founder & Director
Aditya is the founder and director of Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF) - an institution specialized in leadership development programmes for nation building. The Principal Leadership Development Programme helps principals turn-around failing schools and improve student outcomes. The 3 year part-time programme currently works with 1300 principals of government schools in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The Gandhi Fellowship is a 2 year full-time programme to train young people in leading social change. Over 500 fellows have participated in the programme from India’s best colleges and gone on to nation building roles. Previously Aditya was Director of Pratham in Gujarat for 5 years, Vice-President of Business Development at ProXchange for 2 years and a Consultant at KPMG for 5 years. Aditya is a qualified Chartered Accountant, a Masters in Economics and has an MBA from INSEAD. Aditya is an Ashoka Fellow and an Echoing Green Fellow. He is a Fellow of the Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: District Leadership Development Programme (DLDP)
Aditya’s District Leadership Development Programme aims to develop tools in order to train the district administrators in all Indian districts. Aditya plans to enable them to function as multipliers and transform the schools within their district. His goal is to complete this project within 3 years and a budget of $1 million.
Amrish Kumar – CEO, Ritu Kumar
Amrish is CEO at Ritu Kumar, which is one of India’s largest & most respected luxury apparel companies. He has been instrumental in transforming a small scale, labour-intensive boutique organization into a scalable fashion retail company and for implementing the company’s first private equity fund raise (Everstone Capital) in 2014. Amrish has re-oriented the brand products and image, which maintains the legacy of the brand while attracting a younger aspirational consumer. Part of this process includes the launch of sub brands including fashion based pret apparel sub-brand ‘LABEL’ Ritu Kumar. Label’s charter is to create a unique, sophisticated product and aimed at a young, global Indian woman with a contemporary lifestyle. Amrish’ significant achievement lies in implementing a unique supply chain and retail orientation for the business. Over the years he has worked with high skill craft areas to develop more sustainable models of sourcing and patronage. It has helped develop an understanding of the dynamics involved with an industry moving away from its traditional moorings and the impact to the communities involved. Amrish has previously served in roles at leading financial including HDFC Bank and Kotak Securities. He comes with a Master in Business Administration from USC in L.A. and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Bristol University. Amrish is also passionate about media and entertainment. In 2008 he launched a record label Mummy Daddy Records, a company involved in promotion of music and upcoming talent. This venture has morphed into an online video initiative, www.mummydaddy.com. This is a start-up platform for independent video talent and help brands develop narratives and content. It is looking at becoming video content strategist, developer and aggregator. He is a Fellow of the Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Artly
Amrish feels that arts tend to be overlooked during education in India. He therefore seeks to introduce students between 11-15 years to liberal arts using video and film. His project will include public screenings and community discussions and will mainly focus on urban areas. The desired outcome for the children is an appreciation for civic sense and community. His company is sponsoring Magic Bus, which strives to move children out of poverty, using mentors and a sport based curriculum. Amrish plans to use a similar method of instruction and mentorship as the Magic Bus program utilizes.
Anant Maheshwari – President, Microsoft
Anant is the President of Microsoft India. In his role, he is responsible for all of Microsoft’s product, service, and support offerings across India and lead Microsoft's interactions with policy makers, customers, and business partners. He drives Microsoft India’s transformation journey into the leading tech platform and to empower every person and every organisation to achieve more. Before joining Microsoft, Anant worked at Honeywell in a number of leadership roles and in his last role led as the President of Honeywell, India. An experienced global technology leader, he was responsible for the continued growth of India operations across all strategic business groups of Honeywell. Anant worked with McKinsey & Company as a management consultant for more than five years before he joined Honeywell. There he gained exposure across multiple verticals with a strong focus on growth strategy, organization design, business transformation and supply chain strategy. Anant obtained his bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and a master’s degree in Economics from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, India. He earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India. Anant is a member of NASSCOM’s Executive Council and is the Chairman of CII’s IT & ITeS Committee. He lives in Gurgaon, and is an amateur biker and golfer. He is a Fellow of Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Safe Kids at Home
Anant plans to increase safety for kids in urban communities in India by preventing and reducing burns among children less than 14 years of age. He has launched a home safety programme called Safe Kids at Home which is being funded by Honeywell India and is being implemented by the Safe Kids Foundation India. This research-based, locally-relevant programme was created in cooperation with IMRB International, conducting a city-wide assessment of the incidence and severity of preventable injuries among children at home. The research revealed that burns from fire and scalds from hot liquids rank second among hazards in terms of frequency and first as far as the severity of injuries goes. Safe Kids at home addresses some of these issues and concerns. The project was rolled out in Pune in November 2015. It plans to educate 325,000 students and 175,000 parents between 2015 and 2017.
Aravind Srinivasan – Director-Projects
Dr. Aravind Srinivasan graduated in medicine from PSG Institute of Medical Sciences, Coimbatore, South India in 1992 and completed his residency in ophthalmology leading to Masters in Ophthalmology from Aravind Eye Institute and Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Madurai, South India in 1996.
Having worked in the medical field, he had a passion for management. In 2000 he did his MBA with specialization in strategy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. After MBA, he took over as the Administrator of Aravind Eye Care System and was instrumental in bringing changes to the various facets of the organization. From 2011, he is serving the organization in the role of Director-Projects of Aravind Eye Care System. He is the Board of Govel Trust that runs the Aravind Eye Hospitals. From September 2017, he is leading the Aravind Eye Hospital Chennai as Chief Medical Officer. On the clinical front, Dr. Aravind is a high volume cataract surgeon. And in Non-Clinical aspects, he is innovating, executing and working with all stake holders in the respective branches to ensure harmony in work, mentoring staff to invent and implement innovations in areas of need to ensure better patient centred care towards. He is involved in teaching eye health management courses. He is also a resource person for Indian Institute of Management and Mentor for the MBA students of Wharton School of Business and University of Michigan. Dr. Aravind’s area of specialization concentrates on overall evaluation and interpretation of performance of each Division and to track progress of performance so as to facilitate benchmarking both internally and externally to achieve patient centred care across the system. Besides administration of the hospitals and grooming managers, Dr.Aravind also evaluates new projects and ensures replication of the “ARAVIND Way” - As a Trainer and Mentor at Management courses, he contributes in extending the Aravind Model of high volume, high quality, affordable cost eye care to developing nation. He has authored several publications and is recipient of the Qimpro Award in the category, Role Model Leader for World-Class Quality in the field of health care , Distinguished Alumnus Award for the year 2013 by the PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research. He is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network
Leadership project/venture: Developing a sustainable model for People who suffer disability
Aravind’s project provides help for disabilities that come with age. In 2011 Aravind set up a 30 bedded rehabilitation centre in Madurai called Livewell Institute of rehabilitation (www.livewellrehab.com). He would like to scale this centre to reach 100 beds, which are supposed to be available by 2017. Funds necessary for the expansion have been organized. The Institute is collaborating with a Netherland rehabilitation centre. By 2020 the vision is to run five centres in South India. Aravind hopes his institute for rehabilitation will stimulate others to replicate.
Gunjan Shah – Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Gunjan is an equity partner with Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. She has extensive experience in mergers & acquisition, private equity, corporate restructuring, securities and takeover regulation, debt restructuring and debt capital markets in India. Gunjan has been associated with Amarchand since 1998, was elevated to the partnership of Amarchand in 2005 and currently also serves on Amarchand’s Management Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, and a master’s degree in law from the University of Oxford for which she received the Felix scholarship. She is a Fellow of Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Enabling Corporate Social Responsibility Activities by Multinational Corporations operating in India
Our new Companies Act, 2013 requires all companies operating in India to contribute a certain percentage of their profits to CSR activities, although there is no penalty prescribed or consequences for failure to do so other than an obligation to disclose the same. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act hinders MNCs from undertaking CSR activities through their own foundation. The global policies of many MNCs require such MNCs to contribute to CSR only though their own foundation and in the absence of which not to contribute at all. Since there are no penal consequences for not contributing to CSR, many MNCs opt not to which seems unfair given that the Indian owned companies are doing so. Thousands of crores of Rupees which could potentially be used for CSR activities by MNCs are not being used because of the regulatory hurdles. Gunjan aims to lobby for change in the Indian Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to allow Multinational Companies operating in India to set up their own foundations for undertaking CSR activities and to use their profits to contribute to the society where they make their profits. Towards this end, Gunjan has made a representation to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to alert them to the issue. She is a Fellow of the Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
K Nandini Singla – Ambassador of India to Portugal
Mrs. K. Nandini Singla joined Indian Foreign Service officer in 1997. She has a Masters degree in Political Science and International Relations from Bombay University and a M.Phil in Diplomatic Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. She hails from Bengaluru in Karnataka, India, and speaks Kannada, Hindi, English and French. Prior to taking charge as Ambassador of India to Portugal in July 2016, she served as Joint Secretary (Europe West) from April 2015 to June 2016 in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, handling India's relations with the European Union, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg, Ireland, Monaco and Andorra. Prior to this, from March 2012 to April 2015, she worked as Director (AMS) in the Americas Division of the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, dealing with India's relations with the United States of America and Canada. Ms. Nandini Singla also served as First Secretary/Counsellor (Economics) in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in Geneva from 2009 to 2011 and handled multilateral trade and economic issues such as Intellectual Property Rights, Trade and Development, South-South cooperation and global Internet Governance. She worked in the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as First Secretary (Economic and Commercial) and Head of Chancery from 2005 to 2008 focusing on Indo-Bangladesh economic and commercial cooperation, India's development assistance projects in Bangladesh and Chancery administration. Prior to that, she worked as Under Secretary (UN Political Division) in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi from 2003 to 2005, focusing on UN Peacekeeping and UN Security Council issues. She began her diplomatic career assignment as Third Secretary/Second Secretary (Political, cultural and Media) in the Indian Embassy in Paris, France, from 1999 to 2002. Ms. K. Nandini Singla's article “From World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to World Innovation Promotion Organization? Whither WIPO?” was published in the WIPO Journal: Analysis of Intellectual Property Issues; 2011 (Vol. 3, Issue 1.), “Issues and Challenges in Modern Peace Operations” (Co-authored with Ambassador B.S. Prakash) was published in the IDSA journal, Strategic Analysis (Vol 29, January 2005). She also presented a Policy Paper on Global Internet Governance at the U.N. Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) in Geneva in July 2011. She is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network She was awarded the Prime Minister's Silver Medal as “All India Best NCC Cadet' in the Senior Cadets category in 1990 and represented India in the NCC Youth Exchange Programme with Canada in 1991-92. Mrs. Singla is married to Sanjeev Kumar Singla, a fellow diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. They have two sons aged 17 and 13. She enjoys nature, reading books on spirituality, spending time with her Golden Retriever dog, watching movies and outdoor activities.
Empowering war widows and poor women in Afghanistan through vocational training and skilling in India
Nandini’s project provides vocational training in India for Afghan women living in the poorest Afghan provinces. This will impart these women with skills that can enable them to be self-employed or work in cottage industries and become wage earners who can support their families. The project is based on a framework agreement between India and the United States that enables these two countries to pool resources and work together for the benefit of deserving third country beneficiaries in Least Developed Countries. Trainings will be conducted by the Indian NGO SEWA and will include courses in food processing, garment stitching, hand embroidery, gems cutting and jewelry making and management training. In order to optimize the benefits of the vocation training, the Afghan women will be taught to be multipliers. The goal is to train a total of 3200 Afghan women between 2016 and 2018.
Kalyan Chakravarthy Akkipeddi – Founder, ProtoVillage
After quitting his corporate job in early 2008, Kalyan travelled across the length and breadth of India for about 2 and ½ years. During this travel, he met, lived and shared space with people from diverse walks of life – from farmers to snake charmers, from fishermen to businessmen, from healers to seekers. His interactions with experts in various fields in general and his time with remote tribal communities of India in particular, gave him perspectives on a sustainable state of abundance. He founded ProtoVillage in August 2010 to co-create the prototype of an abundant community through practice and demonstration, in a remote village called Tekulodu in the second driest and one of the poorest districts in India (Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh). The focus is also on collaboratively building an open body of knowledge on how any community can organize itself for abundance. Kalyan started his corporate career with Hyundai Motor India in 2002, and ended it while at Genpact in 2008. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sri Venkateshwara University, Tirupathi (Andhra Pradesh, India), and an MBA from International Management Institute, New Delhi. He is a Fellow of Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: ProtoVillage
ProtoVillage is a role-model rural community that is ecologically sustainable, socially cohesive and economically viable in the 2nd driest district in India (Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh). It aims to be an open center for learning, practice and demonstration of self-reliance in terms of the following 9 basic needs: Food & water security, Shelter, Clothing, Healthcare, Energy, Connectivity, Trade, Education, Eco-conservation and Disaster management.
As his leadership project, Kalyan plans to expand from one role-model community to an ecosystem of role-model communities across the country to a resilient rural India. Kalyan plans to grow a rural entrepreneurship ecosystem that leverages the creativity, leadership and entrepreneurial capacities of the villagers and empowers them to establish locally appropriate and ecologically sustainable enterprises along the 9 basic needs. The ecosystem will be designed to ensure occupational diversity within each village that leads to interdependence, which in turn makes the community resilient. This ecosystem also offers a Fellowship program designed to empower teams of rural youth from across the country to set up role-model rural communities similar in principle to ProtoVillage in each of the 650 districts of India.
Kunal Kishore Kapoor – Actor, Co-Founder & Director, Ketto
Kunal started off working in the stock market after graduation. Working there for a couple of years he realised that this was not the profession for him and he needed to do something creative. This led him to working as a production assistant in advertising, followed by being an assistant director and finally doing theatre with Naseerudin Shah and Barry John. He finally made his debut in the movies with M F Hussain’s ‘Meenaxi’. In the last eight years he has worked in several movies, like Rang De Basanti, Aaja Nachle, Lamhaa, Don 2 and Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. His current release was Kaun Kitne Paani Me, a movie based on the water issue that was produced by the NGO ‘One Drop Foundation’ He is currently also writing a couple of scripts, one of which has been green lighted by a studio and should go into production soon. After working very closely with several NGO’s for the last ten years, he set up a crowd funding platform for social change ‘Ketto’ with the aim of using technology to build a bridge between the people that were willing to help and the people that needed help. Ketto was built to form a connection between non profits, motivated individuals and the world. In the last couple of years the organisation has raised over 15 million rupees for in various areas, such as Women Empowerment, Health, Education and Sport. His hobbies include flying and motor racing. He recently participated in his first rally in Europe. He is a Fellow of the Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Organic
Kunal’s project is centered on how to get people to live healthier lives. Most people have no idea about the food that they put into their body; where it's coming from, what are the pesticides or preservatives that go into it and what are the effects on their bodies. The idea is to build a food portal and company that addresses these issues.
Masood Hussainy – Head Aerostructures and Aero-Engines
Masood leads the Aerostructures and Aero-Engines business for Tata Aerospace and Defence, the Tata Group’s strategic vehicle for the sector. The Aerostructures and Aero-Engines business is the largest unit of Tata Aerospace and Defence and manufactures various high technology products for six of the top 10 Global Aerospace OEMs. Prior to this, Masood was Head Aerostructures for Tata Advanced Systems and was responsible for establishing and growing the business from scratch. He played a key role in the formation of Joint Ventures and strategic relationships with Boeing, GE, Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky. Under his leadership, the team at Tata Advanced Systems has been recognized by International Aviation bodies and customers for their outstanding program management, quality, and delivery performance. Masood joined the Tata Group through the Tata Administrative Service (TAS) in 1999. He has cross-functional experience in Operations, Manufacturing, Strategy, Program Management, Technology, HR and Marketing across industries. Masood holds a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA in International Business. Masood is passionate about Test Cricket, affordable health care and also grows organic mangoes at his farm. He is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network
Leadership project/venture: Mitigating Dementia suffering
Mental Health issues are rising in India. People are getting diseases like Alzheimer Dementia (AD). The awareness level of these diseases is still very low in India. This causes families to mis-diagnose the disease as general old age issues or depression. This prevents proper care for the patient. More importantly, the care giver is unaware of the special needs of AD patients. Care givers also require significant counselling and psychological support, which is often not easy to find. Nightingale is a Trust in Bangalore that provides quality dementia care. Masood’s plan is to help scale up the operations and set up Dementia care centers across the country.
Pallav Patankar – Executive Director
Pallav is currently the Executive Director of ALMATA, a part of Avegen India Pvt. Ltd. ALMATA focuses on technology innovations in the healthcare space. Previously, he was the Executive Board Member of The Humsafar Trust and the Director-Programs. The Humsafar Trust is the country’s first registered charity for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. He has served as a board member of APCOM (Asia Pacific Coalition of Male Sexual Health) and as the Festival Director of Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. He holds a Masters Degree in Biotechnology from one of India’s Premier Schools and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business from S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research. In his corporate stint, he has served as a country head in francophone Africa in Cote D’Ivoire and Central Africa Region. Pallav has extensively toured Sub Saharan Africa and has also served as a sourcing head of food products for African markets. He is a co-author to a book entitled “A People Stronger: The Collectivization of MSM and Transgender Groups in India” and a co-author to A World Bank Study called “Charting a Programmatic Roadmap for Sexual Minority Groups in India”. He is a key member of the Queer Azaadi Mumbai Collective that organizes the Mumbai Pride March. He also spearheads an initiative called Queer & Political that discusses the queer identity as a political identity. He is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network
Leadership project/venture: Mission Azaadi
Pallav’s project Mission Azaadi aims to address the issue of rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in India. It intends to increase knowledge and understanding of the LGBT community. Mission Azaadi aims to take a multipronged approach of advocating with the judiciary, political class and the Indian bureaucracy. It will strive for equality, freedom and the right to live with dignity for all Indian LGBT. The LGBT community has never led a political movement and hence political viewpoints vastly differ. To generate community consensus, a forum called Queer & Political has been set up to address political viewpoints within the queer community and to relay these to the political community.
Saloni Malhotra – Vice President, Invest India and Head of AGNli
Saloni enjoys working with new ideas that don't have an instruction set or handbook. The bigger the challenge, the more exciting it gets. She is currently the Vice President at Invest India and leads AGNIi, the national program to accelerate the pace of innovation and commercialization. Invest India is the Investment Promotion Agency of the Govt of India to help foreign investors find the appropriate opportunities within India. Prior to Invest India, Saloni worked on Reboot Wellness, an ecosystem and integrated facility for stress/ anxiety/ depression and related ailments. Saloni also worked as the Vice President at Paytm, and built the eco-system for Paytm in educational institutions. Prior to that, she founded DesiCrew Solutions, a BPO company in the South of India. DesiCrew is a socially motivated business process outsourcing company with a double bottom line (financial and social development), DesiCrew connects global clients with low cost back office centres in rural India. I stepped down as the CEO in March 2012 but continue to participate on the Board. She is an engineer from Pune University by training and to understand better about management and entrepreneurship has done a short program from Judge School of Business, Cambridge University. She has also completed a one year academic scholarship program on Social Innovation in a Digital Context from Lund University, Sweden. Saloni is part of a few fabulous and vibrant communities globally as is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network, the Aspire Circle Fellow and the Swedish Institute Management Program.
Leadership project/venture: All Clean Life
Saloni’s project aims to explore ways to use waste to create energy. In a large country like India, it is hard to get one number on the power deficit. But during summer, the deficit in certain states is as high as 20% while at other times, it may be as low as 4.5%. Food waste is an untapped energy source that mostly ends up rotting in landfills, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Of the different types of organic wastes available, food waste holds the highest potential in terms of economic exploitation as it contains high amount of carbon and can be efficiently converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Saloni wishes to create a model that can be replicated across large vegetable markets and food courts to generate power for the local communities. Saloni intends to influence policy levels to make sustainable products/ services more main stream.
Sejal Shah Gulati – Co-Founder, SonderConenct and General Manager and Vice President of the Global Commercial Services Marketing Hub at American Express
Sejal Shah Gulati is currently General Manager and Vice President of the Global Commercial Services Marketing Hub, which powers the commercial marketing distribution engine by delivering compelling B2B content, ensuring customer-centricity, and achieving optimal efficiencies. She is the co-founder of Sonder Connect, an incubator and mentorship platform for women led start-ups. Prior to that, she was the CMO of EZETAP, a mobile payments platform in India. Sejal was also the President and Managing Director of TAS Analytic Services Private Limited, a Time Inc. company. Sejal began her career at Time Inc. as the Business Development Director for Money magazine. After her role at Money, she was the Marketing Director for the Real Simple and InStyle magazines. Before joining Time Inc., Sejal was a Senior Manager for Business Development for American Express in New York City. Sejal has previously served on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University and is currently the President of the Global Alumni Board of Harvard Business School. Sejal is an avid reader, an accomplished runner and an aspiring golfer and viola player. She currently lives in New York, with her husband and two young daughters. Sejal has a B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network
Leadership project/venture: Sonder Connect
Sonder Connect is a social enterprise dedicated to female entrepreneurs in South Asia. Sejal’s project aims at creating an eco-system and angel fund to help women entrepreneurs build businesses of scale in the region. Sejal’s goal is to mentor and fund India’s first woman led $1 billion company.
Shankar Vanavarayar – President of Kumaraguru College of Technology; President of Suddha Sanmarga Nilayam Institutions
Shankar Vanavarayar, a next generation leader is keenly working in the areas of education, social impact, entrepreneurship and culture. He has an MBA from the Cardiff University and a PG Diploma in International Education Management from the University of Leeds. Shankar is the President of Kumaraguru Institutions, an educational conglomerate with over 7000 students which is centred on values and vision of the legendry founder Dr. N. Mahalingam. Shankar’s dynamism in change management and his creative approach has led to the rapid progress of Kumaraguru College of Technology (KCT). Established in 1984 KCT is among the top 100 institutions in India and the KCT Business School, Kumaraguru Institute of Agriculture and Kumaraguru College of Liberal Arts and Science are imparting high quality education and impacting society through empowering the youth. Shankar is also the President of Suddha Sanmarga Nilayam Institutions (est. 1951). With over 5000 students, Nilayam has 15 institutions dedicated to enhance the lives of thousands from very humble backgrounds. He is committed to transforming the Indian higher education system through innovative administration, learner-centric approach and high quality infrastructure, research & innovation and international collaboration. Shankar works with the youth of India with a vision to empower them towards building a greater nation. As a National Chairman of CII’s Young Indians in 2011-2012, Shankar played a key role in various national projects and was involved in the creation of Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE). He represented India as the Global Young Leader in the BOAO Forum in China (2012) and delivered speeches at Commonwealth Business Forum London, CHOGM Perth summit (2011). Shankar has a proven track record in building teams, strategic planning, managing programs and operations in multiple domains spanning business (automotive, financial services, retail), education (arts, science & technology), culture and heritage, community and social development, youth development. He is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network and looks at personal transformation as an integral ingredient to impact change in the larger world. Shankar is involved in various businesses of the Sakthi Group and is also the Chairman of Family Business Network – Next GEN Committee India and the Chairman of CII India@75, Southern Region Committee. He founded the Coimbatore Innovation and Business Incubator and the Forge Accelerator, with an aspiration to encourage and support innovations and start-ups. Born into ancient legacy, Shankar is very passionate and committed towards the arts, architecture, culture and history of India, he established The Vanavarayar Foundation with a vision to protect, preserve, portray its heritage. The foundation also promotes and enhances the wellbeing of the agrarian community.
Leadership project/venture: Mission Azaadi
Leadership project/venture: To Explore and Experience the Extra Ordinary
Shankar plans to setup an organization which strives to collect, preserve and publish information and services around Indian heritage. The organization will establish partnerships with Government organizations, NGOs, universities, researchers and enthusiasts. The idea is to build a technology platform that will use the acquired information and build curated data with specific dimensions of time, location and specialty.
Sumangali Gada – Director – Adity Designs Founder – Praja Foundation
Sumangali is a Director at Adity Designs, a company that works on design and manufacture projects with luxury brands world over. Sumangali manages business development and finance for the company, and has been part of its growth for the past 19 years. In 2012, Sumangali started an independent design venture “Forest of Chintz” which makes fashion accessories sold at boutiques worldwide. Prior to this she was a consultant with the Business Consulting Practice at Arthur Andersen for three years. Sumangali graduated from Sydenham College Mumbai, and subsequently completed her Masters in Management Studies at NMIMS, Mumbai. In addition to ADITY, Sumangali is a founder and trustee at the PRAJA Foundation that works in the space of Accountability and Good Governance for the city of Mumbai. She is also an active member of the community and a part of a few other not for profit advisory’s and Boards. She is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network
Leadership project/venture: Giving
Sumangali’s project intends to provide civic education. She feels that the young people of this country, especially in urban cities, are quite far removed from the realization and impact of the working or non-performance of the government and what effect it has on them. Sumangali wishes to get the young adults of India engaged in creating a culture of good governance. She aims at getting young people to look at how to make democracy work and how to get involved as a citizen.
Tanushree Hazarika – Managing Director
Tanushree is a young serial enterpreneur based out of Assam, focusing on media & communications. She has worked previously in MNCs like Fidelity and Morgan Stanley in the US. She founded and runs Tattva Creations, which provides marketing & communication solutions to corporates and government since 2010. The agency is into events, advertising and digital marketing. One of her popular initiatives is the Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival, which has become a landmark event in promoting Cinema from Northeast India and budding talents. Tanushree’s latest venture is Atvi Infotainment (and EastMojo.com), a content generation company, co-founded in 2017 which aims to do path-breaking work in content production and digital media. Tanushree’s first entreprenurial venture was Eclectic Northeast, a print magazine through which she highlighted lesser known stories from Northeast India for about 11 years till she sold the business in 2018. She received the Young Communicator award from the Symbiosis Institute in 2010 and the Outstanding Woman Achiever award by FLO (ladies wing of FICCI) in 2013. She is also a founding member of Young Leaders Connect, a platform for young achievers of Northeast India and the Advertising Club, Guwahati. She is a Fellow of Class 5 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. She has also served as Jury in the 64th National Film Awards.
Leadership project/venture: Brahmaputra Foundation
The requirement for more and more empowered people from Northeast India cannot be denied given the urgent need to keep pace with the rest of the nation. This can be done only when we have more idols and torchbearers amongst us in different fields, thereby making the region stand out in the national/ world map. The Northeastern region of India is a reservoir of talent and we have a lot of talented individuals in various fields like Sports, Music, Cinema, Literature, etc. However, talents from the region are not being given their due mostly because of the region’s lack of exposure and disconnect with the outside world. We do have a few icons like Mary Kom, Bhaichung Bhutia and Papon from the Northeast but we still need many more to inspire and lead other talented and aspiring youth from the region. The objective of Brahmaputra foundation is to nurture and mentor aspiring individuals from the region and help them realize their dreams. The foundation will endeavor that these talented individuals from the region, who are unable to pursue their passion either because of their humble backgrounds or the absence of proper mentoring and network, get assistance. With an aim to creating more brand ambassadors for the region, in mind, Brahmaputra Foundation plans to work in the DEP (Discover, Empower and Promote) approach in the fields of filmmaking, music and sports. We will aim to Discover talented individuals from various spectrums within Northeast India and then Empower such promising talents from the region, who lack resources and direction and provide them with opportunities to enhance their talent and knowledge. Post this, we will Promote selected talents by providing essential support and exposure and taking their brilliant work to the next level
Talent recognition events, competitions at district level, state level & schools/colleges
Info from media and social networks
Board of jury (for respective fields) to hand-pick the best talents for further mentoring or special training
Building a talent database and tracking their growth
Training camps & workshops conducted by industry leaders
Providing opportunities and assistance to selected talents and help them in their journey from being skilled to successful
Scholarships, Training opportunities at acclaimed institutes/ organisations
Vishwarupe Narain – Country-Head for India & SE Asia, TPG-Growth Vish is Country-Head for TPG Growth, a global private equity firm and is based in Mumbai. He currently serves on the boards of AGS, Sutures, Flexituff International, India Transact and Global Gene Corp. Prior to joining TPG Growth in 2007, Narain was an investor with Bessemer Venture Partners in New York. Previous to that he was an Engagement Manager in McKinsey's Private Equity Practice in Palo Alto and London. Narain joined McKinsey from Deloitte Consulting, where he was a Senior Consultant. He has a Master of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and an M.B.A., Stanford University School of Business. Narain’s non-profit activities include board roles at Spic Macay and an organization working to preserve and promote classical Indian music. He is deeply involved with his family’s foundation work in rural India. Selected as a Young Global Leader (2014), he is an active member of the World Economic Forum and is a part of the South Asia Bridge initiative to bring together business communities across borders under the WEF banner. He is a semi-professional sitar player and adventure travel enthusiast. Vish has worked in 20 countries and travelled to over 75 nations. He is a Fellow of the Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Health care and life saving drugs
Many companies do not have a clear vision on how they would like to utilize their CSR budgets. Vish plans to encourage big pharmaceuticals companies and hospitals to donate a fraction of their life saving drugs to the underprivileged as their CSR. Vish will leverage his network with the various stakeholders – big pharmaceuticals, the government and NGOs - to ensure that the drugs reach those who really need them.
Zeena Johar, PhD-SVP, Business Operations
Zeena Johar joined Advantia Health in 2017 as Senior Vice President, Business Operations. Before joining Advantia Health, Zeena worked in health policy along with Dr. Mark McClellan (previous FDA Commissioner, and previous Administrator CMS). Zeena Johar obtained her PhD in Molecular Diagnostics at ETH, Zurich, Switzerland in 2007. Zeena then returned to India and led the incorporation of SughaVazhvu Healthcare and IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health (ICTPH) working towards replicable service delivery networks at the interface of affordable healthcare technologies and innovative human resource solutions for inaccessible rural populations of India. Zeena spearheaded ICTPH’s academic alliance with School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania launching India’s first joint certificate Bridge Training Program for AYUSH practitioners as a skill building curriculum for evidence-based medicine. SVHC’s innovative care delivery model has enabled over 100,000 patient visits through its network of nine clinics in Rural Tamil Nadu. SVHC was awarded the NASSCOM Social Innovation Honor 2014, and is a part of the IPIHD Network (founded by McKinsey & Company, World Economic Forum and Duke University. Zeena was a member of Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) – National Council on Public Health and the Governing Board at Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB), Bangalore. Zeena has published in The Economic Times, Chemistry – A European Journal, Helvetica Chimica Acta and PharmaBiz Chronicle, NextBillion.net, YourStory.in, ACM DEV-4, Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health. Zeena completed her Executive MBA (Program for Leadership Development) at the Harvard Business School (HBS), Boston. Zeena was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2013, as one of Asia’s 100 Pioneers by Purpose Economy in 2014 and Yale World Fellow 2015. She is a Fellow of Class 5 of the Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Wholistic approach to physical disability
For her project, Zeena would like to focus on physical disabilities in India and provide opportunities for the physical disabled. Zeena plans on creating market-driven solution (facilitative ecosystem) both in terms of infrastructure and personnel. The project is meant to include - amongst others - affordable prosthetics, counselling on available opportunities and safe and equipped environments for sports and physical activity.