Akshat Rathee – Managing Director, NODWIN Group
Akshat is the Managing Director of the Nodwin Group of Companies which has been striding forward with a vision of simplifying business for the clients. NODWIN brings out its unique philosophy of ideations which can give up to 40 per cent growth on a yearly basis. The Group has its footholds in the domains of telecom, power, steel, lifestyle and hospitality. The NODWIN Group believes in nurturing young talent, fostering creativity and entrepreneurship through its consulting assignments as well as new venture advisory. Akshat is the Board Director of ten invested companies as well as a strategic advisor for numerous start-ups. He is also involved with the non-profit youth organisation, AIESEC. Some of the companies under the umbrella brand of NODWIN are: NODWIN Gaming Pvt. Ltd. – It currently manages the B2B ecosystem in Indian Video Gaming and eSports. ESL India-The Indian entity of the largest eSports company in the world ESL/ Turtle Entertainment, it manages and conduct marquee Gaming and eSports events for India. NODWIN Cyber Games Merchandising Pvt. Ltd. – BeyondTheGame (BTG) is India’s first official licensed game merchandise Store bringing the coolest game merchandise from the International game publishers like VALVE, UBISOFT and BETHESDA to Indian gamers. NODWIN Consultants Pvt Ltd. – NODWIN Consultants specializes in financial consulting and advisory services across different industries. It has created a niche for itself in the field of value based consulting. Earth- 100 Biofuels – Earth-100 is a company that offers a convenient “green solution” for eco-friendly transportation. Akshat is a computer engineer with an MBA from ENPC, Paris. He had worked for firms like Ernst & Young, Columbia Tristar and IBM. He believes in creating value for his clients. His consultancy service has attracted some of the largest players in the Indian economy such as Jindal Steel, Vodafone and Airtel, just to name a few. He is passionate about guiding and mentoring young talent and has attended and addressed conferences in India and abroad (for example, the USABF in the US and the MIPCOM and MIPTV in Cannes). Akshat believes that there is no deficit of brilliance and talent among the youth. He is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Swabhimaanya
Akshat’s project is a BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid) focused distribution platform with over a million customers. It pioneers in customized structuring of financial and insurance products to suit demands of investors and customers and works with a host of partners across 7 Indian states. Swabhimaanya and its team are known for bringing unparalleled innovation in the microfinance circuit and have been the inventor of numerous bundled offers specifically designed for the under-served. This includes Rural BOP Insurance and Microlending Marketplace as well as Urban BOP Insurance. The organization partners with Airtel to provide customers with discounted rates on mobile phone plans and with oil companies to provide customers with loyalty cards where points earned on buying petrol can be exchanged for necessary items. Swabhimaanya is focused on creating a long-term sustainable enterprise and therefor operates on a commercially viable, “for-profit” basis. More information can be found on: http://www.swabhimaan.com/
Amitav Virmani – Founder CEO, The Education Alliance
Amitav is Founder CEO, The Education Alliance. TEA is a registered non profit organisation based in India and works primarily as a facilitator of Public Private Partnerships in Education across the country. Prior to this Amitav was Country Director, Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), India, a UK based philanthropic co-operative founded in 2002. He was responsible for setting up and managing the India operations for ARK and was with the organisation since it’s inception in India in 2008 until April 2014. Amitav and his team were responsible for launching several programmes in India – School Leaders for India – a leadership capacity building programme, ASPIRE- an English Literacy programme ENABLE – a vouchers school access programme and SQA- School Quality Assesment in Madhya Pradesh, an initiative funded by DIFD. Amitav worked as a General Manager in the office of the CEO & MD at Ranbaxy Laboratories prior to his switch over to the development sector. Amitav began his post MBA career in the USA working for Bristol Myers Squibb & Co. based in Princeton. He managed a part of their Oncology portfolio and was also responsible for setting up their office in Mumbai, India in 2003. He started as part of a small team of 2 expat employees from the US who worked closely with McKinsey & Co. to establish the India entity and left for Delhi in 2005 when the company had over 100 employees. Amitav has been part of his family-run food processing business since 1994. In 2004, he diversified the portfolio to include real estate development in the state of Punjab. Amitav was educated at the Doon School, Dehra Dun and went on to study Economics at the St. Stephens College, Delhi University. He got his MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked in the US for 4 years before returning home. He is actively involved in the capacity of Trustee/Director with various philanthropic organisations involving education, spirituality and children. He sits on the board of several companies and serves on the Education Advisory Task Force of FICCI. He is a member of the International Board of Advisors for Kenan Flagler Business School, UNC, Chapel Hill. In 2010, he was selected as an Apsen Fellow and joined the 3rd Batch of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship. In June 2015, Amitav was elected as an Ashoka Fellow. He was also awarded the Mother Teresa Scholarship for Social Innovation and attended a course titled ‘Social Perspectives in Non-Profit Management” at Harvard Business School during the summer of 2015. He is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: NutriLearn
Amitav undertook a joined project along with ILI Fellow Shikha Sharma. NutriLearn is an initiative that promotes health, nutrition, education, and empowerment among urban slum children under the ages of 13 years in India. The program is currently working with a low-income, predominantly Muslim community in East Delhi. Fifty children and their families will receive training on nutritious dietary habits. The children will be tracked over three years and compared to children who did not receive training so that the program can evaluate their impact. Through the Young Indians Initiative, NutriLearn will embark on a national rollout and introduce its concept to 24 states. The first phase of the rollout launched in Gujarat and Delhi. NutriLearn also partnered with the Dhanpatmal Virmani Education Trust to implement the NutriLearn program in the Trust’s adult literacy centers across Delhi. Additionally, NutriLearn gave nutrition kits to Anganwadi workers and Anganwadi teachers are now using games and guides to introduce the concepts of healthy eating, nutritious diets, and classification of foods to children and mothers. An awards and recognition scheme has been identified and communicated to the Anganwadi workers so as to motivate children, parents and community workers. Eventually the program hopes to build a network of senior kids who shall take on the mantle of being the mentors for junior kids and shall help in the process of building and sustaining awareness.
Arun Padmanabhan – Co-Founder and CEO,
Arun is the CEO and is responsible for rollout of the branches, products and services and to scale up the business volumes in line with Svasti’s business plans. Arun also handles the Human Resources function. Arun is a lawyer and was with ICICI Bank until June 2007, before leaving to start Svasti. Over a period of six years at ICICI Bank he has acted as the legal advisor to the corporate banking, project finance, structured finance, private banking and treasury operations of the bank. He was part of the core strategic team that planned and executed the bank’s foray into international markets and comes with extensive experience in successfully launching new businesses and new products in various geographies. He is a Fellow of Class 3 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Svasti Foundation
The Svasti Foundation aims to improve the quality of life of significantly marginalized segments of society in Mumbai by providing affordable credit to create and improve livelihood opportunities. The Foundation will have three main functions: (1) providing targeted micro credit loans and allied services to help economically disadvantaged individuals or groups receive vocational training or start/expand businesses; (2) partnering with organizations that have a strong record and experience working with disadvantaged social groups and who possess relevant skills; and (3) continually identifying and assessing socially and financially excluded segments of society. The pilot reached 120-150 beneficiaries across three disadvantaged groups (physically handicapped, rehabilitated sex workers, transgender) between June 2012 and June 2013.
Ashish Gupta – CEO NATGRID
Ashish is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1989 batch, and holds the rank of Additional General of Police (ADGP). He is currently posted in New Delhi as CEO, NATGRID, GOI. Prior to this assignment, he worked as IG of STF (Special Task Force), UP to combat organized crime (2011-2014) and as Director in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) from 2006 – 2011 where his work related to advising the Prime Minister on policy matters of energy and internal security. He also worked as a Senior Faculty in the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (2002-2006). The Academy trains all newly recruited IPS officers who serve at senior positions in the police formations. Ashish was also the Indian Contingent Commander to the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo (2000-2002). During his posting in the State of Uttar Pradesh, Ashish served as district police chief of seven districts and was Commandant of State Armed Battalions. He headed the Anti-Terrorist Operations in the Terai region of Shahjahanpur in 1991. He was especially nominated by the Election Commission of India to get elections conducted in a free and fair manner in Etah district. Ashish has authored monographs on “Police Operations”, “Law and Order Management in India”, “Election Management”, and “Applicability of Management Principles in Police”, besides publishing papers on police-related subjects. He edited the “Police Journal” for a period of 3 years. Ashish is the recipient of President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service, Special Police Medal for Difficult Areas, and UN Peacekeeping medal. His wife, Tilotama, is also an IPS officer and they have two children. Ashish received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur in 1987 and MBA from IIM Calcutta in 1989. He is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Jeevan Jyoti (Light of Life)
Ashish founded Jeevan Jyoti (Light of Life), a school that provides affordable schooling for children living in the slums in India. Jeevan Jyoti is based out of Ashish’s parents’ home. His parents, who are retired professors, were also the first two teachers at the school. Since then, five other retired people in the area joined as part-time teachers. To recruit students, Ashish’s mother went to the slums on a regular basis to talk with the ladies of the community and Ashish and his father played with the children. After earning their trust, a group of 46 students started attending Jeevan Jyoti regularly. Ashish convinced public and private schools in the area to admit Jeevan Jyoti students into their schools at a minimal fee and allow the students to learn at Jeevan Jyoti. This way, the students can appear at official exams, receive certificates, and move to higher grades. Jeevan Jyoti also offers bridge courses for students who dropped out of school and want to join the class of students their age.
Bhairavi Jani – Chairperson and Founder, IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation and Executive Director, SCA Group
Bhairavi is a fourth generation entrepreneur, developmental enthusiast and an avid venture philanthropist. She is Chairperson and Founder of the IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation and the Executive Director at SCA Group of Companies founded in 1896 by her great-grandfather. SCA Group of Companies undertake activities in port, shipping, customs clearance, warehousing, service contracting, freight forwarding, logistics infrastructure building and management, air cargo, supply chain consultancy and IT. Bhairavi is a firm believer in the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem to create livelihood opportunities. She has dedicated a significant amount of her work time for the cause in the past decade, and has now decided to focus all her efforts in the area, under a foundation – the IEF Entrepreneurship Foundation (IEF). Bhairavi graduated in 1999 from Miami University, Ohio, USA with a Bachelor of Science in Business with Magna Cum Laude. Post her graduation in 1999, she worked with KPMG Consulting in Washington D.C. Bhairavi returned to India in 2001. Instead of joining the family business, she began her foray into business by setting up a fourth-party logistics company in India. She successfully scaled up the company and exited from it in 2005. In 2005 after completing the MyGlobe Executive Education Programme at INSEAD in France Bhairavi moved into the role of the Executive Director for all the companies under the SCA Group. In the past decade Bhairavi has started, acquired, scaled up many ventures most of them focused on supply chain and logistics industry which are now part of the SCA Group. Bhairavi is the Past National Chairman of Young Indians, CII. Young Indians is an organization of 14,000 young progressive Indians who are working towards the vision of a developed India. Bhairavi is a Director on the Board of the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship, a Govt. of Meghalaya undertaking. Bhairavi is also an Advisor for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to the Government of Nagaland. In line with her belief that there is no substitute for on-ground data and on-ground experience, Bhairavi undertook a project: “Highway to Swades” where she drove 18,181 kms across India and visited all states except one, to gather information on peoples’ choices and views for entrepreneurship, livelihood and development from March 2014 to May 2014. Traveling for 51 days with her team, Bhairavi visited 102 locations. During her interactions with Indians from all walks of life she understood that the need to be job creators was not limited to the youth alone but people from all ages and all sections of society were having entrepreneurial aspirations. Bhairavi has been listed as one of the 30 most Powerful Women in India by the India Today publication. She has been profiled as Stree Shakti (Woman Power) person by CNBC Awaaz and featured as a Young Turk by CNBC TV 18. She has been listed as one of the 10 women exemplars by the Hindustan Times, Mumbai. Business Today Magazine featured her as the Supply Chain Maven. Bhairavi is the recipient of the prestigious CII President’s Award 2010-2011 for her contribution to CII Young Indians. She is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Project Chinar in Kashmir
The Project Chinar is a program that provides career counseling and training to students at the high school, university, and graduate school level in Kashmir. The pilot program took place at the Delhi Public School in Sri Nagar. Students in grades 9 to 11 were offered career counseling and their teachers participated in a workshop. The program was successful and Project Chinar expanded to work with four undergraduate campuses and MBA students in Kashmir. The Godrej Center of Excellence of CII, the Bajaj Foundation, and the Godrej Industries came together to train 100 MBA students and help them secure employment. Project Chinar is ready to scale up its initiatives. Bhairavi’s goal is to help 5,000 youth secure gainful employment. Bhairavi hopes Project Chinar will help improve the dire economic conditions in Kashmir.
Dhaval Udani – Founder & CEO of danamojo.org
Dhaval is Founder & CEO of danamojo.org and Former Chief Executive Officer of GiveIndia. Prior to this role, he was in the role of CIO and Sr Vice President and lead the Internet Giving practice for GiveIndia. Dhaval has been associated with GiveIndia for nearly four and a half years now – starting as a volunteer for two and a half years and then as a full-time employee. He is also a member of the UnLtd India advisory panel which helps budding social entrepreneurs as well as the Asia Venture Philanthropy Network. Prior to GiveIndia, Dhaval worked for three and a half years as a management consultant with A. T. Kearney, Mumbai. During his stint there, he advised companies on strategy, marketing and operations across India, Middle East and South East Asia. Dhaval has also worked for four years in information technology with Citicorp developing products and frameworks for internal use. Dhaval has received an MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad in 2005 and graduated with a B.E. in Computer Science from VJTI, Mumbai in1999. HHe is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Online donations
Dhaval is working with payment gateway providers (e.g. Billdesk, FlipKart,etc.) to allow consumers to make a small charitable donation each time he/she pays for something online. He hopes this option will facilitate micro-donations in every e-commerce transaction happening in India. The money will be delivered directly to the NGO of the merchant/donor’s choice. This model is underway and some of the payment gateway providers are in the process of taking regulatory approval after which they will be able to launch this service. There are already a few pilots lined up that are ready to go live shortly.
Hasina Kharbhih – CEO
Hasina is also a Founder Chair of Board Impulse NGO Network (INGON) a 26 years old, a social organization working on the issue of human trafficking in North East India,North Bengal, Myanmar Nepal and Bangladesh. Ms. Kharbhih created the internationally acknowledged Impulse Model a holistic method to address human trafficking. The Model,bring together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors work in collaboration to combat human trafficking and strengthen each other’s work through a collective leadership. Impulse Model received accolades such as the Japanese Award For Most Innovative Development Project category under its Global Development Awards and Medals Competition in 2012 from the Japanese Social Development Fund from the Government of Japan which has also supported the organization to scale its work in Myanmar since 2013. In 2006 she traveled to the USA and Thailand under FullBright Scholarship Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Program through a scholarship from the East-West Center Grantees from India (Hawaii University). 2004-2006 she also represented India as a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador For Positive Living and was featured as Yuva Star or Young Achiever for BBC World Service Trust Award Winning Production of Haath Se Haath Milaa (Lets Join Hands) India largest HIV/AIDS awareness mass media campaign that reach over 50 million viewers. Earlier, in 2002, she was invited to participate in the International Visitors Program on NGO Management, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 2002 and 2003, she attended a two-part ‘Women in Management’ course held in Sweden and the Philippines through a scholarship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. She has received numerous recognitions including the Asia Award for Excellence in Youth Work from the Commonwealth Youth Programme of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat, Woman of Substance Award from the Ryan Foundation in India, and the Rising Talent Award from the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society held in France in 2007. 2011-2012 – North East Excellence Award in the Achievers Category from the Indian Chambers of Commerce 2012 -YFLO Women Achievers Awards for Social Entrepreneurship Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce,2012 -Asian Activists Award from Human Right Now – Japan, 2012 -CNN-IBN India Positive Award, 2013 Winner India’s CNBC Awaaz – Masterpreneur Season 1 Reality Show 2013 – IVLP Gold Star Alumni, US State Department. In 2015 State Bank of India North East Circle Award her in recognition of her Selfless Service and Outstanding Contribution to Society.In 2016- University of Science and Technology Meghalaya, an Award for her outstanding and visionary contribution to the field of social service and her endeavour to ensure equality and social justice 2017 She is the recipient of the Most Powerful Women in Business – Impact Award, 2017, in the Social Business category, announced by Business Today, of the India Today Group. The award honours most remarkable women leaders, who have taken India to new heights through exceptional talent and endeavour, and have made a positive transformation to society. In 2018 is the recipient of Asia Iclif Leadership Energy Award at LESA, recognising her as a leader with intrinsic strength ,that Iclif call Personal Leadership Energy ,a combination of deeply held values and a clear sense of purpose and harness collective leadership Energy of their organisation ,by proactively shaping a vision resulting in working conditions for flawless execution .Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre created by Central Bank of Malaysia Hasina lives in Shillong, Meghalaya, in the Northeast of India. She is a Fellow of Class 3 of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. For more information on her work www.hasinakharbhih.com /www.impulsengonetwork.org/www.impulsesocialenterprises.com
Leadership project/venture: Impulse Social Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
Impulse Social Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. develops goods, services, and markets to promote sustainable livelihoods for those in need and invests in other development organizations that advance human rights for all, particularly women and children. Hasina hopes to make Impulse Social Enterprises self-sustaining so that the organization can direct funds into Impulse NGO Network and other Indian and regional development organizations. ISE uses a hub-and-spoke business model to work with a network of 30,000 artisans. Initially, ISE focused marketing efforts on the domestic hotel industry. From 2014 onwards, ISE expanded their market and currently sells products through airports stores and boutique. It continues to reach global markets, with expected exports to the US and UK in the works. ISE is currently engaged in a building partnership with Amazon.
Indrani Bagchi, Senior Diplomatic Editor, The Times of India
IndraniBagchi is senior diplomatic editor with The Times of India, where she has been reporting and analyzing foreign policy issues for the newspaper since 2004. Indrani covers daily news on foreign affairs in the foreign office, as well as interpreting and analyzing global trends with an Indian perspective. She writes news stories; opinion articles; news features and a blog, “Globespotting”. She covers Indian foreign and strategic policy, diplomacy, terrorism, nuclear and national security issues for The Times of India.Earlier, Indrani worked as associate editor for India Today, a premier news magazine. Indrani started her journalism career at The Statesman, where she edited the weekend section, before moving to The Economic Times in Calcutta to edit the Metro Magazine. She graduated from Loreto College, Calcutta University with English honours.Indrani was a Reuters Fellow at Oxford University in 1997. In 2010, India was awarded the Chang Lin-Tien fellowship by the Asia Foundation to study US-China relations at Brookings Institution, Washington DC. She is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. She tweets @horror06 and @IBagchiTOI.
Leadership project/venture: China-India intelligence unit
Indrani is creating an online clearinghouse regarding Indian foreign policy and economic and social development. Indrani’s website will be an online think tank on social responsibility. She started a regular column in the Times of India Crest edition on foreign policy and is writing additional text for the website. Her website will provide articles, insights, and her analysis of current events. It will link to her existing blog.
James Abraham – Founder & Director, SolarArise
James Abraham is the founder and director of SolarArise, which develops, owns and operates solar-power plants in India. Prior to this, he was the Managing Director of SunBorne Energy, which focused on engineering solutions to implement solar in India at low cost. James and the team led the development of solar policy in. James is currently a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Renewable Energy Council, the US-India Track 2 Dialogue on Climate Change, and serves on several boards. Prior to SunBorne, James was a senior partner at The Boston Consulting Group in India, which he founded and led BCG’s New Delhi office. James has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, an MBA (Baker Scholar) from the Wharton School, and an MA (international relations) from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. He is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Creating a Green Ecology for villages in India
James is planning to employ small-scale technologies that can deliver power and water into a ‘micro-grid’ for communities in India. India has about 600,000 villages, of which some 200,000 have no access to power and more than half get very poor quality and sporadic power. As an alternative, these communities depend on fossil energies which are damaging to people and the environment. James’ plan provides affordable decentralized deployment of power and water using renewable resources such as solar, biomass, and wind. The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) have programs to fund the deployment of such solutions. James is working with Advait Energy and SunBorne Energy to identify product options and their costs and availability. Currently James has a team working on developing a pilot program in Rajasthan. The major areas of focus for James and his team are working in Rajasthan, the North and the Northeast.
Karandeep Singh – Finance Director, Tesco HSC
Karandeep is Finance Director of Tesco HSC looking after their UK and Group Finance from India, part of their UK CFO organization. Prior to this he was CFO of Flipkart.com a leading Indian e-commerce company. He was previously the vice president and managing director for Sapient’s India operations, Sapient is a global technology services firm. Prior to joining Sapient, Karandeep worked in finance and business operations functions of large corporations like Dell, Moser Baer, Ariba, and Yum Brands. Karandeep started his career with Andersen Consulting in 1992, where he spent three years doing management consulting and system integration projects, before joining Yum in 1995. He lived in Dubai and Singapore from 1998 to 2004. Karandeep serves on the board of Aspire Human Capital Management Pvt Ltd, which is run by Amit Bhatia, an Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship Fellow. Karandeep also supports a girl’s orphanage in Kharar, Mohalli, Punjab, which ensures proper housing and education of orphaned girls. He resides in Bangalore with his wife Mandeep, and their two children. Karandeep is a University Gold Medalist, having completed his bachelor of commerce with honors from Delhi University in 1989. Subsequently, he went on to complete his chartered accountancy from ICAI in 1992, making it to the Top 50 India merit list in both the intermediate and final exams of the CA program. HHe is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: No Village Left Behind (NVLB)
No Village Left Behind (NVLB) is an initiative to reform Punjab’s social fabric by improving child literacy and making its marketplace more efficient. To improve literacy rates in rural Punjab, Karandeep plans to start a trust that is used to fund affordable schools and start new schools. He will model his trust off of the Kalgidhar Trust (TKT) which runs 70+ schools. Karandeep is also looking into how he can help farmers get access to market and agricultural information/expertise. Karandeep formed a Board of Advisors which will bring expertise from different areas.
Meghna Rao – Director, HDMK Holdings
Meghna is Director of her family business which is a leading manufacturer of various food packaging solutions in the Middle East. Prior to that, Meghna was the Country MD for the Acumen Fund, a leading venture fund investing in companies that deliver critical goods/services for social impact. Previously, she spent several years at Microsoft’s headquarters in the US and India where she was responsible for global business planning to launch several new software products and to drive adoption of Microsoft offerings among small businesses in India. Meghna herself is a technology entrepreneur and co-founded a successful IT solutions company. She worked in the mergers and acquisitions investment banking department at Goldman Sachs in New York and was a venture capitalist at J.H. Whitney in Connecticut. Meghna has a strong mix of hands-on operating and investing experiences with a passion for entrepreneurship. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from The Wharton School. She is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: Financial product for promoting social outcomes
Meghna is developing a specialized debt/lending financial product for promoting social outcomes delivered via sustainable enterprises or professional services organizations. The growth of equity capital invested into social enterprises in India and the rise in philanthropy into non-profit organizations is resulting in the growth of many social purpose organizations – both for profit and non-profit. Most of these organizations lack significant operating history and focus on areas with low commercial returns. Therefore funding is difficult to secure to scale their impact potential. Public sector capital, subsidies, and contracts are often the only real source of capital. By providing affordable venture debt product, in lieu of a combination of impact results and financial returns, these social enterprises will be able to scale faster with a market based approach. Meghna incorporated her project as a non-banking finance entity, created a business plan for a success bond, and identified a public sector partner. Negotiations with the potential partner are underway.
Neera Nundy – Managing Partner
Neera Nundy is the Co-Founder of Dasra, an India based strategic philanthropy foundation that uses a field building approach to create systems change in India. Over the past 20 years, Dasra has actively shaped the development sector by building stronger institutions such as Magic Bus, Educate Girls and SNEHA. She has also been critical to establishing partnerships with global leaders in development that include Harvard University, Stanford University, USAID, Omidyar Network, CIFF, Packard Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; additionally engaging with the state and national government to leverage strategic philanthropy and institutional building into the development agenda. Neera leads Dasra’s field-building initiatives in the areas of Adolescents & Urban Sanitation. In 2016, she launched the Dasra Adolescents Collaborative, a $50 million fund to foster multi-stakeholder collaboration to impact 5 million adolescent lives. She facilitates key partnerships including one with Harvard Business Publishing to launch the Dasra Social Impact Leadership Program, a first-of-its-kind executive education program for over 500 social sector leaders in India. She supports knowledge creation and has overseen 70 social sector research reports, influencing over USD 100 million in funding for hundreds of nonprofits. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She is a Fellow of Class 3 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. a Global Board Member of The Hunger Project. She is a recipient of the Canadian Governor General’s Medallion for her dedication to addressing India’s critical development challenges, and has also been awarded the Forbes Philanthropy Award in the Crossover Leaders Category.
Leadership project/venture: Bollywood Art: Next Generation Philanthropy in India
In an effort to educate philanthropists on how to give more effectively, Neera interviewed six female business leaders in India who are emerging or established Indian philanthropists. The women discussed their views on leadership in philanthropy, giving strategies, and issues they are passionate about. Neera used information from her interviews to create a modern art poster exhibit to tell the women’s stories and capture the essence of each personality. The exhibit is accompanied by a booklet that summarizes the interviews and links the themes in each modern art poster. The exhibit first launched at the Indian Philanthropy Forum and toured across the country to spark dialogue on philanthropy.
Nikhil Sawhney, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Triveni Turbine and Director, Triveni Engineering
Nikhil Sawhney is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Triveni Turbine and a Director with Triveni Engineering. The Companies occupy leadership positions in their respective businesses of sugar manufacturing, distillation of alcohol, renewable energy generation, industrial turbines and gears, and water and wastewater treatment solutions, spanning 16 manufacturing locations in India. Triveni Turbine is the preeminent manufacturer of industrial steam turbines in India, with a consistent market share of over fifty percent. The company sells over a 1000 MW of small turbines per annum and has an installed base of over three thousand installations in over 75 countries. The customer base includes defence, process industries, and thermal and renewable energy producers. Triveni Turbine also has a majority in an exclusive global joint venture with General Electric for steam turbines between 30 and 100MW. Nikhil is the Treasurer of the All India Management Association and a member of the Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta. He has helped found the CII-Triveni Water Institute and is an active trustee of the Tirath Ram Shah Charitable Hospital and the Emmanuel College India Trust, as well as a Fellow of Class 3 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. Nikhil is a part of the India-UK, India-Indonesia and India-Israel CEO Forums constituted by the Government of India. Nikhil is also Co-Chair of the Ananta Aspen led India-Israel Forum. He is currently the Deputy Chair of the Northern Region for CII. Nikhil has been voted one of India’s forty ‘hottest’ business leaders under 40 by The Economic Times in 2015. He has a BA and MA from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, and a MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Leadership project/venture: Water Institute
The Water Institute works to ensure India achieves water security by 2022 by focusing on water and waste water management in the industrial, rural, and agricultural sectors. The Institute is tasked with: (1) building the capacity and skills of individual consumers, industry, farmers, NGOs, and policymakers; (2) helping formulate effective policies; raising awareness; and (3) evaluating and funding of water security projects. The Institute will have a national presence starting off with at four locations and building up to cover a presence in every major State in India. The Water Institute brings government, industry and civil society together to address water-related issues in a holistic manner. For example, the Institute is working with an international funding institution and local municipalities to develop a water footprint study for three large municipalities in India.
Radhika Shapoorjee – Founder & CEO, Mediation Mantras; and Consulting Partner, Digital5
A seasoned communication leader, a certified Mediator from the Indian institute of Arbitration and Mediation, and a India Specialist Mediator for the Singapore International Mediation Centre. She has three decades of professional experience across advertising, public relations and corporate communications. She is the Founder and CEO of Mediation Mantras. The purpose of the mediation consultancy is to advocate, teach and promote the cause of Mediation as a life-skill and help people and organisations build winning relationships. She is also a Consulting Partner at Digital5, which is a strategic communication consultancy where Radhika advises clients in the Microfinance, Health & Wellness, and Travel sector. Previously, she was the Founder President and led Hill+Knowlton Strategies for 9 years. Was the Chief of Strategic Planning at Genesis Burson-Mastellar for over 6 years. Both top WPP global communication consultancies. Won multiple International and national awards for Public Relations campaigns across sectors. Her last assignment was to set up the corporate communication team at Hike Messenger, a social media platform. And concurrently, she was a strategic adviser to the Singapore International Mediation Centre. A trusted advisor to CEOs, Governments, top lawyers, litigation experts and political leaders. Anticipated and managed multiple issues and crisis situations ranging from sexual harassment, fraud, litigation, layoffs, employee blackmail, product recall, agitations and conflicts at the workplace. She is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. A trained moderator, she has helped promote entrepreneurship and micro finance with other Aspen fellows. Has been actively involved at Ideas Festival India. Is on the Managing Committee board of CanSupport, an NGO which is a leader in palliative care for the underprivileged. A prolific public speaker, moderator and writer. Selected as jury member for multiple international and national awards including the prestigious Cannes Festival of PR and Advertising.
Leadership project/venture: Building an Eco System for adopting CSR in India Radhika designed a website and Facebook page to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) among Indian businesses. She also has a framework for a book she will write titled The Human Corporate. Radhika plans to roll out an awareness campaign in two stages, by writing a series of contributory articles in the media, followed by a series of panel discussions on the subject. CSR is perceived as charity or individual philanthropy and is not understood by a large percentage of Indian businesses. It is still limited to a small percentage of companies who have adopted CSR as part of their business strategy. Radhika hopes to demystify CSR and convince businesses that they can be a force of good by adopting CSR.
Rajan Navani – Managing Director, Jetline Group of Companies
Rajan Navani is the Vice Chairman & Managing Director of the Jetline Group of Companies which has interests in packaging manufacturing, textiles, digital media and new ventures in innovative personalised interactive entertainment, digital gaming and commerce. With a vision to play a key role in the digital lives of 1.3 billion Indians, the group has recently made significant investments and is building businesses in powering varied consumer facing digital platforms, products and services. Rajan is also personally providing leadership and strategic direction to group company JetSynthesys with a deepened focus on mobile gaming with operations in India, MENA, SE Asia, UK, Japan and USA. Through the combination of Jet Ventures & JetLabs powered by ‘Garage’, the group is engaging deeply with the startup ecosystem in India, Israel, Singapore, UK, Japan & USA. The roots of the Navani group originate back to the 1930’s in Bangkok, Thailand where they continue to have diversified business operations. Prior to this, Rajan worked with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, USA before returning to Thailand and then to India to enter the family business. Rajan is currently the Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s CII National Council on Future Businesses, Chairman of the CII Council on India@75, the Past National Chairman of the CII Young Indians and is a member of CII’s National Council, Rajan is a founding trustee of the India@75 Foundation, through which he is working with multiple stakeholders, including government, corporates and civil society in helping build a Dream India by 2022, seventy-five years since its independence. He was recently elected as the first National President of the recently constituted Indian Digital Gaming Society and is also a BMW Herbert Quandt Foundation’s Young World Leader, a CNBC India’s Young Turk and part of the ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum. Heis a Fellow of Class 3 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. Rajan is also playing an active role in helping shape the government and business US-India partnership and is a member of the Singapore-India and Israel-India Track II strategic dialogues. He is a Government of India nominated CEO of the India Japan Business Leaders Forum and is a board member of Indiaspora, a powerful network linking the Indian American Diaspora with India. Rajan was the founding Chairman of the Emerging President’s Group, a forum for second generation industrialists and a promoting member of the Family Business Forum. He is actively associated with various other businesses and social organizations in India and Thailand. Rajan holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA, under a NASA grant, majoring in Digital Satellite Imaging and Remote Sensing graduating with the award for outstanding academic achievement. A gold medalist at the University of Poona, India in the Bachelors of Electronics and Telecommunications program from College of Engineering Pune (COEP), Rajan also has a diploma in Business Management. He is a Trustee of the Ananta Aspen centre and a Fellow of Class 3 of Ananta Aspen Centre the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
Leadership project/venture: The Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) Foundation The Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) Foundation engages individuals in India’s nation-building and democratic processes. The ISR Foundation encourages individuals to: (1) offer his/her professional expertise pro bono to organizations/NGOs/government programs engaged in nation-building and (2) make responsible consumer decisions. The ISR Foundation is incubated under the India@75 Foundation. The Taproot Foundation, a US-based foundation that mobilized a billion dollars of pro bono activity, will study the Indian landscape for pro bono activity and help connect willing and appropriate professionals to nonprofits, government initiatives, or others engaged in nation building. Additionally, the ISR Foundation will be launching a large awareness program that promotes responsible and sustainable consumer choices. They are working with local resident welfare associations to complete this program.
Rohit Kansal – Principal Secretary to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir
Rohit Kansal is a senior civil servant with India’s permanent bureaucracy. A member of the Class of 1995 of the Indian Administrative Service, IAS- he is currently the Principal Secretary to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir where his responsibilities include the departments of Energy and Power and Information and Communication. As the official spokesman of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, he is also the interface between the Government and the media.
He has, in his two decade long career in public service, held challenging public policy assignments in diverse sectors- infrastructure and clean energy, trade and international relations, project management et al. As Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir in 2014 he saw himself responsible for coordinating a large scale relief and rehabilitation process in Srinagar and other cities of the valley in the wake of an unprecedented flood there. He was also instrumental in helping put together a $ 250 million World Bank funded flood recovery cum resilience and Disaster Management programme. In his subsequent assignments, first as head of the Public Works programme of the state and later as its Planning secretary, he oversaw not just the implementation of this programme, but also a massive development and reconstruction programme involving 3,000 km of road reconstruction, besides numerous bridges and buildings. The 9 km long Rs. 3,700 crore Chenani-Nashri Tunnel was inaugurated during this period by the Hon PM.
In his current assignment, he coordinates a US $ 1 billion power and energy portfolio involving hydropower generation, power transmission and distribution. His leadership has seen significant growth in capacity as well as use of technology not just for engineering improvements but also for ease of doing business and betters services to consumers.
He is also known for initiating and implementing the very successful and innovative Back to Village programme in J&K which has found mention not just in Hon. PM’s Mann ki Baat but also in his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort in 2020.
His assignment with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the federal government saw him keenly involved with a number of path breaking initiatives in cleantech in India including the policy framework of the ambitious Indian National Solar Mission.
Rohit Kansal has served as a Sherpa in the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), as well as a panelist at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). He has been invited as an expert on renewable energy and energy access by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). As an Emerging Leaders Fellow of the Australia-India Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia his public lecture focussed on the challenges facing the scalability of the decentralised energy-access models in energy poor areas around the world.
He has also been involved in teaching, research and writing. As a Chevening Gurukul Fellow at the London School of Economics, London, his paper focussed on private provisioning of public services. He has taught undergraduate courses at the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, Jammu and Kashmir. His case studies on administrative and strategic issues have been published by the National Civil Service Academy, LBSNAA, Mussoorie where he also had the distinction of being judged the Best All Round Officer Trainee.
Rohit Kansal holds a management graduate degree from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kolkata and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Thapar University of Punjab, India. He has also been trained at the London School of Economics and is a fellow of the Third Generation of Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network. He has been conferred the Chief Minster’s Republic Day Award for public service (2018) in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Widely travelled, he has been published in mainstream media as well as travel journals. He lives with his wife and son in Jammu, India.
Shaffi Mather – Founder and CEO Murgency, Advisor – Stanford ChangeLabs Lawyer and Public Policy Analyst
Shaffi is a Serial Entrepreneur, Lawyer & Public Policy Analyst. Shaffi is presently an Advisor at Stanford ChangeLabs and an Associate at Harvard Asia Center. Shaffi leads the tech startup MUrgency – UN RESEAU GLOBAL DE REPONSE D’URGENCE (One Global Emergency Response Network) on mobile phones being built with membership in BCtA @ UNDP (Business Call to Action at the United Nations Development Program) out of Silicon Valley & Dubai. MUrgency is being built in global partnership with YGL @ WEF (Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum) and academic partnership with Stanford ChangeLabs, Harvard Asia Center and MIT Global Health. Shaffi previously founded the pioneering Emergency Ambulance Service in India (Dial 1298 for Ambulance / Ziqitza Health Care Limited – www.zhl.in) which has grown to be the largest ‘for profit’ Ambulance Company in the Developing World and Life supporters Institute of Health Sciences which has grown to be Asia’s largest Pre-hospital Care Training Organization. The company presently runs 1250+ Ambulances with 6000+ employees and serves over 2.0 million transports annually. Investors include Acumen Fund, Envision Health Care (World’s Largest Emergency Care Company) and India’s leading three financial institutions – HDFC, IDFC & IVFA. Shaffi is a Mason Fellow in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University graduating with a Master in Public Administration degree (MPA) in 2008. He is educated at the Mahatma Gandhi University, India – St. Pauls College (B Com), University of Pittsburgh, USA (MBA -Strategic Planning & Policy and Marketing), University of Bridgeport, USA (MBA – Finance) and the London School of Economics, UK where he was a British Chevening Senior Gurukul Scholar in Leadership & Excellence. Shaffi’s TED Speech has proposed a radical new fee for service initiative to assist citizens to fight individual demands for bribes. (Click to view TED Video). Shaffi is a Young Global Leader (WEF), World Young Leader (BMW Foundation), Asia Young Leader (Asia Society), Ted Fellow (TED), Aspen ILI Fellow (Aspen Institute), Kenneth Galbraith Scholar (Harvard University) & British Chevening Senior Gurukul Scholar. Shaffi was one of the three Social Entrepreneurs from India invited by President Obama to the US President’s Summit on Social Entrepreneurship in Washington DC in 2010 and also member of the select group with whom President Obama had discussions during his India visit. Shaffi was also selected as a Future International Leader by British Government in 2012 where he was invited to spend time with senior British Government officials in London over two weeks. He is a Fellow of class 3 of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Leadership project/venture: MUrgency – One global emergency response network MUrgency – One Global Emergency Response Network is building the largest medical emergency first responder network on earth. It is enrolling Doctors, nurses, EMTs and Paramedics after credentialing them and training them in life support to provide emergency medical response. When an individual faces medical emergency, he / she can tap the MUrgency app on the mobile phone and the nearest MUrgency responder will physically reach out and provide assistance. MUrgency is a full suite of emergency response, health, safety, security and communication services. It is being built in global partnership with YGL @ WEF (Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum) and academic partnership with Stanford ChangeLabs, Harvard Asia Center and MIT Global Health. Shaffi is working full time on MUrgency to bring “emergency response to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world at the tap on your mobile phone” by January 01, 2020.
Dr Shikha a well-known name in the preventive healthcare sector is a medical doctor by training from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. Her desire to work for preventive healthcare with the scientific approach led her to set up NutriHealth to promote right eating habits and lifestyle. Nutrihealth is a pioneer in Integrating Modern Nutrition with Vedic Nutrition which works in the area of disease prevention & Wellness and serves clients across the globe. It has a tele-nutrition centralized model with over 140 full time employees. The Use of Tele-Nutrition Centre and a Personal Health App, which helps in delivering personalized advisory and compliance monitoring, is another pioneering concept introduced in the area of Wellness. Being a firm believer of women empowerment, her organization has over 80% women in its workforce. She has recently launched Vedique Diet app which got over 3 lakh+ downloads in a very short time. The App offers free diet plans for PCOS, Weight gain, Diabetes Management, etc. Dr.Shikha has been featured widely in media and has a weekly column for the past 11 years in The National Newspaper, HT BRUNCH. She has also been quoted by several other leading Newspapers and magazine like The Times of India, Femina, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Economic Times to name a few. Dr.Shikha appears regularly on Television channels like NDTV, CNBC, Delhi Doordarshan, Sahara, Zee Business and others. She is invited frequently for giving talks by the Economist Magazine and ASSOCHAM,All India Management Association (AIMA), TiE Delhi, Delhi Management Association (DMA) and many others. She has delivered lectures to the students of top engineering and management colleges like IIT Bombay, IIT Roorkee, IIT Jodhpur, IIT Patna, NDIM, IMI Delhi, etc. on entrepreneurship. Recently she was invited as a speaker by Global Compact Network (GCNI) on ‘Developing Northeast through the power of Entrepreneurship’. Dr.Shikha was written about by India Today in its article, Top 50 Young Achievers of the Country. Dr.Shikha has been honored with prestigious awards like the Women Achiever Award (by FICC), Gr8 Indian Women Award in 2011, Hall of fame Award ( by her school –Modern school ), Women Achiever Award ( by Bharat Nirman Society ) , Service in preventive healthcare ( the Honourable Union Health Minister of India -Mr G. Azad ) Dr.Shikha has been written about in the Book on Entrepreneurship ( Follow Every rainbow – By Rashmi Bansal) . Recently she has been awarded the Indywood Vanitha Ratna Award. She has been the health advisor to many celebrities, hoteliers, Chief Ministers of Indian states and one Late Prime Minister among others. Dr. Shikha is Fellow of Class 3 of Ananta Aspen Centre’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of Aspen Global Leadership and a fellow of the BMW young leaders (a non-profit foundation run by the German car company, BMW). She is the past National Health Chair for Young Indians, a subsidiary of the CII.
Leadership project/venture: NutriLearn
Shikha undertook a joined project along with ILI Fellow Amitav Virmani. NutriLearn is an initiative that promotes health, nutrition, education, and empowerment among urban slum children under the ages of 13 years in India. The program is currently working with a low-income, predominantly Muslim community in East Delhi. Fifty children and their families will receive training on nutritious dietary habits. The children will be tracked over three years and compared to children who did not receive training so that the program can evaluate their impact. Through the Young Indians Initiative, NutriLearn will embark on a national rollout and introduce its concept to 24 states. The first phase of the rollout launched in Gujarat and Delhi. NutriLearn also partnered with the Dhanpatmal Virmani Education Trust to implement the NutriLearn program in the Trust’s adult literacy centers across Delhi. Additionally, NutriLearn gave nutrition kits to Anganwadi workers and Anganwadi teachers are now using games and guides to introduce the concepts of healthy eating, nutritious diets, and classification of foods to children and mothers. An awards and recognition scheme has been identified and communicated to the Anganwadi workers so as to motivate children, parents and community workers. Eventually the program hopes to build a network of senior kids who shall take on the mantle of being the mentors for junior kids and shall help in the process of building and sustaining awareness.