Speakers

Piyush Goyal

Minister of Railways & Minister of Coal

Shri Piyush Goyal is a member of the Rajya Sabha and was earlier the minister of state (independent charge) for power, coal, new & renewable energy (2014-2017) and mines (2016-17). Mr Goyal’s tenure saw transformational changes in India’s power sector, including the fast tracking of electrification of 18,000 unelectrified villages, the roll-out of the most comprehensive power sector reform ever (UDAY), the success of the world’s largest LED bulb distribution programme (UJALA) for energy efficiency, and massive proliferation of renewable energy through the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme. Under the minister, the railways managed an impressive safety record, as of FY18. Average annual capital expenditure over the past four years, up to FY18, was double the average of 2009-14. The railways also saw a 59% increase in the average pace of commissioning of new lines from 4.1 km (2009-14) to 6.53 Kms per day (2014-18). During his 34-year-long political career, Mr Goyal has held several important positions at different levels in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is in its national executive. He has also been a national treasurer of the party.


Suresh Prabhu

Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation

Shri Suresh Prabhu is the minister of commerce & industry and civil aviation. He has handled several ministries in the past from railways to environment, power and heavy industries. He has also been Prime Minister’s Sherpa for G20 summit and chairman of the task force on interlinking of rivers. As minister of power, he introduced major reforms in India’s power sector and is credited with championing and enacting The Electricity Act, 2003 and reforms that created securitization of dues from the states. He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Since 1996, Prabhu has been elected as member of Parliament from Rajapur Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra as a member of the Shiv Sena. He quit Shiv Sena and joined the BJP on in 2014 and currently represents Andhra Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha.


A Vaidheesh

Vice-president, South Asia & Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals

He is a successful senior business leader with over three decades of diverse experience in healthcare and FMCG domain. He has a strong track record of leadership development and building leading brands/franchises across various categories and multi-cultural locations in Asia-Pacific region. Prior to his current role, he was vice-president, corporate government affairs, Asia-Pacific, for Johnson & Johnson based out of Singapore and a member of global leadership team for healthcare advocacy and policy. Before that he was managing director of Johnson & Johnson Medical India and vice-president, Asia-Pacific, (diabetes) franchise, for five years. Vaidheesh is a bachelor of physics, from Madras University and also has a master’s degree in marketing management from Bombay University. He is an honorary fellow of The Association of Minimal Access Surgeons of India and is a certified process excellence black belt. He is currently the president of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India, chairman of the healthcare committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry and is on the board of UK India Business Council.


Ajay Vir Jakhar

Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj

A citrus farmer based in village Maujgarh in Punjab, Mr Jakhar is chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj, a non-political association of farmers’ set up in 1955 to bring agricultural issues into mainstream public discourse and to also focus on farmer prosperity. He is also the chairman of Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission based in Chandigarh. The commission is a statutory body that advises the Punjab government on agriculture issues.Jakhar is also the editor of magazine; Farmers' Forum and Krishak Samachar that targets farmers, policy makers and policy influencers.


Arvind Mayaram

Advisor to Rajasthan CM

Arvind Mayaram is the financial advisor to Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot. A 1978 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Rajasthan cadre, Dr Mayaram, who also has a doctorate in finance, joined the IAS in 1978. In his 38-year career, he served various state departments before retiring as minority affairs secretary in October 2014. In his first stint in North Block, he served as deputy secretary in the department of economic affairs from 1987 to 1991. He joined the same department as joint secretary (infrastructure) in 2005 and stayed on till 2008. He later moved to the ministry of rural development and, in 2012, took over as the economic affairs secretary. As joint secretary in the department of economic affairs, he was instrumental in formulating the public private partnership model and other key policy initiatives.


Abhinay Choudhari

Co-Founder, BigBasket

He is the co-founder of BigBasket, which has emerged as the country’s preferred online retail grocer thanks to its strong customer proposition of same day, on-time delivery. Before donning his cap as an entrepreneur, Choudhari worked with Mitsubishi Corporation and later with Infosys Consulting and iGATE Consulting as principal consultant in the areas of retail, CPG & logistics across the UK, US & India. An IIM Ahmedabad alumnus of 1997 batch, Choudhari founded Stylecountry.com in 1999.


Bharat Puri

Managing Director, Pidilite

An IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Bharat Puri has been equally at home at Indian and multinational companies. While he now heads Pidilite, his association with the iconic adhesive manufacturer began as an independent director in 2008. Before moving full-time to Pidilite, he was president - global chocolate, gum and candy categories at Mondelez International, Zurich. Bharat started his career with Asian Paints in 1982 and rose to the position of general manager – sales & marketing. He then moved to Cadbury in 1998 as director of sales and marketing for Cadbury India. In 2002, he was appointed managing director, South Asia, after which he moved to Singapore in 2006 where he was responsible for strategy, marketing and sales for the Asia Pacific region. From then onwards, a series of senior leadership positions at the country, region and global level shaped his career.


D Shivakumar

Group vice-president, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Aditya Birla Group

Also known as Shiv, he was the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo India Holdings, a subsidiary of Pepsico Inc, prior to his appointment at the Aditya Birla Group. Shiv also served as the head of business across the Middle-East, African region and India at Nokia Corporation from July 2012 to March 2013 and as its regional senior vice-president for India, Middle East & Africa from April 2012. He served as the MD of Nokia India, vice-president and head of emerging markets - India, Middle East and Africa at Nokia Corporation and served as its head of the India-Middle East-Africa region from October 2011. Shiv is an engineer from IIT-Madras and holds an MBA from IIM-Calcutta.


Deepak Garg

Founder, Rivigo

A mechanical engineer from IIT Kanpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow, He is the founder of the Gurugram-based Rivigo, one of the fastest growing startups in India which provides express surface logistics all over the country. During his stint with McKinsey, it was on a road trip to Rajasthan that Garg found an opportunity to address the travails of truck drivers. In less than four years since inception, by leveraging on data and analytics, Rivigo, at $950 million, is close to emerging as India’s first unicorn from the logistics space.


Fredrik Haren

Founder, Ideas Island, Author & Speaker

This Swedish born author is a global keynote speaker on Business Creativity, Change and Global Business. He is well-known for his talks on creativity, innovation and idea generation – and on how to develop a global mindset and build a truly global company. He is the author of 9 books, including The Idea Book which was included in “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”. Fredrik has been based in Singapore since 2005 and his presentation help the audience understand how valuable it is to think in new ways – and how difficult this is to achieve.


Milind Deora

Member of Congress

He is a member of the Congress party and was a MP of the 15th Lok Sabha from the South Mumbai constituency. Deora, who joined politics in his early 20s at the behest of his late father and corporate affairs minister, Murli Deora, has won two Lok Sabha elections. He was minister of state for communications and information technology in the UPA regime till 2014. Milind, who has a degree in Business and Political Science, also runs an NGO Sparsh, which aims at educating students in computer and IT proficiency.


R Gopalakrishnan

Former Executive Director, Tata Sons, Former Vice-Chairman, HUL, Author

He has been a corporate leader for 50 years, spending 31 years in Unilever and 19 years in Tata group. During his stint at Unilever, Gopal served in Jeddah as chairman of Unilever Arabia, in India as managing director of Brooke Bond Lipton and vice-chairman of Hindustan Lever. He later on joined the Tata group as executive director of Tata Sons. An engineer from IIT-K, Gopalakrishnan bid adieu to his professional career to turn author – he has penned 19 books on management and leadership. Besides writing, Gopal serves as distinguished professor of IIT Kharagpur and is also the executive-in-residence at SP Jain Institute of Management & Research.


Rajiv Kaul

CEO, vice-chairman and whole time director, CMS

He has over 20 years of experience across technology, private equity and cash management industry. Prior to his association with CMS, Rajiv was associated with Actis Capital LLP, London as a partner, and with Microsoft Corporation (India) as general manager and MD, India from where he moved to Redmond, USA as senior director of emerging markets including BRIC. In the past, he has been associated with National Association of Software and Service Companies as an elected member to the executive council and was also a member of the National Council of CII from 2003 to 2005. He is also a member of the General Council of Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and a member of the Management Committee of Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi).


Rashesh Shah

Chairman and CEO, Edelweiss Group

He has spent over 25 years in financial markets and runs one of India’s leading diversified financial services conglomerates, Edelweiss. In over two decades, Shah has created a billion-dollar financial powerhouse with interests in stocks, credit, asset reconstruction, wealth and insurance. An MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, Shah is also a fitness enthusiast and an avid marathoner.


Ravi Sharma

Mentor and philanthropist

He has over 28 years of industry experience. From starting up a new company (the UB group’s telecom venture) to starting up Indian operations of MNCs (BT and Europe*Star) and steering joint ventures (UB Goldmine, Bharti BT and Alcatel’s Wimax JV) to turnarounds (Alcatel South Asia), Ravi has worked with entire spectrum of telecom and broadcasting. Sharma was the CEO of Adani Power, one of India’s largest private electricity producers, CEO & president South Asia at Alcatel Lucent, CEO Asia at Europe* Star, a joint venture between Alcatel and Loral, CEO at Videocon Telecom. An IIT alumnus and a MBA, after quitting his professional career, Sharma is pursuing his passion for poetry and philanthropy.


Shaina NC

Fashion designer, treasurer (Maharashtra) BJP, and spokesperson, BJP

She is a fashion designer, politician, and social worker. The daughter of former Sheriff of Mumbai, Nana Chudasama, Shaina entered politics in 2004 and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She holds the positions of national spokesperson for the BJP, member of the national executive council of BJP, and treasurer of the BJP's Maharashtra unit. She is also involved in social work through her charity fashion shows and NGOs, I Love Mumbai and Giants International. After studying at the Queen Mary School, Mumbai, she completed her bachelor's in political science at St Xavier's College, Mumbai, and went on to earn an associate's degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.


Stuart Diamond

Master Negotiator, Adjunct Professor of Law - University of Pennsylvania Law School

He is one of the world’s foremost experts on negotiation. His negotiation course at top-ranked Wharton Business School has been the most sought-after by MBA students there over the past 20 years. Professor Diamond’s book on negotiations, Getting More: How To Be A More Persuasive Person in Work and Life, is a New York Times bestseller and #1 U.S. business bestseller on the Wall Street Journal and USA Today lists. Worldwide it has sold more than 1.2 million copies and has been translated into 19 languages. Professor Diamond has a law degree from Harvard and an MBA from Wharton.