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Nitin Gadkari

Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India and Shipping, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

He does not mince words and is openly critical of policies, even those implemented by his own government. Perhaps it is this fierceness that drew him to student politics, to ABVP. He dreams big. Therefore, as PWD Minister in Maharashtra between 1995 and 1999, he made his name by undertaking impressive infra projects, including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The Vajpayee government appointed him as chairman of the National Rural Road Development Committee, resulting in the country's most ambitious rural road connecting scheme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Currently, as the Union minister of Road Transport and Highways, and MSME, Gadkari is seen as someone who can speed up India’s infrastructure and MSME development.

He does not mince words and is openly critical of policies, even those implemented by his own government. Perhaps it is this fierceness that drew him to student politics, to ABVP. He dreams big. Therefore, as PWD Minister in Maharashtra between 1995 and 1999, he made his name by undertaking impressive infra projects, including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The Vajpayee government appointed him as chairman of the National Rural Road Development Committee, resulting in the country's most ambitious rural road connecting scheme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Currently, as the Union minister of Road Transport and Highways, and MSME, Gadkari is seen as someone who can speed up India’s infrastructure and MSME development.

Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel

Student politics can give us leaders who appreciate and address ground realities. Son of former Union Minister Debendra Pradhan, Dharmendra started his political career as an ABVP activist in 1983 and became the president of student union in Talcher in 1985. Later, he went on to become the national secretary of ABVP. Pradhan won from the Pallahara constituency in 2000 state elections and, with his exceptional organisational skills, crafted BJP's victory in Bihar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. As the Union Petroleum Minister, Pradhan has been the architect of several progressive reforms such as PAHAL and the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

Student politics can give us leaders who appreciate and address ground realities. Son of former Union Minister Debendra Pradhan, Dharmendra started his political career as an ABVP activist in 1983 and became the president of student union in Talcher in 1985. Later, he went on to become the national secretary of ABVP. Pradhan won from the Pallahara constituency in 2000 state elections and, with his exceptional organisational skills, crafted BJP's victory in Bihar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. As the Union Petroleum Minister, Pradhan has been the architect of several progressive reforms such as PAHAL and the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

Hardeep Singh Puri

Minister of Civil Aviation, Housing and Urban Affairs

This diplomat knows how to take a tough stand, and brave the backlash. A 1974 batch IFS officer, Hardeep Singh Puri served as the permanent representative of India to the UN from 2009 to 2013. He undertook important missions in Brazil, Japan, Sri Lanka and the UK, and was also the coordinator of the UNDP-UNCTAD Multilateral Trade Negotiations. Puri joined the BJP in 2014, expressing admiration for the party's stand on national security. Post May 2019 elections, Puri was made the minister of civil aviation, and housing and urban affairs. At a time when the aviation and realty sectors are going through a critical phase, the former bureaucrat has been vocal about letting market forces prevail.

This diplomat knows how to take a tough stand, and brave the backlash. A 1974 batch IFS officer, Hardeep Singh Puri served as the permanent representative of India to the UN from 2009 to 2013. He undertook important missions in Brazil, Japan, Sri Lanka and the UK, and was also the coordinator of the UNDP-UNCTAD Multilateral Trade Negotiations. Puri joined the BJP in 2014, expressing admiration for the party's stand on national security. Post May 2019 elections, Puri was made the minister of civil aviation, and housing and urban affairs. At a time when the aviation and realty sectors are going through a critical phase, the former bureaucrat has been vocal about letting market forces prevail.

Shashi Tharoor

Member of Parliament

He thought of himself as a writer, at an absurdly young age. He then worked at the UN, with refugees and peacekeeping missions, became the Under Secretary General and India's nominee for the post of Secretary General. After his return to India, he entered national politics and won the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat in 2009, silencing his critics with a victory margin of 100,000 votes. He served as the Minister of State for External Affairs that year and MoS for HRD in 2012, all through writing his 18 bestsellers in fiction and non-fiction. His books on Indian history and culture have engaged readers across the political spectrum, and his tweets have challenged rivals and trolls. The MP, who also heads a Parliamentary Committee, has not forgotten his love for words. In fact, he actively works to rid us of our fear of long words. He has a word for it, which we will not dare attempt.

He thought of himself as a writer, at an absurdly young age. He then worked at the UN, with refugees and peacekeeping missions, became the Under Secretary General and India's nominee for the post of Secretary General. After his return to India, he entered national politics and won the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat in 2009, silencing his critics with a victory margin of 100,000 votes. He served as the Minister of State for External Affairs that year and MoS for HRD in 2012, all through writing his 18 bestsellers in fiction and non-fiction. His books on Indian history and culture have engaged readers across the political spectrum, and his tweets have challenged rivals and trolls. The MP, who also heads a Parliamentary Committee, has not forgotten his love for words. In fact, he actively works to rid us of our fear of long words. He has a word for it, which we will not dare attempt.

V Vaidyanathan

CEO, IDFC First Bank

He earned his spurs as a banker at ICICI & now heads IDFC First Bank after his NBFC Capital First merged with IDFC Bank. He founded Capital First by acquiring an equity stake in an existing NBFC, changing the business model, and then executing a management buyout by securing an equity backing in 2012 from PE major Warburg Pincus. He started his career with Citibank India in 1990 and worked there till 2000 in consumer banking. And then he joined ICICI Limited in early 2000 when it was a domestic financial institution (DFI) and the retail businesses he built helped the transition of ICICI from a DFI to a universal bank. He built the retail banking business for ICICI Limited since its inception, and grew ICICI Bank to 1,400 branches in 800 cities, 25 million customers, a vast CASA and retail deposit base and built a retail loan book of over Rs.1.35 trillion

He earned his spurs as a banker at ICICI & now heads IDFC First Bank after his NBFC Capital First merged with IDFC Bank. He founded Capital First by acquiring an equity stake in an existing NBFC, changing the business model, and then executing a management buyout by securing an equity backing in 2012 from PE major Warburg Pincus. He started his career with Citibank India in 1990 and worked there till 2000 in consumer banking. And then he joined ICICI Limited in early 2000 when it was a domestic financial institution (DFI) and the retail businesses he built helped the transition of ICICI from a DFI to a universal bank. He built the retail banking business for ICICI Limited since its inception, and grew ICICI Bank to 1,400 branches in 800 cities, 25 million customers, a vast CASA and retail deposit base and built a retail loan book of over Rs.1.35 trillion

Pramod Bhasin

Founder, Clix Capital

He is the go to coach if you want to make your business capital efficient. He started as a finance professional, ventured into business process management, and eventually turned into a financial services entrepreneur. He built Genpact, a global leader in process management, from scratch in 1997 and was its president and CEO till 2011. The company listed on the NYSE in 2007 and is the leader in its industry with over 75,000 employees, operating in 17 countries. Under his leadership, it grew across China, Eastern Europe and Latin America. In 2016, Bhasin along with partners bought GE Capital India, now known as Clix Capital. It promises hassle free lending to businesses, a Clix fix, as they call it.

He is the go to coach if you want to make your business capital efficient. He started as a finance professional, ventured into business process management, and eventually turned into a financial services entrepreneur. He built Genpact, a global leader in process management, from scratch in 1997 and was its president and CEO till 2011. The company listed on the NYSE in 2007 and is the leader in its industry with over 75,000 employees, operating in 17 countries. Under his leadership, it grew across China, Eastern Europe and Latin America. In 2016, Bhasin along with partners bought GE Capital India, now known as Clix Capital. It promises hassle free lending to businesses, a Clix fix, as they call it.

Ajit Isaac

Founder, Quess Corp

A business stands on the talent it hires and his company makes sure every company gets the best. Hailing from Kerala, Isaac spent his formative years in Chennai. After his graduation from Loyola College, he made his mark at Godrej, Essar and IDFC. In 2000, when the whole world was going online, he spotted his first business opportunity and started a jobs site Go4careers.com. It went offline, grew rapidly as PeopleOne Consulting and was bought by Adecco. Isaac then joined Quess (formerly Ikya) as an investor and CEO and has since created India’s biggest business services company with a workforce of 350,000. If he is not running his business, Isaac is busy cheering his favourite football team or biking.

A business stands on the talent it hires and his company makes sure every company gets the best. Hailing from Kerala, Isaac spent his formative years in Chennai. After his graduation from Loyola College, he made his mark at Godrej, Essar and IDFC. In 2000, when the whole world was going online, he spotted his first business opportunity and started a jobs site Go4careers.com. It went offline, grew rapidly as PeopleOne Consulting and was bought by Adecco. Isaac then joined Quess (formerly Ikya) as an investor and CEO and has since created India’s biggest business services company with a workforce of 350,000. If he is not running his business, Isaac is busy cheering his favourite football team or biking.

Patu Keswani

Founder, Lemon Tree Hotels

Life did not exactly hand him lemons. Patu Keswani did extremely well professionally, at the Taj Group of Hotels and also headed AT Kearney’s operations in Delhi. Then the entrepreneur bug bit and he decided to start a mid-market hotel in Gurgaon in 2002. That dare was as refreshing as lemonade. Today, Lemon Tree Hotels has emerged as a formidable hospitality chain with 40 hotels in 24 cities with around 4,300 rooms. An IIT-Delhi and IIM-Kolkata alumnus, Keswani has also been promoting diversity and inclusivity in his workforce by actively hiring differently abled people.

Life did not exactly hand him lemons. Patu Keswani did extremely well professionally, at the Taj Group of Hotels and also headed AT Kearney’s operations in Delhi. Then the entrepreneur bug bit and he decided to start a mid-market hotel in Gurgaon in 2002. That dare was as refreshing as lemonade. Today, Lemon Tree Hotels has emerged as a formidable hospitality chain with 40 hotels in 24 cities with around 4,300 rooms. An IIT-Delhi and IIM-Kolkata alumnus, Keswani has also been promoting diversity and inclusivity in his workforce by actively hiring differently abled people.

Ravi Venkatesan

Founder, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship

His enviable CV includes stints at many a blue chip. Along with being former chairman of Microsoft India and Cummins India, he was the co- chairman of Infosys and also served on the Boards of AB Volvo, Thermax. and Harvard Business School. He was also former chairman of Bank of Baroda. Board Member at Rockefeller Foundation and founder of Social Venture Partners India, a pan-India network of engaged philanthropists. His latest venture is Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME), a coalition which aims to create 10m local entrepreneurs in India and Africa by 2030. He has also authored the besteller "Conquering the Chaos- Win In India, Win Everywhere".

His enviable CV includes stints at many a blue chip. Along with being former chairman of Microsoft India and Cummins India, he was the co- chairman of Infosys and also served on the Boards of AB Volvo, Thermax. and Harvard Business School. He was also former chairman of Bank of Baroda. Board Member at Rockefeller Foundation and founder of Social Venture Partners India, a pan-India network of engaged philanthropists. His latest venture is Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME), a coalition which aims to create 10m local entrepreneurs in India and Africa by 2030. He has also authored the besteller "Conquering the Chaos- Win In India, Win Everywhere".

Vineet Nayar

Co-Founder and Chairman, Sampark Foundation

He is everybody’s dream boss. He drove the success of HCL on an unconventional management philosophy – employees first, customers second. He even wrote a bestseller on it in 2011. Nayar joined HCL in 1985, took over as its CEO in 2007 and as vice chairman in 2010. Under his watch, HCL’s management was accountable to the employees and, thus, it became a globally respected player. His innovative management practices did not go unnoticed. In fact, they were taught as case studies at both the Harvard and London Business Schools. Today, he has put away his business suit and runs a foundation that works to improve education in India. Sampark Foundation, which he co-founded with his wife, is transforming learning for 7 million children at less than $1 per child per annum.

He is everybody’s dream boss. He drove the success of HCL on an unconventional management philosophy – employees first, customers second. He even wrote a bestseller on it in 2011. Nayar joined HCL in 1985, took over as its CEO in 2007 and as vice chairman in 2010. Under his watch, HCL’s management was accountable to the employees and, thus, it became a globally respected player. His innovative management practices did not go unnoticed. In fact, they were taught as case studies at both the Harvard and London Business Schools. Today, he has put away his business suit and runs a foundation that works to improve education in India. Sampark Foundation, which he co-founded with his wife, is transforming learning for 7 million children at less than $1 per child per annum.

Ishaat Hussain

Former Director, Tata Sons

He was the right hand man of the Tatas for decades. While Ishaat Hussain doesn’t believe in ‘Superman CEOs’, he has faith in the art of leadership, which according to him cannot be taught or learnt. You are either born a good leader or you aren’t. He’s been instrumental in shaping decisions at several Tata Group companies such as TISCO or Tata Steel, Voltas, Tata Sky and TCS — each a leader in its space today. And even though he was always the ‘finance guy’, it never stopped him from managing people or negotiating deals, something he learnt from staying close to his mentor — Russi Mody — the man who taught him lessons he honours, that of being humble and humane. Hussain doesn’t call himself a leader, but when he talks about one, he says, having a clear conscience is what matters most.

He was the right hand man of the Tatas for decades. While Ishaat Hussain doesn’t believe in ‘Superman CEOs’, he has faith in the art of leadership, which according to him cannot be taught or learnt. You are either born a good leader or you aren’t. He’s been instrumental in shaping decisions at several Tata Group companies such as TISCO or Tata Steel, Voltas, Tata Sky and TCS — each a leader in its space today. And even though he was always the ‘finance guy’, it never stopped him from managing people or negotiating deals, something he learnt from staying close to his mentor — Russi Mody — the man who taught him lessons he honours, that of being humble and humane. Hussain doesn’t call himself a leader, but when he talks about one, he says, having a clear conscience is what matters most.

Pawan Goenka

MD, Mahindra & Mahindra

He earned his BTech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT, Kanpur and PhD from Cornell University, USA. Prior to joining Mahindra, he worked with General Motors’ R&D Center in Detroit, from 1979 to 1993. Thereafter, he was appointed as General Manager (R&D) in Mahindra. During his R&D tenure, he led the development of the Scorpio – India's first indigenously built SUV. He was appointed COO (Automotive Sector) in April 2003, President (Automotive Sector) in September 2005, President (Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors) in April 2010, Executive Director and Group President (AFS) in April 2015, and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, in November 2016. Goenka has been honoured with numerous awards during his illustrious career.

He earned his BTech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT, Kanpur and PhD from Cornell University, USA. Prior to joining Mahindra, he worked with General Motors’ R&D Center in Detroit, from 1979 to 1993. Thereafter, he was appointed as General Manager (R&D) in Mahindra. During his R&D tenure, he led the development of the Scorpio – India's first indigenously built SUV. He was appointed COO (Automotive Sector) in April 2003, President (Automotive Sector) in September 2005, President (Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors) in April 2010, Executive Director and Group President (AFS) in April 2015, and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, in November 2016. Goenka has been honoured with numerous awards during his illustrious career.

Seshagiri Rao

JMD & group CFO, JSW Steel

He is responsible for overall operations of JSW Steel including strategy formulation related to business development, expansion of existing businesses, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and cost management. He possesses rich experience spanning over three decades in the steel sector and in the areas of corporate finance and banking. He joined JSW Group in 1997 as chief financial officer and has played an active role in growth strategies of the JSW Group since. Prior to joining JSW Steel, he has worked with various reputed organisations in various capacities. Rao is a member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India and a licentiate member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He is also a certified associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers and a diploma holder in business finance from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India.

He is responsible for overall operations of JSW Steel including strategy formulation related to business development, expansion of existing businesses, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and cost management. He possesses rich experience spanning over three decades in the steel sector and in the areas of corporate finance and banking. He joined JSW Group in 1997 as chief financial officer and has played an active role in growth strategies of the JSW Group since. Prior to joining JSW Steel, he has worked with various reputed organisations in various capacities. Rao is a member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India and a licentiate member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He is also a certified associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers and a diploma holder in business finance from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India.

D Shivakumar

Group Executive President - Corporate Strategy and Business, 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. Shivakumar 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. Shivakumar is an engineer from IIT-Madras and holds an MBA from IIM-Calcutta.

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. Shivakumar 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. Shivakumar is an engineer from IIT-Madras and holds an MBA from IIM-Calcutta.

Karan Bajwa

MD, IBM India

Technology runs in his blood and that’s not surprising given that Bajwa is a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications. As a business leader, he has rich experience and expertise in driving transformation across the IT and telecom sectors, both in India and overseas. As MD and regional GM, he drives IBM's sales, marketing, services and delivery operations across India and South Asia. Prior to IBM, he was MD of Microsoft India, where he also led cloud transition and ecosystem engagement. Before joining Microsoft, he worked with Cisco India. That he loves tech is evident in his role as an active angel investor with stakes in Zimmber, NewBytes and The Man Company.

Technology runs in his blood and that’s not surprising given that Bajwa is a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communications. As a business leader, he has rich experience and expertise in driving transformation across the IT and telecom sectors, both in India and overseas. As MD and regional GM, he drives IBM's sales, marketing, services and delivery operations across India and South Asia. Prior to IBM, he was MD of Microsoft India, where he also led cloud transition and ecosystem engagement. Before joining Microsoft, he worked with Cisco India. That he loves tech is evident in his role as an active angel investor with stakes in Zimmber, NewBytes and The Man Company.

Thirukumaran Nagarajan

Co-Founder, Ninjacart

A serial entrepreneur, Thirukumaran Nagarajan, dealt with failure early in his life. He started by selling biryani, then ran a coaching centre, opened ed-tech companies and started a location-based social network. No setback could stub out his entrepreneurial drive. In May 2015, this IIM K alumnus decided to try his hand at one of the most challenging sectors, grocery delivery. With his four friends, he started the hyperlocal Ninjacart and, within six months, they had to dismantle their B2C model and rebuild a B2B one. They began fixing the backend supply chain of vegetables and fruits – connecting farmers to retailers and restaurants – and they have aced that game by leveraging technology and data science. Today, Ninjacart is valued at $325 million, funded by prominent investors Syngenta Ventures and Accel. That’s entrepreneurial spirit for you!

A serial entrepreneur, Thirukumaran Nagarajan, dealt with failure early in his life. He started by selling biryani, then ran a coaching centre, opened ed-tech companies and started a location-based social network. No setback could stub out his entrepreneurial drive. In May 2015, this IIM K alumnus decided to try his hand at one of the most challenging sectors, grocery delivery. With his four friends, he started the hyperlocal Ninjacart and, within six months, they had to dismantle their B2C model and rebuild a B2B one. They began fixing the backend supply chain of vegetables and fruits – connecting farmers to retailers and restaurants – and they have aced that game by leveraging technology and data science. Today, Ninjacart is valued at $325 million, funded by prominent investors Syngenta Ventures and Accel. That’s entrepreneurial spirit for you!

Allan Pease

Body Language Expert & Best-Selling Author

He goes by the title Mr Body Language. For over thirty years, he and his wife Barbara have been running Pease International, where heads of nations and corporates learn how to negotiate and sell effectively. They are experts in non-verbal communication, have written 18 bestsellers and have sold over 27 million copies. He has helped royalty and rockstars project the right image, and guided one-man brands to multi-national success. If you are a CEO/Entrepreneur and want to become an expert in reading between the lines, don't miss out on Allan's session.

He goes by the title Mr Body Language. For over thirty years, he and his wife Barbara have been running Pease International, where heads of nations and corporates learn how to negotiate and sell effectively. They are experts in non-verbal communication, have written 18 bestsellers and have sold over 27 million copies. He has helped royalty and rockstars project the right image, and guided one-man brands to multi-national success. If you are a CEO/Entrepreneur and want to become an expert in reading between the lines, don't miss out on Allan's session.

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St Regis, Mumbai

Contact : +91-7045422682

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