About The Conference

Outlook Business Leading Edge 2019 is a half a day event conceived for business leaders. Apart from a perspective on the economic environment prevailing in the country today, one can expect to gain from the insights on leadership challenges by some very accomplished global management thinkers and CEOs of some India’s leading companies.


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.

Host Speakers

Ashish Saraf

Head, Airbus Helicopters, India

Mr. Ashish Saraf is the head of Airbus Helicopters, India and South Asia. He is driving the company’s existing ‘Make in India’ initiatives and is conceiving new ones across all its three business units in order to increase their industrial footprint in India. Prior to joining Airbus, Mr Saraf headed the Tata–Sikorsky joint venture in Hyderabad, and was also responsible for Sikorsky’s offsets, industrialisation and strategic partnership initiatives in India. Mr Saraf started his career at Dassault Systemes, followed by Deloitte Consulting. Ashish holds a post graduate diploma in business (marketing) management from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, a diploma in managing for execution from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Nagpur.

Naushad Akhter Ansari

Joint Managing Director, Jindal Steel & Power

Mr Ansari began his career with Tata Steel in 1974 and worked there in various capacities for 34 years. At Tata Steel, he worked largely for modernising the steel plant and developed expertise in managing large projects. He joined JSPL group as executive director at Patratu unit in 2008. At Patratu, he was instrumental in successfully commissioning two rolling mills of a combined capacity of 1.6 MTPA. Subsequently, he became executive director-in charge of JSPL Raigarh and whole-time director of JSPL-India, the group flagship that produces over 3 MTPA of steel through an integrated route. Under his leadership, the Raigarh plant not only achieved the rated capacity, but went beyond it. He was also actively involved in setting up and turning around of Shadeed Iron &Steel Co. Mr Ansari completed his B.Sc. in mechanical engineering from AMU in 1974. He has also pursued management courses from Wharton School of Business, INSEAD and the ISB.

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 1.35 trillion.


Keynote 1

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Minister of Coal

Keynote 2

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation

Panel Discussion 1

Building a resilient India

There was a time when India was hugely divided in terms of the development model the nation must adopt. In the past few years, while there has been fair bit of consensus in terms of the need to further economic reforms, the dire need to accelerate infrastructure building, and making inclusive growth possible, oftentimes political gain appear to take priority over a set national agenda. As the election year brings in its own share of anxiety in terms of leadership, the panel will discuss the opportunities and threats. Can India’s economic destiny be freed from being hostage to political ideology and opportunism?.

Panel Discussion 2

Made in India Manager: The secret sauce to survive and thrive

India has a unique culture. How we deal with people, negotiate business or even manage time, we have our own way that is distinct from any other part of the world. Because of or in spite of this unique Indianness, Made-in-India managers have steadily made the climb to the global stage with several leading global companies being led by Indians. Where the Indian way is an edge, and where culture clash pushes us behind. An intimate and highly engaging conversation dotted with personal anecdotes from managers who have been there, done that.

Panel Discussion 3

Time to take off: What it takes to become a successful entrepreneur

When you have nothing to lose, it’s easy to convince yourself to lose it all. But what when you have everything to lose. The switch from a high-flying professional career, with all its trappings, to pursue your dream of building your company is never easy. How passion, purpose or simply the thought of being your own boss and claiming your fair share of profit drives people to take the plunge and win against all odds. Four enterprising entrepreneurs share their exhilarating stories.

Masterspeak 1

Stuart Diamond - Getting More

Whether you are negotiating a business deal, a job offer, or even playtime with your kids, a lot of what we do everyday is negotiate. Negotiations are central to our lives, and the singular objective while we negotiate is how do we get what we want, more than what seems acheivable. Stuart Diamond teaches us the tricks to Get More. Make the most of it.

Masterspeak 2

Fredrik Haren – Think Different. Think Creative

Creativity is not something esoteric confined to arty people or places. It’s a key differentiator of what we do and how we do. In business, it’s the difference between mediocre and outstanding. In some cases, it defines whether we perish or flourish. What exactly is creativity, why is it important and what can we do to become more creative, as businesses and as individuals. You’ll find the creative juices flow as Fredrik Haren speaks on the subject.