Our advisory are an important part of our growth story and we value their support and guidance towards bringing bigger impacts on rural India
Founder & Chairman, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. and Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd.

Arun Nanda

Nanda is a Law Graduate, fellow member of Institute of Chartered Accountants and Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He joined the Mahindra Group in 1973 and held several important positions within the Group over the 40 years he was with the company. He was inducted to the Board of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) in August 1992 and resigned as Executive Director in March 2010 to focus on the social sector and create a favourable ecosystem for senior citizens. He is Founder Chairman of Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. and Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd. He is also the Chairman of Holiday Club Oy, Finland.

Nanda was honoured with an award of “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” (Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour) by the President of the French Republic, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008.

Arun Nanda is the recipient of the following awards:

  1. “CA Business Achiever Award – Corporate” at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Award 2009
  2. “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his outstanding contribution to the Hospitality Industry and the Service Sector by the Golden Star Awards 2010.
  3. “Aatithya Ratna Award” by the Business Hotels Network and Horwath HTL in 2014 for his contribution to the success of the Hospitality Industry.

“Lifetime Achievement Award” in December 2014 at the CNBC Awaaz Real Estate Awards for his relentless pursuit of excellence and dynamic leadership that steered the growth of Mahindra Lifespaces.   

Chairman, Marico Ltd.

Harsh Mariwala

Mariwala leads Marico Limited as its Chairman. He is also Chairman & Managing Director of Kaya Limited. Over the past three decades, Mariwala has transformed a traditional commodities driven business into a leading consumer products and services company in the Beauty and Wellness space.

Mariwala’s entrepreneurial drive and passion for innovation, enthused him to establish the Marico Innovation Foundation in 2003.The Foundation acts as a catalyst to fuel innovation in India.

Mariwala launched ASCENT – Accelerating the Scaling up of Enterprises to identify growth-stage entrepreneurs with potential and enable them in their scaling-up journey.

Mariwala was the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in 2011

Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, National Research Professor & the President of Global Research Alliance,

Dr. R.A Mashelkar

Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, National Research Professor, is presently also the President of Global Research Alliance, a network of publicly funded R&D institutes from Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA with over 60,000 scientists.

Dr. Mashelkar served as the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with thirty-eight laboratories and about 20,000 employees for over eleven years. He was also the President of Indian National Science Academy and President of Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK).

Dr. Mashelkar has been on the Board of Directors of several reputed companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd., Tata Motors Ltd., Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Thermax Ltd., Piramal Enterprises Ltd., KPIT Technologies Ltd., etc. He chairs the Boards of GeneMedix Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Vyome Biosciences Pvt. Ltd. and Invictus Oncology Pvt. Ltd.

Deeply connected with the innovation movement in India, Dr. Mashelkar is currently the Chairman of India’s National Innovation Foundation, Reliance Innovation Council, KPIT Technologies Innovation Council, Persistent Systems Innovation Council and Marico Innovation Foundation’s Governing Council. He co-chairs the Maharashtra State Innovation Council.

Dr. Mashelkar is greatly involved in several social causes. He is the President/Chairman of International Longevity Centre – India, Swarupvardhini, Dnyan Prabodhni, Pune International Centre and also of Advisory Boards of Yuvaparivarthan, Vanarai, etc. He chairs the Corporate Social Responsibility Committees of Tata Motors Ltd. and Godrej Agrovet Ltd.

Dr. Mashelkar is a Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), US National Academy of Science, US National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, UK Royal Academy of Engineering, Australian Technological Science and Engineering Academy, Australian Academy of Science and finally, US National Academy of Inventors, the first ever Indian from India to be elected.

Thirty seven universities have honored him with honorary doctorates, which include Universities of London, Salford, Pretoria, Wisconsin, Swinburne, Monash and Delhi.

Dr. Mashelkar received the Business Week (USA) award of ‘Stars of Asia’ at the hands of George Bush (Sr.), the former President of USA. He was the first Asian Scientist to receive it.

The President of India honored Dr. Mashelkar with Padmashri (1991), with Padmabhushan (2000) and with Padma Vibhushan (2014), three of the highest civilian honours.

Founder and Senior Partner, AZB & Partners

Zia Mody

ZIA MODY is the Founder and Senior Partner of AZB & Partners and one of India’s foremost corporate
attorneys. She passed her law degree from the University of Cambridge in 1978 and was enrolled as an
Advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa in 1978. She did her LLM from Harvard Law School
and was then admitted as a member of the New York State Bar by examination in 1980. Zia worked as a
corporate associate at Baker & McKenzie, New York, for five years before moving to India to set up
practice, establishing the Chambers of Zia Mody in 1984, which then became AZB & Partners in 2004. The
Firm has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Pune with an integrated team of approximately 400
legal professionals.
Zia’s abilities are recognized globally, as is reflected in her appointment as the Deputy Chairman and a
Non-Executive Director of the HSBC Asia Pacific Board, a member of the Governing Board of the
International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), member of the Singapore International
Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Users Council and a member on the SIAC Panel of Arbitrators (2017-2018),
a foreign arbitrator on the Panel of Arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration
Commission (CIETAC), a member of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, Washington D.C. (2008-
2013), and a Vice President and Member of the London Court of International Arbitration (2010-2013). Zia
serves on various advisory committees of the Confederation of Indian Industry including its National
Council and its committees on Corporate Governance, Financial Services, Capital Markets and Legal
Services. Zia was a member of the Godrej Committee on Corporate Governance constituted by the Ministry
of Corporate Affairs. She was nominated to be part of the “Committee on Rationalisation of Investment
Routes and Monitoring of Foreign Portfolio Investments” formed by the Securities and Exchange Board of
India under the chairmanship of Shri K.M. Chandrashekar. She was appointed by the Reserve Bank of
India in 2014 as a member of Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and
Low-Income Households which was chaired by Dr. Nachiket Mor.
Awarded the “India Managing Partner of the Year – 2016” by Asian Legal Business (Thomson Reuters), Zia
features on Fortune India as The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in India, for 2016 & 2017. She has
also been awarded the “Professional of the Year – 2017” at the inaugural UK India Awards.
She has been recognized as a Top 13 female Acritas Star globally by Acritas Star 2018. She is listed by
Forbes India (2013, 2014 & 2015) as one of ‘India’s 10 most Powerful women’; also listed by Forbes Asia as
one of ‘Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen’ (2015), it has been said that few of Zia’s peers can match her skills
or take her on when it comes to acquisitions, joint ventures, company restructuring, foreign inward
investment related practice and corporate law. She has been named as a Leading Individual for Banking,
Finance, Corporate and M&A and Investment Funds in The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2016. Euromoney
awarded her a Lifetime Achievement award – at Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2015. Among her
many awards, Zia has received the “Outstanding Women Business Leader of the Year – 2013” award at
India Business Leader Awards; also “Legal Icon of the Decade – 2013” and “Best M&A Lawyer of the Year
– 2012” award at the Legal Era Awards and she has been voted as “Business Woman of the Year, 2010” by
the Economic Times, for which she was felicitated by The Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF). She has also
been voted by the Economic Times as one of the country’s most powerful CEOs (2004 to 2016) and as one
of the 15 most powerful Indian women leaders in 2010-2014. She has been selected as one of the 25 most
powerful women in business by Business Today in 2004-2014 and named one of India’s top ten most
powerful women in business by Fortune Magazine in 2014.
AsiaLaw Profile hailed Zia as one of ‘Market Leading Lawyers’ in the fields of Mergers & Acquisitions,
General Corporate Practice (2016 to 2018), while Legal 500 Asia Pacific has identified her as a leading
individual in the Corporate Mergers & Acquisition, Banking & Finance, Private Equity and Investment
Funds. “Zia Mody is an obvious choice for many clients involved in large international M&A transactions”
states IFLR1000. Zia has been nominated as one of the world’s leading practitioners by the International
Who’s Who Legal for her legal expertise in various practice areas including Mergers & Acquisitions,
Corporate Governance, Private Funds, Competition, Franchise, TMT (India Specialist), Project Finance,
Litigation and Arbitration, Business Lawyers and Outstanding Business Professionals (India). She has also
been selected as one of the world’s pre-eminent commercial arbitration specialists by the International
Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration (2012-2018), one of the International Who’s Who Legal’s – Thought
Leaders, Arbitration (2017).

Managing Director, Bain Capital

Amit Chandra

Chandra joined Bain Capital as a Managing Director in early 2008, and is a part of the firm’s leadership team in Asia. He is an engineer by training having received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from VJTI, Bombay University, post which he worked at India’s leading engineering & construction firm, Larsen & Toubro. He then received his MBA from Boston College and was awarded the school’s Distinguished Alumni in 2007.

Prior to joining Bain Capital, Mr.Chandra spent most of his professional career at DSP Merrill Lynch, a leading investment bank in India. At the firm, he had direct oversight of its Global Markets & Investment Banking business, which included the firm’s substantial principal investment businesses. He retired from DSP Merrill Lynch in 2007 as its Board Member & Managing Director, to move to Private Equity.

Chandra was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007 and was named Next Generation Philanthropic Leader of the Year by Forbes in 2013. He is currently a Member of the Board of Directors of Genpact, L&T Finance, Tata Investment Corporation and Emcure Pharmaceuticals, and recently retired from the Board of Piramal Enterprises. He is also active in India’s not for profit space and serves as a Trustee of two of the Tata Trusts –Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust & Jamshetji Tata Trust, Founder & Trustee of Ashoka University, and as a Trustee/Board Member of The Akanksha Foundation (providing education to less privileged children) and GiveIndia (India’s leading philanthropic exchange).

Independent Director

Sangeeta Talwar

In a career spanning over 30 years Talwar has worked across large businesses of European, American and Indian corporations. She helped to craft, launch and establish what became a marketing legend in its time, Maggi Noodles. She was the first Regional head of sales for Nestle, VP HR and Marketing Director. She also worked as a strategic advisor at the Nestle HQ in Switzerland.

Subsequently she served as MD & CEO of Mattel India, moved to Tata Tea as Executive Director and later as President-South Asia for Tata Global Beverages. She led the launch of the “Jaago Re” campaign, the first social marketing campaign in India, which won international acclaim and several awards.

From building brands and businesses she then moved to the social sector as Managing Director of NDDB Dairy Services and spearheaded the design and establishment of an innovative business model for creating sustainable livelihood for dairy farmers in rural India. She has served on several Tata Boards, Mother Dairy and IIM Kolkata.

A few distinctions along the way:

  • Business Today 30 Most Powerful Women in Indian Business
  • India Today Woman in the Corporate World
  • Women Super Achievers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Marketing

She now serves as an Independent Director on several large boards with businesses ranging across, FMCG, alternative energy, education, financial services & IT Infrastructure & hardware distribution. As one of the early and senior woman business professionals in India, she now leads a practice in Gender Diversity. 

Managing Partner, DSK Legal

Anand Desai

Having started his career in 1984 as a junior counsel in the Bombay High Court, Anand joined a firm of solicitors and advocates as a partner in 1991. In 2001 he set up DSK Legal as the Andersen Legal network firm in India. After Andersen Legal closed down (with Arthur Andersen) in 2002, Anand continued as the managing partner of DSK Legal. DSK Legal is known as one of the best law firms in India for the last several years.

Anand has extensive specialist experience in the fields of banking laws, financial services, M&A, intellectual property rights, media and entertainment, real estate, and outsourcing issues, and advises various large corporates, funds and high networth individuals on diverse issues and represents them before various courts and other fora.

Anand is listed as one of the leading lawyers in India in the Whos Who Legal (an International Bar Association publication) for Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, M&A and Regulatory Communication, and is also listed in also in Chambers Global, PLC Which Lawyer, IFLR, and Asia-Pacific Legal 500 for diverse practice areas. He has personally won, and his firm has won several awards in India and internationally, including his being awarded “Managing Partner of the Year 2014” by LegalEra.

Anand has been a speaker at various fora including CII, ASSOCHAM, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce GOOS (1, 2 and 4), Economist Corporate Network, SILF, Indian Film Festival at Los Angeles, Wisconsin Department of Trade, University of Wisconsin etc., and is a resource at the National Judicial Academy, addressing a wide range of issues.

Anand has served as the National President of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce for the year 2011-2012 and has also served and continues to serve on various committees, including of the Indian Merchants Chamber, CII, the International section of the American Bar Association, and as vice-president of the Indian Society of Law Firms.

Anand is currently involved with several well-known NGOs, and is a trustee of L&T Employees Welfare Foundation and director of L&T Employees Welfare Foundation Private Limited.

Vice Chairman, Zensar Technologies

Dr. Ganesh Natarajan

He is the Vice Chairman of Zensar Technologies, a leading firm that optimises technology and processes for Fortune 500 companies. He is also a Founder and Board Member of Global Talent Track, a pioneer in Employability Skills Training in Asia.

Ganesh’s industry responsibilities include leadership of the HBS Club of India, Chairman of the National Committee on Knowledge Management and Business Transformation and the Western Region Committee on Skills for the Confederation of Indian Industry. He was Chairman of NASSCOM in 2008 and is a member of the Chairmen’s Council of NASSCOM.

He is also a fellow of the Computer Society of India. Ganesh is a Director of Social Venture Partners India and Convener of SVP Pune. He has been appointed the Chairman of NASSCOM Foundation for 2014-16.

A Gold Medalist in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering, Dr Ganesh Natarajan has completed his PhD in Knowledge Management at IIT Bombay; Dr Natarajan is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the Harvard Business School.

President – Corporate Strategy and Incubated Businesses at Star

Ipsita Dasgupta

Ipsita Dasgupta is President – Corporate Strategy and Incubated Businesses at Star. Aside from heading group strategy, her mandate includes leading Hotstar International and Sports Leagues- specifically the Pro-Kabaddi League, the second most watched sport in India today. Ipsita’s work experience spans across the U.S., China, India and South-East Asia and across multiple sectors, including technology, general industrials, and consulting. Her focus at Star, along with Strategy, is to drive and grow the international digital business for Star and grow the Sports League Business. “The foundational strength and adaptive nature of high growth businesses establish their scalability and sustainability in the long term. To achieve this, it is essential to be able to see around corners and distil market signals from the noise.”

Ipsita was the Chief Commercial Officer of GE South Asia and Greater China where she was responsible for strategy, new product and solutions, marketing and strategic customer accounts across GE businesses. She led ‘In India for India’ growth programs, sales force effectiveness for the region, and was responsible for GE Bangladesh.

Prior to joining GE, Ipsita Dasgupta was Managing Director, Smart Connected Communities – Emerging Businesses, focused on developing business opportunities in Emerging Markets, specifically focused on the global, emerging middle class. Ipsita joined Cisco from IBM, where she worked since 2002, and has spanned strategy, marketing and operational roles in the U.S. and India. Some of her roles included building and driving marketing strategies and practices for IBM’s global hardware, software and services businesses; creating and leading IBM’s global senior consulting Center of Competency out of India; leading and strengthening IBM’s competitive intelligence/strategy practice for Corporate Headquarters.


Ipsita holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Columbia University, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Ipsita is a member of the advisory boards of the Acumen Fund and Swades Foundation. Ipsita has held advisory board positions with the HBS Alumni Club of India, The HBS Social Enterprise Club of New York, The American Marketing Association, The China Advisory Council – AMA and Americares India Foundation.

MD & CEO, IL&FS Education & Skills

RCM Reddy

RCM Reddy, Managing Director & CEO of IL&FS Education & Technology Services Ltd. is responsible for all social sector initiatives of IL&FS Group in the areas of education, skill development, e-governance, healthand cluster development. These companies are promoted by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS), the leading infrastructure and financing company of India.

He has designed and implemented several path-breaking initiatives in partnership with the government and industry in the areas of SME cluster development and skill development with focus on youth below poverty line.

He is also actively engaged in several industry-government interface initiatives. He is the Chairman of FICCI Skills Forum, co-chair of FICCI MSME Committee, in addition to being the cochair of UK India Skills Forum.

Reddy is a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, and before joining IL&FS, he worked with Government of India and Government of Tripura in various capacities. He also worked briefly with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in the area of cluster development.

Reddy holds a master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning and a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering.

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