Speakers



India in the World

Shiv Shankar Menon

Shivshankar Menon is an Indian diplomat, who served as National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Menon has also served as Ambassador to Israel and China, and played a significant role in improved Indo-China relations, the high point being the visit of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Shivshankar Menon has served as the High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well. A major milestone of his career was the Indo-US nuclear deal, for which he worked hard to convince NSG nations to get a clean waiver for nuclear supplies to India. He also served the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) as Advisor to the Atomic Energy Commission.


Economic Reforms in India

Dr. Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2003 he founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), along with Esther Duflo and Sendhil Mullainathan and remains one of the directors of the lab. In 2011, he was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's top 100 global thinkers. His areas of research are development economics and economic theory. He is the author of a large number of articles and three books, including Poor Economics (www.pooreconomics.com) which won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. He is the editor of a fourth book, and finished his first documentary film, "The Name of the Disease" in 2006. Most recently, Banerjee served on the U.N. Secretary-General's High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He was educated at the University of Calcutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D in 1988.

Nikhil Meswani

Nikhil R. Meswani is Executive Director and a board member of Reliance Industries. The Group's activities span exploration and production of oil and gas, refining and marketing, petrochemicals, polyesters and textiles. Nikhil Meswani is primarily responsible for Petrochemicals Division and has contributed largely to Reliance to become a global leader in Petrochemicals. Meswani is a also a member on several key Government of India committees connected with the Ministry of Textiles, Petrochemicals, Petroleum and Natural Gas. Meswani was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005 and continues to actively participate in the activities of the Forum. He is an alumnus of the University Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.

Meswani is a also a member on several key Government of India committees connected with the Ministry of Textiles, Petrochemicals, Petroleum and Natural Gas. Meswani was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005 and continues to actively participate in the activities of the Forum.

He is an alumnus of the University Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.


Make in India

Sanjay Kirloskar

Sanjay Kirloskar is the chairman and managing director of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, the flagship & holding company of the $3.5 Billion Kirloskar Group, India's largest maker of pumps and valves and one of the earliest industrial groups in the engineering industry in India. Kirloskar Group exports to over 70 countries over most of Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Under Sanjay Kirloskar's leadership Kirloskar Brothers Limited has become one of the leading pump companies in the world, catering to various sectors such as power, industry, irrigation, water, oil and gas, marine, defense, and distribution. Mr. Kirloskar has promoted conservation of energy in the Kirloskar group and has promoted "Green industrialization" since 1989.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago in 1978.

Dr. Sanjay Sharma

Sanjay E. Sarma is a professor of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also served as a Former Chairman of Research and Co-Founder of The Auto-ID Center at MIT. He is credited with developing many standards and technologies in the commercial RFID industry. In November 2012, Sarma was appointed Director of Digital Learning at MIT with a mandate to assess how initiatives such as MITx and EdX are affecting instruction on campus. The MIT Office of Digital Learning, which he leads, now includes MITx and MIT's historic Open Course Ware project. In April, 2013, Professor Sarma was appointed as a co-chair of the Task Force for the Future of Education at MIT. Sarma earned his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1989, his ME from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992 and his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in 1995.


India's Continued Spiritual Evolution

His Holiness Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami is a Vaishnava sanyassin (a monk in a Krishna-bhakti lineage) and teacher of the devotional path of Bhakti-yoga. He is author of The Journey Home, a memoir of his search for spiritual truth. His teachings draw from the sacred texts of India such as The Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Ramayana, and aim to reveal the practical application of the sacred traditions, while focusing on the shared essence which unites apparently disparate religious or spiritual paths.


Urban Planning

Dr. Bish Sanyal

Dr. Bish Sanyal is a Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning and Director of the Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS)/ Humphrey Fellows Program at MIT. Professor Sanyal joined MIT in 1984, served as the Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 1994 to 2002 and was the Chair of the Faculty at MIT from 2007 to 2009. Professor Sanyal's research, publication and leadership experience reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of the field of Urban Planning. With degrees in Architecture and City Planning, and a strong interest in the interconnection between the developing world and the United States, Sanyal has long held an interest in international planning education. He is currently heading an effort to create the first private university of urban and regional planning in India and developing of two edited volumes: Hidden Successes and A History of Planning Ideas

Dr. Isher Judge Alhuwalia

Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia is a renowned Indian economist, with wide experience in the fields of economic growth, productivity, industrial and trade policy reforms, and urban planning and development. She is currently Chairperson on the Board of Governors for the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), a leading think-tank based in New Delhi engaged in policy oriented research. At ICRIER, Dr. Ahluwalia is leading a major research and capacity building program on the challenges of urbanization in India. She was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India in the year 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature.

She is a member of the recently constituted Urban Institute of India which has been set up with Government of India and private sector as partners. Dr. Ahluwalia is on the Board of Trustees of IWMI (International Water Management Institute). Dr. Ahluwalia has written a number of books, the latest being "Transforming Our Cities: Postcards of Change", and a co-edited volume titled "Urbanization in India: Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward", which proposes critical reforms and policy interventions.

John Werner

John is the Head of Innovation & New Ventures for the Camera Culture Group. He is working on new imaging platforms, developing hardware and software technologies for augmenting human vision. John is also working on large scale online learning, bringing young people from around the world together to solve some of the most important problems through rapid prototyping and helping foster an environment of entrepreneurship to take ideas into the real world for impact. He is a a co-instructor of MIT's Computational Photography and Imaging, Fabrication and Ventures and an advisor for MIT's Engineering the Medical Tricorder. John is building a community to foster and disseminate technology for social impact. He is a founder of Ideas in Action/TEDxBeaconstreet.com, All-American Triathlete, Loeb Fellow, Harvard University, one of the founding members of Citizen Schools, active photographer (blog has over 100k images, over 1m views, contributor to Getty Images) and family guy.


Investing in India

Akhil Gupta

Akhil Gupta is Senior Managing Director at The Blackstone Group and Chairman of Blackstone India. He previously served as CEO-Corporate Development for Reliance Industries (RIL), focusing on developing RIL's oil & gas, refining, and telecom businesses. He began his career at Hindustan Lever.

Antoinette Schoar

Antoinette Schoar is the Michael M. Koerner (1949) Professor of Entrepreneurship and a Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management. An expert in corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and organizational economics, Schoar researches venture capital, entrepreneurial finance, corporate diversification, governance, and capital budgeting decisions in firms. She has received the Fellowship of the George Stigler Center, 1997–1999, and the ERP Doctoral Scholarship of the German Ministry of Trade, 1995–1997. Schoar holds a diploma in economics from the University of Cologne, Germany, and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. Schoar's current research focuses on the areas of household finance, entrepreneurial finance, and finance in emerging markets. She is also a co-founder of ideas42, a non-profit that uses insights from behavioral economics and psychology to solve social problems.


Indian IT Services

C.P. Gurnani

CP Gurnani (popularly known as CP) is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tech Mahindra. Tech Mahindra Limited is an Indian multinational provider of information technology, networking technology solutions and business support services to the telecommunications industry. CP played a pivotal role in the three-year transformational journey of Mahindra Satyam and spearheaded the company's eventual merger with Tech Mahindra. In his career spanning 32 years, he has held several leading positions with HCL Hewlett Packard Limited, Perot Systems (India) Limited andHCL Corporation Ltd. CP was named the Ernst and Young 'Entrepreneur of the Year [Manager]', CNBC Asia's 'India Business Leader of the Year' and Dataquest 'IT person of the Year' in 2013.

Chintan Vaishnav

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav is an engineer trained to understand human as well as technological complexity in large systems — a socio-technologist. He is interested in creating socio-technical systems for improving lives in underserved communities, and in analyzing the implications of promoting and managing such technologies for policymakers, managers, and society at large. He teaches at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and is a member of the founding team of the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design.


Affordable Healthcare

Amit Agarwal

Amit is a Principal in the Life Science Practice at Deloitte where he helps Life Science clients adopt models for disruptive change and adapt to shifts in the changing marketplace.

K. Sridharan

Mr. Sridharan is the Co-founder and President of Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF). SEF initiates and drives community eye care activities in India by working with Sankara Eye Care Institutions (SECI), India, which runs the "Gift of Vision" rural outreach program through Sankara Eye Hospitals in India.

Dr. Milind Mahajan

Milind Mahajan, PhD, is the Director at the Icahn Institute of Genomics for Multiscale Biology at the Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York. As Director, he responsible for rolling out genomics screening services for various disorders.

Nitin Mittal

Nitin Mittal is a Principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP and leads the Life Sciences and Healthcare Analytics business. He has also worked in India, where he built a Life Sciences and Healthcare consulting practice to serve global clients.

Dr. Yatindra Prashar, PhD

Yatindra is the CEO of Symmetrix Pharmaceuticals that is in the process of developing and commercializing a biologic wholly indigenously biologic: a Clot Specific Streptokinase discovered in India at the Institute of Microbial Technology.


Understanding India's Digital Consumer

Anand Daniel

Anand Daniel, an MIT Sloan alumni, is a seed/early stage venture investor with Accel Partners & Co. Inc. Anand focuses on technology startups in consumer, healthcare, and education sectors and is responsible for investments such as Forus, Pristine, and TaxiForSure (Acquired by Ola). Before joining Accel, Anand was with Flybridge Capital Partners in Boston, where he focused on early stage investments across a range of industries. Previously, Anand spent several years in key engineering and product management positions at Intel Corporation, working on cutting-edge microprocessor products. Anand holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and a BE in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Madras.

Neeraj Singhal

Neeraj Singhal is the Head of Expansion for India and the Subcontinent at Uber. He has led Uber's foray into India since they began operations in Bangalore in August of 2013. Prior to working on the India operation, Neeraj was an International Launcher, and started Uber's first markets in the Middle East and Africa, and has spent time working on the operations in Europe and North America.

Prior to Uber, Neeraj was an M&A consultant with PwC, and worked in the investment management industry in New York. He's a photography enthusiast, food junkie, and a passport stamp collector.

Rishi Jaitly

Mr. Rishi S. Jaitly is a media executive and entrepreneur with technology, investing, social change and operational experience across sectors and around the world. He has been India Market Director at Twitter, Inc. since November 2012.

Mr. Jaitly served as Co-Chair of the Projects Board of the Undergraduate Student Government and was student Coordinator of the Crystal Tiger Award selection committee that honored U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. He served as a Trustee at Princeton University and is a member of Princeton University Technology Advisory Council. Mr. Jaitly holds an A.B. in history from Princeton.

Shrikanth Nadhamuni

Srikanth Nadhamuni is the CEO and co-founder of Khosla Labs (a startup incubator looking to create and nurture startups using technology), and is the brain behind the technology at the ambitious Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project. He setup the Technology Center for the development, design and operations of the Aadhaar system to issue a National ID to all the 1.2 billion Indian Residents, helped create a biometrics based National Identity platform that has enrolled about 200million people to date. He continues to be adviser to the UID Authority of India.

Mr Nadhamuni is also the Managing Trustee of the eGovernments Foundation which he co-founded with Nandan Nilekani (co-founder of Infosys) in 2003. It focuses on improving governance and public service delivery in Indian cities using a suite of inhouse Municipal ERP products. Currently eGov products are deployed in over 275 cities in India including Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore etc.


Politics in India

Ashutosh Varshney

Ashutosh Varshney is a political scientist specializing in ethnic and religious conflict in South Asia. He is Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences, and the Director of the Brown-India Initiative at Brown University.

Milan Vaishnav

Milan Vaishnav is an associate in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His primary research focus is the political economy of India, and he examines issues such as corruption and governance, state capacity, distributive politics, and electoral behavior.

One of his ongoing major projects examines the causes and consequences of political corruption in India with an emphasis on representation and quality of political leadership, connections between the state and private capital, and the management and exploitation of natural resources. He also works on development policy as well as issues of governance in developing countries and their relation to democratic accountability. Milan is the co-editor of the book Short of the Goal: U.S. Policy and Poorly Performing States (Center for Global Development, 2006). His work has also been published in the Latin American Research Review.

Previously, he worked at the Center for Global Development, where he served as a postdoctoral research fellow, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has taught at Columbia, Georgetown, and George Washington Universities.