Former CEO, De Beers Diamond Trading Company

Varda is a Non-Executive Director, CEO’s mentor and a Diamond Industry Advisor. Previously, Varda was CEO of De Beers Trading Company delivering record sales ($6Bn) and profits. She currently sits on the boards of Lonmin PLC, Mineral Development Company Botswana, and Sarine Technologies. She is also a Governing Board member of the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) and a trustee at Teenage Cancer Trust.

Varda has completed business and management courses at Templeton College, Oxford, Cranfield and INSEAD. During her 30 years of work in the diamond industry, she became the first woman to be awarded honorary lifetime membership of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and received the Women’s Jewellery Association (WJA) Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award (2011). In 2014 Varda was made an honorary member of the London Diamond Bourse.



Former CEO, Indus League (brand division of Future Lifestyle Fashion) Rachna Aggarwal is currently advisor to Shoppers Stop, mentor at NSRCEL, IIM – BANGALORE, and founder angel investor with Angels 92.

Rachna completed her schooling and college in Kolkata, receiving a B Sc (Economics) from St. Xavier’s college and PGDM from IIMA in 1992.

During her seven-year stint with Madura Garments (a division of Coats Viyella Plc), she was Asst. Brand Manager for Van Heusen. Later, as Group Brand Manager, she introduced the concept of “Friday Dressing” to India through the successful launch of Allen Solly.

In April 1999, she left Madura Garments to join a team of professionals promoting Indus-League Clothing Limited (which later merged into Future Lifestyle Fashions) She served as CEO of Indus-League from 2008-2017, managing a diverse portfolio of brands including Indigo Nation, Jealous 21, Indigo Nation, Scullers, Manchester United, Converse, Giovani.


Country Head in HDFC Bank covering businesses of Private BankingABHAY AIMA Abhay is a Country Head in HDFC Bank covering businesses of Private Banking, Retail Liabilities, Digital Banking & International Business. He has more than 30 years of experience, 22 years being in the bank and is considered to be one of the Wizards of Dalal Street. He has a multi-disciplinary profile where he started off in the National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla, from where he joined the air force. After that he started off in Mumbai selling lamp shades, STD disconnectors and CCTV cameras before a break in Citibank. Abhay, then became a member of the core promoter group of HDFC Bank. He initially focused on investments and gradually expanded into private banking business and the investment product distribution business where he played a pioneering role in the industry and built a market leadership position for HDFC Bank. He is also a director in HDFC Securities.

Ashutosh Pandey

CEO & MD of Mahindra First Choice Wheels.

Previously, he was the CEO of Tata CLiQ (Tata Unistore Limited), the digital commerce venture of the Tata Group, a business that he was responsible for founding and developing in the period October 2014 to May 2018.

Ashutosh has more than two decades of experience in leadership roles across E- commerce and Retail, and functional roles in diverse industries.

He joined the Tata Group in 1998 as a member of its flagship cadre, the Tata Administrative Services (TAS). Over the next sixteen years, Ashutosh took up challenging assignments in Tata Global Beverages (erstwhile Tata Tea), Rallis India, Tata Communications and the Taj Group of Hotels, in functions spanning marketing, strategy, business development and project management. He also worked with Accenture Consulting for a year, where he was responsible for the post-merger integration of two large Companies.

Before taking up his assignment as CEO of Tata Unistore in 2014, he was the COO of Landmark E-Tail Limited, Trent’s online retail business, from 2013 to 2014. He was earlier the COO and Business Head of Landmark, one of India’s leading leisure and entertainment retailers, from 2009 to 2013. During this time, he was responsible for the turnaround in the retail format besides building the brand, customer connect and store operations.

Ashutosh is an MBA from FMS Delhi and holds a BE degree from BIT Sindri. He is based in Mumbai where he lives with his wife Aparna and two lovely daughters, Shriya and Shraddha.


CCA, CEO, & MD, Shoppers Stop Ltd

Mr. Rajiv Suri, is the Customer Care Associate (CCA), Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of India’s leading fashion and beauty retailer Shoppers Stop Limited. He joined Shoppers Stop in January 2018 as the CEO and got elevated in June 2018 as the MD & CEO to lead the overall strategy and performance of the company. Rajiv brings over 25 years of leadership experience spanning multiple geographies viz. Europe, East Europe, Middle East and India – specialising in the Fashion, Beauty, Home and Department Store segments.

Before setting sights on India’s burgeoning retail market, Rajiv was Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Fashion (MAF) – a leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia from 2014 to 2017. He lead the strategic development, growth & transformation, innovation and digitalisation for MAF which was including global brands like A&F, Hollister, Crate & Barrel and Allsaints, Lululemon. During his time at MAF, Rajiv served on the Board of Directors of Abercrombie & Fitch Middle East, Monsoon & Accessorize Middle East, and the Dubai Retail Business Group.

Prior to this, Rajiv was CEO Retail at Jashanmal (a premium/luxury retailer in the Gulf region) from 2007 – 2014 which included global brands such as Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bally, Kate Spade New York, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Clark’s etc. As part of his role, he served on the Board of Directors of Burberry Middle East and was instrumental in launching Burberry in India. Prior to his association with Jashanmal Group, he was working with Mexx Europe Holding as the Franchise Director and Managing Director of Mexx (an international fashion company) between 2003 and 2007. Anchored out of Paris, he joined Mexx in 1998. He was associated with M.H. Alshaya Co. for a decade.

Rajiv holds a Strategic Retail Management certificate from Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States. He has a dual PGD in Sales & Marketing Management from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Jaipur and PGD in Business Management from Institute of Marketing Management, New Delhi.

Rajiv’s extensive international repertoire lends him an astute and futuristic lens into the business of fashion. He is passionate about the fashion industry’s transformative impact on customers. He is a firm believer in leveraging market opportunities, strengthening customer relationships, and driving cohesive and innovative growth across all spheres of business.



Managing Director, Tube Investments of India Ltd.

Mr. Vellayan Subbiah, son of Padma Bhushan M V Subbiah, is part of the fourth generation of the Murugappa family.

Mr. Vellayan holds a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from IIT Madras and a MBA from University of Michigan. He has over 23 years of experience in varied fields viz., technology, projects and financial services. He has worked with McKinsey and Company, 24/7 Customer Inc. and Sundram Fasteners Ltd. He was a recipient of the Extraordinary Entrepreneur of the Year – TiECON 2014 Award. He was the Managing Director of Laserwords Private Ltd from 2007-10 and of Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited from 2010-17. He is currently the Managing Director of Tube Investments of India Ltd.

Mr. Vellayan is an avid cyclist and a marathon runner.



Managing Director and CEO, Hygienic Research Institute

Taking beauty care from India to the world.

Manish Chhabra has proven that business can indeed bring beauty.

With 27 years of dedicated leadership he has led Hygienic Research Institute Pvt. Ltd., to become a leading player in the beauty care industry.

After completing his graduation in Pharmacy from Pune college of Pharmacy, Manish Chhabra had to join his family business upon the untimely demise of his father in 1989.

He started out as a floor chemist supervising a team of 22 workers. He learned the ropes of the business in a short span of 3 years and grew taller to shoulder more responsibilities to write the success story of HRIPL in the history of the Indian Hair Care Industry. Taking over as the CEO of the company in the year 1998 and MD & CEO in the year 2007, he led the company from a modest topline of INR 23.87 Cr in FY 1998-99 to above INR 400 Cr in FY 2015-16.

Recognizing the potential in Him and HRIPL, Azim Premji invested in a minority stake in HRIPL with a vision to reach 1000 cr by 2021.

The globally recognized World Consulting & Research Corporation has awarded Manish Chhabra, the Managing Director & CEO of HRIPL as Asia’s Most Promising Leader 2013. The award, adjudged after a widespread research based on several industry barometers, points to the Vision of Manish Chhabra. The company has also won many awards under his leadership.

Timely initiatives for setting up a professional division and international tie-ups to provide quality products in the professional range achieved a positive momentum and then there was no looking back. He has also ventured into strategic manufacturing alliances with two leading European manufacturers to ensure that no stone remains unturned in his endeavors to create a strong foot print in the professional segment.



President and CHRO, Tata Motors

Gajendra is currently President and CHRO, Tata Motors. He joined Tata Motors in 2014, from another Tata Group Company, Tata AutoComp Systems where he was the Group CHRO from 2005 to 2014.

At Tata Motors, as part of the Executive Committee, he has actively driven the turnaround agenda with responsibility of various strategic growth initiatives of the company. He has also pioneered various HR practices, seen as trendsetters and industry benchmarks.

As part of the company’s transformation strategy, he piloted significant restructuring, reorganising & rejuvenation exercise, including building a strong Managerial & Leadership pipeline, among others, all driven towards making the organisation agile and a lean fighting machine to meet the company’s goal of being amongst the top Global players.

Previously, he worked with Siemens in India, Germany and USA for almost 13 years where he held various operational & strategic assignments at local, country, international & Global levels including the Global Leadership Framework Project.

He was honoured with the Leader of the Year award in 1997 by LMI Inc. USA.

Gajendra loves photography, hiking & reading.



Former CEO of Mahindra Integrated Business SolutionsAJIT BAM

Former CEO of Mahindra Integrated Business Solutions- an Advisory and Business Process Management Arm of the Diversified US$ 17 Billion Mahindra Group.

Ajit was responsible for transforming a Shared Services Centre of the Mahindra Group into a full-fledged Advisory and Business Process Management Company with products/services spanning Strategy & Enterprise Risk Management Advisory to Digitization and Transactional Outsourcing.

He has over 23 years of experience in the industry as an Entrepreneur. He has built businesses in Music Publishing, Media (Compact Discs/DVD’s) Manufacturing, Logistics and Financial Services and is currently nurturing his own initiative called FREE (Forests, Renewable Energy and Environment) & associated with NPO Trusts/ Organizations and mentoring a few start-ups in his personal capacity.

A Chartered Accountant by Qualification with extensive continuing education in Executive Management Programs @ Harvard Business School, Michigan- Ross Business School, IIM-A He has pursued spiritual interests since an early age exploring inner facets of self through Vipassana, Isha Yoga, Kriya Yoga, other yogic approaches / meditation techniques An Avid Marathoner, trekker/mountaineer, scuba diver, writer and motorbike traveller, is passionate about exploring the outer world as much as the inner.



Founder & CEO of SunTec Business SolutionsNANDAKUMAR K NAIR (NK)

Nandakumar K Nair (NK), is the founder and CEO of SunTech Business Solutions, leaders in revenue management and business assurance solutions. A technology evangelist with nearly 32 years of experience, he has shaped customer-centric software platforms and products for pricing and billing in transaction-intensive verticals like banking, travel and telecom. Under his leadership, in early 90s SunTech built the first automated billing solution for India’s national telecom provider.

He pioneered and patented the concept of real-time value-chain management in digital business eco-systems. He also contributed in evolving the relationship-based pricing philosophy for banking – now acknowledged as the key to balanced pricing dynamics. Having built SunTech into a global leader from Kerala, he is now leading them into industries like retail andIoT.

A widely read writer, he has written for several technology newsletters and blogs. He heads GTech (Group of Kerala technology companies), aimed at transforming Kerala’s IT industry. He also mentors start-ups and is also associated with CII, NASSCOM and TiE.