M. S. Unnikrishnan is the Former Managing Director and CEO of Thermax Limited, the energy and environment solutions major. The company has a global presence and operates in the areas of heating, cooling, power, water and waste management, air pollution control and chemicals. Currently, he is the CEO of IITB-Monash Research Academy. He chairs the CII National Committee of Industrial Relations and is a member of the Development Council constituted by the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India. He chaired the Capital Goods Skill Council under the National Skill Development Corporation. He also chaired the Skills Working Group of the BRICS Business Council in 2016. He is a Member of the AICTE Jury Committee for annual ranking of technical and management institutes of the country and is also a Co-Chair of the Apex Council to implement the “Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research.” He has been honoured with the “Asia Innovator Award” at the CNBC Asia Business Leaders Awards, 2012. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from VNIT, Nagpur in 1982 and has completed his Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School, USA. Unnikrishnan is known for his strategic and human relations skills and is a champion of green technologies.
CEO, Industree Crafts Foundation Jacob is the CEO of Industree Foundation, and is Co-Founder of Tessaract Design, Idiom Design, Dovetail Furniture and Spring Health Water (india) Pvt Ltd. Jacob works at the intersection of Design, Business, Capital and Impact enterprises and is a design Principal at the Impact Edge Lab at Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology. Jacob spent the first part of his life transforming business through design and intends to spend the next transforming society through business.
Board Member, L Catterton Asia Holdings Bijou’s association with the development of Indian retail spans across 25 years. After earning his spurs at Hindustan Unilever Ltd., he joined the founding team at Titan Industries, where he helped build powerful brands such as Titan, Fastrack, Sonata, Tanishq, etc., and create India’s largest exclusive brand retail chains. In his stint with Reliance Retail, he was at the forefront of one of the most ambitious retail ventures in India. Currently, he is an independent consultant and member of the Strategic Advisory Board of L Catterton, Asia (sponsored by the LVMH Group), and advises several consumer products companies and, mentors a few start-ups. He is the Chief Mentor of the FICCI National Retail Committee, Member of the Advisory Council of Retailers Association of India, Member of the Advisory Board of the World Retail Congress and an Independent Director on several listed and unlisted companies. He was recognized as Retail CEO of the Year (2013) by ET Now, Asia Pacific Retail Leader of the Year (2012) by the World Retail Congress, etc.
Former MD, IBM India; Independent Director, IndusInd Bank Shanker Annaswamy was the Managing Director of IBM India Private Limited and the Regional General Manager of IBM in India/South Asia (2004–2012). He served as the Senior Advisor, India Enterprise (January 2013 to September 2014). Before joining IBM, Shanker was the President and CEO for GE Medical Systems, South Asia and the MD of WiproGE Medical Systems. He is currently on the board of HealthCare Global Enterprises Limited (HCG), TransUnion CIBIL Limited (Formerly Credit Information Bureau India Limited) and IndusInd Bank Limited as an Independent Director. He has held positions of eminence in key industry forums. Shanker was conferred the “Best CEO – Multinational Company” Award as part of Forbes India Leadership Awards 2011 for Transformational Leadership. Shanker holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Madras University and a Diploma in Business Management from AIMA, New Delhi.
Founder Partner, 92 Angels. Former CEO, Indus League (brand division of Future Lifestyle Fashion) Rachna is founder partner at 92Angels, a nurture seed capital fund and a mentor/advisor to many young entrepreneurs. At 92Angels, she looks for deep science/ deep tech paradigm-changing ideas of first time graduate entrepreneurs to mentor and invest in. She has 25 years of rich experience in brand building in the fashion industry being the promoter founder of Indus-League and then CEO of the lifestyle brand business of the Future Group. . She did her schooling at Loreto House and her B Sc (Economics) from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata followed by her PGDM from IIM, Ahmedabad. Rachna is married to Arun Sirdeshmukh and they have two daughters Riya (21) and Risha (16). She loves to travel, play mahjongg, binge on television serials or get creative making candles and doing pottery or decoupage.
Leadership Coach and Senior Partner, Vyaktitva Gagan is a Leadership Coach and a specialist in the area of people performance with over 28 years of experience. An XLRI 1990 alumnus, he initially handled a variety of roles covering the complete gamut of the HR function for 10 years. He rounded off his corporate experience by handling business roles for the next few years. Gagan joined Vyaktitva in 2004 as a Partner with the desire to help enhance people performance across organizations. Gagan has been working on various Coaching, Organizational Design and Learning assignments focused on both individuals and organizations. He has designed and delivered solutions for organizations including Max, PepsiCo, Amex, Unilever, Colgate, Airtel, Genpact, Hewitt, Whirlpool, Accenture, Interglobe, GE, ITC, Hero, RB, Mother Dairy, Ericsson, Cap Gemini, Jubilant, Viacom18, Aditya Birla, Godrej, CK Birla, Star, and IBM. His experience has been across countries, cultures, levels, and industries. He has also done extensive work with owner/ proprietor family-run businesses, partnerships, and social sector organizations.
Co-Founder & CEO, PeopleStrong Co-Founder & CEO, PeopleStrong Pankaj Bansal is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PeopleStrong. He is responsible for building strategic partnerships and managing the overall growth of the company, both in Indian and international markets. A visionary, Pankaj is passionate about technology and truly believes that HR will take the leap into the next orbit by embracing technology. With this thought, he has led the team to develop PeopleStrong Alt, an on-demand technology product that aims to simplify work life for its users. Prior to establishing PeopleStrong in 2005, Pankaj worked with the Aricent Group, a global innovation and technology service company (erstwhile Hughes Software), where he was a part of the founding team of the company’s BPO division. An active member of CII’s National Committee on Skills & Jobs, Pankaj is also the Non-Executive Director at The HR Fund, India’s first Venture Capital Fund, dedicated to investment in HR, and Wheebox, the fastest growing talent assessment company in India.
Sandeep is the President and Board Member at PeopleStrong Technologies. An experienced business leader with deep functional expertise in Human Capital and Business Management, Sandeep is responsible for the growth and reach of PeopleStrong’s Work and HR Technology in India and Asia. In addition, he works with the board and other executives to establish and execute the company’s vision, goals, and strategies. With a career spanning over two decades, Sandeep spent 17 years at Aon (formerly Hewitt Associates) and was the CEO for their India and South Asia region. As a part of the Global Executive Committee, he also chaired the Emerging Markets Council (China, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa) at Aon. Sandeep has worked in an advisory capacity with several private Equity backed businesses to build and execute on a value creation plan focused on Talent and Organisation transformation. He has also advised them in special situations such as M&A (due diligence, post-merger integration), pre-IPO, emerging-market expansion, and work closely with the CEO/ Owner to drive the business to scale and profitability. Sandeep is an advisor on strategic human capital issues to the PMO and NITI Aayog. He serves as an Independent Director on the board of Burger King India Pvt. Ltd. and on the Advisory Board of CCGC, IIM Bangalore and Cornerstone Venture Partners. He enjoys speaking at events and seminars where he can inspire and empower people at a group level. In addition to speaking at NASSCOM, Conference Board, People Matters, CII and various Educational Institutes, he passionately promotes the cause of Armed Forces veteran reintegration and hiring into the private sector. He is actively working towards incubating a social enterprise called NXT Command that will assist veterans in transitioning to meaningful corporate careers. When he is not on the corporate treadmill, Sandeep is a fitness enthusiast, a marathoner, and a keen student of Sport.
Founder and CEO, SK & Associates Shalini Kamath is a Certified and practicing CEO and Leadership Coach, focusing on Change and Transformation journeys of individuals and organizations. She also works in the area of Leadership Development and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives across organizations. Shalini is an Independent Director on the Boards of Borosil Glassworks Ltd. and Graphite India. She is on the Advisory Board of TRAAIN and has served as the Past Chairperson for FICCI – Women on Corporate Boards Mentorship program. Passionate about Human Resources, having led the function at ChevronTexaco, Star, KPMG and Ambit, she also has a deep understanding of Marketing and Corporate Communications having worked in these fields with Raytheon and Ambit. Shalini began her working career in Zambia and Botswana in Southern Africa with over a decade of experience in tripartite partnership projects. An MBA graduate from Edinburgh Business School, UK, trained at Harvard Business School in Change and Transformation, a certified Zenger Folkman facilitator, a sought-after speaker, she is a firm believer in continuous renewal to remain relevant in today’s fast-changing world
Director, Live Nation Entertainment, India Sunil Buch is a versatile and multi-talented leader. He has over two decades of leadership and general management experience spanning FMCG, Advertising, Telecom, Retail and the Media & Entertainment sectors. He has served and contributed in leadership roles at Colgate — Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Leo Burnett, Marico, Reliance Communications and ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited where he was the CEO of Zee Live and Zee Talent. In 2017, he crafted one of the most interesting partnerships between Zee & Rally for Rivers, which gave one of the best advertising films for the rally. Currently, he consults for Live Nation Entertainment, a $11 billion live music entertainment conglomerate and is also a Non-Executive Independent Director on Board of Orbit Exports, a listed company. He specializes in creating profitable brand-led businesses via thought leadership, entrepreneurial problem-solving, creative strategy and execution. Happy People make Happy Products & Services and the PAT principle are the two tenets he strongly propagates and believes in. Sunil is a science graduate and MBA from Mumbai University.