Our eclectic speakers this year are extraordinary individuals, representing the highest levels of excellence in a diverse array of fields — from public service to public health, education, economics and humanitarian endeavors.” By sharing their experience and wisdom, they offer something to all of us, who, at this moment in their lives, envisioning the impact they can make in our world.
Dr. Vijay Chandru - Dr. Vijay Chandru is an academic entrepreneur recognized as the 'Technology Pioneer' by the World Economic Forum in 2006. His academic career has spanned over two decades at Purdue University and the Indian Institute of Science. Chandru is the recipient of several awards and honors: Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences (1996), MCIT Dewang Mehta Award for Innovation in IT (2001), UGC Hari Om Trust award for "Science and Society" (2003), the President's Medal of INFORMS in 2006, distinguished Alumni award by the MIT India Program in 2007, and was recognized as the Biospectrum Biotech Entrepreneur of 2007. Chandru was the elected President (2009-2012) of the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE), the apex trade body that represents the Indian biotech industry.
Pankaj Patel - Pankaj Patel is Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco.Previous to CISCO, he worked with Redbacks Products, Apollo Computer/HP and Digital Equipment Corporation. He is an industry member of the Dean's Advisory Committee of UCLA's School of Engineering and maintains ongoing involvement in Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute, which is dedicated to catalyzing and accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of new and more effective treatment options for lung cancer patients. He holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the BITS-Pilani, India, and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2003, he was awarded a patent in the area of multi-service architecture.
Chandni Sahgal - Chandni is the Founder and Managing Proprietor of D'Essence. She has twenty years of professional experience spanning several sectors at different functional levels. With Masters in Management Science from BITS, Pilani, she has contributed meaningfully in leadership positions in world-class organizations through strategic thinking, meticulous implementation, change management and institution building. She has evolved as a versatile, creative and sensitive leader-entrepreneur with the ability to direct energy and focus on Macro and Micro perspectives.
Rakesh Kapoor - Rakesh Kapoor is an Indian businessman, Chief Executive of Reckitt Benckiser plc, a UK FTSE-listed multinational consumer goods company, a major producer of health, hygiene and home products. He joined RB when it was known, pre-merger with Benckiser, as Reckitt & Colman in 1987, serving in various roles including: Regional Sales Manager, North India; General Manager, Indian Southern Region; and Regional Marketing Director, South Asia. He took over as CEO on 1 September. Kapoor was educated at Modern School, New Delhi, India. Kapoor has a BE (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, and an MBA from XLRI- Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur, India.
Pallam Raju - Mallipudi Raju Pallam Mangapati is an Indian politician and the current Cabinet Minister of India for Human Resources Development. He is an active member of the Indian National Congress (INC) and has held several important positions in the state unit and at the National level, the most recent one as the Chairman of the Department of Policy Planning and Coordination (DEPPCO) in the All India Congress Committee (AICC).He has served as a Director on the boards of Indian Airlines & Air India during 1994-1997.A successful entrepreneur in the field of Information Technology, he was on the boards of a few very successful Public Limited Companies until his induction into the Union Council of Ministers. The Institution of Electronics & Telecommunications Engineers (IETE), New Delhi, has recently conferred a ‘FELLOW’ on him.
Vint Cerf - Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf is an American computer scientist, who is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with American computer scientist Bob Kahn.His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology,the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.
G V Prasad - Prasad leads the core team which drives growth and performance at Dr. Reddy’s. His efforts have led the company to a leadership position in the Indian pharmaceutical sector and helped create a significant presence globally, while being recognized for scientific innovation, people practices, and corporate governance. Prasad serves on the boards of the Indian School of Business, Institute of Life Sciences, Infotech Enterprises, and Acumen Fund. Causes which are closest to his heart include sustainable development and higher education. The premium Prasad places on sustainability thinking has helped Dr. Reddy’s embrace green technologies and processes, and thereby reduce the company’s ecological footprint. A Chemical Engineer from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Prasad additionally holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University, US.
Lakshmi Narayanan - Mr. Narayanan is a technology industry professional, with over 30 years of experience in Europe, India, and the United States. His leadership experience includes corporate governance, customer relationship management, and organization strategy. As a founding member of Cognizant, he has been responsible for providing leadership for the company’s high-touch customer relationship and delivery excellence model. In his role as the Vice Chairman of Cognizant, Mr. Narayanan guides strategic programs around customer advocacy, education, training, and leadership development. Mr. Narayanan is the past chairman of NASSCOM and was a member of the Board of U.S. India Business Council. He has received awards and recognition from the industry, media, and academia. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Science and has pursuits in inclusive growth, education, and non-profits through Cognizant Foundation and other institutions.
Dr. Anil Kumar Gupta - Dr. Gupta has been a professor in Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad since 1981. Various positions held by him in IIM-A include Chairperson of Research and Publications, Chairperson of Ravi J Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation and Kasturbhai Lalbhai Chair in Entrepreneurship. Besides, he is the Executive Vice Chair of National Innovation Foundation and founder of the Honey Bee Network. He is also the Co-ordinator of SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiative for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions).He was a speaker at TEDIndia in November,2009.Since 2011, he is an advisor on issues pertaining to innovation, environment, and sustainability to Fair Observer, an online magazine covering global issues.