India Business Initiative Industry Advisory Board

The industry advisory board provides guidance on issues critical to the Indian business community.

Ravina Aggarwal

Ravina Aggarwal, director, Columbia Global Centers, South Asia

Ravina Aggarwal is director of the Columbia Global Center | South Asia, located in Mumbai, India. Prior to joining Columbia, she was a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi office from 2007-2015, where she was responsible for strategic planning and grant-making for programs on development, social justice and public policy, with a focus on the fields of education, media and technology, and arts and culture. Her work in the philanthropy sector followed a long career as a sociocultural anthropologist. After receiving her doctoral degree from Indiana University in 1994, she joined the Department of Anthropology at Smith College, where she became a tenured faculty member and also served in the Women’s Studies Program. Her research was based on extensive fieldwork in the Himalayan region of Ladakh in South Asia and her areas of study and teaching included political anthropology, peace-building, cultural studies, gender, and development.

Dr. Aggarwal is the author of several publications including Beyond Lines of Control: Performing the Border in Ladakh, India (Duke University Press, 2004). She is co-founder of the journal Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism and a founding trustee of Ladakh Arts and Media Organization, a non-profit society.

Bindu Ananth, president, Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR)

Bindu Ananth has been the President of IFMR Trust since January 2008. Prior to this, she worked in ICICI Bank’s microfinance team between 2001 and 2005 and was Head of the new product development team within the Rural Banking Group in 2007. Ms. Ananth has an undergraduate degree in economics from Madras University and master's degrees from the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) and Harvard University’s John. F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a Fellow of the Global Economic Society and a Member of the Technical Committee of CGAP. She is also a member of the FICCI Taskforce on Financial Inclusion.

Nirupam Bajpai, Senior Development Advisor & Director, South Asia Program, Center for Sustainable Development, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Nirupam Bajpai is Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, Columbia University, and a Senior Development Advisor at the Earth Institute, also at Columbia University. He is also a Member of the Scientific Committee of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the U.N. Millennium Project on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015. Since June 2004, Bajpai has had the high honor and privilege of advising the Honorable Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and several of his cabinet ministers, including the Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Earlier, between 1999 and 2004, he served as an economic advisor to the Honorable Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India and to several of his cabinet ministers, including the Ministers of Finance, Commerce and Industry, and Information Technology.

Vishal Bakshi '00, Managing Partner, Avatar Growth Capital Partners

Vishal was previously a managing director at Goldman Sachs Private Equity India, where he was responsible for sourcing, investing, monitoring and executing the exit of investments in India across growth and buyout opportunities. Before that he was the global head of IT Services, Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions business within the Investment Banking Division (IBD) in New York from 2005 to 2007. Prior to that, he worked on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group in IBD in New York. Vishal joined Goldman Sachs in 2000 as an associate and was named managing director in 2009.

Prior to joining the firm, Vishal worked at ICICI Securities, a joint venture between J.P. Morgan and the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India for four years, based in India, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Vishal served on the boards of Sigma, Max India (Alternate) and DEN Networks (Alternate).

Vishal earned an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School in 2000, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, in 1994 and a BA (Honors) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, in 1992.

Gaurav Dalmia '90, chairman, managing director and CEO, Landmark Land Holdings Pvt. Ltd.

Gaurav Dalmia is a member of The Dalmia Group, one of the leading industrial conglomerates in India, which has interests ranging from cement, industrial ceramics, engineering, and sugar to information technology and investments.

Mr. Dalmia is the founder and chairman of Landmark Holdings, a real estate investment firm. He also cofounded Infinity, an Indian technology venture capital firm. He is an early investor and member of the investment committee of India Value Fund, a leading Indian private equity fund. Additionally, he is a co-sponsor of the Evolvence India Fund, an India-specific fund of funds. He also cofounded GTI, a long-term investment vehicle for India focused investments.

Mr. Dalmia was selected as a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum in 2000. He received an MBA with Beta Gamma Sigma honors from Columbia Business School.

William Foster '06, Vice President–Senior Credit Officer, Moody's Investors Service

William (Bill) Foster is the lead sovereign credit analyst on a portfolio of sovereign and supranational credits at Moody’s. He covers the United States, India, Canada, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the World Bank.

Prior to Moody’s he was the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Attaché to India, based at the US Embassy in New Delhi. He was responsible for managing the Treasury Department’s relationships with the Indian Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India, and private sector, as well as for providing economic analysis and policy recommendations to the US Government on issues related to the Indian economy and financial system.

He joined the Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs as an international economist in 2006, and has held a variety of positions, including: India Desk Officer in the Office of South and Southeast Asian Nations; Japan, Australia, and New Zealand Desk Officer in the Office of East Asian Nations; and Latin America Desk Officer in the Office of International Banking and Securities Markets.

Prior to joining Treasury, Mr. Foster was worked for four years as a management consultant at Accenture, where he advised financial services and information technology clients in New York and San Francisco. Mr. Foster received an MIA (Masters of International Affairs) in International Finance and Economic Policy from Columbia University, and a BA (Bachelor of Arts) from Wesleyan University.

Rahul Kanodia '93, vice chairman & CEO, Datamatics Global Services, Ltd.

Rahul Kanodia is the vice chairman and chief executive officer of Datamatics Global Services. He holds an MBA degree from Columbia Business School, with a major in business strategy & marketing, and has bachelor's degrees from Babson College in the United States and H. R. College in India.

He also serves as the Chairman for the Western Region of ESC (Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council, Government of India’s largest Electronics and IT trade facilitation organization), and is a member of NASSCOM’s Regional Council.

He has over 24 years of professional experience, and has worked as a consultant at the United Nations in New York. Under his leadership, for the last three years Datamatics has been the fastest growing IT/BPO outsourcing company among all listed companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange & the National Stock Exchange.

Nand Khemka, Chairman, SUN Group, India

Nand Khemka '56, a graduate of Columbia Business School, is chairman of SUN Group. SUN is an investment group active in Russia and the CIS countries, India, Europe, and the United States, with investments in brewing, oil, and gas, power and energy-related sectors. Other investments include private equity, venture capita,l and real estate.

Leveraging more than 40 years of business with the former Soviet Union, Mr. Khemka is a member of the prime minister of Russia’s Foreign Investment Advisory Council and the World Economic Forum’s Foreign Business Leaders Council for Russia. He is a member of the board of trustees of International House in New York. He is also honorary consul general of Jamaica in India. Mr. Khemka plays an active role in the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and is chairman of the Indo-Russian Joint Business Council.

Surya Mohapatra, Executive-in-Residence, Columbia Business School; former chairman, president & CEO, Quest Diagnostics, Inc.

Surya N. Mohapatra, PhD, is former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services. Dr. Mohapatra is among a select group of India-born Fortune 500 Chief Executives and has held senior leadership positions in the health care industry for more than 30 years. He has been a strong advocate of patient empowerment and accountability to improve healthcare and reduce costs.

Dr. Mohapatra joined Quest Diagnostics in February, 1999 as SVP and COO. He was appointed President in June of 1999 and was elected to the company's Board of Directors in October 2002. In May 2004, he was appointed CEO and was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in December of that year. He is a member of the Board of Directors of XYLEM Inc. and a Trustee of Rockefeller University. In addition, Dr. Mohapatra was a member of the Center for Strategic International Studies Commission on Smart Global Health Policy and has participated in the World Economic Forum, Davos, on healthcare topics. Prior to joining Quest Diagnostics, he served as SVP and a member of the executive committee of GEC-Picker International, now part of Phillips Medical Systems, where he played an important role in the design, manufacture and commercialization of Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Dr. Mohapatra holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Regional Engineering College (now the National Institute of Technology), Rourkela, India and Sambalpur University, India; a Master of Science in Medical Electronics, University of Salford, England; and a Doctorate in Medical Physics from University of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He is the author of several publications and patents, including the book "Non Invasive Cardiovascular Monitoring by Electrical Impedance Technique." Areas of interest: non-invasive patient monitoring, diagnostic imaging, diagnostic testing, global health and information technology.

He has received numerous honors including the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from the National Institute of Technology in Rourkela, Odisha, India.

Deepak Narula PhD '89, founder and principal, Metacapital Management, L.P.

Deepak Narula is the founder of Metacapital Management, a fund management company specializing in mortgage-backed securities. Metacapital launched its current flagship Mortgage Opportunities Fund in July 2008. The Mortgage Value Fund was launched in May, 2012, and the new Rising Rates Fund launched in May, 2013. The flagship fund was ranked as the top performing fund in the Bloomberg Top 100 Hedge Fund Rankings in 2012 for funds managing over $1 Billion, January through October, 2012. The Fund was also ranked second by Barron's on the Barron's Top 100 Hedge Funds Listing for 2012, and was the Absolute Return Awards 2012 Fund of the Year in the “Fixed Income and Mortgage Backed” category. Additionally, the flagship fund was ranked by BarclayHedge in 2011 as a top performing fund, and was the top-performing US mid-sized strategy in 2010 according to Bloomberg Magazine. A prior fund, the Metacapital Fixed Income Relative Value Fund was launched in January 2002. After five years of successful performance, Metacapital unwound this fund and returned investor capital in 2007.

Prior to launching Metacapital, Deepak was a Managing Director and head of two mortgage backed securities trading desks at Lehman Brothers. He joined Lehman in 1989 and worked in mortgage research and strategy until 1995, when he was the head of the strategy group. From 1993 to 1995, Deepak was ranked on the Institutional Investor All-American research team for his work on mortgage backed securities. In 1995, he moved to trading mortgage backed securities and stayed at Lehman in that capacity through 2000.

Deepak holds a Ph.D. in Management Science from Columbia University (1989) and a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur (1985). In addition he has taught courses at Columbia Business School, New York.

Vikram S. Pandit PhD '86, chairman, TGG Group, New York

Vikram S. Pandit is the chairman of TGG Group, which includes The Greatest Good, TGG, and TGG Ventures. TGG Group businesses use behavioral science, field experimentation, and advanced techniques in separating causation from correlation to create tangible and measurable value for its clients. Mr. Pandit is also a private investor focusing on opportunities that transform and reimagine businesses and industries.

Mr. Pandit joined Morgan Stanley in 1983 and ultimately became president and COO of the company's institutional securities and investment banking businesses. He left Morgan Stanley to become a founding member and chairman of the members committee of Old Lane, LP. When Old Lane was acquired by Citigroup in 2007, he became Chairman and CEO of Citi Alternative Investments and later led Citi’s institutional clients group. Mr. Pandit became CEO of Citigroup in December 2007, leading the company during the most challenging economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression, successfully recapitalizing, restructuring, and revitalizing the firm until he his departure in 2012.

Mr. Pandit is a member of the board of directors of Bombardier Inc. He also serves on the boards of both Columbia University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, and Columbia Business School, where he received a doctoral degree in finance in 1986.

Joshua M. Safier, executive director, Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business, Columbia Business School

Joshua Safier is executive director of Columbia Business School's Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business, Columbia University's Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, a joint venture between Columbia's Business and Law Schools, and Columbia University's Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

Joshua oversees the overall strategic and organizational leadership of the Institute and Centers, including research, curriculum, and outreach programs. He specializes in global institution building, international education, learning and exchange, and cross-cultural communication.

Prior to this, Joshua was senior associate director of Columbia Business School’s Center on Japanese Economy and Business, and Columbia University’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Study Center. In this role, Joshua developed the Center’s research and program agenda to enhance understanding of the Japanese and Asia-Pacific economies, focusing on their business, financial, and managerial systems through research, teaching, public discourse, and policy analysis.

Joshua holds a BA from Oberlin College in East Asian Languages and Cultures, an MA in East Asian Languages and Literatures from the University of Kansas, and is working toward an EdM at Teachers College, Columbia University, in Higher and Postsecondary Education. He serves on the Chazen Institute’s International Advisory Board and the India Business Initiative Advisory Board at Columbia Business School. He is an ex-officio member of the board for Columbia Business School’s China Business Initiative and Program on Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness in Latin America.

Suresh Sundaresan, Chase Manhattan Bank Foundation Professor of Financial Institutions, Columbia Business School

Past/Present Industry Positions: Senior Strategist, Lehman Brothers, Fixed Income Trading/Research (1987‐1988), Consultant to Morgan Stanley Fixed Income Asset Management (2000‐2001), Director of Research, Capula Investment Management, (a Hedge fund in fixed income area), London, (Year 2009). Currently serves as a board member of Capula Investment Management Company, London.

Past Policy Positions: Resident Scholar at the New York Fed, Member of Bond Markets Advisory Committee to the US Treasury, Visiting Scholar at the IMF, Member of Financial Markets Round Table at the New York Fed.

Publications: Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, European Economic Review, etc.

Expert Witness: Testified at Enron trial in Houston. Testified on matters relating to credit default swaps, derivatives, hedge books, corporate credit risk management, bankruptcies, etc.

Current Research: Repo auctions, liquidity provision by central banks, risk management of hedge funds, bank contingent capital, theories of capital structure, corporate cash/liquidity management, growth options, credit risk, and swaps.

Ratan N. Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, Tata Industries, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, and Tata Chemicals

Ratan N. Tata was the chairman of the Tata Group from 1991 until December 2012. During his tenure, the group's revenues grew manifold, totaling more than $100 billion in 2012-12.

Mr. Tata serves on the board of Alcoa and Mondelez. He is also on the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, Rolls-Royce, Temasek Holdings, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Global Ocean Commission.

Mr. Tata is the chairman of the Sir Ratan Tata and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, two of the largest private-sector-promoted philanthropic trusts in India. He is a member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry, President of the Court of Indian Institute of Science, and Chairman of the Council of Management of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He also serves on the board of trustees of Cornell University and the University of Southern California.

Mr. Tata joined the Tata Group in 1962. After serving in various companies, he was appointed Director-in-Charge of the National Radio & Electronic Company Limited in 1971. In 1982 he became chairman of Tata Industries, where he was responsible for transforming it into a group strategy think tank and a promoter of new ventures in high-technology businesses.

Mr. Tata received a BA degree from Cornell in 1962. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1975.

The government of India honored Mr. Tata with its second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2008. He has also received honorary doctorates from several universities in India and overseas.