up! SURGE Corporate Mentors
September 2022!

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Brajesh Bajpai 
Commercial Director – International Business, Vodacom

Brajesh is an MBA (XLRI – Gold Medallist) & Civil Engineer (BITS Pilani) from India. He holds a second masters as an MSc in executive coaching & is an Ashridge accredited coach. He did his diploma in coaching from Cambridge and is currently pursuing his doctoral research from Oxford Brookes University in UK. He is based at Vodacom’s HQ in Johannesburg
(South Africa).
Prior to the current assignment, Brajesh was the global head of marketing for Vodafone at their London HQs. With Vodafone he was also the CEO of Gujarat & ANE operations in India. Before Vodafone, he worked for Marico as Regional Head for 18 countries of Middle East and North Afrcia based in Dubai. He started his professional life with a multifaceted decade
long tenure with PepsiCo India and was the first management trainee for PepsiCo’s India operations.

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Sunit Sinha 
Partner and Head  - People, Performance and Culture

KPMG, India

Sunit brings more than 23 years of experience in consulting and industry experience.  His functional expertise includes organization strategy and transformation, human capital strategy and leadership development, organization design, post-merger integration, culture transformation and HR transformation in a digital world.  

In his current role, he leads the HR team at KPMG in India – driving talent strategy, people culture and professional development across the Firm.  Previously, Sunit was with Accenture as a Managing Director in the Talent and Organization practice, where he engaged in large transformation engagements with clients across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. He has also built global consulting capabilities in geographies such as China, Indonesia and Latin America. He frequently publishes and is a speaker at industry conferences. His most recent research paper is on the impact of cognitive computing on workforce productivity in the future, discussing how leaders must adapt to AI in their teams.

One of his keen areas of interest is in the application of human centered design thinking to help organizations tackle their most critical challenges in the areas of leadership, culture change and talent strategy. Sunit has also worked with Arthur Andersen and Mercer in the human capital field, M&A integration and talent consulting. 

Sunit has an MBA in HR from XLRI Jamshedpur and BA (Honors) in History from the University of Delhi. 

In his leisure, Sunit enjoys blogging on contemporary interest issues ranging from military history and space exploration to geopolitics. He is a volunteer member of the Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Sunit is married to Preneet, who is also an HR professional and leads APAC HR for a global medical devices company; Sunit and Preneet have two daughters:  Trisha and Myra.

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Anuj Chadha
Founder, Three Circles

Anuj worked with PepsiCo for nearly 23 years since 1999. He gained invaluable experience across Commercial Sales, Category Marketing, General Management, and Transformation Functions spanning India, Indonesia and PepsiCo's Africa, Middle East, Asia and APAC Regions. He learnt the art and science of leading large teams, leading a $200 million portfolio as GM for PepsiCo Indonesia, and playing a foundational leader role in building one of the largest transformations at PepsiCo - Global Business Services.      

Anuj discovered a passion for Coaching while supporting his team members. He continued formal and informal coaching conversations over more than 7 years. Combined with his passion for self-awareness and Eastern philosophies including Vedanta and Buddhism, he finally entered a full-time career as a Life and Executive Coach in 2022. And that's when he set up Three Circles, his Coaching practice. 

An MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and a graduate from Shri Ram College of Commerce, he lives in Bangalore with his wife Pooja and twin daughters, Anusha and Ananya.

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Shoma Narayanan 
Executive Director - Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, DBS Bank India

Shoma Narayanan joined DBS in July 2019 to head Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank India. As an experienced senior marketing professional, her career spans both digital and traditional marketing, product management, and sales in banking. In her role at DBS, Shoma has been developing innovative
brand campaigns and leading sustainability initiatives for the bank in India. Previously, Shoma spearheaded marketing at HSBC. Apart from a brief stint at ICICI Bank, a large part of her career pre-DBS was at HSBC. Shoma’s areas of expertise include marketing strategy, corporate brand development, brand management and sustainability. She is also an internationally published author. Her books have been translated into more than ten languages, including French, Italian and German. After completing an engineering degree in her hometown Jabalpur, she pursued her Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Finance from XLRI Jamshedpur.

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Rajesh Ramakrishnan 
Managing Director at Perfetti Van Melle India

A veteran with over 27 years of experience in General Management, Sales and Marketing, Rajesh Ramakrishnan is the Managing Director at Perfetti Van Melle India, the country’s leading confectionery player. Rajesh is responsible for the overall operations of the company for India and Nepal.

An accomplished business leader and a seasoned marketing professional, Rajesh has worked across categories like Personal Care, Household Care, Foods & Beverages, Confectionery and Media.  Under his leadership, Perfetti Van Melle, Bangladesh delivered sustained growth and achieved market leadership in 2016. 

Prior to joining Perfetti Van Melle in 2014, he was the Marketing Head at HT Media Limited. He has also held senior positions in diverse corporations including Pepsico, Marico Industries and Reckitt Benckiser. Post his graduation in Engineering from BITS Pilani, Rajesh pursued his MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Rajesh is an award- winning photographer. His work has been featured at Cannes and has also been published in several publications in India and outside. He is also passionate about travelling and has been on expeditions to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Rajesh along with his wife and teenage daughter started an initiative- My Daughter is Precious [MDIP] in March 2015 to raise awareness about gender equality and support the education of the girl child.

Rajesh is also a champion for gender equality and is a mentor for the past 6 years with BD foundation. Rajesh is currently in the process of getting certified as a Life Coach.

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Punit Misra  
President - Content and International Business, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL)

Punit Misra is the President - Content and International Markets at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL). As the President, Punit oversees the content business for both the TV network of Zee as well as its digital offering Zee5, both domestically and globally. He also manages ZEEL’s international business spanning 173 countries.

Punit joined ZEEL in 2016 as the CEO of its domestic broadcast business. Under his leadership, ZEEL became India’s fastest growing entertainment broadcast network in terms of viewership as well as revenue.

Prior to joining ZEEL, Punit spent 20 years at Hindustan Unilever Limited, where in his last role he was part of the Management Committee of HUL, as the Executive Director incharge of Sales and Customer Development for the company, and a member of the global Sales Leadership team of Unilever. In these 20 years, Punit held several leadership positions in Sales, Marketing and General Management, working in India and in the Unilever Global team. His experience spans across several FMCG categories like Laundry, Ice Cream and Skin Cleansing. As Punit often
remarks - his journey has taken him from selling one kind of soap to another!

Punit is an alumnus of IIT Roorkee ( Electrical Engineering, 1992), and XLRI (BMD 1996). He currently serves as the Chair of FICCI Broadcast Forum as well as the Co-Chair of the CII Broadcast Committee. He is also on the Board of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the industry body for broadcasters.

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Manoj Madhusudhanan
Head, dunnhumby India

As Head of dunnhumby India, Manoj’s focus is on establishing our India office as unequivocally one of the key engines of our business – delivering ever improving science, product engineering, technical and commercial operations and raising the profile of our great teams within the global Business and Technology community. 

Manoj is an international business leader and operations executive specializing in product innovation and transforming disruptive technologies into successful business models. Manoj has most recently been the CEO of start-up Ziligence, an AI driven B2B sales prospecting platform he co-founded in 2017. Ziligence was selected by Analytics Insight Magazine as one of the 10 most promising artificial intelligence companies.

Years of experience:

Prior to Ziligence, Manoj spent three years in London as the Managing Director for InsightBee by Evalueserve, a Cloud-based business research platform that successfully merges skills from research team members located around the globe – which he led from concept to commercial reality. 

Manoj has also served as the Global Head of Operations for Evalueserve’s Corporate and Professional Services Business Unit, responsible for global operations across five continents overseeing a 700-person research team. Prior to Evalueserve, Manoj was a management consultant with Accenture.

Qualifications:

Post Graduate Diploma in Management, XLRI Jamshedpur

Bachelor of Technology (Mechanical Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Manoj’s areas of expertise:

  • Start-ups & Innovation

  • Disruptive Customer Intelligence technologies

  • Large scale business operations

  • Team Transformation

  • Product engineering

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Priya Srinivasan
Sr Vice President HR, Health Business, Reckitt

Priya Srinivasan is Sr Vice President HR of the Health Business Unit at Reckitt. In this role she leads the HR function for the Health Business of Reckitt consisting of circa 10,000 employees across geographies and functions. She has been with Reckitt since August 2019. Prior to Reckitt, Priya spent 14 years in AstraZeneca in various roles across continents. She has led HR for Asia Pacific as well as Emerging Markets and Europe. Most recently she was HRVP within R&D leading HR for Global Medicines Development.
Priya began her career in Colgate Palmolive and held several specialist and generalist HR roles for over 7 years in various countries.
Priya has extensive HR experience and has worked successfully across Centre of Expertise and Business Partnering roles in local, regional, and global setting. She is passionate about diversity of thought and experience shaped by her own international experience having worked and lived in multiple countries - UK, US, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

Priya grew up in India. She has a Bachelors degree in Economics and Mathematics and an MBA in Human Resources Management from XLRI in India. She is married and has 2 daughters and she and her family are based in London.

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Preeti Reddy
Chairwoman, South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar

Preeti has been CEO and is now Chairwoman South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar – a leading global consumer insights and consulting company. As country manager of one of Kantar’s ‘Big Six’ markets, Preeti was part of the global leadership team and an important contributor to Kantar’s growth. During her tenure as CEO, she managed multiple large companies within the Kantar fold (IMRB, TNS and Millward Brown); and then successfully led the merger of these companies into a single entity to build Kantar’s market leader position in South Asia. She steered the organisation towards an end-to-end
digital transformation and strengthened India’s position as a global centre of excellence for analytics and research outsourcing.
Preeti is widely recognised as a thought leader and has been at the forefront of the development of the consumer insights industry in India. She is on the advisory boards of the Modern Marketing Association (MMA), Delhi Skill Building and Entrepreneurship University (DSEU), LeadUp (an HR start-up) and on the Governing Council of the Centre for Marketing in Emerging Economies (CMEE) at IIM Lucknow. She is also the Chairperson for the western region for the CII-Indian Women Network.
Since 2015, she has been chosen from over 500 women professionals as one of Impact’s ’50 Most Influential Women Professionals in Indian Media, Marketing and Advertising’ for five consecutive years. As Chairwoman, she is spearheading Kantar’s Social Charter in South Asia through its DEI, Sustainability and CSR initiatives. Preeti is a result-oriented business leader with a strong track record of performance in highly competitive, diverse environments. Her four decades of experience in advising clients across a
spectrum of industries on consumer-led market strategy including on branding and communication, corporate image and, most recently, sustainability transformation has helped clients deliver significant business growth. In the course of her career, she has built a deep understanding of demand side market facing issues that companies face and of branding and communication across B2B and B2C sectors. Preeti has a BA (Hons) degree in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University and is an
MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur. Prior to joining Kantar, she was CEO of LMRB (Sri Lanka) and has worked in advertising, consulting and consumer insights on agency and client side, including with VST Industries and Tata Burroughs (now TCS).

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Maya John
Chief People officer, VerSe Innovation,

Maya is the Chief People officer of VerSe Innovation, India’s leading local-language technology platform. VerSe is the parent company behind ‘Made in India’ platforms – Dailyhunt, local language news platform in 15 languages with 350 million monthly active users (MAU), PublicVibe for hyperlocal news and short-form video app Josh with 153 million MAUs.
VerSe became India’s first media-tech unicorn in December 2020 and is currently valued at $5 billion.
A seasoned professional, Maya has over 20 years of experience and has been part of the start-up digital media space for the past 5 years. Her expertise is in organization and talent development providing strategic HR Business support for building and scaling teams working closely with executive leadership teams. In her current role, Maya is enabling VerSe Innovation’s business goals by creating an organizational culture that attracts, harnesses, and develops the best of India’s talent as they work towards the unified goal of bridging the digital divide in India.
Before that, she worked at GE in the Healthcare business in various HR roles in business partnering, org and talent development. Prior to that with Sasken Communication Technologies and Intevac in the US.
She represents VerSe on the Customer Advisory Board for LinkedIn. She is a founding team member of the Centre for Gender Equality & Inclusive Leadership (CGEIL) at XLRI, a first of its kind in a B-School and is a core team member of the Alumni team – XLRI for Women (XL4W).
 She won the Women Disruptors 2022 award in media and was recognised by XLRI for her contributions in the field of HR and towards the cause of increasing the impact of women in the workforce in India.
She is from a beach and backwater town, Alleppey, in Kerala. She earned her B. Tech Computer Science Engineering from MIT, Manipal and MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur. She also has an MBA in Marketing from Santa Clara University, CA, US. She is married to Jacksy, and they have two kids, Varkey and Yohan.

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Madhavi Lall
Managing Director, Head HR India, Deutsche Bank

Madhavi Lall has been the head HR at Deutsche Bank India since May 2015 and has more than 30 years of work experience primarily in Human Resources. She has also worked with companies like Accenture, Standard Charted Bank, ABN Amro bank, Colgate Palmolive and HCL Hewlett- Packard & GlaxoSmithKline.
She is graduate in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s college and MBA in HR and systems from XLRI Jamshedpur. She has also completed a Leadership management course from the University of Oxford.
Madhavi was conferred the “Women Leadership Award” by the jury and Council of Board Members of the Institute of Public Enterprises-BFSI in 2010. She has been conferred the Distinguished Alumnus Award by XLRI in 2016. Madhavi is a member of the CII National Committee on Leadership and HR and was Chairperson - CII Indian Women Network (IWN) – Western Region 2020-21. She is also a founding member of the HR Committee for FICCI. She is on the list of top 50 HR Influencers for 2020 and top 50 HR Thought Leaders for 2022 in ETHR World list. Recently, Madhavi has received HR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 by People in Business India LLP. She is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and was part of the alumni team that encouraged XLRI to launch the Centre of Gender Equality and Inclusion.

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Ganesh Subramanian
Chief Human Resources Officer, More Retail Private Limited

Ganesh brings with him 23 years of HR experience across sectors. He started his career with Unilever where he played multiple roles – first in the Operating company and later in regional and global roles.  The highlights of his experience in Unilever include driving change management for Asia Africa for the world’s largest HR outsourcing and transformation programme at that time, setting up Unilever’s largest captive in Bangalore and driving gender diversity and inclusion for Unilever’s IT and services organization.

His stint in Ola as VP HR saw Ola expand its mobility offerings to Australia/NZ and the UK.  

As the CHRO of More Retail, Ganesh represents Human capital to the board. More is India’s fourth largest food and grocery retailer with 900 + stores and a workforce of 13000 onroll employees. More Retail is driving the expansion of Omni channel to the Indian hinterland.

Ganesh is passionate about change management and Organizational Effectiveness. His personal interest is in museums and modern history.

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Gaurav Puri
Former Head of Marketing& Products and Sr EVP, UTI Mutual Fund 

An accomplished business leader, in his recent corporate role, Gaurav worked at the intersection of consumer insights, data, digital and product creation for UTI Asset Management Ltd and provided leadership to four very diverse teams. He also led a large digital transformation exercise prior to the pandemic for the firm.  He was a founding member of the AMFI financial literacy committee and led communication development on "MF Sahi hai” campaign ( a category growth initiative)
 His previous assignment was as Director Marketing and Product Development, MetLife. Having worked with a variety of companies such as FMCG Majors (Britannia Industries Limited-Danone group and Perfetti Van Melle) and the Insurance industry, he has over 25 Years of diverse experience. He has been an active mentor for the last 2 years working for the BD foundation.
 After completing his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical} from Regional Engineering College, Bhopal (MANIT) he went on to earn his PGDBM from XLRI, Jamshedpur.( Marketing & Operations)
Twitter handle: @gawruv   
Instagram: @gawruv
LinkedIn URL: www.linkedin.com/in/gawruv

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Raj Dharmaraj
Head HR Strategic Deals - India & APAC at Cognizant

Raj Dharmaraj has three decades of experience in the IT industry, spanning roles in business technology consulting, key account management and HR. He has worked with clients and stakeholders across the US, APAC, Europe and India.

Raj currently leads Cognizant’s HR M&A Strategic Deals group for India & APAC, responsible for talent strategy, solutions and employee integration relating to acquihire & rebadging deals. Raj’s areas of interest include change management, coaching and emotional balance.

He is an alumnus of XLRI, a Fulbright Fellow from Carnegie Mellon, and an ICF-PCC credentialed coach. Raj is President-elect & Board member of ICF Chennai Chapter, Co-founder of Chennai Mentors, and enjoys yoga, golf and travel.

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Anuja Singh
Head of HR, Ninjacart

A well-rounded professional with a successful track record in various core HR functions, Anuja has led teams across HR generalist, C&B, service delivery and recruitment operations, campus recruitment, HR consulting, Talent development, HR change, HR Risk and program management functions, and has been responsible in setting up people related structures in organizations. 

She has also worked in business roles involving strategic initiatives like digitization, transformation and global location strategies. 

Anuja values partnership and team spirit and has a balance of conceptual, strategic thinking and a practical “get the job done” delivery focus. She thrives in and contributes to a learning environment, constantly evolving and developing new skill sets. 

Thus she influences change and drives it.

up! SURGE Corporate Mentors 2021!

up! SURGE Corporate Mentors
April 2022!

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Raj Dharmaraj
Head HR Strategic Deals - India & APAC at Cognizant

Raj Dharmaraj has three decades of experience in the IT industry, spanning roles in business technology consulting, key account management and HR. He has worked with clients and stakeholders across the US, APAC, Europe and India.

 

Raj currently leads Cognizant’s HR M&A Strategic Deals group for India & APAC, responsible for talent strategy, solutions and employee integration relating to acquihire & rebadging deals. Raj’s areas of interest include change management, coaching and emotional balance.

 

He is an alumnus of XLRI, a Fulbright Fellow from Carnegie Mellon, and an ICF-PCC credentialed coach. Raj is President-elect & Board member of ICF Chennai Chapter, Co-founder of Chennai Mentors, and enjoys yoga, golf and travel.

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Priyali Kamath
Senior Vice President - Olay & Personal Care
Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa

Priyali joined Procter & Gamble in 1999 as Human Resources Manager in the P&G
Headquarters in India. Since then she has worked across a diverse set of disciplines – Human Resources, Media & Digital Transformation and Brand Management – and categories, with local, regional and global responsibilities. She has led dramatic turnaround and acceleration on top & bottom line for several big businesses like Feminine Care in India, Oral Care & Hair Care in Asia Pacific and Home Care Global. In 2018, she was appointed Senior Vice President of Skin & Personal Care Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMA), leading one of P&G’s fastest growing and most profitable category for the region.


Priyali is a passionate brand builder and a great believer in the power of people. She is a champion for equality and inclusion and the executive sponsor of GABLE (LGBTQ+ employee support group) for P&G AMA. As a working Mother, she is especially motivated by helping other women grow to their full potential – and is an active Sponsor and Mentor for female talent both within P&G, and externally through organizations like the American Chamber of Commerce and VLookUp.

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Brajesh Bajpai 
Commercial Director – International Business, Vodacom

Brajesh is an MBA (XLRI – Gold Medallist) & Civil Engineer (BITS
Pilani) from India. He holds a second masters as an MSc in executive
coaching & is an Ashridge accredited coach. He did his diploma in coaching
from Cambridge and is currently pursuing his doctoral research from Oxford
Brookes University in UK. He is based at Vodacom’s HQ in Johannesburg
(South Africa)
Prior to the current assignment, Brajesh was the global head of
marketing for Vodafone at their London HQs. With Vodafone he was also
the CEO of Gujarat & ANE operations in India. Before Vodafone, he worked
for Marico as Regional Head for 18 countries of Middle East and North Afrcia
based in Dubai. He started his professional life with a multifaceted decade
long tenure with PepsiCo India and was the first management trainee for
PepsiCo’s India operations.

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C V L Srinivas 
Country Manager, WPP India

CVL Srinivas is the Country Manager of WPP in India. WPP is the world’s largest Advertising and Media Agency group and is headquartered in London. An advertising and media industry veteran of nearly 30 years, Srinivas spent most of his career with the WPP group. 

 

He was part of the start-up team at HTA Fulcrum the first media agency in India that was set up for Hindustan Unilever in 1995. He helped launch Maxus in 2003 as its first CEO in India and Asia Pacific. From 2013-18 Srinivas was CEO of GroupM South Asia, the media holding company of WPP and India’s largest media agency network. He championed a transformation program to make GroupM a future-ready organisation. 

 

In October 2017, Srinivas took additional charge as Country Manager of WPP, a role he fully transitioned to in July 2018. In this role Srinivas is leading efforts to bring alive the creative transformation vision of WPP in market. His areas of focus include driving client centricity through integrated agency models, leveraging technology along with creativity to transform the business, and building an open, optimistic, and extraordinary culture. Srinivas is a member of WPP’s global DE&I Council and has championed the setting up of a very successful mentorship program for women leaders. Srinivas is closely associated with the WPP India Foundation that supports 20,000 children from under-privileged sections of society with vocational and educational skills.

Srinivas was voted E4M’s Most Influential Person in Media & Marketing industry in India in 2017-18. He has been featured among top 3 Most influential persons in India in Media and Marketing by The Economic Times. He led his organisation GroupM to win the prestigious Porter Prize for Business Transformation in 2013-14.

Srinivas has a Mechanical Engineering degree from BITS Pilani and PG Diploma in Business Management from XLRI Jamshedpur. He is currently pursuing a Diploma in AI for Business from Oxford University.

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Shreya Bhagwanth 
Executive Director - HR, 3M

Shreya Bhagwanth works with 3M India Limited as Executive Director of Human Resources.


Shreya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts (Economics) from University of Mumbai and a Post Graduate Diploma in PM & IR from XLRI Jamshedpur. 

 

With 20 + years of work experience in various HR roles, Shreya is an experienced HR leader with expertise in areas of Strategic Business Partnering, Leadership Development, Talent Management, Competence Management, Development Frameworks, HR Strategy Formulation, Employer Brand Management and Workforce Planning.


Shreya began her career with Hindustan Unilever Limited. She had an
entrepreneurial stint in Leadership Development and Talent Development.
Subsequently she worked with organisations such as Aditya Birla Group and
Siemens.


Shreya’s hobbies include Music, Baking and Travelling with her family. She is a Star Wars Fangirl and believes that Yoda offers great Management Insight ! On the personal front, Shreya is married to Mahesh and they have two teenage children, Akriti and Dhruv.


Shreya is passionate about the difference and impact that HR makes in an
organization and enabling / mentoring women with their Career Intentionality.

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Sunit Sinha 
Partner and Head  - People, Performance and Culture

KPMG, India

Sunit brings more than 23 years of experience in consulting and industry experience.  His functional expertise includes organization strategy and transformation, human capital strategy and leadership development, organization design, post-merger integration, culture transformation and HR transformation in a digital world.  

 

In his current role, he leads the HR team at KPMG in India – driving talent strategy, people culture and professional development across the Firm.  Previously, Sunit was with Accenture as a Managing Director in the Talent and Organization practice, where he engaged in large transformation engagements with clients across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. He has also built global consulting capabilities in geographies such as China, Indonesia and Latin America. He frequently publishes and is a speaker at industry conferences. His most recent research paper is on the impact of cognitive computing on workforce productivity in the future, discussing how leaders must adapt to AI in their teams.

 

One of his keen areas of interest is in the application of human centered design thinking to help organizations tackle their most critical challenges in the areas of leadership, culture change and talent strategy. Sunit has also worked with Arthur Andersen and Mercer in the human capital field, M&A integration and talent consulting. 

Sunit has an MBA in HR from XLRI Jamshedpur and BA (Honors) in History from the University of Delhi. 

In his leisure, Sunit enjoys blogging on contemporary interest issues ranging from military history and space exploration to geopolitics. He is a volunteer member of the Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Sunit is married to Preneet, who is also an HR professional and leads APAC HR for a global medical devices company; Sunit and Preneet have two daughters:  Trisha and Myra.

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Shoma Narayanan 
Executive Director - Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, DBS Bank India

Shoma Narayanan joined DBS in July 2019 as Executive Director – Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank India. As an experienced senior marketing professional, her career spans both digital and traditional marketing, product management, and sales in banking.

 

In her role at DBS, Shoma has been developing innovative brand campaigns and producing a special episode of DBS’s award-winning mini-series -SPARKS, featuring brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar. Armed with close to 20 years of experience, previously, Shoma spearheaded marketing & communications at HSBC. Starting as a Vice President, she swiftly rose through the ranks at HSBC to head the marketing team at the bank. Besides a brief stint at ICICI Bank, she has spent most of her career at HSBC. 

 

Shoma’s areas of expertise include marketing strategy, corporate brand development and brand management. She is also an internationally published author. Her books have been translated into more than ten languages, including French, Italian and German.

 

After completing an engineering degree in her hometown Jabalpur, she pursued her Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Finance from XLRI Jamshedpur.

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Rajesh Ramakrishnan 
Managing Director at Perfetti Van Melle India

A veteran with over 27 years of experience in General Management, Sales and Marketing, Rajesh Ramakrishnan is the Managing Director at Perfetti Van Melle India, the country’s leading confectionery player. Rajesh is responsible for the overall operations of the company for India and Nepal.

An accomplished business leader and a seasoned marketing professional, Rajesh has worked across categories like Personal Care, Household Care, Foods & Beverages, Confectionery and Media.  Under his leadership, Perfetti Van Melle, Bangladesh delivered sustained growth and achieved market leadership in 2016. 

Prior to joining Perfetti Van Melle in 2014, he was the Marketing Head at HT Media Limited. He has also held senior positions in diverse corporations including Pepsico, Marico Industries and Reckitt Benckiser. Post his graduation in Engineering from BITS Pilani, Rajesh pursued his MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

 

Rajesh is an award- winning photographer. His work has been featured at Cannes and has also been published in several publications in India and outside. He is also passionate about travelling and has been on expeditions to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Rajesh along with his wife and teenage daughter started an initiative- My Daughter is Precious [MDIP] in March 2015 to raise awareness about gender equality and support the education of the girl child.

 

Rajesh is also a champion for gender equality and is a mentor for the past 6 years with BD foundation. Rajesh is currently in the process of getting certified as a Life Coach.

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Punit Misra  
President - Content and International Business, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL)

Punit Misra is the President - Content and International Markets at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL). As the President, Punit oversees the content business for both the TV network of Zee as well as its digital offering Zee5, both domestically and globally. He also manages ZEEL’s international business spanning 173 countries.


Punit joined ZEEL in 2016 as the CEO of its domestic broadcast business. Under his leadership, ZEEL became India’s fastest growing entertainment broadcast network in terms of viewership as well as revenue.


Prior to joining ZEEL, Punit spent 20 years at Hindustan Unilever Limited, where in his last role he was part of the Management Committee of HUL, as the Executive Director incharge of Sales and Customer Development for the company, and a member of the global Sales Leadership team of Unilever. In these 20 years, Punit held several leadership positions in Sales, Marketing and General Management, working in India and in the Unilever Global team. His experience spans across several FMCG categories like Laundry, Ice Cream and Skin Cleansing. As Punit often
remarks - his journey has taken him from selling one kind of soap to another!

 

Punit is an alumnus of IIT Roorkee ( Electrical Engineering, 1992), and XLRI (BMD 1996). He currently serves as the Chair of FICCI Broadcast Forum as well as the Co-Chair of the CII Broadcast Committee. He is also on the Board of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the industry body for broadcasters.

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Manoj Madhusudhanan
Head, dunnhumby India

As Head of dunnhumby India, Manoj’s focus is on establishing our India office as unequivocally one of the key engines of our business – delivering ever improving science, product engineering, technical and commercial operations and raising the profile of our great teams within the global Business and Technology community. 

 

Manoj is an international business leader and operations executive specializing in product innovation and transforming disruptive technologies into successful business models. Manoj has most recently been the CEO of start-up Ziligence, an AI driven B2B sales prospecting platform he co-founded in 2017. Ziligence was selected by Analytics Insight Magazine as one of the 10 most promising artificial intelligence companies.

 

Years of experience:

 

Prior to Ziligence, Manoj spent three years in London as the Managing Director for InsightBee by Evalueserve, a Cloud-based business research platform that successfully merges skills from research team members located around the globe – which he led from concept to commercial reality. 

 

Manoj has also served as the Global Head of Operations for Evalueserve’s Corporate and Professional Services Business Unit, responsible for global operations across five continents overseeing a 700-person research team. Prior to Evalueserve, Manoj was a management consultant with Accenture.

 

Qualifications:

 

Post Graduate Diploma in Management, XLRI Jamshedpur

Bachelor of Technology (Mechanical Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Manoj’s areas of expertise:

  • Start-ups & Innovation

  • Disruptive Customer Intelligence technologies

  • Large scale business operations

  • Team Transformation

  • Product engineering

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Ashok Ramchandran
Group Executive President - Group Human Resources at the Aditya Birla Group

Ashok is the Group Executive President - Group Human Resources at the Aditya Birla Group. 

In this role, he oversees HR for a portfolio consisting of a set of businesses across the conglomerate, as well as the Group Centres of Expertise - of Learning & Talent Development, Talent Staffing and Employee Relations.

Ashok carries over 32 years of rich and varied experience in HR, spanning multiple sectors in companies such as Asian Paints, GE Capital, Tata AIG Insurance and Vodafone India, prior to joining ABG in Group HR in October 2015.  He has also moved across roles in IR and HR, as well as heading Factory Operations when in Ankleshwar, Gujarat with Asian Paints. 

Across his career, Ashok has led HR teams to deliver both strong, strategic impact as well as building depth of HR processes. Ashok is a strong believer in talent and potential, and building of strong opportunities and careers for people.  

 

Ashok was awarded the Seasoned HR Professional by NHRDN in 2015, and the CHRO of the Year – 2017 at the Business World Excellence Awards.

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Amita Maheshwari 
Head – Human Resources, APAC & India – DMED

Amita is an Electronics & Telecom Engineer with a specialization in Human Resources from XLRI. In her 26 years of experience, she has been in leadership positions in fast growing organizations across multiple industries. She has successfully managed Head of HR as well as Line/Corporate roles with multiple business/country responsibilities.

 

She has experience in diverse industries ranging from Asian Paints to GE Capital, Genpact, MetLife India Insurance, Star and now Disney. She currently heads HR for Asia Pacific & India for DMED (Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution). APAC consists of ANZ, North Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan) and South East Asia. Before this she was President and Head of HR for Star India, a 20th Century Fox business in India, UK, US and ME for 10 years. After Disney’s acquisition of FOX globally, she was given APAC responsibility for DTCI business of Disney. She has driven the integration and transition of Disney and Fox businesses across Asia Pacific since last two year, including of organization design, driving synergy and talent assessment and selection. She has been involved in launching Disney+ in multiple
countries like India, Indonesia, ANZ and Japan.


She has worked extensively with global teams across US, Europe and Asia including setting up Genpact’s Global Employment Organization across 12 countries in Europe & Asia. 

 

Amita has a strong track record in creating innovative HR solutions, building strong and diverse teams, employee retention and building HR function to support very high growth organisations. Her core expertise is in the areas of developing HR strategy to drive business growth, manage and build scale, mergers and acquisitions, integration and change management, sourcing, developing and retaining diverse talent. She
has truly transformed the organisations she has worked for in terms of Talent, HR process and policies.


Her strong learning & change agility, flexibility, high result orientation and drive have helped her move seamlessly across industry and understand and learn critical business metric quickly in diverse businesses.


Amita is on the board of International NGO Care India and People Matters, an HR Tech company. Amita is currently based in Mumbai and enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her family.

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