INDIA’S CENTURY: How to Drive Sustainable, Inclusive Growth?

25 Feb 2023 / IIT Research Park Auditorium, Chennai

From building a sustainable future to creating an ecosystem that fosters leadership, you can read it all and watch the embedded videos for a wholesome fare.

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Suresh Raman

President of the Madras Management Association (MMA)

  • Vice President and Region Head for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Chennai.
  • He manages TCS’ largest delivery centre, with over 98,000 associates. His focus areas are to provide right experience for customers and associates; facilitate talent transformation into digital technologies; promoting diversity; provide agile and sustainable infrastructure; Cost optimization; besides working closely with region stakeholders across Government, Industry Associations and Communities.
  • An alumnus of Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, India, Suresh has over 3 decades of experience in Management Consulting Services and Information Technology Industry.

K Mahalingam

Founder – Director, Curious People (a C4D project) and free-lance advertising/ communication consultant.

  • Mr K Mahalingam is Partner/Director at TSM Group of Companies, which has interest across Automobiles Real Estate Advisory, and Distribution of Financial Services.
  • Mr K Mahalingam is also an active Angel Investor.
  • Mahalingam is a regular speaker and Guest Lecturer in Colleges and Management Institutes across Tamil Nadu and beyond.
  • He is President of Children Club, Treasurer of Brahma Gana Sabha, and Executive Committee Member of Chennai Angels.
  • He is the Senior Vice President of Madras Management Association.

Jaidit Brar is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company and leads McKinsey’s Growth service line across Asia-Pacific. He has extensive experience and track record in helping companies deliver market beating growth and margins, through end-to-end transformations, new products & business models and innovative go-to-market strategies. He has served consumer durables, building materials, automotive and energy companies to build cutting edge D2C businesses, agile supply chains.

Jaidit researches and writes on the topic of growth outperformance, and his recent research has focused on identifying the growth outperformers in Asia Pacific as well as their playbook. 

Jaidit has graduated with honors in Economics and has received his MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. Before McKinsey he worked for a leading Public Sector Company in the production planning function. He has also been an intern with Unilever.

 Gp Capt R Vijayakumar (Retd), VSM is the Executive Director of the Madras Management Association (MMA) since April 2007. A highly decorated Indian Air Force officer, Gp Capt Vijayakumar was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal by the President of India for distinguished service of very high order. He is also the recipient of the Commendation Medallion by the Chief of Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief on four occasions in recognition of service of high order.

During his three decades in the Indian Air Force, Gp Capt Vijayakumar held varied and important assignments, including as Director of Financial Planning and as Financial Advisor to the Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Western Air Command.

A graduate from Loyola, Chennai, Gp Capt Vijayakumar also holds an LLB, a Master in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management (Nagpur University), and a Master in Management Studies (Osmania University).

Under his stewardship, MMA grew in profile and stature to become the recognized face of Indian industry in Tamil Nadu, continuously attracting top industry leaders and policy makers. Under his dynamic leadership, MMA won AIMA’ s award for Thirteen times in a row, including for the Year 2021 -22.

Gp Capt Vijayakumar is a keen golfer, and he has accompanied the Indian golf team to take part in international golf tournaments.

In 2019, Rotary Club, Chennai, bestowed him with the lifetime achievement award.

Mr. N. K. Premachandran is the Member of Parliament from Kollam, Kerala. He was the former Minister for Water Resources in the Government of Kerala and was responsible for irrigation, ground water development, water supply and sanitation. He has initiated a number of innovative steps in the management of the water sector and started the consultancy wing of Kerala Water Authority, called Wascon.

V Shankar
Founder CAMS &
Director ACSYS Investments Pvt Ltd

  • V Shankar an IITM, IIMC graduate who worked briefly then went on to found CAMS (Computer Age Management Services Pvt. Ltd.)
  • In 1988 to provide a Platform and services to the Indian Mutual Fund industry CAMS was recently listed.
  • He is involved with several organizations that promote entrepreneurship, as will as with both his alma mater

Mr Parameswaran Iyer is the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog. With an illustrious career spanning four decades, Mr Iyer worked in various capacities with both the government and the World Bank. During 2016–20, he served as the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and led the implementation of India’s flagship $20 billion Swachh Bharat Mission, which delivered access to safe sanitation to 550 million people. He headed the innovative community-led Swajal Project in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the 1990s. The Swajal Project became one of the world’s leading rural water projects pioneering decentralized service delivery and key lessons were scaled up at the national level in India..

Ms. Ulka Kelkar is a Director at World Resources Institute, India. She is an economist with more than two decades of work in climate policy. She assesses low-carbon development pathways for India and supports climate action in Indian states and cities. Ms. Kelkar previously worked as a consultant climate assessment specialist for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and as a research fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). She is a co-chair of the Think20 task force, an official engagement group of G20.

Mr. Naveen Unni is the Managing Partner of McKinsey’s Chennai office. He has extensive experience in large-scale organisational transformation for utility companies, companies in the core sector and the agri cooperative sector. Mr. Unni has co-authored several articles and publications and regularly speaks at public forums. He is an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT Madras.

Ms Supriya Sahu is a senior bureaucrat of Additional Secretary rank from the 1991 batch of Indian Administrative Service. Currently, she is posted as Principal Secretary to the Government at the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forests. Ms. Sahu is known for her pioneering work in protecting the environment in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.  She led a campaign known as “Operation Blue Mountain” to ban the use of plastic in the district.  She has also successfully spearheaded Tamil Nadu’s HIV and tuberculosis programmes.

Mridula Ramesh is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed The Climate Solution and Watershed, and the founder of Sundaram Climate Institute, which focuses on waste and water solutions. She is an active cleantech angel investor with a portfolio of over twenty start-ups, and is involved with several initiatives to spur climatetech entrepreneurship. A graduate with distinction from Cornell University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Mridula worked at McKinsey in Silicon Valley and is the executive director of Sundaram Textiles – the company was amongst the first textile companies globally to win the coveted TPM Excellence Award. She is part of the board of trustees of World Wildlife Fund, India, and chairperson of the board of governors at National Institute of Technology, Andhra Pradesh. She lives and experiments in Madurai in a (nearly) net-zero-waste home with her husband and two children.

Mr. J D Patil is a Member of the Executive Council at L&T and Advisor to the CEO& MD for L&T’s Defence & New Age Smart Technology businesses. He is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai, having pursued M. Tech (Mechanical Engineering) in 1978. Mr. Patil guided the growth of Smart Cities, Safe Cities and Communication business with a focus on making our cities Smart and Safe. Today, L&T is the largest Indian player in this sector with a series of success stories such as the Prayagraj Kumbh mela, Odisha coastal storm warning system, and transformation of 26 major Indian cities into smart cities.

Mr. Josh Foulger is the Country Head and Managing Director of Bharat FIH Ltd (a Foxconn Technology Group Company). He is responsible for architecting the company’s strategy, business development and transformation.  Mr. Foulger is a Post Graduate in Industrial Engineering, specializing in Robotics from the University of Texas, Arlington, USA. He has over 27 years of experience in Electronics Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain Management.

Rear Admiral S Venkat Raman is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasala; the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington; and the College of Defence Management, Hyderabad. A specialist in communications and electronic warfare, Rear Admiral Venkat Raman held various roles on frontline warships of the Indian Navy, including the command of the stealth frigate INS Tabar and as the second-in-command of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat. He was the Fleet Communications Officer (Western Fleet) and the head of the Directorate of Naval Intelligence at the Naval Headquarters. He was awarded the Vishist Seva Medal in 2019.

Alfonse Mathew is an Expert Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company based out of the Chennai office.

He is a Product development and Operations practitioner with +10 years of experience of serving clients on Margin transformation programs. His areas of expertise include Design to Value, Modularity & Configurability, Consumer Insights, Product development Capex and Manufacturing excellence. His clients include marquee names in the Indian and Global Automotive space and has also served clients in Industrial & Energy space across Asia.

Alfonse is a Mumbai university alumnus and prior to joining McKinsey was part of  leading Consumer research firm handling one of the largest FMCG player in India. While Alfonse hails from Maharashtra, he has made Chennai his home for past 7 years where he stays with his wife Divya and 3 year daughter Amelia and enjoys spending time reading & narrating stories to his daughter.

Mr. Raja Parthasarathy is the Managing Director and Co-Head of Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure. Earlier, he was a partner at IDFC Private Equity and had worked with Jet Airways, UBS, Goldman Sachs and Lehmann Brothers. Mr. Parthasarathy has an MBA from INSEAD, MA in Economics from Tufts University, and BA from Hamilton College.

Mr. Pratik Pal is the CEO of Tata Digital, a future-ready company that focuses on creating consumer-centric, high-engagement digital products. Mr. Pal has strong domain knowledge of consumer-centric businesses and deep understanding of how new digital technologies are disrupting industries. He holds an Engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from Jadhavpur University, and an M.Tech in Computer Science from Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He serves on many Boards and also holds a Fellowship in the Indian National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Prashant Deshpande is the Senior Vice President of HR Strategy and Planning at Reliance Retail Ltd. He oversees talent strategy, organization design and organization building for multiple digital and consumer businesses within the Reliance Group.  Earlier, he was Vice President – HR Strategy & Planning at Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. Dr. Deshpande is a Chemical Engineer from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai. He holds a Masters in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), and has a PhD in Organizational Behaviour from INSEAD.

A R Unnikrishnan

  • Starting his career with Grindwell Group which later became a Saint-Gobain company, Unnikrishnan worked closely with the Saint-Gobain Group in 1997 to develop strategic blueprint for Saint-Gobain’s investment in India in the Glass business.
  • He played a pivotal role in Saint-Gobain Glass India’s journey to market leadership in a short period of time, state of the art manufacturing, impeccable quality and trusted brand building.
  • With rich experience of over 20 years in the Glass Industry, Unnikrishnan now is the Managing Director of Saint-Gobain India Pvt Ltd (Glass Business).
  • Apart from his professional role at Saint-Gobain, he is a thought leader across various fora in the areas of Sustainability and Regulations drafting key policy structure frameworks for the Indian Construction Industry. He is the Chairman of Glazing Society of India, Chairman CII TN CEO Forum, Chairing CII SR Task Force on Future of Manufacturing.

Mr. Arun Maira is a management consultant and former member of Planning Commission of India. He is also former India Chairman of Boston Consulting Group. He was part of Tata Administrative Services for 25 years and worked at various important positions in Tata Group till 1989. Mr. Maira received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Physics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

Mr. H. K. Agarwal is the Managing Director of Grasim Industries Limited, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. He is also the Business Director of Birla Cellulose, the Group’s global Pulp & Fibre Business. He is also Director of Aditya Birla Management Corp. Private Limited, the apex body that provides strategic direction and vision to Group companies. Over the past four decades, Mr. Agarwal has held leadership positions in the Group’s Cement, Chemicals, Advanced Materials, and Pulp and Fibre businesses. He received the Chairman’s “Outstanding Leader Award” and the “Certificate of Excellence” for his outstanding contribution to Grasim’s growth. He is an avid marathon runner and a firm believer in the Power of Teams.