Faculty and Guest Speakers


Amit Bhatia, Founder-Chairman, Aspire Human Capital Management
Amit Bhatia, an award-winning social entrepreneur is Founder & Chairman of Aspire, an Employability Education firm in India. Amit has 22 years of management experience and till 2007 served as CEO of WNS Knowledge Services, successfully listing WNS on NYSE with a $1 billion IPO. Prior to WNS, Amit was the Founding Country Manager for FreeMarkets, Inc. Most notably, Amit conceived, founded and led the McKinsey Knowledge Centre in India, the consulting firm’s global research centre. He has also held Business & Financial Analysis positions at American Express. Amit has a Bachelor’s degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce; Master’s Degree from Delhi School of Economics with a University Gold Medal; is a qualified Cost & Works Accountant.

Dr. Pradip N. Khandwalla
Dr. Pradip N. Khandwalla served as a Director of IIMA until 1996. Dr. Khandwalla also served on the Boards of numerous corporations and on the governing councils of several institutions. Dr. Khandwalla has made contribution in the areas of Management, Organizational Sciences etc. by authoring over a dozen books and 80 papers and articles in Indian and foreign journals and learned anthologies. His research and teaching contributions have been in organizational theory and design and restructuring of organizations for management of excellence, innovative turnaround management, effective management of public enterprises and governmental organizations, and creativity and innovation. Dr. Khandwalla has won many international and Indian awards. He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Dr. Khandwalla taught at McGill University, Canada for several years. He has M.B.A. from Wharton, Pennsylvania and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon in U.S.A

Guest Speakers

Baba Adhav, President, Mahatma Phule Samata Pratishthan
Nominated as the 2008 Man of the Year, by the Week magazine, veteran trade union leader Baba Adhav has spent a lifetime advocating the rights of porters, construction workers and others in the unorganized sector. Baba Adhav became involved with the issues of hamals and mathadis (headloaders) in Pune’s markets in the early-50s, as a young, practising Ayurvedic doctor. Born and brought up in Pune’s old Peth area, Baba grew up watching the daily toil in the timber, grain and metal markets. Baba’s Hamal Panchayat, a trade union movement launched in 1955, struck work for the first time over the issue of denial of wage hikes by jaggery merchants to hamals on 19th Nov 1956. The Hamal Panchayat is also an active partner of the Mahatma Phule Samta Pratishtan, which serves as an organising centre for workers of Pune’s large service industry, including rickshaw and tempo drivers, ragpickers and waste recyclers, handicapped people and farmers. He has also served as a Counselor in the Pune Municipal Corporation for ten years.

Dr. Bhushan Punani, Executive Secretary Blind People’s Association
Dr. Bhushan Punani is at present working as Executive Secretary of the Blind People’s Association, Ahmedabad.. He is Rehabilitation Advisor for India to Sightsavers as well as CBM SARO (north, Treasurer of the Credibility Alliance and Chairperson of the ICEVI West Asia. He joined BPA after completion his Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from the IIM, Ahmedabad and completed his LL.B as well as PhD from Gujarat University and Course in Vocation Rehabilitation from Haifa University, Israel. He has received the Helen Keller Award and IIMA Distinguished Alumnus Award. Recently he has been appointed as Member of the Committee on Drafting of New Legislation on Disability. He is member of the Steering Committee on Social Sector as well member of the Working Group on Disability Development for the 12th Five Year Plan of the Planning Commission. He has worked on number of Committees at the national level, member of General Council of the National Institutes and examiner for various Doctoral programmes of different Universities.

Ela Ramesh Bhatt, Ramon Magsaysay and Padma Bhushan Awardee
Ela Ramesh Bhatt is the founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA). A lawyer by training, Bhatt is a respected leader of the international labour, cooperative, women, and micro-finance movements. She was one of the founders of Women’s World Banking in 1979 with Esther Ocloo and Michaela Walsh, and served as its chair from 1980 to 1998. She currently serves as the Chair of the SEWA Cooperative Bank, of HomeNet, of the International Alliance of Street Vendors, and of WIEGO. She is also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. She was granted an honorary Doctorate degree in Humane Letters by Harvard University in June 2001. Ela Bhatt was also awarded the civilian honour of Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1985, and the Padma Bhushan in 1986. She was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1977 and the Right Livelihood Award in 1984.

Gagan Sethi, Founding Trustee and Chair, Janvikas Trust, Ahmedabad
Mr Sethi is a Development Educator and practicing Organizational Development expert and a Gender trainer. As founder of Janvikas, he has helped set up several strategic organizations in the country, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Sahjeevan, Drishti, Centre for Social Justice, HID forum, Econet, to name a few. He was appointed as member of monitoring group by NHRC to monitor human right violations during the Gujarat Earthquake & Communal Violence. He has done several assignments for SDC, GIZ, Christian Aid and other NGOs. He led the largest civil society initiative for rehabilitation and justice post the 2001-02 Gujarat earthquake and carnage. The team which worked on the Bilkis Bano case, was also anchored by him.

Harinesh Pandya, Executive Secretary Janpath Network
Harinesh started his career with Shreyas School in 1982 as in-charge of Shrirangam, children’s theatre division. He continued with Shreyas Foundation till 1986. He completed his post graduation in law and then worked voluntarily for ‘Trade Union Movement’ for 18 years. During Earthquake of 2001, Harinesh joined the rescue and relief operations in Kutch and then continued with social rehabilitation of earthquake-affected children with a state level network called Janpath. In 2002, during communal violence, he went around almost all the worst affected districts and played a key role in conducting ‘Sadbhavana Sammelans’. For past 12 he has been successfully handling responsibility of “Executive Secretary” of Janpath Network.

Jayanti Ravi, IAS Officer & Commissioner, Higher Education, Gujarat
Jayanti S. Ravi has worked as the Commissioner of Schools, the Chairperson of the State Board of Secondary Education and is currently the Commissioner for Higher Education in Gujarat. A Nuclear Physicist by training, she also has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Ph.D in Technology enhanced Education from the MS University, Baroda. She has been a Mason Fellow and a Chevening Scholar. She has worked as the Collector, PanchMahals and DDO, Sabarkantha and Director, NAC in the Prime Minister’s Office. She has been a column writer with Frontline, a leading fortnightly and a performing vocalist in Indian music. Awarded the prestigious Littauer Fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School, she studied at LSE (UK) and is also a visiting faculty at Harvard University.

Kumudini Lakhia , Founder-Director, Kadamb Centre for Dance
After a distinguished career in solo, Kathak dancer, Kumudini Lakhia established the KADAMB Centre for Dance in Ahmedabad, in 1967.It was at Kadamb that she focused her energies and vision on the development of the technique, vocabulary and repertoire of the Kathak dance. Her endeavor was to transform the traditional Kathak dance of the past with innovative ways for contemporary expression. She continues to lecture on ‘creativity in dance’ at universities in India, USA and countries in Europe. She was appointed Vice President of the Council International De La Dance ( CID) Paris from 1975-77 and member of the CID from 1977 -80. She was the Executive Board Member of the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi , New Delhi and the Chairperson of the Gujarat State Sangeet Natak Akademi. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Kalakshetra Foundation,Chennai. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Padma Bhushan.

Ms. Nafisa Barot Executive Director Utthan
Nafisa Barot has over three decades of experience and commitment to strengthening the process of empowerment at various levels. With a quest to understand people’s issues, she co-founded Utthan in 1981 and built a committed team, which initiated processes and institutions for transformation in the coastal and tribal regions of Gujarat. Utthan’s complex struggle for justice addresses all those who have an India of their dreams and a determination to work for it. Actively associated with the Women’s and other people’s movement, she and the Utthan team have been able to learn from the grassroots about the process of change and empowerment and influence policies at the State, National and international level; with capacity to work with a wide range of stakeholders.

Niranjan Khatri, Founder-iSambhav and Principal Consultant
Niranjan is Ex General Manager Environment Initiatives of ITC hotels. He pioneered the concept of eco designing in Welcomgroup Bay Island in Port Blair and submitted a paper to ILO/Cornell University on eco-designing. Niranjan has headed CII’s Renewable Energy cell, has developed Eco Rating for the Delhi Government (distributed to 1200 schools, translated into Marathi & further distributed to 6000 schools). He is on the board of National Trust formed by Ministry of Social Justice, also a part of the expert committee of Indian Institute of corporate affairs, MoCA ; Ex Non Executive Director of Central Electronics ltd., Founder and ex president of Andaman & Nicobar tourism guild. Recipient of the Helen Keller Award in 2006 & in 2011; Karamveer Puraskar 2009; Green Hotelier award 2010 & Parivartan Sustainability Leadership Award 2012.

Pankaj Jain Founder & CEO, Gyanshala
Pankaj Jain is Founder-Chief Functionary of Education Support Organisation which runs Gyan Shala, a NGO that serves the education needs of several districts across multiple districts in India. Gyan Shala is a unique model that seeks to educate children by focusing primarily on curriculum development, and thus reducing the costs associated with educating children. Jain works extensively with the Gyan Shala model in the slums of Ahmedabad, and Bihar. Gyan Shala is supported by international charities such as the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Prior to this role, Jain was deeply involved in development work, and consulted for the Ford Foundation, Grameen, BRAC and AMUL among others. He was also a Professor of Strategic Management and Development at institutions such as MIT and the University of Sussex. Jain was educated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, the Indian Institute of Management, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the World Bank and the Harvard Institute of Development.

Prof KV Ramani IIMA
Prof KV Ramani obtained his Ph.D in Operations Research from Cornell University, USA in 1977. He served the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) from 1977 to 2014, and held various senior positions, including the Chairmanship of the Centre for Management of Health Services, which he helped set up in 2004. After retirement, he continues to serve IIMA as an Adjunct Professor. Prof Ramani has also taught at Cornell University and Florida International University in USA, as well as the National University of Singapore. He has been a consultant to the World Bank, European Commission, UNOPS, USAID, Sida, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and a number of Hospitals in India and abroad. Prof Ramani has served as a member on the Governing Board of IIM Ahmedabad, from 2005 to 2007, and many public and private sector organizations.

Prof. Varun Arya Director, Aravali Gurukul Ashram, Jodhpur
Prof. Arya is a graduate from IIT Delhi and a post-graduate from IIM Ahmedabad. He has worked for 16 years in senior positions with leading companies like Indian Rayon, Reliance and American multinational DuPont. He also established and operated Aravali Institute of Management for 13 years. He is now associated with establishing a top quality educational complex including a deemed university, on around 100 acres high salinity extreme wasteland in Jodhpur. His journey as an educational entrepreneur has been filled with unending hardships, risks, sacrifices and struggle. He is a firm believer and follower of satyagrahs (struggles to ensure that the truth alone triumphs, despite all the odds). His endeavours have been extensively appreciated and recognized locally, at the state level, national level and globally with a large number of honours and awards.

Reema Nanavati, Executive Director- SEWA and Padamashri Awardee
Reema Nanavaty leads Self Employed Women’s Association’s (SEWA) economic and rural development activities reaching out to seventeen million women and their families across India. Since 1989 she has pioneered revival, restoration and innovation of rural livelihoods from district to global level. Reema is being recognized across India and in the neighbouring countries as a champion for creating livelihoods for poor women. She was elected by 2,84,000 members of SEWA as their General Secretary in the year 1999. Since then, Reema has expanded SEWA membership to new heights of 5,30,000 making SEWA the single largest union of informal sector workers in India. Reema currently manages US$ 6 million strong economic activities of SEWA through a federation of 100 cooperatives, nine district associations of artisans, salt farmers, and forestry workers, and a direct outlet of 12000 artisans. Reema graduated in science from Gujarat University and was selected to IAS services of Government of India.

Vijay Mahajan, Founder & Chairman, Basix
Vijay Mahajan is the Founder and Chairman of the BASIX Group. He served on the Rangarajan Committee on Financial Inclusion and the Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms. He co-authored a book “The Forgotten Sector” and has written 60 articles. He is Chair of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a global microfi nance forum, comprising nearly 40 bilateral, multilateral and foundations in development. He is an alumnus of IIM-A and IIT-Delhi, and a mid-career Fellow at the Princeton University, USA.