Rama Bijapurkar

Rama Bijapurkar is one of India’s most respected thought leaders on market strategy and consumer related issues in India, and a keen commentator on social and cultural change in the evolving, liberalizing India. She has her own market strategy consulting practice and works with an impressive list of Indian and global companies guiding the development of their business-market strategies.

She describes her mission as bringing “market focus to business strategy”. Rama Bijapurkar serves as an independent director on the boards of some of India’s most respected corporations – Infosys Technologies (India’s leading IT services exporter), CRISIL (the Indian subsidiary of Standard and Poors), UTI Bank (a private bank, promoted by the Government of India), Godrej Consumer Products, Entertainment Network (India) Ltd. (owner of Radio Mirchi, an FM broadcasting station, part of the Times Of India Group) and Give Foundation (a not-for-profit company).

An alumnus of one of Asia’s premier business schools, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Rama Bijapurkar continues to be involved with her alma mater where she teaches as a Visiting Professor and serves on the Board of Governors.

Rama Bijapurkar’s over 30 years of work experience includes leadership positions with McKinsey & Company, MARG (India’s pioneering market research company, now ACNielsen India), and full time consulting with Hindustan Lever (Unilever India).

She is well published within and outside India on emerging market and consumer related issues and has been frequently quoted in international publications on emerging market issues. She also writes two widely read columns for Economic Times and Business World, respectively, India’s largest circulating business newspaper and business magazine.


Dr. Narendra Jadhav

Dr. Narendra Jadhav is a renowned economist, prolific writer, and a sought after public speaker. Dr. Jadhav is currently the member of planning commission of India.

Prior to that Dr. Jadhav was the Vice Chancellor of Pune University, one of the largest premier universities in India;  the Principal Advisor and Chief Economist for the Reserve Bank of India, a Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund.

He has written numerous books and many scholarly articles on economy. But the part which is most unique about him is his place as a writer. He was awarded the Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad Award for his book Dr Ambedkar: Economic Thoughts & Philosophy. His book Outcaste: A Memoir, originally published in Marathi, has been translated into 22 national and international languages. Dr. Jadhav is on the advisory panel for the PUKAR Youth Fellowship Programme.


Kumar Ketkar

Kumar Ketkar is currently the Chief Editor, Loksatta; the leading Marathi Daily, Indian Express Group. He has been the Editor-In-Chief, Lokmat and has served as the Chief Editor of the Maharashtra Times The Times of India Group for over 7 years (1993-2001). He has also contributed to the Indian and Financial Express and the Times.

He was a Resident Editor for the Daily Observer, of the Ambani Group, Reliance, (1990-93) and a Staff Reporter and Special Correspondent for The Economic Times (1973-1990) and The Times of India Group.

During his 35 years of active journalism in English as well as Marathi media he has covered many international events like Changing USSR: Glasnost and Perestroika policies of Mikhail Gorbachev, Disintegration of Soviet Union (1991), Parliamentary election in United Kingdom (1987 and 1992), Integration of two Germanys (1991), Five US presidential elections- 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004, Hongkong’s integration with China (1997), Israel’s fiftieth anniversary events (1998), Transformation and opening of China’s economy and the New Vietnam and its liberal policies.

He has the following awards to his credit:
Padmashree. Government of India’s Republic Day award in 2001
CD Deshmukh award for excellent writing in economics.
Acharya Atre award for bold journalism
Giants International award for covering international events.
Rajiv Gandhi Award for excellence in Journalism.

Kumar Ketkar has been nominated by the Prime Minister on the National Integration Council. He is also on the LIC Monitoring Committee Visiting faculty in the Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, USA and a visiting lecturer in Mumbai and Pune University Media Departments. He has authored seven Marathi books, on current politics, literature, and science and is a frequent commentator on current issues on various TV channels.


Abha Pandya

Abha Pandya has served as Executive Director of Asian Human Services (AHS) in Chicago since 1994. Under her direction AHS has grown into the Midwest’s largest pan-Asian comprehensive social service agency. AHS provides programming for all ages, with professional staff possessing fluency in 20 languages and has Chicago’s only nationally accredited mental health program targeting Asian Americans.

Under Abha Pandya’s leadership AHS started a Passages Charter School in 2001. It is a pre-K to Grade 5 elementary school targeting immigrant and refugee children and has an enrollment of 215 students for the 2005 school year. With three years of effort, Abha also secured a grant from the Federal Health and Human Services Administration to open the first primary care community health center targeting the Asian community in Chicago. The clinic opened its doors on March 1, 2004.

Abha Pandya has served on the Board of the United Way/Crusade of Mercy and on the Chicago Council of the United Way. She was also a member of the Governor’s Multicultural Services Committee and the board of the Chicago Council on Urban Affairs.

She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Bombay, a Master of Arts from the University of Delhi and a Master of Sciences from Boston University.


Sujata Patel

Sujata Patel is the Head of Department of Sociology, University Pune, India. She has been a professor with the Department since 1996. Her areas of specialization include theoretical sociology, urban sociology, the sociology of knowledge and the sociology of social movements. She has also taught at the SNDT Women’s University, Bombay and been a visiting faculty member at the Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

She is currently Vice President, (National Associations), International Sociological Association. Sujata Patel is a member of the editorial board of the ‘Global Governance’ journal and a corresponding editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies. She has served as project coordinator for research projects funded by the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and the Social Science Research Council, New York.

Her publications include ‘Bombay and Mumbai: The City in Transition’ (with Jim Masselos) published in 2003 and ‘Thinking Social Science in India: Essays in Honour of Alice Thorner’ (with Jasodhara Bagchi and Krishna Raj) in 2002. Sujata holds a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University.


Kalpana Sharma

Kalpana Sharma is an independent journalist, columnist and media consultant based in Mumbai. She has been, until recently, Deputy Editor and Chief of Bureau of The Hindu in Mumbai. In over three decades as a full-time journalist, she has held senior positions in Himmat Weekly, Indian Express and the Times of India. Her special areas of interest are environmental and developmental issues.

She writes a fortnightly column in The Hindu’s Sunday Magazine section, The Other Half, which comments on contemporary issues from a gender perspective. She has also followed and commented on urban issues, especially in the context of Mumbai’s development.

Kalpana Sharma is the author of “Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia’s Largest Slum” (Penguin 2000) and has co-edited with Ammu Joseph “Whose News? The Media and Women’s Issues” (Sage 1994, 2006) and “Terror Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out” (Kali for Women, 2003)


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