K.M.S.(Titoo) Ahluwalia

titoo_ahluwaliaTitoo Ahluwalia holds the unique distinction of having headed the three largest market research companies in India – IMRB, of which he became Chief Executive at the age of 30; then MARG, which he set up in 1983, and subsequently ORG, which merged with MARG in 1996.

A History graduate from St Stephen’s College in Delhi, with a post-graduate Diploma in Management Studies from London, he started his career as a social researcher at Research Services Ltd in London.

He was India’s first National Representative to ESOMAR, the world body representing the survey research professions.

In 2004, Titoo Ahluwalia took early retirement from his position as CEO of ACNielsen ORG-MARG, to pursue on a full-time basis his interest in issues concerning civil society. He is now Managing Trustee of Citizens for Peace and Trustee of four other voluntary organizations involved with work in many different areas such as communal harmony, urbanization education, rural development and accountability in public institutions. He is also Chairman of Conscious Food Pvt Ltd, India’s first organic food company.

Titoo Ahluwalia has addressed conferences in many countries. His views on social attitudes and practices in India have been quoted widely in the media, including the BBC, CNBC, New York Times, The Times of London, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Fortune.


Shyam Benegal

shyam_benegalShyam Benegal is a critically acclaimed independent filmmaker, screenwriter and public intellectual of India. With his first four feature films Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975),  Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977) he became the pioneer of new genre of films known as “Parallel Cinema”  in India. His films often dealt with issues of gender equity, social justice, and political conflicts that were portrayed with great nuance by the powerhouse team of actors like Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, all of whom were discovered  for the screen by Shyam. Shyam Benegal has won many national and international awards for his films, has had many retrospectives of his films across the world and has been invited as a Jury for many international film festivals. A prolific writer and a sought after speaker, Shyam Benegal is known as voice of reason for the marginalized.

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991. On 8 August 2007, he was awarded the highest award in Indian cinema for lifetime achievement, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005. He has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times.

Shyam Benegal continues to remain an active public figure, serving on various committees and jury panels and contributing to many crucial deliberations in the Rajya Sabha to which he was nominated in February 2006.


Rahul Mehrotra

rahul_mehrotraRahul Mehrotra is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University, Boston.

A graduate of School of Architecture from the Harvard University, he is a practicing architect, urban designer, and educator. He established his private practice in 1990 in Mumbai and has designed and executed many projects, from interior design to architecture, from urban planning to conservation. From restoration of Chowmahal Palace in Hyderbad to drawing a conservation master plan for Taj Mahal, Rahul’s practice has included wide range of projects.

Rahul Meherotra has written and lectured extensively on architecture, conservation, and urban planning in India including several published books and monographs on Mumbai / Bombay. He divides his time between Boston & Bombay.


Zia Mody

zia_modyZia Mody passed her Law from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1978. She was enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra & Goa in 1978 and did her LLM from Harvard Law School. Zia Mody was then admitted as a member of the New York State Bar by examination in 1980. She started her practice as a Corporate Associate, Baker & McKenzie, New York 1979 to 1983.

Then she started her own practice from 1984 and then went into partnership and started the firm, CZB & Partners, Advocates & Solicitors between January 2002 and March 2004. CZB & Partners then merged with Ajay Bahl & Associates and was renamed as AZB & Partners, Advocates & Solicitors (Mumbai, New Delhi & Bangalore) from April 2004 onwards. The firm has over 120 lawyers.

Zia Mody is a Trustee of the Bahai School, New Era High School, in Panchgani. She is a Member of the CCI Committee on Capital Markets and a Member of the CII National Council on Corporate Governance and Regulatory Framework.

Zia Mody has been awarded the “Business Woman of the Year” by the Financial Express in the category of “The Best Knowledge Manager”. She has been selected as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Indian Business by Business Today. She was selected as one of India’s 100 Most Powerful CEOS by the Economic Times. The American Lawyer has identified Zia Mody as being one of “country’s leading stars”. She was nominated as one of the world’s leading practitioners by “The International Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers 2006 and Franchise Lawyers”. She was appointed as the Director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Hongkong in January 2006 and has also been appointed as a member of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal for a period of five years from July 1, 2007 by the World Bank.

In its 2002-03 edition, the Asia Pacific Legal 500 has ranked CZB & Partners as among the leading Firms in the Infrastructure Sector, and has ranked Zia Mody as among the leading individuals in the Infrastructure Sector.

Identified as a Highly Recommended lawyer by the Global Counsel 3000 in the field of Company and Corporate Transactions and Private Equity/Venture Capital.

AZB & Partners was nominated as the best Indian National Law Firm 2006 by the International Financial Law Review.


Sheela Patel

sheela_patelSheela Patel is the Founder Director of SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres) – a non-profit society working in issues of equity and social justice in India and SPARC Samudhaya Nirman Sahayak (SSNS) – a set up to assist slum communities take on construction initiatives in cities. She has a Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India.

She is a member of World Health Organization Task Force on the Social Determinants of Health, Chair of the Board of Shack Dweller’s International Board, Chair of the Policy Advisory Board of the Cities Alliance (World Bank) and has been a Member of the ICSSR Committee for IDPAD (Indo Dutch research projects). She is also a member of the Technical Advisory Board of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission of the Government of India.