India Advisory Council Members
Dharamraj Amin ’90SEAS (Bangalore) is a corporate executive and board member in the engineering, finance, and information technology services industry. He has worked in both the U.S. and India extensively and is currently based in Bangalore. He has previously worked with such institutions as the Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps, the Bangalore Club, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Mr. Amin has a Ch.E from Bangalore University, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia, and an M.B.A. in International Banking and Finance from George Washington University. He is also an avid tennis player and traveler and enjoys the outdoors with his two children Aarin and Avika.
Anjali Bansal ’97SIPA (Mumbai) is Managing Director of Spencer Stuart’s Indian business, which she was instrumental in establishing. She also co-leads the firm’s Asia Pacific Board & CEO practice, advising companies on Board governance, CEO and senior executive search, and succession planning. Before her career in search, Anjali was with McKinsey & Company, where she consulted on strategy and organizational issues. In addition, she serves on the board of the United Way of Mumbai, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceuticals India and is on the Advisory Board of the Columbia University Global Centers. She has been listed as one of the ‘Most Powerful Women in Indian Business 2013 by India’s leading publication, Business Today and one of the Most Powerful Women in Business in India by Fortune. Anjali Bansal received a master's degree in International Affairs, with distinction, from Columbia University, where she majored in InternationalFinance and Business, as well as a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from Gujarat University.
Sanjeev Bikhchandani P ’15CC (Delhi) is the founder of Naukri.com, India’s leading job site, and also runs Jeevansathi.com, 99acres.com, and Shiksha.com. Prior to starting Naukri, Mr. Bikhchandani had worked in advertising with Lintas and in consumer marketing at Glaxo SmithKline. For a brief period, he was the Consulting Editor of Avenues – the careers supplement of ‘The Pioneer’ newspaper. He along with his partner Hitesh Oberoi won the “Ernst and Young – Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2008 for Business T Transformation, along with the Dataquest Pathbreaker Award & the Teacher’s Achievement Award for Business in the same year. Mr. Bikhchandani studied Economics at St. Stephens College and schooled at St. Columba’s in Delhi. He is also a founding trustee of the Ashoka University – a not for profit Liberal Arts university near Delhi. His daughter Tanvi is currently a student at Columbia College and a teaching assistant at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for economics students.
Amit Burman ’91SEAS (Delhi) introduced the Indian consumer to packaged fruit juices with the launch of brand Réal way back in 1997. He is today the Vice Chairman of Dabur India Ltd and has been involved with giving strategic direction to this FMCG behemoth. As a personal investment, Mr. Burman has ventured into the food retailing space with Lite Bite Foods, which manages Food Courts besides operating Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) and casual dining outlets at a wide range of locations, like malls, office complexes, high streets, hospitals, Metros and airports. With a host of business ventures in the Food sector, Mr. Burman is India’s first serial Food Entrepreneur.
Gautam Dalmia ’90SEAS, ’92SEAS (Delhi) is a director of the Dalmia Bharat Group. He has over 15 years of experience in the cement and sugar industries. He was part of the team that led the diversification of the Company into sugar business in 1994. He was personally responsible for implementing a new strategy to turnaround the sugar business. He has led the effort to design and implement the Company's integrated sugar, ethanol and cogeneration business. He is directly responsible for managing the sugar business and is leading all operations and execution of cement projects besides providing leadership to the commercial functions for the group. Mr. Dalmia holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University and is a proud parent.
Isheeta Ganguly '98PH (Mumbai) Isheeta is an acclaimed Tagore fusion singer and playwright who began her musical journey at the tender age of seven and released her first album at the age of fifteen. Raised in the U.S., Turkey, Japan and Indonesia, Isheeta's music weaves together the many threads of her musical journey from her training in Tagore's and Hindustani classical music (under the great maestro, Suchitra Mitra) to her versatile training and performance in jazz, pop and R&B styles throughout her years of growing up in New York. Isheeta is also a management consultant (was with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte Consulting for ten years) and the Founder and Executive Director of Neerupama, an organisation focused on gender equity and transforming the lives of the girl child from a health, education and arts perspective. She has her BA from Brown University and her Masters in Public Health from Columbia University.
Mukul Gulati ’05BUS (Bangalore) is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Zephyr Peacock Management India, and is responsible for overall leadership of its business activities in South Asia. He has 18 years of experience in the investment business including private equity, investment research and general management. Mukul is a Charter member of the Bangalore chapter of TiE Global and serves as an advisor to TechnoServe, a global organization that supports entrepreneurship in developing economies. He is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and serves on the Asia Council of Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA). Mukul received an MBA with honors from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland, where he was a Dean’s Scholar at the Department of Economics. He and his wife Sejal have two daughters.
Rubal Jain ’04SEAS (Delhi) is the Director – Corporate Strategy at Safexpress Pvt. Ltd. (www.safexpress.com), India’s leading logistics service providers. He has been working with Safexpress since 2006, and during this period has been instrumental in developing IT and Operations systems and process flows that have enhanced productivity of the organization. He has started various new business lines in the organization, including B2C Logistics and Safeducate. Rubal has also helped co-found an e-waste recycling and reverse logistics startup Karma Recycling, where he is the founding Investor and Director. Rubal has completed his Bachelor in Operations Research Engineering from Columbia and his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in 2006. Rubal is also a Board Member of Entrepreneur’s Organization’s New Delhi chapter.
Saloni Jhaveri ’86BC (Mumbai), a yogi and entrepreneur, is interested in events involving the arts, sciences and architecture. She is a friend of the annual Times of India Literature Carnival and curated their workshops this year. She was a key member of the organizing team for the “Women Changing India” symposium organized by Barnard College and most recently, she created a workshop in a high school to foster gender awareness from an early age in high school students. As an entrepreneur, Saloni is a founder and former board member of Rave Technologies, a successful software outsourcing company, which has now been sold to a British company. She is closely involved with her alma mater, for which she interviews several aspiring applicants each year. She currently lives between Mumbai and Alibag, where she is developing an organic farm.
Sridevi Kalavakolanu ’96SIPA (Bangalore) is Senior Director, Responsible Sourcing at Walmart, where she oversees strategy and execution of supply chain compliance operations in Asia, Europe and Africa. Managing an extensive team across nine countries she is responsible for supply chain capacity building, risk management and stakeholder engagement including support to key corporate initiatives such as the Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. Sridevi has over fifteen years of experience in responsible sourcing and has previously worked with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in San Francisco where she provided training and consulting services to a range of companies in the apparel, footwear, automobile and energy sectors and with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in Washington, DC. Sridevi received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship and was a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Human Rights. She graduated with honors from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi with a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese and was a Monbusho Scholar at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.
Mallika Kapur ’98JRN (Mumbai) is CNN’s Mumbai-based international correspondent and is responsible for the network’s coverage from India’s financial capital and South Asia. She has reported extensively on a wide range of key political, economic, social and environmental stories from the region. She contributes stories to CNN's Freedom Project and led the documentary “Trapped by Tradition,” which won the Gold Medal at the prestigious New York Festivals International Film and TV Awards 2012. Before joining the network, she worked for CNBC in New York and Singapore. Raised in Calcutta, she graduated with a BA (Honors) in I International Relations from Brown University, USA, and went on to do a Masters in Broadcast Journalism at Columbia. Her journalistic career began with an internship at The Statesman newspaper in Calcutta.
Vidur Kohli ’97SEAS (Delhi) is Director and Founder of Kolsons Middlle East and Kolsons Exim Pvt Ltd, a company engaged in the process of importing; exporting and designing technically advanced range of leading automation and interface systems supporting industry applications across railways and metro, marine and defence. Vidur spearheads the business operations and leads teams for both India and Middle East. In his dynamic career of over 18 years Vidur has honed his business acumen by handling marketing strategy and production stringency at the family owned Chemical manufacturing unit, Vibros Organics Limited. He also briefly ventured into automotive sector by setting up state of the art workshop and showroom in 1999 for a Ford dealership in New Delhi. Under his leadership the dealership grew to become the second largest in the country while doing exemplary work in the region for financing and used car operations for Ford. Currently he is also on Board of Directors in Naveen Projects Ltd and Tecon Projects Pvt. Ltd both organizations are engaged in bulk material handling, water treatment projects and civil construction. Vidur holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University, New York. He graduated in the top 10% of his class and was a member of the Tau Beta Pi society. Vidur also co chairs the Alumni Representative Committee IndiaAn avid trekker, Vidur enjoys adventurous sports like mountaineering and scuba diving. He currently resides in New Delhi with his wife and two sons.
Alex Kumar ’71BUS P: ’15CC (Delhi) started his career in the US with HJ Heinz and Bristol Myers Squibb and moved on to manage the Household products, Cosmetics (Max Factor), Medical Device and Fashion Accessories (Ray-Ban) businesses for International Playtex, Max-Factor and Bausch & Lomb based in Scandinavia, the UK and the US. In the years that followed, he worked in a variety of fields, including technology, medicine, and managing. Since 2010 he has managed the Board Practice for a Delhi based executive search firm, and in the past two years has also been an active member of a Singapore based VC firm. Alex has a BE degree from BITS – Pilani and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Alex is an active member of the Columbia Alumni community and an interviewer for Columbia Business School applicants; he also recently hosted an information session for prospective Business School students. Alex lives in Delhi with his wife and two children, one of whom is a junior at Columbia College.
Sher Lokhandwalla ’99GSAPP (New York) works as an Asset Manager at the National Equity Fund, an affiliate of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Ms. Lokhandwalla has over ten years of private equity and asset management experience. Prior to working at NEF, she worked in KPMG’s Real Estate Consulting Group, Grubb & Ellis and Praedium Real Estate Opportunity Fund at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, NY. Ms. Lokhandwalla has a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Texas and a M.S. in Real Estate Development, Columbia University. She currently lives in Tribeca, Downtown Manhattan, New York with her husband and two boys.
Gitanjali Mahtaney '09BUS (Bangalore), is CEO of woven apparel manufacturer and exporter, K Mohan & Co. Exports in Bangalore, India. Prior to K Mohan, she worked in the Strategy and operations arm at Deloitte Consulting in New York. During this time she served as a consultant to the sourcing divisions at various global apparel retailers.
Avanti Maluste ’08CC (New York) graduated from Columbia College with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior. She returned to her native Mumbai to work as a management consultant with A.T. Kearney, and then explored her passion for social impact with Village Capital. While in Mumbai, she re-started the Columbia Alumni Association of India and led it as President for three years. She was also co-chair of the ARC in India. Avanti received her MBA from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business in 2014, and is currently in New York working in non-profit consulting.
Jay Mehendra Mehta ’83SEAS (Mumbai) is the Group Director of Indian Operations of the Mehta Group, a multinational, multiactivity enterprise with operations in Uganda, Kenya, India and North America. He is also the Executive Vice Chairman of two cement companies, Saurashtra Cement Limited and Gujarat Sidhee Cement Limited, along with being the Director of Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd., which owns the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL team. He has recently entered the Hospitality business and opened the Italian restaurant “Pizza Metro Pizza” in Mumbai. Mr. Mehta holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Columbia and an MBA from The International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He currently lives in Mumbai with his wife and two children.
Anant Nath ’05GSAS (Delhi) is the Editor of The Caravan and a Director of Delhi Press, India’s leading magazine publishing house. With 36 magazines in 10 languages, Delhi Press publishes one of the most diverse portfolios of magazines in India that have a collective readership of more than 30 million. Anant joined Delhi Press in 2005; he started work in the marketing department, and has since then taken over the larger publishing role, steering the organization towards becoming a well round media organization with a strong focus on both digital and print offerings. In 2010, he revived The Caravan after a gap of 22 years, shaping it as a magazine dedicated to narrative journalism. Anant Nath is on the Executive Committee of Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) and Indian Languages Newspapers Association (ILNA). He has an MBA from IIM (Lucknow) and an MA in Politics from Columbia.
Udita Malhoutra ’90CC, ’97BUS
Bahram N. Vakil ’83LAW (Mumbai) is one of the founding partners of AZB & Partners, and amongst India’s foremost infrastructure and project finance attorneys. Bahram is one of the few infrastructure lawyers in the country who has been involved in five of the eight fast track power projects and has been acknowledged as a leading project finance lawyer by most international publications for over a decade. He has received attention from The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a gregarious and hard headed lawyer according to clients who value his “smart, reliable and practical advice”. His finesse in negotiations is especially singled out. “He adds value in negotiations, ensuring both parties see the other’s point of view” states Chambers Global. He has a LLM from Columbia, and is a member of the New York State Bar.