Who We Are
Dr. Nikhil Sinha

Nikhil Sinha, a Senior Advisor to the Shiv Nadar Foundation and HCL Corporation. He is a leading international expert on information and communication technology industries and has extensive experience as an academician, corporate executive and consultant. In his academic career, Dr. Sinha has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas from 2002 to 2005 and a faculty member at the University from 1991 to 1999.

Outside the academy, Dr. Sinha’s professional career has spanned nearly 30 years during which he has held senior positions in several corporate organizations, including President & CEO of iDLX Technology Partners, Executive Vice President of eFunds Corporation and Venture Partner, Adams Capital Management. He was a founder partner of Sinha & Lariviere, an international strategic advisory firm and is currently a Director of Silverskills, Pvt. Ltd.

Dr. Sinha serves on the Higher Education Committee of FICCI and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvaniaand serves on the Strategic Advisory Board of the Dell Social Innovation Competition.

Dr. Sinha has an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from St. Stephen's College, Delhi.

Premkumar Seshadri

Prem has been one of the key business leaders of HCL. His association with the group spans many years in various capacities from across HCL Limited, HCL Frontline, Deutsche Software & HCL Technologies.

He is a keen observer and mentor. A people person to the core, his doctoral research has been on talent development. It is this passion that got him actively involved with the World Economic Forum, where he was part of the Global Council on Talent Mobility and Diversity.

He is the Executive Vice-Chairman of HCL Infosystems Ltd. and focused on building and executing a robust transformation agenda to augment the pace and sustainability of profitable growth at HCL Infosystems, that is reinventing its value though a start-up like vigor and pace.

Between 2012 and early 2014, he was with Apollo Hospitals Group, as the Group CEO. Working closely with the Board, he was actively involved with the transformation agenda across Strategic Go to Market initiatives, Customer Experience, Strategic Partnerships and Globalization.

Prior to that, Prem was the Senior Corporate Officer and President for HCL Technologies, leading Financial Services, from a USD 100 M business to over USD 1 Billion in a quick, profitable and organic way. He also lead the Healthcare verticals and was the Corporate Sponsor for the APAC & Japan region. With focus on Customer centricity and business excellence, Prem has been instrumental in forging Global Partnerships that have resulted in creating value across borders.

He is the Chairman of CII Sub-Committee for Cloud Computing. He is a Charter Member of TiE Chennai, involved with their various activities. He is sports enthusiast and much sought out speaker .

Pawan K. Danwar

Post working 6 years with two big corporates in North India, Pawan joined HCL group in May 1996.

He is a finance professional and serves as the Executive Vice-President & CFO of HCL Corporation (holding company of HCL). He brings over 25 years of vast experience to HCL. His association with the HCL group spans over 20 years and he has served in several different finance profiles in the organization such as Business Finance, Corporate Restructuring, Acquisition & Business Integration, Treasury (fund raising, investment & forex management), Planning & Strategy, Commercial, Business Development, Secretarial, Legal & Corporate Compliance and investor relationship. He has structured and negotiated some big business contracts for HCL in the past decades. Pawan has not only been instrumental in shaping different financial strategies for HCL but he has also been associated with various new business initiatives and has credited with turning them into big scale ventures over the period. Out of 20 years with the HCL Group, he has spent 14 years in operating companies in various capacities including P&L responsibility.

He has deep understanding of various industries like IT; Healthcare; Education; Skill & Talent; Insurance; Chemical etc. Besides serving the businesses / operations; he is serving activity the Board of HCL Infosystems & HCL Healthcare besides various other committees of the Board.

He has ample exposure in the international business environment and has travelled extensively while executing various deals & discussions. Pawan is also associated with the Shiv Nadar Foundation & HCL Foundation, one of India’s largest private philanthropic institutions, for the last 5 years. He supports/serves the Foundations in various capacities and deeply connected with various social revolutionary projects in the field of education and rural development. He also liaisons with various government departments; institutions & bodies.

Pawan is a qualified Chartered Accountant & Company Secretary.

D. K. Srivastava

D.K. Srivastava is responsible for the Human Resources function of HCL Corporation & Shiv Nadar Foundation and is driving strategies around talent, culture and organizational effectiveness. He has been associated with HCL for 18 years out of a career spanning over 32 years. Nestle, Tata and L&T are some of the other major organizations that he has worked with. At HCL, he has been one of the key drivers of its transformation journey, and is passionate about empowering every HCL employee to optimize his or her capabilities and performance, and build a dynamic, future-ready organization. He is an architect of several unique and innovative HR practices and is the driving force behind several groundbreaking people practices in the area of coaching, training and skill development.

V. N. Koura

V. N. Koura is a Barrister from Lincoln’s Inn in London, England with over 45 years of legal practice. He is senior partner in Koura & Company, a leading law firm in Delhi.

He is one of the most experienced commercial and corporate lawyers in India, and advises a large number of corporates (both Indian and foreign).

His area of expertise covers commercial litigation, arbitration, corporate transactions and documentation. He has a varied spectrum of industry expertise involving the sectors of banking, petroleum, oil and gas, telecommunication, information-technology, armaments and construction.

As a leading commercial lawyer in India, V. N. Koura has been involved in negotiating and finalizing some of the largest contracts entered in India. He has been appointed on various committees formed by State and National Organizations involving different aspects of contracts and dispute resolution and often addresses senior company management on these aspects. He has led a team that has handled probably the largest commercial arbitration in India involving disputes of approximately a billion dollars. His in-depth knowledge and understanding of various streams of law and industry sectors enables him to understand the intricacies of any transaction and to provide innovative solutions to complex contractual, legal and business issues.

Dhirendra Singh

Dhirendra Singh is a former IAS officer and Union Home Secretary with over 40 years of varied and rich experience. A 1968 batch IAS Officer of the Karnataka Cadre, Dhirendra Singh held several important positions in the State and at the Centre including Secretary, Department of Disinvestment and Special Secretary, Department of Defence. In his distinguished career he had worked in various areas including Public Policy and Administration, Economic & Development Administration, Public Sector, Defence, Internal & External Security, Diplomacy and International Development programmes.

In the area of Economic & Development Administration, Dhirendra Singh was in charge of the Infrastructure Sector including the Power sector in the Cabinet Secretariat (1995-1998), Government of India. He also held crucial positions including Deputy Secretary, Planning and Additional Secretary, Finance in the State Government of Karnataka. As part of his public sector experience, Dhirendra Singh served as full time Chairman and Managing Director of Mysore Electrical Industries, Bangalore (1984-86) and Vikrant Tyres Limited, Mysore (1993-95). He also held Chairmanship and directorship of large number of state government undertakings.

He served in various capacities in the Ministry of Defence for ten years, dealing with International Co-operation in Defence, bilateral dialogues on strategic issues, and co-operation in Defence Industry and purchase of defence equipment, with stress on joint development and joint production of equipment. In the field of Internal Security, Mr. Singh was involved in important policy decisions relating to the fight against terrorism which manifested itself as militancy in Jammu & Kashmir, insurgency in North-East and Naxal violence in other parts of the country. He also partook in external dimensions of Internal Security. He led the Indian Delegation at Home Secretary level discussions with Pakistan (August 2004), Bangladesh (September 2004), Myanmar (October 2004) and Nepal (January 2005).

He also combated organised crime and led the Indian Delegation to the 48th Session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna in March 2005 to discuss illicit drug trafficking, and implementation of the International Drug Control Conventions. He also served in the Indian High Commission in London (1988-1991) in the capacity of Minister, looking after defence equipment purchase and legal matters. He was also a World Bank Consultant in Nigeria to rationalize schemes on agricultural development (1993) and had gained an UNESCO fellowship to study adult literacy programmes in Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Korea and Philippines (1979-80).

Presently he is an active member at various professional forums and holds important positions like President of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi(between 2008-2012) and Trustee in Brave New World Foundation, Mumbai and adviser to Agastya International, Bangalore an NGO working in the field of school education. He has also been engaged in participating in various Seminars and Workshops organized by different institutes such as The Center for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi and The College of Defence Management Hyderabad.

Dhirendra Singh had been also an avid writer and apart from writing articles in leading publications Dhirendra Singh has also co-authored a book with Mohan Joseph titled as - Sentinels of Raisina Hill.Dhirendra Singh is an M.A. (Political Science) from University of Allahabad and has a Master’s Diploma in Public Administration from the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Sangeeta Talwar

In a career spanning over 30 years, Sangeeta Talwar is a well-known name in the business world. She has set up businesses, turned loss-making products into profit-making brands and managed companies across diverse sectors. She has served on the Board of Directors of Tata Tea Ltd, Tata Coffee Ltd, Eight O’clock Coffee (USA), Oriental Hotels, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd.

Sangeeta Talwar started her career in Nestle and was instrumental in creating and launching the ‘Maggi’ phenomenon, the first instant food product in the country. From the first woman marketing head for Nestle India she went on to become the Executive Vice President. She also had the opportunity to spend 3 years at the Nestle International HQ in Switzerland as Marketing Advisor to the ‘Drinks & Coffee’ and the ‘Chocolate & Confectionery’ Strategic Business Units.

Subsequently Sangeeta Talwar joined Mattel India as CEO and Managing Director. She was responsible for turning around the India business and improving the bottom line substantially.

Sangeeta Talwar has held the position of Executive Director for Tata Tea Limited and President-South Asia for the Tata Global Beverages Group, the consolidated entity. She led the launch of the “Jaago Re” campaign, repositioning Tata Tea, renewing consumer preference for the brand and taking it to a much wider target audience – a decision that made the company the unequivocal category leader. The “Jaago Re” campaign, based on social awakening, won international acclaim and several awards.

In Sep 2010, she was appointed Managing Director of NDDB Dairy Services – a new company she helped establish. The company was mandated by NDDB, and funded by the World Bank, to deliver the National Dairy Plan and usher in the second White Revolution. Sangeeta spearheaded the design and establishment of an innovative business model for creating sustainable livelihood for dairy farmers. This novel concept is being used to setup farmer owned, professionally managed Producer Companies as a complimentary structure to Cooperatives.

She has won accolades and distinctions along the way:
  • Business Today 30 Most Powerful Women in Indian Business – 2007, 2009, 2010
  • FICCI FLO Woman Achiever in Corporate Excellence - 2008
  • India Today Woman in the Corporate World – 2010
  • Women Super Achievers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Marketing
An MBA from IIM Kolkata and an Economics Honours graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, she is
  • on the Board of Governors of IIM Kolkata
  • an independent director on the board of Manipal Global Education Services
  • an independent director on the board of Religare Enterprises Ltd

She is a well-known speaker on Leadership and Diversity initiatives.

Kaushik Dutta

Kaushik is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India with over 25 years of experience. He retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers after spending over 22 years in the practice out of which 17 years have been as a partner. In PwC, he has been a member of the India Leadership Team of PricewaterhouseCoopers, managed the India Advisory Board of PwC, national IFRS leader, Corporate Governance Practice leader, amongst other national and global roles. He was earlier a partner with the Global Capital Markets Group of PwC International where he was extensively involved with work relating to cross border transactions including privatisations and listing of shares in the New York Stock Exchange and European stock exchanges.

Since retiring, he has been retained as an expert on Corporate Governance by the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in matters relating to future of corporate governance in India. Kaushik, along with some of his ex-colleagueshas founded Thought Arbitrage Research Institute, an independent not-for-profit research think tank working in areas of corporate governance, public policy and sustainability.

He has participated in the Naresh Chandra Committee’s deliberations for developing the norms of Corporate Governance in India. Kaushik has also worked with Conference Board of the U.S.A., Asian Development Bank, Institute of Directors UK, Asian Institute of Corporate Governance, Genesis Park, USA, the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, CII, Assocham, Department of Public Enterprises, National Foundation for Corporate Governance etc. on governance matters. He has been a founding member of CII’s National Council on Corporate Governance. He has worked with some of the top Boards of Directors of Indian and multi-national companies on Corporate Governance initiatives and processes.

He has co-authored a book titled ‘Corporate Governance: Myth to Reality’ published by Lexis-Nexis Butterworths, which has been highly rated by the Global Forum of Corporate Governance, USA and by the Indian media. Another book on history of Indian business titled ‘India Means Business: How the Elephant Earned Its Stripes’ has been published by Oxford University Press.

Kaushik has been a visiting faculty at IIM-Lucknow and IIM-Calcutta for the course in Financial Statements and Reporting. He has worked closely with IIM-Calcutta and Lucknow on their Management Development Programs on Global Reporting and Corporate Governance. He spearheaded IIM Calcutta and PwC’s partnership in developing and disseminating IFRS issues and its effect in India, from both an academic and professional point of view. He is active at various professional forums on international reporting and governance issues and has prepared a number of research papers for The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and other universities and business schools on various financial issues. He writes extensively in the business columns of leading newspapers on governance and reporting issues.

Ritu Arora

Ritu Arora is a respected professional, vastly experienced in the BFSI and FMCG industries, with a career spanning 19 years. She has extensive experience in corporate finance and capital markets, with a passion for coaching and mentoring. As an economy specialist she has deep appreciation of emerging global and domestic macro-economic trends and their business impact. She has held key responsibilities such as Investment management and governance, P&L strategy, corporate finance, Strategic tie ups, merger and acquisitions, treasury, procurement etc. She is also presently the Non Executive Director of Canara Bank Securities Ltd.

Ritu is founding member of one of the fastest growing life insurance company Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Co Ltd where she holds the responsibility of Chief Investment Officer and Head Procurements. Here she and her team manage over Rs.10,000 cr. of capital market investments.

Ritu Arora has worked with some of the most respected FMCG companies. She began her career in 1996 at Marico Industries, and later moved to Gillette India Limited. In 2002, she joined Coca Cola India treasury. During these years she had extensive exposure to different corporate Finance responsibilities, commercial finance, treasury, mergers & acquisitions, export markets etc.

After successful assignments in the FMCG industry, Ritu moved to the BFSI industry when she joined MetLife India Insurance in 2004 to head Investment and Treasury. Here she played an important role in launching ULIPS, strategic distribution tie-ups and piloted and implemented the global investment management system in India.

She has been widely recognized by the industry as economy and capital markets expert, and has been frequently featured in the national business media. She was awarded “Leading Women in Finance” by Women in Leadership Forum India and “Women Leader of Choice” Award in 2013 by WILL. She is a frequent speaker at CII and ASSOCHAM industry conferences and Women in Leadership Forum. She was also invited to speak at the Asia Investment Summit for Insurance in Singapore in 2013 and 2014 wherein her recent presentation on Currency Turmoil was very much appreciated.

Ritu Arora has a passion for coaching and mentoring senior management talent. She has a post graduate in Executive Coaching from CFI and has been certified in Mentoring by the Indian School of Business.

An alumnus of SP Jain Institute of Management and Research(1996), Ritu Arora is a graduate of commerce and a gold medalist lady topper from Osmania University. She is also a post graduate from ICWAI (Institute of Cost and Works Accountants).