Arts Advisory Council
Poonam Bhagat, Mumbai, India
Poonam is actively involved with Asia Society and sits on their Advisory Board. She sits on the International Council of the Tate, The South Asian Acquisitions Committee of Tate Modern. She also sits on the Advisory Board of Khoj which is an international Artists’ Association aimed at promoting inter cultural understanding through experimentation and exchange. She is a leading supporter of the Kochi Muziris Biennale where she published the Catalogue Celebrating India’s first Biennale in memory of her late father. Poonam has also supported the V.S. Gaitonde retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York apart from Loaning them a work. She was born and raised in Bombay and plays an active role in heritage conservation initiatives in the city.
Anurag Bhargava, New York and Delhi, India
Anurag Bhargava is Chairman and Co-Founder of IREO, one of the largest investment funds focused on real estate in India. Since founding the firm in 2003, his core responsibilities include investment strategy, partnerships with
Ascendas and Hyatt, and deal structuring. Under his leadership, IREO has created a world-class portfolio of fourteen development properties with $2 billion of long-term equity capital committed to projects across India. Mr. Bhargava is also a co-founder of India Equity Partners—a $350 million long-term private equity fund—and El Dorado—a public investment vehicle. Previously, Mr. Bhargava was a principal and head of private equity for MSD Capital, the private investment firm for Michael Dell and his family. During his tenure from 1999-2003, he deployed and managed a portfolio of highly successful private equity investments. He began his career at Wasserstein Perella & Co., New York, where he worked with the merchant banking group. Mr. Bhargava has served on several corporate and non-profit boards, including AMN Healthcare, Campus Hub, Tabletop Holdings, and Magic Bus USA. He previously served on the board of State Bank of Mauritius and is currently on the boards of U.S-India Business Council, SpiceJet Limited, and Ummeed Housing Finance, and he is the Chairman of yaantra.com. In addition to his role on the SAI Arts Advisory Council, Mr. Bhargava serves on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania (School of Engineering), and he is a member of Ashoka University’s Board of Trustees. Anurag attended high school in India at St. Columba’s, New Delhi. He completed a dual-degree program in management and technology at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. degree from the Wharton School of Business and a B.S. degree from the Moore School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Aparajita and Gaurav Jain, Delhi, India
Aparajita Jain went to school in Kolkata and Mumbai and completed her BA in psychology from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai. In 2012 she bought a controlling interest in Nature Morte, India’s leading contemporary art gallery and in a short time has been instrumental in re-‐positioning Nature Morte as India’s leading contemporary art gallery. Apart from showcasing some of India’s best contemporary art talent, the gallery has been the torch bearer for showing South Asian art worldwide, and placing artists in various museum collections around the world including the MOMA – NY, the MET, the Smithsonian, TATE, the Centre Pompidou and the Art Institute of Chicago. The contemporary art “world” of India has been framed and nurtured by Nature Morte to a large extent. Nature Morte represents artists like Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Thukral & Tagra, Jitish Kallat, Imran Qureshi and Asim Waqif who are globally renowned as some of the best South Asian contemporary artists.
Aparajita is on the board of Tate’s South Asian Acquisition Committee. She has given talks on Art on different platforms like YFLO and YPO. Aparajita was listed as one of the 50 icons of Indian Art by Platform, and was featured in and played an active role in the Vogue Women Empowerment Endeavour. Aparajita continues to play a key role in encouraging collaborations between prestigious museums, private collections, public institutions and corporate houses, with the objective of promoting Indian contemporary art within the country and internationally.
Dipti Mathur, USA—Chair
Dr. Mathur has built a highly regarded collection of modern and contemporary South Asian art. She has served on the Collections Committee of the Asia Society Museum, New York, on the Contemporary Art Advisory Panel of the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, and on the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Jose Museum of Art, and is a founding member of the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium in San Francisco.
Chandrika Pathak, London, UK
Chandrika grew up in India before moving to the US for 17 years. From there she moved to South East Asia and the Far East for ten years. She has been based in the UK since 2002. Chandrika has held research and teaching positions in both India and the US, in the fields of sociology and social policy. She has many qualifications under her belt, having graduated from Delhi University with a BA in History before completing a Masters in Sociology from both Delhi University and the University of Pennsylvania. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Art History after studying at The British Museum, London. Her interests are performing and visual arts, cooking, reading and painting. Chandrika is a member of the advisory council for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, a member of the South Asian Acquisitions Committee at the Tate and is a trustee for Jaisalmer in Jeopardy, an organization committed to the conservation of the Fort in Rajasthan.
Sanjay and Pinky Reddy, India
G V Sanjay Reddy is the Vice Chairman of GVK, a conglomerate with interests in Energy, Airports, Transportation, Resources, Real Estate, Hospitality and Life Sciences. He was instrumental in making GVK the largest private airport operator in India, by owning, developing and operating the Mumbai and Bengaluru airports, which handle over 50 million passengers per year. He founded GVK Biosciences, which is one of Asia’s largest contract research organizations, employing more than 2000 scientists. He is involved with GVK EMRI 108 service, which is the world’s largest ambulance service offered free of cost to over 800 million people across India, having saved more than one million lives until date. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is an active contributor to the industry and the community through leadership positions at premier forums such as the World Economic Forum and the Jagdish and Kamala Mittal Museum of Indian Art, and is Chairman of the National Committee on Infrastructure at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s premier business association.
A successful entrepreneur with interests in diverse and challenging fields such as retail, infrastructure, hospitality, and social enterprises, Aparna Reddy has been actively engaged in wide-ranging activities and businesses. She has been Managing Director of Lotus House Group, Aparna Foundation, FICCI FLO, Hyderabad 10K run, Young Indians, Indian School of Business (ISB), and Young Presidents Organization (YPO). She has also associated with and organized fundraising events for charitable institutions such as CRY, Save the Child, and established her own charitable trust, ‘Aparna Foundation,’ which is committed to supporting less privileged artisans of traditional and dying Indian art forms. Her passion for art, nature, and local food has led her to be involved in projects such as the art installations at the Mumbai Airport, and she is currently working on the Garden Concept for Bangalore Airport Terminal. She has completed various business management courses at Harvard University in Cambridge and ISB in Hyderabad.
Omar Saeed, Pakistan
Mr. Omar Saeed has been the Chief Executive Officer of Service Industries Ltd. since July 31, 2011. Mr. Saeed served as Chief Operating Officer of Premier BPO Inc. He ran Service Sales Corporation as Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to 2010. He founded Ovex Technologies (Private) Limited in 2003 and served as its Chief Executive Officer. He was an early stage employee at Homewarehouse.com which was acquired by Walmart. He has also worked for a supply chain company that
Sana Rezwan Sait, New York
Sana Rezwan Sait is the Director of The Art Lab, where she consults for a range of blue chip and non-profit organizations and institutions. She specializes in Business Development, Partnerships, and Events with knowledge of the contemporary art market. Sana is a Committee Member of the Magic Bus Foundation and a Circle Benefactor of The Asia Society and sits on the Art’s Council at the Dia Foundation. She is a young collector of South Asian Contemporary Art and lives and works in New York.
Rajeeb and Nadia Samdani, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Rajeeb Samdani is the Co-Founder and a Trustee of the Samdani Art Foundation and is the Managing Director of Golden Harvest Group, one of the leading diversified conglomerates in Bangladesh. Golden Harvest is involved in several sectors including: Food Processing, Dairy, Commodities, Logistics, Information Technology, Real Estate, Aviation, Infra-structure Development, Banking and Insurance. He is also the Chairman of UAE-base financial institution, Gulf International Finance Limited. In addition to his philanthropy with Art, Rajeeb is the Secretary General of Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation, one of the largest Human Rights organisations in the country, and the founder of TAC Charitable Hospital and the Alvina Samdani Trust. Rajeeb is an ardent collector of contemporary art and began collecting with his wife Nadia Samdani, with whom he founded the Samdani Art Foundation in 2011. Their collection was featured as one of the top 200 collections globally by Artnews in 2015. Samdani is the Co-Chair and a founding committee member of the Tate South Asian Acquisitions Committee, member of Tate’s International Council and the New Museum’s International Leadership Council.
Nadia Samdani is the Co-Founder & President of the Samdani Art Foundation and Director of the Dhaka Art Summit. In 2011, she and her husband Rajeeb began the Samdani Art Foundation to support local artists and promote Bangladeshi and South Asian art in the region and around the world. As part of this initiative, she founded the Dhaka Art Summit, which has since completed two successful editions in 2012 and 2014 under her leadership. Nadia is a member of the Tate South Asia Acquisitions Committee, Tate’s International Council, the New Museum’s International Leadership Council and is part of the Parasol Unit’s International Committee. Nadia is a second-generation collector and began her own collection at the age of 22. She collects both Bangladeshi and international art, reflecting her experience as both a proud Bangladeshi and also as a global citizen. She has written about collecting for Art Asia Pacific and Wall Street Journal ‘Live Mint’ and has been invited to speak about collecting at various international art fairs. Nadia has been named one of Artnew’s top 200 collectors and her collection has been featured in many leading international publications.
Osman Khalid Waheed, Karachi, Pakistan
Osman Khalid Waheed heads Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, a publicly listed pharmaceutical company. He joined the company in 1993 after obtaining his undergraduate degree from Harvard, and has since helped the business expand partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies in Latin America and the US.
Ferozsons supports several significant cultural and artistic initiatives, including a partnership with the Lahore-based National College of Arts (NCA) to establish a yearly elective titled Art for Humanity. The course requires NCA students of various disciplines to work with public health institutions, employing art as a means of improving the patients’ environment and the overall functionality of the institution. The project’s first undertaking was in 2011, when students of the elective made a series of art interventions at the Mayo Hospital’s Cancer Ward. The company has also supported a residency in jazz music at NCA with faculty from Havana, Cuba, and regularly hosts an annual Young Writers Workshop at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan’s premier multidisciplinary university, to support the craft of fiction writing in Pakistan. Ferozsons also supports the Lahore Literary Festival and the Khayal Festival of Arts.