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The South Asia Institute Advisory Council

Harvard’s vision for expanded engagement with South Asia is crafted by senior scholars and administrators from across the University, and by public and private sector leaders from around the world. The South Asia Institute Advisory Council, a team of distinguished volunteer leaders, provides strategic counsel and support.

 

Syed Babar Ali (AMP ’73; Lahore)

is a Pakistani entrepreneur and industrialist who has envisioned and directed enterprises and joint ventures with multinational corporations for more than half a century. From 1955 to 1973, he served as the managing director of Packages Limited, a Pakistani firm that engages in the manufacture and sale of paper, paperboard, packaging materials, and tissue products. He has also been involved in the development of several other Pakistani companies, and has held several government positions. In 1993, he served as the Pakistani Minster of Finance, Economic Affairs, and Planning for the interim government. From 1976 to 1981 he served as the expert adviser to the UN Commission for the Code of Conduct for Transnationals. He established and is the first Pro-Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan’s premier management education institution, in 1985, and founded Ali Institute of Education for training of primary and secondary school teachers. Mr. Babar Ali has served as the President of World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) International, and is a member of the board of Aitchison College, F.C. College, Kinnaird College, and Lahore School of Economics. A member of the Regional Advisory Board of London Business School, he is also a founding member of the Initiative on Social Enterprise of Harvard University.

KP Balaraj (HBS MBA ’97; Bangalore)

KP received an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS in Business Management from Brigham Young University Hawaii, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class.   He grew up in Chennai, and attended Don Bosco and MCC schools. KP is a former top ranked national tennis player, having represented India at the international level.  He is based in Bangalore, India. KP Balaraj is a co-founder and Managing Director of WestBridge Capital, and has over 15 years of venture capital and private equity investing experience in India and Asia. WestBridge is a leading investor in high growth Indian companies across sectors including Financial Services, IT, Consumer Services and Healthcare.  KP was also a co-founder and Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India, where he helped lead and build one of the most successful venture capital franchises in India with a primary focus on early stage technology and consumer investments. Earlier, KP was part of Goldman Sachs where he served as a member of Goldman-backed funds and operating companies that focused on private equity in Asia.

Sumir Chadha (HBS MBA ’97; Palo Alto)

Sumir Chadha is the  Co-founder and Managing Director WestBridge Delaware Advisors LLC. Sumir has over 15 years of investing experience in India spanning public companies, private equity and venture capital. Prior to that, Sumir was part of the Principal Investment Area at Goldman Sachs & Co, based in New York and Singapore, where he focused on venture capital investments in services and software companies in both the United States and India. He began his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., based in New York and New Delhi. Sumir currently serves or has served on the board of many successful investments that he has been instrumental in making including Applabs, GlobalLogic, MarketRx, Pangea3, QuickHeal, Scioinspire, Shaadi, Star Health Insurance and SKS Microfinance.

Purandar and Kuntala Das (PA; New York)

Purandar is founder and managing partner at Landmark Banyan, a private equity Fund based in New York, and former vice chairman of investment banking at Merrill Lynch, where he focused on corporate finance and investment banking for 20 years. Since 2000, he has invested in or financed numerous Indian and U.S.-based companies. Mr. Das is president of the E.S.P. Das Educational Foundation and a former trustee at Brown University.

Mark Fuller (AB ’75, MBA ’78, JD ’79) and Jo Froman (Cambridge, MA)

Mark is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Monitor Group, a firm he co-founded in 1983. The Group currently competes in three different businesses: general management consulting, principal investing, and information services, including research and software solutions. He formerly served as an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where he taught courses in strategy formulation and implementation, as well as industry and competitive analysis. Mr. Fuller graduated from Harvard College where he received a BA degree in history with High Honors and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He later received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from Harvard Law School with Honors.

Meera Gandhi (New York)

Meera is a humanitarian, mother and businesswoman who was born in Mumbai, India on January 28th. Meera is CEO and Founder of The Giving Back Foundation, which she created in 2010 as a catalyst to aid women and children – to create a new generation of leaders and thinkers. She released her book “Giving Back” in 2012. Meera Gandhi completed the Executive Education Program from the Harvard Business School in December of 2007. She has an MBA from Boston University (1987-89), where she graduated in the top 5% of her MBA class with Beta Gamma Sigma honors. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Delhi (1982-85) where Meera was Student Body President in her final year 1984-85, and Vice President the previous year at the Jesus and Mary College. She is a graduate of the Lester B. Pearson, United World College (1982), Canada. There she obtained the International Baccalaureate diploma with honors.

Vikram Gandhi (MBA ’89, ExEd ’00; New York) 

Vikram Gandhi is Founder of Asha Impact, an Impact Investing and Advocacy Platform. He is also the Founder of  VSG Capital Advisors which is a Senior Advisor to The Canadian Pension Plan and Greenhill and Company. Prior to this Vikram  spent 22 years at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse in various senior roles in New York, Hong Kong, and Mumbai.  Vikram has also been involved with various developmental activities in India and globally. He is a Board Member and Chairman of the Asian Regional Committee of Grameen Foundation, a Board Member of Janalakshmi Financial Services, and a member of the Investment Committee at Gawa Capital. Vikram is a Founding Member of Harvard University’s South Asia Institute. He received an MBA in 1989 from the Harvard Business School where he was designated a Baker Scholar, is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a B.Com with high distinction from the University of Mumbai.

Mala Gaonkar Haarmann (AB ’91, MBA ’96; London)

Mala is a partner and managing director at $6 billion private investment partnership fund that consists of three equity hedge funds. She oversees the fund’s media, technology, and telecommunications investment portfolio. Ms. Gaonkar Haarmann is also a Kauffman Fellow through the Center for Venture Education. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, she and her husband, Oliver Haarmann, have been longtime supporters of the University, where they have established the Global Health Effectiveness Research Fund, researching best practices in the delivery of high quality yet cost-effective medical care in areas where there are few options today. They also support a variety of public health initiatives in India and Africa.

Anand (AB ’77, MBA ’81) and Anuradha Mahindra (Mumbai)

Anand is the vice chairman and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, the flagship company of the US $6.3 billion Mahindra Group, which is among the top 10 industrial houses in India. The Group has a leading presence in key sectors of the Indian economy, including automobiles, tractors, financial services, trade, retail and logistics, automotive components, after-market, information technology infrastructure development and two wheelers. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Mr. Mahindra and his wife, Anu, are active in community and non-profit activities in India and around the world. He has served on the Board of Dean’s Advisors and the Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Board at Harvard Business School, and on the board of the University’s Asia Center.

Karen (AB ’82) and Sanjeev Mehra (AB ’82, MBA ’86; New York)

Sanjeev is a managing director and partner of Goldman Sachs, where he leads the Business Practices Committee and Operating Committee for its Principal Investment Area, and serves on its Investment Committee. He is also a member of the Firmwide Business Practices Committee. Mr. Mehra serves on numerous corporate boards, including those of ARAMARK, Burger King, Hawker Beechcraft, and SunGard Data Systems. A trustee of Brunswick School, Greenwich, CT, Oakham School in England and of The Doon School in India, he also serves on the board of Trout Unlimited and is a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. He and his wife, Karen, graduate of Harvard College 1982, are trustees of the Mehra Family Foundation. He served as gift co-chair of his Harvard College class and sits on the Harvard College Fund Council.

Victor Menezes (PA; New York)

Victor is a Senior Advisor with New Silk Route Partners LLC, an international private equity firm. He was formerly Senior Vice Chairman of Citigroup Inc., and after a 32-year global career in the company, retired in January 2005. He Chairs the American India Foundation, is a Vice Chairman of Catholic Charities, Chairs the Executive Committee of the Eisenhower Fellowships and Co-chairs the Trustees Emeriti of the Asia Society. Mr. Menezes is a board member of Educational Testing Service and the MIT Corporation and is on the advisory boards of IIT, MIT Sloan and INSEAD. He is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Arif Naqvi (Dubai)

Arif Naqvi is the founder and Group Chief Executive of Abraaj Capital, based in Dubai. Abraaj Capital is the largest private equity firm in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), and was voted one of the 50 most admired companies in the Gulf in 2007. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Aman Foundation. Mr.Naqvi is a member of the Young Presidents Organisation, where he was the Emirates Chapter Chairman from 2002 to 2003. He was designated a New Asian Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) from 2003 to 2004. He is a member of numerous think-tanks and policy groups such as the WEF Arab Business Council, and is a Board Member of the Pakistan Human Development Fund, the King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation & Achievement in Jordan, and the Dubai Government Education Endowment Fund in the UAE. He is also a member of the EMPEA Advisory Council and the IMD Foundation Board. In 2007, 2008 and 2011, PEI identified Mr. Naqvi as one of the 50-most influential people in the global private equity industry. In 2006, he was awarded the highest civilian honor in Pakistan, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, by the Republic’s President.Mr. Naqvi is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and previously worked with Arthur Andersen & Co., American Express Bank, Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group and the Cupola Group, which he founded in 1994.

Dalip and Chandrika Pathak (NH; London)

Dalip is Senior Advisor to Warburg Pincus. He joined Warburg Pincus in 1994 and has previously been both head of India and head of Europe for the firm. He remains engaged in India and currently focuses on broader firm wide initiatives including sourcing cross-border opportunities. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, Mr. Pathak was with the International Finance Corporation (The World Bank Group).  He is a member of the development board of The Francis Crick Institute, which will be the largest bio-medical research centre in Europe.  He was a member of the board of overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences for a period of nine years and is a member of the Advisory Council South Asia Institute at Harvard University. Mr. Pathak also serves on the Board of Trustees of Asia House, a non-profit, non-political organization which was established in London to promote understanding of Asian countries. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association in Washington, D.C. Mr. Pathak received a B.A. and an M.A. in economics from Delhi University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mukesh (AB 93) and Chandni Prasad (New York)

Mukesh Prasad graduated in 1993 from Harvard College, with honors in Government, and a focus on development policy of economic development. He was elected and currently serves as First Marshal for the Class of 1993. He then received his MD from The Johns Hopkins Medical College, and completed training in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery at Columbia University.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology at the Weill Cornell Medical College, where he also serves on the Weill Cornell Admissions Executive Committee, and as the Vice Chair of the General Faculty Council. He has served on the Harvard Schools and Scholarships Committee both in Baltimore and New York, served as a Director on the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors (2001-2004 and 2006-2009), as an Elected Director for the Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Chandni Prasad, born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, graduated with a BA in Economics and International Relations from Boston University.  After college, she worked at the United Nations in Bangkok.  In 1996, Chandni earned her Master’s degree in Economic and Political Development from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.  Chandni then joined the Synergos Institute, a non-profit organization working with community organizations, as the Program Officer for Asia.  She has earned a Master’s in Applied Anthropology and completed her coursework for her PhD in the same.  She continues to devote her time to the Dalton Parents Association where she was President from 2011 to 2013, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Dalton School.  She also serves on the board of Sakhi for South Asian Women, a New York-based non-profit dedicated to providing services for South Asian victims of domestic violence.

Sribala Subramanian and Arvind Raghunathan (NH; New York)

Arvind is the CEO and CIO of Roc Capital Management. He is formerly managing director and head of global arbitrage at Deutsche Bank in New York, where he managed a large part of the bank’s proprietary trading and investments in global financial instruments. He served as a consultant for a number of corporations, including IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Xerox. Mr. Raghunathan is actively involved in a number of non-profit organizations, serving on several advisory committees and boards. He and his wife, Sribala (Bonnie) Subramanian, lead fundraising efforts for hospitals, colleges and universities, and other charities.

Rajiv and Anupa Sahney (Mumbai)

Rajiv is a founding and managing partner at New Vernon Capital, LLC, a private equity firm that managed $2.1B in assets as of September 2008. Prior to founding New Vernon Capital, Rajiv was founder and CEO of Medusind, a health care services outsourcing company. He also served as a managing director of Antfactory India Pvt. Ltd., a global venture capital firm, and was the CEO of the Sahney Group, a group of Indian companies that manufactures electrical and automotive components. Early in his career he was a consultant in the London office of Bain & Company. Rajiv serves as Regional Director for the Young President’s Organization for India. He completed his undergraduate studies in physics at the California Institute of Technology, and holds an MBA from IMEDE in Lausanne, Switzerland

Gaurav (MBA 80) and Parul Swarup (Kolkata)

is Managing Director, Paharpur Cooling Towers Limited in Kolkata. Paharpur is a well-diversified business house with interests in industrial process cooling equipment, flexible packaging, saw milling & forestry, realty and investments. He is Chairman, KSB Pumps India, a joint venture between KSB of Germany and the Swarup family, and is also currently a member of the Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. Mr. Swarup holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Tom Varkey (MBA 97)

 

Arshad Zakaria (AB 85, MBA 87; New Jersey)

is the Chief Executive and Founder of New Vernon Capital LLC. New Vernon Capital was founded in 2004 and has approximately $2 billion under management, with a focus on emerging markets, particularly India. Mr. Zakaria received his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, in applied mathematics, from Harvard University in 1985. He received his M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard Business School in 1987 where he was a Baker Scholar and a recipient of the Loeb-Rhoades Fellowship for Finance. He is currently on the Board of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and on the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India.