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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.

Purander Das, PA (New York)

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 (Cambridge, MA)

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 and Vikram Gandhi, MBA ’89, ExEd ’00 

Virkram is a managing director and global head of the Financial Institutions Group at Credit Suisse, where he manages many of the firm’s most important client relationships in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Previously, he spent a decade with Morgan Stanley, including service as president of Morgan Stanley-India. Mr. Gandhi serves on the board of directors of the Grameen Foundation, which supports microfinance programs that help the poor-mostly women-start self-sustaining businesses to escape poverty. He is a 1989 graduate of the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

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

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 Mahindra, AB’77, MBA ’81 (Mumbai)

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)

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)

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 Pathak, NH (London)

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.

Sribala Subramanian and Arvind Raghunathan, NH (New York)

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 Sahney

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 Swarup, MBA ’80 (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.

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.