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 Lakshmi Mittal and Family 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) (Executive Council)
KP Balaraj received an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BSc in Business Management from Brigham Young University Hawaii, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class. He grew up in Chennai, and is a former top ranked national tennis player, having represented India at the international level. He is based in Bangalore, India.
KP is the founder of KPB Trust, a family office investment company. He was formerly the co-founder and Managing Director of WestBridge Capital, and has over 20+ years of venture capital and private equity investing experience in India and Asia. 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. 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.
He is an active alum and supporter of Harvard Business School where he serves on several advisory boards, and has a strong interest in promoting women’s tennis in India.
Kushagra Bajaj (India)
Kushagra Bajaj is a businessman and Chairman of the Bajaj Group, Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Hindusthan Limited, and Chairman of Bajaj Corp Limited. He has a Bachelor of Science in economics, finance, and political philosophy from Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Science in marketing from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. In 2007, he received the Young Achiever award by the jury of the 10th Rajiv Gandhi Awards, and in 2011, he was nominated for the Indian government’s Padma Shri award. He donated $2.5 million to endow a professorship at Tepper School of Business at CMU, his undergraduate alma mater.
Lucinda Bhavsar (HBS ’97; New York City)
Lucinda Bhavsar is an executive with 25+ years of leadership experience in both large and small companies, as well as corporate and non-profit boards. She presently serves on the Board of the Harvard Business School Fund Council, the University of Virginia Regional Board, the Jefferson Scholar Selection Committee, the Museum of the City of New York Board, as well as the Lake George Association Board. Lucinda worked in Institutional Equity Sales at Morgan Stanley, was a Brand Manager at Kraft Foods, a Corporate Finance Director for iVillage.com and a Finance Manager at Procter & Gamble. Lucinda received her MBA from Harvard Business School and BA in Economics and French from the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar and graduated cum laude. Lucinda and her husband, Avanish (HBS ’97), reside in Manhattan with their three children.
Sumir Chadha (HBS MBA ’97; Palo Alto) (Executive Council)
Sumir Chadha, a co-founder and Managing Partner of WestBridge Capital, is based out of Silicon Valley. Sumir has been investing in India for over two decades across private and public companies. He serves on many boards including Star Health, Aptus Value Housing, Innovaccer and Turing. Earlier in his career, Sumir also co-founded and was Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India, and worked at Goldman Sachs and at McKinsey & Co. Sumir serves on the Boards of Princeton University, the Harvard Business School Alumni Association and the American India Foundation. Sumir received an MBA from Harvard Business School with Distinction, and a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University.
Kuntala Das (New York) and Bharat Das (’08)
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.
Jasvinder Khaira and Monica Vaughan-Khaira (New York City)
Jasvinder Khaira is a Senior Managing Director and Founding Partner of the Tactical Opportunities Group (“Tac Opps”) at Blackstone. Mr. Khaira joined Blackstone in 2004 as a member of the Private Equity Group and has been involved in the execution of the firm’s initial public offering and the firm’s acquisition of GSO Capital, which was renamed Blackstone Credit. Since founding Tac Opps, Mr. Khaira has led over 40 transactions totaling over $10 billion of equity invested. Mr. Khaira received a BS in Business and a BA in History from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He is a Founding Sponsor of the Berkeley Changemaker program.
Rajiv Kothari (New York City)
Rajiv Kothari is the founder and CEO of Evolution Diamond, a lab-grown diamond and jewelry company founded in 2019. As a proponent of environmental issues, Rajiv has worked to promote the sustainability and traceability of lab-grown diamonds within the diamond community and beyond. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Prestige Diamonds, a multi-generational family business with offices in the United States and India. There, Rajiv created Prestige Jewelry International, a subsidiary of Prestige Diamonds, focused on the manufacturing and distribution of fine diamond jewelry. Outside of his operating business, he oversees Shamatha Capital, which invests into public and private opportunities, and devotes his time to various philanthropic interests relating to education and the health and safety of children. Rajiv received a B.S. in Finance and MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University Stern School of Business, where he graduated cum laude and with Dean’s Honors. He also completed the Owner/President Management program at Harvard Business School and is an active member of the New York City Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
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.
Dipti Mathur, USA (Executive Council) (California)
Dipti Mathur is biochemist turned collector of contemporary South Asian art. She has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and has performed post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art, on the Collections Committee of the Asia Society Museum, New York, on the Contemporary Art Advisory Panel of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and was a founding member of the Asian Contemporary Art Consortium, San Francisco.
Dipti currently serves on the Board of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, on the SFAAM’s Collections Committee, and is co-chair of NOVA, the SFAAM’s contemporary art initiative. She is on the Executive Council of the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University and chairs their Arts Council and chairs the Arts Advisory Board of the Institute of South Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She also assists the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Seattle Art Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Asia Society Museum in New York on building their collections of contemporary South Asian art.
Dipti is a supporter of the Hawai’i Contemporary and underwrote the exhibit of renown contemporary artist Chitra Ganesh at the Hawai’i Triennial, 2022. Her ongoing focus is on working with key institutions in the US – universities and museums in particular – in deepening their understanding of the contemporary culture of South Asia and expanding their engagement with it. Dipti lives in Palo Alto with her husband Rakesh.
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.
Aditya and Megha Mittal (Executive Council) (London)
Aditya Mittal is the President and Chief Financial Officer of ArcelorMittal. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal Europe. Following the formation of ArcelorMittal in 2006, Aditya held various senior leadership roles, including managerial oversight of the Group’s flat carbon steel businesses in the Americas and Europe, in addition to his role as CFO and membership of the Group Management Board.
Aditya joined Mittal Steel in January 1997, serving in various finance and management roles. In 1999, he was appointed Head of Mergers and Acquisitions. In this position, he led the Company’s acquisition strategy, resulting in Mittal Steel’s expansion into Central Europe, Africa and the United States. Between 2004 and 2006, Aditya was the President and CFO of Mittal Steel. In 2006, he initiated and led Mittal Steel’s offer for Arcelor, creating the world’s first 100-million-tons-plus steel company.
In 2008, Mr. Mittal was named ‘European Business Leader of the Future’ by CNBC Europe and was ranked fourth in Fortune magazine’s ‘40 under 40’ list in 2011. He is an active philanthropist with a particular interest in child health. Mr. Mittal serves on the boards of Aperam, Iconiq Capital, and Wharton School and is Chairman of India’s second largest oil refinery, HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL). He is also a trustee at Brookings Institute and an alumni of the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader’s Programme. Mr. Mittal holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with concentrations in Strategic Management and Corporate Finance from the Wharton School.
Megha Mittal is Managing Director of ESCADA.
Lakshmi and Usha Mittal, India
Mr. Mittal is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ArcelorMittal. He is a renowned global businessman who serves on the boards of various advisory councils, and is an active philanthropist engaged in the fields of education and child health.
Mr. Mittal graduated from St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He began his career working in his family’s steelmaking business in India before moving to Indonesia in 1976 to set up a small steel company that grew to become ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company and one of the foremost industrial companies in the world. He is widely recognized for the role he played in restructuring the steel industry toward a more consolidated and globalized model, pursuing and successfully integrating many acquisitions in North America, South America, Europe, South Africa, and the CIS. Today, ArcelorMittal continues to be the largest and most global steel manufacturer.
In addition to his role at ArcelorMittal, Mr. Mittal is an active participant of various boards and advisory councils. He is chairman of the board of Aperam and a member of the board of Goldman Sachs. He previously sat on the board of Airbus NV. He is a member of the Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan, the National Investment Council of Ukraine, the Global CEO Council of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, the World Steel Association’s Executive Committee, the European Round Table of Industrialists, the Indian School of Business and is a member of the board of Trustees of Cleveland Clinic.
Mr. Mittal and his wife, Usha Mittal, are active philanthropists. In 2017, the Mittal family made a significant gift to Harvard University, where Mr. Mittal is a member of the Global Advisory Council, to support the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University. The Mittal family has also made important gifts to the Great Ormond Street Hospital supporting the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre, which formally opened in January 2018, and UNICEF, specifically on the topic of child malnutrition in India.
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.
Vimal (MBA ’02) and Punyashree Shah (New York)
Vimal has 20 years of investing experience in consumer, residential and commercial real estate sectors. Previously, he was a partner at Tricadia Capital for 12 years, where he helped the firm grow from $250 million to $4 billion of assets under management. Prior to Tricadia, Vimal was a senior vice president with Marathon Asset Management. He serves on the board of Afya Foundation, which supplies critical medical supplies to underserved communities around the world. Vimal received a B.A. from Rhodes College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Punya is a cofounder of EventAve Inc., a tech-enabled event planning platform. She previously worked in financial services consulting in New York and at a commodities trading company in India. Punya received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Delhi and a Master’s from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. She also received a Master’s from Carnegie Mellon University. Punya has served on Carnegie Mellon’s Alumni Association Board and on the Akanksha Education Fund Board, a non-profit that supports access to education for underprivileged children in India.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma (India)
Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the chairman and CEO of One97 Communications and its consumer brand, Paytm. He has played a critical role in developing the mobile payments and commerce ecosystem in India. His goal is to build India’s biggest payments, commerce, and financial services conglomerate and the country’s first $100-billion company. A strong believer in emerging technologies, Sharma founded Paytm in August 2010 and continues to oversee the company’s key strategic efforts, including engineering, design, and marketing. He has also launched the Paytm Payments Bank and brought a new business model to the world of banking. Sharma was featured in Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” of 2017. He has also earned several other top-industry honors, such as GQ Man of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year at the Economics Times Awards for Corporate Excellence. He has a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications from the Delhi College of Engineering.
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; New York)
has participated in the management of the Stonehill portfolios since joining the firm in 2001 and has been a partner since 2004. At Stonehill Tom’s areas of focus have included all emerging market investments, large liquidations in the U.S. and Europe, and investments in the education industry. Prior to joining Stonehill, Tom served for four years as portfolio manager/analyst specializing in emerging market corporate debt at Lazard Asset Management. At Lazard, he also was responsible for the Asian investments of Lazard’s emerging markets currency portfolio. From 1992 to 1995, Tom spent four years at Fidelity Investments as a fixed income analyst specializing in Municipal and corporate debt. From 1988 to 1990, Tom worked as an auditor for Price Waterhouse’s joint auditors in India. Tom received a B.A. from Loyola College (India), an M.A. from Tufts University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Osman Waheed (AB ’93)
Osman Khalid Waheed is the CEO of Ferozsons Laboratories Limited. He joined the company in 1993 after obtaining his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has worked in logistics, sales and marketing before assuming the role of company president in 1999. During this period, the company expanded its portfolio of medical solutions for critical diseases by forging alliances with a number of leading international partners including the Boston Scientific Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of medical devices, a joint venture with the Bago Group of Argentina to establish BF Biosciences Limited, Pakistan’s first biotech pharmaceutical manufacturing company and Gilead Sciences, Inc. USA for their range of Hepatitis C and anti-viral therapies to name a few. Mr. Waheed is currently serving on the boards of a number of companies including IGI Insurance, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Murree Brewery, Nestle Pakistan Limited, and has previously served on the boards of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), and as President of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
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.