Pramod Chaudhari is the Executive Chairman of Praj Group, global leader in biofuels technology. With over 450 references across all five continents, Praj has representations in U.S.A., Brazil, The Netherlands, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, Colombia and Guatemala.
Pramod is an alumnus of IIT Bombay (1971) and Harvard Business School (AMP 1995).
As founder of Praj, Pramod has always sought challenging opportunities. He is committed to the pursuit of green energy and climate change mitigation technologies for sustainability of business and the environment as a whole. He spends considerable time in understanding the nuances of this phenomenon and its impact on businesses and the society as a whole.
Pramod is a great lover of entrepreneur development. He is also very keen on Corporate Social Responsibility, particularly in the area of environmental initiatives.
Pramod has made contributions to many eminent organizations. He has
- spearheaded biofuels movement in India as the Chairman of National Committee on Biofuels, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – India’s apex industrial body.
- the Chairmanship of the Maharashtra State Council of CII for 2009-10.
- the membership of Executive Council of Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) in India.
- the membership of Governing Board of SINE (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), IIT Bombay.
Pramod has been profiled in a book called ‘Thought Leaders’ by a leading Indian Author, which focuses on visionary entrepreneurs. He co-authored a book ‘As is what Is’, a story of the journey of Praj. He is the recipient of many awards for entrepreneurship and excellence.
Hank Habicht is Managing Partner of SAIL in the Washington, D.C. office. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Safety-Kleen, and served as Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Hank was a manager of Environmental Technologies Fund. He is a co-founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy and an advisor to the Secretary of Energy. Hank holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a law degree from the University of Virginia.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited
Kalpana is Senior Director at New Delhi office and leads the Energy and Resources vertical for the Financial Advisory practice in India. She has been with the firm for more than sixteen years, and has over nineteen years of industry and consultancy experience. Kalpana has a Masters in Business Economics and Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Economics from University of Delhi.
During her extensive professional experience of 2 decades she has advised various corporate /government agencies in formulation of entry strategy, joint venture, disinvestment/ privatisation, financial modeling, mergers and acquisition, financial and commercial diligence, valuation, business planning, fund raising and hiving off businesses. Her clients include multinational corporations, multilateral institutions, Indian companies in the private and public sector as well as Government agencies.
She has advised clients for national and international projects in diverse sectors including renewable, oil & gas, power, auto and auto ancillary, retail, education, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, telecom and media. Her involvement has been with green field as well as brown field projects including inbound and outbound investments.
She has been actively involved in assisting young entrepreneurs by providing guidance through various forums and workshops.
Raj S. Judge
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Raj Judge is a corporate partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He also plays a leadership role in the firm’s India practice, focusing on corporate and securities law for technology companies.
Raj regularly advises venture-backed start-up companies, mezzanine-level companies prior to their IPOs, and well-established public companies. He represents these enterprises in venture financings, IPOs, and merger and acquisition transactions. Raj also counsels many India-based companies and U.S. enterprises with operations in India, including advising on American Depository Receipt (ADR) listings, joint ventures, employment matters, and licensing transactions. He also advises venture capital funds in their investment activities in India. Raj serves on the boards of several private companies and has been invited to advise the Securities Exchange Board of India on liberalization policies and the Clinton administration on Indian information technology issues.
In addition to English, Raj is fluent in French, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu.
Vinod, upon graduating with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, he failed, at age 20, to start a soy milk company to service the many people in India who did not have refrigerators. He came to the US and got his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University. His startup dreams attracted him to Silicon Valley where he got an MBA at Stanford University in 1980.
Upon graduation he was one of the three founders of Daisy Systems, which was the first significant computer aided design system for electrical engineers. In 1982, he started the standards based Sun Microsystems to build workstations for software developers. At Sun he pioneered “open systems” and RISC processors.
In 1986 he switched sides and joined Kleiner Perkins where he was and continues to be a general partner of KPCB funds through KP X. In 2004, Khosla, driven by the need for flexibility to accommodate four teenage children and a desire to be more experimental, to fund sometimes imprudent “science experiments”, and to take on both “for profit” and for “social impact” ventures, formed khoslaventures, funded entirely with family funds.
Vinod’s greatest passion is being a mentor to entrepreneurs, assisting entrepreneurs and helping them build technology based businesses. Vinod assists or serves on the boards of a number of the companies including EASIC (programmable ASIC platform), Infinera (optical communications), Kovio (printed electronics), Skyblue (internet PC), Spatial Photonics (Micromirror displays), Xsigo (datacenter switch), among others.
Khosla is a charter member of TiE, a not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs and professionals founded in 1992 that now has more than forty chapters in nine countries. He is also a Founding Board member of the Indian School of Business.
IDFC Private Equity
Satish is Managing Director – Investment at IDFC PE and he has over 25 years of private equity and corporate finance / business strategy experience. IDFC PE is India’s leading Infrastructure focused Private Equity firm sponsored by IDFC Ltd. IDFC PE currently manages two funds amounting to USD 635 million. He joined IDFC PE in April 2006 and is responsible for various investments of the firm over their lifecycle i.e. origination to exit.
He was earlier a Director of CDC Advisors (now Actis – emerging markets PE Fund) where he was involved in many important investments and exits such as investment in privatisation of Punjab Tractor or investment in initial capitalisation of IDFC. Over nearly six years he was involved with Energy, Telecom, Technology and Financial sectors and led change of control transactions. Actis was and early mover in mobile telephony and telecom convergence space in India.
Immediately prior to joining IDFC PE he worked with JK Paper Ltd for nearly two and half years as CFO and Head of Business Strategy in a challenging turnaround assignment. At JK Paper he restructured a USD 188m balance sheet and raised USD 177 million funds including private equity of $25m. He also initiated the model of using Carbon sequestration as a tool to get additional area under social forestry and provide sustained raw material supply to paper mill.
In early nineties as head of Investment Banking at SRF Finance (now part of GE Capital) he set up the Structured Finance, Corporate Broking, Investment Banking and Private Equity practice of the company and led the company in the areas of securitisation, advisory and investments. He created newer products to help SRF Finance and its client to realise higher returns and increased funds under management for SRF Finance. As Lead Manager he was also involved with fund raising through various public issues.
Prior to joining the financial sector in 1992, he worked with SRF and Eicher, where he was responsible for assessing the techno-commercial viability and creating new businesses. SRF Ltd has been an early adopter of CDM model and has been a contributor to Montreal Protocol prior to Kyoto. During his association with SRF he had opportunity to assess viability of multitude of businesses and detailing the feasibility of adopting newer technologies in India.
At Eicher Ltd he was part of the core team who introduced a newer type of Light Commercial Vehicle in India, in collaboration with a leading Japanese brand. He made notable contribution in the areas of productivity improvement and towards institutionalising the practice of value engineering at its Tractor and Gears plant.
He is a member of working group on Power for Eleventh plan (2007-12) of Government of India and member of Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
Satish received an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, and a BE in Industrial Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. He is passionate about promoting green infrastructure relating to energy generation (Mega Watts) and energy saving (Nega Watts).
Suzlon Green Power Ltd
Vikram Mehmi is responsible for strategic management of very diverse Tanti Group promoted companies dealing in renewable energy, steel, shipping, infrastructure and real estate. In addition to this, he is the CEO of Suzlon Green Power Ltd (SGPL) that owns and operates Wind assets in India. Vikram joined Suzlon Group in Jan’09
Prior to joining Suzlon Group he had an impressive career spanning over three decades in the engineering, energy, telecom and insurance sectors. Starting in 1976 he has worked in senior Finance roles in National Thermal Power Corporation and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation before joining VSNL as CFO.
High points of his career have been his last two assignments as President & CEO of IDEA Cellular and Birla Sun Life Insurance with the Aditya Birla Group. He has not only been instrumental in turning around these companies but has put both the companies on a growth path. Vikram has an impressive track record and experience of significant fund raising, M&A’s, building retail distribution and customer service delivery channels, international Offerings and domestic listing.
Vikram did his graduation in Science from Delhi University and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration, majoring in Finance & Marketing.
Mr. Mehta has over 22 years of business experience and has been Managing Director/CEO for 15 years. He is currently part of an established industrial family that have been the promoters of a group of companies valued at over $250 million, dealing in chemical, petrochemical, fine/specialty chemicals, mining/explosive chemicals, fertilizers, agro and real estate businesses. Mr. Mehta has experience in managing manufacturing/industrial & services business, creating new businesses, acquisition, turnaround & restructuring, technology development & commercialization, and IPO/Secondary public offerings.
Mr. Mehta is on the executive/advisory boards of chamber of commerce and trade associations, educational/student organizations, the Young Presidents Organization, The Indus Entrepreneurs and other networking and business development organizations.
Mr. Mehta has a MS Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin and has participated in executive development programs by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and Harvard University, Boston.
Dr. Avinash Patkar is originally from Vile Parle (East) and a student of Parle Tilak Vidyalaya. Dr. Patkar obtained his B. Chem. Eng. in 1973 from the Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT) at Mumbai University. After working for Humphreys and Glasgow Consultants for 2 years, he went to the University of Cincinnati in the United States in 1975 and obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. (both in Chemical Engineering).
After working for 28 years in the United States in the environmental and energy fields, Dr. Patkar returned to India in June 2007 to head the Corporate Environmental and Safety Group of The TATA Power Company Ltd. (TPC). At TPC, he leads the effort to prepare a baseline emissions inventory of Green House Gases (GHG). Dr. Patkar is also heading the team within TPC that is developing a Corporate Sustainability strategy as well as a reporting structure that will meet the requirements of the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.
George Ross was appointed Deputy Minister of Research and Innovation in January 2008.
As Deputy Minister, Mr. Ross has been instrumental in developing and advancing Ontario’s Innovation Agenda. He has managed key initiatives to advance Ontario’s position as a leading innovation jurisdiction, including establishing the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy and completing the review of Ontario’s Commercialization Network. Mr. Ross has also been responsible for leading major government investments crucial to enhancing Ontario’s knowledge economy, including the $150-million Biopharmaceutical Investment Program, the $205-million Ontario Venture Capital Fund, and the $250-million Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund aimed at investing in Ontario’s strong, innovative companies. Mr. Ross also oversees the government’s flagship research funding program, the Ontario Research Fund, including its new $100-million Global Leadership Round in Genomics and Life Sciences (GL2) and the $50-million Innovation Demonstration Fund aimed at building strength in Ontario’s clean technology sector.
Mr. Ross has a wide range of executive experience, including extensive work with stakeholders, policy and program development, and government operations. He is an active member on various boards and external committees including the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, Ontario Genomics Institute, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Toronto Region Research Alliance, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Mr. Ross also Chairs the Pharmaceutical Innovation Working Group, the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation, and Co-chairs the Centre for the Advancement of Health Innovation, and the newly established Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooporation with the People’s Republic of China.
Previously, Mr. Ross held the dual position of Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Operating Officer of the Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI). Before joining MRI, Mr. Ross was the Assistant Deputy Minister of Field Services at the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). In this capacity, he led one of the largest operational divisions in the OPS with offices in over 55 locations and over 3,000 staff across the province. Working with environmental and industry stakeholders and First Nations, Mr. Ross led MNR’s support for key Ontario government initiatives promoting the stewardship and sustainable use of Ontario’s natural resources and the development of Ontario’s northern and rural communities.
Mr. Ross holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and certificates in Business Administration and Human Resources Management from Ryerson and Queen’s University. He is also a graduate of the advanced program in Human Resources Management at the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.
A long time resident of Peterborough, Ontario, Mr. Ross now lives in Markham with his wife and three children.