India Leadership Initiative Launches New Class of Accomplished Leaders

September 3, 2008  • Institute Contributor

India Leadership Initiative Launches New Class of Accomplished Leaders

The Aspen Institute India, together with The Aspen Institute (USA) and the Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs, today announced the launch of the second class of the India Leadership Initiative (ILI) Fellows to develop a new generation of values-based action-oriented leaders. A part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network comprised of nearly 850 Fellows in 37 countries, ILI is one of 11 leadership initiatives of its kind in the U.S., Africa, Central America, and soon to include the Middle East and China.

Modelled after the Henry Crown Fellowship, ILI focuses on business, government and civil society leaders between the ages of 30-45, and provides them with an opportunity to assess their own leadership values and those of their peers; encourages them to engage more vigorously in the leading challenges of their country and its economy and allows them to explore new ways to work in concert to improve Indian society and the world at-large.

The first class of ILI Fellows launched in 2006 and graduated in February of 2008. The launch of Class II is particularly momentous since ILI is recognized as one of the foremost leadership development programs in India. It is a unique program that incorporates leaders from different walks of life and is focused on creating the “good society”.

The new class of 19 Fellows from across India – supplemented by five additional Goldman Sachs Aspen India Fellows, selected competitively from the global ranks of Goldman Sachs professionals – is comprised of men and women who: 

  • have achieved significant success in their respective fields;
  • have demonstrated their potential for even greater leadership at the highest levels of their fields;
  • possess a breadth of experience and level of maturity that will enable them to contribute effectively to the fellowship experience; and
  • come from diverse backgrounds in terms of geography, occupation, ethnicity, race, religion and gender.

The first seminar will take place in India, September 24-28, 2008. This class, and successive ones launched thereafter, will participate in four seminars and leadership development activities as a class, over a 24 month period, including designing and implementing a leadership project of their own.

The 24 Fellows are among the brightest and most entrepreneurial young Indians who will likely become torch-bearers for India in the future. They include:

Sunisha Ahuja, Asia Region Program Director, Room to Read
Reshma Anand, Founder, Earthy Goods
Anupama Arya, Managing Director, Mobera Systems Pvt. Ltd
Tejpreet Singh Chopra, President and CEO, General Electric (GE)
Yashashree Gurjar, Chief General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ballarpur Industries Limited (Bilt)
Adarsh Kumar, Executive Director, All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA)
Manoj Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Naandi Foundation, Hyderabad
Rajendra Misra, Founder, Change India Movement
Vikram Misri, Chief of Staff to the External Affairs Minister, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India
Shaheen Mistri, Founder and CEO, Akansha Foundation
Vivek Pandit, Partner, McKinsey & Company, Mumbai, India
Rohit Poddar, Group Managing Director, Poddar Goup India
Meher Pudumjee, Chairperson, Thermax India Limited
Roopa Purushothaman, Head, Future Capital Research
Kartikeya Bharat Ram, Deputy Managing Director, SRF Limited
Shikha Sharma, Managing Director, Nutri-Health Systems Private Limited
Sugata Srinivasaraju, Associate Editor (South), Outlook magazine
Nidhi Mani Tripathi, District Magistrate, Almora district, Uttarakhand
Alkesh Wadhwani, Deputy Director, Avahan, India (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
Divyata Ashiya, Executive Director, Investment Management, Goldman Sachs, Singapore
Anshul Krishan Executive Director, Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs India
Heramb Hajarnavis, Executive, Merchant Banking, Goldman Sachs India
Gautam Trivedi, Executive Director, Equities, Goldman Sachs India
Krishnamurthy Sudarshan, Managing Director, Technology, Goldman Sachs India

Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman of Aspen Institute India and Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Stated, “The fact that the Fellows who make up the new Class of ILI are drawn from varied backgrounds reflects a growing awareness about the need for enlightened leaders in India. We are grateful to Aspen Institute USA and Goldman Sachs for their continued engagement with these emerging leaders.”

Gautam Thapar, Vice-Chairman of Aspen Institute India and Chairman, Avantha Group said, “The launch of Class II of the India Leadership Initiative adds impetus to the creation of a leadership base in India. By the end of this programme, these emerging leaders will be better equipped to comprehend what Indian society is today, foresee its future potential, and be proactive agents of change.”

Tarun Das, President of Aspen Institute India said, “Values-driven leadership is the need of the hour in India, since leadership defines a country’s trajectory of growth. ILI will hence contribute to India’s development in crucial ways.” 

Brooks Entwistle, CEO of Goldman Sachs India stated “While followers are important, it is equally important to have good leaders to lead them. Sponsoring the second class of ILI is one of the most significant ways in which Goldman Sachs is investing in India’s growth and its leaders.”

Aspen Institute India is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the in-depth discussion of global issues, development of leadership based on values, and a high-level exchange of opinions and information. Its mission is to bring a values-based perspective to the most important issues of the day and represent the forum of choice for convening and developing leaders in India. The Institute focuses on the most important problems and challenges facing society, the business community and the individual.  It invites industrial, economic, financial, political, social and cultural leaders to discuss these issues in reserved settings that encourage frank and open dialogue.

The mission of Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs is to provide research and high-level advisory services to policymakers, regulators and investors around the world. The Institute leverages the expertise of the people at Goldman Sachs, as well as the expertise of highly-regarded universities and think tanks, to offer thoughtful written analyses and host forums for discussion.

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