Mr. Jai Vikram Bakshi
With over 16 years experience in finance, media and marketing, Mr. Jai Vikram Bakshi is president of DIGIQOM, a company that provides digital communication solutions. Previously he was head of marketing for Nokia Enterprise Solutions, and vice president of communications for HSBC.
Ms. Sohini Battacharya
As the director for partnerships for South Asia Ashoka Innovators for the Public, Ms. Sohini Battacharya handles all strategic partnerships in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, and assists the global development team in institution building and development. Previously, as the director for venture in India, she expanded Ashoka's program and fellowships in the country, provided leadership to the venture team and created a platform for Ashoka and social entrepreneurship in the country. She also was a consultant for the Ashoka Fellows program and helped set up a second Ashoka Fellow in Sanhita. Prior to joining Ashoka in 2000, Ms. Battacharya worked in the field of economic development with a special focus on women. As a program officer at the Child In Need Institute (CINI) she worked to launch a new income-generation and micro-credit program for rural women. She sits on the board of CREA, an organization working to enhance women's leadership.
Ms. Kalpana Dasgupta
Ms. Kalpana Dasgupta has a Post Graduate degree in Political Science from Patna University, India and Master of Science in Library Science from Syracuse University. Her career as a librarian started in 1965 and she has worked in the largest libraries in India, serving as Head of the National Library of India. Ms. Dasgupta is presently the Director of the Central Secretariat Library of the Department of Culture, Government of India, and has also acted as Director of the Delhi Public Library. She acts as a technical advisor to the government, and is also consultant to the Prime Minister's Office for its library development. Ms. Dasgupta has served on various government committees, has written more than 30 professional articles and has authored and edited several books in the field of library information science. She served as President of the Indian Library Association (ILA) from 2000-2002 and is currently the library committee chair for the government's Knowledge Commission.
Ms. Shonali Datta
Ms. Shonali Datta is the Managing Director of Pierce and Leslie, a luxury tour and travel company based in Delhi. She has a long-term relationship with Myths and Mountains, the highly-regarded travel company of READ Global's Founder, and considerable experience working in the Indian social sector.
Ms. Arundhati Deosthale
Ms. Arundhati Deosthale is a journalist by training, critic and translator published in English, Hindi, and Marathi. She did a two-year stint with Unesco on two projects, and served as a contibuting editor in Sahitya Akademi's Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature (1986-98). She has been Director Publishing & Book Clubs in Scholastic India (1998-2005). Ms. Deosthale has published nine books for adults and has translated nearly 50 books for children into Engish and Hindi.
Mr. Arvind Kumar
Mr. Arvind Kumar has given nearly four decades to the publishing industry starting with Radha Krishna Prakashan. He served as the Director of National Book Trust (1986-97) and then moved on to be the founder and managing director of Scholastic India (1997-2005). He has widely travelled around the globe for book promotional activities and International book fairs. He has set up Arvind Kumar Publishers to serve the unprivileged children in rural India and publish meaningful books for adults.
Mr. Ashis Sanyal
Mr. Ashis Sanyal is the former Senior Director of the Department of Information Technology for the Government of India. He brings more than thirty-seven years of experience in communications, engineering and information communications technology to the READ team. Mr. Sanyal started his professional career as an Engineer in the Ministry of Communications of the Government of India, and has worked in the Ministry in various capacities in the areas of radio spectrum management and related fields, terrestrial microwave and satellite communication network planning and management. Mr. Sanyal has published more than 45 technical papers in various areas of Electronics, Communication Engineering, System Design and e-Governance activities in Indian and international journals. He has delivered more than 2000 hours of Capacity Building tutorials on various aspects of e-Governance and related areas to the State Government officials and Workshops, Conferences, Seminars etc. He is also Consulting Editor for e-Governance and Good Governance Magazines. Ashis has a Masters of Technology degree in Microwave Communications Engineering from Calcutta University, India.
Mr. Haresh Shah
Mr. Haresh Shah was decorated by the President and received the French Republic "Knight of the Order of Merit" in May 2004. He is the Occupation Member of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. He is the Chairman of Confederation for the Promotion of Khadi and Village Industries as well as on the board of such prestigious organizations as the Yusuf Meherally Centre, Vaikunthbhai Mehta Research For Decentralized Industries, PlaNet Finance India, and Motilal Mulji Charitable Trust. Mr. Shah is an artist, professionally qualified fashion designer, and highly creative individual.
Dr. B. Shadrach
Dr. B. Shadrach is a Ph.D, presently working with the International Development Research Center as a Senior Program Officer. He has been instrumental in devising policy strategies for the penetration of information technology in rural world. Dr. Shadrach has extensive experience working in Asia-Pacific countries. Earlier, he was the South Asia Director at OneWorld International, where he was responsible for fundraising and program design. He has served as member of the international networks for the Global Knowledge Programme and various alliances on ICT Communications and Development.
Mr. Praveen Aggarwal
Mr. Praveen Aggarwal is the Chief Operating Officer of SHARE (Society to Heal, Aid, Restore and educate) India, a foundation lead by by Ronnie Screwvala (UTV, Disney, UTV Motion Pictures), that focuses on rural empowerment. SHARE aims to change the lives of one million people in rural Maharashtra by the year 2017 through holistic interventions in 4 main categories - water, health and sanitation, education, agriculture and livelihood. Prior to joining SHARE, Praveen served as General Manager of Public Affairs & Communications for Coca-Cola India & South West Asia for almost ten years. In this role, he acted as Head of CSR and Consumer Response, responsible for over 50 manufacturing facilities. He also led Coca-Cola's water conservation and sustainability efforts in India, and was responsible for stakeholder engagements, internal and external communications and managing the corporate website. Praveen was also Vice President for Jain Satellite Television for more than three years, and Chief Executive for Goodwill India for nine years. He holds a Phd in Management and CSR from Singhania University.
Mr. P. Jayaraja
Mr. P. Jayaraja was Head of the British Council Libraries in India between 1997 and 2004, the first non-British to hold this position, and was responsible for managing the Council's largest and most successful library network in the world. Mr. Jayaraja was founder-librarian of the Hyderabad library, the Chief Librarian of the prestigious management institute, the Xavier Labor Relations Institute. He has served as a consultant for Nepalese Administrative Staff College, Kathmandu and 7 Regional Engineering Colleges (now National Institute of Technology) in India to help modernize and revive them. He was conferred a MBE (Member of the British Empire) by the Queen of England in 2001. After retirement in 2004, has been engaged in consultancy and advisory work with various governmental and private institutions and is a Member of the Delhi Library Board and Executive Committee.