Rajesh is a career corporate and investment banker with decades of experience. As a founding member of Rabobank in India, he has 23 years of dedicated experience in food and agribusiness heading Corporate Banking, Corporate Finance, Strategic Advisory, and Private Equity. He has advised the Government of India and several state governments on agri and food processing strategies. He sits on CII’s National Council and National Committees and is a go-to authority on agribusiness. As Chairman, he guides, helms, and mentors the team, especially on strategy.
Rohit began his career in the corporate finance function of Ernst & Young before moving to the Management Consulting Division at Grant Thorton. As a Strategic Advisor, he has helped many organizations in the Manufacturing, Construction, Telecom, Financial Services, and Sports sectors. His stint in the Corporate Finance Division of Yes Bank also saw him involved in Direct Credit, Debt Syndication, Structured Finance, and Acquisition Finance. Rohit also leads Strategic Advisory at Prowess.
Saransh Verma is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Indore with 14 years of experience spanning engineering, investment banking, corporate banking, corporate strategy, venture capital and entrepreneurship while working with esteemed organizations like Larsen & Toubro, J.P. Morgan, Brand Capital/Times Group & Menterra Ventures. Saransh leads the Investment Banking Division at Prowess.
Saurabh is a Chartered Accountant and graduated from the University of Delhi. He was previously the CFO and Director at Rabo Equity Advisors prior to which he was associated with a real estate & infrastructure focused PE Firm, The Xander Group in their Fund Operations domain. He started his career with Arthur Andersen and transitioned to Ernst & Young, having worked in the Assurance & Advisory Business Services verticals of both firms. Saurabh is the Group CFO at Prowess.
Vijay Kumar Venkataraman has over 25 years of work experience in the agri-food supply chain and expertise in merchandising, international trading, logistics and risk management functions.
Vijay has managed commodity trading, marketing and general management responsibilities in India, US and Canada, leading teams at firms including Britannia, ITC, Cargill and Reliance Retail and nurture. Farm, a UPL subsidiary.
While leading NCDEX, both as the MD & CEO and earlier as the Chief Business Officer, Vijay contributed significantly to the development of the agricultural exchange ecosystem including the launch of futures, options and index products as well as related technological platforms, as well as the strengthening of subsidiaries to support physical deliveries and negotiable instruments for use in commercial transactions.
Vijay has been an advocate of infrastructure driven growth in the Agri-Food sector, technology led innovation, and good governance and strong risk management practices at various industry forums.
Vijay is currently a member of SEBI’s Advisory Committee on Investor Protection and Education Fund.
Vijay Kumar Venkataraman is a B.Tech from IIT Madras and completed his MBA from FMS, Delhi.
Vishnu is a graduate from IIT Kharagpur and IIM Calcutta. He previously worked with Avendus Capital in their investment banking team with a focus on enterprise technology and services sector. He also worked with Credit Suisse in their operational risk management team and with Deloitte in their technology consulting team. Vishnu works in the Investment Banking team at Prowess.
Pavan is a graduate from NIT Warangal and IIM Calcutta. He previously worked with JP Morgan Chase in the financial model risk team and developed key models in macro indices. He also worked with Reliance Industries limited in their refinery operations. Focus areas are Manufacturing, Energy, Financial Services. Pavan works in the Strategic Consulting team at Prowess.
Akshata is an alumnus of the Indian institute of management, Indore. She began her career in marketing and business analytics with Cognizant technology solutions, and then went on to work with ICICI Bank in SME financing. Post this she started her own D2C farm to fork company in the Healthy food sector. She is a part of the strategic consulting team at Prowess
Dishant is a graduate of IIM Indore and NIT Raipur. He is a certified CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and FRM (Financial Risk Manager). He previously worked with ICRA Limited (a Moody’s Investors Service Company) in their Credit Ratings team where he handled clients across automotive, healthcare, pharmaceutical, dairy, and consumer electronics sectors. He also worked with Deloitte India in their Financial Risk Advisory team advising banks and other financial institutions across India as well as the Middle East region. In Prowess, Dishant works in the Investment Banking team.
Varun joined Prowess Advisors in 2021 having graduated from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree. He currently works in the Investment Banking division. Prior to Prowess, he was a Senior Associate at Drip Capital Inc. During his time at Drip Capital, Varun worked on identifying strategic opportunities to collaborate with key organisations and persons for business enhancement in the agriculture, food and apparel sectors.
Praneet is a graduate from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi. He previously worked with CORDL in the finance and accounts division. His responsibilities included concurrent audits, forecasting and risk analysis assessments to calculate the viability of suitable investments. At Prowess, Praneet primarily works in the Strategic Advisory division.
Kakoli is a graduate of IIM Ahmedabad. She started her professional journey with WayCool foods in strategy and growth role. During her time there, she gained experience and network in import-export of agricultural products, implementation of strategic projects. She is a part of strategic advisory at Prowess.
Mr. S. K. Tuteja served as Secretary in the Department of Food & Public Distribution to the Government of India till, he superannuated from his role in June 2005, after 37 years of Civil Service.
He was a member of the 1968 Batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Punjab Cadre. He started his career as a Lecturer in Commerce in the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi where he was earlier a student. He holds a Masters degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi, graduating top of the University. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, New Delhi.
Mr. Tuteja has earlier served on different posts in the Government of India, and Government of Punjab. Key positions include Secretary – Ministry of Small Scale Industries and Agro & Rural Industries, Chairman Central Warehousing Corporation, Development Commissioner – Small Scale Industries and Secretary – Public Enterprises Selection Board. In the Government of Punjab, he has served as Managing Director – Punjab State Industries Development Corporation Ltd, Principal Secretary – Finance, Chairman – Punjab State Electricity Board, Chairman – Pay Commission of the Government of Punjab, and Principal Secretary – Industries and Commerce.. In the year 1992, he was awarded the “Dayanand Munjal Award” for “Manager of the Year” by the Ludhiana Management Association.
Mr. Tuteja has also acted as a Consultant to the World Bank for designing a Data Bank System for selection to the Board of Directors and Chief Executives of Public Enterprises in Uganda and the UNIDO as International Consultant on “Strategy & Technological Partnership” with the International Center of Medicine Biotechnology, Moscow and for the “Programming Mission on Indian Experts” to Minsk to develop Belarus/India Partnership Programme in the area of Commercialization of New Technologies and Innovations.
He was the Chairman of the Committee on Revitalization of the Sugar Industry set up in 2004 and later a member of the Group of Experts constituted by the Government of India on the Sugar Sector in 2007. He was also the Chairman of the Pay Commission of the Government of Punjab (2006- 09), and a member of the High-Level Panel on the financial position of Distribution Utilities constituted by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Tuteja has contributed to several national/international seminars/conferences in India and abroad. He participated as a Member of the India Delegation in the Fourth Ministerial Conference of WTO held in Doha, Qatar and was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Sugar Organisation, London and the International Grain Council, London.
He is presently an Independent Director in SML Isuzu Ltd, Shree Renuka Sugars, A2Z Infra Engineering Ltd., and Intas Pharmaceuticals, among others. In addition, he is also the Chairman/Director of multiple other public and private-limited corporations.
A widely travelled person, Mr. Tuteja is involved with several Institutions in the field of Academics, Research and Corporate Management.
Mr. Saurabh Chandra superannuated as Secretary in the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas to the Government of India, after working for about 37 years in the Indian Administrative Service(IAS)
He was a member of the 1978 Batch of the IAS, and belonged to the Uttar Pradesh Cadre.
Mr. Chandra holds a degree in Electrical Engineering (First class with distinction) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur.
In his diverse career spanning 37 years, he has held several prestigious positions, both in the Government of India(GOI) and the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Chandra has served for about 16 years in key economic ministries in GOI. The other key positions held by him during this period were Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Director in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
In the Government of Uttar Pradesh, his key assignments were Principal Secretary to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Secretary to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Divisional Commissioner of Lucknow and Varanasi Division, and District Magistrate of Varanasi.
His vast experience in policy formulation and implementation is demonstrated by a long record of successful outcomes in multiple areas and sectors like oil and gas, industry, disinvestment, foreign direct investment, intellectual property, and successful execution of large-scale projects. He has received State Awards and President’s Medal for Census operations. The arrangements made during his tenure as District Magistrate, Varanasi for Kalachakra Initiation at Sarnath in 1991, were termed by his Holiness the Dalai Lama as ‘One of the best I have observed so far.’
During his tenure as Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, major reforms to substantially reduce the subsidy outgo through Diesel Deregulation, PAHAL and Give Up schemes were introduced. Diesel deregulation stands out as a single decision, without comparison, to have had a significant sustainable, beneficial impact on the fiscal. PAHAL is the largest cash transfer scheme in the world and finds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. As a result of implementation of PAHAL, 4.49 crore dummy LPG connections were weeded out. The Give Up campaign has saved an outgo of Rs.71,301 crore from the Central exchequer. Major policy decisions having far-reaching impacts such as boosting the City Gas Distribution network, establishment of a National Gas Grid increasing the availability of LPG to the marginal sections of the society were also taken during this period.
In his earlier tenures, Mr. Chandra been associated with the formulation and implementation of the National Manufacturing Policy, preparation of the White Paper on Disinvestment, launching and activation of the National Investment Fund, ushering of reforms in the FDI policy which included Single Brand Retail Trading, opening up the multi-brand retail and civil aviation sectors to foreign investment, operationalizing the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Project and setting up of the very successful overseas Oman India Fertilizer Project.
Mr Chandra is currently serving as the Chairman and Public Interest Director of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) and is an Independent Director on the Boards of J.K. Cement Ltd., Vacmet India Ltd. and SBI Pension Funds Pvt. Ltd.,
At present, Mr. Chandra is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the School of Medical Research and Technology (SMRT), IIT Kanpur and Special Invitee to the Governing Body of the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He delivers lectures, renders advice in his areas of specialisation and comments on policy issues.
In the past, Mr. Chandra has served as the Chairman of various companies and organizations such as Petronet LNG Ltd., the Oil Industry Development Board, the Petroleum Conservation Research Association, and Governing Council of Centre for Higher Technology. He was on the boards of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., EXIM Bank, Madras Fertilizers Ltd., Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd., Hindustan Fertilizers Corporation Ltd., Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd., HMT Ltd., and the Asian Productivity Organisation. He has also been as an ex-officio member of Telecom Commission and National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. Mr. Chandra was the first Chief Executive Officer of the National Investment Fund. As Managing Director of UP Small Industries Corporation Ltd. during 1988-1990, he was able to turn this loss making company into a profitable venture during a short period of two years.
Mr. Jagdish Prasad Meena served as Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs and Ministry of Food Processing Industries in the Government of India till, he superannuated from his role in August 2018, after 35 years of civil service.
He was a member of the 1983 Batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Assam-Meghalaya Cadre. Prior to this, He graduated from Government College, Dausa, and earned his master’s in Sociology from Rajasthan University, Jaipur. He also pursued M.A in Rural Social Development from the University of Reading, the United Kingdom, an M.Phil in Social Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi.
His key positions in the Central Government also include Secretary – Department of Consumer Affairs, and he has also served in the Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Home Affairs. He has served in various capacities in the State Government including Principal Secretary – Autonomous District Council, Principal Secretary – Agriculture and Department of Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward Classes, Secretary – Industries & Commerce, Agricultural Production Commissioner, Sub-Division Magistrate, and District Magistrate.
During his service career, spanning more than 35 years, Mr. Meena has gained considerable experience in Policy Planning and Project Execution in various fields, particularly in Agriculture and Food Processing. He has executed various crop production programmes in mission mode like Oilseeds Mission, Cotton Mission, Jute Mission, etc. in the Ministry of Agriculture. While working in various capacities as Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary, and Secretary in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, he has contributed immensely by introducing various new programmes for the promotion and development of food processing in the country. He also served as Chancellor, National Institute of Food Technology and Entrepreneurship Management, a deemed university, and Chairman, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology.
Presently, he is working as Secretary-General, Indian Beverage Association, and as a Senior Advisor to the National Cooperative Development Corporation, a statutory organisation of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
He has represented the Government of India in various international organisations, seminars, and bilateral meetings. He has also undergone training relating to policy planning, leadership development, and food & agri-business management in the world’s prestigious institutions like Cornell University (USA), Cambridge University (UK), Columbia University (USA), Harvard University (USA). For his contribution to the value chain development in horticulture crops in the country, he has been conferred ‘Honoured Fellow’ by the Confederation of Horticulture Associations of India in 2019.
Mr. Bijou Kurien currently serves as the chairman of the Retailers Association of India (RAI), the nodal body representing retailers across the country, and sits on the advisory board of FICCI Retail Committee and World Retail Congress. He also serves as an independent director on several listed and private companies across sectors such as Mindtree, Suguna Foods and Future Lifestyle Fashions.
With over 37 years of experience in building brands, businesses and creating organisations, Mr. Kurien is well versed with brands and retail across premier companies in India. He started his career as a Product Manager at Hindustan Uniliver Limited before joining Titan Company Limited where he took on the responsibility of Chief Operating Officer (COO). After 19 years at Titan, he joined Reliance Retail and served as President and Chief Executive. He further went on to become a Strategy Board Member of L Catterson Asia Holdings Limited. His role involved Strategic Consulting, Mentoring and Deal Evaluation, advising new investments on growth strategy, performance review and played a key role in the value addition efforts.
He has a post graduate degree in management from St Xaviers School of Management (XLRI).
Mr. Arun Sharma is the current president of Grovepike Associates. He acts an advisor to senior leadership of global corporations, international agencies, and non-profits focused on development and execution of innovative business models, forging viable partnerships with strategically important institutions, deepening existing relationships. The current role also consists of support to CEOs in refining and articulating corporate messages in addressing regulators and official agencies, and other constituencies. Clients served include Zurich Insurance, Mastercard, Standard Chartered, Rabobank, AXA XL, International Finance Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Tata Group.
The principal content of my current work comprises adding to management bandwidth for support to mission critical projects that need ongoing attention and oversight to succeed in a reasonable time frame. This is achieved by my support being delivered as a member of internal teams tasked with specific objectives with clear goals and timelines rather than an external consultant. This work also involves mentoring of senior leadership teams at the portfolio company levels or supporting them with the achievement of specific business objectives.
Between 2007-2019, He acted as the chief investment officer of the International Finance Corporation where his key roles included building and deepening relationships with global and regional clients with a view to generating new and repeat business and helping clients in their sustainability journey in line with IFC performance standards and broader sustainability initiatives.
Managed relationships with key clients like Fairfax group, Rabobank, Standard Chartered, Euler Hermes, Bank of America, Société Generale, Saudi British Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, Tata Capital, Bangkok Bank, Orix Corporation, Standard Bank of South Africa and many others. Also develop excellent advisory relationships with government agencies in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Palestine, Maldives, South Africa, United States, Germany, Denmark, UK, and several others.
Developed a deep understanding of positioning private sector initiatives and activities in the priorities of government, regulatory and other official authorities in order to achieve rapid and sustained buy in that survived transition of individual officials across administration changes.
1991-2007: Various roles in IFC focused on building and scaling new businesses across the world in a constantly changing global economic environment.
The key areas of focus in this regard were:
Dr. Rupinder Singh Sodhi is the President of Indian Dairy Association (IDA), which is established in the year 1948, and is an apex body of dairy industry professionals, planners, milk producers, research scientists and academicians. The members are from cooperatives, corporate bodies, multi-national companies, private, government and public sector enterprises. IDA takes part in advocacy with Govt. bodies in planning process and promotes the dairy development programmes and the policies of the State and Central governments.
Dr. Sodhi was the Managing Director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (AMUL), from 2010-2023, which is the India’s largest Food Products organization with annual group turnover of more than Rs. 62,000 crores (USD 8.0 billion) during the year 2022-23. Dr. Sodhi has 40 years of rich experience in leading & developing cooperative sector within Indian dairy industry, having served dairy farmers in several capacities. He was responsible for creating the current structure of the AMUL, enabling the organization to maintain and enhance its leadership status within Indian dairy industry. AMUL procures 28 million liters of milk per day from more than 18,600 Village Dairy Co-operative societies. The received milk is processed at 97 dairy plant across the India.
Dr. Sodhi in the Board Member of International Dairy Federation (IDF). He is also the Chairperson of National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and
For more than three decades, Dr. Sodhi has worked under direct guidance & mentorship of father of white revolution, Dr. Verghese Kurien and has ensured that values cherished by Dr. Kurien, such as integrity, dedication, courage, honesty, commitment to farmers and to consumers, remained deeply ingrained in the culture of the organisation.
Dr. Sodhi has obtained his Bachelor (Agri Engineering) degree from CTAE, Udaipur, India and he is first-batch alumnus from Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA).