Mr Rajendra S Pawar is the Chairman and Co-Founder of the NIIT Group, comprising NIIT Limited- a global leader in Skills and Talent Development and NIIT Technologies Limited- a Global IT solutions organization.
Set up in 1981, NIIT pioneered the computer education market in India, creating a completely new industry segment and taking it to consolidation and maturity. Mr Pawar has played a leadership role in nurturing NIIT into a leading Skills and Talent Development Corporation, offering learning solutions to Individuals, Enterprises and Institutions. Spread across 40 countries, NIIT has impacted over 35 million learners since inception.
In recognition of Mr Pawar's contribution towards changing the IT landscape for the country, the President of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan - one of the highest civilian awards given by the Government of India - in 2011.
Mr Pawar served as a member on the Prime Minister's National Council on Skill Development (2009-2014) and has also been a part of the PM's National Taskforce (1998), commissioned to develop India into an IT Superpower. He has been chairing the Committee on Policy Framework for Technology Based Education, Government of India. He is a Member of Rajasthan Chief Minister's Advisory Council and Member of Andhra Pradesh State Knowledge Advisory Board.
Actively involved in India's key Chambers of Commerce, Mr Pawar has led several ICT industry fora, including NASSCOM (National Association of Software & Service Companies) as its Chairman in 2011-12, giving voice to the sector's aspirations and goals. He is currently the Chairman of Cyber Security Task Force at NASSCOM. At CII (Confederation of Indian Industries), he has also chaired the IT Committee and the Education Committee. He is a Fellow of the Computer Society of India and the Institution of Electronics & Telecom Engineers.
Mr Pawar has been an ardent advocate of leveraging technology to make education accessible to the remotest corners in the country, to educate the vast population of underserved, school-aged children. His passion led to the launch of the Hole-in-the-Wall education (HiWEL) initiative in 1999 with Dr Sugata Mitra, Chief Scientist emeritus, NIIT. The path-breaking work done by NIIT in spreading computer literacy and improving the quality of education at grass root, through the HiWEL project has earned it the coveted- 'Digital Opportunity Award' by World Information Technology Services Alliance (WITSA) in 2008.
Mr Pawar has been appointed as the Consultant of the Advisory Committee on Guizhou’s Big Data industry, China in 2017. He has been a member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and PIAC (Presidential International Advisory Council for IT) of the Government of South Africa.
Mr Pawar led NIIT to participate in the ambitious human capacity building project for Bhutan - Chiphen Rigpel - designed to help the country transition successfully into a modern Knowledge Society. The Government-assisted project was launched by the Prime Ministers of India and Bhutan on April 30, 2010 on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Bhutan. The project in its entirety is expected to provide ICT skills to over a fifth of the population of Bhutan, to help them to become confident and empowered citizens of a connected and ICT-enabled world.
Mr Pawar's contributions have been widely acknowledged by the industry and he has been conferred prestigious awards like- the 'IT man of the Year' by IT industry journal, Dataquest; 'Master Entrepreneur of the Year' by Ernst & Young in 1999 and the 'IT Gem of India' at INFOCOM 2013, India's largest IT & Telecom convention, by the ABP Group, to name a few.
Known for promoting industry-academia alliances, Mr Pawar has been working closely with the country's well-known educational institutions. He is on the Board of Governors of India's premier institutions- the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad and the Scindia School. He has also served on the boards of IIT Delhi, IIM Bangalore, IIM Udaipur and has been a member of the University Court of Delhi University.
Having revolutionized the IT Training industry, Mr Pawar is involved in shaping a new model in Higher Education, the not-for-profit NIIT University.
Mr Pawar studied at the Scindia School, Gwalior and graduated from the country's prestigious engineering institution, IIT, Delhi in 1972 where he pursued the B. Tech programme in electrical engineering. At the Scindia School he received the 'Madhav Award' in 1999 and the Distinguished Alumnus Award at IIT in 1995. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree by the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University in 2005.
Vijay K. Thadani is the Vice Chairman & Managing Director of NIIT Ltd, a leading Global Skills and Talent Development Corporation. As the co-founder of NIIT Group, he has built an organization that is recognized for its visionary role in bringing the benefits of Information Technology, both as a professional skill and as a learning tool, to the masses.
Vijay has led the Group's globalization efforts since 1991, taking the NIIT flag to over 40 countries and has been actively engaged with many Industry Associations. He served as President of the Indian IT industry association, MAIT and as the Chairman of CII Northern Region for 2011- 2012. He also served as the Chairman of the National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET), under the aegis of the Quality Council of India and as the Chairman of Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Allahabad.
Vijay is the co-founder of the not-for-profit, NIIT University established in 2009 with a vision of being the role model of learning, research, innovation and sustainability for the Knowledge Society. He is a Founder Director on the Board of NIIT Technologies Limited, a leading SEI-CMMi Level 5 assessed IT Solutions organization, servicing customers in the USA, Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific and India. He chairs the Board of Governors of MN National Institute of Technology, Allahabad and serves on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. He co-chairs CII's National Committee on Higher Education and serves on the Governing Council of All India Management Association (AIMA).
A 'Distinguished Alumnus' of the premier Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Vijay was honored with the position of 'Economic Consultant' to Chongqing, world's largest city in the People's Republic of China.
Parappil Rajendran, Joint Managing Director of NIIT Ltd., is a member of the core team that developed and brought the organization to its present position of global standing, since its inception in 1981.
He received his degree in Electrical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India in 1974 and joined KELTRON, a nascent electronic products company set up by Govt. of Kerala, where he worked for eight years. During this period he was involved in marketing, product management and sales of electronic industrial products. Later he moved into the domain of electronic automation and control of power stations.
Rajendran also serves on the Board of Management of the not-for-profit NIIT University set up in Neemrana, Rajasthan with the vision of creating the University of the Future built on the foundation of Industry-linked, Technology-based, Research-driven and Seamless learning.
He is also actively engaged with NIIT Foundation, which addresses the skilling and employability needs of youth from the underprivileged segments of the society.
Rajendran has been associated with the apex industry association, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for over a decade.
Mr. Surendra Singh is an IAS Officer (Retd.). He has a Masters degree in Mathematics
from the University of Allahabad. He has held very senior positions in the Central
and State Governments. Starting his public service in 1959, Mr. Singh has held positions
like Special Secretary to the Prime Minister of India, Cabinet Secretary to the
Government of India, Secretary to the Council of Ministers and Secretary, Ministry
of Industry. He was an Executive Director on the Board of the World Bank, representing
India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. He was Director on the Boards of the International
Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
Mr. Surendra Singh was invited to NIIT's Board as an Independent Director in 2001.
Acknowledging his contribution in civil services, Mr. Singh has been awarded the
country's prestigious civilian honour, Padma Bhushan by the President of India in
Mr. Singh advises the Company on internal controls, audit systems, compensation
structure and investor relations. He is the chairman of the Shareholders'/ Investors'
Grievance Committee and Compensation/Remuneration Committee and is member of Audit
Committee of the Company.
Mr. Sanjay Khosla was the President of Kraft's Developing Markets and was responsible
for the company's almost US $ 16 billion business in over 60 countries covering
Asia Pacific, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
This included management of the Cadbury business which was acquired by Kraft in
2010. Before joining Kraft Foods in January 2007, he was the Managing Director of
Fonterra Brands, New Zealand's largest multinational company and one of the world's
biggest dairy companies. Prior to this, Mr. Khosla was Senior Vice President, Global
Beverages, Unilever and Chairman of that company's Global Board for the beverages
category. During his 27 year career with Unilever, Mr. Khosla held senior positions
in India, Europe and the United Kingdom. He has also led lectures on managing international
brands and business at Columbia University in New York, University of Chicago, Northwestern
University and IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Mr. Khosla is an alumnus of the premier IIT, Delhi, and has completed an Advanced
Management Programme from Harvard University. In 1998, he was named as "Marketing
Superstar" by the prominent marketing industry publication, "Advertising Age". Mr.
Khosla was invited to NIIT's Board as an Independent Director in 2002.
Mr. Khosla advises the Company on brand building, marketing strategy, remuneration
policies and other matters. He is a member of Compensation/ Remuneration Committee
of the Company.
Anand Sudarshan is Founder & Director, Sylvant Advisors Private Limited, an
education sector advisory entity that focuses on providing a range of advisory &
consulting services to institutions, enterprises, governments & investors around
the world with a focus on the education sector in emerging markets. He is currently
also Venture Advisor to TVS Capital Funds. In addition, he serves on a number of
advisory boards, as well as government committees on policy advisory, including
Technology in Education, and Corporate Engagement in Higher Education.
Till June 2012, he was Vice-Chairman & Managing Director of MaGE, with whom
he had a distinguished career since May 2006. A pioneering global education entity
headquartered out of Bangalore, MaGE is the largest higher education & related
services and training entity out of India. Anand was instrumental in leading the
team that built MaGE into the definitive leader in technology-driven higher education
out of India. MaGE's award -winning platform, EduNxt, today supports over 300,000
active students, and is among the largest such in the world. During Anand's tenure,
MaGE successfully expanded its multi-country footprint through organic & inorganic
strategies. From July 2012 till September 2013, Anand served as an independent non-executive
director of MaGE. (MBA) from IIM, Ahmedabad.
Anand Sudarshan has been a recognised leader in the education sector since the last
6+ years. He is a founding member of EDGE (an education sector forum and think-tank)
and the Vice-Chairman of EDGE's Vision Group. He is Co-Chairman of FICCI Karnataka
State Council (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), and also
a member of FICCI's national committees on Higher Education & School Education.
He has in the past been a member of CII's (Confederation of Indian Industry) national
committee on Education. He was invited by NAFSA, the world's largest association
of international educators, to deliver the international keynote address at its
annual conference in Vancouver in 2011 - the first & only Indian so far to do
so. He is also a trustee of Head Held High Foundation, which is doing seminal work
in transforming rural poverty through empowering youth with low or no education
through an innovative 6 month programme to become English-speaking, computer literate,
Prior to his stint at MaGE, Anand was President, Adea International (a wholly owned
subsidiary of Adea Solutions, Inc, Dallas TX), responsible for all global businesses
of the IT Services & Solutions company. Anand had taken on this position after
successfully leading Netkraft Private Limited as CEO (where he took over as CEO
in 2003) to a merger with Adea Solutions, Inc in July 2004. Netkraft was one of
the first Indian IT solutions & services companies to organize itself along
vertical domains, and its successful merger with Adea Solutions was an early milestone
of a trend in the Indian IT industry.
In 1989 Anand co-founded The Microland Group and for almost 14 years he was part
of the team that built it into one of the leading privately held Indian technology
companies. From 1985 to 1989, Anand served in several capacities at Computer Point
India Limited, a pioneering computer retail & training chain. Anand started
his career at Nelco, a Tata Group company, in June 1984.
Anand is also a participant as lead assessor & jury member in quality initiatives
of the CII, including the prestigious CII-EXIM Award for Business Excellence, the
Indian equivalent of the Malcolm Baldrige Award. He is a Charter Member of TiE,
IFPUG member, a Life-member of the Computer Society of India, Jury Member of Polestar
Foundation & CIO Awards, and is an active member of the World Economic Forum.
Anand holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering
from the National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India, and a PGDM from the Indian
Institute of Management Calcutta, India. Anand is married to Padmashri, and has
a son Dhruva.
Geeta Mathur is an experienced finance professional having worked as a banker both
on the asset side and risk side business development and in large corporate treasuries
and investor relations.
She started her career with ICICI, where she worked for over 10 years in the field
of project, corporate and structured finance as well represented ICICI on the Board
of reputed companies such as Eicher Motors, Siel Limited etc. She then worked in
various capacities in large organizations such as IBM and Emaar MGF across areas
of Corporate Finance, Treasury, Risk Management and Investor relations. She also
developed a strong understanding of systems, including IT systems and processes
for efficient budgeting and working capital management.
She transitioned to the development sector and worked as CFO of Helpage India, one
of the largest and oldest national level NPO in India, working for the cause of
the elderly. She brought about systemic changes in the financial management systems
including transition to Oracle ERP and won several awards for presentation and transparency
in presentation of Accounts during her tenure. During her tenure she initiated and
steered a project for grading by CRISIL, for building credibility and leveraging
it for maximizing fund allocation out of CSR monies. Helpage was the first NPO to
be graded VO 1A, the highest level of grading by CRISIL for the voluntary sector.
She worked on various possibilities of corporate sector participation in bringing
about equity, growth and sustainability in the economic development.
She currently serves as an independent director in various large organizations across
manufacturing and services such as Motherson Sumi Ltd, IIFL Holdings Ltd, Tata Communication
Transformation Services Ltd .
She is a graduate in Commerce from Shriram College of Commerce ,Delhi University
and did her articles with PriceWaterhouseCoopers while pursuing her CA.