Anita Nair is the critically acclaimed and best selling author of The Better Man, Ladies Coupe, Mistress, Lessons in Forgetting, Cut Like Wound, Idris: Keeper of the Light, Alphabet Soup For Lovers and Chain of Custody. Her latest book is an iconic one or children : Muezza & Baby Jaan - Stories from the Quran. She has also published a collection of poems titled Malabar Mind and a collection of essays titled Goodnight & God Bless and has written two plays and the screenplay for the movie adaptation of her novel Lessons in Forgetting which won the National Film Award for 2012. She was awarded the Flo FICCI Woman Achievers Award in 2008 and the Central Sahitya Akademi award for her contribution to Children's Literature in 2013. Her books have been translated into 30 languages. She runs a Creative Writing Mentorship program in Bangalore called Anita's Attic.
Dr. Manabi Bandopadhyay
Dr. Manabi Bandopadhyay became India's first third gender principal at Krishnagar Women's College in Nadia, West Bengal on 9th June, 2015. Selected for this post purely on merit, her message to her community is: "Education- If we learn, all our problems will be solved." She holds a Ph.D. in Bengali literature. She is the first transgender professor in West Bengal & the first transgender to complete a Ph.D. on "3rd gender/transgender in Bengali literature & society" in 2006. In 1995, she published the first Bengali Transgender Magazine, Obo-Manab. At present, she is the Honourable Vice-Chairperson in West Bengal Transgender Development Board, Govt. of West Bengal & Executive Council Member of Kalyani University.
Son of well-known Urdu poet and film lyricist Jan Nisar Akhtar and Safia Akhtar, teacher and writer, Javed Akhtar belongs to a family lineage that can be traced back to seven generations of writers. His body of work can be categorized under three distinct categories : a) script writer b) lyricist c) poet. Along with his ex-partner Salim, he scripted super hits like Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay, Haathi Mere Saathi, Seeta Aur Geeta, Don, Trishul, etc. Salim-Javed as a writer-duo gave to Indian Cinema the memorable persona of the 'Angry Young Man'. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri (1999), Padma Bhushan (2007), the Sahitya Akademi Award as well as 5 National Film Awards and 16 Filmfare Awards.
Karishma Mehta is the founder of 'Humans of Bombay', a social network page on Facebook and Instagram which aims to showcase the myriad of stories which belong to the people of Mumbai. She and her team wish to 'catalog the beat of the city, one story at a time'. Her storytelling skills and the page's massive following are often utilized to raise funds to help people overcome adversities. Her most recent effort was to help a young boy Rudra raise INR 12 lakhs to beat an acute form of leukemia and it only took one hour to reach this target. In 2016, she released her first book titled 'Humans of Bombay'. She is a graduate of the Nottingham University, with a double major in economics and business.
Managing Director, South Asia, Adobe
Kulmeet Bawa is the managing director for Adobe in South Asia. As a business leader with cross-functional experience, Kulmeet has an extensive understanding of enterprises and their needs in today's digital era. He has been Instrumental in accelerating Adobe's momentum in the Indian market and is now focused on driving growth for Adobe in South Asia. Prior to joining adobe in 2012, Kulmeet served Microsoft India as Director of the Government and Healthcare business. Earlier, he held senior roles at Sun Microsystems, and spent more than 12 years with the Indian Armoured Corps. Kulmeet is a graduate from the Indian School of Business and an alumnus of the prestigious National Defence Academy.
Recipient of the Bravery Award
Mallika Jagad graduated with a dual degree from The Institute of Hotel Management Aurangabad and The University of Huddersfield, UK, after which she has been with the Tata Group for over 9 years. She has worked across different sectors and disciplines, starting her career with The Taj in 2006. She went on to do her post-graduation from The Rotterdam School of Management - Erasmus University & Hotel School, The Hague with a dual degree in Business & Hospitality in the year 2011. Her exemplary courage and bravery during the dreadful night of 26/11 fetched her the bravery award as she led 35 brave Taj employees in saving the lives of numerous guests as bullets flied inside the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai!
Media Veteran, CEO of Applause Entertainment
A media and entertainment industry veteran, Sameer Nair's illustrious career spans across 3 decades with him holding key positions at leading media houses. Among varied highlights in his career span was the network revamp at Star TV and the launch of Amitabh Bachchan & KBC, and the Balaji soap operas on Star Plus. He turned entrepreneur with NDTV Imagine Ltd. Later, he successfully concluded the sale of NDTV Imagine to the Turner Group, to become the CEO of Turner General Entertainment Networks. After this, he went on to join Balaji Telefilms Ltd. as its Group CEO devising an expansive strategy for the company's foray into digital- their first B2C outreach with ALT Balaji. In August 2017, Sameer began a new professional journey to helm Applause Entertainment - Media, Content & IP Creation Studio - promoted by Aditya Birla Group Chairman- Kumar Mangalam Birla.
Mr. Shiv Khera is the founder of Qualified Learning Systems, USA. An author, educator, business consultant and a successful entrepreneur, he is a much sought-after speaker. He inspires and encourages individuals to realize their true potential. He is the author of 14 books including the international bestseller "You Can Win", which has sold over 3.5 million copies in 21 languages. His clients include Lufthansa, HP, Citigroup, HSBC, Canon, Nestle, Philips, Mercedes Benz and many more. Tens of thousands of people have benefited from his dynamic workshops internationally in over 20 countries. He has appeared in numerous radio and TV shows. Mr. Khera is the brand ambassador of Round Table Foundation. He has been recognized and honored by Rotary International and The Lions International.
Indian Tennis Player
Somdev Devvarman grew up near Chennai before attending University of Virginia from 2005-08. He captured NCAA singles titles in back-to-back seasons in 2007 (d. Georgia's John Isner) and 2008 (d. Tennessee's J.P. Smith) and All-American honours both times. He has been a member of India's Davis Cup team. In October 2010, he won the singles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. In November 2010, he became the first player since Japan's Toshiro Sakai to win singles and doubles gold medals at the Asian Games. In 2011, he was presented the Arjuna Award. In January 2017, he pulled the shutter down on his playing career.
Padma Vibhushan, Dr. Sonal Mansingh is a celebrated cultural personality of India. Currently she is serving a second term as Trustee of Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and is a visiting professor at BHU, Varanasi. She has served as Chairperson of Central Sangeet Natak Akademi and on several important official and cultural bodies. She is proficient in several languages and their literature. She has a deep knowledge of several Indian dance styles as well as the 3 prevalent classical music traditions of India viz. Hindustani, Oriya and Carnatic. She utilizes her knowledge and talent to address socio-cultural issues through Naatya-Katha. She is the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan (2003) and the Padma Bhushan (1992) among many coveted national and international awards.
Journalist, Editor, Former primetime TV anchor
Suhasini Haidar is the Diplomatic Editor of The Hindu, one of India’s oldest and most respected national dailies (www.thehindu.com), regularly writing on Foreign policy issues. Prior to this, she was Foreign Affairs editor and prime time anchor for India’s leading 24-hr English news channel CNN-IBN (2005-2014), where she presented the signature show “WorldView with Suhasini Haidar”, and Correspondent for CNN International’s New Delhi bureau before that. In 2015, she was the recipient of the most prestigious Indian print journalism ‘Prem Bhatia’ award, and has won a series of awards for her work in Television as well. Over the course of her 20-year reporting career, Suhasini has covered the most challenging stories & conflicts from the most diverse regions including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Libya, Lebanon and Syria. Suhasini earned a Bachelor's degree at Lady Shriram College in Delhi, and then completed her Masters in Broadcast Journalism at Boston University's College of Communication, US