Mentors and Partners

Our Mentors

Ravi Venkateshan

Ravi Venkateshan

Chairman, Social Venture Partners India

Ravi Venkatesan is the former Chairman of Microsoft India and currently Chairman of Social Venture Partners India, a network of engaged philanthropists addressing social problems through venture philanthropy. He is a Venture Partner at Unitus Seed Fund, a director on the boards of AB Volvo and Infosys Ltd. Ravi is the author of a newly released and critically acclaimed book "Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere" published by Harvard Business Review.

As Chairman of Microsoft India between 2004 and 2011, Ravi helped build India into Microsoft's second-largest presence in the world as well as one of its fastest growing markets. Ravi was instrumental in creating Microsoft India’s Project Shiksha, a computer literacy program which has so far trained over 35 million school children in India

Ravi was recently voted as one of India's best management thinkers by Thinkers50.

Sanjeev Aga

Sanjeev Aga

Advisor and Mentor

In a business career commencing 1973, Sanjeev Aga held senior positions in Asian Paints, Chellarams (Nigeria), and in Jenson & Nicholson. In 1987, he became head of the Furniture business of Blow Plast, later CEO of Leo-Mattel Toys, and in 1993 became the Managing Director of the BlowPlast Group (now VIP Industries) with multi-business responsibility, including the flagship VIP Luggage business.

In November 1998, Sanjeev Aga was appointed CEO of Birla AT&T. He led the telecom JV through the merger with Tata Cellular, and the acquisition of RPG Mobile, to be the CEO of the merged entity Birla Tata AT&T, later renamed Idea Cellular.

In July 2002, Aga left Idea Cellular to be with the Aditya Birla group, where in 2005 he became Managing Director of Aditya Birla Nuvo. In this capacity, Sanjeev Aga had five group businesses, BPO, IT Services, Chemicals, Fertilisers, and Insulators reporting to him. He was also on the Business Review Council for Madura Garments and Birla SunLife Insurance.

With Idea Cellular’s shareholding changing to become an Aditya Birla group entity, November 2006 saw Sanjeev Aga back once again as Managing Director. The next four years were a marathon of progress for Idea Cellular. The company improved its national market position from No 6 to No 3, joined the ranks of the 10 biggest global telcos, more importantly became a razor sharp, profitable, and highly regarded company in a fiercely competitive sector. Aga also provided personal and thought leadership to the industry association, the COAI. Sanjeev Aga stepped down as Managing Director of Idea Cellular in March 2011.

Sanjeev Aga now engages in advisory, mentorship, and board roles for corporates and not-for-profit organizations. Among others, he is presently on the boards of Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, Mahindra Logistics, Pidilite Industries, and Idea Cellular, and an Advisor to Kedaara Capital. He writes and speaks on business and current affairs.

Sanjeev Aga studied in Scindia School, Gwalior; graduated with B.Sc. Honours (Physics) from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi; and post-graduated from IIM Kolkata. He and his wife are based in Mumbai.

Awards and Recognitions
- For 2009, Idea Cellular was the “ET Emerging Company of the Year"
- For 2009, Indira Innovation Summit awarded "CEO of the Year"
- For 2010, awarded "CEO of the Year" & "Outstanding Contribution to the Telecom sector"
- December 2010, Forbes India magazine shortlisted as a "Person of the Year"
- October 2014, The Scindia School conferred the Madhav Award for "Old Boy of Eminence"
- 2015, CEO Magazine awarded "Guru of the Year"

Pramod Gothi

Pramod Gothi

Founder & CEO: NorthStar Advisors

Pramod Gothi is a qualified and experienced coach with more than 1000 hours of coaching to his credit. He has coached more than 125 Entrepreneurs, CEOs, COOs, Marketing Heads and other senior executives across a range of industries in last 5 years. With his 38 years long career, 25 years out of this as MD/CEO, with the corporate world in the leadership positions, he has seen the challenges of the various positions and situations. This helps him to view and connect with the client situations. He has strong presence during coaching and skills of active listening, probing, challenging and identifying the blind spots. This helps to create a shift in the leaders which in turn helps them to see the situations with a new perspective.

He is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), certified by ICF and designated CEO Coach by CFI. He is a Gold Medallist in Engineering from IIT. He is now coaching CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Senior Executives across industries like FMCG, Fashion, Engineering, Food, etc.

Working across diverse industries, Pramod has enormous experience in setting up green field projects, converting them into profitable ventures and turning around loss-making companies. His style has been to lead from the front and he believes that continuous training and coaching of young colleagues contributed greatly to the success of his companies/ projects. Pramod was also instrumental in setting up various joint ventures and technical collaborations with Italian, German, French and Japanese companies over his tenure at Piramal Group.

Specialities: Coaching and mentoring CEOs and Entrepreneurs, turnarounds, joint ventures, strategic alliances, international operations




Our Partners

Thomson Reuters Foundation Mastek