The Quartz Pros are some of our top thinkers and doers in business who regularly contribute their takes on the news. This roster of leaders spans multiple industries, perspectives, and experiences to bring personal context behind the stories shaping the future of the global economy.
Ajit Mohan, managing director at Facebook India—Over two decades, his work has spanned the private and social sectors around the world, with a particular focus on how technology can improve lives. He was the founding CEO of Hotstar and a Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute.
Amish Tripathi, diplomat, columnist and author—Listed among the 100 most influential celebrities in the country, Tripathi has been described as “India’s first literary popstar.” He has authored seven books, including the bestselling series “The Shiva Trilogy” and “Ram Chandra Series,” which have sold over 5 millions copies. Tripathi graduated from IIM-Calcutta and worked in the financial services industry for 14 years before turning to writing full-time.
Anand Mahindra, chairman at the US $20.7 billion Mahindra Group and executive chairman at Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd—His tenure has seen the Group expand domestically and internationally into a range of major industrial sectors from automobiles and agriculture to IT and aerospace. He is an incisive business commentator and humanitarian with over 7 million followers on Twitter. Among his many social change initiatives is the Nanhi Kali program, which, for the last two decades, has provided over 330,000 under-privileged girls access to high quality education. Mahindra has earned a spot on Barron’s List of Top 30 CEOs worldwide (2016) and Fortune Magazine’s list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders (2014).
Barkha Dutt, journalist—The Delhi-based TV journalist and anchor has more than two decades of reporting experience. Dutt is the author of This Unquiet Land: Stories from India’s Fault Lines.
Chiki Sarkar, co-founder and publisher at Juggernaut Books—Sarkar’s company is India’s first publisher to have its own app for the smartphone, which creates a new reading experience for users. Juggernaut’s authors include Twinkle Khanna, Nobel Prize winners Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Dufflo, bestselling nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, Tony Joseph, JCB prizewinner Benyamin, William Dalrymple, and Arundhati Roy. Sarkar was the publisher of Random House India and Penguin India before setting up on her own.
Gaurav Dalmia, chairman at Dalmia Group Holdings—The World Economic Forum selected Dalmia as a Global Leader for Tomorrow in 2000. Dalmia Group Holdings is a holding company for business and financial assets. It is a leading investor in private equity and real estate. In addition, Dalmia is the chairman of the Indian Advisory Board of global education charity Room to Read, a board member of Brookings India and a member of the Governing Board of The Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York.
Hitesh Oberoi, co-promoter, managing director, and chief executive officer at Info Edge—Apart from India’s leading job site, naukri.com, Info Edge also owns 99acres.com, jeevansathi.com, and shiksha.com, and has investments in various internet start-ups like Zomato and PolicyBazaar. Oberoi has nearly 19 years of experience in the internet industry, and is among the founders and a trustee of Ashoka University.
Jayati Ghosh, development economist—Ghosh is currently a professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and executive secretary of International Development Economics associates. The author and/or editor of a dozen books and around 200 scholarly articles, she has advised governments, consulted for international organizations including ILO, UNDP, UNCTAD, UN-DESA, UNRISD and UN Women and is a member of several international commissions.
Jean Drèze, development economist—Drèze has made wide-ranging contributions to development economics and public policy, with special reference to India. He is also active in various campaigns for social and economic rights as well as the worldwide movement for peace and disarmament. Drèze is currently a visiting professor at Ranchi University in Jharkhand, India.
Karthik Reddy, co-founder and managing partner at Blume Ventures—Reddy’s prior stints at American Express, Reuters Instinet and Bennett Coleman have given him a breadth of experience across the US and India in financial markets, technology and media. At Blume, he has led the majority of the investments, and advises and serves on the boards of some of the leading investments at the firm. Blume Ventures, founded in 2011, has shaped the early stage VC ecosystem in India and has become one of the leading homegrown VCs in the country.
Kavita Devi, co-founder and editor at Khabar Lahariya—Founded in 2002, the hyper-local digital platform is run by rural women and emphasises issues with a feminist perspective. Devi also hosts the weekly video programme, The Kavita Show.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder and chairman at Axilor Ventures—The Padma Bhushan-awardee co-founded Infosys with six other entrepreneurs in 1981. Recognised as a global business and technology thought leader, he was selected in 2009 to join Thinkers 50, an elite list of global business thinkers. Gopalakrishnan is currently the chairman of Axilor Ventures, an early stage start-up accelerator and venture fund.
Malini Agarwal, founder, and creative director at MissMalini Entertainment—Named “India’s most famous digital influencer” by The Huffington Post and Forbes, Agarwal pioneered Indian lifestyle blogging in 2008 with MissMalini.com. Her media lifestyle brand, MissMalini Entertainment, creates engaging, multi-platform content geared towards India’s internet generation and reaches over 30 million each month. She is the bestselling author of To the Moon: How I Blogged My Way To Bollywood.
Nikhil Pahwa, founder and editor at MediaNama—Pahwa is a TED Fellow, an Asia21 Fellow, and one of India Today magazine’s ‘Indians of Tomorrow’ under 35 in 2012. He led the Savetheinternet.in campaign for net neutrality in India, which led to the shutdown of Facebook’s Free Basics. Pahwa also co-founded the Internet Freedom Foundation, which focuses on advocacy for digital rights in India. He is currently the editor at MediaNama, a publication covering the evolution of digital media in India, focusing on mobile VAS, internet and media businesses.
Sairee Chahal, founder and CEO at SHEROES—Chahal founded SHEROES, a women-only social network, and the first one in the world to be designed exclusively to serve female internet users. Her goal is to bring 100 million Indian women on the internet by 2022. Chahal is also on the board of PayTM. She is an alumnus of JNU and IMT Ghaziabad, a fellow of the Ananta Aspen’s Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Samir Saran, president at Observer Research Foundation—Saran has been actively engaged with regulators and policymakers since the mid 90s, closely studying India’s ambitious economic reform journey. As the president of one of Asia’s most influential think tanks, he now provides strategic direction and leadership to ORF’s multiple centres on fundraising, research projects, platform design and outreach initiatives including stakeholder engagement. Saran is the curator and founder of the Raisina Dialogue, India’s flagship global event on policy and politics.
Sandeep Murthy, partner at Lightbox—Murthy can be credited with helping to build India’s internet economy. He’s not just seen the playing out of highs and lows from an investor vantage point, but from operational roles as well, including as the CEO of Cleartrip in 2006 for three years.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and Managing Director at Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between TV18 Broadcast Limited and Viacom Inc—As an industry captain associated with various Indian and International trade bodies, Vats brings a fresh perspective to the media and entertainment sector in India. He has, over the last seven years, steered the group into a profitable growth phase while expanding the broadcast network from six to over 52 channels and expanding from 2 to 5 lines of business. A Hindustan Unilever (Unilever India) veteran, he spent about 20 years at the organisation. During his tenure there he shaped several popular household brands, most notably Lipton, Vim, Wheel, Surf, Rin, Lifebuoy, and Lux.
Varun Sivaram, chief technology officer at ReNew Power Limited—Sivaram is a physicist and a part of ReNew Power, a multibillion-dollar renewable energy firm, India’s largest by installed capacity. He is also a senior research scholar at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy. His books include ‘Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet’ and ‘Digital Decarbonization: Promoting Digital Innovations to Advance Clean Energy Systems.’
Utkarsh Amitabh, founder at Network Capital—Amitabh was a part of the team that built India’s first smart village. He is passionate about using technology to match talent and opportunities, and is currently at the helm of the world’s largest peer mentoring and career guidance community.