Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee


Mr. Mahesh Ramachandran is a successful Serial and Social Entrepreneur. He brings with him several decades of rich & varied experience in the field of Entrepreneurship, FinTech, Leadership, Digital Marketing, Mentoring & Governance.

Mr. Ramachandran acts as non-executive director on the boards of several multi-national companies and innovative start-ups. He

  • Chairs the TiE FinTech Special Interest Group on FinTech.
  • Cofounder & CEO of Commonwealth Inclusive Growth Services Ltd
  • Director (International Business) of Commonwealth Investment Corporation and Partner Pontaq, a UK India Innovation Fund.
  • Founder Member, Indian Professionals Forum, a UK based think tank.
  • Visiting Faculty of Indian School of Business and Bennett University

Mr. Ramachandran holds an MBA from University of Westminster, Sloan Masters in Leadership & Strategy (Distinguished Sloan Fellow of London Business School) from University of London


Dr. Shyam N. Nigam is a renowned groundnut scientist with distinction of having released more than 125 groundnut cultivars jointly with National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in 35 countries in Asia and Africa. He worked with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in different positions during 1974-2012 in Asia and Africa. He retired from active service in June 2012. Currently, he free lances as ‘Expert – Agriculture for Development’ and serves on various committees of State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in India and University of Georgia, USA. In addition to crop improvement, he specializes in seed systems and farmer participatory research and development.

Dr. Nigam is honoured with several international awards, notables among them are: Medal for Agriculture and Rural Development from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Government of Vietnam; Distinguished Carrier Achievements Recognition by the Peanut Genome Consortium International Peanut Genome Initiative, USA; Doreen Mashler Award – 2009 by ICRISAT; Distinguished Scientific Achievement for long standing partnership by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), Bangladesh; Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Nepal; Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka; and Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Centre (DA-CVIARC), the Philippines.


Mr. Gurumani, till recently Country Director, India with Project Concern International, has over four decades of experience in industry, consulting and social development. In addition to social development, he has worked in banking, manufacturing, consumer products, hotels and oil exploration and refining, holding increasing responsibilities. He has acquired Masters Qualifications in Management Science, Commerce and Systems Management.

An award winning manager and a Rotary International Fellow, Mr. Gurumani’s work includes both line and staff management. Passionate about helping people, systems and organizations perform better; Mr. Gurumani is also an internationally certified Workshop Leader in the celebrated Heal Your Life process of Louise Hay.



Mr. Sanjay Upadhyay, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, is the founder and managing partner of the India’s first environmental law firm, Enviro Legal Defence Firm. Sanjay has been practicing environment and development law since 1993. An India Visiting Fellow at the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley (Fall 1996) and a legal intern to the Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund, San Francisco, a Global Fellow in Marine Policy at the Duke University, North Carolina, he started his professional career at the World Wide Fund for Nature– India at the Centre for Environmental Law.

Sanjay has served as an environmental and development law expert to most well known International, Multilateral, national and state Institutions including the World Bank, ADB, IUCN, DFID, AFD, FAO, UNDP, IIED, ODI to name a few. He has been in the drafting Committees of several laws in India and abroad including Wildlife Act, Forest Rights Act, Nagaland Biodiversity Rules, Land Acquisition law of Afghanistan, Forest Sector Policy of Himachal Pradesh, Medicinal Plant Policies of Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand among others. Sanjay practices in the Supreme Court of India and particularly at the National Green Tribunal.  He is also the Vice President of the National Green Tribunal Bar Association.