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01 to 02 December 2022 | By invitation only

Le Meridien Hotel, New Delhi, India

To meet the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the private sector will need to play a greater role in supporting development objectives. Inclusive businesses offer the opportunity to address development challenges and leave no one behind. Inclusive businesses are companies that: “provide goods, services, and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis, either at scale or scalable, to people living at the base of the economic pyramid making them part of the value chain of companies’ core business as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers.”[1]

Inclusive business provide triple wins. They provide market opportunities to enterprises; they provide above market-rate income opportunities and access to affordable essential goods and services for low income and marginalised groups; and they help governments deliver affordable goods and services and lift people out of poverty at scale.

There are a number of valuable models of inclusive business - many in the agribusiness sector - across Asia and the Pacific, that are commercially viable and have social impact at scale. Inclusive business in agriculture shape core business processes in the agri-food sector to address the needs of low-income smallholder farmers and create value for these groups as well as the company. For agri-businesses to be inclusive and remain commercially viable, an innovative mindset and partnerships at the local and regional level, and along the value chain, are critical.

This Forum will be taken forward within the framework of the "Regional Inclusive Business Models in Agriculture and Food Systems" initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is being organized in collaboration with Invest India. 

The aim of the forum is to create awareness about inclusive business in agriculture, share knowledge and experiences on this topic and advocate key public and private stakeholders to promote inclusive business. The first day of the Forum will include a series of presentations and panels which have been divided into the policy and business track. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn and share their experiences in topics such as how governments can promote inclusive business, inclusive business accreditation, measuring and managing impact, financing inclusive business and market opportunities for inclusive business, amongst others. Day two of the forum includes a field visit to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), as well as a roundtable with key agriculture business stakeholders.

 


[1] As defined by the Inclusive Business Framework of the G20 and referenced in the Guidelines for the Promotion of Inclusive Business in ASEAN.
Dec
02
2022
Technologies and innovations advancing inclusive business in agriculture and food systems - Field visit

New Delhi, India

Kaveh Zahedi
Mr. Kaveh Zahedi
Deputy Executive Secretary United Nations ESCAP
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Kaveh Zahedi is the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP). He oversees ESCAP’s programmes on energy, environment, natural disasters, finance, trade, transport, social development, and statistics, all in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He also supervises ESCAP's institutes on ICT for Development (Incheon), disaster information management (Tehran), agricultural mechanization (Beijing), statistics (Chiba) and technology transfer (Delhi). He helps to run the UN Regional Cooperation Platform, facilitates collaboration with UN Resident Coordinators and Country Teams and oversees implementation of the UN regional reform process.

Prior to this, Mr. Zahedi worked at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) including as its Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific and as Deputy Director of the Division of Economy, overseeing work on green economy, resource efficiency and climate change. As Climate Change Coordinator he led the development of the first organization-wide climate change programme, and regularly headed the UNEP team for the UNFCCC climate talks. He also led the formation of major UN partnerships such as the UN-REDD Programme (with FAO and UNDP), Ecosystem Based Adaptation Programme (with IUCN and UNDP), the Climate Technology Centre and Networks (with UNIDO), and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. Over two decades Mr. Zahedi has worked for the United Nations in Kenya, Mexico, Europe and Thailand.

Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Zahedi worked at an NGO as project manager for a g r i c u l t u r a l a n d micro credit projects in Latin America and the Middle East. He holds a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, USA, and a BSc first class degree in Economics & Geography, from University College London.

Mr. Varun Sood
Mr. Varun Sood
Vice President, Invest India
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Varun Sood is Vice President at Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency promoted by the Government of India. As part of the Make in India execution team, Varun is managing 16 core sectors with regards to investments and policy reforms.

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Rupa Chanda
Director, Trade, Investment and Innvation Division, United Nations ESCAP (pre-recorded)
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Rupa Chanda is the Director of Trade, Investment and Innovation. Prior to that, she was a Professor of Economics at IIM Bangalore and the Dean of Programmes at the institute. She has worked as an Economist at the IMF and briefly served as Head, UNESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia in New Delhi. Prof. Chanda received her PhD in Economics from Columbia University and her Bachelor’s from Harvard University. She teaches Macroeconomics and International Trade and has received teaching awards. Her research interests include the WTO, trade in services, regional integration and migration. She hasundertaken research and professional assignments forinternational and Indian organizations and has published extensively in the form of books, journal articles, book chapters, and reports. She is active professionally as a research guide, reviewer, and member of several expert committees. She was member of the WHO’s Review Committee on the functioning of the International Health Regulations (2015-16) and  the WHO’s Expert Advisory Group, International Recruitment of Health Personnel (2019-20).

Trinh Thi Huong
Ms. Huong Thi Trinh
Deputy Director General, Agency of Enterprise Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Viet Nam
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Trinh Thi Huong has worked as a policy maker in enterprise development for 18 years, gaining rich experience in supporting small and medium sized enterprises (SME) and private sector development. She is now Deputy Director General of the Agency for Enterprise Development under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) Viet Nam, in charge of private sector development and international cooperation on SME support. She has remarkably contributed to many Vietnamese Government legal frameworks that support the development of small and medium enterprises and private sector. She has also put much effort in promoting women-led SMEs, inclusive and sustainable business, ESG innovation in the private sector and digital transformation in business.

Smita Jacob
Ms. Smita Jacob
Director of Policy
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Smita Jacob is Director of Policy at the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Asia’s largest social investment network comprising over 600 members across 33 countries. At AVPN, Smita leads AVPN’s Impact Economy Policy strategy, a central component of AVPN’s efforts to support governments in Asia to develop policies and strategies to support the growth of the Impact Economy. Within the broader Impact Economy Policy Strategy, Smita anchors AVPN’s commitment to furthering the impact agenda in the G20, leading AVPN’s support to G20 presidencies.

With 15 years experience in the social impact space, Smita is a public policy expert and has worked extensively with governments, multi-laterals such as UNDP, UN Women and World Bank and private sector on strategic advisory, policy advocacy as well as design and management of large-scale impact projects. Smita is also the founder of a social enterprise Kreã Collectives - aimed at empowering women led artisan collectives in Guatemala and India.

Smita holds a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins-SAIS, Washington DC (2017), and a Masters in Social Work from TISS Mumbai (2008).

Lisa Joy Cheong
Ms. Lisa Joy Cheong
International Consultant
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Lisa J Cheong, is Canadian Chinese and works as an International Consultant, based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She has extensive work experience working in both the corporate and development sector in a career that spans over 34 years including 11.5 years in Cambodia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the USA. She is passionate about seeing business as a force for good to address economic and social inequalities through a shared valued approach with multi-sector collaboration to facilitate a more inclusive, equitable and just world. This has led her to focus on projects that foster an inclusive business approach which enables commercially viable enterprises to deliver scaled-up innovative and systemic solutions to people at the base of the economic pyramid.

In Cambodia, she previously worked as a Senior Consultant at Emerging Markets Consulting (EMC) acting as the Cambodia Project Team lead for the GIZ- IBAN: Inclusive Business Coaching Mentoring Guide, USAID: Harvest II, Feed the Future SME Export Financing Solutions project, and for the UNCDF: Making Access Possible - Financial Inclusion Project assessing progress in Cambodia’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy project over the past 5 years. In addition, she has acted as Project Advisor for: 1) UPU Digital Financial Services for Cambodia Post and 2) GHR Challenge Fund that provides grant funding for NGOS focused on alternative care models for children in Cambodia.

Prior to EMC, she was the Executive Director at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia and Country Director of two International NGOs in the Anti-Human Trafficking sector focused on designing, implementing, monitoring & evaluating programs that support the recovery of trafficking survivors in Cambodia. She has also been a freelance consultant providing coaching and capacity building to emerging female leaders both in the development sector and in the social enterprise sector of Cambodia. Before moving to Cambodia, Lisa lived in Canada, working for 23 years in various corporate sectors including Consumer Products, the Software sector and 13 years in the Investment Banking Financial Services sector acting in an investment advisory capacity to stock brokers and financial advisors in the private wealth management group.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce, in Economics & Finance, University of Toronto (Canada), Certification in Enneagram Coaching and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship.

Kirti Prasanna Mishra
Mr. Kirti Prasanna Mishra
Co-founder and Director Ecociate
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With more than 25 years of experience and the Co-founder of Ecociate Consultants, Kirti carries unique expertise in strategizing and designing sustainable and inclusive business solutions in Base of the Pyramid communities. He has been supporting several assignments related to sustainability in agriculture sector and in specific domains like agroecology, organic production and marketing, sustainable sourcing and safe and healthy food. Apart from sustainable agriculture, he has worked on themes like food system transformation, food fortification, supply chain of nutritious products, value chains, market development and private sector engagement. He has supported reputed organisations like FAO, GIZ, World Bank, IDH Trade, Solidaridad, Tanager, Swissaid, Swisscontact, The Nature Conservancy, GAIN etc. on above mentioned specific domains. He is a certified Sustainability Assessor by CII. Prior to Ecociate he was a Partner in MART, a leading rural marketing consultancy organization. He was instrumental in developing a comprehensive B-School teaching module on SBM and introduced it several B-schools in India. Kirti has worked in a large number of assignments across sectors like Agriculture, Food, Nutrition, Health, CSR in India and neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal.

Tushna Dora
Ms. Tushna Dora
Senior Investment Specialist Asian Development Bank
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Tushna Dora is a food and agribusiness development finance specialist and is the South Asia lead for food and ag-business investment projects for the ADB's private sector operations since 2018. Tushna is based in Manila at the ADB headquarters. Prior to joining ADB, Tushna worked with Rabobank in India, as a Relationship Manager for large food and agri corporates covering a range of debt transactions. This was preceded by her time in ICICI Bank, as a product specialist for trade and treasury activities for small and mid-corporates, also in the agribusiness sector.

Tushna is a citizen of India and holds a MBA degree specializing in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management, Anand and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. In her free time, Tushna likes to cook and host people and enjoys travelling with her friends and family.

Marta Perez Cuso
Ms. Marta Pérez Cusó
Economic Affairs Officer United Nations ESCAP
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Marta Pérez Cusó leads ESCAP’s programme on inclusive technology and innovation policies to promote technologies and innovations that leave no one behind. She also leads ESCAP’s work on promoting enabling policy environments for inclusive business. She has 20 years’ work experience with the United Nations providing policy advice on science, technology and innovation (STI) and information and communication technology policies to governments across Asia and Latin America.

Before joining ESCAP, Ms. Pérez Cusó worked with UNCTAD and Oxfam GB. She holds an MSc in Development Management, Open University UK and is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Catalan.

Ms. Lisa Huyen
Ms. Huyen Nguyen Thi
General Director VINASAMEX
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Huyen Nguyen Thi is one of the founders of Vietnam Staraniseed Cassia Manufacturing and Exporting Joint Stock Company - VINASAMEX., JSC, the leading enterprise in cinnamon and star anise manufacturing and exporting from Vietnam. She has been awarded “Female social entrepreneur” by Female social entrepreneurs’ organization – Thailand. Huyen is working with the passion to further improve the living and working condition of every single farmer and minority people in farming area all over Vietnam. After contributing more than 10 years being a CEO of a leading Vietnamese company, she has successfully achieved very valuable certificates for VINASAMEX., JSC from worldwide associations especially Organic EU, Organic JAS from Control Union, Netherlands, ForLife from Ecocert and HACCP from Quacert. Huyen Nguyen Thi is a strong woman, a caring mom and a thoughtful manager.

Ms. Wimonkan Kosumas
Ms. Wimonkan Kosumas
Deputy Director General, Office of SMEs Promotion, Thailand
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Dr. Wimonkan Kosumas has been designated as Deputy Director General of Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion of Thailand since 2010. With her main responsibilities in international cooperation issues, during 2013-2014 she served as a Chair person of APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group as well as a Chair person of ASEAN Small and Medium Enterprise Working Group in 2015. She holds Ph. D. in Foreign Affairs (majoring in International Political Economy, University of Virginia, USA). Her 30 years of experience and expertise in foreign affairs and international cooperation as well as solid background in SMEs promotion would allow her to prominently contribute to this event.

Mr. Vijay Nadiminti
Mr. Vijay Nadiminti
Chief Executive Officer, Aghub
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Vijay Nadiminti is a distinguished Agribusiness professional with ~14 years of agribusiness industry experience. Since, 2009 he has been instrumental for contributing to emerging areas of agribusiness such as terminal markets, agribusiness consulting, Agri value chain assessments, development sector- FPOs assessment & business modelling, innovation landscaping, start-up Ideation- Incubation, Acceleration, Co-innovation, Agritech innovation pilots and Equity seed investments, Grants and Portfolio management & Startup Mentoring; etc.

 

He started his career in 2009 with Premium Farm Fresh Produce Ltd, India’s first private wholesale market served at various capacities as Management Trainee, Asst. Manager, Deputy Manager and Operations Manager. Later in 2012, he joined TechnoServe, a US-based not-for-profit and served at various capacities as Area Manager, Asst. Project Manager and Team lead on various clients such as Walmart, Olam, Mondelez, Clinton foundation, MACP project of World Bank, USAID etc.

 

In 2015, He joined as a COO for a-IDEA, a technology business incubator of NAARM, a flagship incubator supported by DST, BIRAC and NABARD, under the aegis of the startup India Initiative. At a-IDEA, he managed the incubator, innovation pipeline, angel affiliations, fund raising, startup incubation-acceleration programs, equity seed funding, grants and portfolio management etc. He has been instrumental in setting up India’s first Food & Agribusiness Accelerator program “Agri Udaan” in 2015, followed by Agri Udaan 2.0 & 3.0 in 2017 & 2019 PAN India. He was instrumental in setting up equity seed fund corpus in an Agriculture focused incubator ecosystem for investing in agritech start-ups in equity. He has managed an equity corpus of 3 Cr INR at a-IDEA from DST & BIRAC and enabled ~10 start-up equity investments and enabled start-up exists i.e., Agnext (5X returns).

At a-IDEA, he has actively supported ~78 Food and Agritech startups & enabled grants for ~10 startups, seed funded ~ 10 startups. In toto out of the 78 startups supported ~ 37 startups attracted funding of ~120 Cr. INR from the angel investors, Angel networks as well Venture Capitals as well ~ 26 startup applied for patents and trademarks collectively. Under his leadership a-IDEA has won “National Award for Technology Business Incubator for 2017 by DST, GoI”. He has represented major forums including “doubling the farmer’s income conference” held by the NITI Aayog and the Prime minister of India and also represented Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2017) held by NITI Aayog, GoI.

 

In 2021, he joined AgHub, Agri Innovation Hub of PJTSAU as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), A flagship incubator supported by the NABARD as well MOFPI, GoI. He has been instrumental in conceptualizing and contributing for the establishment of first of its kind Hub & Spoke model of Incubation, Innovation & Entrepreneurship ecosystem in the state of Telangana & India. At AgHub he has established the Innovation Hub and nurturing Agritech startups through Incubation, Agritech Innovation Pilots (AIP), Co-innovation Programs, Enterprise Acceleration Program (EAP). At AgHub out of the 35+ startups supported 8 startups have already raised 60+ Cr INR Funding. He has also been leading Student Entrepreneurship Programs such as Design Thinking for UG & PG graduates in Agriculture, Idea Sprout- Ideation Platform & Student Incubation Programs and has created a pool of ~ 1100 Design Thinkers & 350+ Ideas among the Agri grads. Further at AgHub he is currently managing a

Bootstrap Grant to the tune of ~ 1 Cr INR corpus & 5 Cr INR Catalytic Capital. He is also further setting in the Rural Innovation spokes of the AgHub for catering to the rural innovators & entrepreneurs.

 

He holds a Post Graduate diploma in Agribusiness Management from National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM), Jaipur and a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) Hyderabad.

Ms. Melanie Moleño
Ms. Melanie Moleño
Consultant
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Melanie Llorca Moleño currently supports various organizations and policymakers in the region as a consultant. She previously worked with the Philippine Board of Investments as its first Inclusive Business Program Director, and with the Inclusive Business Center of the Philippine Business for Social Progress. She has worked with non-profit, public and private sector institutions in the US and the Philippines, on social development, information technology, accounting and finance, among others, and has been actively supporting startups. She earned her master’s degree in business administration from University of South Florida.

Mr. Royston Braganza
Mr. Royston Braganza
Chief Executive Officer, Grameen Capital
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Royston joined Grameen Capital in 2007 as CEO, to launch the organization, providing Microfinance Institutions and Social Enterprises wider access to the capital markets. Grameen Capital is part of the global Grameen family of companies, the flagship of which is the Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank founded by Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus.

To realise his dream of a “Capital-with-a-Conscience” ecosystem, Royston along with Grameen Capital, promoted “Grameen Impact” a unique social debt vehicle to realise the dream of a “Capital-with-a-Conscience” ecosystem which over time hopes to include a Social Venture Fund and a Social Stock Exchange.

A career banker, Royston spent over a decade in Citibank in various assignments across Consumer and Corporate Bank and also set up HSBC’s SME Finance Business and their global Microfinance Business.

In addition to being the former Chair of Sa-Dhan, whose members have over 50 million women micro-entrepreneurs, he serves on many boards and advisory bodies, including Grameen Foundation India, FICCI, CII, Impact Investors Council, etc.

He has been invited to address various programs in India and globally to promote impact investment and blended finance as a sustainable tool to eradicate poverty, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Notably in September 2018, Royston addressed a high-level event at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York on the SDG’s. He is globally regarded as an expert on impact investing and blended finance as a sustainable tool to eradicate poverty and to achieve the SDGs. He was also invited to write the introductory chapter for the OECD report on Financing for Development to be released at the UN General Assembly in September 2018.

The London-based Finance Monthly publication named Royston in their 2013 Global CEO Award Winners list as among the Top 4 CEOs in Asia, and Top 2 in India. He has also been awarded the Global CSR Leadership award by World CSR Congress.

Mr. Vasudevan Chinnathambi
Mr. Vasudevan Chinnathambi
Co-Founder, Ninjacart
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Vasudevan Chinnathambi is the Co-founder of Ninjacart- India’s largest B2B fresh produce supply chain company. Ninjacart’s focus is to make our innovation more accessible and leverage our strengths to innovate for new product categories and customer segments while solving complex supply chain problems

On seeing a gap in the food distribution market and opportunity to add value through technology, Vasu co-founded Ninjacart in 2015 as a B2C hyper-local grocery delivery platform with Thirukumaran Nagarajan and Kartheeswaran KK, who he met in his previous employment at Taxi4Sure. However, they soon realized that while there was a high demand for an online market for fruits and vegetables, the traditional supply chain for perishable products was inefficient, and hence pivoted towards a B2B Supply Chain platform. Vasu’s vision is to build India’s most efficient and largest supply chain company and improving the lives of producers, businesses, and consumers in a meaningful manner.

Vasu did his MBA in Business Leadership from the prestigious School of Inspired Leadership. Prior to Ninjacart, he worked in various capacities for Taxi4Sure, Firefly e-ventures Ltd, and Infosys Technology Ltd.

Mr. Varun Khurana
Mr. Varun Khurana
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Otipy
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Varun Khurana is an IIT Delhi Alumnus and serial entrepreneur for last 21 years.

He was amongst the Top 10 in all india ranks across various engineering entrance exams including IIT JEE. He has published 6 US patents and has 2 research publications to his credit.

He has spent more than 5 years in silicon valley USA before moving back to India to start his entrepreneurial journey.

He has founded 3 startups and given successful exits everytime. In 2011, he was selected by Businessworld as India's Top 3 youngest entrepreneurs. Additionally he is also associated with multiple startups as an angel investor.

Varun currently is the Founder and CEO of Otipy (operated by Crofarm Agriproducts Pvt Ltd). It is a Series B funded startup and has raised $50M in venture funding till date.

Mr. Markus Dietrich
Mr. Markus Dietrich
Policy Director, Inclusive Business Action Network
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Markus Dietrich is Director Policy at the Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN) since 2017. He supports companies to scale up their inclusive business (IB) models and policymakers in the development of enabling environments.

With a background in the private sector, Markus moved to the Philippines in 2008 and consulted with ADB, GIZ, World Bank and the private sector on renewable energy and inclusive business.

Markus is also a committed social entrepreneur who co-founded Hilltribe Organics in Thailand, which engages hill tribe communities in organic farming.

He holds a degree in Business Studies from CASS Business School and a master degree in International Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Ms. Lisa Dacanay
Ms. Marie Lisa Dacanay
President, Institute of Social Enterpreneurship in Asia
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Dr. Marie Lisa Dacanay is the Founding President of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia and a pioneer in education, research and platform building initiatives promoting social entrepreneurship towards equitable and sustainable development in the region. She is a Co-Convener of the Women's Empowerment, Livelihoods and Food Multi-stakeholder Platform that was launched during a conference co-convened by UNESCAP in 2020, which is promoting a set of Benchmarks and Guidelines for Transformational Partnerships and Women's Economic Empowerment in Agricultural Value Chains. She was recognized as Outstanding Social Innovation Thought Leader of the Year by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the World Economic Forum in 2019.

Mr. Debaranjan Pujahari
Mr. Debaranjan Pujahari
Principal and Head, Agriculture Practice, Sattva Consulting
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Debaranjan leads the Agriculture Practice Area at Sattva.

Debaranjan is an accomplished development professional with more than 15 years of experience in program design and management, policy advocacy and team management to drive the delivery of innovative and results-oriented solutions for agriculture development, food, and nutrition security. He has worked on large-scale, multi-geography programs across agriculture value chain and market development, nutrition, women's economic empowerment, and climate-smart agriculture. Debaranjan’s previously held leadership positions at a multitude of development agencies, namely, IFPRI-HarvestPlus, TechnoServe, Michigan State University to lead high-impact, transformative programs with donors like BMGF, USAID, FCDO, World Bank and private corporations.

Debaranjan holds graduate degrees in International Development & Policy, Agriculture Marketing and Agriculture Statistics from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, Odisha respectively. He has an undergraduate degree in Agriculture from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology.

Mr. Ratnesh Jha
Mr. Ratnesh Jha
Executive Director, UN Global Compact India Network
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Ratnesh has more than three decades long experience at the National, State, and District level in designing, financing, implementing and evaluating development interventions to reach out to unreached social groups in challenging geographies in India. His domain expertise includes financial inclusion, enterprise promotion and development, poverty alleviation, women empowerment, and inclusive growth. He has provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance, Micro Small, and Medium Enterprises, Ministry of Rural Development, and NITI Aayog, Government of India as well as social sector departments in UN focus states.

He has successfully built multi-stakeholder platforms for improving access to development sector policies and programmes through Enterprise Development, Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, and Public Finance Management across Small Industries Development Bank of India, and the United Nations Development Programme. He joins UNGC NI from India’s leading think tank on Public Finance – the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, where he worked as a Senior Fellow.

Ratnesh has completed his Master’s degrees from the University of Manchester (Development Finance) and the University of Delhi (both M.A. and M.Phil in Sociology). He completed his graduation in Economics and Mathematics from Delhi University.

Ms. Varsha Joshi
Ms. Varsha Joshi
Additional Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, India
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Ms. Varsha Joshi is an IAS officer of 1995 batch, AGMUT cadre, presently serving as Additional Secretary Cattle & Dairy, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India. She was previously assigned as commissioner of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation. She have earlier been Secretary Power as well as Commissioner Transport, with the Government of NCT Delhi, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Govt of India, and before that, Director with the Census of India. Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Gender Issues and Leveraging Data for Development are her major areas of experience and interest.

Mr. Onkar Pandey
Mr. Onkar Pandey
Manager, Social Alpha
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Over the past sixteen years, Onkar has been working constantly to solve the complex problems of the underserved communities through Innovation & entrepreneurship and Philanthropy.

Currently, Onkar is leading the India Agritech Incubation network (IAIN) program of Social Alpha and providing the strategic guidance to the program team, he is working closely to strengthen the Innovation and entrepreneur ecosystem to align it with the key problem areas and needs of the sector, he is working with multiple stakeholders to support the “Lab to Market” journey of the startups to solve the key problems and address the market failure.

 

Mr. Amar Gokhale
Mr. Amar Gokhale
Associate Director, Intellecap
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Amar co-leads the Gender & Livelihoods Practice at Intellecap. He has worked on projects related to women’s entrepreneurship, gender analyses and gender lens investing (GLI), impact investing, SME financing and enterprise support, across South and Southeast Asia, East Africa. Amar has a specific interest in gender mainstreaming and has worked extensively on engagements researching and documenting strategies, applications, and utility of investing with a gender lens. He has liaised with diverse stakeholders – LPs, GPs, lenders, entrepreneurs, intermediaries, researchers and policymakers – to identify trends, challenges and opportunities for GLI. Amar has also advised on gender analyses of investors and lenders to create gender action plans to build/strengthen frameworks that enable product-design, sourcing, due-diligence, disbursal and post-disbursal processes that enable the deployment of more capital to women entrepreneurs and with a gender lens; and enable alignment of internal policies to support GLI.

Ms. Srivalli Krishnan
Ms. Srivalli Krishnan
Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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Srivalli Krishnan is the Senior Program Officer-Agricultural Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and leads Foundations’ agricultural programs and investments in Asia. She is the lead for Food Systems work in Asia, particularly around diversified and resilient food systems, livestock, and improving production, supply and demand of quality foods. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the Development Assistance Specialist with the United States Agency for International development (USAID) India Office as the coordinator for agriculture and climate change programs in India, Africa and Asia region; and prior to that with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry providing technical and policy advise to enhance Australia’s bilateral engagement with India in agriculture trade, economics and policy.  Srivalli holds PhD in Crop breeding and genetics from TERI University and Post-doctoral from Cornell University; Masters in Life Sciences from the University of Delhi and advanced diplomas in intellectual property law from WIPO Academy, Geneva; and professional qualifications from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston.

Mr. Vivek Pandey
Mr. Vivek Pandey
Professor, Institute of Rural Management Anand
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Dr. Vivek Pandey is an Associate Professor (Economics) at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) and also heads the Verghese Kurien Policy Lab (VKPL). He has a doctoral degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University. His research focuses on understanding the response of economic agents to development policies and interventions. His ongoing research efforts are focused on assessing the welfare impacts of aligning poor households (especially women) with markets that can offer monopolistic returns. These have the potential to alter intra-household bargaining processes and other downstream outcomes for poor households. He is also interested in investigating the role of women in the promotion of green governance and its subsequent impact on the village economy and growth. At IRMA, he teaches Microeconomics, Econometric Methods for Program Evaluation and Field Experiments.

Mr. Dhruv Sharma Kumar
Mr. Dhruv Sharma Kumar
Sector Lead, Food Processing, Invest India
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Dhruv completed his masters specialising in Rural Management with over 9 years of experience in Agri and allied industry. He has been instrumental in designing project road maps to turnarounds. And holds keen interest in bridging gap b/w Agri-Tech and farmers/FPOs (specially bottom of the Pyramid).

Mr. Chorn Vanthou
Mr. Vanthou Chorn
Deputy Director, Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, Cambodia
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Mr. Vanthou Chorn, is currently serving in the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation of the Kingdom of Cambodia. 

He has been carrying a key supporting role in facilitating various cooperation and part of the policy consultation working group in basically MSMEs, Industry Development Policy, and Cambodia National Strategic Development Policy as well as Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals among others. 

He has joined Inclusive Business policy design and found IB to be an effective and complementary tool in addressing cross cutting social issues and accelerating growth through the lens of sustainable business approach. 

In Cambodia, he has been working with different stakeholders both private & public to bring forward the concept of Inclusive Business and up to now, IB has taken shape in the country after several years of advocacy. A crucial part of his engagement consists of promoting inclusive business in the production of IB landscape study, Accreditation, Business Coaching & Mentoring, and Inclusive Business Enabling Environment Strategy to become National Agenda supported by high level policy makers served as the Steering Group for Inclusive Business. 

Major in Communication and Business Development Services, Mr. Vanthou Chorn continues to implement the Inclusive Business agenda as well as MISTI's mandate in Industry, MSMEs, Science, Technology & Innovation and Standardization.

Ms. Luciana Aguiar
Ms. Luciana Aguiar
Programme Manager, Business Call to Action, United Nations Development Programme
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Luciana Aguiar is the Sustainable Finance Impact Manager in the Sustainable Finance Hub at the United Nations Development Program. She also leads UNDP Business Call to Action and the Covid-19 Private Sector Global Facility. She is a specialist in the private sector in development and innovation, inclusive and impact-driven business, finance for development, and social investment.

Luciana holds a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University. Social Entrepreneur and founding partner of a Benefit company. For 15 years, she has supported the development of private sector strategies that serve the people living at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in developing countries for institutions such as IDB, CGAP (World Bank), and individual and corporate foundations. She worked on business intelligence, impact management, and innovation projects in finance, education, health, technology, mass consumer goods, retail, and communication with corporations, startups, and impact investors.

Mr. Jinesh Shah
Mr. Jinesh Shah
Managing Partner, Omnivore
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Jinesh co-founded Omnivore with Mark Kahn in 2010. Previously, he was Vice President and CFO at Nexus Venture Partners, one of India’s leading venture capital funds. Earlier in his career, Jinesh worked in corporate finance roles for Datamatics (leading Treasury/M&A), Patni Computers (initiating the IPO process), and HCL Technologies (founding the BPO business). He is a member of the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Agriculture & Food Processing Committee, the core working group of the World Economic Forum related to agriculture, and chairperson of Impact Investors Council’s Executive Council. Jinesh is a Chartered Accountant with a B.Com from R A Poddar College and an MMS (Finance) from JBIMS.

Mr. Roopak Bhat
Mr. Roopak Bhat
Director, Cocoa Life Program, Mondelez International
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Roopak Bhat, is responsible for Cocoa Sourcing and Development in India and handles global agriculture projects for Mondelēz. He also leads sustainability initiatives for Mondelez. Roopak is a Supply Chain professional with key strength in Procurement space. He has over 30 years of experience in Procurement of Raw materials mainly in Cocoa beans and products. He also has spent significant time in Plantation Management with hand-on management experience in handling crops such as Rubber, Tea, Cocoa & Spices Since 2000, Roopak has been with Mondelēz International (including legacy Cadbury Plc business) and has worked in India, West Africa and Singapore. His key strengths are in Strategic Sourcing, development of agriculture crops from farm to factory, market forecasting, Supplier relationship management, agriculture research programs and sustainability initiatives.

Roopak has a background in Agriculture and Management.

Mr. Ramakrishna Regulugedda
Mr. Ramakrishna Regulugedda
General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
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Mr. Ramakrishna has been working in the Rural development space for the last 30 years. He has worked with NABARD for over 20 years. He also worked with German International Cooperation (GIZ) on Financial Systems Development for about 10 years. He has published in various papers and journals in India and has presented papers in International Conferences. He is currently General Manager and Officer-in-Charge (Head) of NABARD in New Delhi. His core expertise is in Rural and Agricultural Finance, Microfinance Regulation and Supervision and Cooperative Development. He is also a Director in the Delhi State Cooperative Bank and in the National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation, an Institution promoted by the Ministry of Social Justice, GoI.

 

Mr. Saranathan Raganathan
Mr. Saranathan Raganathan
Vice President for Finance, ITC Ltd.
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Mr. S Ranganathan works as Vice President Finance Foods of ITC Limited an iconic corporate institution in India with a market cap of over 4 trillion INR and presence across diverse sectors including agri business, FMCG, hotels, paperboard etc. Ranga comes with 25 years of rich experience in various leadership roles in finance.

Mr. Arindom Datta
Mr. Arindom Datta
Executive Director, Rabobank
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Arindom Datta has been working for Rabobank for the last 16 years and is responsible for the Sustainability Banking initiatives on knowledge, risk management and business development. He also oversees the development finance projects in blended finance, technology/innovation and access to finance in the agriculture sector. Arindom is further passionate about following the Agtech developments and its significance for small holder farmers.

He previously worked with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, IDBI Bank and CARE. Arindom is a Mathematics honours graduate from St. Stephen’s College and has an MBA with a specialization in Finance and Strategy from IIM Kozhikode.

Arindom’s work is recognized and he has been honoured with the ‘India Sustainable Leadership’ award at the India Sustainability Leadership Summit in 2017. 

Other affiliations: Independent Director of NABKISAN Finance Limited; Observer on the Board of Agrostar, ; Member of the FICCI Task force on Agtech; Steering Committee member of SAFIN (Small holder and Agri SME Finance & Investment Network) ; Expert Committee Member of ”Green Bonds for Climate Resilience” (The Climate Bond Initiative , the Global Centre for Adaption & EBRD ); Expert Committee Member World Economic Forum, India

Mr. Thanit Kongkaew
Mr. Thanit Kongkaew
Director of Sustainability Unit, The Mae Fah Luang Foundation
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Thanit has been working in the area of human development and sustainability development for more than 15 years. He first joined the Mae Fah Luang Foundation as a knowledge management manager, creating learning activities for those who are interested in community and sustainability development. He was then assigned to take charge of strategic planning for DoiTung business, the social enterprise under the Foundation. He is currently responsible for using sustainability to mobilize the Foundation as well as providing sustainability consultancy for private, public and civil society.

Mr. Gaurav Sishodia
Mr. Gaurav Sishodia
Sr. Assistant Vice President, Invest India
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Gaurav Sishodia heads the Agri & Food vertical at Invest India, the National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency of the Government of India. His area of expertise includes Corporate strategy, Policy reforms, Ease of Doing business and Investment facilitation.

Mr. Pawan Chaudhary
Mr. Pawan Chaudhary
Advisor to Chief Minister for Foreign Cooperation Department, Government of Haryana, India
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Advisor to Chief Minister for Foreign Cooperation Department, Government of Haryana and CSR Trust at Chief Minister Office Haryana

Mr. Ashok Gulati
Mr. Ashok Gulati
Professor, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations
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Ashok Gulati is currently Distinguished Professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Prior to this, he was Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Government of India (2011-14). He has been an Independent Director on the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX). He is currently a Member of the Tenth Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and also an Independent Director on the Board of Directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) and Godrej Agrovet Limited.

He was Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for more than 10 years (2001-11). He was also a member of the Economic Advisory Council of Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Dr. Gulati has been deeply involved in policy analysis and advice in India. He was also a member of the Committee appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the Farm Laws.

For his contributions to the field, the President of India honored him with "Padma Shri” award in 2015.  

Dr. Gulati has 18 books to his credit on Indian and Asian Agriculture, besides numerous research papers in national and international Journals. He has been a prolific writer in leading newspapers in India, with his current column "From Plate to Plough" in the Indian Express and Financial Express.

He did his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Delhi School of Economics.

Ashok Gulati is currently Distinguished Professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Prior to this, he was Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Government of India (2011-14). He has been an Independent Director on the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX). He is currently a Member of the Tenth Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and also an Independent Director on the Board of Directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) and Godrej Agrovet Limited.

He was Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for more than 10 years (2001-11). He was also a member of the Economic Advisory Council of Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Dr. Gulati has been deeply involved in policy analysis and advice in India. He was also a member of the Committee appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the Farm Laws.

For his contributions to the field, the President of India honored him with "Padma Shri” award in 2015.  

Dr. Gulati has 18 books to his credit on Indian and Asian Agriculture, besides numerous research papers in national and international Journals. He has been a prolific writer in leading newspapers in India, with his current column "From Plate to Plough" in the Indian Express and Financial Express.

He did his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Delhi School of Economics.

 

Ms. Ritoja Basu
Ms. Ritoja Basu
Director, The Confederation of Indian Industry
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Ritoja has 12+ years of experience across programme management and evidence-based policy advocacy across the food and agriculture sector. She also leads the research vertical at CII Food and Agriculture Center of Excellence. Ritoja works with stakeholders across the agri value chain in India with a special focus on impacting farmer livelihoods.

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