Chairman and Independent Director
Mr Ashwani Windlass, 63, has spent more than four decades in top management roles with first-hand experience in both traditional and new age technology companies. With an exceptional track record in value creation, he now mentors top CEOs/Boards.
An MBA from FMS, Delhi University, he holds a B.Com degree with a gold medal and post-graduation in Journalism (B.J.) from Punjab University, Chandigarh.
Since 2008, he has been Chairman – SA & JVs, MGRM Inc., USA, a global research initiative on human lifecycle-based services. He is on the Board of several leading companies, including Hitachi MGRM Net Limited, Vodafone Idea Limited, Hindustan Media Ventures Limited and Jubilant Foodworks Limited. He served on the Board of Max India Limited/Max Financial Services Limited for more than 25 years.
He established and managed dozen-plus new ventures with the world’s leading corporations – Hutchison Group, Hong Kong; British Telecom UK; Comsat Corporation, USA; Avnet, USA; Royal DSM, Holland; Total Group, France; Hitachi Limited, Japan, among others.
He has been the Founder Managing Director of Hutchison Max Telecom (later rechristened Vodafone India Limited) and Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Telecom Limited & Executive Chairman MGRM.
Having anchored key policy initiatives with several Governments, he regularly contributes editorial columns.
Managing Director and President – Asia Pacific
Mr Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, Managing Director, holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kerala. He joined Bata Shoe Organisation (BSO) in 1990. With rich experience of 29 years he has previously handled the positions of Director – Wholesale Channels, Sales & Marketing with Bata International – Canada, and as the Vice President of Bata India Limited in Retail Operations and Wholesale Division. Before joining as the Managing Director of Bata India Limited in October 2011, Mr Gopalakrishnan was the Managing Director of Bata Retail Stores for nine months. He was previously the Managing Director of Bata Bangladesh for one year, and the Managing Director of Bata Thailand for three years.
He has attended various courses and advanced programmes of BSO, viz., Course Leader Advanco 2009 (India/China), Advanco 2006 in Singapore, Advance Retailing Courses, Executive Management Programme in 2009, Sprint 1997 (Retail Course), and Retailco 1996 in India. He has also attended a programme in IMD, Switzerland on Leadership and Sustainable Business Growth.
With his visionary leadership, Mr Gopalakrishnan spearheaded Bata India’s retail operations, re-engineered business processes and diversified product offerings while maintaining a strong innovative outlook culture. A self-driven professional, he has taken Bata India on a high growth trajectory. Given his strategic bent of mind and ability to pinpoint opportunities, he has articulated a vision to make Bata India the most admired name in the branded footwear and accessories sector.
His contribution to the industry has been acknowledged at several renowned platforms. He was conferred with the ‘Udyog Ratna Award’ and the ‘Certificate of Excellence and Gold Medal’ by The Institute of Economic Studies in 2014. He was recognized as the ‘Retail Professional of the Year’ in CMO Asia Summit at the 2015 Asia Retail Conference and received the prestigious ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015’ (Finalist Award). In 2017, the World Consulting & Research Corporation bestowed him with the honour of ‘India’s Most Trusted CEO’.
Whole-Time Director and President – India
Straddling developing and developed markets, Mr Sandeep Kataria is one of the most respected names in the consumer and retail industry. A business leader with more than two-and-a-half decades’ experience, Mr Kataria was appointed as the Country Manager of Bata India Limited with effect from 01 August 2017. He was elevated to the Board of Directors of Bata India Limited, effective 14 November 2017, as the Whole-time Director and Chief Executive Officer – India. He has been assigned the task of transforming our footwear giant into a contemporary brand appealing to modern India.
Before taking charge of Bata India Limited, Mr Kataria had a stint with Vodafone India as the Chief Commercial Officer. An IIT Delhi and XLRI Jamshedpur alumnus, he has held general management and top sales & marketing posts at Yum Restaurants – the owners of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains in India and Europe. He enjoyed his longest tenure of 17-plus years at the consumer goods company, Unilever. Here he was responsible for building and managing Indian and global markets across the Home & Personal Care categories, including brands such as Lux, Lifebuoy, Rin and Comfort.
Director – Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Mr Ram Kumar Gupta is the Director – Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Bata India Limited. Mr Gupta is a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours [B.Com (Hons.)] and a Chartered Accountant (FCA) with more than 33 years’ experience in different positions at Bata Shoe Organization. Since joining Bata India in July 1986, he is enjoying an extremely successful and rewarding career. His previous assignment in Bata India was as Senior Vice President – Finance from January 2011 till January 2013. Mr Gupta was allocated a challenging role as the Finance Director of Bata Shoe Company Kenya Ltd in February 2013. He held this until he was relocated to India in July 2015. In this overseas assignment, besides Bata Kenya, he was responsible for the finance operations in Bata Shoe Company Uganda Ltd and Bata Shoe Company Tanzania Ltd. During his tenure in India, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the Company achieved record profits and improved margins via various cost-saving initiatives and innovative means. Mr Gupta has attended various courses in BSO, including Adminco and Bata Finance E-Learning.
Mr Alberto Toni graduated in Economics from the Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan. A Chartered Accountant and Certified Tax Advisor, he has attended executive education programmes at Harvard Business School and INSEAD. As the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Committee Member of the Bata Group, he is responsible for all aspects of financial management of the Group globally. Moreover, he is in charge of Supply Chain, Information Technology and the Bata Industrial business unit.
Before joining Bata Group in 2016, Mr Toni held several senior leadership positions at market-leading organisations in Europe and Latin America. He began his career as a Chartered Accountant in primary consulting firms in Italy.
Before moving to the FMCG industry, Mr Toni had a stint with Heineken, where he held positions of increasing seniority during his 18-year tenure. Thereafter, he worked with Deoleo – the global market leader in olive oil, listed at the Madrid stock exchange – in Spain as Chief Financial Officer and was a central part of the leadership team steering the ambitious transformation of the business.
Mr Ravindra Dhariwal is the co-founder and Chairman of Sagacito Technologies – a data analytics firm specialising in helping enterprises maximise their revenues. In a career spanning four decades, he has built consumer businesses all over the world.
Before co-founding Sagacito, he was the Group CEO of Bennett, Coleman & Co., India’s largest media entity, with diversified media platforms, including Radio Mirchi, Times Television Network, Times Internet, Times OOH and the world’s largest-selling English newspaper The Times of India.
Mr Dhariwal was also the worldwide President of the International News Media Association between 2011 and 2013. Before joining Bennett Coleman & Co., he was with PepsiCo for 12 years. As its first employee in India, he helped the company establish its presence in the country. He also led the Beverage Business in India, Africa and South-East Asia. Beginning his career with Unilever in India in 1977, he worked in both India and Australia for more than 12 years, mostly in Sales and Marketing management. Mr Dhariwal is an Engineer from IIT Kanpur and an MBA from IIM Calcutta.
Ms Anjali Bansal is the former non-executive chairperson of Dena Bank. She has founded Avaana Capital – a fund platform investing in the scaling up of growth-stage businesses. She was previously global Partner and Managing Director with TPG Growth PE, Spencer Stuart India Founder CEO, and a strategy consultant with McKinsey and Co. in New York and India. She has been an active angel investor in India with investments in various early and growth-stage consumer companies. She began her career as an engineer. Ms Bansal serves as an independent non-executive director on the public boards of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pharmaceuticals India, Bata India Limited, Tata Power as well as Delhivery.
She is on the Advisory Board of the Columbia University Global Centers, South Asia. Previously, she chaired the India board of Women’s World Banking, a leading global livelihood-promoting institution and continues to be an advisor to SEWA. She is a charter member of TiE, serves on the managing committee of the Indian Venture Capital Association, an angel investor and a mentor to Facebook SheLeadsTech, NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and others. She also chairs NITI Aayog Women Entrepreneurship Platform Investment Council.
An active contributor to the dialogue on corporate governance and diversity, Ms Bansal co-founded and chaired the FICCI Centre for Corporate Governance programme for Women on Corporate Boards. She serves on the managing committee of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. She has been listed as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Indian Business” by India’s leading publication, Business Today, and as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune India. She holds a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from Gujarat University and a Masters in International Finance and Business from Columbia University.
Mr Akshay Chudasama is the Managing Partner of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., heading the firm’s practice in the Mumbai Region. He has expertise in cross-border M&A and Private Equity across varied sectors. He advises both foreign companies entering India and Indian companies in outbound acquisitions. Mr Chudasama holds a degree in Bachelors of Arts (BA) from St Xavier’s College (University of Bombay) and is a Law Graduate from the London School of Economics (University of London), UK.
He is enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, and as a Solicitor with the Law Society (England and Wales). He is also enrolled with the Bombay Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the Inter-Pacific Bar Association and is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Young Presidents’ Organization.
Mr Chudasama has been practising law since 1994. He was a partner at AZB & Partners for more than three years and, thereafter, at J. Sagar Associates (JSA) for almost 10 years. He has addressed several prestigious domestic and international seminars and conferences on various aspects related to his practice. He also serves inter alia as a Director on the Boards of Apollo Tyres Ltd and Raymond Ltd.
Mr Barat is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India as well as the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He has held senior leadership positions in various Indian and multinational organizations, both in India and overseas. He is on the Board of several other companies and advises businesses on governance, performance and strategy.
Currently, he is the Vice President of the Council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India. Mr Barat is a past President of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and, currently, a member of the Managing Committee of ASSOCHAM.
A Certified Mediator, Mr Barat is empanelled with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. He is a regular speaker at public forums, particularly supporting family businesses, start-ups and SMEs from overseas, looking at establishing and growing their business footprints in India.