Advisory Board

Dr Arun Pande

Dr Arun Pande

Dr. Pande has 25+ years of experience in conducting research, technology development, deployment and management. Dr. Pande had been active in building technology teams and developing network with Academics and Research community. Dr. Pande is currently active in building strong consortium of partners to take his innovation in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and primary health care to deliver services to rural population on a sustainable basis. Dr. Pande is a Senior Member of IEEE and has served on the Industry Advisory Board of WCET program of IEEE.

Ashwin Abhyankar

Ashwin Abhyankar

Ashwin Abhyankar is a consultant specializing in innovations in the finance and IT sectors. Ashwin has managed significant capital expenditures and has a career track record of driving $250M in bottom line contributions. Ashwin has been named on two provisional patents on financial risk analytics and has co-authored an article on Harvard Business Review (HBR). This article (“Using Games to Get a Handle on Bank Risk” – Oct 2011) was selected as the editor’s top choice on HBRs Finance segment.

Ashwin has an MBA in Finance from The Anderson school at UCLA (1997) and a BS in Electronics Engineering (1989) from India. Ashwin is involved with community activities and was selected by the Mayor of Thousand Oaks, CA for two consecutive terms as a member of the City Investment Review Committee.

Deepa Prahalad

Miss. Deepa Prahalad

Deepa Prahalad is an author, business strategist and consultant specializing in opportunities at the intersection of consumer experience, technology and strategy. Passionate about emerging markets and innovation, she began her career researching how to improve efficiency in UN procurement and later moved to Singapore to become a commodities trader with Cargill. Prahalad has worked with firms from start-ups to large multinationals.

Hemant M Mujumdar

Mr. Hemant M Mujumdar

Hemant is a versatile and skilled marketing professional with excellent hands-on experience in production, processing, marketing, quality product and dedicated service to the customers. Hemant Own business of seed production and marketing in Vidarbha and surrounding areas. Major business in bulk supplies of vegetable seeds.

Michael A. Mazzocco

Mr. Michael A. Mazzocco

Michael A. Mazzocco is Managing Director of Zephyrus Advisors, LLC, a transaction advisory and consulting firm, which also provides strategy and management support for a variety of clients, focusing on agribusiness, food and related industries.

Dr. Mazzocco spent nine years in a similar role with Verdant Partners. Prior to joining Verdant Partners, Dr. Mazzocco was a faculty member at the University of Illinois, with appointments in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and the Department of Business Administration. During nearly 20 years on the Illinois faculty, he taught at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels and conducted research on a variety of management and industry topics. He served 10 years as the Director of the Food and Agribusiness Management Program. He also served two years as Assistant Dean for Corporate Relations in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and two years as the first Director of the Office of Corporate Relations, a service unit of central campus administration tasked with supporting and enabling industry-campus interactions, including developing sponsored research, gifts in support of programs, student recruiting, and the Research Park. Prior to joining the University of Illinois, Dr. Mazzocco was on the faculty of Texas A&M University. Before earning his Ph.D., Dr. Mazzocco was a commercial banker for more than seven years, specializing in financing businesses. He is a frequent speaker at various executive education venues.

Through his affiliations, projects, and private board activities, he has direct experience with conventional, sustainable and organic food industry supply chains, including production inputs, grains and oil seeds, bovine genetics, lab services, milling, food ingredients, financing, and transportation.

Milind Basole

Mr Milind Basole

Milind Basole has over 20 years of experience in internet technology development and deployment, particularly in the fields of agricultural technology and higher education. Milind has been a key player and led teams in developing cutting edge software in grain futures, nutritional analysis and certification systems for value added crops. His interests also include universal and accessible learning and effective teaching and learning systems. Milind has an MBA from the University of Illinois and bachelors and masters degrees in engineering.

Dr Satish Y. Deodhar

Dr Deodhar SatishDr Deodhar is PhD in Agriculture Economics from Ohio State University and currently professor with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Dr Deodhar’s Research in areas are economics of imperfectly competitive market structures, international agricultural trade & WTO, Economics of Food Quality & Safety, and Sports Economics. He has authored books & monographs and published papers in national & international journals, monographs, and edited books. Dr Deodhar is Life Member, Association of Food Scientists and Technologists, India and Affiliate Fellow, Indian School of Political Economy, Pune, India.

Shreekant Shiralkar

Shreekant Shiralkar

Shreekant has formed and lead an industry association, authored best seller books on technology, presented papers at international conferences and filed patents on Innovation. He applies his “In-depth understanding” of business processes to value maximization, agility and innovation. Shreekant attributes his successes in launching new businesses and generating exponential results to the wholehearted and unstinted support he generates from patrons, team members, colleagues and associates, by enrolling them into his vision and earning their contribution through successful realization. He has realized concepts into profitable businesses for fortune 500 companies.

Vijay Raghunath Page

Mr. Vijay Raghunath PageVijay has four decade of industry experience in manufacturing, surveys in industry, consumer, fruits and beverages, agri-business fruit and vegetable processing, regional development, poverty alleviation, societal outreach and welfare programs. The wide experience of Page includes working in over a dozen states of India at grass root level as well as corporate and managerial level.

Page has worked with UN, UNECOSOC, The World Bank, FAO, USAID has armored him with extensively international network in countries like Switzerland, Australia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, UK, Czechoslovakia/ Slovenia, Austria, West Germany, USA, Coastal Rica, etc. at both personal and professional levels.

Dr. Vikram Madhao Pattarkine

Dr. Vikram Madhao Pattarkine

Dr. Vikram Pattarkine is a chemical-environmental engineer with three decades of international experience covering consulting, research, technology development, technology transfer, and training. He has been recognized by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability.

Dr Vikram has been instrumental in founding several companies related to environmental stewardship and renewable energy, and has held board-level and C-level positions in these companies.

Vinod G. Pendse

Mr. Vinod G. Pendse

Vinod Pendse has long standing well diversified experience in the fields of food and agro processing. Pendse has experience in meat and poultry units, fruit and vegetable processing units, spices, pickles, icecream and dairy products and fried snack foods.

Pendse has also pioneered in the operations and processing plants wherein he not only designed and installed but also headed the plants for all above process lines in the country and abroad.

Dr Virendra R Patil

Mr. Virendra R Patil

Dr Patil is an Agri-Biotech professional serving seed industry and Biofuel crops sector for crop improvement through Biotechnology application. He has successfully established laboratories, developed teams for Genetic Modification of Plants and Marker Assisted selection (MAS) projects. He has also managed greenhouse/field experiments and helped teams to draw scientific conclusions. Identified and licensed ready to commercialize products.
Some of his accomplishments include empanelment on the panels of NABL (National Accreditation Board for Calibration and Testing Laboratories), New Delhi and EIC (Export Inspection Council, Govt. of India), New Delhi and IBSCs’ (Institutional Biosafety Committee) of research centers as Technical Expert/Assessor. Interested to work with GM (Genetically Modified) crops related areas.

Shrinivas Kale

Mr Shrinivas Kale

Shrinivas Kale brings extensive experience from the Chemical and fertilizers industry. Currently, Kale is working with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) Ltd as Sr. Manager Logistics (Corporate) at Mumbai. Kale brings nearly 25 years of extensive experience on table, including 20 years in fertilizer marketing – Strategic Planning, Sales & Marketing, Business Development, Channel Management and Logistics.

Kale has been instrumental in executing various project successfully at RCF; namely – fraud detection by Executing preventive measures, marketing systems audits & developments, Conceptualizing Green Building initiative and Spearheading gamut of tasks for the marketing of fertilizers and IPD chemicals including product development, product mix, product nomenclature, pricing, supply chain, brand architecture, retail, advertising and promotions, credit and recovery management.

Currently, Kale is at the helm of Strategy development, Business Development, & Execution at RCF.

Dr Harsh Vardhan

Dr Harsh Vardhan

Dr. Harsh is a Partner at Bain & Company and leads the financial services practice in India. He joined Bain in 2010 after spending 14 years with other international consulting firms. He has also worked in the banking industry for about 2 years as an analyst and a trader. He works primarily in the financial services (banking –retail and corporate, private banking and wealth management, payments, microfinance, insurance, asset management, etc.) where he has advised top management of companies in India, North America, Europe, South East Asia, and Greater China, on issues of strategy, operations, organisation, risk management, etc. He has worked extensively on issues of corporate finance including mergers and acquisitions, alliance structuring and negotiations, valuations, review of major investment decisions for private equity and strategic investors, strategic due diligence, etc.

Dr. Harsh is actively involved in policy making and regulatory issues related to financial services in India. He was a member of the Banking Working Group of the Financial Services Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) set up by the Government of India to review and rewrite all the laws governing financial services in India. He was also a member of the Working Group on Small Enterprises set up by the Chief Economic Advisor of the Ministry of Finance (Dr R Rajan) and of the Dr P J Nayak Committee on Governance in Banking set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to review governance practices of banks.. He has served on the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) National Committees for Regulatory Affairs, Private Equity, and Commodity Markets.

Professor Dr. J Adinarayana

Professor Dr. J Adinarayana

Professor Dr. J Adinarayana is a Professor at the Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering at Indian Institute of technology Bombay. He specializes in application of Information, Communication and Dissemination Technologies (from proximal Sensor Networks to regional geospatial technologies) in precision farming/agriculture. He has to his credit multiple national and international research and development projects on Agro-/Rural-Informatics and has published research outcomes in various reputed international journals and reference books. Prof Adinarayana is in Editorial Board of Geoderma Regional (Elsevier). He is also Associated Faculty of the Edith Cowan University, Perth and Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IITB.

He is associated with several national and international bodies such as Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Indian Association of Soil & Water Conservationists, Association of British Council Scholars (Western Region), International Association of Hydrological Sciences, UK. He is also Vice President of the Asian Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture (AFITA), Japan and Board / Executive Member of the Technical Section VII (Information Technology/Systems) of the CIGR (International Commission of Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering), International Society for Environmental Information Sciences and Indian Society of Agricultural Information Technology. He is also Vice-Chair of the Agriculture Working Group of Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN).

Dr. Vasey Nyamu Mwaja

Dr. Vasey Nyamu Mwaja

Dr. Vasey Nyamu Mwaja is Doctor of Philosophy from the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences (NRES) at the University of Illinois USA. His areas of expertise include Horticultural Sciences, Weed Science, Plant Physiology and Agribusiness Management…

Dr. Vasey is a Scientific Advisor at the National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation NACOSTI, in Nairobi, Kenya. He is currently the President of the Secure Capital Investments Limited based in Kenya. Dr. Vasey provides leadership in the policy planning, monitoring & evaluation, resource mobilization, program development and management of external relations and networks with key partners.

Dr. Vasey is an agricultural scientist with over 30 years of research, extension and marketing experience both in the public and private sector. He spent 10 years in government service before moving into the private sector. He served as the Chairman of the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya, Member of the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and Council Member of National Council of Science & Technology before becoming the Chairman of the same Council. Dr. Vasey is a member of several international professional societies and has published in several refereed journals.

Dr. Vasey has a passion for agricultural and environmental policy issues and is widely traveled. He has worked as the program officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was in charge of COMPRO-II project committed to improving livelihoods of farmers globally.

Jack Grover

Jack Grover

Jagdish “Jack” Grover oversees global corporate finance and operations for SkillNet Solutions Inc. Jagdish joined SkillNet Solutions in 2001 in California, USA.

Prior to joining SkillNet, Jack held strategic finance positions at MSI, PepsiCo, and Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.

Jagdish “Jack” holds a Certified Public Accountant license from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Masters of Business Administration degree in Finance & Administration from California Coast University.

A Chartered Accountant degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and Bachelor of Law LLB and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Mumbai. Jagdish is an author of a Book viz: “The Impact of Strategy Selection, Goal Setting and Monitoring on Satisfaction, Performance and Intrinsic Motivation”.

Pragati Gokhale

Pragati Gokhale

Pragati has around 40 years of rich experience in multiple disciplines namely Statistics /ICT /E governance / ERP / Entrepreneurship Development / Digital Marketing /Rural Development / Data Sciences.

Pragati is the Founder & Chief Mentor for Mission Mera Mobile Mera Marketing, a disruptive bottom up approach for enabling completely free online Agro & Rural Marketing in India from rural stakeholders

Currently Pragati is working as the Advisor with Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission (Govt. of Maharashtra) and Department of Science & Technology – SEED Program (Govt. of India) since last 2 years. She is also Empanelled as National Resource Person by Ministry of Rural Development Govt. of India. Pragati retired as the Deputy.Director from Mahatma Gandhi Institute For Rural Industrialization a National Institute under Govt. of India, Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises. Pragati has done Masters in Statistics & Operations Research from Nagpur University.

Kaustubh Bhalerao

Kaustubh Bhalerao

Kaustubh Bhalerao is the President and CEO of Soil Diagnostics, Inc., ( a software and product company with offerings in the agricultural and environmental industry space. Dr. brings over 20 years of experience in a diversity of fields including agricultural and biological engineering as well as in software development of web platforms, embedded systems, IoT and scientific computing.

Kaustubh holds a PhD in Engineering from The Ohio State University and was a tenured professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2005 to 2020. As faculty, he pioneered several nationally- and internationally-recognized projects in the areas of bionanotechnology, informatics and instrumentation, has published over 30 papers, and supervised over a dozen masters and doctoral students. In 2015 he started Soil Diagnostics, Inc., to commercialize some of his research in software and automation. In 2020 he left his position at the University to work full time at Soil Diagnostics.

Kaustubh lives in Champaign, IL along with Jessie and their four children. He enjoys studying ancient Sanskrit literature and is an avid weightlifter with over 1000 lbs total on the squat, deadlift and bench press.

P Satish

P Satish

Dr. P. Satish is the Executive Director of Sa-Dhan since March 2015. Sa-Dhan is the all-India Association of Community Development Finance Institutions, including all MFIs. It is the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recognized Self-Regulatory Organisation for MFIs. He is a Director on Board of India Post Payments Bank, a member of RBI’s Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee, a member of Governing Council of Bankers’ Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow and is on the SHG-Bank Linkage Programme Strategic Advisory Board of NABARD and the Steering Committee of PM SVANidhi Scheme of Government of India. He served for a term as Director on Board of MUDRA (2015-20) and on IRDAI’s Insurance Advisory Council and was on the Board of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) for three terms.

He was earlier the Chief General Manager heading the Micro Credit Innovations Department of NABARD. Prior to this he headed its Maharashtra Regional Office at Pune where many pioneering initiatives were undertaken by him including the Climate Change Adaptation Project, Agri-Advisory Project, Vidarbha Model of Financial Inclusion etc. As a Faculty Member at Bankers’ Institute of Rural Development (BIRD) he was instrumental in designing and conducting numerous training and capacity building programmes in the field of microfinance and has grassroots level experience, having worked as NABARD’s District Development Manager in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Initially he was with Reserve Bank of India.

Raviprakash Dani

Raviprakash Dani

Raviprakash Dani is a strategic policy advisor having worked for over 20 years in the US, India, the Caribbean and Uzbekistan. He has led appraisal missions and has audited and evaluated US Govt. funded projects. He has been an Advisor to the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC), USAID & USDA in strategic policy decisions, implementing protocols, enhancing global prospects in international education and faculty & student recruitment.

Raviprakash’s strengths are academic networking and collaborations, promoting higher education, advancing frontiers of STEM, career counseling and placement advisory via high-visibility recruitment events. He has forged several productive business relationships at the Fulbright Organization, FAO-World Agro-forestry Center, Cornell, & Texas Tech, and US India Educational Foundation. Biotechnology, Biodiversity & National Resource Conservation, Bio-safety and Transnational sharing of natural resources & e-learning are his forte.

Raviprakash is an experienced faculty trainer and has demonstrated expertise in technology adoption and analysis. He has represented developing countries views and also emergent institutional and academic perspectives on production, policy risk issues, prospect evaluation for institutional, environmental and geopolitically sensitive programs besides recruiting and guiding graduate students from the US, India, Afghanistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Niger, Vietnam, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Uzbekistan, Ukraine & Russia.

Raviprakash is a Consultant to FAO-UN Panel on Agricultural Risk Assessment and Management. He is Councilor to Association of Indian Universities and the language consultant to US Defense Logistics Agency via National Language Service Corps ( Arlington, VA.

Raviprakash has received various prestigious recognitions of Excellence in Educational and Research Leadership and has been the Vice Chancellor of Punjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth at Akola in Maharashtra, India.

Gopul Shah

Gopul Shah

Gopul Shah is the Director and Head of Corporate Treasury & Structured Finance at Golden Agri–Resources Limited in Singapore. He is an expert in executing global funding strategy, managing asset-liability structuring and employing innovative customized financial solutions and directing trade structured finance. He oversees strategizing and financing M & A activities besides delivering leadership for organizational and talent development, higher performance and crisis management.

Gopul has a proven track record in business development, origination, structuring and delivering financial services, risk management solutions, commercial treasury that accelerates business growth and which creates distinct value and competitive advantage. Earlier he has spearheaded various teams at Cargill in India and Thailand as the Treasurer, Managing Director and Head of Structured Finance. Prior to that Gopul has worked as CFO and in other leadership roles at Sybex Singapore, GP Group in Thailand, Guest Keen Williams, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and A F Ferguson in India.

Gopul has done MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School Of Business and Bachelors from the University of Mumbai in Commerce. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of India ICAI and a Fellow CPA of Australia.