Raghav is a dentist by profession and co-founder of the Good Plate Company, a start-up founded in 2018 with the purpose of replacing single use tableware by supplying organic, environmentally friendly alternatives.
Rekesh Chauhan is a British pianist and composer. Hehas studied in both western classical and laterIndian classical music. Rekesh is the winner of numerous awards including the NIAA Young Musician of the Year 2018 awarded at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London. In 2019 he was awarded the Alumnus of the Year by the University of Leicester.
His knack for amalgamating both eastern and western styles has brought him invites to appear in concerts all over the world. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham's Symphony Hall, Southbank Centre, as well as in arenas to over 60,000 people.
Rekesh’s collaborations include Nobel Peace Prize performers to Mercury Prize Award winners. His albums have received high praise by the BBC and he is an iTunes World Charts Top 3 artist. Rekesh is also a featured TEDx speaker and a published book co-author.In 2020, Rekesh was commended by the Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson for his production of raising awareness of mental health through arts.
Malini Mehra is chief executive of GLOBE International, the environmental legislators organisation, with 30+ years of experience on sustainability in multiple sectors. From leading major international campaigns, to founding an award-winning Indian climate & sustainability NGO, Malini has co-authored the UN’s Human Development Reports and advised the UN Secretary-General on UN reform. At the UK government, Malini was the architect of the UK’s sustainability partnerships with emerging markets including China & India. She has served on numerous corporate advisory boards, including Unilever and Hewlett-Packard. Currently she is a commissioner to the Mayor of London on sustainable development and on boards including Tetra Pak, China Dialogue, Institute for European Environmental Policy and EcoPeace Middle East. She has degrees from Smith College (USA) and the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex).
Dr Tina Mistry, is a Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Clinical Psychologist. She has worked across varying settings to include the NHS, education, voluntary and private organisations over the past 10 years.
She is the Director of a specialist independent psychological therapy service for South Asians. Recently she has launched and hosts the Brownology podcast which addresses mental health issues in the South Asian community.
Dr Mistry is also the co-founder of the 'An' Other Mother Stories Anthology, which has recently been launched that aims to address BAME mothers stories.
Dr Mistry is passionate about sharing knowledge and has contributed to Glamour, Marie Claire, Scroll.in, Juggernaut and ITV News. Her specialist interests are motherhood and the trauma of race and patriarchy.
Deepak is a Senior Director at Shawbrook Bank Ltd where he leads their leveraged finance offering in the Midlands supporting sponsor led buy-outs. He has significant M&A experience covering both the advisory and banking market across a variety of sectors. His advisory experience goes back to PwC where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and more recently at RBS where he ran their Midlands Leveraged Finance team.
Deepak, with the help of his friends and family, runs a charity which he founded 2 years ago called The Diwali Foundation which runs an annual Diwali Basket Brigade (DBB) event. DBB is a community based initiative which provides food hampers to socially deprived and vulnerable families across the UK.
My name is Dilan and I am a health and fitness expert.
I follow a philosophy that the mind is capable of anything it wants, and with the right
it’s limits are endless.
I was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer known as Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2015.
I had this disease for 2 years without being diagnosed so it reached Stage 4B, spreading to my organs.
It was so far gone that my chance of survival was only 42%.
After intensive chemotherapy and lots of lifestyle changes, I am now in remission.
In hindsight it was the worst thing I’ve gone through in my life, but also probably one of the best things to happen to me. Most see this as a misfortune, but to me, it was an eye opener.
I decided to leave my well paid office job and take a dive into the unknown.
I now help people all over the world live a much happier, healthier, and fulfilling life.
It's been an honour to represent my country since 1999; PM appointed me to advise on closer UK/India ties. Then Department for International Trade made me their Dealmaker since 2004 – to bring outstanding tech companies to the UK, which solve the world’s biggest problems and create jobs and wealth here. (www.theeinsteinchallenge.com) . Trade underpins liberty and uplifting people.
Oxford Fellow in Business & Industry back in 2001, (invited to the post by Margaret Thatcher’s former economic Special Advisor). Won a competition in FT using investment algos to forecast UK company performance to benefit ordinary people not just fund managers.
Financial Times author, left being Barrister to pursue investing for social mobility. I also “give back” through my financial literacy education company and establishing a mentoring entrepreneurs company – part of the world’s largest entrepreneur mentoring organisation. As a founder of a hedge fund/private equity firm (the easiest hard money to make) - our focus is on sustainability and social impact, not self-enrichment.
The 'penny dropped' when I realised I could use my profile, Barrister's training, and TV presenter skills to raise funds – for widows, orphans, under-fed school-children, victims of slavery – do something more fulfilling than earn a living. Before all that, worked in US Congress for Eliot Engel on anti-terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Degrees in Law and Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Oxon). 18 FT, Macmillan published books on global markets and online trading.
As my BBC paper review for 10+ years to 300m shows – direct to the point analysis: www.alpeshpatel.com/tv
TV presenter with my own show on Bloomberg formerly after Global Head of TV saw me on CNN, then Sky gave me tech/politics show and CNBC asked me to co-host; and 5 years columnist for Financial Times. Born & raised in Leeds (no silver spoon). Co-Chair Loomba Trust which supports widows and orphans.
OBE in 2020 for services to the Economy and International Trade.
Professor Atul K. Shah teaches at City, University of London and is an expert on Ethical Business and Finance with a focus on Indian culture and ethics. He has a PhD from London School of Economics, and has taught and presented at many Universities in Britain and USA. He has published a widely acclaimed book called Jainism & Ethical Finance and also completed a unique 1500 mile Masala Tour of Britain in 2010 to showcase the diversity of Indian culture and enterprise. Presently he is working on a new theory of Organic Finance for the international publishers Routledge, which draws from the wisdom of Indian dharma and faith traditions.
“Bhawani Singh Shekhawat has led The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK since 2016. Prior to that he had an extensive career in the corporate world leading large multi-national teams in organisations including Nielsen, Reckitt Benckiser and Coca-Cola, across multiple geographies. He serves as a Non-Executive Director on a number of Boards, including the Adhyayan Foundation, The Vedic Scholars Programme and Women’s Alliance and HaikuJAM. Bhawani is a listed member of the London Bureau of Speakers on Customer Centricity, Insight, Innovation and Leadership.”
Jasvir is a prolific community activist and leading figure in the British South Asian community. He’s a practising family law barrister based in Middle Temple and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. He’s a trustee and patron of several regional and national charities within the faith and minorities sector, including City Sikhs and the Faiths Forum for London. He is also the Co-Founder of South Asian Heritage Month, an annual awareness month which celebrates and commemorates South Asian arts, culture, history and identity. He was awarded an OBE in 2017 for his extensive community work.
Sunita is the creator behind “The Jai Jais”, a growing collection of books and resources for children centred around Hindu gods, goddesses, and festivals.Sunita has blended her expertise as a speech and language therapist, with her son’s natural curiosityabout their culture and religion to produce the collection for children of all ages and diversities. She wanted the rituals and understanding of Hinduism, passed down through generations. Sunita has been a speech and language therapist for over twenty two years (Twenty of these fondly in the NHS), her background armed her with the essential skills to writechildren’s books. Incorporating the knowledge of vocabulary and language development. Sunita’s specialism is bilingualism. She is the National Advisor for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy, and delivers training to the NHS and educational and private establishments on supporting bilingual children, with communication difficulties. She also lectures on these issues at universities. Sunita has her own independent practice for over fifteen years, and has a passion for supporting children and families.
Hersh works for Shell within its new energies’ organization as a product manager where he's responsible for building digital products used by electric vehicle drivers. He's also the co-founder of the Good Plate Company.
Amish is a diplomat, author and columnist. He has taken over as the Director of The Nehru Centre in London in October 2019. Amish has been listed among the 50 most powerful Indians by India Today magazine in 2019. Forbes India has regularly ranked Amish among the top 100 most influential celebrities in India. Amish was also selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, a prestigious American programme for outstanding leaders from around the world, in 2014. Amish published his first book in 2010, and has written 7 books till date. His books have sold 5 million copies, and have been translated into 10 Indian and 9 international languages. Amish is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta. He worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to writing.
For over 50 years, Sister Jayanti has been an emissary for peace. She has a vision and experience that are truly global and deeply spiritual. Her travels as a keenly sought-after speaker and broadcaster have taken her into more than 90 countries. She is based in London as the Director of the International Co-ordinating Office of the Brahma Kumaris (BK) and of BK Centres in over 20 European countries and the Middle East. As the University's main representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, she has undertaken extensive research into the role of spiritual values in world change, through her participation in many UN Conferences and projects. Sister Jayanti participated in the Geneva preparatory meetings at the UN leading up to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 where she assisted in the creation of the Earth Charter. Even now, there is ongoing interest in the application of the principles outlined in this Charter. Her participation in these international meetings is outlined below. Previous UN involvement includes: § Head of delegation and speaker at the UN Climate Change Conferences (www.unfccc.int) – COP24 Katowice, Poland, COP 23 Bonn, Germany (Nov 2017); COP22 Marrakesh, Morocco (Dec 2016); COP 21 Paris, France (Nov–Dec 2015); COP 19 Warsaw, Poland (Nov 2013); COP 18 Doha, Qatar (Nov–Dec 2012); COP 17 Durban, South Africa (Dec 2011); COP 16 Cancun, Mexico (Dec 2010); COP 15 Copenhagen, Denmark (Dec 2009). § Head of delegation and speaker at the UN Conference on Sustainability Rio +20 (June 2012).
Munni had a career in publishing in the UK before swapping London for Mumbai in 2009 and
on an entrepreneurial adventure. She co-owns a successful creative agency in India and a
Singapore-based company providing outsourced creativeservices to international clients.
In London, she managed cross-functional teams and honed creative sourcing and cost saving solutions that she has applied in her subsequent ventures. Herdegree in Business and Development Studies combines academic and practical interests in developing economies.
She broke a Guinness World Record as part of the largest group of women to hold an abdominal plank (Mumbai, November 2016).
Priya is a Venture Partner at Merian Ventures, investing in women-led innovation, a Member of
Innovate UK Council, NED at the Digital Catapult and Adjunct Faculty at the Ashridge Hult
School. She was previously GM for RocketSpace, launching their UK operations.
Priya used to be a career diplomat, most recently as British Consul General to San Francisco and previously in India and Spain. She is on the Althea Foundation Board and the Tech London Advocates Advisory Board.
She also Chairs the Board of Trustees of Modern Muse and is an Advisor to The Youth Group. Priya was recently named in the 2020 Top 50 Most Influential Women in Technology for the 3rd year running.
Sonali has been a regular face on BBC One for fourteen years. She is in her eighth year of
the property show Escape to the Country and also presents from many live events, such Trooping
Colour, The Lord Mayor’s Show and The CommonwealthService, for the channel.
Sonali joined the ITV Tonight reporting team in 2020 and has appeared regularly on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and on BBC Breakfast.
Sonali was part of the presentation teams for Beijing 2008, Delhi 2010, the Cricket World Cup 2011, London 2012, Glasgow 2014 and Wimbledon for BBC Sport.
Sonali was a long-serving presenter of Newsround and has also hosted Crimewatch and National Lottery Live for BBC One.
Sonali is an Ambassador for the British Asian Trust, The Prince’s Trust and Barnardo’s and regularly hosts live audience events.
Twitter and Instagram: @SonaliShah
Appointed as the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 24th July 2019. Prior to this she was elected as the MP for Witham in May 2010, currently still holding this parliamentary constituency. She was previously Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury from July 2014 to May 2015. She then became Minister of State for Employment from May 2015 to July 2016. More recently from July 2016 to November 2017 she held the role of Secretary of state for International Development. Outside of Politics in 2013 the Prime Minister appointed her as the first ever UK Indian Diaspora Champion. After attending a comprehensive school in Watford, she went on to study economics at Keele University. She went on to gain a postgraduate degree at the University of Essex.
State Representative Niraj Antani is serving his third elected term in the Ohio House of
Representatives. He represents the 42nd District, which covers most of southern Montgomery
County. Having been elected at age 23, now age 29, he is one of the youngest currently serving
members of the House. In addition, he is the second Indian-American state elected official in
Ohio history, and the first Indian-American Republican. Antani serves as Vice Chairman of the
Rules and Reference Committee and as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Insurance, and as a
member of the Committee on Health, Committee on Public Utilities, and Joint Medicaid Oversight
During the Romney for President campaign in 2012, Antani worked for the Ohio State Director & Senior Adviser to the campaign. He has also worked for U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Washington, DC, as well as U.S. Congressman Mike Turner in his Dayton office.
Antani was named to Forbes Magazine's list of the top "30 Under 30" people in the United States for Law & Politics in 2015. As well, the conservative media organization Newsmax named him the 2nd most influential Republican in the nation under age 30. In addition, in 2013 he was named to the "Top 30 Conservatives Under Age 30 in the United States" list by Red Alert Politics. Antani has received the Legislator of the Year Award by the AMVETS Department of Ohio for his work helping veterans, as well as the Friend of Community Colleges Award by the Ohio Association of Community College and the Distinguished Government Service Award by the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools for his work for the betterment of higher education for the middle class. Antani received the 2018 “Making a Difference” award from the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association for his work helping people with disabilities. He also was most recently awarded NFIB Ohio’s 2020 Guardian of Small Business Award, which is awarded annually to one member of the Ohio House and one member of the Ohio Senate.
He earned a Bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University. Born and raised in Miami Township, Antani attended Miamisburg City Schools and is a graduate of Miamisburg High School. A strong conservative, Antani is a member of the NRA and volunteered for Dayton Right to Life. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Miamisburg, is the 2nd Vice President of the Miamisburg High School Alumni Association, and a former executive board member of the non- profit Dayton International Festival, Inc. He chaired the Ohio Republican Party Asian Pacific American Advisory Council and serves on the national board of the Republican State Leadership Committee's Future Majority Project. Antani has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, PBS NewsHour, CNBC, C-SPAN, and Chuck Todd's radio show. In addition, he has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and in various NBC National News articles.
Antani currently resides in Miamisburg, Ohio.
In 1971 Visakha Dasi traveled to India, where she met His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna Movement. Visakha and her husband, John Griesser,
photographed and filmed Srila Prabhupada and his followers and recently produced the 90-minute
award-winning film, Hare Krishna! the Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All.
Visakha is also the author of five books, most recently a memoir: Five Years, Eleven Months and a Lifetime of Unexpected Love, a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Currently Visakha is the Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK.
Gaitri Issar Kumar, of the 1986 batch of the Indian Foreign Service has served in various capacities at the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi and its Missions abroad to promote India's political, trade and economic as well as cultural cooperation with friends and partners - bilateral and in multilateral fora. Before taking over as High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, she was serving as Ambassador of India to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg, Overseas, she has also served as Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Paris, Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva, First Secretary in the Embassy of India, Kathmandu and Second Secretary in the Embassy of India, Lisbon. At Headquarters she was as Additional Secretary to the Hon'ble President of India, Head of the Americas Division, Establishment Division, Finance Division, Director, Northern Division in charge of Nepal and Bhutan and before that, Under Secretary for Maldives and Myanmar. In Bangalore, she served as Regional Passport Officer, Karnataka. Gaitri Issar Kumar, with family origins in Punjab, was born in Bangalore, Karnataka and completed her early education at Sophia High School, Bangalore before graduating from Bangalore University - where she pursued history, economics and political science She has studied German and Portuguese languages and has a working knowledge of Nepali and French. She is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi. She is married to Sachit Kumar. They have two daughters.
Shekar Narasimhan is Chairman and Founder of the AAPI Victory Fund, one of the first of its kind
SuperPac’s focused exclusively on building the political power of the Asian American Pacific
In his business life, Shekar is the Managing Partner at Beekman Advisors which provides strategic advisory services to companies and investors involved in real estate, mortgage finance, affordable housing and related sectors. He also serves as Chairman of Papillon Capital, focused on sustainable infrastructure investing in emerging markets.
Prior to Beekman Advisors, Shekar Narasimhan was a Managing Director of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, one of the nation’s leading providers of commercial mortgage financing. Immediately prior to Shekar’s time at Prudential, he was Chairman & CEO of the WMF Group, a publicly traded, commercial mortgage financial services company. WMF was one of the largest such firms in the country before being acquired by Prudential in 2000.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has spent his life building programmes for the reduction of stress and violence. In 1981 he set up the Art of Living [www.artofliving.org] and in 1997 the International Association for Human Values [www.iahv.org] , both of which are active in more than 150 countries. Sri Sri’s organisations operate at several levels: • Global. Sri Sri has personally played a prominent role in promoting peace in a number of conflict zones, including Colombia, Iraq, Cameroon and India. • National. Through a network of volunteers, Sri Sri’s organisations have brought disaster relief to countries like Iraq and Syria and also to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the US in 2005. • Individual. His followers have introduced Sri Sri’s self-development programmes – meditation, yoga and breathing techniques – in numerous prisons and refugee camps, helping to reduce stress and assist people to recover from trauma. Independent medical research has documented the impact of these programmes in alleviating depression, reducing cortisol (a stress hormone) and strengthening the immune system. Underlying all these activities is Sri Sri’s central belief – that different cultures and religions are all rooted in shared human values. To demonstrate this, in 2016 his organisations convened the World Culture Festival in Delhi. The three-day event was the closest the world has yet got to a “cultural Olympics”, with spectacular performances by 45,000 dancers and musicians from around the world. Sri Sri’s work has already been recognised by a number of countries. He has received the highest civilian award in Colombia, Guatemala, Mongolia and Paraguay; the same has happened in India – the Padma Vibhushan award for exceptional and distinguished service. He has received 15 honorary doctorates from universities in a number of countries.
Abhi has 15+ years of diverse experience in the education (learning), technology, and consumer goods industries. He has successfully exited multiple entrepreneurial ventures and worked in various roles across operations, business transformation, strategy, and P&L management at companies such as P&G, Cadbury and most recently at Pearson as head of digital consumer for language learning business. He is also currently engaged with two of Sandbox’s portfolio companies, leading FEN’s learning businesses and serving on the Hopster board.
Anila Dhami is an award-winning Presenter and Journalist who has worked for some of the world’s leading media companies. Currently, she freelances as a presenter for C5 News, produces for the BBC World Service, and hosts her own current affairs and topical news program ‘Anila Dhami On Sunday’ on Sunrise Radio. She has hosted live debates on the topic of the day and interviewed MPs, experts, celebrities and real people. Anila is passionate about creating a well-informed electorate by giving impartial information, and furthering the development of humanity. She supports charities Barnardo's and is UK Ambassador of Binti International.
Rima is a Senior Associate Solicitor in the Corporate, Commercial and Banking practice with a specific focus on the Indian market. Rima is qualified as an Indian Advocate and dual qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales. Rima read a Masters in Law specialising in Corporate & Commercial Laws at University College, London.
Rima has built her reputation by forming close relationships with a number of large Indian corporates and banks in the UK and India.
Rima's experience in secured lending transactions spans drafting finance and security documents for lenders for credit facility transactions, overdraft agreements, inter-creditor deeds, deeds of priority, deed of subordination, security agreements, debentures, assignment of rental income, assignment of a bank account, charges over shares, Charge over cash deposits, personal and corporate guarantees, corporate cross guarantees, conditions precedent satisfaction letters, independent legal advice, renewal of facility documents, amendment and reinstatement agreements, collating the conditions precedent documents for disbursement of the facility and conditions subsequent documents.
Joysy John is an entrepreneur, Edtech advisor and global speaker. She is the former Director of Education at Nesta. Previously she was the Chief Industry Officer at Ada National College for Digital Skills. Prior to joining the education sector, she spent a decade in banking across Singapore, US and UK. She holds a Computer Engineering (Honours) degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and an MBA with Distinction from London Business School. She was the Financial Times top 100 BAME leaders influencing tech in 2019 and Finalist for Woman of the Year at the 16th Asian Achievers Award in 2016.
Hitan Mehta has been an integral member of the British Asian Trust. He is a member of the
original founding team and its first ever employee. He has devoted the last 13 years to make BAT
a resounding success, serving as its Executive Director.
Hitan has over this time also supported HRH The Prince of Wales’s interactions with South Asia, having personally accompanied him on five trips to the region. Hitan has also served as Head of Operations for The Prince of Wales’s Charities Foundation, organising commercial activities to raise funds with a programme of music, sports, films and exhibitions.
His concerted efforts on UK India relations saw him recognised in the ‘100 Most Influential People in UK India Relations’ list for 2018.
Rajay Naik is Chief Executive Officer of Skilled Education, the enabler of online degrees and
digital skills courses for the world’s most prestigious Universities and largest companies.
Rajay was formerly Global Chief Commercial Officer of Study Group, the world’s largest pathway provider and prior to that was Founder and CEO for four years at Keypath Education, a leading edtech company. From 2010 until 2015, Rajay served as Director of The Open University where he was an architect of the FutureLearn MOOC platform.
Previously he was one of five members on the landmark higher education review chaired by Lord Browne, board member of Coventry City Football Club and Chairman of the Big Lottery Fund.
Rajay continues to serve as a non-executive of UBS’ investment board, Pay.UK which oversees the UK’s payments system and as Governor of the Ditchley Foundation.
Sonal Shah is the Founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation and Professor at Georgetown University. Sonal served as Deputy Assistant to the President for President Obama and founded the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. She has extensive experience in the public sector including as an international economist at the Department of Treasury, setting set up the central bank in Bosnia, working post conflict reconstruction in Kosovo, and implementing poverty reduction strategies in Africa and financial crises in Asia and Latin America. She has extensive private sector experience. At Google, Sonal led technology initiative for civic voice and investing for impact as the head of Global Development Initiatives. At Goldman Sachs, she developed the environmental strategy and ran the initiatives, including investing clean technologies at Goldman Sachs. One of Sonal’s most proud accomplishments is working with her siblings to create a non-profit, Indicorps, to build a new generation of socially conscious global leaders. Indicorps created the service movement in India inspiring and incubating new social enterprises like Teach for India and Sarvajal. Sonal serves on the boards of Oxfam America, the UBS Optimus Foundation, the Case Foundation Non Profit Finance Fund, Voto Latino, and The Century Foundation. She also serves as an adviser to the Democracy Fund and is coordinating the Initiative on Tech & Society at Georgetown University.
MR Rangaswami is a software executive, investor, entrepreneur, corporate eco-strategy expert, community builder and philanthropist. Recognized as a software business expert, he participated in the rapid expansion of the Silicon Valley software industry during his tenure as an executive at both large and small software companies. In 1997, he co-founded Sand Hill Group one of the earliest “angel” investment firms and was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. He produced the prestigious Enterprise and Software conferences that were held in Silicon Valley. He was also listed on the Forbes “Midas” list of investors. M.R. is the publisher of SandHill.com a leading website for entrepreneurs, VCs and CIOs. In 2007, M.R. embarked on a new venture as the founder of the Corporate Eco Forum, an invitation-only membership organization for Global 500 companies that demonstrate a serious commitment to environment as a business strategy issue. In 2012 M.R. founded Indiaspora to unite Indian Americans and to transform their success into meaningful impact in India and on the global stage.
Andrew is an ex-Soldier who served his Country proudly from the age of
sixteen. For over eleven years he served across many continents, a few conflicts, with the UK
Special Forces and alongside some amazing people.
Business has been a journey that has enabled Andrew to operate globally, including spending six years at recently privatised FTSE 250 company; Colt Technology Services, where he served in leadership roles across several Executive functions, ending as Group Chief Operating Officer.
Andrew is the founder of social impact business route2work, parent company for education and careers provider; The Training Room, and for digital talent acquisition and talent management business; Infinity Global.IO.
The Group places around 5000 people into work with great employers all across the UK on an annualised basis via the provision of relevant education and qualifications that are vendor, industry or Government orientated. Circa 60% of this talent comes from disadvantaged, inner city backgrounds.
Andrew is also a Charity Champion for Dreams Come True: https://www.dreamscometrue.uk.com a charity that focuses on making individual dreams a reality for terminally ill or seriously life impaired children, and over the past ten years he has raised more than £100k.
As a leader, Andrew has a favourite mantra: ‘talent develops in quite places, our challenge is to find it’
Reena was successfully elected as one of the three District Councillors for Moor Park & Eastbury in May 2014. She previously ran as a County Council Candidate 2013 and was a Parliamentary Candidate in the 2017 General Election. She addressed the delegates at the Conservative Party Conference in 2017 on the topic of “Fighting Injustices” and was appointed co-chair of the Conservative Friends of India in 2020 Reena is Chairman and Co-Founder of Women Empowered, a grass roots, social initiative that aims to inspire and help women make the best of their individual talents and skills by connecting with successful and inspirational women and to help them make the most of their abilities and help them gain new opportunities through a variety of events. The group is championed and supported by prominent women and men from all walks of life, from politics to media, from finance to music.www.womenempowered.co.uk . It also consists of a charitable arm based on the donation of time an service and an online blog. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2019 Birthday Honours list for services to BAME women Reena has worked within her family business for almost 20 years. She has worked in variety of roles, always close to the heart of activity she has been involved closely from both operational and strategic aspects Reena is a TedX speaker and has contributed to a variety of Asian media newspapers and radio.
Andy was first elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017. Prior to this Andy was MP for
Leigh from 2001. In government, Andy has held Ministerial positions at the Home Office,
of Health and the Treasury. In 2008 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport,
before returning to Secretary of State for Health in 2009.
In opposition, Andy has served as Shadow Education Secretary, Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary.
The Right Honourable the Baroness Usha Prashar of Runnymede CBE, PC, an independent member of the House of Lords since 1999, has led and chaired a number of public and voluntary organisations with distinction. In the House of Lords she is a Vice Chair of the Commonwealth All Party Parliamentary Group and serves on the House of Lords EU Select Committee on Services. From 2014-17 she was a member of House of Lords European Union Select Committee and chair of its sub-committee on Home Affairs; from 2001 - 2009 member of Joint Committee on Human Rights; from 2006-2007 member of Committee on Regulators; from 2008- 2009 Chair of Committee for Privileges and Conduct. Currently she is Chairman of Cumberland Lodge, an educational institution, non-executive director of Nationwide Building Society and Chairman of U.K. Council of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Previously she has held roles such as Deputy Chairman, British Council, 2012-2018 where she led the UK - India year of culture in 2017/18.
Oliver Ballhatchet MBE is the Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, representing the UK in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Oliver joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2004, firstly working on Counter Terrorism, then the Western Balkans, before heading overseas to work in the British Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil on Energy and Global Climate Change. In 2011, Oliver moved to the British Consulate-General in Rio de Janeiro, where he was the Political Consul until 2017. For the past two years, Oliver served as the Deputy Head of the UK Government’s UN Peacekeeping Joint Unit. During Oliver’s nine years in Brazil, he was also the Olympic and Paralympic Attaché for the British teams at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This work was recognised when Oliver was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours List. Oliver has visited India before. Straight after University, he spent three months teaching in a junior school in Patiala, Punjab, before travelling the country by train. He has both a Degree and an Honorary Doctorate in Law and is joined in Chennai by his wife and three-year-old daughter. Oliver has a keen interest in sport, especially the game of cricket, and is looking forward to pursuing this with more enthusiasm in Chennai!