Season 3

Some eminent speakers who graced the 3rd Season of VESIM Literati Fest happening on 12th and 13th January, 2018.




Amla says, “I believe that the two foremost issues in our country are water and education”, hence, her Aakar Charitable Trust has taken up both these sectors seriously. It has set up highly replicable model schools from pre-primary to higher secondary in Ramgarh, Rajasthan imparting the finest education at minimum cost.

From 2000 to 2005 they built 200 Drinking Water Kunds (ancestral type) in which a total of one crore litres of pure rain water is collected every year in remote areas where there is no supply of municipal water.



Ashish Chauhan is the MD and CEO of BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange). He was also instrumental in setting up India International Exchange, India’s first International exchange which was inaugurated by India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in January 2017. He has received several Indian and International awards including Distinguished Alumnus Awards from both his Alma Mater IIT Bombay and IIM Kolkata. He has also been ranked amongst the top CEOs in financial markets by Asian Banker and amongst top 50 CIOs in the world by Information Week US.



Ashwin Sanghi ranks among India’s highest-selling authors of English fiction. He has written several bestsellers The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant, The Krishna Key, The Sialkot Saga and a New York Times bestselling crime thriller called Private India followed by Private Delhi together with James Patterson. Ashwin was included by Forbes India in their Celebrity 100 and is a winner of the Crossword Popular Choice award.



Ankita Verma Datta is an Economics graduate from Mumbai University and is trained in advertising communication and marketing at the Xavier Institute of Management/Communication. She has spent more than a decade in the advertising industry, handling a wide range of clients from finance, insurance, education, food industry before starting her own communications consultancy in 2003.

“Trust Me Not” is her debut fiction novel and she intends to continue writing socio-political thrillers with current relevance in future too. She writes to evoke and entertain.



Dheeraj is the Chief Strategy Officer at Leo Burnett, South Asia. He is the author of two bestsellers on the Indian consumer market. His latest release, India Reloaded – Inside the Resurgent Indian Consumer Market is published by Westland in India and Palgrave, internationally. His previous book, “Consumer India – Inside the Indian Mind and Wallet”, published by John Wiley & Sons, is a recommended read at Wharton Business School’s course on emerging markets.



Madhu Purnima Kishwar was Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Director Indic Studies Project at CSDS till 2016. Since then she has been awarded Maulana Azad National Professorship of the Indian Council for Social Science Research. Her life work represents a rare combination of academic scholarship, research based social and legal activism, including public interest litigation and investigative journalism on issues concerning the most neglected strata of society as well as blasting negative stereotyping of Indian society. She is also the founder editor of ManushiA Journal about Women and Society and Manushi Sangathan, an organization working for democratic reforms that promote greater social justice.


Manju Lodha is an Excellent Orator and Founder of Gyan Gangotri Kavya Manch, which is the only women’s literary organization for development of literary skill for housewives in Mumbai. She is the Chairperson of Lodha Foundation functioning of various social activities. 

Books written by her are: “Bharat Bhagya Nirmata”,” Babul”, “Paati”, “Maa”, “Yaden”,  “Rishton Ka Recharge”, “Marudhar Vibhushan”, “Jain Dharm – Ek Pavan Path”, “Man ki Lahren”, “Prerna” and her latest book is “PARAM VIR”, based on bravery stories of great Indian soldiers and this book was launched by the Governor of Maharashtra.




Currently working as the Chief Strategy Officer at Swarajya group, a new media start up, which publishes Swarajya magazine and runs websites and  His first venture was a website called (Cricket Stock Exchange) – a virtual gaming website based on cricket theme – in 2007, while he was still on IIMA campus. He was the editor and founder of Faking News –  a news satire portal – in 2008. In 2013, Faking News was acquired by Network 18, which in turn was later acquired by Reliance Industries Limited in May 2014.



Ratan Sharda He is a TV panelist on major English, Hindi and marathi networks. The second edition of his book “Secrets of RSS” – Demystifying the Sangh’ and a novel ‘Journey of Truth’ edited by him released in 2015.

He has also translated the book “Being Different” written by renowned public intellectual, Rajiv Malhotra.



Richard Rothman is Managing Director of OpenMind Opportunity Consultancy Pvt. Ltd., the first and only opportunity consultancy in the world. He has over 32 years’ experience helping companies to expand opportunities for profitable growth.

Richard has authored “Master Opportunity and Make it Big”, published by Jaico. This bestselling self-help business book unveils the success secrets of 18 Indians who have mastered opportunities to go from rags to riches.



Radhakrishnan Pillai, fondly known as “CHANAKYA PILLAI”, He is a teacher to his students, an author to his readers, a management trainer, consultant and guide to his clients.
Radhakrishnan Pillai is the bestselling author of “Corporate Chanakya” which has sold over 3 lakh copies and has been translated into 10 regional languages. A well-known management speaker, trainer, author and consultant, he has written nearly 200 articles and papers for various magazines, newspapers, journals and periodicals including Times of India group as a weekly columnist.



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One of India’s finest Political Journalist, Prabhu Chawla is known for his sharp political analysis and investigative reports.

Prabhu Chawla is Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Group. After finishing his post-graduate studies at Delhi School of Economics, he started his career as an economics lecturer with Delhi University before going on to become one of India’s best-known journalists. 



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Crafts revivalist, writer, activist, former politician — Jaya Jaitly has many sobriquets. Former national president of the Samata Party formed by her mentor George Fernandes, Jaitly stepped down from the party after the Tehelka scandal in 2002.

She devoted herself to work for India’s many crafts and textiles through her Dastkari Haat Samiti founded in 1986.  Her recent publication Crafting Indian Scripts is based on a major project called Akshara combining literacy, craft and calligraphy. Some of her other current efforts include revival of the gamcha and pathedu anchu sarees.




Independent Director, Author, TV Panelist, Speaker, Strategy & Marketing Consultant and founder He worked as Vice President – Sales & Marketing, with leading TV Channels, before he decided to take a plunge in writing this book. Prior to this assignment, he worked in a similar role for a couple of other television channels. Before Sandeep moved to electronic media, he worked with Research Organization and Advertising Agencies. He is also curating a Museum on Indian Business History. 




Sudeep Nagarkar’s books continue to top the bestseller charts across the country since their release and have sold in lakhs.

His books are inspired from real life incidents and anyone can connect with them easily. He is the recipient of the 2013 Youth Achievers’ Award for writing for being one of the highest selling romance writers in India. His book ‘it started with a friend request’ was most popular fiction book of 2013.




Dr Satish Modh is director, VES Institute of Management, Mumbai. Before joining VESIM he was Professor in Strategy and Associate Dean at the NMIMS University. He completed his doctoral research from University of Mumbai in Business Strategy at JBIMS, Mumbai. He is one of the founder Director of World Hindu Economic Forum and also the founder and past president of Center for International Studies, Mumbai. Dr. Modh has authored several pioneering books. His latest book is “Arjuna in you”.




Sameer Seth, Founder and CEO of The Bombay Canteen, has over 7 years of experience in the restaurant business in both India and the USA. Driven by the passion to build a restaurant that fit in the Indian context, both socially and culturally, he along with his business partner Yash Bhanage, have developed the concept behind The Bombay Canteen. The time spent traveling and working in America really shaped the way Sameer thinks and approaches every aspect of the restaurant business, whether it be cultivating a concept or driving a team to excellence. It is his keen eye and attention to detail that drives The Bombay Canteen, where he and the team have formed an environment that is welcoming, with an emphasis on excellence in both service and food.




 Shakti works as an Executive Director at Kalnirnay. She is recognised for her debut novel, ‘Imperfect Mr Right’, for which she earned an Acharya Atre Foundation’s annual award for fiction writing. Before getting into the 40-year old family business, she worked with Qyuki where she was incharge of digital video content for Shekhar Kapur, Samir Bangara & A R Rahman  initiative.

Shakti Salgaonkar started working at Kalnirnay in January 2016 with an aim to bring in a fresh perspective into the business. At Kalnirnay, she works on content, advertising and digital strategies for the group.




 Dr. Swati is the Festival Director of “VESIM Literati Fest”. She is currently Area Chair & Associate Professor- Marketing, at Vivekanand Education Society Institute of Management (VESIM), Mumbai. Swati is passionate about teaching fashion retailing & luxury brand management to her students. Her research publications are on emerging economies, wine industry, customer loyalty in retail and reverse innovation practices of firms in leading journals. Her current research is in the area of changing dynamics of MNCs in India.




 A Public Speaker & Social Media Trainer, he currently consults government in digital communication.  He has been called as Speaker at “World Brand Congress”, selected as Mentor & Jury for Telecomm Uncovered in India & also spoke on “Social Media in Social Sector” at Youth Republic’s event “Leading Change 2013, Think Do Impact!” in Karachi, Pakistan. He has served for more than Twenty National & International Brands like HUL, Dabur, Asian Paints Nepal, etc., may it be products, service or persona branding. Zankrut Oza is also a talent fusion of Communications, Creativity & Business, and has worked in award nominated short films.