Keynote Speaker Biographies

  Atul Singh
President & Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola India

Atul Singh took over as the President CEO, Coca-Cola India from 1 September 2005. As CEO of the India Business Unit, Atul is responsible for Coca-Cola’s operations in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives.

Under his stewardship, Coca-Cola’s business in India has reported six consecutive quarters of growth, with double digit growth in the most recent quarter.

Prior to this assignment, Atul Singh worked in Coca-Cola China (2001-2005). He was President of East, Central South (ECS) China Division which consisted of Shanghai, the Swire Territories of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Additionally, Atul was also responsible for the global and strategic Key Customer Relationships for Greater China and was a member of the Customer Leadership Council. Prior to this Atul served as Deputy Division President and headed the Operations group of China Division. Under his leadership, mainland China operations were among the fastest growing Coca-Cola business.

Atul started his career in the Coca-Cola system in 1998 as Vice President, Operations, of Coca-Cola, India Division where he led the Franchise Operations and Key Accounts groups from 1998 to 2001.

Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Atul worked for the Colgate Palmolive Company for 10 years and held several roles including Country General Manager, Nigeria (1995-1998), CFO then General Manager, Romania (1992-1995) and Finance Manager, USA Body Care (1990-1992), Prior to Colgate, Atul worked as an Auditor with Price Waterhouse in New York.

Atul is currently the Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) National Committee for Corporate Social Responsibility, Chairman of the Sports Committee of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Chairman of Foods Products Beverages Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce and on the Corporal Editorial Advisory Board of the Economic Times newspaper.

Atul, who is a citizen of United States, holds an MBA degree from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce (Hons) from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta University.

  Honorable Minister Kamal Nath
Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India

Mr. Kamal Nath is the Minister for Commerce & Industry of India. He is also concurrently the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress Party and a Member of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision making body of the Congress Party, which leads the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

As Commerce & Industry Minister of India, Kamal Nath enunciated India’s first comprehensive Foreign Trade Policy in 2004, laying out a coherent roadmap with a twin focus on exports as well as employment. He has been successful in doubling India’s foreign trade within a period of less than three years, and engineering a seven-fold increase in FDI in-flows to India. Significant strides have also been made in the areas of Intellectual Property and Industrial Design.

His firm grasp of economic issues and consummate diplomatic skills have been superbly evident in the World Trade Organization negotiations, where he has emerged as one of the chief architects of the G-20 and G-33 Alliances and the NAMA 11. The WTO Ministerial at Hong Kong in 2005 was marked by his championship of the cause of developing countries.

Mr. Kamal Nath joined the Indian National Congress in 1968 as a Youth Worker, and was elected to Parliament from the Chhindwara constituency for the first time in 1980. He has subsequently won Parliamentary elections from the same constituency in 1985, 1989, 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2004. Chhindwara, situated in India’s largest state of Madhya Pradesh, is predominantly a tribal district having large tracts of lush tropical forests.

As a first-time Member of Parliament Mr. Kamal Nath represented India in the United Nations General Assembly in 1982 and 1983. He also attended the International Parliamentary Union Conferences held in Nicaragua (1987), Guatemala (1988) and Cyprus (1990). For sometime he served on the Board of Directors of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), a Government of India Undertaking.

Mr. Kamal Nath was first inducted into the Union Council of Ministers in 1991. During his four-year tenure as Minister of Environment & Forests of India Mr. Nath made a remarkable contribution to the enunciation and development of the National Policy on Ecological Conservation and the Abatement of Pollution. His policy initiatives include the establishment of Environment Tribunals, the concept of Environment Audit, special measures for the further protection and conservation of wildlife – fauna as well as flora, and the establishment of Environment Brigades and Afforestation Brigades so as to enthuse the youth and involve them, as well as many Non-Governmental Organizations, in active participation in the conservation of the environment. The afforestation and development of degraded wastelands in India was taken up on a massive scale under his stewardship. He enunciated global concepts on Environmental Tariffs and conceptualized Global Emission Quotas. At the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, Mr. Kamal Nath emerged as one of the chief spokesmen for developing countries, and contributed significantly to the contours of the Climate Change Convention, the Biodiversity Conservation Convention and the Forestry Agreement.

His tenure as Environment & Forests Minister of India is still remembered for the remarkable achievements in myriad areas, particularly in that of environmental awareness and sustainable development, when he succeeded in blunting the confrontation between environmental concern and economic development.

From 1995 to 1996, he was Textiles Minister of India. During his tenure the country touched new heights in production & export of cotton, and the New Textiles Policy was successfully launched to achieve an all time high exports of garments & fabrics.

Mr. Nath was educated at the prestigious Doon School, and subsequently obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta. In 2006, Jabalpur’s Rani Durgavati University conferred on him an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his remarkable contribution to public life.

Kamal Nath’s contribution to higher education is manifest in the establishment of the prestigious Institutes of Management Technology in Ghaziabad, Nagpur and Dubai; and his commitment to social welfare is evident in his patronage for the past two decades of the Child Development Council of Madhya Pradesh.

  Kanwal Rekhi
Managing Director, Inventus Capital Partners

Kanwal is a past chairman the Chairman, Board of Trustee of TiE and also a past President TiE Silicon Valley. He is currently a managing Director of Inventus Capital Partners, a Cross Border India/US Venture Capital fund.

Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 1945, Kanwal moved with his family to India at the time of the partition, in 1947. Kanwal was the third of eight children of an Indian army officer. He grew up in Kanpur, India and did his B. Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay in Electrical Engineering. He came to the US in 1967 for graduate studies and did his MSEE from Michigan Technological University in 1969. He held various technical jobs in the computer industry between 1969 and 1982. Kanwal came to the Silicon Valley as one of the pioneering Indians in 1971.

Kanwal was the founders of Excelan, a computer networking company in 1982. In 1985 he was named President and CEO of the company. Excelan went public on the NASDAQ in 1987 and merged with Novell in 1989. Kanwal stayed with and joined the Board of Directors of Novell and was named an executive vice-president and the Chief Technology Officer of the company. Kanwal retired from Novell in 1995. Kanwal also served as the CEO of CyberMedia, Inc. from March 1998 till Sept 1998.

Kanwal was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1987 by the Arthur-Young/Venture magazine. In 1994, Kanwal was named to the Board of advisor to the President of Michigan Tech. Kanwal was honored with a Doctorate in 1997 in Business and Engineering from Michigan Tech.

Kanwal is actively focused on mentoring young entrepreneurs. He is currently involved at the board level in Sierra Atlantic and Instantis. In the past he has been involved with over 50 start-ups in the Silicon Valley, including Exodus Communications, CyberMedia, Apptivity, Zietnet, PlaceWare and Ambit Design.

Kanwal is an active supporter of his alma maters IIT Bombay and Michigan Tech.; American India Foundation and of Foundation for Excellence (FFE). FFE provides scholarships to poor but brilliant students in India. Kanwal is also active with Centre for Civil Society of India, based in New Delhi.

Kanwal married Ann Holt in 1971 and became a US citizen in 1975. He and Ann have two grown children, a daughter and a son.