Leaders, entrepreneurs and savants: PBD 2018 awaits a star-studded speaker lineup

Line-up of speakers at the ASEAN India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) continues to grow in influence and length. Here is the list of prominent Indian personalities who will land in Singapore for the regional PBD 2018 to be held on January 6 and 7 at the Marina Bay Sands.

Political Office Leaders and Policy Makers

​ Leaders, entrepreneurs and savants: PBD 2018 awaits a star-studded speaker lineup from India
Photo courtesy: Twitter@SushmaSwaraj

Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister  

Sushma Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to the ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2018. Elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly, Sushma Swaraj is the current Minister of External Affairs, India. An Advocate by profession, Swaraj began her political career with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the 1970s. She became a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly and a Cabinet Minister in Haryana at the age of 25 in 1977 and held seven portfolios. She became State President of Janata Party (Haryana) in 1979 at the age of 27.

Leaders, entrepreneurs and savants: PBD 2018 awaits a star-studded speaker lineup from India
Photo courtesy: Twitter@pibmumbai

Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways

The current Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation in the Government of India, Nitin Gadkari has served as the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from 2010-13. Known for projects during his tenure as a Public Works Department Minister in the state of Maharashtra, the minister constructed a series of roads, highways and flyovers across the state including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, India’s first six-lane concrete, high-speed, access controlled tolled expressway.

Leaders, entrepreneurs and savants: PBD 2018 awaits a star-studded speaker lineup from India
Photo courtesy: chandrababunaidu.com

N. Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh since 2014, Nara Chandrababu Naidu is the first chief minister of the state since it was divided. Previously he served as Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh from 1994 to 2004, before the state was divided, and as the Leader of the Opposition in the united Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 2004 to 2014. He is currently the National President of Telugu Desam Party. He has been awarded a number of awards including IT Indian of the Millennium from India Today, Business Person of the Year by The Economic Times, South Asian of the Year from Time Asia and membership in the World Economic Forum's Dream Cabinet.

Sarbananda Sonowal
Photo courtesy: Twitter@sarbanandsonwal

Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam Chief Minister

The Chief Minister of Assam since 2016, Sarbananda Sonowal has also served as Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs and Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development in the Narendra Modi Government. He has previously served as the president for BJP Assam and is also a National Executive Member of the party. Sonowal was the president of the All Assam Students Union from 1992 to 1999. Until January 2011, he was a member of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) political party but later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He is popularly known as a firebrand and dynamic youth politician.

Leaders, entrepreneurs and savants: PBD 2018 awaits a star-studded speaker lineup from India
Photo courtesy: @amitabhk87

Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog

Amitabh Kant is the CEO of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a Government institution for catalysing economic development. He has worked as Secretary – Tourism, Government of Kerala, Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, District Collector, Kozhikode and Managing Director, Matsyafed. Kant was a key driver of the ‘Make in India’, ‘Startup India’, ‘Incredible India’ and ‘God’s Own Country’ initiatives that positioned India and Kerala State as leading manufacturing and tourism destinations. These campaigns won several international awards.

Business Leaders and prominent experts

Raman Roy
Photo courtesy: businessworld.in

Raman Roy, CEO of Quatrro

CEO of Quatrro, recognized as "the pioneer of the Indian Business Process Outsourcing industry", Raman Roy is one of the pioneers of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in India. He is widely regarded as the ‘Father of the BPO industry’ in India. Since 1992 he has played a pivotal role in promoting India as a preferred destination for Remote Processing to mainly North American and European companies. He has directly created over 35,000 new jobs in India and has indirectly enabled the employment of over 700,000 people through his pioneering efforts that led to the creation of the BPO industry.

Business Leaders and prominent experts
Photo courtesy: Youtube

C. Raja Mohan, Director of Carnegie

An Indian academic, journalist and foreign policy analyst, C. Raja Mohan is the Director of Carnegie India. He was a professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and Professor of Centre for South, Central, Southeast Asian and Southwest Pacific Studies, School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India. Dr Mohan was a Strategic Affairs Editor of the Indian Express, New Delhi, and before that, served as Diplomatic Editor and the Washington Correspondent of The Hindu newspaper. He is a columnist for the Indian Express.

Hansal Mehta
Photo courtesy: India Forums

Hansal Mehta, Film Director & Producer

Hansal Mehta is an Indian film director, writer, actor and producer. Known for his movie Shahid (2012), for which he won the 2013 ‘National Film Award for Best Direction’, Mehta started his career in television with his show Khana Khazana (1993–2000) and later moved on to movies such as Jayate (1999), Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar (2000) and Chhal (2002) . He is best known for Shahid for which he won the 2013 ‘National Film Award for Best Direction’. He then went on to direct acclaimed City Lights (2014), Aligarh (2016) and Simran (2017).

Rujuta Diwekar
Photo courtesy: @RujutaDiwekar

Rujuta Diwekar, Nutritionist

The winner of the prestigious 'Nutrition award' from Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG), Rujuta Diwekar is a celebrity nutritionist and was voted as 50 most powerful people in India by People magazine in 2012. She is the author of Don't Lose your Mind, Lose Your Weight and Women & the Weight Loss Tamasha. The two books combined, have sold more than 400, 000 copies and have been translated into more than 4 languages. In 2014, Rujuta released her third book, Don't Lose Out, WorkOut!. An avid trekker, Diwekar also runs her own marathon training group.

Garima Kapil
Garima Kapil – Senior Writer

Garima Kapil has around five years of experience in the field of writing and editing. Specialised in writing, performing proof-reading and text editing functions along with content ideation; she has worked with leading e-commerce and as a freelancer. She writes on lifestyle, news, telecom, travel, education, healthcare, immigration, along with other subjects required as a full-time writer and freelancer. 


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