Plenary Session I

8 January :1500-1545 hrs 

'The Indian Diaspora: Catalysts for Realising India's Development Vision: India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians.'

Session Brief

Session Coordinator : Ms Vani Rao, Joint Secretary (OIA-II), Ministry of External Affairs

Speakers at PBD:

  • Mr Balesh Dhankar, BI Strategy Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation, Australia
  • Mr. Arun Kankani, Executive Vice President, Sewa International Inc, USA
  • Mr. Rameshchandra Shah, Founder & Chairman, Ekal Vidhyala, USA
  • Prof. Sree Sreenath, Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH
  • Mr. Yusuff Ali, Chairman & MD, Lulu Group of Industries, UAE
  • Mr. Hari Kiran Vadlamani, Founder, Cause First Ventures Pvt.Ltd, Singapore
  • Mr. Krishnakumar Taori, Group MD, Hasan Juma Backer Trading & Contracting Company, Oman
  • Mr. Susheel Saraff, Chairman, Saraff Group of Companies, Thailand
  • Ms. Ritu Beri, Managing Director, Ritu Beri Design Pvt. Ltd, India.
  • Dr.Vijay Chauthaiwale, Head of BJP’s Foreign & Overseas Friends cell, India.
  • Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak Founder, Sulabh Sanitation


  • Mr. Balesh Singh Dhankar, is a social activist, speaker on eastern philosophy and comparative theology, journalist, Urdu poet, aspiring film maker and business intelligence professional. He acquired his academics from IIMC, Delhi University, IGNOU, urdu Academy Delhi in India, and UTS and UNSW in Australia. He is active with number of community activities that includes - Clean Mission Australia as the Founding Director: a platform to connect Indian Diaspora and wider community in Australia with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan; OFBJP Australia as founding President; Hindu Dialogue Australia as founding President etc.
  • Mr. Susheel Kumar Saraff, is the Chairman of Saraff Global, in Thailand with diversified businesses in Diamonds, Alternative Energy, Plastics, Real Estate and Information Technology.  He has devoted his resources towards healthcare and education for the down-trodden in rural India. His generous contributions to philanthropy in India and Thailand have established him as driving force in mobilizing communities for social cause. His dedication towards community-empowerment has created superior socio-economic-cultural-religious environment in both countries. He is active in Indian Social Club, Ekal Vidyalaya Movement and many such Associations in Thailand. 
  • Mr. Yusuff Ali, is the Chairman & Managing Director, Lulu Group. He ranks among prominent and reputed NRI business personalities around the world today. Lulu Group International, under his dynamic leadership, has achieved significant growth and diversified into various business lines. The Group has a vast organizational structure of over 40,000 staff and  employs the highest number of Indians outside India.  Lulu Group of companies is one of the leading importers, wholesalers and retailers with a world-wide business network.   He plays a vital role in fostering the interests of Non-resident Indians and was conferred the prestigious Padma Shri and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards by the Hon’ble Presidents of India
  • Mr. Sree N. Sreenath, is the professor in the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  He is the Director of Complex Systems Biology Center and directs an Online Graduate Program. His research and educational interests are in complexity, focusing on Global Issues and Sustainable Development, and Systems Biology (hydrocephalus and cancer). He has served on the World Water Commission (2002), UN WWAP (1998-2004), and co-directed UNESCO GENIe (1996-2006). He is a volunteer President of Sewa International. He consults with developing countries on water, energy, and policy development.
  • Mr. Krishna Kumar Taori, hails from Maharashtra but has been based in Sultanate of Oman over the last 30 years. He is the Group managing Director of Hasan Juma Backer Trading and Contracting Co. LLC. His did his in 1982 in Environment Engineering from Visvesvaraya National Institute Technology. He has been rated by Forbes Middle East in 40 Best CEOs from MEENA Region in 2014 and in 2016. He has been associated with Indian Social Clubs & Indian School in Muscat Sultanate of Oman and has been supporting various activities of the respective Social Clubs.
  • Mr. Rameshchandra P Shah, is a Global cordinator and Board of Advisor, EkalVidyalaya Foundation of USA, USA. He completed his B.E in Mechanical Engineering from M.S University, Gujarat and has his Masters in Business Administration Degree in Finance & is currently based in US.  He works on integrated development of villages of Tribal and remote India for Education, Healthcare, Organic Farming, Skill development, Values and Empowerment.  In USA, he raises fund for Ekal Vidyalaya, Gujarati Samaj of Houston BOD, community services as well as travelled to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Middle East for Ekal Vidyalaya.
  • Mr. Arun Kankani, is the Director of Inventory Management in Star Pipe Products in Houston, Texas and Executive Vice President, Sewa International Inc, USA. Sewa is a worldwide movement to help Humanity in distress, with activities in more than 18 countries. In USA, besides its major project to empower Bhutanese Refugees, Sewa conducts a two month internship program for youth in various cities in USA and Internationally. As a certified Trainer for MBTI, he has conducted many workshops in USA and in India, specially designed for social worker and families, for better understanding of Self and creatively using different preferences. He is also a member of National Executive Committee of Hindu Swayam Sewak Sangh Inc, USA which has more than 150 centers in USA. He worked in IT industry for 10 years after completing his Masters Degree from University of Mumbai.
  • Mr. Hari Kiran Vadlamani, is the founder of Cause First Ventures Pte Ltd, Singapore. Currently, he is Working for the intellectual, cultural and spiritual renaissance of India through the following not for profit foundations; Indic Academy which seeks to preserve, protect and promote Indic civilization identity, thought & values, by transforming thinkers, nurturing networks & promoting platforms. Creative India Academy which promotes Indian art & culture and acts as an advocacy platform for making India a global soft superpower through various institutional and individual initiatives. ( Advaita Academy which seeks to preserve and promote the wisdom of Advaita Vedanta by providing an online platform for qualified teachers/ Gurus as well as establishing a gurukul for training students desirous of becoming teachers/ Gurus. (
  • Dr. Vijay Chauthaiwale, is the Political Activist and Independent Healthcare-Biotech Consultant, India and in-charge of Department of Foreign Affairs, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In this role, he is coordinating with Indian Diaspora through BJP’s global outreach platform, Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) which has more than 40 chapters worldwide. He is actively involved in coordinating community receptions to PM Modi across the globe and additionally, he interacts with foreign embassies, diplomats and delegates of various countries to put forward party perspective on issues of mutual interests. Recently, he has been also nominated as a member of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which is an umbrella body under NITI Aayog for all innovation related initiatives of Government of India. He has in Ph.D.  in Microbiology  from University of Pune and has worked in senior management role in pharmaceutical Research and Development for 18 years. His last role as Vice President (Discovery Research) in Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd and has provided him exposure to diverse operational issues like portfolio management, business & collaboration management, resource optimization and exploring funding opportunities.
  • Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is the Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform. He is an internationally acclaimed expert on sanitation and has developed and implemented a low cost and appropriate toilet technology popularly known as Sulabh Shauchalaya System on pan-India scale. The Sulabh Shauchalaya System has been declared as one of the Global Best Practices by UN-Habitat/UNCHS. For his valuable contributions, he has been conferred various prestigious awards including Padma Bhushan (1991), International Saint Francis Prize (1992), Dubai International Award for Best Practices (2000), UNEP Global 500 Scroll of Honour Award, UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award(2000), Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (2003), Good Corporate Citizen Award (2005) and Stockholm Water Prize (2009). Dr. Pathak has also authored several well-received books, including "Road to Freedom.