Board of Management

Dhruv Agarwala

Co-founder, PropTiger
B.Sc., Northwestern University; M.Sc., Stanford University; MBA, Harvard University

Dhruv Agarwal is co-founder of Proptiger. Prior to this, Dhruv was the CEO of GE’s infrastructure business in India, and also led institutional Sales for GE in the country. He has previously held various senior roles with GE in the US.

Dhruv holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Northwestern University, Stanford University and Harvard University.

Bhaskar Dutta

Professor of Economics, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Delhi
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Bhaskar Dutta is Professor of Economics at Ashoka University. His research interests include Cooperative Game Theory, Mechanism Design, Formation of Groups and Networks, Social Choice Theory and Development Economics. He has been Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick since 2000.

He has had a long association with the Indian Statistical Institute, where he has taught during 1979 -2002. He has also been a Visiting Professor in several universities including the California Institute of Technology, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Universite Cergy-Pointoise, Paris, University of Graz. He was winner of the Mahalanobis Memorial Award of the Indian Econometric Society in 1990. He is President of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare (2014-16). He is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and the Society for Advancement of Economic Theory. He has been Chair, Standing Committee for India and South Asia as well as a member of the Council of the Econometric Society. He is currently a member of the Council of the Game Theory Society. He has also served as consultant for the World Bank, UNDP, ILO and ADB.

Prof. Dutta has published extensively in leading journals, applying game-theoretic tools in the areas of mechanism design, cooperative game theory, the economic theory of social networks, and social choice theory. He is a Managing Editor of Social Choice and Welfare, and Advisory Editor of Games and Economic Behavior. He has also edited several books.

Prof. Dutta did his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Calcutta, and his Master’s and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Delhi.

Ashish Gupta

COO, Evalueserve
B.Tech., IIT Delhi; MBA, Carnegie Mellon University

Ashish Gupta is Evalueserve’s COO and Global Business Unit Head, Financial Services. He has been a part of the organisation since its inception in 2000. Prior to joining Evalueserve, Ashish was the founder and CEO of Ties2Family, a community building portal that provided various services to Indians in India and overseas, growing the company to 25 employees and 100,000 customers. Ashish has also worked at McKinsey & Co. as a core member of the firm’s Delhi e-commerce practice.

He was awarded the Best Young Entrepreneur award by Planman Media in 2009. Ashish holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from IIT Delhi and Carnegie Mellon University.

Pranav Gupta

Founder & MD, Parabolic Drugs
B.Tech. Thapar University; MBA Univ. of Kansas

Pranav Gupta, a first generation entrepreneur, founded Parabolic Drugs in 1996. He grew the company from a small contract manufacturer in 1998 to a global Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturer and research partner in 12 years. Before moving to India, Pranav worked with the Ford Motor Company in USA.

Pranav serves as an Executive member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Chapter, Chandigarh. He holds a Bachelors degree from Thapar University and an MBA from the University of Kansas.

Vineet Gupta

MD, Jamboree Education
B.Tech., IIT Delhi

Vineet Gupta is the Managing Director of Jamboree Education, a leading education services provider with operations across 14 cities and 3 countries. Jamboree is the largest company of its kind in India. He started his entrepreneurial career in 1992 by setting up a successful packaging company. Subsequently, he co-founded Parabolic Drugs Limited, an API manufacturing company. He continues to serve on its Board.

Vineet is a Charter Member of TiE and serves as the Education Co-Chair for PHD Chamber of Commerce. Vineet holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi.

Sudheendra Hangal

Professor of the Practice in Computer Science, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Stanford University
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Sudheendra Hangal is Professor of the Practice in Computer Science at Ashoka University. His research focuses on the areas of human-computer interaction, social media and personal digital archives.

Prof. Hangal got his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University, where he worked on social computing and human-computer interaction in the Mobisocial and HCI Labs.His thesis explored novel applications for the digital life-logs that millions of consumers are collecting. Prof. Hangal has also worked on multiprocessor computer architecture, virtual machine compilers, software engineering and debugging tools. During his tenure in the microprocessor division of Sun Microsystems, he led a team that was recognized with the Chairman’s Award for Innovation, the highest recognition for technical leadership.

Prof. Hangal also holds a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and an M.S. with Distinction in Research from Stanford, both in Computer Science.

Jonathan Gil Harris

Professor of English, Ashoka University
Ph.D. University of Sussex
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Jonathan Gil Harris is Professor of English as well as Dean of Academic Affairs at Ashoka University. He was formerly Professor at George Washington University, where he had taught since 2003. Prior to that, he held positions at Ithaca College, New York, and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The past recipient of fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, he also served as Associate Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly from 2005 to 2013.

Prof. Harris is the author of six books: Foreign Bodies and the Body Politic: Discourses of Social Pathology in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 1998); Sick Economies: Drama, Mercantilism, and Disease in Shakespeare’s England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004); Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008, named by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009); Shakespeare and Literary Theory (Oxford University Press, 2010); Marvellous Repossessions: The Tempest, Globalization, and the Waking Dream of Paradise (Ronsdale Press, 2012); and, most recently, the best-selling The First Firangis: Remarkable Stories of Heroes, Healers, Charlatans, Courtesans & Other Foreigners Who Became Indian (Aleph Books, 2015). He co-edited, with Natasha Korda, Staged Properties in Early Modern English Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2002). He is also the editor of the third New Mermaids edition of Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday (Methuen, 2008); Placing Michael Neill: Issues of Place in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture (Ashgate Press, 2011); and Indography: Writing the “Indian” in Early Modern England (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Prof. Harris is currently working on a book project called Masala Shakespeare, which offers an idiosyncratic history, both personal and cultural, of Shakespeare’s pervasive presence in India and Indian languages, from the Nautanki theatre of the north to the Kathakali dance form of Kerala, and from Indian literature in English to the Bollywood film industry. He has been based in New Delhi since 2013.

Madhavi Menon

Professor of English, Ashoka University
Ph.D. Tufts University
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Madhavi Menon works at the intersection of identity, desire, politics, and literature. She is the author of Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama (Toronto 2004), Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (Palgrave 2008), and Indifference to Difference: On Queer Universalism (Minnesota, 2015). She is also the editor of Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Duke 2010), which put queer theory in conversation with every one of Shakespeare’s poems and plays. Named a “monumental” book by CHOICE magazine,Shakesqueer is already in its second print run.

Her current book project is titled A History of Desire in India and puts into conversation the major ideas of queer theory with the history of ideas in India.

Professor Menon teaches classes on queer theory, the politics of desire and identity, literary theory, Renaissance literature, and Shakespeare. She has taught at Ithaca College and American University. Prior to completing her Ph.D from Tufts University in Boston, she did her B.A. and M.A. in English from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, where she stood first in College in her BA, and was a University gold-medalist in her M.A.

Rudrangshu Mukherjee

Professor of History, Ashoka University
D.Phil. Oxford University

Rudrangshu Mukherjee is Professor of History at Ashoka University. He is a renowned historian and author, and was most recently Editor of the Editorial Pages, at The Telegraph, Kolkata.

Prof. Mukherjee has taught history at the University of Calcutta and held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Manchester and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prof. Mukherjee studied at Calcutta Boys’ School, Presidency College, Kolkata, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was awarded a D.Phil in Modern History by the University of Oxford in 1981.

Prof Mukherjee is internationally acclaimed as a historian of the revolt of 1857 in India. His first book Awadh in Revolt, 1857-58: A Study of Popular Resistance has become a standard reference on the subject. He has looked at the 1857 rebellion in four other books: Spectre of Violence: The 1857 Kanpur Massacres, Mangal Pandey: Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero?, Dateline 1857: Revolt against the Raj and The Year of Blood: Essays on 1857.

He has also authored and edited several books on other themes, including The Penguin Gandhi Reader, Trade and Politics and the Indian Ocean World: Essays in Honour of Ashin Das Gupta, Remembered Childhood: Essays in Honour of Andre Beteille, New Delhi: The Making of a Capital and Great Speeches of Modern India. His forthcoming book is Nehru & Bose: Parallel Lives.

Pramath Raj Sinha

Founder & MD, 9.9 Media; Founding Dean, ISB
B.Tech., IIT Kanpur; Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania

Pramath Raj Sinha is a Senior Advisor of the Albright Stonebridge Group, India and the Founder and Managing Director of 9.9 Mediaworx Private Limited. Prior to founding 9.9 Media, he was a Partner at Mckinsey and led the ABP Group, one of India’s leading and most diversified media conglomerates. Pramath helped set up and served as the Founding Dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB). He continues to be a member of its Board of Governors.

Pramath is a Director on the Boards of PRADAN, India’s leading development institution focused on improving livelihoods in the country’s poorest district and of the Central Square Foundation, a philanthropic fund focused on improving the educational outcomes for low-income children in India. He holds a Bachelors degree from IIT Kanpur and an MSE and PhD from University of Pennsylvania.

Vanita Shastri

Dean, Undergraduate Programmes

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Vanita Shastri is the Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Ashoka University in India. In this role she works with the Vice Chancellor and the Pro Vice Chancellor to concretize the university’s vision for an all-inclusive education of the undergraduate students at the University. Previously she was the Executive Director of TiE-Boston, the second largest chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) that fosters entrepreneurship globally through mentoring networking and education.

Vanita has a Ph.D. from Cornell University and has taught at Boston University, University of Massachusetts and Wellesley College. She has also been a policy consultant at Harvard University, where she wrote a number of policy papers, including one on the “Software Policy of India” for the Government of India. Vanita was part of the founding team at Redwood Investment Systems, Inc. where she set up their wholly owned subsidiary in India and directed their global operations.

Vanita is an educationist, an entrepreneur and an artist. She has founded two non-profit organizations, including the Meru Education Foundation in USA and the Habitat Learning Center in Delhi in India. She is the author of two books, The Salem India Story and a co-edited book called, “Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability in Business.” She is also a trained Indian classical dancer.

Vijai Vardhan

Additional Chief Secretary, Higher Education

Vijai Vardhan is a graduate and post-graduate in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. Prior to joining the Indian Police Service in 1984 he represented his College in Badminton, Squash, Boxing and Athletics.

In the year 1985, he joined the Indian Administrative Service and was allocated the Haryana cadre. In his distinguished career, Vijai Vardhan has held important assignments like Secretary to Governor of Haryana, Chairman, Haryana Tourism Corporation, Chairman, Haryana State Pollution Control Board and Principal Secretary Tourism and Renewable Energy Departments. As Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority, Gurgaon and Panchkula, he was instrumental in catalyzing the industrial, residential and commercial development of Gurgaon, Panchkula and various other towns of Haryana. While posted as Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad and Municipal Commissioner, Faridabad, he took several initiatives in the urban development of Faridabad.

Vijai Vardhan is drawn to the mystic and has a deep and abiding interest in Sufism, Confucianism and Taoism. A keen historian, he has ‘authored five books till now. His book ‘Kurukshetra- Timeless Sanctity’ published by the reputed publishing house ‘Wisdom Tree’ is a result of six years of intense historical research and it captures the history, mysticism and spirituality of Kurukshetra from the earliest times till now. He has recently authored a book titled ‘Pinjore – The Garden of Paradise’ which is the first ever book on the 17th century Mughal gardens of Pinjore. His collection of Sufi Haiku poems in English titled, ‘Beyond the Great Beyond’ and ‘Ibadat – The Breath of My Soul’ have been greatly appreciated by critics and readers alike.

He has also authored three well researched monographs about the history and heritage of Haryana titled ‘Buddha’s Trail in Haryana’, ‘The Magnificent Monuments of Narnaul’ and ‘RakhiGarhi Rediscovered’.

Vijai Vardhan has contributed to the preservation and propagation of our heritage by conceiving the Pinjore Heritage Festival, Kartik Utsav at Raja Nahar Singh’s Palace, Ballabgarh, Faridabad and by restoring the ancient Mata Mansa Devi Temple at Panchkula (near Chandigarh) and the Mughal Gardens of Pinjore.

As a voice-over artiste, he lends his voice regularly to documentary films, theatre, social causes and poetry festivals. He gives occasional public recitals of ecstatic poetry of the world’s greatest romantic, radical and Sufi traditions in Hindi, English and Urdu languages.

Vijai Vardhan is presently posted as Additional Chief Secretary, departments of Higher Education, Cultural Affairs, Archaeology & Museums and Archives, Government of Haryana at Chandigarh.

Alex Watson

Professor of Indian Philosophy, Ashoka University
D.Phil. University of Oxford
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Alex Watson is Professor of Indian Philosophy at Ashoka University. He was formerly Preceptor in Sanskrit in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. His D.Phil. was from Balliol College, University of Oxford. Following that he held research fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford, at the École française d’Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry, India, at Kyushu University, Japan, and at the University of Vienna.

His research interests include Buddhist Philosophy, Indian Philosophy (especially Mimamsa, Nyaya and Saivism), Sanskrit Language and Literature. He is author of The Self’s Awareness of Itself (2006) and, with Dominic Goodall and S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma, An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation (moksa) (2014), as well as numerous articles on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Some of these are in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Indian Philosophy. Others are chapters in books that are suitable as teaching materials: The Routledge History of Indian Philosophy and The Continuum Guide to Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology.

Each semester that he taught at Harvard, Prof. Watson received a University Certificate of Teaching Excellence.

He also trained for three years to become a psychotherapist and has published articles on Freud and on Existential-Phenomenological Psychotherapy, a tradition that seeks its inspiration from philosophers such as Nietzsche and Heidegger.

He is currently working on translations of the Haracaritacintamani, a 13th century compendium of Saiva mythology, and the Nyayamañjari, an extraordinarily learned and entertaining example of Classical Indian Philosophy from the 9th century. His hope is that philosophy courses both inside and outside India will soon contain as much classical Indian Philosophy as they do classical European Philosophy.

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