Our Board

As an independent, non-partisan, foreign policy think tank, Gateway House maintains an advisory board as well as an executive board, that comprises of a diverse group of individuals who are in the intersection between business and foreign policy.

Neelam Deo
Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations

Neelam Deo has served as the Indian Ambassador to Denmark and Ivory Coast with concurrent accreditation to Niger, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. She has also served in the Indian embassies in Rome, Bangkok and Washington D.C., where she liaised with the U.S. Congress, the State Department, and the National Security Council on strategic issues. Her last assignment was as Consul General in New York from 2005 to 2008.

During the course of her assignments in the Ministry of External Affairs, she held the position of Joint Secretary for the divisions dealing with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Maldives. At different times over the course of her career, she has dealt with Bhutan, South East Asia and the Pacific, as well as countries in West Asia and North Africa.

She is an invited speaker on strategic issues and India-U.S. relations at numerous think tanks and universities, in India, Europe and the United States. Apart from her articles and commentaries written exclusively for Gateway House, Neelam occasionally writes for mainstream publications, and is a frequent commentator for television news channels. She has a master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Indian Foreign Affairs Journal. She has served on the board of Oxfam India and as trustee of Breakthrough, a human rights organisation. She has also served as an independent director on the Boards of Mumbai-based corporations.

Rajeev Dubey
President, Human Resources, After-Market & Corporate Services & Member, Group Executive Board,
Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.

Rajeev Dubey is the Group President (HR & Corporate Services) & CEO (After-Market Sector), Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, having joined Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. in January 2004 after spending nearly three decades of his career at the Tata Group. His key focus areas are the group’s human capital initiatives, group communications, government relations, CSR and infrastructure. He is the chairman of Mahindra Insurance Brokers, Mahindra Steel Service Centres and Mahindra First Choice Services, and serves on the boards of several group companies including Ssangyong Motors Korea, Mahindra Intertrade and Mahindra First Choice Wheels.

Mr Dubey is a member of the governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Geneva, and serves on the Board of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Geneva, where he is also the chairperson of the Future of Work Policy Group.

He studied economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, and at the Delhi School of Economics, before going on to do his MBA from the Yale School of Management, USA.

Blaise Fernandes
President & CEO,
The Indian Music Industry

Blaise Fernandes, President and CEO of the Indian Music Industry (IMI), has spent over three decades of his career in the media and entertainment sector. The trust he is now associated with looks after the business interests of the recorded music industry. He is on the IPR Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and CII’s Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. He was, for 23 years, country manager at Warner Brothers, South Asia, and the youngest CEO – at age 26 – in the media conglomerate’s global network. He was part of its global leadership team from 2007 to 2013. He was CEO of Gateway House: Indian Council on Foreign Relations for four years, and prior to that Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, at Edelweiss Finance. He graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai University, with economics and sociology, and has a post-graduate degree in mass communications from the Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai.

Amay Hattangadi
Managing Director,
Morgan Stanley Investment Management

Ishaat Hussain
Former Non-Executive Director,
Tata Sons

Ishaat Hussain has served on the boards of several Tata companies, including Tata Steel Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Titan Industries Ltd.  He was the chairman of Voltas Ltd., founding chairman of Tata Sky Ltd (2006-2017), and a founding director of Tata AIA Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd. He has served as a member of the government of India’s Board of Trade and been chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s Committee on Disclosures and Accounting Standards (SCODA). He is currently on the advisory boards of Bain & Co, Murugappa Group and Army Group Insurance Fund and on the board of directors of the SBI Foundation and National Investment & Infrastructure Fund, among others.

Mr. Hussain, who started his career in 1974 with ICI, graduated in economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, after going to Doon School, Dehradun.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England & Wales and has attended the Advanced Management Programme at the Harvard Business School.

Satish Kamat
Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations

Satish Kamat is a Chartered Accountant with over thirty eight years of corporate experience in finance and general management functions. His significant employments have been with Glaxo India as its Corporate Treasurer, with Cargill Inc. as a member of its founding and leadership team in India, and as a Director of Cargill India. He has held senior positions in various businesses of the Mahindra Group. He is an independent Director on the board of LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management Limited. He has been associated with Indian Council on Global Relations – Gateway House, from its inception and is a member of its Executive Board. He is currently associated with various non-for-profits institutions.

Manjeet Kripalani
Executive Director,
Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations

Manjeet Kripalani is the co-founder of Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, and acts as the executive director of the institution. Prior to the founding of Gateway House, Kripalani was India Bureau chief of Businessweek magazine from 1996 to 2009. During her extensive career in journalism (BusinessweekWorth and Forbes magazines, New York), she has won several awards, including the Gerald Loeb Award, the George Polk Award, Overseas Press Club and Daniel Pearl Awards. Kripalani was the 2006-07 Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York, which inspired her to found Gateway House.

Her political career spans being the deputy press secretary to Steve Forbes during his first run in 1995-96 as Republican candidate for U.S. President in New Jersey, to being press secretary for the Lok Sabha campaign for independent candidate Meera Sanyal in 2008 and 2014 in Mumbai.

Kripalani holds two bachelor’s degrees from Bombay University (Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Arts in English and history) and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, New York. She sits on the executive board of Gateway House and is a member of the Rotary Club of Bombay.

Bahram Vakil
Founding Partner,
AZB & Partners

One of the founding partners of AZB & Partners, Bahram N. Vakil is amongst India’s foremost restructuring, infrastructure and project finance attorneys. He has won international renown, advising leading foreign and domestic clients across sectors and practice areas, such as Mergers and Acquisitions, infrastructure, banking and finance. He was appointed a key member of the Dr T. K. Viswanathan Committee on Bankruptcy Law Reforms (BLRC), constituted by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India – the BLRC then drafted the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. He is also on a Reserve Bank of India Task Force on the Development of the Secondary Market for Corporate Loans; the U.K. Sinha Committee – Working Group on Foreign Investment in India; and Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Committee (FSLRC) – the Securities and Exchange Board of India Advisory Group. A hard-headed lawyer, he is valued for his finesse in negotiations, skill in getting into the details of complex matters and bringing the commercial point of view to the table. He has an LLM from Columbia University, USA, and is a member of the New York State Bar.