Board Of Directors

  • SHRI SAMIR S. SOMAIYAChairman & Managing Director

    Shri. Samir Somaiya graduated from Cornell University with a Masters in Chemical Engineering in 1992. He secured a MBA from Cornell University in 1993  and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University in 2005. He won the American Institute of Chemical Engineer’s Award for Scholastic Achievement in 1989 and the American Institute of Chemists Award in 1990.

    He joined Godavari Biorefineries Ltd in 1993.  He has taken the company forward through a focus  on economic, social and environmental sustainability supported by research and innovation.

    Continuing the heritage of his father and grandfather, Shri. Samir Somaiya plays an active role in initiatives that improve the quality of life of the underprivileged sections of society.

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    Under his guidance the  Somaiya Trust manages over 30 different educational institutions of learning extending from elementary to Ph. D. in diverse areas such as medicine, engineering, the arts and sciences, religion, vocational studies, education, languages, etc. There are over 35,000 students and 1,300 faculty. There is also a 500 bed urban teaching hospital, and a 40 bed rural hospital. The Trusts jointly run 8 schools, 6 of which are in rural Maharashtra and Karnataka.

    Shri. Samir Somaiya is the President of  Somaiya Vidyavihar; Chairman of K. J. Somaiya Trust, K. J. Somaiya Medical Trust, K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agriculture Research and The Girivanvasi Pragati Mandal.

    As Visiting Instructor in the School of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University, he combines his love for education and Chemistry. He has played an active role in the Sugar and Chemical Industry in India. From 2006- 2008, he was the Chairman (Western Region) of  Indian Chemical Council, and  the President of the Indian Sugar Mills Association in 2009.

    He is a Committee Member of the Green Chemistry Initiative, Constituted by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister; Advisory Board, School of Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, USA; Center for Indic Studies, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, USA and Council of Religious Leaders - Astana, Kazakhstan.

  • PROF. M. LAKSHMI KANTAMIndependent Director

    Prof. Lakshmi Kantam is Dr.B.P. Godrej Distinguished Professor of Green Chemistry and Sustainability Engineering at Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai-400019, India. She has 33 years of experience in the research, design and development of catalysts for innovative green and economical processes for chemical industry.

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    Earlier, she served as Director at CSIR-IICT, Hyderabad. She has authored more than 332 publications, 42 patents and five book chapters. She is an Adjunct Professor at Tezpur Central University , Tezpur, Assam and RMIT University, Melbourne , Australia. She is a fellow of Indian National Science Academy and National Academy of Sciences.

  • MR. UDAY GARGInvestor Nominee Director

    Mr. Uday Garg has been Investor Nominee Director of the Company since March, 2015 representing Mandala Capital AG Limited.  Mr. Garg is the founder of Mandala Capital, a private equity fund manager, and has served as managing director since its inception in 2008. Previously, he was a portfolio manager at Duet Group, Altima Partners and Amaranth Advisors, and began his career as an investment banker with Deutsche Bank. Mr. Garg holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a concentration in finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Mr. Garg is member of the Barwale family in India which have a 50 year track record of founding and running Mahyco, one of India's most successful agribusinesses, the largest seed business in India and a partner with Monsanto.

  • Dr. Sangeeta SrivastavaExecutive Director

    Dr. Sangeeta Srivastava has been associated with the Company for more than 25 years, managing and directing research activities connected with renewable feedstock. Her last position held in the organisation was Chemical Business Unit Head.

    She has a Master in Sciences (Organic Chemistry) from Sagar University, India and a Masters in Philosophy ( Organic Chemistry) from Jabalpur University, India. She also holds a doctorate in Chemistry from Mumbai University, India.

  • SHRI KAILASH PERSHADIndependent Director

    Shri Kailash Pershad is an Engineer with over 40 years of experience in finance, marketing and management . He is an adviser and consultant to corporates and was a nominee director of ICICI, IDBI and UTI.

  • DR. PREETI RAWATNon-Executive Director

    Dr. Preeti S. Rawat is a Professor (OB/HRM) at K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SIMSR). She is handling teaching assignments for various management courses and is Doctoral (Ph.D.) Guide for the subject of Management in distinct Indian universities.

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    She is the Editor of 'Business Perspectives & Research' which is SIMSR's international management journal published by SAGE Publications. Dr. Rawat has published her work in many national and international journals and has participated in multiple international conferences. She has also written a book on 'workplace empowerment'. Her research interests are leadership, empowerment and diversity. She engages with the industry by providing behavioural training programmes to junior, middle and senior management.


    Shri Bhalachandra R. Bakshi, a graduate in Agriculture Science from University of Agriculture Sciences Dharwad, Karnataka.

    He is having valuable experience of over 25 years in the field of fertilizers, sugar, ethanol and power industry apart from being an agriculturist.

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    Shri Bhalachandra R. Bakshi was working with the Company as General Manager (Personnel Administration, Industrial Relations & Public Relations) for the last 8 years before promoting as the Director (Works) in May 2018. He is also Director of our wholly owned subsidiary Solar Magic Private Limited.

  • MR HEMANT LUTHRANon-Executive Independent Director

    After 20 years at Mahindra & Mahindra as CXO in different line and staff functions, Mr. Luthra has elected to step down to be able to better focus on his responsibilities as Advisor to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a Global $ 50 bn PE Fund,www.cdr-inc.com/professionals/advisors.php

    He continues as a Senior Advisor at Mahindra CIE (MCIE), one of the three companies he Founded and Chaired for Mahindra & Mahindra, Mahindra Engineering (MES) and Mahindra Aerospace (MAPL) are the other two.

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    MCIE is a listed Auto Comp Indo - Spanish Joint Venture mandated to create an LCC alternative to the traditional industry leaders in Europe and North America.

    MCIE, MES and MAPL have a global presence across Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Italy and Japan.

    Both the Auto Components & Engineering Services have been monetized by listing and strategic sale respectively. An equity swap with a European counterpart has led to the formation of a USD 5 bn JV with listed entities in Spain and India. The Alliance has rewarded share holders in Spain and India with an increase of 400% in its first five years of operation.

    As the Founder Chairman of Mahindra Aerospace, he has helped pioneer the design, engineering and manufacturing of utility aircraft in India and Australia.

    Mr. Luthra started his career at IBM heading its Financial Services Group for the ASEAN region. He followed that up with 18 years as CFO & COO at a leading Paper, Chemicals & Engineering Group. He has also served as the Founding CEO of ING – Barings first India PE fund before taking over as CEO of Essar Telecom and pioneering the consolidation in the industry with a merger with Hutchison Whampoa (and later Vodafone).

    Mr. Luthra is on the Board of several companies and serves as Senior Advisor to Mahindra & Mahindra and Tech M, companies with a market cap of US$ 12 bn and US$ 10 bn respectively. He has served as an Advisor to Temasek, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Government of Singapore and is now an Advisor to Clayton Dubilier &Rice.

    At CD&R, he is charged with creating large (>$500mm) cross border (between Asia and Europe /North America ) opportunities in IT, Business Services, Healthcare, Industrial and Consumer & Retail to complement the strategy of CD&R Portfolio Companies.

    Mr Luthra is an alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (1970) and of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program (AMP115, 1994). He is the Managing Trustee of Lina Luthra, foundation created in the memory of his late wife and has served on the Board of Trustees of Save the Children. He is an active supporter of SPIC MACAY, a society to preserve and promote a respect for the traditional arts of India amongst the student community.

  • SHRI SANJAY PURINon-Executive Independent Director

    Mr. Sanjay Puri is MBA from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University (USA); B.Sc. (Economics) - St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta University (India). He has 27 years of experience at the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group) focusing on private equity, leveraged loans, project finance, expansion finance and distressed debt restructurings. He has successfully raised financing for corporates with IFC and been the Lead Arranger and a large investor for its own account.

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    He has track record in the Industrials, Services, Telecoms and Infrastructure sectors, primarily in India, Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He is Member of committees that looked into IFC’s RAROC, internal risk exposure criteria (economic and nominal capital) and credit rating system.

    He is currently an advisor to (a) an international private equity company with $6 billion under management; and (b) a sovereign wealth fund.

  • Nitin MehtaIndependent Director

    Mr Nitin Mehta has 20 years of experience in leading Consumer Businesses across Food, Beauty and OTC in multiple geographies (Nigeria, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Turkey, ASEAN, Middle East).

    Mr Nitin Mehta is currently responsible for managing the Consumer Business (Pasta & Semolina) of the Grains Platform in Olam Nigeria.

    Reaching a revenue of 300 mn USD in 2020, the business became the no 1 player in its category in 2020. The business recently concluded a 330 mn acquisition of Dangote Flour Mills and Mr Mehta led the transformation of this semi-commodity business into a consumer centric business model.With a double-digit EBITDA margin, the Consumer Business in Nigeria is a strong sales and profitability driver for the entire Grains platform of Olam worldwide.

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    Mr Mehta manages the Business’s P&L and leads a cross-functional team across sales, marketing, digital, planning and innovation.

    (Olam is a leading food and agriculture company headquartered in Singapore. With a worldwide annual sales turnover of 27 bn USD in 2020, it is a world-renowned player in food processing and agricultural commodities)

    Before Olam; Mr Mehta worked for L’Oreal (World's largest Beauty Company) for 18 years in various General Management and Regional Head Roles (across multiple geographies). In his last role in L’Oreal; he was the Managing Director of the Bangladesh business (where he set up the subsidiary). Previously he held Business Head Roles in India, Vietnam and Turkey. He also held regional roles in Singapore and France. Mr Mehta has strong knowledge of Consumer and Food Business models. He also has extensive experience in sales, marketing, innovations and manufacturing.

    Mr Mehta is an MBA from MDI (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon) and a Chemical Engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi. He was a top ranker in both institutes (No 2 in his class during his MBA and a honors graduate in IIT).