Opening Address


Bruce Greenwald

Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School


Keynote Speakers


Honorable Shri Yashwant Sinha

Member of Parliament and Former Finance/External Affairs Minister of India


Kiran Karnik

Former President, NASSCOM


Dr. Rajiv Lall

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC)


Columbia SABA Young Leader Keynote


Amit Burman

Vice Chairman, Dabur India Ltd.


To review the criteria behind the Columbia SABA Young Leader Award please click here.




Bruce Greenwald

Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School


Bruce currently serves as the Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management and the Director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business. He presently teaches Value Investing, Economics of Strategic Behavior, Seminar in Strategy and Industry Analysis, Globalization of Markets, and Strategic Management of Media. He has also taught Corporate Finance and Managerial Economics.


Previously, Bruce taught at Harvard Business School and Wesleyan University. Early in his career, he was a research economist at Bell Laboratories and, for a one-year period beginning in 1987, was the staff economist for the Presidential Task Force on Market Mechanisms (the Brady Task Force).


Bruce has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards including the Columbia University Presidential Teaching Award (1999-2000), the Margaret Chandler Memorial Award for Commitment to Excellence in Teaching (1997 & 2003), the Singhvi Prize (1991-1992, 2002-2003, 2003-2004), and the Dean's prize for course development in the core curriculum.


Bruce is the author or editor of several books including Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business Strategy (with Judd Kahn, Putnam Penguin 2005), Economics for an Imperfect World: Essays in Honor of Joseph E. Stiglitz (editor with Richard Arnott, et al, MIT Press, 2003), Towards a new Paradigm in Monetary Economics (with Joseph Stiglitz, Cambridge Press, 2003), Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond (with Judd Kahn, et al, Wiley, 2001), and Adverse Selection in the Labor Market (Garland Press, 1980).


Bruce has written numerous papers published in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Finance, Rand Journal of Economics, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Finance and Accounting, Quarterly Journal of Economics and Journal of Industrial and Corporate Change.


Bruce has received a B.S. and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.P.A. and MS from Princeton University.


Honorable Shri Yashwant Sinha

Member of Parliament and Former Finance/External Affairs Minister of India


Mr. Yashwant Sinha was born at Patna, the capital city of Bihar, India on 6th November, 1937. He received his school and university education at Patna.  He obtained his Master Degree in Political Science in 1958 from Patna University. Mr. Sinha joined the elite Indian Administrative Service in 1960 through a tough competitive examination and spent over 24 years holding important posts during his service tenure, a substantial part of which was spent in Finance & Commerce Departments. Mr. Sinha left the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1984 and joined active politics.. He was elected to the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of Indian Parliament in 1988. Subsequently, he became the Finance Minister of India and held the post from November, 1990 to June, 1991. Mr. Sinha was elected to the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of Indian Parliament in 1998 and again became Finance Minister of India in March 1998. He continued in that position until July 1, 2002. Mr. Sinha is a widely traveled person. He was the first Indian to be elected Chairman of Development Committee of World Bank and IMF in August, 2000 and facilitated inter-governmental consensus building on developmental issues. He was elected Chairman of the G-20, a group of systemically important countries from the point of view of the world economy. He was the first Finance Minister from the non G-8 countries to chair this Committee. Mr. Sinha was External Affairs Minister of India for two years from July 1, 2002 to May, 2004. Mr. Sinha has been re-elected to the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of  Indian Parliament in July, 2004.


Kiran Karnik

President, NASSCOM


Kiran Karnik has held the office of President of NASSCOM, the premier trade body and the “chamber of commerce” for the IT software and services industry in India till January 2008. Mr. Karnik has been recognized as the guiding force for the Indian IT industry, especially for his guidance to the industry during the outsourcing backlash. By providing perspective and background information, he has been instrumental in promoting India’s technology strength to the world.


Prior to joining NASSCOM in 2001, Mr. Karnik was the Managing Director at Discovery Networks in India where he spearheaded the launch of Discovery Channel in South Asia in August 1995 and Animal Planet (a Discovery – BBC joint venture) in 1999. From 1991 to 1995, Mr. Karnik was Founder-Director of the Consortium for Educational Communication, which was responsible for UGC’s Countrywide Classroom broadcasts and other ICT initiatives.


Earlier, Mr. Karnik worked for over 20 years at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), where he held various positions including that of Founder-Director of ISRO’s Development and Educational Communicational Unit. His work in ISRO involved conceptualizing and managing applications of space technology, and he was a key player in the pioneering India-USA Satellite Instructional TV Experiment (SITE).


Mr. Karnik has served as Special Assistant to the Secretary-General of UNISPACE 82 in the United Nations. He has done consulting assignments for WHO, The World Bank, UN Institute for Disarmament Research, Ford Foundation, and an extended one for UNESCO in Afghanistan.


He has been a member of many key government committees, and is presently a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to Prime Minister. He also has a deep involvement with a number of NGOs in the areas of education and environment, and currently is honorary Chairman of the National Foundation of India, Chairman of Vigyan Prasar and President of India Habitat Centre.


In his career spanning over three decades, Mr. Karnik has been conferred many awards and accolades. He has been awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 and the ‘DATAQUEST IT Person of the Year – 2005’. BusinessWeek named Mr. Karnik as one of the ‘Stars of Asia’ in 2004 and he was selected as Forbes magazine’s ‘Face of the Year 2003’, for being a driving force behind India’s offshoring wave. In 1998, The International Astronautical Federation awarded Mr. Karnik with the Frank Malina medal for Space Education. His deep involvement in the Kheda Communications Project, won wide national and international acclaim, including the first UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication.


Mr. Karnik regularly contributes to various publications and has authored/edited a large number of publications. He occasionally lectures at major national institutes.


A post-graduate from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Mr. Karnik holds an Honours degree in Physics from Bombay University.


Dr. Rajiv Lall

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC)


An economist, educated at the Universities of Columbia and Oxford, Dr. Rajiv B. Lall joined IDFC as its MD & CEO in January 2005. Dr. Lall has over two decades of experience with leading global investment banks; multilateral agencies and academia. His areas of expertise include private equity/ venture capital; international capital markets; trade & industrial policy issues and project finance including a focus on India and China.


Prior to joining IDFC, Dr. Lall was a Partner with Warburg Pincus. He joined Warburg in 1997 and handled strategic initiatives in the Singapore, Hong Kong and New York offices of the firm. He was responsible for private equity investments in the area of financial services across non-Japan Asia including India; portfolio of investments in the Philippines and Malaysia; advice on regulatory and macro issues relevant to investments in Asia and the views of Warburg on global economics and financial markets.


From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Lall was Executive Director and Head, Asian Economic Research, with Morgan Stanley Asia Limited, Hong Kong and was responsible for research on Asian Markets, especially India and China, for clients and operating divisions of the firm. He advised institutional investors on asset allocation decisions and participated in marketing of debt and equity deals for clients in India and China.


Dr. Rajiv B. Lall was with the World Bank, Washington, from 1988 to 1995 where he focused on policy issues confronting the Chinese economy and advised the Bank on lending strategy, and macroeconomic and trade policy issues. Prior to the World Bank, Dr. Lall was with Manila office of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for three years during which he reviewed the financial and lending policies of ADB and conducted due diligence for port and road development projects. He advised the agency on feasibility analysis of infrastructure and energy projects and researched approaches to public private partnership in infrastructure development.


From 1983 to 1985, Dr. Lall was an Assistant Professor with the Florida Atlantic University where he conducted independent research and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in macroeconomics, international trade and finance, and development economics.


Dr. Rajiv B. Lall has a number of publications to his credit; is conversant in French; is instruction friendly in Mandarin and Spanish and avidly tracks strategic developments in emerging markets.


Amit Burman

Vice Chairman, Dabur India Ltd.

Columbia SABA Young Leader 2008


Amit Burman is responsible for Dabur India's foray into processed foods business with the setting up of Dabur Foods Ltd. It is to Amit's credit today that Dabur Real and Hommade are household names. He is also responsible for driving all business strategy, development and communications at Dabur Foods.


Amit took on the responsibilities as the CEO of Dabur Foods in 1999 and forayed into the processed foods business with a range of ethnic cooking pastes & chutneys and packaged fruit juices. Amit stepped down as the CEO of Dabur Foods when the company was merged into Dabur India Ltd in July 2007. He has since been appointed as the Vice Chairman of Dabur India Ltd.

Amit started his career at Dabur's Industrial Engineering Department where he was responsible for induction of machinery, method improvements, manpower reduction and improving product packaging.

Amit obtained valuable experience at Colgate Palmolive, New York, USA where he worked in the Manufacturing Strategy Department, which operated as the internal consultants to the organization. Here he was responsible for a study done for the optimized location of Colgate's factories and warehouses. He also worked for six months at the Kansas plant which manufactured soaps and detergents. In 1990 he trained at Tishcon Corporation New York, USA where he was responsible for safety of stock and optimum inventories.

Amit holds a MBA degree from University of Cambridge, a M.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University, USA and a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA.

Amit is married to Divya and they have a daughter and a son. He has a private's pilot's license and enjoys flying. He is a regular at the gym and likes swimming and spending time with his family



Columbia SABA Young Leader Award Criteria


The South Asia Business Association has instituted an annual award – “The Columbia SABA Young Leader Award” to recognize and reward emerging leaders, who are idolized by the Columbia student population. The awardee is selected by the conference organizing committee based on the following criteria:

  • Is 40 years old or younger at the time of nomination (to be eligible for the 2007 nomination process, the candidates must have been born on or after 1 January 1968).
  • Has outstanding professional work experience and substantial leadership experience and provided clear indication of playing an exemplary leadership role for the rest of his or her career.
  • Has redefined the business, social or political landscape in South Asia through his or her energy and expertise.
  • Has demonstrated a commitment to serve society at large through exceptional contributions.
  • Is committed to participate in the Columbia India Business Conference.


Platinum Sponsors   Gold Sponsors   Silver Sponsors








Brigade Group FedEx












Organized By   Outreach Partners

Columbia Business School


IIM USA Peepul
Asia Society TiE
SiliconIndia.com USIBA
Sahara One  


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Sangeeta Abkari (SAbkari08@gsb.columbia.edu).

Home | Keynotes | Panels | Speakers | Schedule | Logistics | Register
© 2007 - 2008 India Business Conference, Columbia Business School. All Rights Reserved.