Wheels Global Foundation’s Advisors have deep interest in Wheels mission, impact initiatives and helps Wheels’ team with their deep network of resources, connections, and advice on variety of initiatives.

Improving the Lives in Rural India by Technology-enabled Solutions

Typically these are impact-driven professionals and leaders who participate in various meetings and initiatives on a need-basis and play a vital role in WGF’s growth of partners, projects and access to resources.

Ambassador Pradeep Kapur

Currently Visiting Clinical Professor, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Security Issues at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland College Park (UMD), and Faculty Mentor for the student body, DESI (Develop, Empower, Synergize India). Teaching graduate courses on “Development Diplomacy and Leadership”; mentoring and guiding students; teaching in Executive Development Programs, and coordinating global leadership programs for senior government officials, business executives, and diplomats from many countries. Made significant contributions to outreach activities and international branding of UMD in India, and with leaders, officials, diplomats, business representatives, and students from Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and other countries of Latin America and Africa. Co-chairman of the Livelyhood & Sustainalibility Council.

Chairman of the 2018 WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) 1st Annual Summit Conference on “Leveraging Technology for Enhancing Social Impact” at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the USA in November 2018. Chairman of Advisory Board on the follow-up conference on “Smart Villages” at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar in April 2019. WGF is a philanthropic endeavor launched by alumni of the IITs in the USA to leverage technology to scale philanthropy and serve persons at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’. WHEELS strives to offer technology-enabled solutions to six major challenges faced by people all over the world: Water, Healthcare, Electricity, Education, Livelihood, and Sustainability.

Chairman, Advisory Council, DiplomacyIndia.com; President, International Conference on “Connecting World Heritage Sites and Civilizations”; and Adjunct Professor at the Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, India.

An alumnus of IIT, Delhi, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Master’s in Management and Systems. Author of many articles and books. Proficient in English, Hindi, French, Spanish, Punjabi, and Marathi.

Dr. Vikas Khurana

Dr. Vikas Khurana is a board-certified Physician in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. He also has an MBA from Wharton’s School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

He has been involved with WHEELS GLOBAL FOUNDATION since 2014, as a Board Member (2014-2019), Chairman of the Health track and Chairman for WHEELS Educational Conference and Gala in Philadelphia in 2017.

He has served as the Treasurer for American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI) and as President of Maulana Azad Medical College Alumni Association of North America (MAMCOAANA).

He was instrumental in the initiation of various WGF initiatives including the Menstrual Hygiene Machine Installation in 2014 and Water ATMs in various villages in India.

He completed his Medical training at Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi, India and then at the University of Miami, School of Medicine and State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn, NY.

He now serves as the Co-Chairman of the Board of Advisors for WHEELS GLOBAL FOUNDATION.

Sushil Bhatia

Dr. Sushil Bhatia is the President of Anu Data Inc. He pursued his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1966 and later Ph.D. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1972. Co-chairman of the Water Council at WGF.

Recollecting memories associated with IIT Bombay, he said, “Those were the days. First time out of my parents’ house and living by myself. Making new friends, playing, teasing, bonding, having fun along with learning technical skills. Learning to learn technology as well as dealing with people”.

Mrs. Gauri Kumar

Mrs. Gauri Kumar

Gauri Kumar is a retired member of the 1979 batch of Indian Administrative Services (IAS). She was Secretary (Coordination and Public Grievances), Cabinet Secretariat, and served as Member/Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board, post her retirement. In the course of her distinguished career, she served as Secretary in the Union Ministry of Labour& Employment and in the Ministry of Home Affairs (Border Management). She has served as Special/Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Environment and Forests. She has also been Principal Secretary, Urban Development; Principal Secretary, Industries & Mines, Industries Commissioner, and Secretary, Education Department in the Government of Gujarat. She also held the position of Director-General, National Institute of Fashion and Technology, Ministry of Textiles.

Gauri Kumar holds a degree of BSc in Physics, Mathematics, and Statistics from Allahabad University. She completed her MSc in Mathematics from Lucknow University and was awarded seven gold medals in the course of her studies, for exceptional academic distinction. She also holds a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She was awarded the Littauer Fellowship by Harvard University, for her commitment to excellence, academic achievement, and public service. She is the Chairman of the Water Council at WGF.

She is currently an Independent Director on the Boards of Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GSFC), Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GNFC), TVS Supply chain Solutions, and Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (GMDC). She is appointed by CVC as an Independent External Monitor for the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

She is the Founder of an Edu tech startup which has launched an integrated Learning Platform for the whole education eco-system, encompassing teachers, students, parents, and schools. It’s positioned as a medium for making quality education accessible at scale. She is a Special Invitee to the Management Committee of the Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce (BCIC).

She is the Founder and Trustee of VayahVikas, an organization for the elderly, based in Bengaluru. She is on the Advisory Board of the Pahle India Foundation. She is a Member of the Board of Governors of Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration, Ahmedabad.

She is the Delhi Public School (DPS) Society nominee on the Management Committees of several DPS schools in Gujarat and UP. She has contributed a chapter on ‘Industry and Labour’ in the recently published book ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’, edited by Shri K J Alphons, Member of Parliament, and a foreword by Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of India.

Rajesh Tripathi

Rajesh serves as tax & legal advisor on Wheels Board of Advisors and plays a key role in all strategic decisions. Rajesh has more than 20 years of international tax experience, and has worked with clients across various industries, including financial services, private equity, IT, energy sectors, power sector, defense, and real estate. Rajesh has been advising large U.S. companies advising on Int’l tax cross-border issues, planning, acquisition, structuring, and repatriation. He has managed large Int’l tax compliance, E&P Study, and FTC for fortune 50 Companies with a strong knowledge of CorpTax and One Source International tax software.

Rajesh has also worked with PE firms in Mauritius, Singapore, and India with a primary focus on U.S. inbound planning, tax compliance cash repatriation, FATCA, FBAR filing, and performing PFIC analysis.

I have worked in several countries and am very familiar with cross-cultural issues, as well as building strong cross-functional relationships.

Rajesh received his bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Mumbai and then pursued his law education with degrees from the University of Mumbai and Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Witty Bindra

Mr. Bindra is a senior geotechnical engineer and operations executive with a successful track record in engineering, sales, and executive management, with more than 20 years in the Civil Infrastructure and Energy Industry. Experience ranging from several multi-national companies to building and turning around assignments of more entrepreneurial ventures over the last ten years.

Mr. Bindra is currently Senior Vice President, Strategic Industry Solutions, LLC (www.sisn.com), a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner providing and implementing financial and operational software for Contracting and Professional Services focused companies. He has gained progressive experience in both private and public sectors and specializes in Growth strategies, asset management, turnaround, sales leadership, solution selling, P&L management and increasing profits, acquisition integration, contract negotiation, strategic alliances, ERP, CRM, and application outsourcing, and development. In 1995, he was the recipient of the Confederation of British Industry Scholarship to train in the UK. He sits on the editorial advisory committee of the trade magazine, Geosynthetics and has published several technical papers in the US and overseas. He chaired the 2013 Pan IIT Houston Global Conference. He is currently the President of Pan IIT USA, an IIT Alumni Association (a 501 C6), and involved with numerous other charities. A veritable globetrotter who has lived and worked in Singapore, the UK, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, and in cities within the US. When Mr. Bindra lived in New Zealand, he became the first turbaned Sikh to be accepted as a commissioned officer into the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve. Mr. Bindra earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Diploma in Construction Management in India. He has a Master’s Degree in Geotechnical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi) and an MBA in Project Management and International Business from Massey University, New Zealand.

Ravi Sharma

Ravi Sharma is a Director of Product Management at Oracle Corporation. He is an Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate of the 1992 batch of IIT (BHU) Varanasi.

Ravi is a seasoned product professional known for his uncommon commitment to customer success and translating technology into tangible business value. With a track record spanning consulting, product development, and product management, he offers a unique blend of strategic insight, innovative solution design, and adept navigation of complex challenges. Renowned for his exceptional business acumen and pioneering thought leadership, Ravi’s collaborative and compassionate approach positions him as a catalyst for fostering increased adoption and driving organizational growth.

Beyond his corporate role, Ravi plays an active role on the board of PanIIT USA, where he contributes to both the Executive Committee and Scholarships Committee. He also holds the position of President of the PanIIT USA Phoenix Chapter. Additionally, Ravi has previously served on the Board of Greater Phoenix Mensa.

Vinay Karle

Vinay Karle is a financial and software industry veteran, experienced in advanced analytics and enterprise technologies. He currently serves as a Director at Citibank, based in New York City, and is responsible for building products using Data Insights and Artificial Intelligence.

Vinay’s experience spans many industries and functions, including investment banking, enterprise software, pharmaceutical, supply chain, telecommunication, education, and hedge funds. During his career, he has led many strategic initiatives and managed global software, development teams.

 

Vinay has been active in the IIT alumni community as a volunteer for almost two decades and has served on the boards of a few non-profits/NGOs in the United States and India. Vinay is actively involved in improving educational standards through grassroots efforts at JalkotZillaParishad school. In 2007, Jalkotgrampanchayat (village administration) conferred the ‘Jalkot Bhushan’ award on Vinay. He was also named a finalist for Barclays’ ‘Chairman’s Award’ in 2010 for commitment to the global community. He and Sujay Kumar, a NASA scientist, are working on a Drought Mitigation and Monitoring project for planners and policymakers in Maharashtra, India.

 

He received his bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and his master’s degree in Engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, in 1999.

Vidya Phalke

Vidyadhar Phalke is the CEO of Social Alpha Innovation Foundation, and the Chief Technology Advisor for the Social Alpha Group.​ He is a distinguished and highly respected technology professional, having led, built and transformed multiple innovative technologies. His career has spanned pioneering work in the areas of Risk, Compliance (MetricStream), Cybersecurity, Networking (Narus), and Databases (SBIR funded start-ups).

Vidya has a PhD in Computer Science from Rutgers University. He also holds a Management degree from MIT Sloan and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from IIT, Delhi, India.​

Prof Ashok Gadgil

Ashok Gadgil is a Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School, and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Safe Water and Sanitation in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, and was a Faculty Senior Scientist and Division Director in the Energy Technologies Area of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  His research has led to several patents and inventions, and more than 150 scientific peer-reviewed journal publications.  A substantial amount of his research aims for technology-based scalable solutions to problems of clean energy and safe drinking water in resource-poor communities and countries. 

In September 2022 the first ever graduate-level textbook on Development Engineering, “Introduction to Development Engineering”, co-edited and co-authored by Gadgil, was published Open Access by Springer.  By April 2024, the book had more than 205,000 downloads from the Springer website.

Dr. Gadgil is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Heinz Award,  The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the Lemelson-MIT Global Innovator Award, induction in the National Inventors Hall of Fame, election to the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Inventors, and in 2023 received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.  The latter is the highest national honor bestowed by the President of the United States on the country’s topmost technology inventors and innovators. 

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