Speakers & Panelists - Partnership Summit
Gary Comerford is the President and CEO of Canada India Business Council. Gary served as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President at Reinsurance Group of America Inc. He is responsible for overseeing and directing all aspects of RGA s strategic marketing efforts worldwide. Prior to joining RGA, Gary worked for Sun Life Financial in a number of roles, most recently as Senior Vice President International, where he managed a portfolio of key international growth initiatives. His other roles included Vice President of Marketing in the corporate office and Canadian Division, and Vice President and General Manager for Sun Life Financial India.
Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Kathleen Wynne is Ontario’s 25th Premier and the first woman to serve in that role. She was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003 as the MPP for Don Valley West, and she became the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party in January, 2013. She has focused on introducing practical progressive solutions throughout her extensive political career, including roles as Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister of Transportation, and Minister of Education. Premier Wynne got her start in politics as a Public School Trustee. She has a long history of serving her community by participating in citizens’ groups and grassroots community projects.
Hon. Michael Chan
Michael Chan is serving as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade. He was first elected to the Ontario legislature as the MPP for Markham in 2007. He was then elected as the MPP for Markham-Unionville in 2007, and re-elected in 2011 and 2014. During his tenure at Queen’s Park, Chan has also served as Minister of Revenue and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In the latter role, he focused on enhancing Ontario’s ability to attract jobs and skilled employees and worked to expand the province’s bridge training programs that assist newcomers with economic integration.
H.E Vishnu Prakash
Vishnu Prakash is the High Commissioner of India in Canada. Mr. Prakash joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1981. After postings in Moscow and New Delhi he was assigned to New York where he handled Economic and Commercial matters. He was appointed Consul General of India in Vladvostok in 1992, and became Director in the Ministry of External Affairs between 1994 and 1997. He was next assigned as Counsellor (Political) first in Tokyo and then in Islamabad. In 2002 he was posted as Minister (Economic and Commercial) in Cairo. He was appointed as Joint Secretary (XP) and Official Spokesperson of MEA in New Delhi. In 2015, he was bestowed the 'Ambassador of the Year, 2014' award by the Asia Society, Korea Center in Seoul.
Sandra is the Director, Business Development and Global Markets, for PwC Canada. Her distinguished career in the public sector — including leading trade delegations in most major markets globally — will help PwC’s clients develop relationships in markets that align to their growth strategies. Sandra was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1995, was appointed to Cabinet in 2003, and was a candidate in the 2013 Ontario Liberal leadership election. During her renowned political career, she served most of her 8 years in Cabinet as Minister of Economic Development and Trade. In addition, she served as Minister of Education and Minister of Social Services.
Panel 1 - Business Opportunities
Raj is the Global Asset Management Assurance Leader, as well as the National Asset Management Leader in Canada and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Managing Partner of PwC. His professional and business experience spans India, UK and Canada in the areas of business assurance and advisory services, transaction support services, valuation services to Asset Management Companies and advisory services to small and large clients in a variety of businesses. Raj has served as President of Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce.
Suneet Singh Tuli is the founder and CEO of DataWind Ltd., responsible for its overall vision, strategy and execution. He has 23 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, having previously launched two successful companies that conducted Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on the NASDAQ stock market. Suneet has been recognized by Forbes magazine in its 2012 Impact 15 list as a “classroom revolutionary”, using innovative technologies to reinvent education globally. He has also been recognized as the entrepreneur of the year for 2012 at the World Sikh Awards.
John E. L. Farrow serves as the President of LEA International Ltd., of LEA Group Holdings Inc. Mr. Farrow leads LEA's international engineering, planning and consulting activities and is also involved with major projects in Canada. Mr. Farrow has a distinguished career as one of Canada's leading urban planners and management consultants, during which, he worked with all levels of government and the private sector, providing advice on policy, strategy, investment, restructuring and organizational development.
Peter Hoehne has served as the Vice President Sales & Marketing Worldwide for the Leggett & Platt Automotive Group since 2000. This Group has become the global leader in lumbar supports, seat suspensions, and massage systems; essentially the comfort in seat comfort. Now, he is one of the pioneers bringing wireless charging to the automotive industry. In the 1980's and 1990's he worked for two Canadian auto Parts Company and both moved from 2% market share to world leaders in their respective fields.
Panel 2 - Looking Forward - Strategies for Success
Kasi Rao is the Vice-President and Director for Asia Pacific Foundation’s Toronto Office. Kasi Rao also currently serves as a consultant & advisor based in Toronto providing guidance on India related strategies. In this capacity he advises corporations, universities, think tanks, not-for-profit organizations, and, different levels of government. He is a member of the Government of Saskatchewan's Asia Advisory Council. As well, he serves as the Senior Advisor (India) to the law firm Bennett Jones.
Cyrus Madon is a Senior Managing Partner at Brookfield Asset Management who oversees Brookfield’s private equity and lending activities. Originally joining Brookfield back in 1998 as the Chief Financial Officer for their real estate brokerage business, Cyrus brings years of experience to the table – in corporate restructuring, private equity, finance and banking. Specializing in the real estate, manufacturing and natural resources industries, Cyrus started his career in corporate finance and recovery at PwC, servicing both Canada and the UK.
Kerry Adler is the President and Chief Executive Officer of SkyPower Global. Since Kerry initially founded SkyPower in 2003, SkyPower's vibrant growth continues in more than 60 countries around the world, helping communities meet their increasing needs for new investment in cleaner, non-emitting solar energy solutions with over 25,000 MW of solar projects in various stages of development. Kerry was most recently honoured with the Clean50 Executive Award for his outstanding contribution to sustainable development and clean capitalism.
Prashant Pathak is CEO of Ekagrata Inc. a principal investment company and also Managing Partner of ReichmannHauer Capital Partners a private equity firm. He serves on the board of several companies and community institutions. He is an appointee of Government of Canada on the Board of BDC. He is also Chair of the Venture Capital and Investments Committee, for BDC Venture Capital. Previously, Mr. Pathak has been a Partner of McKinsey & Company Inc. At McKinsey, he was a leader of the North American Telecom Practice, the Financial Services Practices and a leader in the Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice. He has advised several global corporations on a range of general management, strategy, M&A and operations issues across North America, Asia, Europe and South America.
Panel 3 - Going Global - Services Providers
Douglas Goold is currently the VP of Policy, Public Affairs, & Communications at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. He had previously served as the Director of National Conversation on Asia and Senior Editor at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada for over four years, and retains as research consultant. With profound understanding of public policy and extensive management experience, he leads two national NGOs.
Akhil Tyagi is the Area Director for South Asia at the International Trade Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI). Since 2006 in this position, Akhil has contributed to increase the export capabilities of several Ontario companies and has successfully led key trade missions to India that generated business opportunities for Ontario manufacturers and service providers. Akhil specializes in growth strategies with focus on globalization and in raising capital from domestic and international markets.
Peter MacArthur is the Director General of South, Southeast Asia and Oceania Bureau, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. The department’s mandate is to manage Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations to encourage the country’s international trade and to lead Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance. He has over 30 years of diplomatic experience, representing Canada in Russia, India, Hong Kong, Australia, China, Mongolia, and Japan.
Sumani Dash is a policy professional with over 6 years experience working with businesses and non-profit organizations in India and the United States. She currently serves as the Director and Country Head – USA and Canada for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) based in Washington D.C. The CII representative office seeks to promote trade, commercial and strategic ties between India, United States, and Canada.
As the Director of SME Programs, Louie DiPalma is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce that are designed to strengthen the business climate of Ontario and support our members by providing them with access to resources. During his career with the Government of Ontario, Louie held a number of senior management positions in policy, planning and direct operations with several Ministries including the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services, the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation and the Ministry of Health Promotion.