Ashok M Advani is an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, an Electrical Engineer from MIT, USA, and a BSc (Honours) from Mumbai University. His professional career with Blue Star spanned more than 47 years, including 33 years as Chairman. During this period, revenues multiplied more than 400 times and the Company established itself as a leader in the Air Conditioning and Commercial Refrigeration industry in India. He retired from the Board in November 2016. In recognition of his long and distinguished leadership of Blue Star, he was appointed Chairman Emeritus and is an invitee at Board Meetings. He continues his association with the Company as an Advisor to the Board and the Executive Management.
Suneel M Advani is a double graduate in Electrical Engineering and Economics from MIT, USA. He also holds an LLB degree from Mumbai University.
Mr Advani spent his entire working career in Blue Star, joining as a Management Trainee in 1969 and moving up steadily to President and Vice Chairman in 1984. He retired from his executive position in 2014, and was designated Vice Chairman of the Board. He was elevated to Chairman of the Board from December 2016. After spending 50 years in the Company including 36 years on its Board, he retired as Chairman of the Board on March 31, 2019. In recognition of his long and exemplary leadership of Blue Star, he was appointed Chairman Emeritus on April 1, 2019. He continues his association with the Company as an Advisor to the Board and the Executive Management.
Mr Advani established Blue Star’s presence in computer software development and export, and when this division was spun off to become Blue Star Infotech Ltd in 2000, he assumed the position of Chairman there and later, Managing Director as well, in addition to his responsibilities in Blue Star. In the span of his career, Mr Advani formed many joint ventures with global majors such as HP, Motorola and Stork-Comprimo in the hi-tech area, and with Indian entities in the air conditioning ancillaries field. For Blue Star and Blue Star Infotech, he conceived and completed several corporate acquisitions. Over the years, he served on the managing councils of several industry and trade bodies, such as CII, and is the founder and a Past President of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Manufacturers’ Association (RAMA).
Shailesh Haribhakti is a renowned Chartered and Cost Accountant, and a Certified Internal Auditor, Financial Planner, and Fraud Examiner, with over five decades of experience. Mr Haribhakti is the Chairman of Shailesh Haribhakti & Associates Chartered Accountants, and the Vice Chairman of GOvEVA Consulting Pvt Ltd. He has been conferred with the Global Competent Boards Designation (GCB.D) by Competent Boards Inc, Canada. Presented with the honorary PhD title of “Doctor of Letters” by ITM University. He has been awarded the ’Vivekananda Sustainability Award – 2022’ by Vivekananda Youth Connect Foundation.
A proponent of a clean and green environment, he is credited to have successfully established the concept of ‘Innovate to Zero’ and technology enabling CSR/ESG/Sustainability.
In the space of dispute settlement and arbitration, he has demonstrated his expertise as Expert Witness and Valuer in both domestic and international jurisdictions. He represented India on the Standards Advisory Council (SAC) of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in London for two years. He worked with Polish Business Advisory Services (PBAS), an affiliate of IFC Washington, to establish Activity-based costing and Strategic Planning Processes in Polish SMEs.
In addition, Mr Haribhakti is currently the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Bluestar Limited, Cynergis Infotech India Pvt Ltd, Protean e-Gov Technologies Ltd, and Chairman of IBS Fintech India Pvt Ltd, Planet People & Profit Consulting Pvt Ltd, and YCWI Green Solutions Pvt Ltd.
He is also a Board Member of several leading companies including Adani Total Gas Ltd, Bajaj Electricals Ltd, Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (Times Group), Brookprop Management Services Pvt Ltd (a Brookfield REIT), Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Ltd, Gaja Trustee Company Pvt Ltd (Gaja Capital Group), L&T Finance Holdings Ltd, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, amongst others.
In recent times, some prominent Boards and Board Committees led by him have been recognised with coveted awards, which speak of his penchant for excellence in the areas of corporate governance and sustainability.
He has been associated with many management institutions as well as industry and professional forums. He has led the Bombay Management Association; Institute of Internal Auditors, Bombay Chapter; Western India Regional Council, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India; Indian Merchants Chambers; Financial Planning and Standards Board, India; and Rotary Club of Bombay; over the last many decades. He has served on the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s Committee on Disclosures and Accounting Standards and Takeover Panel and was Chairman of the NPS (National Pension Scheme) Trust from 2015-2017.
Vir S Advani holds Bachelors Degrees in Systems Engineering and in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also completed a comprehensive Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Mr Advani, after a 2-year working stint in private equity in New York, joined Blue Star Infotech Ltd in 2000 and then founded Blue Star Design and Engineering Ltd in 2003, designated as its Chief Executive Officer. In 2007, he moved to Blue Star as Vice President-Corporate Affairs and later became Executive Director in 2010. In April 2016, Mr Advani was appointed as the Managing Director of the Company, and in April 2019, he was elevated to Vice Chairman and redesignated as Vice Chairman & Managing Director. In his enhanced role, Mr Advani is the primary interface between the Board and the Executive Management, and directly oversees the Professional Electronics & Industrial Systems business, International Operations, Corporate Finance, Corporate Human Resources, Information Technology and Corporate Planning.
Mr Advani is active in the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), where he is an elected member of the CII National Council and is the Chairman of the International & Trade Policy Council.
B Thiagarajan holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Madurai University. He has also completed the Senior Executive Program of London Business School. He has more than four decades of experience, having worked for reputed companies such as Larsen &Toubro Ltd, BPL Systems Ltd and Voltas Ltd, prior to joining Blue Star in 1998.
Mr B Thiagarajan has handled various assignments in the Service Business, Corporate Communications & Marketing and Corporate Affairs & Planning before he was promoted as President-AC&R Products Group in 2009. He was elevated to the Board in 2013. He was appointed as Joint Managing Director in 2016, and with effect from April 1, 2019, he has taken charge as Managing Director. He currently oversees the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration business operations in India geography, including Sales & Marketing, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Customer Service. He also oversees Corporate Communications and Public Relations functions.
Mr B Thiagarajan plays an active role in various industry fora and is the Past President of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Manufacturers Association (RAMA). He is the Past Chairman of CII Western Region and CII Maharashtra State.
He is currently a member of the CII National Council and chairs the CII National Committee on Consumer Electronics and Durables and CII task Force on Rural Development and Migrant Work Force. He is a Senior Fellow and the National Vice Chairman of the Indian Green Building Council.
Sam Balsara is Chairman of Madison World, which is amongst India’s largest media and communication agencies. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and a Post Graduate Diploma from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. He has more than 50 years of extensive experience in marketing, advertising and media. Mr Balsara started his career at Sarabhai’s in 1972, with stints thereafter at Cadbury India Ltd, Contract Advertising Company (WPP), and Mudra Communications, before founding Madison in 1988.
Mr Balsara has won many accolades such as ‘The Most Influential Person in Media’ by Economic Times-Brand Equity for 10 consecutive years; IAA Leadership Award for Media Agency Professional of the Year, 2013; ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2009 from Advertising Agencies Association of India; and has been a jury member at the International Festival of Advertising in Cannes in 2005 as well as 2014; to name a few. He has held prestigious positions in several associations such as President of AAAI of which he continues to be an Executive Committee member; and Chairman of The Advertising Standards Council of India, 2000-2001, and presently its Advisor; amongst others. Mr Balsara joined the Blue Star Board in June 2017.
Anil Harish is a Partner at the law firm, D M Harish & Co, and his practice includes many diverse areas of law including Property, Exchange Control, Foreign Investments, Trusts, Wills, and Indian as well as International Taxation. He has been on the Managing Committee of Indian Merchants Chamber, Chamber of Tax Consultants, and ITAT Bar Association. He has also been an office bearer of several institutions in the legal field, such as the Society of Indian Law Firms, of which he was the Vice President. Mr Harish has been ranked by the prestigious legal directory of Chambers & Partners as a leading tax lawyer. He has authored several articles which have been published in leading newspapers and professional journals.
Mr Harish joined the Board of Blue Star in November 2017. He is a director of reputed companies including Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd and NDL Ventures Limited. He is also involved with a number of educational and charitable trusts and is a Trustee of the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board.
Rajiv R Lulla is a Founding Partner at Deep Blue Advisors, and the Founder of Voltaire Advisory Services, a technology-enabled financial services firm. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with Electronics from King’s College, London, and a Master’s Degree from Imperial College, London.
Mr Lulla has over 25 years of experience primarily as an investment banker specialised in merger advisory and corporate finance, and has completed transactions representing a combined value in excess of USD 220 billion across multiple industry sectors and geographies. He has held senior global leadership roles at Merrill Lynch, the Credit Agricole Group, and Deutsche Bank, across multiple locations including New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong.
Pradeep Mallick is a B Tech from IIT Madras and Diploma holder in Business Management from UK. He is also a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, London (CEng FIET). Pradeep is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras. He was conferred Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. He joined the Board of Blue Star in 2003.
Pradeep was the Managing Director of Wartsila India Ltd from 1988 to 2003, prior to which he worked with several leading companies in the field of electrical power transmission and distribution. He is also on the Boards of Automotive Stampings & Assemblies Ltd, Foseco India Ltd, and Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd. Pradeep is a Past Chairman of CII Western Region and Past President of Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is also associated with social organisations like Population First.
M K Sharma holds Bachelor's degrees in Arts and Law, and Post Graduate Diplomas in Personnel Management and Labour Laws. He has also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
M K Sharma joined Hindustan Unilever Ltd in 1974, and subsequently joined its Management Committee in 1990. After serving as Vice Chairman for 7 years, he retired in 2007, completing 12 years on its Board. He has rich experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and law. He has also served as a member of Corporate Law Committee formed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Naresh Chandra Committee on Corporate Governance.
M K Sharma joined the Board of Blue Star in 2013. He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of ICICI Bank Ltd as well as United Spirits Ltd; an Independent Director of Wipro Ltd as well as Asian Paints Ltd; a Member of the Board of Governors of the Anglo Scottish Education Society; and a Member of the Executive Board of Indian School of Business. He is also actively involved in several industry associations.
Sunaina Murthy joined the Blue Star Board with effect from April 1, 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Rochester, and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Northwestern University. She began her career as a cancer researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, and then worked at a venture capital firm specialising in life sciences. Thereafter, she co-managed a USD 3 billion healthcare fund for AIM Capital Management, USA, where she made investments in publicly traded companies in the areas of biotechnology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, hospitals and other healthcare services. Since moving back to India in 2006, she has and continues to consult for US and India based venture capital firms who invest in the life sciences and healthcare sectors, and for companies in the life sciences space. She has been serving on the Board of Trustees of the Blue Star Foundation since the last 11 years.
Anita Ramachandran, a well-known HR expert in the country having over 40 years of experience as a management consultant, joined Blue Star as an Independent Director with effect from June 13, 2022. Anita has done her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, and has won several academic honours.
Commencing her career in the Management Consultancy division of AF Ferguson & Co at Mumbai in 1976 as the first woman consultant in the firm, Ms Ramachandran worked across a wide range of areas such as Industrial Market Research, Strategy, and Human Resources, amongst others, in various parts of the country and was finally a director of the firm. After a successful stint of 19 years with the firm, she founded Cerebrus Consultants in 1995 to focus on HR advisory services, including Organisation Transformation. Cerebrus has over the last 26 years worked with over 800 companies in South Asia on a wide variety of HR projects covering Organisation design, Organisation transformation, Rewards and Leadership development. It has a large portfolio of work in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka besides India.
Ms Ramachandran is known as an authority in Rewards Management in the country and her work in the compensation and rewards area is well recognised. Apart from being a strategic advisor to many family groups, she works with several PE firms and start-ups to mentor them through their growth journey.
Ms Ramachandran has been an Independent Director on the Boards of several companies from across sectors for the last 20 years. She is currently on the Board of several reputed companies such as Grasim, Metropolis Healthcare, Happiest Minds, and FSN E-commerce, amongst others.
Ms Ramachandran supports many organisations in the social sector through pro bono professional work and remains deeply committed to work with women. She has been in the past, Chairperson of TiE Women, and on the Executive committee of TiE Mumbai, as well as was earlier on the Advertising Standards Council of India.
Arvind K Singhal is the Founder & Chairman of Technopak Advisors, one of India’s leading management consulting firms focusing on four key sectors that include Consumer Products & Retail, Textiles & Apparel, Food & Food Services, and Education & Skills Development. He is also an Independent Director on the Boards of Welspun India, Greaves Cotton Limited, and Metro Brands Limited. He is also serving on the Advisory Boards of Dubai headquartered Apparel Group, and West Africa headquartered Group SNS. He holds an Engineering Degree from IIT-Roorkee (Electronics & Communication), which has also recognised him as a ‘Distinguished Alumnus,’ and an MBA (Finance & Marketing) from UCLA, USA. He joined the Blue Star Board with effect from February 5, 2019.
Dinesh N Vaswani is the Founder and Managing Director of Acuitas Capital Advisors Pvt Ltd, a multi-family investment office that advises families on their investments. He has over three decades of experience in both investing in and operating companies in India and the US. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BBA cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin. Mr Vaswani was a Managing Director at Temasek Holdings Advisors India Pvt Ltd, established Bessemer Venture Partners’ operations in India, and was CEO of Blue Star Infotech, USA. He has served on a number of Boards of public and private companies including Firstsource, Mindtree, Venture Infotech, and Borosil.