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.
Suneel 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.
Suneel 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, Suneel 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).
Vir S Advani holds Bachelor’s 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.
Vir, 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, where he made valuable contributions in a profit improvement programme as well as in Electro-Mechanical projects. He was promoted as Executive Vice President in 2008; President - Corporate Affairs & Special Projects in 2009 and Executive Director in 2010. In April 2016, Vir 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, Vir is the primary interface between the Board and the Executive Management, and directly oversees the PE&IS business, International Operations, Corporate Finance, Corporate Human Resources, Information Technology and Corporate Planning.
Vir is a Director of Blue Star Engineering & Electronics Ltd. He is an elected member of the CII National Council and member of various National Committees including International, Future Businesses, Artificial Intelligence and India@75.
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 around 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.
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 Electro-Mechanical projects and Packaged Air Conditioning Systems Business; Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain and Service Operations pertaining to the Products Business; Manufacturing and R&D; Corporate Communications; Public Relations; as well as Corporate Marketing Services.
Thiagarajan plays an active role in various industry fora, and is the Past President of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Manufacturers Association (RAMA) and CII Maharashtra State Council. He is a nominated member of the CII National Council and Co-chairperson of the CII National Agriculture Council.
Shailesh Haribhakti is a Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Financial Planner and Fraud Examiner. He strongly believes that good governance is of sustainable competitive advantage to companies. With a strong background in audit, tax and consulting, he seeks to create enduring value for companies and organisations that he is involved with. Being a strong supporter of a clean and green environment, Shailesh is pioneering the concept of 'innovating to zero' in the social context. He is currently Chairman of the National Pension Scheme Trust and Member of Pension Advisory Committee of Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority.
Shailesh joined the Board of Blue Star in 2005 and in addition, serves on Boards of multinational and Indian Companies as well as of not-for-profit organisations; and is a Member of several advisory boards. He is the Managing Partner of Haribhakti & Co LLP, Chartered Accountants; Group Chairman of Baker Tilly DH Consultants Pvt Ltd; Chairman of New Haribhakti Business Services; and Chairman, Mentorcap Management Pvt Ltd.
Shobana Kamineni holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics and has an Accelerated Diploma in Hospital Administration from Columbia University, New York. As a member of the founding family of the Apollo Hospitals Group, she has directed the company's diversification into several new domains. She is the Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd. Shobana is at the helm of Apollo Global Projects Consultancy that steers the planning, design and execution of new projects. Shobana spearheads Apollo Pharmacy - India's largest pharmacy chain. She has championed Apollo's collaboration with Munich Re in 2008, and continues to be a Wholetime Director on the Board of Apollo Munich Health Insurance.
Shobana joined the Board of Blue Star in 2014. She is Vice Chairperson of the KEI Group; an Independent Director on the Board of Hero MotoCorp Ltd; Advisor to the External Board of CISCO India; and on the Advisory Council of the National Cadet Corp. As an active member of CII, Shobana was elected as the Vice President for 2015. Shobana has been a recipient of prestigious national awards for Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
Rajiv R Lulla is a Senior Advisor at Voltaire Capital (UK) and the Founder of Voltaire Capital (India), which a technology enabled trading firm operating in the UK, US & recently in India. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering with Electronics and an MBA from Kings College & Imperial College, London. Rajiv has nearly 25 years of experience primarily as an investment banker engaged in advisory and corporate finance. He has held a variety of senior leadership roles at Merrill Lynch, the Credit Agricole Group, and Deutsche Bank.
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. Pradeep is also on the Boards of several other companies including Automotive Stampings & Assemblies Ltd, Foseco India Ltd and Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd. He 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 Bachelors 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.
Gurdeep Singh is a Chemical Engineering Graduate from IIT Delhi. After his graduation, he joined Hindustan Unilever Ltd as a Management Trainee. He held various responsible positions in the company before he was expatriated to Brazil as Technical Director of the Unilever Detergents business.
Gurdeep returned to Hindustan Unilever Ltd in 1998 as Director - Human Resources, Corporate Affairs and Technology, and retired from the company in 2003. He joined the Board of Blue Star in 2003. He is also on the Boards of several leading companies including Kloeckner Pentaplast India Pvt Ltd, Technova India Ltd and Gateway Rail Freight Ltd.
Dinesh Vaswani is the Founder and Managing Director of Acuitas Capital Advisors and has over three decades of experience in both investing in and operating companies in India and the U.S. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BBA cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin He was a Managing Director at Temasek Holdings, established Bessemer Venture Partners’ operations in India, and CEO of Blue Star Infotech USA. He has served on a number of boards of public and private companies including Firstsource (then an ICICI group company), Mindtree, Venture Infotech and Borosil.