Business Advisory Panel

Alison Cairns, Director,
Food Systems Transformation,
World Business Council for Sustainable Development,
Geneva, Switzerland

Alison joined WBCSD from Unilever where she was Global Advocacy and Partnerships Director for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. There she led on the food and nutrition agenda, and was a member of the UK Government Rio+20 Food Security Task Group. Previously, she has held a number of corporate, public policy and campaigning roles including Head of Government Affairs with the Royal College of Nursing and a Campaigner with Oxfam to advance the Make Trade Fair initiative. 

Rebecca Boustead,

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Applied Science – Human Movement from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics from Deakin University, Certificate in Marketing Management from the Australian Institute of Management and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms. Boustead is a member of the Asia Pacific Association of Communications Directors, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Dietitians Association of Australia, the Nutrition Society of Australia, Sports Dietitians Association of Australia, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US. Until October 2019 she was with Kellogg as Senior Director – Corporate Communications, Government Relations and Public Affairs, in Sydney Australia, on both the Kellogg Asia Pacific and the Australia New Zealand Leadership Teams, and was a board member of the Kellogg Australia Charitable Foundation. 

Seshu Kumar Tirumala, 
National Head – Buying and Merchandising,  
Big Basket
Bengaluru, India

Mr. Seshu Kumar, National Head Buying & Merchandising –Big Basket had graduated from IIM Ahmedabad in 1991. At Big Basket, Seshu is instrumental in providing strategic direction,  building supply linkages with farmers, processors and Consumer Product Companies, and setting up Systems and Processes for scaling up to a multi city national Business. Prior to joining Big Basket, Mr. Seshu Kumar was Head of Rural Retailing in ITC – Agri Business Division where he was running   the “Choupal Saagar” chain of Rural Hypermarkets. ITC Choupal Saagar were a unique chain of 24 Rural Stores in small towns with two way flow of products to and from the Rural Customers. Prior to ITC, he joined a startup team in 2000 in e-commerce industry with (then When Fabmall expanded to opening Supermarkets, Mr.Seshu Kumar spearheaded Fabmall’s foray into setting up the chain of Fabmall Supermarkets.  

Seshu had an initial grounding in Sales and Distribution in Asian Paints Ltd in Sales and Distribution before moving to the then fledgling Retail Industry as Manager – Retailing with Walt Disney India Ltd in 1995.  Mr. Seshu Kumar followed up his start up experience in Walt Disney with a small stint as Consultant with KSA Technopak at KSA Technopak. 

Raj Seelam,  
Founder and Managing Director
Sresta Natural Bioproducts Pvt
Ltd (Brand: 24 Mantra)

Raj Seelam hails from an agricultural and farming family. After graduating from IIM Ahmedabad, Raja Seelam founded Sresta Natural Bioproducts, a farm-to-fork organic food business in 2004. Sresta natural products established contract farming with 45,000 farmers on 2,25,000 acres across 15 states in India. Sresta produces and markets over 200 organic food products under the “24 Mantra” brand in India, Europe, North America, Middle East, Near East & Far East. 

Mani Krishnan,  
Founder and CEO, Shastha Foods
San Francisco, USA

Hailing from Thirunelveli, TamilNadu, Mani Krishnan is often referred as “the man who built dosa batter empire in US” by Indian media. He founded Shastha Foods in 2003 in Bay Area, California. Shastha Foods currently makes 12,500 kilos of fresh idli and dosa batter every week and expanded its distribution to other parts of Northern California including Fremont, East Bay, and Sacramento and also to other areas such as Seattle, Oregon, Salt Lake City, North Carolina and Las Vegas. 

Agatha Laizer,  
Managing Director,
Seasoning Palet,  
Dar e Salaam, Tanzania

Ms Agatha is a food processor in Tanzania and she is the founder of Seasoning Palet, a brand that aims to popularize sorghum and millet in Tanzania. She also runs a parellel training programme for bakers on How to cook some of the traditional Tanzanian recipes using millets and sorghum. She has formulated and successfully launched several millet products including “Sorghum Tea” in Tanzania. 

Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, 
Slurrp Farm,
NewDelhi, India 

Shauravi holds a master’s degree in economics from Cambridge University, and Meghana was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. They have over a decade of work experience prior to entrepreneurship – Meghana at McKinsey where she started the Public Health Practise in India and Shauravi in Consumer and Healthcare Advisory at JPMorgan and Sir Richard Branson’s Family Holding company in London. Meghana and Shauravi founded SlurpFarm in October 2016, to provide healthy, tasty, and natural food and snack options for children, made from traditional ingredients such as Millets. In just over three years, Slurrp Farm has turned into a loved kids food brand; serving over 500,000 customers across several leading online platforms and retails in India, the UAE and the UK. 

Sridhar Iriventi, 
Founder Director, 
Gobhaarati Agro Industries and Services Pvt Ltd,
Hyderabad, India

Sridhar is Bachelors in Civil Engineering and MBA from Osmania University. He left secure government and public sector jobs for more challenging assignment in the corporate sector and worked with top IT companies across Indian, US & European markets. After a couple of years of sabbatical and exploratory journey, he started his fulltime entrepreneurial venture – GoBhaarati Agro Industries & Services. The core business proposition of GoBhaarati rely on backward integration with millets and sorghum farmers in Indian Villages.