BURLINGTON, MA–Judges, whose names are kept secret until the Woman of the Year winner is announced, are the most important part of the Woman of the Year selection process. They choose from a select list of Outstanding-20 women provided by the editorial team of INDIA New England. The only judge whose name is public is the previous year’s winner. Here is a brief introduction of the members of independent panel of judges.
Founder and CEO, Boston Common Asset Management, LLC
Woman of the Year 2014
Geeta Aiyer is founder and CEO of Boston Common Asset Management, LLC, which now manages over $2 billion in assets. Based in Boston, the company is an investment manager and a leader in global sustainability initiatives. Boston Common Asset Management specializes in long-only equity and balanced strategies and pursues long-term capital appreciation by seeking to invest in diversified portfolios of high quality, socially responsibly stocks.
Geeta Aiyer was recently listed in the Boston Globe Magazine’s Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts — a prominent list featuring notable companies from Massachusetts. Aiyer was listed #58 on Globe Magazine’s list. In 2014, she was named Woman of the Year.
Aiyer received her MBA from the Harvard University and her BA and MA degrees from the University of Delhi. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Sierra Club Foundation, Earthworks, YW Boston, and Ubuntu at Work, a global nonprofit for women. She is the 2010 recipient of the Women’s Venture Fund’s Highest Leaf Award and was honored to accept the 2013 Business Leader in Human Rights Award from the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project on behalf of Boston Common Asset Management. She is also founder of a non-profit organization Direct Action for Women Now, or DAWN.
Deputy Chief Technology Officer
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Vijay Bhatt is the Deputy Chief Technology Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC), and is responsible and possesses an in-depth knowledge of its IT Strategy and modernization work.
Vijay is also involved in the Eastern Harmony program at HPHC promoting alternative wellness practices. Vijay had previously lived in four different continents and is well aware of multiple cultures. Vijay advocates communities of well-being practices such as Ayurved, Self-Development (Swadhyay), Yoga, Meditation and sports.
President and CEO, New England Office Supply, Inc.
Indira Patel is the President & CEO of New England Office Supply, Inc. Patel came to the US in 1971 as a student. She graduated the MBA program at Simmons College in Boston, in 1983. Until she became a business owner, Indira’s experience was in the health care field.
Ms. Patel was selected by President Clinton to participate in the White House Conference on Small Business in 1995. She has hosted a delegation of Fortune 1000 Indian Businesses (CII) at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and organized and participated in Indian Business Owners’ issues meeting with Congressman Joseph Kennedy, Congressman Marty Meehan and Congressman Peter Torkildsen.
Ms. Patel is on the Business Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Affirmative Marketing Program, a Member of the Simmons School of Management Business Advisory Council and a Member of the Board of Governors with NOPA. She was also on the Board of TriMega, a $2 billion purchasing group and also a Board Member of BPGI, which is a global purchasing group representing $12 billion in volume.
Senior Vice-President and Chief Data Scientist
Rama is a serial entrepreneur in the data analytics space. His most recent startup was a retail analytics company called CQuotient that he founded in 2010 and sold to Demandware in October 2014. At Demandware, Rama is responsible for everything related to data.
Prior to founding CQuotient, Rama taught analytics at MIT Sloan School of Management, ran global R&D for the retail business unit of Oracle, and was a management consultant with McKinsey.
Rama’s awards include Chain Store Age magazine’s “Rising Star of Retail” award and Tie-Boston’s Entrepreneurship Achievement Award.
Rama has a B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Senior Lecturer Emeritus, MIT
George Ruckert is a Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Music at MIT. Also, he is the founder of MITHAS. After receiving a master’s in western theory and composition, he became a student of the renowned Indian sarodist, Ali Akbar Khan in 1967. A co-founder and administrator of this master’s important center for North Indian classical music in California, he has also performed and taught this music widely in the US, Canada, India, and Europe, and has composed for orchestra, film, and dance productions, as well as published five books on the classical music of North India.
Dr. Janine Saldanha, MD
Anesthesiologist: Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary and Mass General Hospital
Instructor in Anesthesia: Harvard Medical School
Dr. Janine Saldanha, M.D., has served Indian American Forum for Political Education and the Indian Medical Association of New England in various capacities for decades. She is a certified anesthesiologist with over 35 years of experience. A few years ago, she as a chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society Immigrant Medical Graduate Committee and the committee’s other nine members launched a program targeting newly minted doctors looking for residency and a mentor who can help them get the most out of being a doctor in this country.
Dr. Saldanha has been a Harvard Medical School faculty member and a doctor at Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital for over three decades, as well as very active in the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. She currently works at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Investment Partner, Venture Capital
Anupendra Sharma is Partner at Siemens Venture Capital investing in healthcare (devices, diagnostics, software and services). Anupendra is an investor in BioImagene, China Diagnostics and Cylex. He is a former investor in Sequenom (NASD: SQNM).
Prior to Siemens Venture Capital, Anupendra helped companies go public and raise capital, and completed $5 billion in M&A transactions at JPMorgan, Salomon Smith Barney and Siemens. Anupendra also worked in strategy consulting for McKinsey London, and Product Development Finance for Ford Europe, where he was a member of the core team that set-up Ford in China and India. Anupendra founded several companies and not-for profits including Mobile Medics, named the Most Innovative Social Venture of 2006 by the Global Social Venture Competition for attempting to solve the “last-mile” problem for global rural healthcare.
Anupendra is a Charter Member of TiE Boston, Founder of the TiE Leadership Program for Entrepreneurial CEOs of the future, and advisor to to early-stage life sciences efforts in New England.
Anupendra founded the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at BITS Pilani, and is Founding Advisor to Peking University’s Venture Capital Association. He also started the Massachusetts Life Sciences Startup Initiative, to accelerate the pace of startups in the Commonwealth, and advises government and related agencies on policy matters related to startups in the Commonwealth.
Anupendra holds an MBA from Cornell University, MS in Accounting & Finance from Manchester Business School, Masters in Economics and Bachelors in Instrumentation Engineering from BITS Pilani, India.