Keynote Speakers

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Keynote Speakers2019-01-07T08:42:27+00:00

Dr. Saundarya Rajesh

Social Entrepreneur, Founder & President

Speech Title: “Bridging the Gender Divide: Innovate to Include”

Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, a PhD in Women’s Workforce Participation with several original, multi-disciplinary research papers to her credit, is a first-generation entrepreneur who is credited with having started India’s first ever career service for women, AVTAR I-WIN, in 2005. She is best known for her work in the area of flexible working, second careers for women, and increasing women’s workforce participation in India. She has won a slew of awards including the Tie Stree Shakti Women Entrepreneur Award, FICCI FLO Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Standard Chartered SCOPE Woman Exemplar Award, The Yuvashakthi woman entrepreneur award. And for relentlessly championing the cause of career re-entry opportunities for women who have taken breaks after marriage, childbirth or relocation, and for her indefatigable focus on women’s workforce participation, Dr. Saundarya Rajesh was selected for the #100 Women Achiever’s initiative by Government of India (Ministry of Women and Child Development) and met the Hon. President of India and the Minister for W&CD at Delhi in January 2016. She was also selected as the Top 25 Women Transforming India, by NiTI Aayog.

She is a powerful and inspiring speaker. Invited by national and international organizations to deliver talks and keynote sessions on Women & Leadership, Intentionality of Careers and The Economics of Balanced Leadership, Dr. Rajesh has consistently wowed her audiences with her unique perspectives and fresh insights. She is also a TED speaker on the topics of Diversity & Inclusion. Accenture felicitated her with the Changemaker award on the International Women’s Day last year on 8th March.

Please see this link for a peep into Dr. Rajesh’s vision: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPBYJOHI4To

Ruth Ostrow

Speaker, Writer, Presenter



Ruth Ostrow is a Walkley Award nominated writer, keynote speaker, video-maker and social commentator in the area of human relations, psychology and wellbeing, most recently producing an acclaimed on-line documentary series Total Success. The series showed that for many business and political leaders success is about far more than financial riches or power rather care of the soul.

She is best known for her columns and features in The Australian newspaper which have been read by millions over the years, and has a host of books to her credit in the areas of sex & relationships, life matters, the secrets of business success, health and spirituality: in short, spreadsheets and bed-sheets.

Ostrow trained as a leading finance journalist with the Australian Financial Review, before moving to New York, becoming famed for her writings on sexuality, gender issues and equality, later returning to her controversial radio program on Triple M and TV program on Channel 7.

She has lived an eclectic life from war zones to peaceful pastures living and working abroad as a foreign correspondent as deputy editor of the Israel Economist Magazine; and later moving to Byron Bay becoming a yoga teacher, nutritional consultant and keynote speaker on matters of Wellness. She traveled the world speaking at conferences as diverse as healthy ageing and neuroscience. Currently living in Sydney she recently got her Masters degree in multimedia, documentary-making and on-line journalism; and is also studying Art & Design at UNSW to fulfil a wish to become an artist.

She has lectured at the Happiness Conference on depression and has been a keynote speaker at two prestigious International Women’s Conference’s in India including the latest in 2018, and the International Conference on Healthy-Ageing and Longevity and the International Complementary Psychiatry Conference. She is an advocate for The Black Dog Institute. Her other great passion is animal welfare and she is a supporter and promoter of Voiceless, Wires and the OurEarth organization.


email : ruth.ostrow@hotmail.com

Twitter : @OstrowRuth

Plenary Speakers


Karthik Ekambaram-women studies conference

Mr. Karthik Ekambaram

Vice President – Diversity & Inclusion Consulting


Speech Title: “Women in the Workforce in relation to the evolving social Equilibrium ”

Mr. Karthik is a Diversity and Inclusion specialist who has completed several seminal projects successfully for various organizations. An MBA, with over 19 years of experience in business analysis, talent strategy and workforce diversity consulting, Karthik has devised flexible working policies and created diversity-ready workplaces for several fortune 500 organizations. He brings with him a rich experience of managing a wide range of requirements for creating futuristic workplaces.

As one of India’s pioneering workers in the field of Second Career programs, Karthik has been a key architect in the re-entry of women into the workplace. He has worked on many research studies on Diversity & Inclusion, Second careers for women, Generations in the workforce, Flexible working and Work-life balance. Karthik leads India’s largest Gender Analytics study – Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women. He has also conducted Diversity & Inclusion workshop and audits for a number of organisations.

Karthik has also co-authored several papers that have been published in Journals of National and International repute. He has been conferred the DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP AWARD by World HRD Congress.

Harsha Aturupane

Harsha Aturupane

Lead Economist and Program Leader for Human Development for Sri Lanka and the Maldives
South Asia

Harsha Aturupane is a Lead Economist and Program Leader for Human Development for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He has a Ph.D and M.Phil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Development from the University of Colombo.

He has worked and written extensively on human development, education economics, general education, higher education, labor economics, health economics, and the economics of poverty and income distribution. He has led teams in the preparation and supervision of World Bank projects and programs, covering higher education, general education, health, social protection, economic reform, private sector development, and strengthening fiduciary processes. He has also led teams in the production of World Bank research reports including higher education, general education, vocational training and labor markets. His experience covers working in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, and the Maldives in the South Asia Region, as well as countries in the Middle-East and North Africa Region.