TOP 8 - INSPIRATIONAL LEADERS 2018
PARTNER, REED SMITH LLP
Gautam Bhattacharyya has been a partner of Reed Smith LLP since 2000, having qualified as a solicitor in 1993. He specialises in international commercial arbitration and litigation and has conducted cases in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Gautam was the founding Managing Partner of Reed Smith’s Singapore office (2012-2015), and jointly heads the firm’s India Group.
Gautam is an elected member of Reed Smith’s global board, the Executive Committee. He is a champion for diversity, inclusion and equality in the legal profession, and is a regular speaker at events advocating this. He enjoys being a mentor to young and aspiring professionals from diverse backgrounds. Gautam has contributed several articles in legal publications and participated in television and radio interviews. He has also been the recipient of a number of awards.
KAREN BLACKETT OBE
COUNTRY MANAGER, WPP
Karen is a proven business leader with a track record in creating vibrant cultures, energising teams and consistently delivering business growth and success. She is currently UK country manager for WPP, the world’s largest marketing services group, and Chairwoman of MediaCom, the largest media agency in the UK.
Karen champions diversity and equality of opportunity throughout the advertising industry. In 2012 Karen launched the first ever Government backed Apprentice Scheme for the sector.
In June 2014, Karen received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours and in 2015 Karen was the first business woman to be named Britain’s Most Influential Black person in the Power List.
Karen is an external advisor to the UK Government Civil Service and a Business Ambassador to the Department of International Trade. Karen sits on the board for Creative England, is a council member for the Creative Industries Federation, and Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.
INDUSTRY DIRECTOR, PUBLIC SECTOR & HEALTHCARE, BARCLAYS
Nazreen Visram is Industry Director for the Public Sector and Healthcare team, Corporate Banking at Barclays. In 2016, Nazreen was a finalist for the Barclays Woman of the Year Award, shortlisted for an Asian Woman of Achievement Award in 2017 and in 2018 was listed in the Financial Times EMpower list as a top 100 Ethnic Minority Role Model. Nazreen also co-chairs the Embrace Network at Barclays, responsible for the multicultural agenda and is very passionate about championing and inspiring women. She is the National Council member for the Women’s Portfolio for the Ismaili Council UK
HEAD OF DISTRIBUTION BRANCH NETWORK & CONTACT CENTERS, HSBC UK
As an International Manager Raghu has lived and worked in a number of different and varied countries and experienced different cultures, which in turn have enriched his own lived experiences and his ability to understand others. He uses this knowledge to role model inclusive behaviours, leading him to be a highly visible and respected leader both within and outside of HSBC. Not one to shy away from a challenge and focus on action, he set about diversifying the senior leadership in his own team and he is always keen to share best practice with his peers on how to successfully do the same.
He uses his team meetings, to champion an appreciation of the inclusion agenda to connect around 13,000 colleagues across the UK. Raghu was the first leader to approach the conversation regarding Race by introducing training sessions and focus group sessions to talk about race and understand lived experiences of BAME colleagues and customers. He also introduced reverse mentoring within his business area as well as being a mentor to many both formally and informally, inside and outside the organisation. In addition, Raghu volunteered to Chair the D&I Advisory Board to include both Executive Board and senior leaders and to be the Executive Sponsor of the BAME agenda for HSBC UK and non-BAME employees to drive the inclusion agenda more broadly across the UK.
DR. RAJ PATEL
SENIOR EXECUTIVE LEADER, SAINSBURY’S
Originally from India, Dr. Raj moved to the UK 14 years ago with limited English skills. However, he studied hard and his potential was quickly spotted in his first role at McDonald’s. Since then Raj has progressed at pace and held a number of senior positions within a range of retailers. He joined Sainsbury’s as a Regional Operations Manager last year, leading a busy South-West London region. He has quickly stepped up as a senior BAME role model, sharing his inspirational story and is a valuable member of our BAME network and steering group. He hosts regular mentoring circles and also bi-annual inclusivity conferences at both a regional and zonal level.
DIRECTOR AND SOCIAL IMPACT AND INCLUSION STRATEGIC ADVISOR, OLIVER WYMAN
Rupal is Director and Social Impact and Inclusion Strategic Advisor at Oliver Wyman (OW). Her background is in Financial Services, most recently as OW’s EMEA COO.
In 2017 Rupal Kantaria partnered with Moving Ahead to found and launch MissionINCLUDE a cross company eco-system driving innovative tangible solutions to Inclusion. Rupal orchestrated and shaped this programme which is giving mentorship to over 100 high potential leaders across the UK, developing 100 senior executives via Reverse Mentoring Cirlces and engaging all participating firms in best practice and strategic sharing.
She is founder of “GenGive” a movement to inspire a generation of changemakers. Trustee, befriender, and long term supporter of national child bereavement charity The Lullaby Trust.
STRATEGY AND WHOLESALE DIRECTOR, VODAFONE
Vishal Dixit, Strategy and Wholesale Director, was appointed to the UK general management team on 1 April 2018 to drive forward our new transformational strategy and our fixed and mobile wholesale business.
Since joining Vodafone in 2014, Vishal has held senior strategy roles within the UK and Vodafone Group, where he supported the Group CEO and Group CFO on strategic programmes affecting multiple operating companies, and on securing Plc Board approval for Vodafone’s Group strategy and operating company portfolio. Prior to joining Vodafone, Vishal was an engagement director with McKinsey & Company, where he led multiple client accounts across technology, telecoms, healthcare and public sector.
Vishal holds an MBA (with distinction) from the London Business School and a BE (Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.