New Class

Marking 20 years of responsible leadership, we proudly welcome over 80 exceptional individuals into our community of outstanding leaders. This year's cohort, ranging from tech moguls to former athletes, brings together brilliant minds and passionate leaders from business, civil society, academia, government, and beyond. These responsible leaders will undertake a transformative 3-year journey, addressing global challenges and driving positive change. Join us in celebrating the new class:

11 YGLs in South Asia

Priya Agarwal Hebbar

Non-Executive Director, Vedanta, India

Priya Agarwal Hebbar is Chairperson of Hindustan Zinc, India’s largest and the world's second-largest integrated zinc producer. She is also Non-Executive Director at Vedanta, a leading natural resources conglomerate. She is passionate about the environment and sustainability and has been playing an instrumental role in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) transformation at Vedanta. She steers best-in-class people practices across the group.

Azeeza Aziz Khan

Director, Summit Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd, Bangladesh

Azeeza Aziz Khan is an accomplished chartered accountant and member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. With a background in economics, finance and accounting, she is Managing Director, Finance and Accounts, at Summit Corporation and Summit Holdings. Khan contributes to various not-for-profit organizations, focusing on education, healthcare and empowering marginalized communities. This includes her participation in a leadership capacity within organizations such as UNICEF, Anjuman Aziz Charitable Trust, ICDDR,B. Khan is a strong advocate for women's rights and represents these causes through her involvement in SAARC Business Council of WICCI, ACCA Bangladesh, JAAGO Foundation, SEID Trust and Prothom Alo Trust, with noteworthy contributions such as devising policies that support women and children’s rights within the national budget and other various industries.

Richa Bajpai

Founder and CEO, Campus Fund, India

Richa Bajpai is an accomplished entrepreneur and Founder of Campus Fund, India’s first and only Dorm Room Fund. This successful venture capital model invests in student-led start-ups in India, backed by IIFL Wealth, HDFC Bank and Gururaj Deshpande. Bajpai is also Co-Founder of Goodera, a global technology company that helps enterprises measure and manage their corporate social responsibility, sustainability and volunteering initiatives. With a valuation of $100 million, Goodera has raised over $26 million in funding. Bajpai’s achievements have garnered recognition, including being named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 India and Asia lists and the MIT Innovators Under 35 India List.

Arjun Bhartia

Joint Managing Director, Jubilant Group, India

Arjun Bhartia is Co-Managing Director of Jubilant Pharmova and a Director of Jubilant Group Companies, which are primarily engaged in the chemical, pharmaceutical and quick-service restaurant sectors in India and the United States. Arjun helps to lead Jubilant Pharmova in its key platforms of radio-pharmaceuticals, allergy extracts and the manufacturing of sterile injectables with an additional focus on building R&D for novel drug discovery. Prior to joining Jubilant, he worked with Bain and Company and studied economics and theatre arts at Brown University.

Shashwat Goenka

Vice-Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, India

Shashwat Goenka is the Vice Chairman of the 7-billion-dollar RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, one of India's leading business conglomerates, with businesses in Power, Green Energy, Chemicals, Information Technology, Retail, FMCG & Consumer Goods, Education, Entertainment, Sports, Agriculture and Media. The RPSG Group has a legacy of over 220 years, and is one of India's fastest growing conglomerates with a significant global presence.

Shashwat has led many of the Group's acquisitions and diversifications over the last decade, while at the same time turning around businesses for profitability, valuations and growth. In the Power sector, he spearheads the renewable energy business for the Group (Solar, Wind, Green Hydrogen and Ammonia). In the Chemicals sector, he was the instrumental in acquisition of Aquapharm Chemicals, a move to venture into the global speciality chemical segment.

Shashwat is the Vice Chairman for CII Eastern Regional Council and also part of CII's National Council, where he chair's CII’s Committees on Retail, E-Commerce, and Ayurveda. Shashwat is the Chairman for FICCI's Young Leaders Forum. He has also been the youngest ever President of Indian Chamber of Commerce. FICCI, CII and ICC are India's leading business associations that work closely with Government and industry to create a conducive policy environment for development of India.

He was the Founding Chairperson for YPO Next Generation in Kolkata, and is a member of Entrepreneur's Organisation (EO). A graduate from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, he is also the Honorary Consul of Finland in Kolkata.

Recognised as a Young Global Leader by WEF in 2024, he has received numerous prestigious awards like Management Excellence Award for Emerging Leader by CMA, ‘Young Retail Professional of the Year’ by India Retail Forum, ‘Pride of India’ in 2017, ‘The Most Influential Young Indians’ by GQ, Economic Times 40 Under 40 India's Hottest Business Leaders Award, Times of India Business Award for ‘Most Young & Dynamic Leader’, ‘The Most Promising Scion Award’ at the ET Family Business Awards, ‘Emerging Business Leader Award’ by HELLO! , ‘Young Achiever in Family Business’ at ASEAN – Indian Youth Awards, and 'Young Achiever - The Next 100' by India Today. In 2023, he was awarded Fortune's 40 under 40, and featured in '100 Most Influential' by Hello! in 2023.

Ali Mukhtar

Director, Fatima Fertilizer Company Ltd, Pakistan

Ali Mukhtar is Founder and CEO of Fatima Ventures, a prominent venture capital fund in Pakistan's start-up ecosystem. Under his leadership, Fatima Ventures has launched Pakistan's largest technology fund, Fatima Gobi Ventures, in partnership with Gobi Partners. Mukhtar has invested in leading technology start-ups, contributing to their growth and success. He is also Director of Fatima Group, overseeing group strategy and investments. As an active member of the Pakistani business community, Mukhtar holds advisory roles in organizations supporting entrepreneurs and innovation.

Adwaita Nayar

Co-founder, Nykaa and CEO, Nykaa Fashion, Nykaa E-Retail Pvt. Ltd., India

Adwaita Nayar, an Indian businesswoman, has established herself as a leader in the retail industry. She is CEO of Nykaa Fashion and is Co-Founder of Nykaa, a leading lifestyle retailer in India. Before joining Nykaa in 2013, Nayar held positions at Morgan Stanley, Bain & Company, Citi and CARE Tanzania. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Applied Math from Yale University.

Bhumi Pednekar

Actress, India

After only seven years in the Indian film industry, Bhumi Pednekar has won 26 acting awards, making her one of the best actors the country has ever seen. Through her films, she has aimed at changing society for the better. She has championed representation of women in cinema and fought for gender inclusivity, including batting for the LGBTQIA+ community. Pednekar has earned her place in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Most Impactful People of India in 2018. She runs one of India’s biggest non-profit advocacy platform on climate change, Climate Warrior, which aims to raise awareness of climate change. She is a passionate voice for environmental conservation and has collaborated with organizations and individuals across the globe. The United Nations Development Programme, India, has appointed Pednekar as national advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals and she is also the Goodwill Ambassador of Healing Himalayas, an organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Himalayas.

Sharad Vivek Sagar

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dexterity Global, India

Sharad Vivek Sagar is Founder and CEO of The Dexterity Global Group. He is a globally renowned social entrepreneur, noted thought leader, powerful orator and a widely followed youth icon. Raised in a small village in India, Sagar founded the national organization Dexterity Global aged 16. Today, scholars and leaders trained in the Dexterity system have received over $1.75 billion in scholarships from leading universities around the world, served as India’s ambassadors to global platforms, won 1,000+ national and international awards and launched their own leadership initiatives. The Telegraph newspaper noted, “Dexterity is building the future of India.” President Barack Obama invited Sagar to the White House. Forbes listed him on the Global Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Rockefeller Foundation inducted him in the list of 100 Next Century Innovators. The Nobel Peace Center invited him to the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. He was included in the Queen’s Young Leader list. India’s most watched television show, Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), invited him as the youngest Expert on the show. Sagar graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor’s degree and Harvard University with a Master’s degree on full scholarships. At Tufts University, he was the first Indian in 160 years of university history to be selected the Graduation Speaker. At Harvard University, he became the first Indian to be elected the President of Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017, he became the youngest Indian to be invited as the Chief Guest and Convocation Speaker of a university and in 2024 he became one of the youngest in the world to receive an honorary doctorate “for his outstanding contributions and attainments in the field of social entrepreneurship and leadership”. In 2022, India’s leading newspaper Dainik Jagran bestowed upon Sagar the Editor’s Choice Award for India’s Youth Icon “for representing the bold face of young India and redefining education and leadership for millions of young Indians”.

Jeevan Kumaravel Thondaman

Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development, Government of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka

Jeevan Kumaravel Thondaman is Cabinet Minister for Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development in Sri Lanka. He is also General-Secretary of the Ceylon Workers Congress, that works towards the upliftment of historically marginalized plantation worker communities. Thondaman is also one of the youngest MPs elected in Sri Lanka, in 2020, aged 25. In his previous portfolio as State Minister for Estate Housing and Community Infrastructure, he worked relentlessly to create a conducive environment for plantation workers, ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions and adequate benefits. As Minister for Water Supply, he has been spearheading ambitious reforms in the water sector to increase access to safe and affordable drinking water, create a climate resilience roadmap for water services and a transparent pricing formula that protects the most vulnerable in society. He continues to advocate for the rights of all marginalized people in Sri Lanka, especially workers, women, ethnic minorities and the LGBT+ community. In 2022, he became one of the first MPs to openly support the rights of the LGBT+ community. He is also known for his passion for art, culture and sport. Thondaman has a certification in Criminology from the London School of Economics and an LLB from Northumbria University.

Lokesh Todi

Chairman, Avasar Equity Limited, Nepal

Lokesh Todi is the Chairman of Avasar Equity, which manages Nepal's first licensed Private Equity Fund. He is also a director in Reliance Group Nepal, a conglomerate with interests in manufacturing, trading, energy, and financial services. As a director in Reliance Group Nepal, he oversees the group's carpet manufacturing operations.

Prior to working at Reliance Group, Lokesh was a Senior Analyst at Analysis Group in Boston where he provided his economic expertise in litigation related cases to various government organizations and Fortune 500 firms such as Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Toyota, British Petroleum, and the Israeli Finance Ministry. Lokesh received his MBA degree from Yale University in 2014 where he was an Emerging Entrepreneurship Fellow. He received his BA degree from Colby College where he was awarded the prestigious Baker Scholarship and graduated the school with magna cum laude honors with a distinction in Economics and Political Science in 2009.