Our Advisory Board
Senior Director of Research, The Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University
Caroline Simard is passionate about building better workplaces for women through evidence-based solutions. As Research Director, she is responsible for leading research designed to build more effective and inclusive organizations. Previously, she was Associate Director of Diversity and Leadership at the Stanford School of Medicine, where she implemented innovative models for increasing work-life integration to increase faculty satisfaction and retention.
Prior to joining Stanford University, Caroline was Vice President of Research and Executive Programs at the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) for Women and Technology, where she led the creation and dissemination of research-based solutions to further gender diversity in scientific and technical careers, working with leading technology companies and academic institutions. She drove ABI’s first collaborative research project with the Clayman Institute, “Climbing the Technical Ladder,” receiving global media attention. She founded and designed the first industry benchmarking initiative for women in technical roles across levels, and created executive programs designed to accelerate change in companies. Prior to ABI, Simard was a Researcher at the Center for Social Innovation of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an Associate Director of Executive Programs.
Caroline holds a PhD from Stanford University and a Masters from Rutgers University. Her publications have focused on technical human and social capital, solutions to recruit, retain, and advance women in technology, underrepresented minority talent in STEM, the diffusion of best practices, open innovation, and social networks. She is a board member of the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the representation of women in open source technology.
Independent Consultant and Owner of Circa Advisors LLC
Bhaskar Menon is a strategic, assertive and result oriented business professional with extensive executive experience in diverse businesses, functions and geographies, in areas of International Banking, Asset Management & Investments, Product Development, Electronic Distribution & Delivery of Financial Services, Private Equity & Venture Capital and in Information Technology/ Business Process Outsourcing (IT/ BPO). He has expertise and track record in building, managing and successfully exiting businesses. He has also been a Director on several corporate boards, both public and private.
Bhaskar has worked for global multi-nationals like Citibank, Merrill Lynch MphasiS Corp. and e4e Inc. and in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the USA.
Bhaskar, his wife Smita and their daughter Kyra live in New York City.
Mr. Bhaskar Menon has been the Chief Executive Officer of e4e Inc. since June 15, 2009 and served as its President until February 17, 2017. Mr. Menon is an Independent Consultant and Owner of Circa Advisors LLC. Mr. Menon served as Interim Head of Managed Services & Interactive Entertainment Services at e4e, Inc. He served as a Venture Partner of New Enterprise Associates and NEA IndoUS, L.P. and was an Operating Partner of FlatWorld Capital LLC. Mr. Menon served as the President of MphasiS BPO at Mphasis Corp. and MsourcE (India) Pvt. Ltd. until 2006. Mr. Menon has over 18 years in International Private Banking and Investment Banking with Citibank and Merrill Lynch. He moved into the e-space after joining E-Citi (Citigroup’s E-commerce division). In his last position with Citigroup, he served as Head of International for E-Citi. He has worked in the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. He serves as a Director of e4e, Inc., ScioInspire Inc. and Semantify Inc. He served as a Member of the Advisory Group at Ujjivan Financial Services Private Limited. He served as a Director of APAC Customer Services Inc. from June 2008 to June 3, 2009, K-Two Technologies Ltd. and Ujjivan. Mr. Menon earned his M.B.A. from Symbiosis, Pune.
Group Director – Human Resources, Coffee Day Group
N Balachandar, fondly called Bala, is currently Group Director- HR for the fast growing and expanding Coffee Day Group, which has interest in Coffee, Technology, Financial Services, Commercial Real Estates, Logistics, Pharma and Furniture. He is responsible for people strategy and execution for the Group.
Bala has rich multi sector experience. His early grooming was at Asian Paints for leading HR for the retail & industrial sales, and when he left them it was as their Corporate Training Manager.
Then, until 2001 he worked at Standard Chartered Bank, where he started as the first HR Head of fast growing Credit Card business and then HR for Consumer Banking in India, where he was responsible for integrating the Card business with Retail Banking.
He then joined GE in 2001 as Vice President HR for GE Healthcare India where he led HR for multiple verticals of the Healthcare business in India. His role was expanded to include Asia Growth Markets covering India, ANZ, Korea and South East Asia. Bala then worked at the International HQ of GE Healthcare as Organisation & Staffing Leader for EMEA & Asia, and was based in Paris. After four years with GE Healthcare, he was rotated to GE Capital to support integration of Banking platforms across Asia, as Executive Vice President, and was based in Tokyo for three years.
Bala, then decided to return to India for personal reasons and developed a passion to work with agile entrepreneurial companies. In early 2009 he was appointed as Chief HR officer at Strides Arcolab, a fast growing Pharma company with global operations.
He has been teaching at IIM Bangalore and other Universities specifically focusing on Building new age professional firms.
Bala completed his MS in Industrial Management at IIT Chennai in 1988, and has a Master’s with major in PM&IR from Loyola College Chennai (1986).
Employment Lawyer, AZB & Partners
Veena Gopalakrishnan is an employment law expert at AZB & Partners and is based out of Bangalore. She primarily focuses on advisory pertaining to Indian employment and labour law, drafting and reviewing employment agreements, training bonds, non-disclosure and inventions assignment agreements, confidentiality, non-solicit and non-compete agreements, termination, severance and release arrangements, company policies and employee handbooks, employee stock option plans and bonus plans. She has been actively involved in advisory pertaining to workplace sexual harassment, legal aspects of diversity and inclusiveness, including drafting and reviewing employment policies and educating employers on their duties and obligations in this respect. She also advices on issues relating to recruitment, retrenchment and disciplinary actions.
Veena is a law graduate from ILS Law College, Pune and is a member of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa.