Program design and delivery of the 6th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum has been steered by a multi-stakeholder group providing strategic guidance. Representing various organizations with the common desire to communicate, lead and facilitate change in offering innovative solutions for the provision of affordable housing in Asia-Pacific, we are honored to have the following members on the steering committee:

Ajay Suri

Regional Advisor for Asia, Cities Alliance

Ajay Suri is the Regional Advisor for Asia at Cities Alliance. Mr. Suri is an economist and a development expert with nearly 25 years of experience in formulating strategies and managing people-centred development programmes across various states and cities in India, south Asia (Nepal and Maldives), Africa (Kenya), West Asia (Lebanon) and Central Asia (Iran). His main areas of expertise are urban poverty assessment, citywide service delivery profiling, participatory planning for livelihoods promotion and service delivery, programme management, and institutional strengthening for improved governance. Throughout his career, Mr. Suri has advised governments, civil society organisations and the urban poor on the formulation of policies, strategies and programmes in response to the needs and aspirations of disadvantaged groups, such as slum residents, poor households, women, tribal population, among others.

Anand Rao

Managing Director, Chaitanya

Anand Rao is the Managing Director of Chaitanya, he is one of the founders and promoters of Chaitanya. Mr. Rao has a MA in International Relations from Syracuse University, USA, a Management Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University. His earlier work experience has been in International Development at World Resources Institute, Washington DC and previous to which, with the Indian Corporate Sector at PepsiCo India and Bosch India. He comes to Chaitanya from Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (S3IDF), where he worked for five years. He has implemented several innovative projects such as providing solar lighting, pressure cookers and LPG connections to SHG and JLG members which employ microfinance to provide the necessary financing for infrastructure services. His work was focused in the districts of Chitradurga, Davangere and Bellary.

Anjali Karol Mahon

Head of Research and Policy, Indian Housing Federation

Dr. Anjali Karol Mahon, is the Head of Research and Policy at the Indian Housing Federation. Dr. Mohan is an urban and regional planner with a PhD in e-governance. Over the last 23 years, Dr. Mohan’s practice and research straddles urban and rural development, urban planning and management, public policy, information & communication technologies & development (ICTD). Dr. Mohan has also designed and delivered several training and capacity building programmes, both for state and non-state players. Dr. Mohan is on the board of India Habitat Forum and is a partner at Integrated Design.

Aravamuthan Ramesh Kumar

CMD, Swarna Pragati Housing

Aravamuthan Ramesh Kumar, CMD Swarna Pragati Housing, is a reputed banker with more than three decades of experience in India and internationally with State Bank of India (SBI). He has a deep understanding and knowledge of the Indian and global economy. He comes with a rich management experience and best governance practices in financial markets.

Previously as Chief General Manager of SBI, he headed the international offices and subsidiaries of the bank. He was previously CGM of State Bank India’s Maharashtra Circle. A number of innovations were introduced to boost promotion of savings and credit groups. The result of these initiatives is that Maharashtra is now the fastest growing state in microfinance, according to the State of the Sector Report on Microfinance 2008, with State Bank of India accounting for almost 80% of SHGs credit linked by commercial and cooperative banks. The innovative model of Shri Kumar was later embraced by the entire banking sector.

He has been associated with several prestigious bodies viz. Member, Academic Council and Visiting Faculty, NMIMS, Mumbai; Chairman, NABARD National Committee on Rural Habitat; Member, Advisory Committee, Development Alternatives, New Delhi; His contribution as Chairman of SME Chamber of India (Northern Region) has brought a vision to the Small & Medium Enterprises to develop into the International standard Enterprises.

H. S. Gill

Executive Director and Head, HUDCO - HSMI (Human Settlements Management Institute)

Dr H. S. Gill is the Executive Director and Head of HUDCO - HSMI (Human Settlements Management Institute). Dr. Gill holds a PhD in Economics from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has been associated with several eminent institutions such as National Institute of Urban Affairs, National Centre for Human Settlements and Environment and Institute of Economic Growth.

Hitesh Vaidya

Country Manager, UN Habitat

Hitesh Vaidya is the India Country Manager for UN Habitat. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of urban management, urban governance including in its ambit project management, financial management, local government finance and capacity building. He has demonstrated past experience of working on: complex projects involving financial management reforms and improving transparency; urban policy issues; and has commitment to improve the situation of urban poor.

Mr. Vaidya has worked as a Training Advisor at Indo-USAID Financial Institutions Reform, Sr. Municipal Development Specialist for the USAID FIRE Project. Mr. Vaidya finished his Bachelors in public administration and economics from Himachal Pradesh University and went on to earn a post graduate in urban planning and management from the University of Pune. He also holds a diploma in urban management and development from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies and an MBA from Karnataka State Open University.

Indu Prakash Singh

National Theme Leader - Urban Knowledge Activist/Citizens Rights Collective, Action Aid

Indu Prakash Singh is the National Theme Leader of Urban Knowledge Activist/Citizens Rights Collective at Action Aid. He has been a National Convenor at the National Forum for Housing Rights, prior to which he was the head for City Makers Programme for homeless and urban poverty at Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS). He has held the position of Director at Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan. Mr. Singh has a Masters in Philosphy, Sociology & Women’s Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru Vishvavidyalaya.

Kulwant Singh

Director, 3R Waste Foundation

Dr Kulwant Singh is Director of the 3R Waste Foundation - a non-government company set up in 2016. Dr. Singh has served as the former Regional Advisor for urban basic services to UN Habitat in India. Dr. Singh was Executive Director of Human Settlements Management Institute of India for twelve years. Dr. Kulwant Singh was also the Chief Technical Advisor for the Water for Asian Cities Programme Dr. Singh is a visiting faculty of the UNESCO-IHE Institute, the Netherlands. Dr. Singh has been actively serving in the urban sector for the last two decades.

Manikandan KP

Consultant, Ashoka India

Manikandan KP is a Consultant at Ashoka India as part of the Full Economic Citizenship Team’s Housing for All Initiative. His role extends from interacting with Financial Institutions to increasing their participation in the housing ecosystem targeting low-income households. His work involves building collaboration among financial institutions and citizen sector organizations to accelerate demand aggregation and home loan processing among LIG households. He is also engaged in working with a technology team to develop a technology platform which will enable all stakeholders in the housing ecosystem to participate at scale in solving this housing problem for LIG households.

With an MBA in marketing from the Thiagarajar School of Management and a graduate in electrical, electronic & communication engineering from PSNA College of Engineering and Technology; Mr. Manikandan brings with him 12 years’ experience in retail Housing finance. He has worked for Equitas Housing Finance Pvt Ltd, Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance Ltd, ABN Amro Bank & ICICI Bank Ltd. His interests include working on strategic platforms thereby bringing about operational changes to the processes & norms that are currently being followed. Mr. Manikandan firmly believes that all stakeholders together can solve & eradicate homelessness from this country.

Dr. Meera Mehta

Professor Emeritus, CEPT University

Dr. Meera Mehta is Professor Emeritus at CEPT University and an international consultant with 30 years of experience in water, urban development and infrastructure finance. She joined CEPT in 1979 and was the Director of School for Planning before joining the USAID’s FIRE Project in India and later the World Bank in India and its Water and Sanitation Program in Africa. She has also consulted for a large number of international agencies, national and local governments, and leading international NGOs. She studied Architecture at the under-graduate level and city & regional planning at the post-graduate level. She has a doctoral degree in economics.

Rajan Samuel

Managing Director, Habitat for Humanity India

Rajan Samuel is a strategic, international specialist in Microfinance and has vast experience of implementing and managing Economic Development and Microfinance programs in Asia, Africa, Eastern and Central Europe. In his experience spanning over three decades, Rajan Samuel has undertaken assignments in over 25 countries. His notable assignments include working for the World Bank for NRF, Habitat for Humanity International, Opportunity International, US AID, Danish International Development Agency, and British Retail Consortium (BRC), Khula Finance, DFID, IFAD, CARE, World Vision, DANIDA among others. Before joining Habitat for Humanity India, Rajan served as the housing finance manager with Habitat’s Asia-Pacific area office. Having a vast background in microfinance, Rajan Samuel has established 15 independent Microfinance institutions in 10 countries including Rural Banks, Cooperatives & Credit Unions and Non-Bank Finance Companies.

Royston Braganza

CEO, Grameen Capital

Royston Braganza is the CEO for Grameen Capital. Mr. Braganza joined Grameen Capital in 2007 to launch the organization. He currently oversees all aspects of operations in India. In his earlier assignment as Senior Vice President at HSBC, Mr. Braganza was instrumental in setting up and heading HSBC's Microfinance & Priority Sector business. Prior to that, he was the head of HSBC's SME Business. Before joining HSBC, Mr. Braganza worked in Citibank India for over 8 years in various assignments across the Consumer Bank and Corporate Bank.

Mr. Braganza is on the board of Sa-Dhan and a member of the Microfinance Resource Group. He has been invited by the United Nations to address various programs, in India and globally; promoting microfinance as a sustainable tool to eradicate poverty. Mr. Braganza holds a Masters in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies.

Sasanka Vedlidanda

CEO, Consortium of DEWATS Dissemination Society

Sasanka Vedlidanda is the CEO of Consortium of DEWATS Dissemination Society. Mr. Vedlidanda has earned his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and holds a MSc. from the University of Cincinnati, USA. He is a mechanical engineer from Andhra University and after his studies in the States; Mr. Vedlidanda worked with General Motors for 8 years followed by his return to India. He has been working in sanitation and food production sector for the last 6 years.

Shubhagato Dasgupta

Director, Scaling City Institutions for India

Shubhagato Dasgupta is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and Director of the Scaling City Institutions for India (Sci-Fi) Sanitation initiative. His current research focuses on drinking water and sanitation in India and the world, with particular reference to flagship government programs and service delivery challenges in smaller cities. Other major areas of work include urban infrastructure and service delivery financing, housing and slum rehabilitation, urban sector public finance, and urban environmental infrastructure planning, management, and investment alternatives.

Before coming to CPR, Mr. Dasgupta lent support to National Policies for Urban Poverty Reduction project; a collaboration between the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and India’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to develop pro-poor urban policies in 20 cities across 15 states.

Mr. Dasgupta was trained as an architect at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology in Ahmedabad and holds an MSc in housing and development planning from the Development Planning Unit of the University College at London. He is also currently undertaking a PhD at the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam

Dr. Srinivas Chokkakula

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Research

Dr. Srinivas Chokkakula is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research - a public policy research think tank based in New Delhi, India. Dr. Chokkakula also holds research positions at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and at the Department of Geography, University of Washington, USA.

Dr. Chokkakula is a political geographer with a Ph D from the University of Washington, Seattle; and has also earned degrees in environmental planning and civil engineering. Dr. Chokkakula is a British Council’s Chevening Scholar, and recipient of many other fellowships and scholarships. His work extends for over 20 years in academia, professional and voluntary sectors - covering wide-ranging topics such as water conflicts, natural resources management, urban and regional planning, governance in India, disaster response and reconstruction. His current research interests focus on trans-boundary water conflicts, development studies, and state-society relations in South Asia.

Suresh Koidhalli Krishna

Managing Director - Grameen Koota

Mr. Suresh K. Krishna was at the helm of activities at Grameen Koota Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. since its inception in 1999. He continues to be a non-executive Director. Mr. Suresh has also founded and run small business enterprises in computer education, industrial safety products and consultation in local area networks in companies. He has been instrumental in establishing various social enterprises such as NGOs, Industry Association, NBFC MFIs and other companies. Mr. Suresh has studied and observed the nuances of microcredit at various leading international microfinance institutions and has developed the Grameen Koota microfinance model. He has studied international microfinance models and strategies from several reputed establishments including Grameen Bank, Bankakademie, Germany and Harvard Business School, USA.

He has built GK into a large, reputed microfinance institution operating in 5 states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh reaching out to 1.2 million poor households with microfinance services.

Vasudevan Suresh

Ex- CMD , HUDCO

Has over 4 decades of experience in Housing, Urban Development, Infrastructure and Real Estate sector. Mr. Suresh is a strong advocate for sustainable development and the green building movement.

He served as the CMD of HUDCO till June 2002. Mr. Suresh has previously worked with the Tamil Nadu Public Works Department and Bureau of Indian Standards. Mr. Suresh is the member of CII National Committee of Real Estate & Housing, Member of Indian Merchants’ Chamber Housing Committee, MEDC and CREDAI. Mr. Suresh is currently the Principal Executive Officer of HIRCO, leading real estate development enterprise dealing with integrated and self-contained township development.