Ajai Pic

Mr. Ajai Rana


RiceTec Business Head – Asia Pacific Region

CEO and Managing Director, Savannah Seeds Pvt Ltd (Indian subsidiary of RiceTec Inc.)


Ajai Rana is CEO and MD of Savannah Seeds. He is a seasoned Agriculture Industry executive with over 32 years of professional experience in diverse commercial operations, business development, strategy and leadership roles across in Asian and North America region. Ajai began his career with American Cynamid in 1992 and later joined Monsanto in 1995, where he held diverse sales, marketing, product management, strategy and operational leadership positions, including responsibilities of Director Sales and Corn business for Monsanto India, Corn Traits Pricing, Agronomic Zones and biotech products commercial valuation and launch for US corn market. In 2010, he joined RiceTec as Director Business Development at Alvin Texas headquarters, where he successfully developed Asia business expansion strategy, and subsequently moved to India and founded Savannah Seeds. By successful introduction of Smart rice hybrids and acquisition of Ganga Kaveri (GK) rice seed business, Ajai has successfully led Savannah to become a leading rice seed and technology player in South Asia region. In October 2023, Ajai role is expanded to lead Asia-Pacific business expansion of RiceTec. 

Ajai has served on the international committee of American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), Board member and Vice Chairman of Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII), advising several rural NGOs and academic institutions. He holds a master’s degree in Plant Breeding from CSK HP Agriculture University, Palampur and an MBA in Marketing from Punjabi University Patiala, India. In his spare time, Ajai enjoys playing badminton, cricket, farming and traveling. He is also a proud rice, mustard, turmeric, and timber plantations farmer.

Mr. Rajvir Singh Rathi

Vice Chairman

Director Public Affairs, Science  and Sustainability (South Asia ) &

Lead –  Traits Licensing Business with Bayer division CropScience, New Delhi, India.

Email –   rajvir.rathi@bayer.com  Mobile –  +91 9910472728

Rajvir, a Post Graduate and a gold medalist in Agriculture, has more than two decades of experience in Corporate Affairs in Agri – Input Industry spanning : Regulatory Affairs, Scientific Affairs, Government Affairs, Industry Affairs, Public Affairs, Corporate Affairs/Communications   and Agri- Product Stewardship.

Rajvir, over the last decade has created the key linkages among various key agricultural stakeholders and Agri input – Industry. These linkages have now become the platforms for various Public Private Partnerships and combined initiatives. As a part of organizational strategy, he has conceptualized, created and managed the first product stewardship team in India in the area of Crop Biotechnology, for preventing value drain of intellectual property in the larger Interest of Indian Agri – Input industry. 

Having started his professional career  with Bayer,  has spent almost 25 years in the areas of sales, registration, product approvals, public – private partnerships through collaboration and coordination with various national and state level public and private institutions. He has been instrumental in setting up functions of Corporate, Industry and Government Affairs in many Agri input companies, the same functions are now an integral and a critical part of any progressively forward-looking organization.

He has always been a proponent of sustainability in any endeavor he has initiated. The basic criterion of having a win – win situation for all the stakeholders in the Industry has been the foundation for his ideology. Value capture at all the stages ranging from product conceptualization, Innovation, commercialization, cultivations and returns to the farmers has been his forte till date. 

Rajvir is holding senior positions in several committees of Asian and Indian Industry Chambers. Rajvir  is a Leadership Team member of Crop Science Division for India Bangladesh and Srilanka Cluster of Bayer Crop Science limited.

Mr. Shirish Barwale

Vice Chairman

Managing Director ,Mahyco Pvt ltd


Shirish Barwale  is leading Mahyco as the Managing Director. After completing his  graduation in Science and Business administration from Cornell University, USA, he did his post graduation in Management from INSEAD, France. He has been associated with Mahyco Grow group for over twelve years. Prior to joining Mahyco Grow, Shirish Barwale worked with Morgan Stanley, and Boston Consulting Group in USA. Mahyco Grow is a leading agriculture focused corporate group in India, and Mahyco is the pioneering hybrid seeds company in the group.

In the recent past, he has been instrumental in the strategic expansion of  Mahyco both in India and in the international markets -in about 15 countries covering African continent and South- East Asia.

Dr Venkat Profile pic

Dr. Venkatram Vasantavada

Finance Director

Dr Venkatram Vasantavada is currently Managing Director & CEO of SeedWorks International Pvt Ltd, featured among India’s Great Mid-Size Workplaces and Best Workplaces in the Agriculture and Allied industry for the last successive 3 years. He has over 31 Years of work experience with best-in-class MNCs and large Indian Corporates including Dupont-Pioneer(Now Corteva), Monsanto, Advanta-UPL, Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemical corporation Ltd & VST Industries, Voltas, and Real Value Appliances.

He worked extensively across Asia and Africa in markets served by small and marginal farmers in the last 20 Years . His diverse Industry experience includes Agricultural inputs, FMCG, Durables and Telecom in areas of operations management, strategic planning, and business development. He is a Graduate in Dairy Technology with Post Graduate diploma in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management, Anand(IRMA) and a PhD in Business Management from Chitkara University, Chandigarh. He has many accolades to his credit including Entrepreneur of the Year Award-2019 by HMA( Hyderabad Management Association), Rural Management Association of India(RMAI) Leadership Award-2016 apart from featuring as most admired rural management professionals. He has keen interest in contributing to Agri Management education and is associated with KSRM( Kalinga School of Rural Management)-KIT University, Sagar Group of Institutes and Centre for Agri Management, Utkal University in their Board of Studies and as their advisor. He is a management committee member in HMA, RMAI and an active member of FICCI Agri Start up. 

Mrs. Anuja Kadian


Government & Industry Affairs Director (Asia Pacific) Corteva Agriscience 

Anuja has 18+ years of experience in non-market strategy and help global companies and start-ups navigate complex policy environment, mitigate risks and create social impact across highly regulated sectors such as aerospace & defense, agri & food, digital & internet, healthcare and telecom. As Government & Industry Affairs Director at Corteva Agrisciences, Anuja works with governments and policy shapers across the region to advocate for science-based solutions that enhance food security, protect biodiversity, and address climate change. Anuja is an Electronics Engineer and holds MBA from MIT-Sloan School of Management. She is an amateur painter. In free time, she loves solving puzzles with her 9yr old son.

Mr. Atul Sah


Head Business Operations: VNR Seeds Pvt Ltd 

Mr Atul Sah brings over 25 years of extensive experience in the agribusiness sector and is a post graduate in Agricultural Statistics from G B Pant University of Agriculture and technology. As the Head Business Operations at VNR Seeds and part of the management team, he oversees multiple functions like Sales, Marketing, Product Development and Customer service. Since joining VNR in 2008, he has played a pivotal role in driving the organization's revenue growth. His professional expertise, innovative business strategies, operational prowess, customer-centric approach and profound understanding of the agricultural sector dynamics have been instrumental in the company's expansion. Under his leadership, VNR has significantly expanded its reach with the diversified product portfolio of Vegetable, Fruit, and Cereal crops, both in India and overseas markets. Before joining VNR, Atul worked at Monsanto, where he managed product development and sales across diverse geographical regions. He also serves as a member of the advisory board at the Utkal Management Institute, Bhubaneshwar. Beyond his professional endeavours, Atul has a wide range of interests, including cooking, traveling, music and his recent exploration of farming.

Mr. Rajendran Ramasami


Managing Director, Rasi Seeds (P) Ltd.

Rajendran Ramasami (1969) is the second-generation entrepreneur and present Managing Director of Rasi Seeds(P)Ltd., Is one of the leading and pioneering seed companies in the country in terms of its role in research, contributions to agriculture & allied industries, its dedicated farmer services, consistent products strength, and popularity with the farming community.

With a passion to contribute and serve to the farming community, Rasi has planted the first seeds of life, a seed for life, for food & sustenance by his father Dr.M. Ramasami Founder-Chairman in 1973.

He is instrumental for “RASI” brand building among the farming community across India.He played a pivotal role to popularise Bt technology in cotton in India.Under his leadership he transformed the company into multicrops – Cotton, Maize, Mustard, Hy. Paddy, Wheat, and digitalisation of deploying world class IT based process control system for better & consistent quality control.He is a good humanitarian, philanthropist extending support generously in the areas of women empowerment, health, education and social welfare.He has received numerous accolades to his credit for the contributions to the farming community.

Rasi Seeds is celebrating its “Golden Jubilee” – 50 years of dedicated glorious farmers’ service.

At Rasi Seeds, we believe that every successful harvest starts with seeds of smile. Rasi Seeds is progressing forward with dedication. “TO BETTER THE LIVES OF FARMERS THROUGH QUALITY SEEDS & SERVICES

Mr. Sanjay Kumar Singh



Professional Synopsis:

Master’s in plant Breeding & Genetics, 1997

Dr B R Ambedkar University, Agra, India


Courses & Trainings:


Ø Marketing and sales excellence from INSEAD- Singapore.

Ø  Completed certification course innovation as the edge of disruption from INSEAD.

Ø  25 Years’ Experience of Agri Industry. 20 Years with Syngenta at different roles.

Ø  Currently Territory Head-South Asia (Veg Seeds) for Syngenta India Ltd, based at Pune.

Mr. Sameer Sawant


President – Business Development and Strategy at Namdhari Seeds

Experienced and visionary leader in the Hybrid Vegetable Seed Industry with over 27 years of extensive experience. As the President of Business Development and Strategy at Namdhari Seeds, I am committed to driving innovation, growth, and sustainable strategies within the agriculture sector.

I am also proud to serve as one of the Board of Directors at NSPL. My journey in the agricultural field has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a deep understanding of the complexities of the industry.


 President – Business Development and Strategy

Namdhari Seeds

 Board of Directors – NSPL 


Vegetable Seed Industry Expertise, Strategic Business Planning,Operational Excellence,Sales and Business Development,Product Development,Market Research .


Master of Science (MSc) in Agriculture

Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli Ratangiri

Year of Graduation – 1994

I am passionate about contributing to the agricultural industry’s growth and sustainability. My dedication to innovation, strategic planning, and operational excellence drives my commitment to building a resilient and prosperous future for agriculture.

Let’s connect and explore opportunities to collaborate, innovate, and advance the agricultural sector together.

Mr. Senthilnathan Sengottuvelu


S. Senthilnathan joined the Board of Rasi Seeds Group to lead the textile arm of the group in 1999. The division benefited greatly from Sen’s extensive industry experience and leadership skills, soon earning renown as the country’s best and highest quality yarn manufacturer. Later, as Executive Director of Rasi Seeds, he oversaw finance and administration and was Director-in-Charge when the vegetable seed vertical was established. In 2013, Sen was handed the mantle of Rasi’s cottonseed business, where he ably led the brand back to its position as a national leader.

As the Executive Chairman of the ACSEN Group (formed in 2016 since its demerger from the Rasi Seeds Group), Sen leads a team of 1,000 employees across its vegetable seed (ACSEN Agriscience) and textile (ACSEN Tex) verticals.

At ACSEN Agriscience, he sets and evolves the organization’s strategy for purposeful growth while nurturing a strong team to drive its execution. His strategy includes operational excellence, creating new markets, the pursuit of differentiation and responsible business development.

Sen is passionate about serving farmers by helping them earn more profits per acre, building a trusting and purposeful ambiance in the organization that nurtures transformational innovations and positive climate and health action. They fall in line with the ACSEN Group’s core belief of a Happy Planet, Healthy People.

In addition to his professional career at ACSEN, Sen was the Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries—Salem from 2012-13 and the CII Tamil Nadu Agri and Food Processing Panel Convener for three years since April 2018. He is an elected member of the executive committee of the Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance.

Sen is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the College of Engineering, Guindy, and a post-graduate from Loyola Institute of Business Administration with a Masters in Management Studies. He worked in L&T for nine years before transitioning to Rasi Seeds Group and establishing the ACSEN Group.

Mr. Swaminathan Nagarajan


Chief Operating Officer – Rallis India Limited

Mr S Nagarajan is the Chief Operating Officer of Rallis India Ltd. He is responsible for operations of both Crop Protection and Seeds businesses. He has a crossfunctional experience of over 30 years in Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Operations, Finance & Corp Planning areas.

Previously, he   served as the MD & CEO of Metahelix, an agribiotech company that develops, produces & sells hybrid seeds. He was also the  Executive VP-Corporate at Tata Elxsi Ltd, a technology services & product engineering company.

Through various phases of his career, he has managed large-scale activities involving large teams (1200+) and has worked in multiple places across India. Having worked earlier in Tata Cellular Ltd (which later merged with Birla AT&T Ltd to become Idea Cellular Ltd), the two telecom companies have given him the experience of working in unstructured & high-velocity startups & scaleup contexts. Prior to Tata Cellular, he worked in the Finance & Corporate Planning area at Tata Motors Ltd.

 In the past, Mr Nagarajan also headed Visual Computing Labs(VCL), the CG Animation & Visual Effects division of Tata Elxsi Ltd as its COO. He led several change management efforts at the exciting, but challenging business – initially setting up a studio in Los Angeles(Hollywood), multisite delivery centres, a JV in USA etc and then later implementing strong bottom line focussed consolidation initiatives. He is experienced in the full business cycle of incubation, growth & consolidation.

 Mr Nagarajan’s professional career began with the Tata Administrative Service in 1991. He holds a B Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and is a PGDM Gold Medallist from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has been on the Board of several industry associations(FSII, CCFI etc) and a  member of different committees( FICCI, FSII etc).

Ms. Ananda Thumrugoti


Ananda UVL

Ananda UVL, a former journalist turned agricultural advocate, has consistently championed the crossroads of agriculture, women’s empowerment, sustainable development, and emerging technologies. During her professional stints at The Economic Times and The Times of India, Ananda earned acclaim for her journalistic contributions. This expertise transitioned into two decades of impactful work in crop science and agriculture, with leading multinationals to facilitate impactful communication approaches, sustainable practices and innovation. Currently, Ananda is Head of Corporate Communications and Media Relations at East-West Seed India and Director for East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation, India.

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