Who We Are

Welcome to the ICfS, a London-based independent Research and Advisory organisation dedicated to fostering a deeper alliance between the United Kingdom, the West, and India.

ex oriente lux

Our Approach

We are a single point of access for policy makers, academics, journalists, politicians, writers, influencers and the public at large to better understand India and her diaspora.

The centre aims to deliver value to its stakeholders, entice funders to pay for value, and convert those payments to research with the potential to influence policy of governments and organisations with the aim of creating a Sustainable future.

We believe in Sustainable.

For us this means strengthening democracy, liberal institutions, the rule of law, delivering better governance, protection for all sentient beings, and our ecosystem, all underpinned by a robust ability to defend our interests. 

Our Team

Leading with passionate ambition.

Our team is composed of brilliant researchers and analysts, experts in big data, experienced strategists, people who understand diplomacy and policy implementation, as well as business and political leaders, and successful entrepreneurs. A diverse team composed of different nationalities, and backgrounds.

Ansgar engages with policy developments around the governance and regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He works with policymakers, regulators, industry leaders and other stakeholders to support the trustworthy use of AI for the benefit of people, society and organisations.

Prior to joining EY, Ansgar worked as a multi-disciplinary research scientist with peer-reviewed academic publications on topics ranging from governance of digital technologies, data-privacy, ethics, technology standards, bio-inspired robotics, computational neuroscience to experimental human behaviour studies.

Ansgar also holds an MSc from Delft University of Technology and a PhD from Utrecht University, Netherlands.

Charlotte, former Head of our UK-India desk, has now transitioned into an associate role at The ICfS.

She is a PhD candidate in Arab and Islamic studies with the University of Exeter University. Her research focuses on minority within Muslim minority conflict in the UK, in particular the persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the extent to which the UK is able to support this community.

Charlotte has keen interest in India and her diaspora. She has spent time in India, doing field work and has built deep understanding about the complexities surrounding Indian growth, her security challenges, and her diaspora in the West.

Charlotte has an LLB in Law and MA in Security and Strategy.

David is a former British diplomat and executive and now uses his extensive senior level experience in government and the corporate world, in the UK and internationally, to help business and government engage strategically and communicate in a language understandable to all.  He is currently Executive Chair of British Expertise International and Senior Adviser at the D Group, another business organisation, and the British Foreign Policy Group, a think tank.  He also works with innovative tech companies and on projects in India and Europe.

He has served as British Ambassador in Albania and Greece, and held senior UK Government positions in security policy, non-proliferation and export control. He has held executive roles with De La Rue plc and most recently as Executive Director of the Tata Group’s European subsidiary.    He was a Director of the UK-India Business Council and is currently Chair of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

David is a Fellow at the Centre directing the research and policy briefings around technology and sustainability. He co-founded Symbian in 1998, which pioneered the smartphone industry.

He has since exited and now spends his time writing and speaking on all things technology, especially focusing on the longer term trends of AI, technology and regulation.

His background is in designing, architecting, implementing, supporting, and avidly using smart mobile devices. This includes ten years with PDA manufacturer Psion PLC, ten more with smartphone operating system specialist Symbian Ltd, and three years as CTO (Technology Planning Lead) for Accenture Mobility.

In 2009, he was included in T3’s list of “100 most influential people in technology.’ He has an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University and an honorary doctorate in science (DSc) from the University of Westminster.

Dr. Dheeraj Paramesha Chaya is a lecturer in Criminology at the School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing.

He has a PhD in Intelligence Studies from the University of Leicester for his study on the impact of India’s intelligence culture on its strategic surprises.

Dheeraj is the author of the book ‘India’s Intelligence Culture and Strategic Surprises: Spying for South Block’, which is the first academic work on India’s foreign intelligence.

Besides academic research, Dheeraj has been imparting training to Indian security forces in the fields of intelligence and national security.

Dheeraj’s research interests lie in the area of strategic intelligence and counterintelligence for national security, sub-state conflicts, radicalisation and de-radicalisation.

Dina is a solicitor by training and an advocate and activist for animal rights in the UK. She has lead campaigns that intersect around animal welfare, the environment, and culture.

Dina is a qualified solicitor, having qualified in 2007. She has worked in both public and private sectors. Currently she is a lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s Business School teaching law.

Erik Solheim is a well-known global leader on environment and development as well as an experienced peace negotiator. He served as Norwegian minister of Environment and International Development from 2005-2012.

He led the peace efforts in Sri Lanka from 1999-2009 as the main negotiator of the peace process and played a vital role in peace processes in Nepal, Myanmar and Sudan. Erik was the Executive Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (the main body of world donors) from 2012-2016 and Executive Director of UN Environment from 2016 to 2018.

Erik is chairman of the development roundtable in Green Hydrogen Organization, adviser to Global Wind Energy Council and board member of International Hydropower Association.

Erik is honorary professor at Tsinghua University (Beijing), Jiaotong University (Shanghai), Chengdu University and Southeast University (Nanjing). He is also honorary professor at the Kalinga Institute in Bhubuneswar, India.

Harsh Gupta Madhusudan is an India-based economist, investor and author, and is on the board of National Stock Exchange IX.

He has written two books, the latest being ‘A New Idea of India’, and has notably written many columns over the last 15 years.

He is a graduate of INSEAD (MBA) and Dartmouth College (Economics). His earlier work is in strategy consulting and development economics. 

Kiran is working across Western Europe with a specific focus on Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany specialising in financial crime, surveillance and governance domain.

He also leads the AI ethics and Sanctions screening competency for EY Netherlands. He has worked in New York for more than a decade before moving to Amsterdam in 2020.

He is considered as a trusted advisor for senior executives in risk regulatory, compliance governance domain considering his expertise in the US and European regulations.

Kiran holds a MSc in Engineering Management (with Finance) and two under-graduate degrees.

Lavanya Vemsani is a professor of History specialising in Indian History and Religions in the department of Social Sciences at Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, Ohio.

She holds two doctorates in the subjects of Religious Studies (McMaster University) and History (University of Hyderabad). She was awarded South Asia Council of the Canadian Asian Studies Association’s (SACA/CASA) Best Thesis Honourable Mention prize for her Ph.D. thesis at McMaster University.

Her research and teaching interests are varied, and multifold. She researches and publishes on subjects of ancient history and religions as well as current history of India.

Professor Nawal Prinja, Trustee and Director at the centre, has 35 years of academic and industrial experience in the civil and defence nuclear sector. He is Technical Director of Clean Energy, AMEC Foster Wheeler, which has 1500 engineering and technology professional staff.

In his current role, he is responsible for managing technical capability, technology development and performing engineering and technical governance. He holds the position of Honorary Professor at two British universities (University of Aberdeen and Brunel University in London). He chairs the Industrial Advisory Committee of the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC). He has published 3 books and over 45 technical publications related with structural integrity.

Naval has been studying Indian history and philosophy for many years and regularly speaks about the pluralism and antiquity of the Hindu traditions of India. He has also written extensively around the provision of religious education in British schools. He guides and sponsors research applications at the centre and provides guidance on policy.

Nitish is a D.Phil. scholar at the University of Oxford. Earlier, he studied law and got enrolled as an Advocate (Solicitor and Barrister) in India. He furthered his academic journey with two master’s degrees, earning an LL.M. with a Gold medal from the National Law University in Delhi and an MSc. from the University of Oxford, where he was fortunate to receive multiple scholarships.

In 2020, Nitish was appointed by the Chief Justice of India as Law Clerk-cum-Research Assistant to a sitting Supreme Court Judge, a role that broadened his legal perspective.

 
Throughout his professional journey, Nitish has specialised in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law, gaining invaluable experience and expertise in these pivotal areas of legal practice.
 
Additionally, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing legal education and access to justice in India by co-founding the ‘Young Leaders for Legal Literacy Foundation.’ This initiative has successfully conducted numerous socio-legal research projects and legal literacy programs in over 100 districts across India, earning recognition from esteemed organizations such as International Bridges for Justice in Geneva and the Oxford Pro-bono group.
 

Pavel Cenkl is the Founder and Director of the Regenerative Learning Network (RLN) and has worked internationally for more than 20 years as a practitioner, educator, author and speaker.

He has worked in leadership of educational organisations in the US and the UK where has helped to foster regenerative learning, organisational and governance strategies.

Most recently the Head of Schumacher College in Devon, England, Pavel has written and presented widely in the areas of curriculum design and pedagogy, global learning networks, environmental humanities and philosophy and has co-developed interdisciplinary programmes in ecology, humanities, and sustainable and regenerative food and farming.

Pragna Shikotra, an accomplished chemist, and holds a BSc and MSc in Chemistry from Leicester University.

With a rich background in research and development, membership with the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and passion for skincare, she’s lent her expertise to industry giants like Boots and Reckitt Benckiser, as well as UK-based contract manufacturers.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Pragna is a committed member of Vichaar Manthan, showcasing her commitment to in intellectual discourse and community engagement.

Pravar Petkar is a PhD Law candidate at the University of Edinburgh. His research is in UK constitutional law and constitutional theory, with a focus on territorial pluralism, sovereignty, and popular legitimacy. His doctoral thesis explores the constitutional role of the people in the UK, with reference to referendums and the devolution settlements.

Pravar has also worked with Vichaar Manthan UK, a public engagement platform exploring issues facing British society from a Hindu lens. He has been part of public discussions on local government and electoral reform in the UK, Hindutva and Hindu nationalism.

He holds an undergraduate Law degree from Clare College, University of Cambridge and an LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Preriit has almost a decade of experience in advanced data analytics and strategic insights. Preriit was a Director of Data Science at Kantar, one of the biggest market insight companies in the world and part of WPP group.

He was instrumental in developing one of the most advanced Data Science departments within Kantar.

Preriit has helped organisations answer different strategic questions by unravelling explicit and implicit human expression through mining of social and digital data alongside other data sources like consumer surveys, IoT data, CRM data, mobile behavioural data, weather data and locational data.

He supports both research and policy, as well as our strategic advisory services.

Dr Ramesh Pattni is a psychologist and a Hindu theologian whose research is in the intersection of these traditions.

He has deep interest in presenting the psychological concepts, tools, and techniques of the ancient traditions in today’s world for mental well-being.

He obtained a doctorate from the University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology and Religion, based on his research into Patanjali’s text on Classical Yoga – the Yogasūtra and Western Positive Psychology.

He also has three master’s degrees in psychology, psychology of religion, and study of religion. He was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2020 by Her Majesty the Queen.

Ravi is highly experienced in Private Equity and executing buy and build strategies. He has years of experience in advanced financial modelling and had led commercial, financial, operational, and legal due diligence on target acquisitions and launch platforms. His particular area of expertise is in the Healthcare and Real-Estate sectors.

Ravi is well known known for thinking strategically, leading teams and delivering innovative solutions.

Sachin is deeply passionate about sustainability and is the founder, director & trustee of the ICFS.

He has over 10 years’ experience in private equity, capital raising, investments and exits. He has sat on multiple boards as an executive and non-executive member bringing his expertise on growth, buy and builds, capital structuring and new market access. He has been CEO of a dental chain, and a partner at Pillbox Capital, a healthcare specialist fund.

Sachin was recognised by India Global magazine as a top 100 influencer pioneering UK-India relations in 2018. 

Shalini is the Martin J. and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at North-western University.

She is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist whose ethnographic research focuses on language use, race, caste, youth, Generation Z, media, and advertising in the South Asian diaspora.

She is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and has received research funding from NSF, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, SSRC, and the Spencer Foundation. She is the author of many literatures including Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about Generation Z’s New Path to Success. She has been interviewed by a wide range of media outlets and published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the LA Times.

Shaurya is member of the International Senior Team of Greater Pacific Capital, focusing on deal origination and the management of senior external relationships for the firm.

Prior to joining GPC, Mr. Doval co-founded Zeus Capital, an Indian infrastructure-focused investment bank that has closed more than US$1bn of transactions across multiple geographies and sectors.

Formerly, he was a Director in the principal finance business of GE Capital in London, where he worked on a number of the firm’s key equity investments. He’s also the founding director of the India Foundation, a think tank based in New Delhi, India.

Shaurya has an MBA from the University of Chicago and London Business School and is a qualified accountant.

Shruti Kapil worked as a consultant for both the private and public sectors, specialising in conflict resolution, building sustainable peace, and promoting development through strategic communication.

She has worked with think tanks and institutes in India and abroad on initiatives to counter violent extremism. Prior to consulting, she worked in the political division of the Embassy of Israel in India, assisting diplomats in strengthening Indo-Israel relations.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in Clinical criminology from the U.K., and an executive certificate in counter terrorism studies from Israel.

Dr Tony Sewell CBE is Chair of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. He is an international education consultant who is head of ‘Generating Genius’, a ground-breaking charity which works to ensure that talented students from BAME backgrounds are positioned to excel in STEM careers.

He has extensive experience in the Education sector, training first to be a teacher at Sussex University and then working for many years in some of London’s most challenging schools. It was in this period that he worked on his seminal PhD ‘Black masculinities and schooling’ which led to several key publications.

Amongst his accomplishment’s Dr Sewell has been an international consultant in education for the World Bank and Commonwealth Secretariat, he’s served as a board member of the Youth Justice Board for England & Wales and he was formerly a columnist for the Voice newspaper- publishing widely on race, masculinities, Black history and Education.

Dr Sewell was awarded a CBE in 2016 for his work in Education. 

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