Ampersand Group, a leading end-to-end solution provider in education and skill development services, has announced several new senior appointments, as it continues to strengthen its leadership team. The organisation has inducted senior industry leaders Anand Dani as Chief Executive Officer – Education, Consulting and Skilling; Raj Ahuja as Group Chief Financial Officer; Chinar Deshpande as Group Chief Information Officer and Pankaj Ukey as Head of Business – EdTech. The new leaders will be the key driving force as Ampersand embarks upon its next phase of growth.
Speaking about the leadership appointments, Rustom Kerawalla, Founder and Chairman, Ampersand Group, said, “As Ampersand moves forward in its vision to democratise the essential sectors of education, skilling and social welfare, we seek to create learning and livelihood opportunities, that transcend socio-economic, geographical and physical-digital divides, together with the government. I am confident that the stellar additions to our leadership team, with their wealth of experience, capabilities and business acumen, will further strengthen our mission to transform lives and contribute towards nation-building.”
Anand Dani joins Ampersand Group as Chief Executive Officer – Education, Consulting and Skilling services, with a strong background in telecom and education majors like Vodafone, Idea as well as Educational Initiatives. Having played a critical role in the telecom sector’s exponential growth in the last 2 decades, Anand foresees a similar growth trajectory for the Indian education sector, given its sizable young demographic dividend, opportunities for skilling as well as employment and rapidly evolving technology.
Speaking on joining Ampersand Group, Anand said, “In my view, Ampersand, with its vision to expand its portfolio beyond schools to include early childcare as well as skill development, can leverage its strengths of end-to-end capabilities, scalability, subject matter expertise and has the potential to become trusted partners of all Governments and Impact Donors. This will take us to the next level of growth and will help create a future workforce for India that is both educated and employed.”
Raj Ahuja joins as Group Chief Financial Officer, with over 30 years of experience across industries such as Technology, Media, FMCG, FinTech, Bank and financial institutions. He has been in senior finance and operations leadership roles at Yes Bank, Jio Financial Services, Star India, PayTM and Wipro and possesses a rich blend of experience in strategy, finance, commercial and operations roles.
Commenting on joining the Ampersand Group, Ahuja said, “The Ampersand Group is a leader in the rapidly-changing sector of education with technology influx. Given my experience working in sectors driven by technology, I look forward to enabling the Group’s growth towards an organisational structure that is led by automation, governance, compliance, processes and availability of information, making it ready for the next level of investment and value creation.”
Chinar Deshpande, who joins Ampersand as Group Chief Information Officer, has rich experience across large companies as well as startups. He has worked with Crompton & Greaves and Hindustan Unilever and has been part of the growth story of companies such as Future Group. He was also part of the executive team since the inception of Stellar Value Chain, one of India’s leading supply chain groups.
Deshpande joins Ampersand Group, with a vision to create an organisation that is digitally driven. He noted, “Ampersand Group is a pioneer in the education sector and has set new industry benchmarks. I look forward to contributing to the Ampersand growth story and digital transformation, as it moves into digitalisation of all its solutions and creates new product offerings in the technology sector.”
Pankaj Ukey, who joined as Chief Executive Officer – EdTech Business, has a strong background of having worked in the FMCG, E-Commerce and Technology sectors. He has worked with sterling companies such as Microsoft, EBay, Flipkart and Nestle in the past.
On joining Ampersand Group, Pankaj said, “No two learners are the same and an intelligent AI/ ML-based platform will drive personalised experiences for lifelong learning at every step of the “Learn, Earn and Grow” lifecycle. Our vision is to transition the traditional learning models completely online or to hybrid mode, by leveraging technology to impact individual learning outcomes. Ampersand’s capabilities offer scalability and flexibility across online-offline modes without any compromise whatsoever on quality, and this is what makes it a pioneer in shaping the future of education. I am excited to be a part of this journey and to join this august team of talented leaders in the group”
The leaders will play an instrumental role as Ampersand works towards addressing issues of equity, access and quality in education and healthcare sectors.