President (FORGE) & Managing Director
Coimbatore Innovation & Business Incubator (CIBI)
(A Sakthi Group Company)

 Leadership Summary

Shankar Vanavarayar is an accomplished business and organization leader, a reputed public speaker, successful entrepreneur and a visionary educationist. In a highly dynamic and diversified professional career spread over 15 years he has held leadership positions in Sakthi business conglomerate, Sakthi education institutions, social development organizations and programs, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Shankar has a proven track record in building teams, strategic planning, managing programs and operations in multiple domains spanning business (textiles, automotive, financial services, agri-foods, retail), education (arts, science & technology), culture and heritage, community and social development, international youth affairs, cross-national institutions and alliances etc.

As the National Chairman of Young Indians (YI) in 2011-2012, Shankar played a key role in the creation of the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE). He also led Indian delegations and has represented India as the Global Young Leader in the BOAO Forum in Hong Kong (2011) and China (2012) and has delivered keynote speeches at the Commonwealth Business Forum London, CHOGM Perth summit (2011), G20 France, and Aspen Institute Seminar, Italy (2010).

As President of KCT and as Vice-Chairman of National Council for Higher Education in CII, Shankar aims at transforming the Indian higher education system through path-breaking reforms in governance, learner-centric academic programs and infrastructure, research & innovation oriented industry partnership, international collaboration among others. Shankar has led strategy, events, publications, communications and policy making within CII at the regional (South India) and the national level in areas such as higher education, youth affairs, entrepreneurship, family business and skill building.

Leadership in Business & Entrepreneurship

  • Leadership in Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Executive Director of Sakthi Auto Motors from 2001 onwards
  • Managing Director of Coimbatore Innovation and Business Incubator from 2014
  • CEO of Sri Sakthi Textiles from 2002 to 2008
  • Director of ABT Foods Retailing Pvt. Ltd
  • Director of Sakthi Finance Ltd
  • Director of Sakthi Realty Infrastructure Ltd

Leadership in Education

  • Joint Correspondent of Kumaraguru College of Technology from 2012 onwards
  • Vice President – Suddha Sanmarga Nilayam
  • Correspondent of NIA Educational Institutions from 2008 to 2012
  • Director of Global Pathway School
  • Member, Governing Council, Nachimuthu Polytechnic College from 2008 onwards

Leadership in CII

  • Co-Chairman of CII National Higher Education Committee for 2014-2015
  • Co-Chairman of CII National Family Business for 2012-2013
  • National Chairman of Yi for 2011-2012
  • Chairman of Yi Coimbatore Chapter for 2008-2009

Leadership in Arts, Culture & Heritage

  • Managing Trustee of The Vanavarayar Foundation
  • Member of Executive Council of Crafts Council of India
  • Member of Apex body of Siruthuli
  • Convener of INTACH, Coimbatore Chapter and Co Convener of Thanjavur Chapter
  • Founder and Convener of Coimbatore Vizha

Awards & Recognition

  • CII President Award in 2012
  • Nominated as India’s Global Young Leader Representative at the BOAO Forum in China (2012) and presented to the Chinese Premier H.E. Li Keqiang
  • Invited Speaker at the BOAO Forum (China’s equivalent of the World Economic Forum) in Hong Kong (2012)
  • Nominated as Chairman of Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD) in 2013, Led the Indian delegation for the summit
  • Nominated Member of Association of Business Scholars in UK
  • Invited Keynote Speaker at the Commonwealth Business Forum in CHOGM in Perth (2011)
  • Invitee to the Aspen Institute Italia Seminar in Italy (2011)
  • Invited Speaker (CII Delegation) to the Indo-US Higher Education Summit, Washington DC (2011)
  • Invited speaker at Commonwealth London, G20 France and LSE (2011 & 2012)
  • Invited Keynote Speaker at the “Responsible Corporations” seminar held in LSE, Sep-2013
  • Invited Speaker to CII CEO Delegation to India NZ Business Council Summit 2015, Mar-2015, Auckland