Executive Team

Honorable Pierre S. Pettigrew, PC

Chairman

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew, PC is currently Executive Advisor, International for Deloitte, where he is a valued resource to senior Deloitte leaders in Canada and throughout Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu globally. In 2009 he chaired the Warwick Commission – an international commission of policy makers and researchers tasked with examining the global trading system and making recommendations about its future shape and direction. Hon. Pettigrew has led a distinguished career with success in both public and private sectors. He has led a number of senior departments in his 10 years as a minister in successive governments of Canada. From 1985-95, Hon. Pettigrew was an International Business Consultant with Deloitte. During his tenure, he emerged as a strong voice for business and an articulate analyst of GATT, World Trade Organization (WTO) & NAFTA negotiations. His visibility on international trade issues garnered an appointment to the federal cabinet prior to his election to Parliament. As Federal Minister, he chaired several working groups on tough international trade negotiations, and led trade missions to China, India, Russia, Germany, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Nigeria, Mexico and more. His international insight led to his appointment as Foreign Affairs Minister. One of his crowning achievements in this role was leading the nationally and globally lauded international policy review that provided the government of Canada with a fully integrated approach of diplomacy, defense, trade and development in international affairs.In acknowledgement of his many notable achievements and contributions in politics, public service, and international business and trade, U.K.’s University of Warwick recognized Hon. Pettigrew with an Honorary Doctorate of Law in 2008. Pierre is widely regarded as ‘India friendly’ and has built strong support within the ‘Indo-Canadian’ community.

 

Kam Rathee

Vice-Chair

Kam Rathee is a Special Adviser at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, working with the Firm’s India Practice Group. A leading authority on Canada-India business relations, he held the position of president and executive director at the Canada-India Business Council from 2004 to 2009. Earlier, from 2001 to 2004, he headed a Toronto-based international consultancy, assisting Canadian companies in India and Indian companies in Canada. From 1988 to 2001, as a top legal executive of Canada Life, Kam was senior counsel for its group insurance operations in North America, U.K. and Ireland, and later as chief counsel for their international operations, looked after their interests in India, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Macau, and the Caribbean. Kam relocated to India and, from 1983 to 1988, conducted a very successful international practice of law in New Delhi. This, coupled with his leadership role for Canada Life in India (1995 to 2001), gave him unmatched experience and widespread contacts in India. From 1970 to 1983, he was a senior in-house counsel for Crown Life in Toronto. In the social arena, he is the vice chairman of the Canada-India Education Council, a non-profit national association. In addition, he has served with United Way of Metropolitan Toronto, was chairman of Pickering’s Pine Ridge School Community Council, co-chair of Ajax-Pickering Transit Advisory Committee and a member of the City of Pickering Library Board, to name a few. Kam’s accomplishments to date speak to his being at home both in Canada and India and hence has a unique international persona.

 

Husain F. Neemuchwala

Chief Executive Officer

As past President and founder of International Center for Education (ICE), Husain F. Neemuchwala has been the recipient of various accolades for his work on international student recruitment. His areas of expertise include (1) Organizing fairs and recruiting events (2) Networking and Learning Events and (3) Education Consulting. As Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer, Husain continues to strive to promote education ties between Canada and India, including affiliations, partnerships, joint ventures & programming, conducting missions & delegations and other areas of collaboration which facilitate cross border education. Husain has facilitated networking and learning activities within Canada’s education community by delivering events such as the Synergy series, held every summer in Toronto. With Husain playing a key role at CIEC, the organization continues to play a critical role in the evolution of Canada’s education sector, especially in its ‘internationalization’ efforts, and has helped galvanize the ‘education corridor’ that exists between Canada and India. Husain is upbeat about how Canada is viewed around the world and works tirelessly in growing ‘Brand Canada’. He does, however, remind us that this work is a joint effort and all stakeholders need to work together to make Canada truly a desirable destination for international students and for education partnership. Husain has been actively championing Canada’s ‘internationalization efforts’ in India and is keenly following recent developments within the government’s policy in terms of the ‘opening’ of India’s doors.

 

vjVijendra “VJ” Gairola

Senior Strategic Advisor – India

A graduate of the Schulich School of Business, VJ is an Indo-Canadian and has over 18 years of experience in Trade Creation and Banking in North America, South America and Asia where he held progressively senior positions, shaping and supporting business interests of various organizations. He spent the last five years holding the Diplomatic position of the Country Head-India of Export Development Canada, strategizing and growing the presence of EDC in India, thereby supporting Canadian and Indian business interests in India. Under VJ’s leadership, EDC grew its Indian portfolio to over USD $3B with India becoming the 3rd largest revenue contributor to EDC.

A well-recognized expert in Banking and Trade, VJ is a frequent speaker at gatherings of businesses organized by the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments and is often quoted by CBC Radio, The Globe and Mail and other trade magazines. VJ also sits on the Board of Indo-Canada Business Chamber as well as on the Advisory Board of Zone Start-up (a start-up accelerator that is a JV between Bombay Stock Exchange and Ryerson) as well as PE fund run by Zone Start-up.

VJ is strategic advisor and representative of Canadian organizations in India in Infrastructure, Building material and clean-tech sectors. He also advises large Indian companies in Healthcare, Education, Water and Mining sectors in expanding across various sectors and geographies and negotiating tie-ups between Canadian and Indian companies.

 

vivekVivek Savkur

President – CIEC Canada West Chapter

Vivek has a wealth of business experience in a variety of sectors spanning from automotive and fibre optics to education and engineering. He his the owner of Savkur International Agencies and also serves as the Managing Director of Anand Commercial Services Pvt Ltd in Mumbai. From 2011 to 2013 he was the President of the Canada-India Business Council (BC Chapter) while acting as an advisor for the Bennett Coleman Company Limited/Times of India Group from 2012 to 2013. Vivek became the Resident Director of the Indo Canadian Business Chamber in 2007, the Director of the Hope for Orphans Society in 2009 and a member of the Simon Fraser University Advisory Council in 2013. His accomplishments allow for a glimpse at his interests as he helped bring the Times of India Film Awards to Vancouver in 2013 and, as a member of the Indian Automotive Racing Club, helped organize the first and second Himalayan car rallies. In 2013, Vivek was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for his service and dedication to his peers, community and Canada. For more information on the Canada West Chapter and a list of Canada West Founding Academic Members, click here.

 

CSAChristopher S. Anderson

Web & Digital Media Manager

Christopher works closely with members of CIEC’s Executive Team to effectively communicate their vision across the web in an efficient, user-friendly manner. His responsibilities range from website management, the preparation and coordination of the monthly DISHA newsletter, social media integration and marketing. With years of experience creating original web content and managing presences on different social networks, along with a B.Sc in Biology from Ryerson University and post-graduate diploma from Humber College in Global Business Management, he understands the strategies associated with successful project management. His goal is to use the web as a means to help bridge the gap between students hoping to pursue higher education internationally and institutions capable of shaping their future.