Ramesh Vangal

Founder & Chairman, Katra Group

Katra Group is focused on three sectors – Ayurveda, Nutraceuticals and Value-added Agriculture. Ramesh is Chairman of Kerala Ayurveda and other companies of the Katra Group. Kerala Ayurveda Ltd. (KAL) is one of the oldest (founded 75 years ago) full spectrum-listed Ayurveda companies globally. The company enshrines the authentic, traditional form of Ayurveda and Yoga from Kerala, with an ancient lineage going back 5,000 years. Its footprint spans Academies, Wellness Resorts, Hospitals, Clinics, Products and Services across India and the USA. KAL has over 400 products and touches 100,000 patients/year. Kerala Ayurveda Academy, USA, based in California, has trained and certified over 2,000 graduates. KAL has over 6,000 hours of education programs certified by California and Washington states in the USA. Katra Group also funds and supports Asha Foundation (www.ashafoundation.org), which helps children with special needs and impacted by cerebral palsy and operates an integrated school for children with autism. Asha Foundation is a key stakeholder of the Katra Group.

Ramesh started his career with Procter & Gamble (1980 – 1985) in Geneva, Switzerland, with marketing assignments in Europe, Middle East, Central America, the Caribbean and West Africa. Ramesh then moved to PepsiCo (1985 – 1997). He was President, Asia Pacific for PepsiCo Foods and a Member of PepsiCo’s Worldwide Executive Council. Before this role, he led PepsiCo’s landmark entry into India in the early 1990s. This was widely considered as a pioneering move in India’s opening of Foreign Direct Investment.

Ramesh was awarded Pepsi-Cola High-Performance Leadership Award in 1992. Ramesh Vangal’s name is engraved in the Pepsico Walk of Achievement at Pepsico Global HQ in New York. From 1997, Ramesh was the Chairman of Seagram – Asia Pacific, (now Pernod Ricard) and part of its global executive board. He was also the company’s joint venture partner in their India business. Ramesh was on the Board of Infosys Technologies Ltd. (www.infosys.com) as its first independent Director between 1997- 2002. In 2001, Ramesh founded the Scandent Group, now Cambridge Solutions, an India-listed specialist IT/BPO company. In 2009, Cambridge became a part of FTSE listed, XChanging Plc, UK.

Ramesh received his Engineering Degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and MBA from the London Business School. He became the first Asian to be awarded the London Business School’s “Alumni of the Year” honour in 1996 and served on its Global Advisory Board between 1998-2008. He is now a “Distinguished Friend” of the School. Ramesh was also honoured as a “Distinguished Alumnus” by the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai in 2007.