Board of Directors

Dr. U.S. Awasthi

Chairman, IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited

Dr. Udai Shanker Awasthi is the Chairman on the Board of IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL). Dr. Awasthi was instrumental in architecting voice based advisory service for farmers through mobile phone, which has taken the shape of IKSL. Dr Awasthi was responsible for a large number of initiatives for the welfare of Indian farmers. Leveraging technology for the development of Indian villages is an area of his keen interest which drives IKSL.

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Presently, Dr. Awasthi is the Managing Director of Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative Limited (IFFCO). He enjoys the unique distinction of serving private, public and cooperative sectors of the fertilizer Industry in India. A hallmark of Dr. Awasthi’s tenure at the helm of IFFCO are the high levels of growth and excellent financial results.

Dr. Awasthi has held several positions in various bodies. He was elected president of International Fertiliser Industry Association (IFA), during 1997-99, which is an organisation of 457 member companies from 80 countries. He was the first Asian to occupy the coveted position of IFA.

Dr. Awasthi had completed his graduation in Chemical Engineering from Banaras Hindu University and had been dedicated to Indian fertiliser industry since 1967. As an internationally renowned chemical engineer, Dr. Awasthi has about four decades of experience which is completely dedicated to the fertiliser industry and Indian agriculture.

Dr. Awasthi is a recipient of several honours and awards for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the fertiliser industry and Indian agriculture. Dr Awasthi was conferred Honorary Doctorate during the 20th Convocation of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad held on Apr 25, 2006. He was also conferred the Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) by Vikram University, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, on March 2, 2008 at Ujjain.. He was conferred with Honorary Fellowship of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (I.I.Ch.E) during the Indian Chemical Engineering Congress (Chemcon - 2001) held at Chennai. He is the recipient of “Best Chief Executive of the Year 2002” from Minister for Shipping, Government of India during the Global Corporate Convention-2002 held in September 2002. He was awarded IBC Leading Engineers of the World - 2007 by International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England.

Widely travelled, Dr. Awasthi has more than 25 papers to his credit and has co-authored a book 'Fertiliser Industry in India'. In addition to professional interests, Dr. Awasthi is an avid follower of fine arts with special taste for paintings.

Mr. Rakesh Kapur


Mr. Rakesh Kapur is a Director on the Board of IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL). He has a keen interest in adoption of ICT for the betterment of the lives of people living in rural India. Under his guidance, IKSL has grown from a fledgling initiative to a sustainable venture.

Presently, Mr. Kapur holds the position of Joint Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer in IFFCO. He is responsible for planning, managing and monitoring all finance and accounts related functions of IFFCO. He has also been extensively involved with all the new Projects, Acquisitions, Joint Ventures and Diversification initiatives of IFFCO from their stage of inception.venture.

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Mr. Rakesh Kapur is an ex-IRS Officer of 1978 Batch, who held the rank of Commissioner of Income Tax in his parent cadre before he was absorbed in IFFCO in October 2005. He was awarded the “Best Probationer’s Silver Medal” in the IRS Batch by the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur. He has wide experience in Finance, Management, Business Strategy, Accounts and Taxation. He held various senior assignments in the Government of India, which included Joint Secretary (Commercial), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI); Director in the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Department of Fertilizers; Additional Assessor & Collector, Municipal Corporation of Delhi apart from the postings in the Income Tax Department as Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Deputy / Jt. Commissioner of Income Tax since 1978. He had also worked in Technical Services Department of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (Marketing Division) during 1975-78.venture.

Mr. Kapur has travelled widely and participated in various national and international Seminars and Conferences, and presented papers on different subjects.venture.

Mr. Kapur holds B. Tech Degree in Mechanical Engineering ( First Class with Distinction) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi and a Post-Graduation in Management.venture.

Mr. Manish Gupta


Mr. Manish Gupta is a Director on the Board of IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) representing IFFCO.

Presently, Mr. Gupta holds the position of Director (Strategy & Joint Venture) in IFFCO. Prior to this, Mr. Gupta was General Manager, Sr. General Manager and Executive Director and headed the Strategic Management Group. He was associated with setting up of Kisan International Trading FZE, Dubai, the restructuring of ICS, Senegal, Acquisition of Paradeep Plant from OCFL, Acquisition of Stake in Legend International etc.

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Mr. Gupta is an Ex-IRS Officer of 1990 Batch. He has held various positions in the I.R.S. Besides he has held the positions of Officer on Special Duty to the Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India and Dy. Secretary, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertiliser in the Government of India. He has wide experience in Project Appraisal and Management, Disinvestment of Government Equity in Public Sector Undertakings and Rehabilitation of Sick Undertakings. He has various publications to his credit.

Mr. Gupta holds B. Tech. Degree in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, India and Bachelor of Law from University of Pune, India.

Mr. Ranjan Sharma


Mr. Ranjan Sharma is a Director on the Board of IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) representing M/s Star Global Resources Limited. Mr. Sharma is also the Director of Star Global Resources Limited and has a rich experience in the Indian Corporate Sector and rural domain. He has a keen interest in exploring new concepts and innovative ideas for the development of the country, in particular rural India. He was a major force behind formation of IKSL.

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Mr. Sharma also conceptualized the idea of disseminating information pertaining to agri-practices, weather information, animal husbandry, market prices, pesticides/insecticides and other information relevant to day-to-day usage to farmers through voice messages carried on mobile telephones. After successful implementation of a pilot in 2006 with IFFCO, a joint venture company was formed.

After becoming an entrepreneur in 2006, he floated an NBFC under the name and style of Star Global Resources Ltd which invests in diversified businesses after evaluating their long term business potential.

Mr. Sharma has varied experience in the Indian corporate sector spanning over 30 years. He worked with traditional Indian business houses as well as multinational companies mainly in the fertilizer sector. His major accomplishments include implementation of mega sized projects, putting together management teams and financial structures for these ventures and setting up systems for running the businesses. He concluded more than a dozen international collaborations during his working career. He has exposure in dealing with top level government functionaries in Central as well State Governments in agriculture.

Mr. Sharma is a Cost Accountant, Company Secretary and Law graduate by qualification.

Mr. Ajai Puri


Mr. Ajai Puri is a Director on the Board of IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) representing Airtel.

Presently, Mr. Ajai Puri holds the position of Director, Market Operations in Airtel. He moved into this role after working as Operations Director for Northern and Eastern India and Bangladesh at Bharti Airtel. In this role, he was responsible for leading the market operations in North and East India in the new customer centric organization structure (B2C). Prior to this, Mr. Puri was Director and CEO for Airtel digital TV - DTH Services. Before moving to DTH, Mr Puri was part of Airtel’s mobile Business and earlier served in the role of CEO, Kolkata, West Bengal & Orissa operations.

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From the senior positions held by him at Airtel, Mr. Puri has made significant contribution towards driving the company’s revenue growth and market leadership in all operating circles during his tenure. His role was instrumental in driving leadership for Airtel in the DTH services segment - his contribution helped the business cross 6.2 million customer milestones within 35 months of launch and become the fastest company to join 5 million club.

Mr. Puri holds the degree of Post-Graduation in Commerce. With over 30 years of rich work experience, Mr. Puri has also headed operations of FMCG companies in previous positions held at VST Industries Limited (associate company of BAT, UK) and Cargill India.

Mr. Yogendra Kumar

Additional Director

Mr. Yogendra Kumar is Additional Director on the Board of IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) representing IFFCO. Marketing Director, IFFCO hails from the family of agriculturists and also holds a bachelor degree in agriculture. He has contributed more than 35 years dedicatedly in the service of farmers and cooperatives at various level.

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He has an ability to provide practical solution to the problem faced by the farmers. While working in various capacities in IFFCO, he has been instrumental in generating and validating new products and technologies for the benefit of farmers. He meticulously co-ordinated ‘Neem polyploidy’ research with Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. He is instrumental in development, production and marketing of seaweed extract based “Sagarika” a product which coincidentally also helps support fishermen families. He is in the process to develop nano fertilizer based solution for the farmers to reduce the consumption of fertilizer and improve fertilizer use efficiency. He has been a recipient of several awards and has also represented IFFCO in various national and international forums.

In addition to the Board of Directors of IFFCO, Mr.Yogendra Kumar is member of the Board of following subsidiaries of IFFCO:

  1. IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited
  2. Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative
  3. IFFCO-MC Crop Science PVt Ltd
  4. IFFCO Kisan Logistics Ltd
  5. Cooperative Rural Development Trust
  6. IFFCO e-Bazar Limited
  7. IFFCO Kisan Sewa Trust
  8. Indian Tourism Cooperative Limited (COOPTOUR)

Mr. Pratip Chaudhuri

Independent Director

Mr. Pratip Chaudhuri has an extensive experience in the Banking Sector of nearly 39 years.As the Chairman of State Bank of India, he managed aspects of Bank’s working with emphasis on Profitability, Asset Quality, Physical expansion, Human Resources, Compliance and Regulatory Issues. Previously as the Deputy Managing Director of SBI (International Banking), he managed the growth and development of the Bank’s overseas business.

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He has also has to his credit, being in charge of Bank’s retail operations in the states of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, covering 700 offices as the State Bank of India Chief General Manager (Chennai). He has extensive experience in handling and assisting the growth of the Bank’s commercial loan portfolio to corporates and large size firms, as the General Manager (Commercial) at State Bank of India. As the Chief Investment Officer, SBI Mutual Fund, he was responsible for investments and performance of all equity and debts schemes of SBI MF. He was also Managing Director of State Bank of Saurashtra from 2007 to 2008.

After completing his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from St. Stephen’s College (University of Delhi), he went on to pursue Master of Business Administration (Finance) from University Business School (Panjab University, Chandigarh). He is also a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers.

He plays an active advisory role as an independent director in various organizations like CESC Ltd., Visa Steel Ltd., Alchemist Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd, Cosmo Films Ltd. and Sundaram Mutual.

Ms. Mala Srivastava

Independent Director

Ms. Mala Srivastava is by qualification graduate in English Honours from Patna University and Master’s degree in Social Science with Diploma in Development Finance from University of Birmingham, U.K. She is an ex-IRS Officer and possesses rich experience in the matters related to administering the Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Laws having retired recently as Member, Customs & Central Excise Board. She also has valuable experience of policy formulation with respect to the Customs tariff, law and procedures, drawback, SEZ, etc.