Our Patron & Board

Our Patron

Mrs. Indra Banga, The Caravel Group

Mrs. Indra Banga has been intrinsically involved with Sanskriti and Integrated Brilliant Education (IBEL) for over the past decade and is honored to take on the role as Patron.

Mrs. Indra Banga is a member of the Board of Directors of The Caravel Group and a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of The Caravel Foundation. Founded in 2015, The Caravel Foundation is a private Hong Kong registered charity with a focus on education and healthcare for underprivileged children, primarily in Hong Kong, India and China.

Through the Foundation, Mrs. Banga is deeply passionate about providing care, education and opportunities to disadvantaged young people, equipping them to become the productive and successful citizens of tomorrow. The Foundation has endowed the Indra & Harry Banga Gallery at The City University of Hong Kong, which has a vision to excel in research and professional education through artistic, innovative, technology-rich and cross-disciplinary exhibitions that engage with the community. The Caravel Foundation has created The Caravel Foundation Scholarship Funds at Dartmouth College, Duke University and Princeton University.

Also, Mrs. Indra Banga has supported Project WeCan, Future Hope, International Yoga Day, and Cricket Hong Kong, amongst other organizations. Through the Caravel Group, Mrs. Indra Banga has engaged in many COVID relief efforts in Hong Kong and India.

Mrs. Indra Banga is currently the President of the Hong Kong Indian Women’s Club (HKIWC), a position which she has held for a total of eight years. Through the HKIWC she has engaged in public and social work for the benefit of the Indian community in Hong Kong, has helped underprivileged children from ethnic minorities and the elderly, and has collaborated with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, OneSky, Children’s Thalassemia Foundation, and the Community Chest, amongst others. In addition to the HKIWC, she is actively involved with several other notable organizations in Hong Kong and India.  

Mrs. Indra Banga has been married to Mr. Harindarpal (“Harry”) Singh Banga for 43 years, and they share two sons and two grandsons. 

Our Board

Our Board is comprised of diverse group of professionals with a passion for supporting the marginalized non-Chinese speaking community in Hong Kong. Our Board members have a variety of business experience, and devote their valuable time serving our organization.

Manoj Dhar, Co-Founder & CEO

With over 21 years of rich and varied experience in the banking industry, Manoj Dhar has lent his meticulous organizational skills to oversee the growth of various educational initiatives in Hong Kong.

As the Chief Executive Officer of ‘Integrated Brilliant Education Trust’ he is extensively involved in implementing Chinese language support initiatives for the underprivileged ethnic minority children in Hong Kong. He firmly believes in empowering the children with practical life skills so that they are able to seamlessly integrate into the social fabric of Hong Kong.

In 2017, Manoj was crowned Champion of the Operation Santa Claus/ UBS NGO Leadership Programme. In 2021, he accepted the SCMP Classified Post HR Appreciation NGO Covid-19 Special Award on behalf of IBEL.

Manoj is a sports enthusiast and devotes a lot of his organizational expertise in developing and managing Girls’ teams at a premier Rugby Club in Hong Kong. He has also managed the Hong Kong national junior women’s hockey squad in the past.

Geetanjali Dhar, Co-Founder & Chairwoman

As the Co-founder and Chairwoman of the Integrated Brilliant Education (IBEL), a registered Hong Kong charity which enjoys a formidable reputation for its stellar work, Geetanjali is involved in formulating innovative solutions to the pressing social issues among the underserved population in Hong Kong. Geetanjali is honoured to take over the reins of Board of Directors as Chairwoman with effect from 1st April 2021.

With over three decades of rich experience as an entrepreneur, an educator and an equality & inclusion advocate, Geetanjali is committed to enhancing existing pedagogies in the field of language learning via her organisation Sanskriti Global. She has created unique benchmarking standards in the field of education. The organisations she founded, conduct programs for schools, universities across multiple regions (Singapore, India, Hong Kong) as well as various HKSAR departments. As a trained hospitality master trainer, she also lends her expertise to the hospitality industry.

Geetanjali Dhar, was elected as the Chairwoman of the board of directors at Women Entrepreneurs Network Hong Kong with effect from 1st June 2021. Intricately involved with WEN since 2016, she looks forward to further build upon and launch a range of new benefits for WEN members.

She is a post graduate in business management, a diploma holder in hotel management and is an accredited educator for Hong Kong. Geetanjali has received numerous awards in recognition of her outstanding work including ‘Woman of Influence Award’ by the American Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong in 2019; ‘Pioneering Women Leader’ at World Woman Leadership Congress in Mumbai and Hong Kong’s Women Leaders award in Hong Kong 2018.

Geetanjali is married to Manoj and they have two wonderful children Karan and Tanya.

Mohan Bharwaney SBS SC (Retired High Court Judge), Vice-Chairman

Born and brought up in Hong Kong, Mohan studied at Sir Ellis Kadoorie (AM) School and St. Joseph’s College before undertaking legal studies at the University of Hong Kong.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree and then took his Bar Exams in London, where he was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn. On his return, he was called to the Bar in Hong Kong in1978 and he has practiced here ever since, as Counsel and later as Senior Counsel, for over 30 years.

In 2010, he was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Hong Kong and was made the Judge in charge of the Personal Injury from 2010 up to the present, and also the Judge in charge of the Commercial List from 2012 to 2014. He was also appointed as Panel Judge under the Interception of Communications and Surveillance Ordinance from 2014 to 2020.

In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious Silver Bauhinia Star in recognition of his meritorious and dedicated service to the Judiciary and Hong Kong community.

Varun Bery, Board Member

Varun Bery is a Senior Advisor to both StormHarbour Securities (Hong Kong) and PayActiv, a fintech company headquartered in San Jose, California. Mr. Bery currently serves on the Boards of the Hong Kong Venture Capital Association (HKVCA) and the Harvard Business School Association of Hong Kong. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University.

Varun has been involved in Asian private equity since 1995 and previously headed TVG Capital Partners (HK) and also the Private Capital Asia Group at JP Morgan. He started his career at McKinsey and Company (NY) and also was formerly a Director of Investment Banking at CS First Boston (NY) and a Director at the Asian Infrastructure Fund (HK). Varun received an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School and a BA (summa cum laude) from Yale University.

Bryan Carter, Board Member

Born and educated in the UK, Bryan left England in 1968 for a supposed two year assignment in the Bahamas; he never returned. During the past 50 years he has lived and worked in the Bahamas, West Africa, the USA, and Hong Kong, arriving here in 1993.

A career International banker he worked some thirty plus years with JPMorgan Chase before his early retirement in 2003. He then spent five years as Chief Executive and Consultant wit Coutts Bank in Hong Kong.

Since final retirement in 2008 he has worked extensively with a number of not-for-profit entities including chairing the boards of the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and the Wells Music Society.

He has been an organist with the daughter churches of St. John’s Cathedral for over twenty years and was the Director of Music of the Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir for seven years.

Madhu Mahajan Gupta, Board Member

Having moved to Hong Kong just before it became HKSAR, Madhu has seen the city grow and evolve.

She is passionate about the city and about making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged ethnic minority children. She has been heavily involved with the inception and growth of IBEL, and took over as Chairperson in April 2019.

In her previous avatar, Madhu worked for many years as a tea-taster, buyer and blender with Lipton India, and also with Hindustan Lever. Madhu is an avi reader, and enjoys Yoga and playing Bridge

Lakshmi Mahey Laroia, Board Member

With a background of over 10 years in Television and Media in India, Lakshmi Mahey Laroia today continues to be involved in the industry in Hong Kong. Her company, Media Focus Ltd, has produced various performing arts events, as well as line produced several films in Hong Kong since 2004. She produces the annual weeklong Festival of India culture, India by the Bay in partnership with Teamwork Arts India and The Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

She has worked directly with children in several charities over the last 20 years. Both she and her husband are active supporters of several children’s charities in Hong Kong and in India.

She is a keen supporter and promoter of the arts in Hong Kong.

Lakshmi also paints and exhibits her work online.

Preneet Malhotra, Board Member

Preneet Malhotra has been in Hong Kong for 14 years. Born in the US, and raised in India, she returned to the US for her M.B.A. from Duke University.

Throughout her career she has held positions of increasing responsibility. Starting out at Mercer and PepsiCo in New York, going on to The Gap in San Francisco and then as Director, Strategic Planning and Development for Hutchison’s Retail division, A.S. Watson’s, COO/CFO of Asia for EA, Inc., and CEO of UTV’s New Media division, all based out of Hong Kong.

She has been active in the community and was on the Board of Hong Kong Academy for five years (four as Treasurer) and Chair of the Finance Committee, in its critical years of growth. She is also an active participant with the Chinmaya Mission in HK.

Elizabeth L. Thomson, Board Member

Elizabeth is the Chairwoman of The Amber Foundation Limited , her family’s charitable arm which has activities in Hong Kong , India and Canada providing scholarship and bursaries to young
women.

The Amber Foundation has run an Environmental program for 16 years rescuing airline kits and
hotel toiletries which are repacked and distributed to the homeless, women in shelters, refugees through over 30 charity partners in Hong Kong.
The second program – EMPOWER by The Amber Foundation is a year long program for ethnic
minority young women in University in Hong Kong which aims to enhance their chances of career
success and make them more visible to the business/ education community.

She is the Honourary Chairwoman of The Women Entrepreneurs Network which she co-founded in the 80’s . She is a member of the Asian Advisory Board for McGill and the founding director of The Women’s Foundation, Teach for Hong Kong and a past Governor of the American Chamber, as well as a past member of the Faculty advisory board for the McGill Faculty of Law .

She was awarded “ Women Entrepreneur of the Year “ by Amcham in 2008 and is well respected
for her work with Women Entrepreneurs .

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