FC 2012 - Speakers

Tom Palmer
General Director
Atlas Global Initiative

Tom Palmer is Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, General Director of the Atlas Global Initiative for Free Trade, Peace, and Prosperity, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, and Director of Cato University. As Director of the Atlas Global Initiative he is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, China, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights.

In addition to his many articles and publications, he is recently the editor of The Morality of Capitalism: What Your Professors Won't Tell You, a slim collection of essays offering various perspectives on the moral justification of free market Capitalism. Contributors include a successful entrepreneur, John Mackey, two Nobel Laureates—Vernon Smith in Economics and Mario Vargas Llosa in Literature—as well as many other eminent intellectuals. He is also the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009.

He received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Swaminathan S Aiyar
Consulting Editor
The Economic Times

Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar is a prolific columnist and TV commentator in India, well-known for a popular weekly column titled "Swaminomics" in the Times of India. He is also a Research Fellow at the Cato Institute with a special focus on India and Asia. His research interests include economic change in developing countries, human rights and civil strife, political economy, energy, trade and industry.

He is the author of Escape From The Benevolent Zookeepers - The Best Of Swaminomics (New Delhi: Times of India, 2008) and has been called "India's leading economic journalist" by Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Institution. He has been the editor of India's two biggest financial dailies, The Economic Times and Financial Express, and was also the India correspondent of The Economist for two decades. He has frequently been a consultant to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Swami spends part of the year in India and part in the USA.

He holds a Master's degree in economics from Oxford University, UK.

Dilip Modi
Managing Director
Spice Mobility

Dilip is a new generation tech entrepreneur who has been spearheading mobility innovations.

Dilip started his career in the early 90s, working closely with McKinsey to restructure Group businesses. With an eye on the future, he led the entry of his Group into the sunrise telecom sector in 1995 by creating Modi Telstra, India’s first mobile service provider. He rose to become its Chairman in July 1999 before its successful divestment from the Group in 2000.

Dilip became the Chairman and Managing Director of Spice Communications, a leading telecom service provider in Punjab & Karnataka. He was instrumental in building ‘Spice Telecom’ as a dynamic mobile telephony brand, leading the company through a successful and oversubscribed IPO in July 2007.

Dilip is currently the Managing Director of S Mobility Limited, the emerging digital innovation company offering mobile internet products and services across India, ASEAN and parts of Africa. He is also on the board of several other Spice group companies including Spice Global, Spice Finance & Spice Enfotainment, in addition to being the executive Vice Chairman of Spice I2I.

Apart from managing his businesses successfully, Dilip is equally passionate about playing his role in nation building and this attribute is widely recognized by corporate India.

He is the youngest ever President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce (ASSOCHAM), the oldest chamber of India. He is very passionately driving the ASSOCHAM agenda of “Making Inclusive Transformation Happen” in the country. He was also the youngest Chairman of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), for the years 2004 -2005.

He was recently awarded the “Youth Icon Award” by the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry for his visionary leadership. He is driven by his firm belief of technology being the key enabler for achieving inclusive growth.

Dilip holds a First Class Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Technology from the Brunel University, London, UK. He has also done his Masters in Business Administration from the Management School at the Imperial College, London, with a specialization in Finance.

Bibek Debroy
Centre for Policy Research

Bibek Debroy is a professional economist and academic. He is currently a research professor at Centre for Policy Research, and also teaches at the International Management Institute. He has previously taught at the Presidency College, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, National council of Applied Economic Research. He has served as director at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies, consultant to the department of Economic Affairs of Finance Ministry, GoI, and secretary general of PHD chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Author of several books, including The Indian Economy: Towards a Take-off and together with Amir Ullah Khan, Intellectual Property Rights Beyond 2005, which examines the debate on IPR protection and the WTO from an Indian perspective. He frequently contributes papers and articles, and has been the consulting editor to some of the leading financial newspapers in the country. He is presently a contributing editor to the Indian Express.

Debroy graduated from Presidency College, and then went on to obtain his Masters from the Delhi School of Economics. He later attained an MSc Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently a member of the National Manufacturing Competitive Council. In 2010, he began work on a ten-volume, comprehensive English translation of the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata.

Parth J Shah
Founder President
Centre for Civil Society

Parth J Shah is founder President of Centre for Civil Society (CCS), an independent, non-profit think tank in New Delhi. CCS offers public policy solutions within the framework of the individual rights, freedom of exchange, rule of law, and limited government. It is currently focused on education reforms through the School Choice Campaign: Fund Students, Not Schools! and on livelihood deregulation through the Law, Liberty, & Livelihood Campaign and Jeevika Documentary Festival.

Parth taught economics at the University of Michigan before returning to India to start CCS. He has published academic articles in the areas of development economics, welfare economics, business-cycle theory, free or laissez-faire banking, and currency-board systems. He has edited Morality of Markets, Friedman on India, Profiles in Courage: Dissent on Indian Socialism, Do Corporations have Social Responsibility?, and co-edited Law, Liberty, and Livelihood, The Terracotta Reader, and Agenda for Change. He writes regularly in newspapers and magazines.

He holds a PhD in economics from Auburn University, USA.