Managing Director & CEO
Puneet Kaura is the Managing Director & CEO at Samtel Avionics Limited, a key Indian player in high-technology products for avionics and military applications, rugged displays, cockpit displays and equipment for military and commercial platforms.
Puneet is a Management graduate from Bentley College in the United States, and has worked with Corning Incorporated, USA and Samtel Electron Devices, Germany before moving to India to build and grow Samtel’s avionics and defence business. Samtel’s joint venture with India’s major aircraft maker, HAL marks a new landmark in this business and Puneet has played a very responsible role in developing this JV. Puneet is also a core member of the team that worked on setting up Samtel’s joint venture with Thales – a world leader in the field of defence, and he is now concentrating on growing this JV into a leading manufacturer of modern avionics systems and opto-electronics.
He has put a great deal of energy into building Samtel’s core competence to compete on a global scale, and today Samtel is at various levels and kinds of partnerships with at least 5 of the top 10 global players in the Aerospace and Defence industry. Owing to his initiatives in driving Samtel to contribute towards the ‘Make in India’ program of the Indian govt., he was recently hand-picked by Niti Aayog for Prime Minister’s Champions of Change ‘think-tank’. He is now a part of a permanent team of Young CEOs who will share ideas with the Prime Minister and Niti Aayog to lead the transformation of India by the year 2022.
Under his leadership, Samtel has been awarded with Frost & Sullivan Hot Investment Opportunity Award 2009, and Indian Innovation Award 2010 by a leading Indian organisation. Puneet has also been recognised by Aviation Week magazine as one of World’s Top 40 leaders under the age of 40 in the global aerospace industry.
Chairman , Samtel Group
Sh. Satish Kumar Kaura is the Chairman of the Samtel Group. He founded the Group in 1973. Under his leadership, Samtel has evolved into a world-class manufacturer of high technology electronic display devices for televisions, avionics and professional applications. He has steered the Group to its current leadership position by relying on indigenously developed in-house technology. The group is presently focused on the evolving Defence Avionics domain in India. It has a joint venture with Thales France and HAL India and alliances with leading Defence & Avionics players overseas.
He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He has also the distinction of being a member of Defence Research & Development Organization's Review Committee & Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Council. He has also been the President of Electronic Components Industries Association and served as Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (Northern Region).
Mr. Kaura is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He is the first recipient of Indian Institute of Technology's (Kanpur) Distinguished Alumni Award (1989). The Electronic Industries Association of India and Consumer Electronics & TV Manufacturers' Association have honored him with their 'Electronics Man of the Year' awards. In 1994. The Society for Information Display USA conferred a Special Recognition Award in 2005 for his outstanding entrepreneurial leadership in the display industry in India.
Mr. Kaura was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2004 for his distinguished services to the nation, in the field of Science and Engineering.
Mr. Kaura holds an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and a Masters Degree in Electronics, from Carleton University, Canada.
VP - Operations
Rajiv Sethi heads the operations function at Samtel Avionics Limited, one of the leading businesses in the Samtel Group.
Rajiv has done BE (Hons.) and followed it up with a Post Graduate Diploma in Management with specialization in Finance.
Rajiv joined Samtel group as a Graduate Engineer Trainee in 1987 and since then has grown through the company’s hierarchy while working in different functions like manufacturing, maintenance, process engineering, corporate projects, R & D, etc.
Before joining Avionics business group, he was working as part of Plasma Display Panel development team for developing the technology and product indigenously. Prior to this assignment he was working as General Manager (Corporate Projects) and was responsible for evolving and setting up world class, state–of–art manufacturing facilities. Prior to the role in Corporate Projects, he was heading the Operations of one of Samtel group factories as Plant Head.
VP – International Business
CEO - Samtel Thales Avionics Ltd.
GS Selwyn is the Vice President – International Business at Samtel Avionics, and takes care of SA’s relationships with its global clients and partners. He is also the CEO of Samtel's JV with Thales - Samtel Thales Avionics Ltd.
Prior to taking up this role, he was at the helm of affairs at Samtel Electronic Devices GmbH, Ulm, Germany as Managing Director, and was instrumental in establishing Samtel as a credible new player in Avionics, Defence, Medical Imaging and Industrial segments worldwide.
Selwyn's educational qualifications include a degree in Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech), Post Graduate Diploma in Materials Management (PGDMM), apart from a MBA (International Business) from the European University, Munich, Germany.
Selwyn joined the group as an Engineer in 1990 and has been instrumental in leading the International business development efforts of different business domains across the group (for both Products & Services) , establishing and nurturing long term relationship with partners in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. During this period, he also contributed to the Strategic Planning division as a Divisional Manager, at the Corporate level.
CEO – Samtel HAL Display Systems
JK Dudani, an Engineering graduate from Bangalore University, joined Samtel Group of Companies as an Engineer Trainee in 1987. While pursuing his career, he gained an MBA degree, and also did a Certificate course in International marketing from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi. In a professional career of over 26 years, he has held important and key positions in different fields such as production, process, quality assurance, sales, marketing and business development functions.
In March 1999, he joined Bharti Telecom (Airtel) to head its international marketing division for export of telecom products manufactured and traded by the company. During his tenure in Bharti, he was instrumental in establishing the presence of Bharti’s products in over 25 countries (in retail and institution segments) spread across five continents. He was also nominated to CII National Committee on international marketing.
In Nov 2005, he rejoined Samtel Group as Head of Business Development in Samtel Engineering Services, which delivers end-to-end Engineering solutions (CAD, CAM & CAE) to overseas clients in Industrial machinery and Auto verticals.
In Jan 2007, he was appointed as the CEO of Samtel HAL Display Systems Limited, which is a joint venture company between HAL & Samtel. His endeavour is to make this JV company scale new heights in becoming a globally competitive business entity.
B.B. Mehta is the CFO of Samtel Group of companies. He is a qualified CA with over 26 years of experience in the areas of Finance and Accounts, and is adept at Corporate debt Restructuring (CDR),Cash Flow Management, Financial Strategic Planning, Fund raising etc.
He has a cross functional experience in project evaluation, budgeting, finalisation of accounts, risk assessment, auditing and development of MIS, and has a strong experience in managing accounting and financial control functions.
After doing his B.Com from Punjab University, and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he participated in a Programme on Advanced Corporate Finance at IIM, Ahmedabad. He started his career with Hindustan Tools &Forging Ltd, and then moved on to Modern Steels Ltd, Vardhman Group – Barbour Vardhman Threads Ltd., and Thapar Group - JCT Electronics Ltd. Prior to joining Samtel, he was working with Mawana Sugars Ltd – a DCM Shriram group company as Asst Vice President (Finance).
Advisor – Technology
Mr. PM Soundar Rajan is the Advisor – Technology at Samtel Avionics Limited, and advises SA in multiple domains in which SA operates.
He is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai, and has done his Masters from IISc in the same field. He commenced his professional career in 1973 with LRDE. During his tenure at LRDE he designed and developed digital communication systems.
From 1978-1996, he served as part of ADE contributing towards the Flight Testing and LCA Avionics Integration activities. He joined DARE (erstwhile ASIEO) in 1996. He contributed towards the development and integration of Mission Computer and other Avionics systems for the Su30 MKI aircraft under the project, Vetrivale. As the Chief Designer and Project Director of the MiG27 avionics upgrade, he has successfully upgraded the aircraft which is currently in Squadron Service.
Mr. PM Soundar Rajan assumed charge as the Director of Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), Bangalore in August 2011. He has contributed significantly towards development, integration and certification of mission computers for Su30MKI, MiG27 and Jaguar aircraft which are all in operational use. During 2011 to 2014, his contributions were towards evolving and implementing EW systems on combat aircraft He is the recipient of AGNI Award for excellence in Self Reliance for the year 2003 and DRDO Performance Excellence Award for the year 2008. He retired from DRDO after 40 years of eventful and fruitful service on 1stJuly 2014. He was honoured with a Fellowship with DRDO from Sept 14 to 31 August 2015.
Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani (Retd), PVSM, AVSM, VM (Gallantry) retired from Indian Air Force in October 2006 as Vice Chief of Air Staff after 40 years of a highly distinguished career. During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, he saw active service and flew 22 missions into enemy territory. For his outstanding contribution to the war effort, he was bestowed the gallantry award of Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).
He studied at La Martiniere College, Lucknow and is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College Wellington where he gained a MSc degree in Defence Studies from Madras University.
In 1984, he had the singular distinction of being selected as Leader of IAF team to train and induct the latest state-of-the-art Mirage 2000 aircraft from France. On return, he was appointed as CO of the first Mirage 2000 squadron of IAF, Battle Axes, and was responsible for successfully ushering a new era in air war tactics for the IAF. This combat expertise was gainfully utilised on his appointment as Commandant of IAF’s Top Gun School: TACDE, where he was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) by the President of India for his exceptional professional leadership. He served in several key appointments such as Defence Attache in Sweden, Principal Director Offensive Operations at Air HQ and Commander of IAF’s premier air base, Gwalior.
As Air Marshal, he was appointed as Commander-in-Chief of Strategic (Nuclear) Forces Command. As one of the pioneers in this exclusive appointment, he was responsible for successfully laying a strong foundation for the nation’s nuclear forces. He was then appointed as Vice Chief of the IAF and awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for outstanding service to the nation.
Post retirement, he has served in:
- Government’s Review Committee on DRDO
- Civil Aviation Committee for modernization of Airports & Nav Systems.
- Indo-Israeli Strategic Dialogue.
- MD & CEO of TATA Group aerospace company, NOVA Integrated Systems.
- CII’s National Committee on Defence.
- Global Zero movement on Nuclear Disarmament.
- RAND Corp Strategic Dialogue with IAF-USAF.
- Aspen Institute India (Ananta).
- Sr Advisor TATA Gp in Aerospace and Defence strategies.
Vinay Agarwal holds a degree in Engineering from IIT Kanpur and a degree in Management from IIM Calcutta. He has a rich and varied experience of over 30 years covering both manufacturing and service organizations, turnarounds as well as rapid growth, and a stint as an IT entrepreneur.
He loves to work in tough situations and has been instrumental in the turnaround of Shriram Needle Bearing Industries Ltd, a BIFR company.
The other organizations that he has worked with are Blow Plast, TCS, BPL Mobile, RPG Cellular, Grindwell Norton and Dish TV. He has also worked with TVS Interconnect Systems, Bangalore as President and CEO, prior to joining Samtel Color Ltd. as President. He is currently acting as Consultant to reputed Groups.
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