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Management Team

Meet the people at GSF

“It is our responsibility to make every ordinary child into an extraordinary global citizen.”

Mr. Atul Temurnikar
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Global Schools Foundation

Executive Management

Rajeev Katyal


Mr Katyal has rich experience in the fields of education, skill development and the


He has over 35 years of experience in marquee organisations like Microsoft, NIIT and now Global Indian International Schools, a chain of 23 schools in 7 countries. An MBA from IIM Kolkata, he is currently the Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Global Schools Foundation. He oversees the operations of educations services in their Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, India, UAE, Vietnam and Thailand campuses. At Microsoft as Director of Education, he was responsible for the company’s relationship in the education space with Central and State Governments. During this time, he was in the School Education Committees of CII and FICCI. As Senior Vice President at NIIT, he led major organisation units like E-learning, International Education. He was the marketing head globally of NIIT Education as well as software businesses in the USA, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Far East and India. Mr Katyal is also an avid historian and has written and published a book on 700 years of Delhi’s history called: “Battles for Delhi – Dilli Kareeb Ast” in 2016.

Rahul Deshpande

Chief Operating Officer

Mr Deshpande is the Chief Operating Officer and a key part of the

central leadership team. He is instrumental in ensuring smooth operations of all 64 GSF campuses in 11 countries.

He has over 22 years of experience in a variety of sectors such as Consumer Products Marketing, Banking, Investment Management and Education across North America and Asia. He was most recently the CEO for K12 schools at Lighthouse Learning Group, a network of 50 K12 schools across India. As part of this role, Rahul led a 3x growth in student enrolment by setting up greenfield campuses and acquiring school brands. He was also responsible for launching new curricula and a custom built Learning Management System that allowed Lighthouse Learning to provide a standardized and high quality academic experience to its 40,000 students.

Rahul is a Mechanical Engineer from Pune University, has a post graduate diploma from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Prafulla Rout

Deputy Chief Finance Officer

Mr Rout joined GSF in 2011 to lead the financial operations of GIIS campuses


He has over 25 years of experience in statutory and management accounting, process automation and ERP implementation, financial planning, budgeting and reporting, acquisition, integration of legal entities, statutory compliance, business controls and financial risk management, liaison with financial institutions, investor relations, financial strategy and decision support. Mr Rout is a Cost & Management Accountant (CMA) and worked in the finance function of IT companies for 15 years before joining GSF.

Sanjeev Dubey

Chief Technology Officer

Mr Dubey oversees and manages all aspects of information technology for the

Foundation and GIIS institutions worldwide.

He has been instrumental in making GIIS a tech-first campus replete with an in-house ERP and online learning and grading systems. 

Abhilasha Deshmukh

Group Human Resources Director

Ms Deshmukh has more than 16 years of experience in human resources in various

industries such as technology, professional services and education.

She has an intense curiosity for people and a passion for making a difference in other people’s lives. Ms Deshmukh is a trained leadership coach and looks forward to facilitating her coaching skills in enhancing employee potential within the organisation.

Rajeev Koul

Deputy Chief Operating Officer (Dy COO) – ASEAN and North Asia

Mr Koul is an accomplished professional with 27 years of domestic and

international experience in education management, skill development, government and institutional business.

He has helped develop and manage more than 900 educational learning setups across 12 countries. In the past, he worked for organisations like Hero Group, Everonn Education, Apollo Tyres Group and Apeejay Education Society. Mr Koul has served as a member of NABET (Quality Council of India), BRICS Business Council for Skills Development Sector Working Group, and others.

Sarita Alurkar

Sr Director, Marketing

Ms Alurkar has 25+ years of experience in brand strategy and digital marketing for

top global FMCG and education brands in multiple geographies across Asia and the Middle East

Rathin Khandhadia

Director, Education Excellence

Mr Khandhadia is a quality expert and has experience across diverse industries like

steel, telecom, energy and education.

At GSF/GIIS, he has been instrumental in setting up quality-focussed processes for operational excellence, organisational performance monitoring and policies. Under his direction, GSF has received many business and educational excellence awards and certifications. He has been instrumental in the Kaizen club and sustainability movement within GSF schools.

Arjun Temurnikar

Director, Learning Technologies

Mr Arjun Temurnikar is Associate Director of Technology and looks after bringing in

technological innovations to improve teaching and learning for all stakeholders. Arjun’s interest areas are in artificial intelligence and data analytics as well as cloud applications development. 

Ayush Kalani

Associate Director, Student Acquisition

Mr Kalani brings a wealth of experience in Sales Management, Business

Development & Digital Marketing Technologies.

He has more than 14 years of business experience working in the Education space across several leadership roles within the e-learning, higher education and K12 sectors and he holds an MBA, specializing in Marketing from IIT- Roorkee in India.

Rupali Karekar

Divisional Manager, Communications

Ms Karekar has more than 15 years of experience in the field of communications

and content strategising.  

She has experience in print, audio-visual and digital media, having worked as a journalist with Times of India, DNA and Singapore Press Holdings covering the political and business beat. At Global Schools Foundation, she handles communications with internal stakeholders and public relations with external audiences. She oversees the website creation and upgrade process and contributes to the email automation projects for the Foundation. She has been actively involved in introducing new media within the institution for the company’s overall benefit. Ms Karekar is a triple graduate with a diploma in counselling psychology and additional skills in photography.

Growth projects, Mergers and Acquisitions

Prasoon Dayal

Chief Investment Officer - GSF

Mr Dayal has over 25 years of deep investment experience across multiple

business and financial cycles in a wide variety of roles. His experience includes private equity, private and special situations debt and mezzanine financing at some of the most respected institutions in the finance industry.

He worked extensively with various distribution/sales channels within Fixed Income, including Asia credit sales, Asia private lending, as well as similar teams in London, USA, and the Middle East. He managed assets in all positions, including internal reporting, as well as ongoing representation of portfolio interest with borrower companies.He has extensive network and investment experience in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand across various asset classes.

Kaustubh Bodhankar

Sr Deputy Chief Executive Officer,
Deputy Chief Investment Officer - GSF

Mr Bodhankar brings more than twenty years of management and business

development experience to the Foundation.

He has spearheaded the functioning of the Foundation’s entities to bring quality and excellence standards to business practises. Before joining GSF, he served as a Business Head, Indonesia Operations for Thermax Ltd, in the manufacturing and services sector. Mr Bodhankar holds a degree in mechanical engineering and a magna-cum-laude Masters in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management.

Rachel C. Provest

Director, Growth and Investments - GSF

Ms Rachel has operated under various roles in South East Asia since 2004.

Rachel was CEO of Lorna Whiston Schools and Investment Director for Rising Tide, which had a chain of K12 schools across Europe and Asia. Rachel served as CFO and then Managing Director for BLG Capital Advisors Asia, advising on global investments for family offices.  She has a Joint MA with Honours in Political Science and French from the University of Edinburgh and received her MBA from the University of Chicago. Rachel is also an internationally published author (‘Whatever You Want’ – Harper Collins, 2003 & ‘Max Your Money’ – Welbeck, 2022) and a qualified sommelier.

Harjesh Singh Kaushal

Director, Growth and Investments - GSF UK

Harjesh is the Director of Business Development and Finance. He is a senior

member of GSF’s “growth” team and is responsible for global M&A, partnerships, liaising with various government agencies and creating new growth opportunities.

He is also the MENA region’s finance controller and leads the regional F&A team.Harjesh did his MBA (Finance) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. He is a qualified management accountant from CIMA (UK) and a certified chartered accountant from ACCA (UK). Currently, he is also a CFA Level 2 candidate. Before joining GSF in 2011, Harjesh had worked as corporate strategist in many MNCs. He has worked on several cross-border M&A transactions (USA, Europe and Asia), executed multiple large scale cross-functional projects, raised funds and represented his organisations at various forums.

Commander Bharatkumar Unercat

Deputy Chief Projects Officer - GSF

Commander Bharat comes with vast experience in international business

development, negotiations, supply chain and project and agile project management.

He has over 36 years of experience in people management, of which 24 years were dedicated to a military career where he acquired skills and qualities pertinent to the corporate world. With a Master’s in Business Management and a strong sense of commercial awareness, he has a solution-focused outlook on implementing effective business strategies that contribute to business growth. He possesses all the project certifications from PMI (PMP/PGMP/PFMP/ACP/ RMP/PBA/SP/DASSM) and P3O and PMO-CP. He is known to make innovative decisions in rapidly changing business environments, including those based on comprehensive evaluations of probabilities associated with profit and loss.

Harsh Temurnikar

Associate Director, Growth and Investments - GSF

Based in Singapore, Harsh is part of the business development team at Global

Schools Foundation. He is responsible for global M&A, deal sourcing and liaising with various government agencies.

He is an engineer by qualification from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) and graduated in Chemical Engineering as the top 15% of his batch. He started his career with the manufacturing division of Godrej Industries Ltd in Gujarat. He has experience in marketing, and has led GSF marketing initiatives in GIIS and OWIS, including implementation of CRMs across all campuses. He was also involved in the set up of Global Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (GCIE) in GSF campuses across the group.

Country Directors

Mr Manoj Nair

Country Director - Malaysia

Mr Nair is the founding member of the GIIS Malaysia team.

He oversees the entire operations of GIIS in Kuala Lumpur and is presently the Country Director of Global Indian Education Sdn Bhd and GIIS campuses in Malaysia. A chartered accountant (ACCA UK) by profession, he has worked for a prestigious audit firm, the insurance and shipping industries before taking the exciting journey into the education industry. He was also a lecturer of business studies at various colleges.

Mr Amol Vaidya

Sr Director, MENA
Country Director - UAE, KSA

Mr Vaidya takes care of the operational and functional responsibilities of all

GIIS/GSF projects in the MENA region.

Mr Vaidya has more than 26 years of senior management experience with a proven entrepreneurial record in the health care and IT sectors. His forte as a business leader lies in building teams and the implementation of start-up greenfield projects. He has been an active Heartfulness Practitioner for 36 years and a trainer for the last 16 years.

Mr Ashish Tibdewal

Country Director - India

Mr Tibdewal oversees GSF's India portfolio comprising 26 schools

educating over 25,000 students in multiple curricula.

Mr Tibdewal comes with over 26 years of experience in the industry, of which 10 years were in the K12 schools sector. He is a Chartered Accountant from ICAI (1997) with experience in managing Finance and Business affairs. He completed the INSEAD (Singapore) Leadership Programme for Senior Executives.

Mr Sumit Mishra

Country Director - Japan, South Korea

Mr Mishra is a veteran of the EdTech/education management space.

From 2010 he has been involved in the K-12 sector at a time when new age school brands in India were in their inception. He was instrumental in developing franchising and partnership models for school chains as an asset-light growth multiplier. This helped school chains in scaling up projects not only in cities but also in semi-urban India. Mr Mishra has been associated with brands like Educomp, Millennium and Zee.

Mr Prashant Bafna

Country Director - Singapore

Mr Bafna has over 20 years of experience in the field of education, manufacturing

and other sectors.

He has contributed to the sales, marketing, operations and project management in different parts of the world including India, Japan and Singapore. Currently, he oversees operations in GIIS and OWIS in Singapore.