Meet the team

“When our customers succeed, we succeed. That’s what drives OmniActive”

Sanjay Mariwala

Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman

Executive Team

CEO & Executive Chairman

Sanjaya Mariwala

Click to Read Bio

Sanjaya Mariwala is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the natural food and supplement ingredients space. He is a founding member of OmniActive and provides strategic and financial oversight and guidance to the company’s global teams. He had served as Managing Director of Kancor Ingredients from 1990 to 2014. Sanjaya’s numerous professional and industrial affiliations include the India Pepper & Spice Trade Association, All India Spices Exporters Forum, Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Merchant’s Chamber, TIE-The Indus Entrepreneurs and FICCI.

Sanjay holds a degree in tax management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and has completed executive training programs at the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Chief Finance Officer

Kapil Ahuja

Click to Read Bio

Kapil has 20 years of experience, mainly in consumer goods and pharmaceutical business. He has strong expertise in strategy development, analysis and planning, business performance management, corporate finance, cost optimization, M&A, joint ventures management, board governance, shared services and IT transformation. He is joining us from Sentiss Pharma, where he was Global CFO. Prior to that he worked with Cipla and Mondelēz International in various Indian and international roles.

Kapil has an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Manchester Business School in the UK and a Bachelor of Technology from the National Institute of Technology in Calicut, India.

Chief Innovation Officer

Arun Balakrishnan, Ph.D.

Click to Read Bio

With a rich academic, research and business background, Arun heads OmniActive’s R&D efforts. He is primarily responsible for establishing processes for quick turnaround of projects driven by customer needs, developing delivery platforms and improving existing products.

Arun has held positions as a professor/researcher at the Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai, and as Senior VP for Screening and External Liaison of the natural products division at Piramal Lifesciences. Arun holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Madras.

Chief Operations Officer and Country Head – India

Chaitanya Desai

Click to Read Bio

As a seasoned pharmaceutical industry executive with a strong history in managing operations from raw material sourcing to end-product manufacturing, Chaitanya aligns, guides, and leads the operations, business and sales functions of OmniActive’s Specialty Botanicals and Extracts division. Over his almost 40 years of experience, Chaitanya has provided visionary leadership to illustrious corporations such as Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Unimark Remedies, Shasun Drug and Chemical, and Sanmar Specialty Chemicals.

Chaitanya holds a Bachelor of Science diplomas from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.

Chief Human Resource Officer

Akshay Kejriwal

Click to Read Bio

With over 15 years of experience, Akshay has helped lead human resources for global commercial operations in various geographical locations for companies such as Cipla, Infosys, and TNT India. Akshay holds special expertise in talent requisition and recruitment, designing performance, bonuses, ESOP plans, and creating HR processes, systems, and infrastructure.

Akshay holds a PGDM, HRD from the Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resources as well as licenses and certifications from IDEO (Insights for Innovation) and Korn Ferry (Job Evaluation Methodology).

Chief Marketing Officer

Kimberly Smith

Click to Read Bio

Kimberly has over 22 years of nutritional ingredient experience within the dietary supplement, food & beverage and personal care industries. She has held a variety of leadership roles in marketing, business development and general management with Roche and DSM. Prior to joining OmniActive, Kimberly was Vice President, Dietary Supplements and Pharmaceuticals for DSM Nutritional Products where she developed and led the business strategy and successfully established a new business channel for the division.

Kimberly brings an entrepreneurial approach and a passion for accessible nutrition to this role. She holds a B.S. in Integrative Biology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Chief Commercial Officer

Jim Terry

Click to Read Bio

Jim has more than 30 years’ experience in diversified management and providing strategic direction at leading nutraceutical companies including Aspire Pharmaceuticals, Neptune Wellness Solutions and Nutra Manufacturing. A focused problem solver, he brings extensive experience in sales, marketing, procurement, operations, and supply chain management. Jim leads global sales at OmniActive with a specific focus to help build a best-in-class, customer-centric company.

Jim holds a B.S. in Management and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Board Of Directors

CEO & Executive Chairman

Sanjaya Mariwala

Click to Read Bio

Sanjaya Mariwala is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the natural food and supplement ingredients space. He is a founding member of OmniActive and provides strategic and financial oversight and guidance to the company’s global teams. He had served as Managing Director of Kancor Ingredients from 1990 to 2014. Sanjaya’s numerous professional and industrial affiliations include the India Pepper & Spice Trade Association, All India Spices Exporters Forum, Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Merchant’s Chamber, TIE-The Indus Entrepreneurs and FICCI.

Sanjay holds a degree in tax management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and has completed executive training programs at the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ketki Bhagwati

Click to Read Bio

Ketki serves as the Chief Investment Officer in the Financial Institutions Group at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group. Prior to IFC, she worked at the Credit Rating Information Services of India (CRISIL) in Mumbai.

Naresh Patwari

Click to Read Bio

Naresh focuses on investments in healthcare, pharma and consumer-oriented industries across India and various emerging markets. He serves on the Board of Directors of Indira IVF Hospitals, TCNS Clothing and Shilpa Medicare. Prior to joining TA in 2014, Naresh was a Principal at ICICI Venture in Mumbai, Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company in New York and Field Engineer at Schlumberger. Naresh received a B.Tech. degree, with honors, in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur and an MBA degree from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he graduated as an Edward Tuck Scholar with Distinction.

Dhiraj Poddar

Click to Read Bio

Dhiraj heads the Indian operations of TA Associates Advisory Pvt. Ltd., focusing on investments in companies in India and other emerging markets. He has advised on over 11 investments across financial services, technology, healthcare and business services. He joined TA in 2010 and has more than 15 years of experience in the private equity industry. He received a degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and an MBA Degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Milind Sarwate

Click to Read Bio

As an advisor and mentor, Milind has served as Director for several companies including Mahindra Finance, Mindtree, Glenmark, Metropolis, and Matrimony.com. In 2015 he established Increate to leverage his 36 years of experience to help organizations and individuals discover, develop and deliver business and social value.

Leendart Staal, Ph. D

Click to Read Bio

Leendart has held numerous senior level positions within the DSM group: as President and Chief Executive Officer of DSM Nutritional Products from January 2008 to March 2013 and previously as President and Chief Executive Officer of DSM Pharmaceuticals. He has also served as Group Vice President of Quest International and was Chairman of Unipath (a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever).

Contact us

Have questions about our products, technologies, or company?

Contact us to find out more