Committee for Advanced Trade Research

As a premier trade and investment promotion organisation, TPCI has been at the forefront of facilitating the global growth and expansion of Indian industry since its inception in 2012.

While the Council has curated a range of innovative, and highly effective platforms customised to the needs of the industry, it also appreciates the critical importance of deeper stakeholder engagement, knowledge exchange, and capacity building to catalyse growth and competitiveness and boost synergies with global stakeholders.

The Committee for Advanced Trade Research (CATR) has been instituted to mentor TPCI’s research & thought leadership initiatives, and also facilitate proactive deliberations on business, trade and economic development matters, from a current as well as long term perspective. CATR is a distinctive mix of eminent thought leaders, with rich expertise spanning the business and trade ecosystem.

Chair & Vice Chair


Sumanta Chaudhuri

Sumanta Chaudhuri

IAS Officer (Retd) and
International Trade Expert


Mr. Sumanta Chaudhuri is a retired IAS officer. He has vast administrative experience in a number of areas, notably, trade and industry with two decades of dealing in multilateral and bilateral trade issues. He was Joint Secretary as well as Director in the Department of Commerce, Government of India and handled Trade Policy Division dealing with WTO issues and negotiated several FTA’s. He also served as Counselor, Permanent Mission of India to the WTO and was India’s main negotiator on Services in the Doha Round. Mr Chaudhuri also served as Secretary Coal, Government of India.

Vice Chairperson

Atul Kaushik

Atul Kaushik

Additional Secretary (Retd.) and
International Trade Expert


Atul Kaushik retired in 2018 as Additional Secretary, Lok Sabha, where he serviced Parliamentary Committees, attended to parliamentary diplomatic assignments and conferences, and conducted research and workshops for Members of the Parliament on various subjects. Before that, he spent five years in the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Justice, as Joint Secretary. His key assignments in that Department included being the Mission Leader of the e-Courts Mission Mode Project and two Access to Justice Projects.

His other key government assignments include export promotion; bilateral and multilateral trade policy; drafting India’s intellectual property rights (IPRs) laws and getting them introduced in the Parliament after India joined the WTO; petroleum and natural gas; and climate change. He has been India’s lawyer to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and India’s negotiator for IPRs and dispute settlement in the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva. On a three-year sabbatical, he delivered trade and development projects in Africa and trade capacity building of developing country missions in Geneva. He has co-edited a book on trade negotiations and contributed chapters in ten books, apart from a dozen peer reviewed articles in various national and international journals.

Since December 2020, he is leading an Indo-U.S. Triangular Development Partnership with the goal of enhancing India’s development cooperation footprint in the Indo-Pacific.

Committee Members


Dr Harsha Vardhana Singh

Ikdhwaj Advisers LLP


Dr. Harsha Vardhana Singh has extensive international and national experience on trade and investment matters. He has an M. Phil and D. Phil in Economics from Oxford University, U.K., after an MA and BA (Hons) in Economics from Delhi University, India.

During 1985 to 2018, he worked at the GATT/WTO for 20 years (eight years as Deputy Director General, WTO), was Economic Adviser and then Secretary Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (1997 to 2005), Executive Director of Brookings India, Senior Fellow at Think Tanks in Switzerland and Canada, taught at Universities in the US and China, been Chair/Secretary of GATT/WTO Dispute Settlement Panels, and member/Chair of High-Level Expert Groups within India and abroad to address inter alia policy concerns relating to international trade, industrial policy, competition and regulatory policy.

As WTO Deputy Director General (Oct. 2005-Sept. 2013), he had direct responsibility for Trade in Services, Agriculture, Technical Barriers to Trade, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Trade and Environment, and was Chairman of the Dedicated Discussion Group on E-Commerce. As Economic Advisor (June 1997-May 2001) and Secretary (May 2001-Sept. 2005) of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), he was part of a small group of officials that conceptualized and implemented telecom sector policy reforms, which saw major growth in the industry. Since 2018, he is Chairman of IKDHVAJ Advisers LLP, a consulting firm on international trade policy, regulatory and industrial policy.


Dr K. Rangarajan

Professor & Head
Centre for MSME Studies & Head Kolkata Campus, IIFT


K. Rangarajan is Professor and currently heading the Center for MSME Studies and Kolkata Campus of IIFT. He holds a Masters in Commerce with Management Specialization and remained first class throughout his academic career. He is an Accredited Management Teacher (AMT) conferred by All India Management Association and member of several professional bodies including AIMM (Australia).

His expertise includes Business Strategy and Strategic Planning in general and internationalization of SMEs and Management of Trade Support Institutions, including Trade Promotion Organizations. His areas of interest are Organizational Restructuring, Corporate and Business Level Strategies and Cluster Development. Dr Rangarajan has three decades of experience in teaching and consultancy apart from four years of industry experience at middle level with MNCs, and serving in overseas universities. He has lectured on Strategic Issues of the industry on various national and international forums.

He has been faculty for many MDPs conducted for the textiles and clothing sector. He has served as National Expert for UNIDO, Austria, ILO and Common Wealth Secretariat in different projects. He also executed Capacity Development Program for SMEs in Mekong Countries, sponsored by Swiss Agency for Development and Coordination. Apart from being a member of prominent industry bodies, he is nominated as Independent Director on the board of State Trading Corporation, by Government of India. He is also the member of the Steering Committee for promotion of exports, Government of West Bengal, Commerce & Industries Department.


Dr Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan

Fellow and former Lead Adviser & Head
Trade & Commerce, NITI Aayog


Dr. Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan is Lead Adviser and Head – Trade, Commerce and Strategic Economic Dialogue, NITI Aayog, Government of India. Previously, he was a senior economist with the School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences, University of Washington-Seattle. He had also previously co-founded a global consulting firm Infinite Sum Modelling LLC.

Previously, he spent almost a decade at Purdue University and ICRIER, New Delhi, after completing his PhD Economics from IGIDR-Mumbai. His expertise lies in economic/data analytics for business strategy and public policy, employing a variety of quantitative models in several areas. He is widely known for his role in developing global economic and interdisciplinary models and datasets used by thousands of researchers across the world.

He has published five books, over 100 research papers in reputed journals, books, etc., cited over 4200 times by top journals and many more times by top global media outlets. He has served as a consultant/ advisor to McKinsey, UN, World Bank, FAO, WHO, KPMG, ADB, IMF, Harvard University and many other organizations including startups.


Dr Vivek Suneja

Head & Dean and Professor (Ph.D.) North Campus
University of Delhi


Dr. Vivek Suneja is Professor of Strategy, and Head and Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi. As a Felix Scholar, he studied for his doctoral degree from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. For over a decade, he taught at various premier Universities in Britain including at the University of Salford, Manchester and at the Open University Business School, Milton Keynes. Upon his return to India, he joined FMS as Professor.

He has served as Dean of Planning in the University of Delhi and as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi. Prof Suneja has published several books and papers in the areas of Strategy, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Ethics, Culture and Public Policy.  Among his prominent books are “Markets: A Multi Dimensional Approach to the Market Economy” published by Routledge, U.K.; “Policy Issues for Business” published by Sage, U.K.; and the “Economics of Marketing” published by Edward Elgar, U.K.

His most recent book “Economic Theory and Policy amidst Global Discontent” has been published by Francis & Taylor, U.K.  Prof. Suneja has done consulting and training work for several prominent international and national organisations and firms. He is deeply committed to furthering societal well-being.


Dr Arpita Mukherjee



As a leading Economic Policy Researcher, Dr Arpita Mukherjee has worked closely with governments and multilateral organisations across multiple geographies such as India, United Kingdom (UK), Australia, European Union (EU) and its member states, ASEAN, and the United States (US). She has over 25 years of experience in large project leadership roles. Her key areas of research include sustainable trade and investment; retail, logistics and food supply chains; nutrition; trade infrastructure including economic corridors and SEZs; services; start-ups and entrepreneurs and e-commerce. She specialises in sector and product-specific market trends, go-to market strategy, and government policies. Dr Mukherjee has authored over 75 publications including books, refereed journals, newsletters, government reports. Presented in conferences, seminars, training programmes and workshops in over 30 countries. She is a Member of government committees and policy panels and also works in the editorial boards of several international journals.


Dr Sunitha Raju

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade


With over 30 years of extensive experience in Education, Research, Policy formulation and Evaluation Dr Raju has held the positions of Chairperson (ICCD), Chairperson (Research) and Chairperson (GSD).

She has taken up challenging responsibilities such developing and initiating the VSAT educational programme at IIFT and worked towards its successful implementation. She expanded the research programme at IIFT into new trade related areas like Energy security, Agricultural outsourcing, Coastal waterways and Trade modelling.

Her areas of expertise include Trade Policy Formulation & Evaluation, Trade modelling, Agricultural Policy Analysis, WTO rules & Regulatory framework, Free Trade Agreements, Survey Research, Performance Reviews and Training.


Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma

Professor & Head of the Management Development Programs Division
IIIFT, Kolkata


Dr. Sharma has facilitated courses like International Marketing, Sales & Distribution Management, and Services Marketing in various on-campus (Delhi, Kolkata, and Dar-es-Salaam) and off-campus programs since Nov. 2007. He has been Program Director of various batches (full-time and executives). Dr. Sharma has conducted several capacity-building programs related to international marketing and exporting in several African countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Burkina Faso. He has been a regular speaker/resources person for several product/service organizations and export promotion councils.


He has also taught International Marketing at IIM, Raipur, and marketing principles on the Swayam Platform of MHRD, GoI, apart from being guest faculty at several top institutes like Nirma Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, MS University, Baroda, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, MANAGE, Hyderabad, and others. He writes regularly in ET Brand Equity, Financial Express, and Hindu Business Line.


Dr Pralok Gupta

Associate Professor, Centre for WTO Studies
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade


Dr Gupta has been actively engaged in policy making by Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Finance on various trade and macroeconomic issues. He is also a member of India’s delegation on services negotiations for various FTAs. He has been appointed as Member of the ‘Task Force on Services Sector Exports’ by Ministry of Commerce, Member (Sectoral Expert) of the ‘Inter Ministerial Sub-Group on Data in Trade in Services’ by Ministry of Commerce, Member of the ‘Technical Group on Data in Trade in Services’ under the Chairmanship of the DGCIS, Kolkata. Dr. Gupta has been actively engaged in providing training on various trade issues to delegates and diplomats from developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). His articles on contemporary trade issues get published in international journals, books and business newspapers and he has a number of books and book chapters to his credit.He recently edited a book titled ‘E-commerce in India: Economic and Legal Perspectives’. He has also been associated with various consultancy and research projects for corporate bodies, the government and international and multilateral institutions, such as the OECD, British High Commission, UKIERI, European University Institute, South African Institute of International Affairs, NCAER, ICRIER, etc.Earlier, Dr Gupta served in the UP State Government and Industrial Finance Corporation of India. He is also a Policy Leader Fellow of the European University Institute, Florence and a certified Fintech and Regulatory Innovation professional from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. Dr. Gupta has a Ph.D. in Economics and Social Sciences from IIM, Bangalore.


Dr Pritam Banerjee

Professor & Head
Centre for WTO Studies


Dr Pritam Banerjee brings several years of experience in the areas of logistics operations, trade facilitation, and trade policy. He is currently a Consultant with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a Logistics Sector Specialist. Prior to his work with the ADB, Banerjee was Senior Director for Public Policy with the Deutsche Post DHL Group, responsible for South Asia. In this capacity, he was responsible for engaging with governments and governmental agencies on regulatory affairs and policy. He also served as a consultant for major clients of Deutsche Post DHL Group, finding solutions to regulatory and policy problems related to their supply chains.

Dr Banerjee previously served with the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where his work focused on trade facilitation and trade in services and has taken key positions in task forces and committees of major industry bodies. He is a member of the National Trade Facilitation Steering Committee and was most recently a special invitee to the Committee on Ease of Doing Business Reforms constituted under the Ministry of Commerce as a part of PM Modi’s initiative on reforms. He also serves as guest faculty at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Foreign Services Institute (FSI), and NACIN (National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes, and Narcotics).

Dr Banerjee has a PhD in public policy, and master’s and undergraduate degrees in economics. He has been extensively published on issues related to international trade, regional integration, regulatory reforms, logistics and connectivity, and trade facilitation.