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Executive Director – Emerging Markets Institute

INSEAD, Singapore

Vinika Devasar Rao is the Executive Director of the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, a leading think tank and center of research on business management, economic and social development on growth economies, headquartered at INSEAD’s Asia campus in Singapore.

After completing her MBA from IIM Bangalore, Vinika started her career with a multinational bank in India, went on to become General Manager of an American Asian JV in the field of industrial chemicals and later became the Managing Director of a listed real estate company in Indonesia. She co-founded a boutique advisory firm working with mid-cap SE Asian companies before making a serendipitous transition to the education sector. As Associate Professor at the SP Jain Center of Management, Singapore, Vinika taught business strategy to MBAs and EMBAs and conducted specialized programs for various corporate clients. She has also taught undergraduate and postgraduate business students at the Melbourne Institute of Technology, Deakin University, Curtin University, Lembaga Pengembangan Management Indonesia and the International Golden Institute of Management, Jakarta, as well as Murdoch University and Kaplan, Singapore. She headed INSEAD's career development center in Asia before moving to develop the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute.

Vinika’s research interests are gender parity in corporate leadership, generational influences on the workplace and emerging markets strategy. She has conducted numerous workshops and seminars for specific companies as well as open enrollment events. She has been quoted and has published articles in leading business publications including Forbes, Economist, Business Times, South China Morning Post, Harvard Business Review and INSEAD Knowledge. She is currently completing her Doctorate in Business Administration from the Singapore Management University, and has been awarded a Merit scholarship. Vinika speaks 5 languages and her interests include Reiki healing and career counseling. She is a founding member of ‘INSEAD Cares’, which works to improve the educational environment of vulnerable children. She is passionate about mentoring women managers to make the most fulfilling work-life decisions, encouraging them to “Dare to Dream” – the theme of her TEDx talk.