Rachna Tahilyani named director of Columbia Global Center Mumbai

May 20, 2024

Columbia Global is pleased to welcome Rachna Tahilyani as the next director of the Columbia Global Center in Mumbai, India. Tahilyani has an impressive two-decade track record in the corporate and education sectors in India, including in her most recent position leading the research team at the Harvard Business School India Research Center. 

Tahilyani began her career at Citibank in India where she spent seven years honing her management skills, while building an extensive network of partners and customers. At Citibank, she worked across a breadth of businesses that included Treasury, small and medium-sized enterprises, and branch banking.

“What drew us to Rachna was her deep understanding of the regional landscape and her in-depth understanding of the stakeholders, issues and sectors that are imperative for the success of the Center,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, executive vice president for Columbia Global. “Her recent research efforts in an academic context along with her foundational experience in the corporate sector will enable her to pursue diverse strategic initiatives in collaboration with our faculty, while connecting with key partners in Mumbai and India overall,” she added.

At the Harvard Business School India Research Center, Tahilyani interacted with close to 100 faculty and supported many in advancing their research aspirations. Her contributions to academic research cover start-ups as well as well-established global conglomerates focusing on change management and building sustainable organizations.

She oversaw the conceptualization and development of approximately 200 case studies and research projects that focused on issues such as entrepreneurship, digital transformation, healthcare, sustainable urbanization, social impact and corporate accountability, public-private partnerships, and access to financial services, among others. 

Tahilyani holds a Masters of Management from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Electrical & Electronics from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani. 

About the Columbia Global Center in Mumbai

The Mumbai Center is one of 11 Global Centers Columbia established in cities around the world including Amman, Athens, Beijing, Istanbul, Nairobi, Paris, Rio, Santiago, Tel Aviv and Tunis. Columbia University launched the Mumbai Center in 2010 to engage faculty, students, and in-country partners on priority issues related to business and economic opportunity; environmental sustainability; education, culture and knowledge; and health and medicine.

The Global Centers were created to generate opportunities for shared learning and dialogue. They serve as regional hubs for training, research, and collaboration, linking local experts and institutions to Columbia’s academic and scientific resources and vice versa. The Centers are part of Columbia Global, which also harnesses the work of the Committee for Global Thought, Columbia World Projects and the Institute for Ideas & Imagination for the greater good.