Welcome Keynote:  “It Ain’t What You Do, It’s the Way That You Do It: Responding to the Consequences of Global Disruption” by Prof. Neil H. Ashworth, Honorary Professor of Operations Management at Nottingham University Business School, Non-Executive Chair at Selazar.


Neil is an independent advisor, mentor, chair and non-executive director. Most recently, he led the delivery of the Department of Health’s National Covid-19 Testing programme throughout 2020 and early 2021 – building an enduring national resource capable of testing over 2 million citizens per day. Previously, he joined Collect+, the UK’s largest independent store based parcel network as CEO in early 2013 having been at the forefront of digital developments in retail for over 15 years. Since joining the business, Neil led the brand through a 204% growth in volumes, 129% growth in clients, and over 28% growth in network locations. He subsequently took accountability for the Yodel brand, marketing, customer experience, strategy and commercial functions in November 2017 through his appointment as Chief Commercial Officer. Neil latterly moved to a new role of Chief Strategy Officer within Yodel, whilst retaining the role of CEO of Collect+. Yodel is an independent parcel carrier handling over 145 million parcels every year and has relationships with many of the UK’s top retailers. Before joining Collect+/Yodel, Neil worked as a business advisor to several blue-chip UK retailers and fulfilment businesses following a period at Tesco, where he was a member of the small team that created the Tesco Direct business and was a member of the tesco.com board.  Prior to Tesco, Neil held senior positions at Woolworths, Hallmark Cards and CWS Ltd. Neil is the immediate past Chairman of CILT(UK), a member of the Engineering & Logistics Staff Corps within the British military holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and an Ambassador for Transaid. He is a member of the Advisory Board at Warwick University Professional and Executive Programme faculty and on the Supply Chain Masters Programme at Cranfield University School of Management. He is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at Warwick University (WMG) and is Professor of Operations Management and Information Systems at Nottingham University Business School. Neil recently held the position of Independent Non-Executive Director at NISA Retail, and was Chair of their Audit Committee prior to the sale of the business to The Cooperative. He was named in 2017 as the recipient of the Sir Robert Lawrence Award, a lifetime achievement recognition made by the CILT in recognition of pioneering and innovative contribution to digital retailing.

Second Keynote: “Improving Supply Chain Resilience: Pandemic Motivated Research Ideas” by Prof. Christopher Tang, Distinguished Professor and Edward Carter Chaired Professor in Business Administration, UCLA Anderson School.


Christopher Tang is a University Distinguished Professor and the holder of the Edward W. Carter Chair in Business Administration at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Known as a world-renowned thought leader in global supply chain management, Chris has published 6 books, 30 book chapters, over 100 online blogs, and over 160 research articles in various leading academic journals, and written articles for Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Barron’s, Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg Law, China Daily, Los Angeles Times, etc. Chris consulted with numerous global companies including Amazon, HP (California, Singapore, South Korea), IBM (New York, San Jose), Nestlé (USA), GKN (UK), Accenture, etc.; taught courses at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, National University of Singapore, MIT (Zaragoza), and London Business School.

Chris is the former Editor of the Journal of Manufacturing and Service Operations Management who has also served on the editorial board for IIE transactions, Journal of Operations Management, Management Science, Operations Research, Production and Operations Management, etc.  He has been elected as a lifetime fellow by the Institute of Operations and Management Sciences (INFORMS), the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), and the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Society (MSOM).  He received his B.Sc. (First class honours in Mathematics) from King’s College, London, M.A. (in Statistics), M.Phil. (in Administrative Science), and PhD (in Management Science) from Yale University.

Closing Keynote: “COVID-19 Pandemic – India’s response in the Civil Aviation Sector and the way forward” by Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, India.


Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), has been given the additional charge of Chairperson and Managing Director (CMD) of Pawan Hans Limited. She is the first woman CMD at the Miniratna helicopter service company. The 1996-Batch IAS officer of Odisha cadre succeeded BP Sharma. The post was vacant since the superannuation of Sharma in January. Padhee is an alumnus of Gulbarga University, Karnataka, from where she has pursued Civil Engineering. She has served as sub-collector of Baliguda, Kandhamal. She was also the additional project director (watershed) of District Rural Development Agency, Kalahandi, and then additional district magistrate of Balangir. She has also been collector and district magistrate of Nabarangpur, Koraput and Dhenkanal Districts.