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Atul is a bit of a modern day Renaissance man with eclectic experiences in many countries and multiple professions. It is for this reason that a Googler introduced him as “the most interesting man in the world” before his prescient talk on the global rise of the far-right in August 2016. Atul is the founder, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of Fair Observer, the prestigious independent media platform with more than 2,200 contributors from over 80 countries. He has also taught at many institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley and the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. Atul also served as an officer in India’s border regions of Nagaland and Kashmir and worked as a lawyer in London for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case, two leading international law firms.

In an age when there are six jobs in public relations in the US for every job in journalism, Atul is a rare media entrepreneur who has successfully swum against the tide. He has pioneered a new model of bottom-up, citizen journalism with a rigorous editorial filter. As a result, people can find perspectives from around the world from Mumbai and Nairobi to Munich and New York on one media platform. In a world of clickbait, echo chambers and fake news, Atul has been a leader for thoughtful, deep and diverse journalism.

Importantly, Atul has a rare ability to see under the surface and around corners. He was ahead of the curve in observing and analysing the rise of populism in the form of Brexit, the rise of Donald Trump or the emergence of Narendra Modi. In 2018, Atul authored a chapter on Brexit in a book on populism and has been warning about the dangers of big tech. Atul has an acute understanding of geopolitics and the global economy. He has written on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Kashmir conflict, the rise of smart manufacturing and much more. Atul has also taken an active interest in the Middle East. In 2017, he analysed Saudi Arabia’s bullying behaviour with Qatar and, more recently, he has led Fair Observer to do a deep dive into Iran-US tensions.

Atul’s writing and speaking are informed by his highly multicultural and interdisciplinary background. Atul studied literature and history at University of Lucknow, read for philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at the University of Oxford and did an MBA with a triple major in entrepreneurship, finance and strategy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has spoken at institutions such as the United Nations, Google, Deloitte, Harvard and MIT.