Sunitha Kolaventy

executive director of the Tobacco Board at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the government of India

Sunitha Kolaventy is the executive director and CEO of the Indian Tobacco Board. An officer of the Indian Administrative Service, she earned her master’s degree in public administration in Birmingham, United Kingdom, and earned a law degree in cyber law. She has served as CEO in the state government of Andhra Pradesh covering finance, education and technology services for women, and child welfare, among other areas.

After taking charge at the tobacco board, she has fostered green initiatives, such as organic tobacco production, in flue-cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco farming. With a deep social conscience and an affinity for the environment, she focused her efforts on achieving sustainability in FCV tobacco farming to produce tobacco that is safer and less hazardous without compromising environmental safety and farmer profitability.  

These initiatives have brought about a paradigm shift in FCV tobacco cultivation with priorities on sustainability and eco-friendly farming systems.