Meet the Team

Vikrant Pratap


Having led the management buyout of Qualus from Xeros Technologies, Vikrant has overall responsibility for the commercial development of the business. He has extensive experience in commercialising disruptive technology businesses across diverse industries such as banking and education and previously worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. He holds a BEng in Electrical Engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and an MBA from INSEAD.

Richard Smith


Richard leads on financial planning, controls, and investor liaison. Though now focused on finance, he brings significant experience in growth-stage investment and sustainability from his role as a Partner at Earth Capital, following an early career in engineering and operations and then strategy consulting. Richard holds an MA and MEng in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from INSEAD.

Joanne Tracey


Jo leads Qualus’ Operations Team and works hand in hand with the Engineering Team to deliver effective Sfere management solutions into Tannery production workflows. She led the redesign of Qualus’ Sfere Cleaning Station, reducing both costs and footprint by 70% while increasing throughput by 50%. She holds a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Plymouth.

Velan Pazhani

Country Director - India

Velan leads all commercial and operational activities for Qualus in India. He brings over 30 years of leather industry experience in India, China, Thailand and South East Asia, having worked at leading tanneries such as Chintehua and Shanghai Richina Leathers and in Leather Chemical Sales for Clariant. He is fluent in several Asian languages. He holds a Diploma in Leather Technology from the Institute of Leather Technology, Chennai.

Alireza Sadeghi

Sustainability Director

Alireza conducted the initial research that forms the core of the patents on which the Qualus technology is based. He now leads all sustainability-related activities for Qualus in addition to working closely with suppliers and service providers to ensure Qualus delivers its projects in different geographies within a set budget and timeframe. Alireza holds a PhD in Biomimetic Engineering of Micro- and Nanoparticles from the University of Sheffield.