Mentors
Abhijit Jayapal
Founder & CEO, KrunchMatic
Experience: 14 years in Mobile & Digital Startups & Large Companies
Prior Companies: Synqua Games, Mobile2Win, Fannie Mae, Accenture, Motorola

Currently based in Bangalore, Abhijit is a mobile and digital entrepreneur, passionate about building technology products and scaling up companies. He is currently working on his next startup. He is well entrenched in the startup space and been an advisor to multiple startups, incubators and several other companies big and small. Abhijit has proven ability to identify and create new opportunities and markets, launch new products, generate and scale revenues and strike high value partnership deals. Abhijit also brings an in-depth knowledge of the mobile ecosystem in India and international markets - commerce, advertising, user centric product design, IoT, user acquisition, analytics, payments and industry connections with operators, OEMs and publishers.

Abhijit has over 14 years of experience working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies in US and India - namely Motorola, Accenture, Fannie Mae, GoldPocket Wireless (Acquired by Motricity), Mobile2Win (Acquired by Altruist). More recently, in 2008, he founded Synqua Games - a 45 member award winning mobile and social gaming studio which garnered over 50 million downloads and few of the titles were the #1 played mobile game in India. He exited Synqua Games last year after running it profitably for 6 years.

He holds an MBA from Mason School of Business, William & Mary, Virginia and Bachelors from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai.
Abraham Chacko
Former Executive Director, Federal Bank
Experience: 38 years in Banking
Prior Companies: RBS / ABN Amro, HSBC

Currently based in Kochi, is a seasoned banker with over three decades of experience, most of it in the Middle East and Asia. He started his career in 1977 as a Management Trainee with HSBC India and worked with them till 1991. He pioneered the computerization of the bank's branches in the 80's, the first bank to do so in India, with all its attendant challenges.

In his over two decades on international assignments, he has held several senior management positions including Deputy Country Manager of ABN Amro Bank, UAE with additional oversight for Oman, Qatar and Iran, Country Manager for ABN Amro Bank, Sri Lanka and Trade Sales Head for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa for ABN Amro Bank / Royal Bank of Scotland - He was based in Singapore from 2001- May 2011.

In May 2011, he took up the role of Executive Director of the Federal Bank Ltd. looking after wholesale, Sme, retail, agriculture and financial inclusion. The bank has become a national bank with 1300 branches and over 11000 employees. Mr. Chacko is a postgraduate in Business Management from XLRI Jamshedpur. He was a regular voice on television and a panelist and speaker at numerous conferences on matters of banking and finance in India and abroad.

Ajay Jain
Vice President - Incubation & Scaling at T-Hub
Experience: 15 years in Start-up Incubation & Investment, Education and Semiconductors
Prior Companies: GEMS Education, Gray Matters India, Mindspark, AMD, NXP Semiconductors, Conexant, Intel, Synopsys

Currently based in Hyderabad, he has about 15 years of experience in both corporates and start-ups. He has an MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB) and Master of Science degree from University of Arizona (USA). He has a keen interest in the start-up space – playing the role of an angel-investor, mentor and coach for start-ups. He is the founding partner of Xseed Consulting, an investment and advisory firm for start-ups.

Presently, he is the Director-Investor Liaison at T-Hub – helping start-ups to grow through market access, investment, and advice. Before this he led the efforts at GEMS Intelligence Unit - a consulting arm of GEMS, a 5-billion-dollar education company. Prior to this he was the Chief Innovation Officer at Gray Matters India – an educational start-up for assessments in the K12 space. In his role as founding member, he was involved in strategy, product development, key customer relationships and fund-raising. Prior to this, he worked with Educational Initiatives (EI) as the Associate Vice-President. At EI, he was in charge of Mindspark, an online adaptive Maths learning tool. Before his MBA, he worked in the semiconductor industry in areas of product development and quality control.

Ekta Sheth-Balyan
Client Servicing, Pinstorm Technologies
Experience: 18 years in Public relations and Marketing
Prior Companies: Sparrow Consultants | Image Consultants, Perfect Relations, Clea Public Relations

Ekta Sheth-Balyan draws upon considerable expertise in public relations, marketing and strategic partnerships in the FMCG, Lifestyle, Luxury and Consumer Durables industry. In a span of 18 years she has worked with some of the largest agencies in the country handling several cornerstone clients, including The Collective, Nike, Marico, Kellogg’s, Pernod Ricard, Group, Wipro Consumer Care, Diageo, CK, FCUK, DTC, Nirvana Jewellery, UB Group, Jack & Jones, Godrej Industries, Taj Hotels, Vero Moda, amongst others. She has been, responsible for strategic direction, day-to-day media relations management and the development of dedicated initiatives to build awareness around specific offerings. Ekta holds a Master’s Degree in Business Economics from Victoria University, Melbourne.

Ajit George
Vice President - Treasury, Agrochemical Company
Experience: 35 years in Finance, Accounts & Commercial Operations
Prior Companies: Nagarjuna Group, Corning / Borosil,
Deloitte / A. F. Ferguson

Currently based in Hyderabad, has over 35 years of experience in the areas of Finance, Accounts and Commercial operations. He has handled project viability appraisals, designed internal control systems and procedures, and various MIS to facilitate effective decision making.

He spent the formative years of his career with A.F. Ferguson & Company (now part of Deloitte), and a stint with Borosil Glass Works Ltd, Mumbai (subsidiary of Corning, USA). In his 25 years with the Nagarjuna group in Hyderabad, he has held many senior management positions and has guided the group’s financial and risk management, legal and compliance functions and has led number of strategic initiatives. He is currently Vice President – Treasury of an agrochemical company. He is a B.Com graduate and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Akash Bhatia
Co-Founder & CEO, Infinite Analytics
Experience: 14 years in Analytics and Product Management
Prior Companies: Oracle USA

Currently based in Mumbai, Akash is a successful entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience in areas such as business analysis, analytics, and product management. Akash is currently the co-founder and CEO of Infinite Analytics (www.infiniteanalytics.com), the most advanced predictive analytics company today. He is also the co-founder of India's first and largest ticketing company, Kyazoonga (www.kyazoonga.com). Prior to Kyazoonga, he has worked as an engineer with Oracle/PeopleSoft in Silicon Valley.

Akash has completed his B.E from College of Engineering, Pune, M.S. from University of Cincinnati and an MBA from MIT Sloan.

Alok Bhargava
Independent Management Consultant
Experience: 32 years in Consulting, Corporate Planning, Investment Banking, Private Equity, ICT based Education Services and integrated CSR
Prior Companies: IL&FS, Emerson Electric Company, 20th Century Finance Corporation, S.B. Billimoria & Company

Alok Bhargava is currently an Independent Management Consultant with 30+ years of experience across Private Equity, Project Development, Project financing, Financial Structuring and Business Development.

He also serves on the Board of Directors of various IL & FS Group Companies such as IL&FS Environmental Infrastructure and Services Limited, IL&FS Technologies Limited, ISSL Market Services Limited, IL&FS Renewable Energy Limited and many more.

He has been associated with organizations and businesses at the conceptualization, incorporation, startup and operational stages, with related man management and business development exposure. He has extensive experience in day-to-day operational, planning and strategic roles over the years, including the last 17 years at the leadership – ED/CEO levels.

Mr. Bhargava has held several senior management positions at IL&FS. He is currently the CEO of the Nalanda Foundation (IL&FS), before which he was the CEO of Social Inclusion Group (IL&FS), the mandate of which is to conceptualize and implement socio economic development projects with primary focus on livelihood and income enhancement, skill training, education and healthcare.

Previously, he was the Executive Director of IL&FS Investment Managers Limited, where he played an active role in managing and supporting Private Equity Investments in Infrastructure Projects. Before that, he had been the Executive Director and COO at IL&FS Education & Technology Services Limited.

He holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Textile Technology from IIT Delhi and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Ahmedabad

Anita P Belani, ACC
CPO, Gaja Capital Partners
Experience: 30 years in Human Resources.

Anita P Belani is a seasoned professional with 30 years of rich post MBA experience as a senior business & human capital leader. She is currently the Chief People Office of Gaja Capital and is an independent director on the board of Eternis Fine Chemicals, SportzVillage Pvt. Ltd & Eurokids International. She has previously held the independent director positions on the boards of Wanbury Ltd and Laxmi Organic Chemicals Ltd.

Anita is an ICF Accredited Executive Coach and has 15 years of coaching experience under her belt having coached several C-suite level executives across various sectors. She also specializes in on boarding coaching to help CEO/CXO level leaders adapt to new roles, cultures & environments.

Prior to joining Gaja Capital, Anita was a Partner with BMR Advisors. In her previous role as Managing Director India for Russell Reynolds Associates, she specialized in assignments across sectors, leveraging her extensive human capital and consulting background to provide strategic leadership solutions for her clients. She was also responsible for CEO / Board advisory assignments and specialized in the Private Equity / Venture Capital area in addition to focusing on diversified industrials.

Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates, Anita was with Right Management as the Country Head for India. Her areas of expertise included helping clients solve their business issues through human capital solutions in such areas as change management, restructuring, organizational effectiveness, succession planning, leadership development. Coaching and talent management. Prior to joining Right Management, she was Country Head for Watson Wyatt India and was responsible for building a successful consulting brand for the organization. In all these roles she was responsible for P&L management, business strategy & implementation to build successful franchises in India.

Anita has previously worked with Sun Microsystems in San Francisco as a Senior HR Business Partner in charge of strategic global HR. Prior to that, she was in a senior business partner role with KPMG in the USA and was instrumental in building the India operations of Jardine Fleming. She has also worked with American Express TRS in the early part of her career.

Anita takes keen interest in mentoring startups and is a key member of the Lead Angels network which focuses on investing in early stage companies. She has been on the advisory board of Crederity Inc. and Unitus Seed Fund. Anita did her M.B.A. from XLRI, Jamshedpur and B.A.(Hons) in Economics from Miranda House, University of Delhi.

Ashish Vora
Director & Founding Partner, Pragmatix Services
Experience: 23 years in Banking,
Analytics & Advisory / Consulting
Prior Companies: Kotak Mahindra Bank, Citibank

Currently based in Mumbai, is a Director and founding partner at Pragmatix Services Private Ltd, an upcoming and rapidly growing enterprise, engaged in Business Intelligence & Analytics, and Advisory / Consulting & Implementation Services across diverse functional areas. Ashish is currently engaged in several assignments, in the Business Strategy, Product Management and Process Consulting space.

Until August 2010, Ashish was the EVP and Head of Transaction Services for Kotak Mahindra Bank. In this role, he was responsible for setting up the Transaction Services business for the group. During this stint, he set up the entire infrastructure of the business including the operations & technology platform, a highly motivated sales team and the entire product development function. Prior to joining Kotak, he was a Director at Citibank responsible for all Global Relationship Banking clients in India. He has over 19 years of experience in the banking industry. He holds an MBA from the University of New Mexico.
Ashok Kapoor
Vice President, Human Resources, Emerging Markets Group, Stanley Black & Decker
Experience: 30 years in Human Resources
Prior Companies: Stanley Black & Decker, BAT Industries (ITC Limited), American Express, HSBC India

With over 3 decades of rich industry experience, Ashok is a commercially oriented business manager with a track record of shaping HR strategy in growth markets across diverse sectors and driving change in challenging geographies. Over the course of his career he held various senior leadership roles in global companies in India, Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore. During the last 12 years of his career he has been responsible for expanding Stanley Black & Decker’s geographic footprint in Emerging Markets, developing leadership teams and leading several M&A initiatives.

After graduating with a Masters in Human Resource Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur, Ashok started his career with the Indian subsidiary of BAT Industries (ITC Limited), followed by stints in American Express & HSBC India. He then relocated to Dubai as Head of HR, Middle East & Africa for Black Decker followed by a subsequent stint with MMI, a subsidiary of Inchcape plc and later Emirates Airlines.

Ashok rejoined Black & Decker in 2005 as Head of HR for Asia Pacific based out of Shanghai, China. He led the HR integration for Black and Decker with Stanley Tools in 2010 and then moved to Singapore as the HR Leader for Emerging Markets. Most recently, Ashok has returned to Dubai effective June 2016 and led the relocation of Stanley Black & Decker’s Emerging Markets HQ from Singapore to Dubai.

**Ashok's last day at Stanley Black & Decker is 31st July 2017.

Ashutosh Banerjee
Global General Manager, Diagnostic Cardiology GE Healthcare
Experience: 18 years of diverse experience across consumer durables, IT devices and healthcare in sales, marketing and product management. Worked across South Asia and the United States and now globally
Prior Companies: Johnson & Johnson, Dell, Asian Paints

Ashutosh leads Diagnostic Cardiology, which is a global business in GE Healthcare. The Diagnostic Cardiology business offers a broad range of solutions that use the Electrocardiograph (ECG) of the heart to detect and diagnose various abnormalities of the heart. Early diagnosis and detection of heart problems can help save lives. He leads a global team that listens to customers, designs, manufactures and sells products and solutions for resting, stress and ambulatory ECG throughout the world.

Prior to this role, Ashutosh led a marketing team and also a region within GE Healthcare. Before GE Healthcare he worked across consumer durables, IT and healthcare and built successful sales channels and businesses across industries. Ashutosh has a degree in Electronics Engineering from the Engineering College at Aligarh Muslim University and a Master’s degree in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. He loves to spend his free time with his family and indulging in his passions – running, music, and travel.

Atul Sashittal
Head, Information Technology, Angel Broking
Experience: 25 years in Information Technology
Prior Companies: CLSA, Birla Sun Life, DHL Worldwide Express

Currently based in Mumbai, has over 25 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. He has worked with companies like DHL Worldwide Express, Birla Sunlife, CLSA and Angel Broking in different roles leading large teams spread across different geographies through vision, strategy, innovation and execution excellence. A strong technology leader, with expertise across the technology eco-system, he has contributed in building and managing big data centres, disaster recovery sites with global load balancing and is well versed in the latest trends in IT infrastructure. Atul has built some of the world’s most scalable, performing and reliable platforms and systems. He has keen interest in information security, IS audit and process improvement.

He is a bachelor of technology in aeronautics with several professional certifications to his credit. Atul works with Angel Broking as Head of IT and is also mentoring a few start-ups.
A.G. Rao
Group Managing Director, ManpowerGroup India
Experience: 24 years in Telecom Industry
Prior Companies: Tata Group, Alcatel

Based in Mumbai, A.G. Rao is the Group Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India, a world leader in innovative workforce solutions. He has spearheaded significant business growth ManpowerGroup in the last couple of years in India, and is passionate about creating a valuable and happy workforce of tomorrow.

Prior to joining ManpowerGroup, A.G. Rao was CTO and Executive President - Enterprise Business at Tata Teleservices, India. In his role at Tata Teleservices, he was responsible for the Enterprise Business Unit and all technology related functions.

In his career spanning 24 years, he has had several noteworthy achievements to his credit, which include leading one of the highest growth businesses in the telecom industry, creating one of India's finest Enterprise Business teams alongside a profitable business model, and producing one of the world's most cost effective telecom networks and best-in-class IT functions.

He has extensive experience in the areas of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service Delivery, Project Management, Commercials and Contracts Management, Telecom Technology Management and IT, Business Turnarounds, and People Management. He has travelled widely and was also the CTO & CIO at Bakrie Telecom, Indonesia.

A.G. Rao holds a bachelor's degree in Electronics Engineering from Bangalore University, India.

George Zacharias
Independent Director, Matrimony.com
Experience: 30 years in Strategy, Marketing & Sales
Prior Companies: Mindtree, 7Strata, Yahoo! India, Madura Coats / Garments, Grindwell Norton
Currently based in Bangalore, has over 30 years of diverse and successful work experience. George graduated from Nagpur University with a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering in 1980, and a PGDBM from XLRI Jamshedpur in 1982. He has worked in Grindwell Norton (Marketing Officer), in Madura Coats Threads (several Sales, Branch, Distribution, Product, Export, General Management roles), in Madura Garments (President), in Sify Ltd (President and COO), in Yahoo! India (Managing Director), in 7Strata (co-founder and CEO) and, after the sale of 7Strata to Mindtree, as Chief Strategy Officer, Mindtree. He has also been involved with turning around CricInfo and is an Independent Director on the Board of Matrimony.com.
Kapil Bardeja
Co-Founder, KritiKal SecureScan | Co-Founder, Nanosniff Technologies
Experience: 11 years in IT & Nanotechnology
Prior Companies: McKinsey & Co.

Currently based in Mumbai/Noida, is a serial entrepreneur and an angel investor. Kapil juggles ventures at the cusp of biology and information technology. He started his career with a short stint at McKinsey & Co. before co-founding KritiKal Solutions (an IIT Delhi incubated company) as one of the partners. Founded in 2005, KritiKal SecureScan (KSS) works on computer vision based security, surveillance and traffic enforcement products. KSS received the NASSCOM Emerge Award in 2014. In 2011, he co-founded a fabless MEMS company, Nanosniff Technologies, along with two senior faculty at IIT Bombay. Nanosniff has done extensive work on nanoelectronic sensor based products for gaseous sensing and Bio-MEMS devices.

Kapil is a member of the National Innovation Council on Nanoelectronics formed by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Government of India). He also runs a not-for-profit enterprise, Peopleyo Training and Research Institute, focused on skill development for rural women and vocational education for underprivileged children. He is an avid technology reader and an angel investor primarily in technology product startups in India and Israel. Kapil has been featured in technology and entrepreneurship television programs including CNBC "Young Turks Innovators" and Times Now "Power of Shunya".

Kapil holds a bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Delhi University and an MBA in Technology Management from IIT Delhi.

Krishnakumar Natarajan
Executive Chairman , Mindtree Ltd
Experience: 35 years in Information Technology
Prior Companies: Wipro

A leading authority in the global IT sector, Krishnakumar Natarajan co-founded Mindtree in 1999 and has played key roles in building the company’s innovative approach to delivering IT services and solutions to global 2000 enterprises. Krishnakumar was instrumental in setting up Mindtree’s U.S. operations, driving expansion in Europe and Asia Pacific regions, and transforming Mindtree’s IT services business. Today, his mission as Executive Chairman is to focus on leadership development and ensure a high quality of governance. He also actively mentors different business groups within the company and works closely with the start-up ecosystem to bring in innovative models of business transformation for clients. In his prior role as CEO and Managing Director, Krishnakumar was responsible for making Mindtree a global IT player. Krishnakumar’s efforts as a business leader have been recognized worldwide, winning him several laurels. He was ranked amongst the most valuable CEOs in India by Business world & Forbes in 2016. He won Bloomberg UTV’s award as the CEO of the Year in 2010, Business Today CEO of the year award in 2014 and was recognized by Chief Executive Magazine’s as one of the twelve global leaders of tomorrow. EY honored him with Entrepreneur of the year 2015 in Services. A 35-year IT industry veteran, Natarajan held several key positions at Wipro before co-founding Mindtree. During this time, he launched and grew the ecommerce division of Wipro, served as Group Vice President of human resources, and was Chief Marketing Officer for Wipro’s IT business. In 2013, Natarajan served as Chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), where he worked to strengthen the Indian IT industry to be a globally competitive ecosystem comprised of both established and emerging companies. Krishnakumar is an active member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He is also a regular speaker at international IT industry conferences and a faculty member at management schools around the world.

He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Chennai, India, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Xavier Institute, Jamshedpur, India.

Madhav Sivaram
Director at Fiddelis, Independent Speaker and Learning Specialist
Experience: 20+ years in Banking, Investments, Educational Services, Business Planning
Prior Companies: ABN AMRO, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Julius Bar

Currently based in Bangalore, Madhav's professional background spans two decades in financial services - across activities involving strategy and operations, client management and business development - in particular within the Institutional Banking and Investment Management businesses in Asia, UK and Europe. He is also involved with the operational establishment of a ‘greenfield’ privately held Investment Office with investment and philanthropic interests, which he continues to advise.

He is a director in Fiddelis, a GCC and Africa-focused market-entry and advisory firm, and is also a speaker and training specialist to a number of global banks, financial ratings groups, sovereign wealth funds and investment offices in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The interplay of finance, technology and psychology are his areas of particular interest.

Over the years, he has been variously involved as an investor and advisor to start-ups in the financial analytics, gaming and social travel sector, and continues to build upon these interests as well as his other – most notably, musical - pursuits.

Madhav received his MBA from INSEAD (France) and his MMS from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute (India).

Mahesh Uberoi
President & CEO, MphRx (USA)
Experience: 39 years in Marketing & Entrepreneurship
Prior Companies: AT&T, Xerox
Mahesh Uberoi, currently based in the US, is the President and CEO of My Personal Health Record Express (MphRx), a healthcare IT firm he founded in 2008. He brings over 25 years of experience in the areas of business management, international marketing, product marketing and sales, having worked for Fortune 100 and startup companies. Mahesh was the founder and CEO of Uii Corp., a software development and consultancy company based in Princeton, NJ with an offshore software center in Mumbai, India and branch offices across the US, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Dubai. Uii was one of the first offshore software companies in the US having serviced several Fortune 500 companies and the US Federal/State/Local government agencies. Uii was sold in 2001 to Cognicase (NASDAQ:COGI). Mahesh then launched Webify Solutions, a sister company of Webify Services in 2003 to develop a software product/solution to ease the communication between insurance companies, employers and healthcare providers, which was then acquired by IBM in 2006. Mahesh is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, India, and holds a Masters degree in Operations Research from Syracuse University, NY.
Manohar Rajan
Executive Coach, Senior Management Consultant
Experience: 30 years in Financial Technology, Banking and Entrepreneurship
Prior Companies: Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Swiss Banking Corporation, Morgan Stanley

Manohar Rajan is an executive coach, and senior management consultant with over 30 years of financial technology experience, 25 years of which were with Wall Street investment banks.

Manohar has a diverse professional history, with a mixture of senior corporate leadership roles, as an entrepreneur, a management consultant and in people management. The locations are also diverse with the first 25 years the U.S. and Europe and the last 10 in South Asia. The passion for people development started soon after returning to India and recognizing the need and desire of young aspiring leaders for guidance and mentoring, decided that this was now his life’s purpose.

He started his career in in financial services as a systems programmer, and grew into senior leadership roles in Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Swiss Banking Corporation. In 2000, he started a technology consulting firm specializing in data analytics and predictive modeling, which was acquired in 2003 by a large IT services company.

He was also Country Manager, India - Technology for Lehman Brothers, helping them set up their own technology subsidiary in India and later managing Operations Technology for Lehman Brothers, APAC.

Manohar is active in the Pan IIT alumni community where he anchors a Financial Technology Round Table which aims to create an environment where academia, industry, start-ups can come together and share ideas and work on understanding and using latest technologies in the industry.

He is certified from the Coaching Foundation of India and in addition brings a toolbox of techniques that are customized for each situation.

He is an IIT & XLRI graduate who has lived and worked in New York for the first 25 years of his career and later moved to Chennai India.

Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha
Chairperson at ICA Edu Skills
Experience: Over 24 years in Education

Based in Kolkata, Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha is a serial entrepreneur, visionary, mentor and investor, whose focus has been education and skill development. He has more than 24 years of experience in the education industry spread across India.

He is the founder and chairman of ICA Edu Skills, which is into providing training in accounts, banking, finance, taxation and computer applications leading to a guaranteed job. ICA Edu Skills trains close to 40,000 students every year through their paid and government sponsored programs contributing to the mission of "skilling India".

He also founded EduLift, which manages a network of associates which in turn connects Edtech products to schools, colleges, tutorials, institutions and universities across India. He also runs incubation centers focusing on EdTech products.

He is a Co-Founder of STEM world school - a chain of world class K12 schools which implements experiential learning and practical training methodologies. He is an active member in many forums that promote entrepreneurship and also extremely passionate about mentoring young Indians through scalable and sustainable business models. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Nikhil Barshikar
Managing Director, Imarticus Learning
Experience: 15 years in Banking
Prior Companies: Nomura / Lehman Brothers
Currently based in Mumbai, is the Founder & Managing Director of Imarticus Learning. His fifteen-year career spans a smorgasbord of roles within Investment Banking, all of which culminated in the founding of Imarticus Learning, a leading player in Investment Banking & Data Analytics education. He began his career in the Corporate Finance division of the erstwhile Lehman Brothers at New York, following which he moved to Mumbai to set up Lehman's India operations. He has successfully managed large Operations, Technology, and Consulting teams during his tenure. In his last assignment with Nomura, he was responsible for Strategy and Change Management across IB, Capital Markets and Support services. He holds a joint Executive MBA from Columbia University and London Business School.
Dr. Nirupa Bareja
Director, India Operations - Vicus Therapeutics
Experience: 30+ years in Biotechnology
Prior Companies: Biocon

Dr. Nirupa Bareja has had a brilliant academic career along with rich corporate experience. A PhD in Biological sciences, she received a CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) fellowship for her doctoral work. She was the batch topper in Marine Biology in the MSc. programme at Bangalore University. She was also offered the prestigious ‘Rhode Scholarship’ from the University of Oxford, UK, given to young women scientists for post doctoral research in the field of Biology.

She worked for the Biocon group for over 15 years, during which she helped introduce and build systems in multiple divisions of the company. She was instrumental in working with a team to get a number of Quality system accreditations for the company - ISO, FDA, CAP, Kosher, to name a few. Her unique skills lie in seamlessly transitioning multiple roles in her professional life. After successfully leading the Quality and Manufacturing functions, she introduced HR systems and processes for the company. In recognition of her significant contribution across several areas, she has been conferred several prestigious awards.

Another dimension to her persona, is her passion to serve the community from a social angle. When at Biocon, she has been responsible for education, healthcare and child welfare programs for village school children. She has also led missions in the field of Biotech and HR systems and practices. She has also contributed as a speaker at various technical conferences, institutes of management. As a scientist, she has publications in noted national and international journals. A unique amalgamation of technology and management, Dr. Nirupa Bareja after her tenure at Biocon, has decided to contribute to the community in an individual capacity. She also enjoys guiding students by way of career counselling, facilitating internships etc.

Presently, she heads the Indian operations for Vicus Therapeutics, a US headquartered biotechnology and therapeutics company. She is also a Chief Advisor at the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation, Bangalore and is on the scientific & technical advisory board of two innovative start-up companies - SigTuple & Aten Porous.

Nitin Chopra
Former Head of Retail & Consumer Banking at RBL Bank

Nitin brings over 34 years of experience of which 26 years have been spent working in the financial services industry. He has been instrumental in the introduction of several ‘firsts’ in the Indian retail banking industry, including ‘365 extended banking’ & ‘doorstep banking’.

Nitin was an integral part of the core team leading transformation at RBL Bank and responsible for expanding the bank’s footprint across the country. Nitin in his role with the bank oversaw Business Banking, Retail Branch Banking, Retail Assets and Liabilities including Credit Cards and HNI businesses as well as the Marketing function of the Bank.

Nitin’s career began with a stint at Unilever Group, followed by a 9-year period working with Bank of America NT & SA which saw him don various hats for the bank. Post the regional sale of Bank of America’s retail business to ABN AMRO Bank, he went on to head the consumer banking business at ABN AMRO Bank from July 1999 to May 2006.

Post his stint with ABN AMRO Bank, Nitin joined Bharti AXA Life Insurance, a private life joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and AXA as CEO. He steered BAL through a rapid phase of growth (CAGR of over 100%) at a time when the industry was seeing a period of sluggish growth.

Nitin holds an engineering degree from IIT, Kanpur and is a PGDM from IIM, Ahmedabad. Nitin retired from RBL Bank in 2015 and now pursues personal interests including getting associated with the education sector. He serves as an advisor as well as in independent Director on a few Boards.

Pankaj Vaish
Former Managing Director, Accenture India
Experience: 31 years in Consulting / Professional Services / B2B sales
Prior Companies: Accenture, Lakshmi Vilas Bank (Independent Director)

Pankaj Vaish is currently based in Bangalore, and has over 31 years of experience in consulting, professional services and B2B sales. He started his career in 1985 with Accenture and was with the company for over 28 years. He was part of the founding team for Accenture’s India operations. He has wide ranging experience across professional services, including consulting, technology, BPO, outsourcing, offshoring, P&L management, large / complex deals, M&A etc. He has built businesses from scratch and scaled them to global proportions.

When he left as MD of Accenture, he was a member of the global leadership team of the Communications, Media and Technology (CMT) business, where he held various roles, including Asia Pacific MD and Global MD of CMT Management Consulting.

Previously he was MD of Accenture’s Delivery Center Network for BPO, before which he founded Accenture’s BPO operations in India. His contributions to Accenture's HR function and the BPO industry in India earned him the prestigious "CEO with HR Orientation" Award by ACCOR Services.

Pankaj was center stage in the transformation of Accenture India into a global powerhouse, starting as a founding member of its India consulting practice in 1987-88. He also contributed to the Accenture strategic agenda such as Horizon 2012, Human Capital Strategy and Leadership Careers Framework.

Pankaj was an Independent Director on the board of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) for 3 years until July 2017. LVB is a rapidly growing, publicly listed private bank in India. During his tenure at LVB, he was a member of many key Board Committees, including the Audit, Management, HR and IT Strategy Committees. He was closely involved with its transformation, of which technology is a key focus. LVB is now ranked amongst the 500 best companies in India and is included in the MSCI India Small Cap Fund.

Pankaj is active in India's startup ecosystem. He is advising 3 startups – a company with an automation suite for Employee Cooperative Credit Societies (ECCS) and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), an on-demand micro information services provider to companies and a social media platform that enables brands to directly connect with consumers. He is a member of Keiretsu, a global angel investor network, and of IvyCamp, India’s first Unified Innovation and Entrepreneurship Platform, leveraging the global alumni network of leading educational institutions in India.

Pankaj has an MBA from Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA and a B. Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT-BHU (Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University). He was a Gold Medalist at IIT-BHU, and he has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni award by IIT-BHU.

Prabhakar Jain
CEO, International Business, Pidilite Industries
Experience: 34 years in Strategy & Marketing
Prior Companies: Goodyear India, Akzo Nobel / ICI Paints, Asian Paints, Madura Coats
Based in Mumbai, is currently the CEO of International Business for Pidilite Industries Ltd ("PIL") since April 2014. Prior to this role, he was the CEO for the Fevicol Division, the largest division of PIL. He also worked with Goodyear India as its Chairman & Managing Director. He has great exposure to the emerging markets of Asia, having spent over 15 years with ICI Plc in different roles including the Managing director for ICI Paints Thailand & Singapore and General Manager for ICI Paints Indonesia. His key areas of strength include general management, strategy and planning. His international experience also includes 5 years spent in Europe as General Manager for strategy and planning for the European decorative paints business and also as Vice President Procurement for the specialty chemical business of ICI Plc. Prabhakar Jain is a postgraduate in Marketing from XLRI Jamshedpur.
Pramod Krishnamurthy
Independent Consultant
Experience: 25 years in Technology & Financial Services
Prior Companies: Birla Sun Life Insurance, Fullerton India Credit Corporation, Citigroup

Currently based in Mumbai, Pramod has around 25 years of rich experience in the field of Technology & Financial Services. He has worked in Consumer Banking, Investments, Retail and SME Lending, and Life Insurance. He has helped to provide the crucial technology edge to enable companies to differentiate themselves positively in the marketplace. 

He has held several senior leadership positions in the IT and Financial Services Industry, and has been an entrepreneur himself running a software company early in his career. Pramod has been recognized through multiple awards and accolades, including the pan-Asia Celent IT Leadership Award.

Pramod is now an industry consultant, part-time academic and exploring business options in the sports technology area. He has done his B-Tech from IIT Chennai and received his MBA from IIM Kolkata.

Rahul Balyan
EVP & Head, Digital Initiatives, Radio Mirchi
Experience: 16 years in Marketing & Strategy across Digital, Media & FMCG sectors
Prior Companies: Coca-Cola, Asian Paints
Currently based in Mumbai, is an MBA from IIM Calcutta (1999) and a BE (Chemical) from Punjab University (1997). He has 16 years of experience across Digital, Media & Entertainment, and FMCG sectors. For the last 8.5 years he has been with ENIL (Radio Mirchi) and has handled marketing, led the traditional media business, and currently leads the digital media business. Prior to this he has worked with Coca-Cola and Asian Paints handling diverse roles across sales, distribution, marketing, business strategy, new market entry strategies and international business expansion. He is a technology enthusiast, an amateur photographer, an avid blogger (www.rahulbalyan.com) and a runner.
Rahul Verghese
Founder & CEO, Running & Living Infotainment
Experience: 33 years in Marketing, Branding, Strategy & Entrepreneurship
Prior Companies: Motorola, Nestle, Unilever
Currently based in Delhi, is a marketer who switched gears from a corporate to an entrepreneurial role. He worked for 25 years with Unilever, Nestle, a garment firm and Motorola in varied national, regional, and global marketing as well as business management roles, before starting his own venture - Running and Living Infotainment. His company is focused on being a 360 degree marketing platform (online/ offline/ relationship builds / social media and community connects) for companies and brands. They have organised 20 runs across 10 States of the Country, with the content on running reaching more than 3 million households regularly. Building communities, and fueling passion in peoples' lives is what he is believes in. Recently, he published a book titled - Running and Living. He holds an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. In his spare time, Rahul plays the guitar, goes skiing and trekking, and long distance running, having run 51 marathons in different parts of the world.
Rajiv Sawhney
Former CEO of Hutchison Telecom Indonesia
Experience: Diverse experience in Consumer/Durables/Telecom, with 15 years of experience in the Telecom industry.
Worked in StartUps in Hutchison Telecom on three different occasions.
Prior Companies: Hutchison 3 Indonesia, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd., Telecom Business Group of Essar, PT Hutchison CP Telecommunications, Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia, Hutchison Essar Ltd., Blow Plast India Ltd.

Currently based in Bangalore, Mr. Sawhney brings with him a wealth of experience having worked in India, Thailand and Indonesia primarily in the telecom industry. His last stint was as President Director of Hutchison 3 Indonesia, in Jakarta. He has also been the Chief Executive Officer of the Telecom Business Group of Essar, prior to which he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia Ltd. in Thailand, a subsidiary of CAT Telecom Public Company Limited. Mr. Sawhney’s association with Hutchison and Essar goes back to 1999 when he joined Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. and served as Executive Director of Hutchison Essar Ltd. (now Vodafone Essar).

In addition to his experience in the telecom industry, Mr. Sawhney has been Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd. and served as a Member of the Group Executive Board at Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. He has also spent 9 years with Blow Plast India Ltd.

Mr. Sawhney holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree from Punjab University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Dr. Rakesh Sinha
Laparoscopic and robotic surgeon, Founder of Womens Hospital
Experience: Over 25 years in Gynecology

Dr. Rakesh Sinha is based in Mumbai and is a laparoscopic and robotic surgeon. He is the founder of Womens Hospital. His endoscopy career spans over two decades. In the recent past, he's been President of Indian Association of Gynecological Endoscopists (IAGE) and was a board member of the International society of gynaecological endoscopists. He earned his Masters in Gynaecology from the Bombay University, and a diploma in gynecological endoscopy from the Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany. Later he was awarded the Post Doctorate Clinical Fellowship in Endoscopy at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

He holds two Guinness World Records for having removed the largest fibroid and heaviest uterus, laparoscopically.

He is a pioneer in 3 dimensional training in laparoscopy, and has trained over 600 gynaecological endoscopic surgeons globally. He has conducted several workshops, training programmes and is a highly sought after speaker at professional events and seminars globally. He has innumerable scientific publications to his credit in international index journals and has contributed several chapters in many books.

He is a motivational speaker and a mind management expert. His background in medicine has helped him give a new dimension to the science of success. He is the only Indian featured in the Success Profiles by Jack Canfield (co-creator of Chicken Soup of the Souls series) and was interviewed on the Anatomy of Success. He is a licentiate practitioner for Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). He is a very popular speaker at corporate events, the Mumbai Police and educational institutions.

He has wide ranging interests outside of his area of professional expertise. He's been a past president of the Rotary Club of Bombay, Bandra, is a Paul Harris Fellow and has been the District Chairman of Rotary International. He is a long distance runner, with 4 marathons to his credit.

Ravi Virmani
Founder & Managing Director, Credihealth
Experience: Over 25 years of extensive experience in human resources, management consulting and healthcare
Prior Companies: Max HealthCare, Aventus Consultants, Trust Associates, Hewitt Associates, Escorts Limited

A successful business leader, Ravi had co-founded Noble House in his New Delhi garage which was acquired by Hewitt with Ravi at the helm of Hewitt Associates India as its co- founding Managing Director. After successfully stints as MD at Hewitt South Asia and CEO Aventus Consulting in Singapore, he returned to India as COO of Max Healthcare immediately before founding Credihealth. Ravi has a successful entrepreneurial track record and comes with a deep understanding of the healthcare market. Under his guidance and leadership, Credihealth has emerged as the market leader in the online hospitalization space. He won the award for Entrepreneur of the Year in 'Service Business – Healthcare' presented at the 5th edition of Entrepreneur India Awards. He was also the jury member at the 2016 DMA CMO Choice Awards and an invited speaker at IAMAI’s 10th India Digital Summit 2016.

Ravi holds an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Renzo Viegas
Adviser to the Group CEO at CIMB | Board of Directors - Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad and Sun Life Malaysia Takaful Berhad | Angel Investor | Mentor & Advisor
Experience: 32+ years in Banking
Prior Companies: Citibank, RHB

Based in Malaysia, Renzo Viegas, is the Adviser to the Group CEO at CIMB. He has extensive experience in the banking industry and started his working career with Citibank in 1985 where he progressively held senior positions and headed various aspects of banking operations in India, Singapore, Malaysia and the United States of America over a 23-year period. Thereafter he held several leadership roles in RHB bank where he rose to the position of Deputy Managing Director before joining CIMB Group in April 2012 as Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Renzo was also CEO of Group Consumer Banking, CIMB Bank and an executive director for CIMB Bank before his current role.  He also sits on the Boards of Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad and Sun Life Malaysia Takaful Berhad.

Renzo holds a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from University of Mumbai and is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow Member of ICAI. He is an alumni of Michigan State University where he completed the Advanced Management Programme in Strategic Marketing Planning.

Sameer Nandwani
Director, Gravitational Network Advisors Pvt Ltd & Weft Waft Consultancy Solutions Pvt Ltd
Experience: 30 years in Consulting, Investment Banking & Corporate experience

Sameer brings 30 years of experience in the consulting and corporate sector. He grew up in the UK , graduating from Manchester University in Management Science, going on to do his accountancy at Deloittes, before relocating to India in the mid 1990s. Sameer has spent time in industry, investment banking and consulting thereafter and based on his practical hands on knowledge of the Indian and Western culture now concentrates on cross border transactions assisting companies from inception to launch to set up ventures in India taking care of all legal, commercial, structuring, financial and identification of JV partner issues.

He has in-depth working knowledge in domestic and International sports and gaming related sector and to this end has been part of the FICCI working group on “Legalization of Sports Betting within India”. Within industry Sameer has significant experience in the agricultural & plantation sectors. He has also advised a number of organisations on their internal systems and corporate structure.

Sameer specialises in advising international clients on entry strategies and procedures into India as well as providing his significant negotiation skills for Indian companies tying up with partners abroad. Sameer’s skills lie particularly in financial and commercial planning and bringing together management styles of the West with Asia.

Sanjay Guha
Advisor
Experience: 30 years in Consumer Goods
Prior Companies: DKSH, Coca-Cola, Unilever
Currently based in Bangkok, has over 30 years of global consumer goods experience in India, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He started his career with Unilever, India and was responsible for a number of innovative, high profile marketing campaigns in the shampoo and toothpaste categories. He then moved to Coca‐Cola International and held various responsibilities including President of Coca-Cola for UK & Ireland, Nordics and Indonesia. More recently, he ran an Asia focused USD 5 billion consumer goods business for a leading Swiss public company. He is currently providing advisory services to select clients. Besides successfully leading large operations, Sanjay has during his career been deeply involved in incubating and nurturing new business initiatives. Sanjay is an Economics graduate from Delhi University and received his MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad.
Satyajit Karmakar
Independent Consultant
Experience: 30 years in Marketing
Prior Companies: HDFC Bank, Triton, Result McCann, McCann Erickson

Currently based in Mumbai, Satyajit Karmakar has over 30 years of diverse work experience in the field of marketing. He supervised FMCG product launches and also handled the Unit Trust of India account, marketing mutual funds after which he decided to explore Direct Marketing and Experiential Marketing at Result McCann as their Mumbai head. He also had a short stint at another media agency before joining HDFC Bank as AVP, Marketing in the year 2000.

During his tenure at HDFC, he has led some successful marketing campaigns, including analytics driven campaigns. He was also responsible for Marketing Communications with additional charge of Regional Marketing for over 2000 branches.

He moved on to become Senior VP of Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing within HDFC Bank after which in 2015 he decided to start his own venture in the education technology space.

He has done his post-graduation diploma in Mass Communications and also a diploma in Marketing.

Shankar Dey
Independent Financial Consultant
Experience: 40 years in Banking and Finance
Prior Companies: EFG Wealth Management India, Essar, Tata Sky, N.M. Rothschild & Sons (India), Peregrine Capital, Citibank

Based in Mumbai, Shankar Dey has over 40 years of experience in the Indian banking and finance industry. He began his career with the ICI Group of companies in India and subsequently moved into banking.

After a long career with Citibank in India and overseas, he joined Peregrine Capital India in 1994 as a Deputy Managing Director where he was responsible for setting up and managing the corporate finance, advisory, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets businesses. After which, in early 1997, he was appointed Managing Director and CEO, both of which positions he held until mid-1998. Post this, he moved to N.M. Rothschild & Sons (India) to set up its India operations, where he was CEO for almost 3 years. Here his primary focus was on mergers and acquisitions and providing advisory services to leading international and local corporate and government departments/companies mainly in the telecommunications, power, oil and gas, transport and financial services sectors.

From 2001 to 2004, he was a consultant providing independent services which involved fund raising, corporate valuation, restructuring and mergers and acquisitions.

Early 2004, he was appointed CFO with Tata Sky Limited, where he was involved in the setting up & structuring of a joint venture between the Tata Group of India and Newscorp for direct-to-home television in India. Subsequently, he worked for Essar, a leading diversified Indian business group, in the area of business development for a year. In Nov 2006, he joined EFG International as CEO in India and was responsible for setting up their India operations. He left EFG in Mar 2012 and is now an independent financial consultant. He received his MBA from IIM Kolkata.

Shashaank Awasthi
India Advisor, Gray Ghost Ventures | Co-founder, v-shesh
Experience: 20 years of extensive experience in the banking and financial services industry, including impact investing, and in entrepreneurship
Prior Companies: ABN Amro, IDBI Bank, Tata Group

Shashaank is India Advisor to Gray Ghost Ventures (www.grayghostventures.com) which is a pioneer in impact investing. Gray Ghost Ventures (GGV) makes early stage investments in businesses and its portfolio companies seek to improve the lives of underserved people around world through sustainable business models. GGV makes investments as the first institutional investors in innovative start-ups and has investments in India, Bangladesh and sub-Saharan Africa. As India Advisor, Shashaank works on pipeline development, pre investment support including due diligence and post investment support to investee companies. Shashaank has been member of board of directors of impact businesses in sectors like education, remote data capture financial inclusion et al.

Shashaank has prior experience with start-ups and in financial services. He was member of the start-up team that built ABN Amro Bank’s Commercial Banking Business in India for and was Head of the Commercial Bank for North & East and South India before. He also worked with IDBI Bank and Tata Group prior to ABN Amro Bank.

Shashaank is also co-founder of v-shesh (www.v-shesh.com) which is an award winning impact enterprise he co-founded with P Rajasekharan (Raja). Listed on the Global Diversity List (supported by The Economist) and empanelled with Accessible India Campaign, v-shesh assists People with Disabilities in education, training and jobs and organisations with disability inclusion. v-shesh is a United Way Chennai Champion and its work has been recognized with Shell-NCPEDP Helen Keller Award as well as an award for work in financial inclusion of People with Disabilities from low income communities.

Shashaank holds an MBA from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.

Sherif Fikry
Global Corporate Director, a Leading Pharmaceutical and Biotech Enterprise
Experience: 15 years in Strategy & Marketing in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Prior Companies: Aventis Pharma, Allergan Pharmaceuticals, JULPHAR (Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries)

Currently based in Paris, is a highly effective global commercial operations leader with 15 years of experience in leading commercial activities for healthcare products. He is currently Global Corporate Director in a Leading Pharmaceutical and Biotech Enterprise, leading the corporate strategies for Patient Centricity deployments across its operations from R&D to Commercial Operations with special focus on the future launches and the internal culture.

He has deep business insights in the pharmaceutical industry from local to global levels with a successful record of increasing revenue and bottom line, launching global brands, as well as managing teams and P&L.

His areas of expertise include general management, global commercial operations, strategic marketing and leadership & organizational management. He has a bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and also an MBA from Strathclyde University, UK. He has a High Potential Leadership (HPLP) and General Management Program (GMP) degree from Harvard Business School.

Shreya Pandit
Independent Consultant
Experience: 23 years in Human Resources
Prior Companies: Nestle India, Diageo India, Boyden Consulting India, Positive Moves Consulting, Hong Kong.
Currently based in Hong Kong, is an experienced Human Resources Executive. She is currently an independent consultant. She has around 23 years of experience across various areas of HR expertise including Recruitment, Training, Compensation and Benefits, Organization Structuring and Talent Management. She has held senior positions in companies like Nestle India, Diageo India, Boyden Consulting India and Positive Moves Consulting, Hong Kong. Shreya graduated from University of Delhi in 1990 with an Honours Degree in Psychology and has a Post Graduate Diploma from XLRI Jamshedpur in Human Resources Management.
Sonya Hooja
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Imarticus
Experience: 10+ years in Management Consulting and Financial Services
Prior Companies: Accenture
Sonya Hooja is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Imarticus. She has 10+ years of work experience at Accenture (Management Consulting), Goldman Sachs and the erstwhile Lehman Brothers across United States, Singapore and India. She is responsible for strategy at inception and delivery as well as project management across various verticals across diverse industries such as financial services, education, public sector and pharmaceuticals. Sonya holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Srinivasan Sridhar
Senior Advisor, Oliver Wyman
Experience: 30 years in Financial Services
Prior Companies: Citigroup

Currently based in Mumbai, Sridhar is a financial services expert with over 30 years of experience gained internationally and in India. He was with Citigroup for 28 years and has worked in 6 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe. Some of the leadership positions he held with Citi included being CEO for three countries, Corporate Bank Head for India, Transaction Services Head for Africa and Bank Services Group Head for Central, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Sridhar brings deep emerging markets experience from around the globe.

Sridhar is currently a Senior Advisor with Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm. He joined Oliver Wyman in early 2013 as a Partner and India Head. He works with CEOs, Boards of Directors and other senior leaders of top Financial Services companies in the region on topics such as Management Strategy, Risk Management, Client Coverage models, Product and Distribution strategies, Cost Optimisation, Governance and Regulatory Compliance.

Sridhar is a graduate of Delhi University and is also a Chartered Accountant.

Sumeet Srivastava
Partner at Spocto, Active Investor and Mentor
Experience: 20 years in technology and life sciences
Prior Companies: Monsanto, GE Consumer & Industrial, Genpact InfoSolutions - R&D

Based in Mumbai, Sumeet Srivastava has over 20 years of experience and is currently the Chief Executive Officer and partner of Spocto. He is an active investor and mentors several existing and future entrepreneurs. He is interested in investments that can have a societal benefit and where companies can deliver results with a focus on broader good.

Sumeet is a business technologist, converting business problems into usable products via consistent engagement of customers. He firmly believes and has demonstrated that Digital Reach to the semi-urban and rural world could have profound societal benefits. In the age of scarce information, digital medium can have the most personalized and measurable impact.

Prior to his entrepreneurial venture Spocto, Sumeet was the CIO-Asia for Monsanto Company, a sustainable agriculture company. During his stint, in 2013, he was featured in CIO 100, CIO Asia magazine’s gathering of CIOs. He has developed a strong understanding of the rural and semi-urban markets across developing countries. He has spent several years setting up digital businesses serving farmers and developing multi-channel retail solutions.

Sumeet strongly supports the conservation of the environment and participated in United Way of America since 1999. He is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and has completed several leadership courses offered by renowned Universities. He has completed MDP in Rural Marketing from IIM, Ahmedabad and is a Master in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology.

Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula
Faculty, IIM Bangalore
Experience: Member of Advisory Committee & Member of Screening Committee, N S Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL), IIM Bangalore

Currently based in Bangalore, is an Assistant Professor at IIM Bangalore. Dr. Suresh Bhagavatula is affiliated to the N S Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at IIM Bangalore and is a member of its Advisory Committee and Screening Committee. In addition to a host of activities towards promoting entrepreneurship, NSRCEL also runs an incubator cell on campus for startup and early stage companies.

Dr. Suresh Bhagavatula's research interests are in two partly overlapping domains - entrepreneurship and social networks. In entrepreneurship, his interests are in both low and high technology firms in India. Within the social network domain, he is interested in understanding the influence of social capital on performance of entrepreneurs and teams. His research work has been published in Journal of Business Venturing (JBV), Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (ETP), Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (SEJ), and IIMB Management Review (IMR).

In the past, he worked at TRDDC (Tata Research Design and Development Centre), within their mineral processing division, as a process engineer and in KVK (Krishi Vigyan Kendra) Visakhapatnam as a Microenterprise coordinator.

He holds a Ph.D. from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and an MS from University of Flensburg, Germany.

Suresh Rangarajan
CEO & MD, ArthaGroup
Experience: 21 years in Banking, Payments & Internet Businesses
Prior Companies: TimesofMoney, Remit2India, Citibank
Suresh Rangarajan K (SRK) has been a passionate & intense start-up professional. One of the early adopters to the internet world, SRK was part of the founding team of Citi-Times JV TimesofMoney.com. Under his enterprising leadership, remit2india went on to become World's No.1 Online Money Transfer portal & one of the most successful internet businesses. SRK founded Artha Money - an online broking platform & established Artha Group, as a leading real estate company. SRK was conferred with the prestigious Udyog Rattan award in recognition for his strategic & innovative thinking & success in incubating new age businesses.
Swaminathan Subramaniam
Co-founder – Nutrea
Experience: More than 25 years of experience in healthcare and life science
Prior Companies: Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Aurigene Discover Technologies, Sanmar Specialty Chemicals, Rheoscience, Merck and Co., Abbott.

Dr. Swaminathan Subramaniam is a physician-scientist-corporate executive turned entrepreneur. He engages with companies on technology evaluation and development, business development, as well as customer facing issues such as branding, customer experience, and customer acquisition. His current interests span the healthcare and life science industries, particularly those businesses and services that have a consumer healthcare/wellness, tech enablement component.

He completed his degrees in Medicine (M.B., B.S. Madras University) and Clinical Pharmacology (M.D. Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh) before moving to the University of Pennsylvania where he studied for a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology.  He then worked at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda where he carried out electrophysiological studies of NMDA receptors in hippocampal slices in the context of epilepsy.

Swami returned to India in 1995 to take up a position at Dr. Reddy’s Research Foundation as Head of Clinical Research and DMPK.  He led the team that filed the first IND from Dr. Reddy’s for a new molecule.  He subsequently moved through different roles including marketing and strategy during which he set up Dr. Reddy’s Contract Chemistry services business and then an independent subsidiary company – Aurigene Discovery Technologies.  He then moved to Bangalore as the first MD and COO of Aurigene.  He led the team responsible for the construction of a greenfield drug discovery facility occupying over 200000 sqft of space – as the first India based drug discovery services CRO.

Subsequently, he has held leadership roles at Sanmar (Chief Executive – Research Businesses), Rheoscience A/S (Head – India operations and Business Development), Merck and Co., Inc. (Head, Licensing – India, and SE Asia) and Abbott Nutrition (Head – R&D, India).  He has recently founded Nutrea a start-up nutrition company based in Bangalore, India.

He has published and presented extensively in the areas of neuropharmacology, drug discovery, DMPK, entrepreneurship, and innovation strategy.  He was awarded a research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and was a Chevening scholar of the British Foreign Commonwealth office at the London School of Economics in 1999.  He has attended executive programs at Stanford, Indian School of Business and Indian Institute of Management.

Tej Pochiraju
Jaaga Startup
Experience: 14 years in Entrepreneurship
Prior Companies: Aristos Labs, micrograce

Based in Bangalore, Tej runs Jaaga Startup with a fantastic group of people. Jaaga Startup helps derisk early stages of building need-driven startups by sharing knowledge and infrastructure within a community of exceptional entrepreneurs.

Previously, Tej ran two consulting startups, micrograce in Bangalore/Leicester and Aristos Labs in Belfast. In between the two, he led wireless/microwave product development at Pera Technology. Most recently, he failed at trying to build beyon:labs - a hardware product startup. During his relatively nascent career, he has worked with over 150 SMEs across the globe and helped build over 30 hardware products.

He holds a PhD from Queen's University of Belfast, a Master's degree from IIT Kharagpur and a Bachelor's degree from Mumbai University.

Umang Moondra
Financial Services Consulting | Angel Investor | Startup Mentor
Experience: Over 20 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry across Asia Pacific
Prior Companies: Citigroup

Umang is a transformation leader with over 20 years of business management, operations & technology, client delivery and sales experience in banking, across Asia Pacific. He is passionate about crafting and leading change driven by strategy, culture, digitization and automation, aimed at quantum leaps in bottom line, revenues, client delivery and risk mitigation. His cross functional experience provides him with a unique perspective on the end to end connectivity in banks.

Umang’s enthusiasm and zest for startups comes from this same passion for change, particularly given the momentous changes being driven by FinTech.

Given his vast experience and interests, today, Umang advises financial services organizations on transformation related to Operations & Technology, Transaction Services and Wealth Management in addition to being on the mentor panel for the accelerator, Startupbootcamp FinTech.

Venkat Raju
Angel Investor | Mentor & Advisor | Board Director | Strategy Consultant
Experience: 30 years in Technology, Strategy, Management Consulting
Prior Companies: ACI Worldwide Inc., Startups backed by Kleiner Perkins, Benchmark Capital etc. in Silicon Valley, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, VerticalNet, British Telcom Company, Cloud Computing & Saas Company

Mr. Venkat Raju currently serves as a Strategy Consultant for the ANSR-Kyron group. He is an active angel investor and serves as a mentor & advisor to several companies (and also as a Director in some). His current portfolio covers a wide spectrum - spanning Cloud Computing & SaaS, Big Data & Analytics, Mobility & Payments, E-Commerce, IoT, Social Media & related Consumer Internet.

Mr. Raju is an accomplished entrepreneur & seasoned executive with strong business, technology and general management credentials. Most recently, he served as the India Country Head & Managing Director for ACI Worldwide Inc., a leading global payments solutions provider. He has held several roles including as - an Entrepreneur (CEO & Founder of startups backed by Kleiner Perkins, Benchmark Capital etc. in Silicon Valley); an IT Executive (Managing Director & VP positions at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank) in Wall St; a Product Executive (GM & SVP Products at VerticalNet in San Francisco), Chief Technologist (Chief Architect for British Telecom in London); a Management/Strategy Consultant (Principal of a boutique firm focused on Cloud Computing & Saas in New York); and a Product & Services Delivery Head for APAC.

Mr. Raju has deep domain expertise in several verticals including Financial Services, Technology, and Telecom. He has lived and worked in three continents and has run global teams. He is an alum of Boston University (Management & Business) and Indian Institute of Science (Electrical & Electronics Engineering).

As a past Fortune 500 Operational Executive, a Silicon Valley Technology Entrepreneur, an active Angel Investor in technology companies, a contributor to the startup ecosystem and advisor to Venture Capital firms & Accelerators, he has been on both sides of the fence and brings a lot to the table.

Vikram Kshettry
Head of Small Business Products, Asia Pacific, Visa
Experience: 24 years in Banking and Payment Services
Prior Companies: ABN AMRO
Currently based in Singapore, has more than 24 years of experience in banking, including 17 years in ABN AMRO. His last role was the Regional Head of Multinational Client Relationships for Asia. He has spent more than 7 years with Visa and is currently the Head of Small Business Products for Asia Pacific for Visa. His expertise lies in guiding businesses in commercialization of their business ideas. He has spent significant time working with technology partners to create solutions to help businesses make payments or collect payments conveniently and with cost savings. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Vikrant Patil
CEO & MD, Vinsys IT Services
Experience: 25 years in Information Technology & Entrepreneurship
Prior Companies: Aptech

Currently based in Pune, founded Vinsys IT Services in 1999 as a one-stop training provider that caters to the growing demand of corporate training and workforce development. Under his dynamic leadership, the company has diversified into corporate training and consulting across the learning and development spectrum with a strong presence across technology training, IT service management, IT governance, project management training and consulting, foreign languages, and behavioural and management solutions. With his relentless efforts, a passionate and focused outlook towards customer satisfaction and employee growth, and an uncompromising commitment to quality and service, the company has established long term symbiotic associations with most of its customers, including Fortune 500 MNCs.

Prior to founding Vinsys, Vikrant was with Aptech, having started his career with a MNC in Dubai. He is an engineering graduate from Pune, India with a post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Melbourne, Australia.
Vishal Tulsian
Director, Tunaiku, Indonesia
Experience: 18 years as a Financial Expert and Intrapreneur
Prior Companies: Tolaram Group, Standard & Poor's, A.V. Birla Group

Based in Indonesia, Vishal has over eighteen years of experience as a financial expert and intrapreneur, having worked in several executive functions in large corporations within diverse multinational environments.

In 2013, he founded the the FinTech Startup - Tunaiku (now part of Bank Amar) in the space of online lending based on predictive and big data analytics, where he is responsible for the conception of the idea and its execution.

Vishal has spent more than a decade with the Tolaram Group where he has several achievements to his credit including turnaround of loss making manufacturing units into one of their most desirable assets (as CEO), successful handling of the liquidation of a bankrupt textile company without being declared bankrupt (as CFO), and creation of deep banking relationships throughout Estonia which enabled multiple fundraisings and restructurings.

He specializes in spotting of business opportunities, execution of plans, business strategy development, financial & marketing planning, sales & operations management, and team building.

Vishal is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, and Costs and Works Accountants in India. He holds a master's degree from University of Liverpool, UK and has completed the Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Vivek Jetley
CEO & MD of Urbana Health, Singapore
Experience: More than 20 years in Healthcare
Prior Companies: Max India, Parkway Health (now IHH Healthcare), Avenue Capital Group

Vivek is the CEO & MD of Urbana Health, a Singapore incorporated company which provides Business Advisory Services in Asia and India, focused on strategic and financial issues in the area of Healthcare. Urbana offers solutions for market entry, expansion and diversification, facilitating investments and raising capital. He has had a long and successful track record in several leadership roles - CFO, Managing Director & CEO of Max India Ltd., a multi business conglomerate; Head of Business Development at Parkway Health (now IHH Healthcare), Asia's largest healthcare group and Country Manager at Avenue Capital Group, a large Private Equity Fund in Asia.

Vivek is a Business and Investment Manager with a record of success and achievement in developing, leading and investing in successful business ventures across several industry domains - Private Healthcare Services, Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing & Distribution, Contract & Clinical Research, IT Services, Business Process Outsourcing, Life Insurance and Telecommunications. He has worked and developed business in India, Asia (Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei) China, Middle East and the United States. Actively involved with Business/Industry Forums and Trade bodies, in India and Singapore, he has also been a Speaker at several forums and Panel Discussions on Healthcare.

Currently, he works with leading healthcare players, strategic and private equity Investors and corporations in developing investment opportunities, project management and revenue enhancement. He also leads investments into early stage and exceptional business opportunities by partnering with reputed investors and healthcare operators.

He holds a Master's Degree in Business Management (with a Specialization in Finance) and is a Fellow Member of The Institute of Management Accountants of India. He is also a qualified Company Secretary.

Zubair Ahmed
Vice President & Head, IT & Business Innovation, Emirates Islamic Bank (UAE)
Experience: 22 years in Finance Technology
Prior Companies: Dubai Bank, Mashreq Bank

Currently based in UAE, is the Vice President, Head of IT & Business Innovation at Emirates Islamic, reporting to the CEO. Prior to this role, he spent 2 decades at the heart of the finance technology industry, in several leadership roles. With a proven background in IT leadership and management, Zubair has been involved in development & execution of IT strategy encompassing implementations of new core systems, direct channels, infrastructure solutions and process institutionalization. In several organizations, he has architected cultural transformations, using corporate value frameworks.

More recently, Zubair has successfully led transformations in several areas of Islamic Banking. He is the author of the book "Power To Kids" which serves as a guide in 'applying quality & management principles to parenting'. He is also actively involved with a number of non-profit causes across the region. As an ardent speaker / panelist, Zubair is regularly featured in numerous conferences around the world.