The Jury comprises of some of India’s most respected CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors. The jury committed to making an unbiased, well-informed decision based on the information and facts presented to them. The methodology used to identify India’s top 50 startups will be published and the Jury process will be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
The jury members include:
Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds
Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds, a next generation IT Services company, is widely recognized as one of the pioneering leaders of the Indian IT industry.
Prior to founding Happiest Minds in August 2011, Ashok led the growth of Wipro’s IT business from US$ 2 million to US$ 500 million run-rate. Subsequently, he was founding Chairman & MD of Mindtree and led it through a very successful IPO. His second entrepreneurial venture, Happiest Minds has already established several benchmarks in the IT Services industry in India and is on course to achieve its goal of being the fastest to achieve US$ 100 million revenue.
Ashok began his career in 1965 with the Shriram Group of Industries in India. In 1978, he became CEO of Shriram Refrigeration, a company which was unprofitable for four straight years. Ashok facilitated a complete turnaround, making it profitable in his very first year and taking it to a position of leadership in each of its product lines.
Ashok is a leader of industry. He was President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India’s largest Industry association and also President of Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology. He has served on the Prime Minister’s Task Force for IT and on the Advisory Council for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva. For his contributions to India’s IT industry, he has been recognized twice as IT Man of the Year, also as Electronics Man of the Year, and recognized at Infocom 2013, Kolkata, as one of the 12 Gems who helped to build Indian IT Industry. The companies he has led have created about 25,000 jobs during his leadership tenure.
Ashok’s philanthropic contributions are channeled through Ashirvadam, a Trust he has created for Environmental Protection and help for the needy including vocational training, education and medical assistance.
Ashok holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Roorkee University (now IIT, Roorkee) and an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines. He is a Fellow of INAE. Ashok’s hobbies include trekking, the outdoors, yoga, taichi and meditation.
K. Ganesh, Serial Entrepreneur & Partner – Growth Story
Ganesh is a successful serial entrepreneur with four successful green field ventures and exits.
His last venture, TutorVista was acquired by US and UK listed education leader Pearson for $ 213 MM . He was among the top 5 nominees for the Economic Times Entrepreneur of the year 2012 Award.
His current venture, Portea Medical, provides technlogy-led home health care to the Indian consumer.
He actively mentors, incubates and funds start-ups and is strategic investor and promoter of several Indian consumer Internet and ecommerce companies including Bigbasket.com – India’s largest egrocery company, Bluestone.com – leading online jewelry company and Avagmah.com – India’s fastest growing online higher education company.
Previously, Ganesh founded data analytics BPO firm Marketics, which was acquired in March 2007 by NYSE listed WNS for $ 63 MM.
His earlier venture CustomerAsset, was started in mid-2000 and later acquired by ICICI (NYSE listed, India’s largest bank) and is now publicly listed in India as First Source Solutions.
In 1990, he founded his first company – IT&T, one of India’s top multi-vendor IT service and support company. The business was acquired by iGate (a listed company) in 2003.
Ganesh has also worked as the CEO of Wipro/Bharti British Telecom – a British Telecom JV in India, and held a senior management position in HCL Ltd.
He is also a popular speaker in entrepreneurship, start-up and technology events. He has been recognized as one of the “Iconic Entrepreneurs of India” in a document published by National Knowledge Commission, Government of India.
He serves as a member of Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Krishnan is a post-graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi University.
Amit Patni, Co-Founder & Chairman, Nirvana Venture Advisors
Amit is Co-founder & Chairman at Nirvana Venture Advisors and is a promoter shareholder of Patni Computers. Patni Computers Ltd. was a pioneer in Indian ITES. The promoter family stake in Patni Computers was divested in May 2011 in a sale to iGate Corporation at value of $1.5 billion. Amit has 22 years’ experience in technology, software and projects. He has extensive experience in the computer hardware and components market in India and overseas. In his various roles, Amit has independently ensured implementation of Greenfield projects and launched new business operations.
As a Whole time Director of PCS Technologies Ltd., a listed Indian company in the computer hardware and manufacturing space, Amit was responsible for setting-up the copper clad laminates business. Subsequently he was Managing Director of PCS International Pvt. Ltd. with the responsibility of expanding PCS Technologies hardware business in UAE and Africa. Thereafter, Amit developed Health Management Systems, a healthcare software product that was marketed by PCS Technologies Ltd.
Amit is a Director of the Board of Patni Financial Advisors the family office of the Patni Family. Amit has done his BS in Accounting and Masters from Babson College, USA.
Naganand Doraswamy, MD & CEO, Ideaspring Capital
Naganand Doraswamy is the Managing Director and Founder of Ideaspring Capital, an early stage fund focused on technology product startups.
He has extensive experience in management and technology. He is a successful entrepreneur and is well networked in the community. He has over 25 years of experience in the industry and has held several leadership roles. Prior to spearheading the fund, he was the EVP & Co-Founder of SPAN Infotech, where he actively contributed to engineering in R&D and development as well as operations including HR, IT, and operations. Prior to joining SPAN, Naganand was co-founder of Lexar Networks, MA, USA working on an idea in cellular and Wi-Fi convergence. Prior to that, he was the Director of Software at PhotonEx Corporation, MA, USA where he built carrier class software for long haul transmission systems. He was one of the very early hire into the company that raised over $160 million in funding.
Even before, he was a Consulting Engineer at Nortel Networks. He was one of the architects and a technical lead for Nortel’s core router.
Naganand is a published author. He co-authored a book on IPSecurity titled “IPSec: The new security standard for the Internet, Intranets, and Virtual Private Networks,” published by Prentice Hall. As an active participant in IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) he was the chair of IP Compression Working group and chaired “Birds Of a Feather” forums (BOF’s) on VPNs. He has been awarded 8 patents and 2 patents are pending in the area of networking and security. He has 11 technical publications published in journals and conferences, has given numerous workshops at the Networld+Interop, and has been on various technical panels.
Naganand has a Masters in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He got his Bachelors in Computer Science from U.V.C.E, Bangalore, India. Naganand is married with two kids. He loves playing tennis and occasional golfing. He enjoys reading fiction.
Ganapathy Venugopal, co-founder & CEO, Axilor Ventures
Ganapathy Venugopal (VG) is Co-founder and CEO of Axilor Ventures. Axilor Ventures is a platform for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. Through its programs which include Accelerator, Scale-up and Early Stage Funding, Axilor aims to support early stage entrepreneurs improve their odds of success in e-commerce, healthcare and clean-tech.
VG has over seventeen years of experience in the areas of strategy, finance and consulting. Prior to co-founding Axilor Ventures, VG was Head of Strategy & Planning at Infosys. VG serves on the boards of several companies. Ganapathy holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a post graduate in management from IIM Lucknow.
Shaji Kumar Devakar, Managing Partner, IIFL Investment Managers
Shaji Kumar has over 17 years of experience spread across large private sector banks. As Managing Partner, Shaji Kumar is responsible for expanding and growing the wealth business in the southern region of India and spearheads the international business in UAE.
He has varied experience with leading names including Deutsche Bank and Barclays where he served as Director. Shaji Kumar is a post-graduate in Sales & Marketing from National Institute of Sales. He also completed his Business Administration from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore.
Shubhankar Bhattacharya, Venture Partner, Kae Capital
Shubhankar Bhattacharya is a Venture Partner at Kae Capital. Prior to joining Kae, Shubhankar was the Co-Founder & CEO of Yaqsh.com, an online store for diamonds & diamond jewellery. He has also played various roles at CMS Info Systems & Technip. Shubhankar holds a Bachelors in Technology degree from NIT Trichy, and an MBA degree from ISB Hyderabad, where he graduated with “Dean’s List” honours. His debut book, “VCs are from Venus, Entrepreneurs are from Mars” launched on the Juggernaut app.
We’re in the process of adding two more jury members shortly.