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.
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.
Shilpa Sharma, Co Founder, Jaypore
Shilpa is Co-founder & Head of Product Curation & Communication at Jaypore e-commerce. Jaypore focuses on products with unique, high quality craftsmanship; unmistakably local designs that feel at home anywhere in the world. The company’s products include home decor, accessories, jewelry, apparel, gifts, vintage items and more. Prior to starting up Jaypore, Shilpa worked in Fabindia as Head of Product Development & Buying.
Badri Pillapakkam, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network
Badri Pillapakkam is an Investment Partner at the Omidyar Network and sources and executes Emerging Technology investments in India and South-East Asia. His role builds on his extensive experience in the finance and investing fields. Since 2010, Badri has led investments in and sits on the board of Omidyar Network’s portfolio companies such as Dailyhunt, Vistaar Finance, 1MG Technologies, IndusOS, Overcart and Aspiring Minds.
Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Badri served as a Vice President, Investments and Fund Operations at Xander Advisors, a private equity firm focusing on real estate investments in India. Previously, Badri worked in the financial risk management division at Exl Service, a leading provider of business process outsourcing services, and in the assurance and business advisory services division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers India, where he worked on statutory and tax audits, due diligence reviews, and feasibility studies for top MNCs.
Badri is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in India. He graduated with an MBA from the Indian School of Business, where he made the dean’s list, and earned his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Madras.
Anurag Jain Co-Founder & COO at KredX
Anurag is co-founder at KredX, one of India’s first peer-to-peer online invoice discounting platform that connects credit-worthy SMEs looking to raise fast working capital to individual investors looking for opportunities to earn above-average returns.
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.
Amit Kumar Agarwal, Founder & CEO, NoBroker.com
Amit if co-founder at NoBroker.com, one of the world’s largest C2C real estate platform that is eliminating intermediaries in real estate transactions with a tech-based approach.
NoBroker is an algorithm-based, managed non-broker marketplace that ensures that only owners and tenants/buyers contact each other. From residential rental, we have expanded to buy/sell of properties thus becoming the first and only C2C player disrupting this segment in India.
The company raised $ 3 mn in Series-A round from SAIF partners and Fulcrum ventures in Jan ’15, followed by a US $10 mn Series-B round which was led by BEENEXT and Digital Garage, with participation from SAIF Partners, BEENOS, Qualgro & Mamoru in Feb ’16
Prior to founding NoBroker, Amit was Associate Director in the CEOs office at ANZ Bank.
Sudarshan Motwani, Founder and CEO, BookMyForex
Mr. Motwani is the founder and CEO of BookMyForex.com. Mr. Motwani has been associated with travel related foreign exchange and remittance business now for 25 years. He has conceptualized, successfully introduced and headed Foreign exchange services (FES) as a new revenue line at four different banks in India.
Attributed with introducing travel related Foreign Exchange Services in Indian banking, Mr. Motwani first introduced this business line as a new vertical in Bank of Punjab. Foreign exchange services subsequently went on to become Bank of Punjab’s most profitable business line. He has since, successfully introduced and headed this same vertical at Centurion Bank of Punjab, HDFC Bank Ltd and ING Vysya bank.
Known to be a pioneer in the foreign exchange space, Mr. Motwani has introduced several new product/ delivery channel innovations through his career. His most recent achievement included launching the world’s first multi-currency pre-paid forex card in collaboration with VISA at ING Vysya bank.
K. Chandrasekhar, founder & CEO, Forus Health
K. Chandrasekhar (KC) along with his friend Shyam Vasudev founded Forus Health in 2010 with the goal to prevent avoidable blindness. KC is the CEO and an executive board member of Forus. KC received his Master’s of Science and Technology from Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS Pilani), PGDMM from Annamalai University and Global Manager Program from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. KC has a successful track record of over 20 years in handling Business Development, Business Strategy, Operations Management, Partnership Management & Sales Management portfolios for major Semiconductor and Software Companies. KC has extensive experience in handling customers & partners in USA, Europe, Asia-Pacific & Middle East Markets. He has worked in Senior management positions with NXP Semiconductors, Philips, Alliance Semiconductors, etc. KC is a Certified Corporate Director from the Institute of Directors.
Sidharth Menda, Chief Executive Officer, CoWrks
Sidharth Menda is the Chief Executive Officer at CoWrks. Founded in 2016, CoWrks is the young entrepreneur’s brainchild, on a mission to create India’s largest coworking community by 2017.
Upon graduating from Bentley University (Boston, USA), Sidharth launched his career in the real estate sector and has continued to gain ground since. With a keen focus on core real estate acquisition and opportunistic development across a multitude of asset classes, viz., offices, hospitality and residential, he is on a quest to change the face of shared office spaces.
With a fervour for real estate and technology, Sidharth observed that there is a huge disconnect between corporate workspaces and the modern workforce – which primarily comprises of millennials. An orthodox outlook has resulted in lack of: inspiration, innovation and collaborative thinking. This drove Sidharth to design coworking spaces that foster a community of like-minded individuals who would not only build business relationships with each other but also connect on a social level.
At CoWrks, Sidharth brings together the best of both worlds – With the foresight to understand how coming generations work, he has created a balance between work and play. The members of the coworking space get to grow within a collaborative network. Completing the member experience, is an exhaustive host of amenities that one can pick and choose from, in accordance with their needs.
Sidharth is fast taking on the coworking space domain and plans to establish over 300 centers across the globe. So far, he has achieved prolific success by adding Fortune 500 enterprises, small scale enterprises, startups and a pool of freelancers, independent professionals and entrepreneurs to his extensive client list.
Madan Padaki, Co-Founder, Head Held High Services
Madan Padaki is the Co-founder, CEO & Managing Director of Head Held High Services, a rural access accelerator that unleashes the power of the Ruban (a term for the neo rural-urbans) by providing career access to youth, business access to entrepreneurs and market access to corporates.
An engineer from NIE Mysore and an MBA from SPJIMR, Mumbai, Madan had worked with Wipro, Infosys and Mphasis (Japan) – before being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug in 2000 when he co-founded MeritTrac – as a pioneering idea in skills assessments. MeritTrac is today India’s Largest Skills Assessment company and is recognized as a thought-leader in the sector. MeritTrac was acquired by Manipal Global Education Services, one of India’s largest education services company.
He is recognized as one of the young leaders in the education space in India. In 2011, he was conferred The Young Education Leader Award by EDGE Forum – a forum of leading educationists and educational institutions in India. He is also on the Governing Council of TiE Bangalore, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, Karnataka and is a founding Partner of Social Venture Partners, Bangalore.
Satya Kaliki, Co-Founder & CTO, Indix
Satya Kaliki is a Co-Founder & CTO at Indix, a Product Information Marketplace, enabling businesses and developers with easy access to largest collection of structured product information. Prior to Indix, he co-founded couple of Product companies including ZANEC & iSOFT. Satya also served as CTO of Harvard Medical Institutions. Earlier on, he played key roles in the engineering teams at companies such as NetScaler, Cisco Systems, and HCL Technologies.
He earned his Master’s in Computer Science and Engineering from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
K. Ganesh, Chairman of Portea Medical; Partner at Growth Story
Krishnan Ganesh, is currently Chairman of Portea Medical and founder of angel investment platform GrowthStory. His previous entrepreneurial venture, TutorVista, was acquired by education company, Pearson, for US $213 million. His currently involved with companies such as Bluestone, BigBasket, HomeLane.
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.
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.
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.
Umesh Sachdev, founder & CEO, Uniphore
Umesh Sachdev, CEO is the Co-founder and CEO of Uniphore Software Systems. Prior to Uniphore, Umesh co-founded Singularis Technologies, whose Mobile Theft Security product received global recognition. In 2009, Umesh was identified as an innovative entrepreneur by the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP). He has authored various papers and developed several patent applications involving Speech Recognition and Speech Biometrics. Umesh was also featured in the Indian Edition Of MIT Technology Review’s ‘Innovators Under 35′.
ER Ashok Kumar, founder & CEO, Scripbox
As CEO, Ashok drives the business direction at Scripbox. He rallies himself & the entire organisation towards making Scripbox’s customers dream come true by making its offerings simple, jargon free & investor friendly. Ashok brings 20 years of strong track record of building high growth businesses that are customer obsessed. He has held various leadership positions at IT, Telecom & Hitech companies such as Wipro, Intel, Airtel, Nortel & Cisco.
Krishnan Raman, Co-Founder & CEO, Flutura Decision Sciences & Analytics
Krishnan is a thought leader in Analytics with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and till prior to founding Flutura, was the Global Head of Business Analytics at MindTree Ltd, a business unit that had been incubated from scratch and scaled to a 1000 member plus team. Before MindTree, Krishnan ran his own entrepreneurial venture that focused on providing process automation solutions to Auto & Auto Ancillary companies and before that, he was a strategy consultant focused on IT strategy with the Strategic Change practice at PWC.
He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering.
Srikanth Narasimhan, co-founder, Veda Corp
Srikanth is a co-founder of Veda and has over sixteen years of well-rounded experience in investment banking, private equity and corporate planning. He has advised and assisted many companies in their funding plans and M&A. He has also invested in companies, been on their boards, taken part in their growth strategies and successfully raised funds/acquired businesses for growth.
Earlier, Srikanth was with Ernst & Young, leading the private equity and M&A activities in the technology & services sectors. Prior to that, he was with ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of ICICI Bank (listed on NYSE), investing and managing a portfolio of investments in the IT/ITES sectors. He was also with RelQ Software, the leading software testing services firm in India, managing their corporate planning activities including acquisitions and fund raising. He has corporate experience as well, having worked with companies like TATA Motors and TATA Technologies.
Srikanth has an MBA from IIM Bangalore and holds an Engineering degree from BITS Pilani.
Mr. Joyjeet Bose heads the SME Operations for South, Tata Teleservices (TTL).
Mr. Bose has been a part of the core team involved in setting up the TTL Enterprise Business in India, heading multiple functions in corporate office covering Sales Strategy, Business Enablement & Solutions. Prior to the enterprise role, he was heading numerous circles for mobility business across the country. Mr. Bose has more than a decade of experience in enterprise and SME business.
In his previous assignments, Mr. Bose had worked with multiple telecom operators for consumer business, leading ISPs and data communication organisations. He has worked with Hexacom India Ltd (Oasis Cellular), Bharti BT Internet Ltd and Worldwide Technologies Ltd, where he was responsible for launching operations in Rajasthan, Mumbai, Pune and few other states of Northern India to drive over all business growth.
He is an alumnus of the TATA Group Executive Leadership Program.
Pravin Patil, MD & CEO, Starkenn Sports
Pravin Patil is Managing Director & CEO at Starkenn Sports Pvt Ltd. Starkenn Sports Pvt Ltd (SSPL), is a complete cycling company dedicated to getting the best of cycling experience to amateur casual cyclist to professional riders, kids to adults, men to women all alike. We do this through few of the best experience centers in the world right here spread across India, through outdoor experiential riding through local casual rides to Sunday long rides to Inter City Discovery rides! Essentially spreading the Joy of Cycling..
SSPL also distributes few of the best cycling brands of the world in India like Giant Bicycles, Starkenn Bicycles, Shimano, Jagwire, Kenda Tires & tubes, Tektro, KMC chains, SR Suntour suspension forks, Mavic, Topeak, Limar Helmets, Joes no flat lubricants & sealants, Bicisupport, Q lite, Buzz Rack and Elite. Prior to kickstarting his entrepreneurial journey, Patil was President of Hero Cycles, and was the profit centre head for the premium cycles segment.
Ashwin Padmanabhan, Chief Operating Officer at Reliance Broadcast Network
Ashwin is a veteran in the booming radio industry in India, having spearheaded the startup and scaleup of 92.7 Big FM in the Country. Currently, he’s COO of Reliance Broadcast Network.
Nishith Rastogi, co-founder & CEO, Locus.sh
Nishith is co-founder & CEO at Locus.sh, a platform for enterprises to manage intra-city logistics for Scheduled and On-Demand deliveries. He’s a hacker at heart and leads a team of top-notch engineers with ambitions to build one of the best software platform with cutting edge technology for the logistics sector. Nishith has also worked at Amazon.com and also co-founded PinChat.
Arjun Pratap, CEO and Founder, EdGE Networks
Arjun is co-founder & CEO of EdGE Networks, a technology company dedicated to skill development through data analysis and interpretation. The company’s ability to do so relies on the simplicity of its approach with the vision to create and establish valuable technology solutions across focus areas such as human resources, recruitment, employablity and skill gap analysis. The drive of the business is centered on the building of a collaborative ecosystem that provides job seekers and companies real value.
Sashank Rishyasringa, Co-Founder, Capital Float
Sashank Rishyasringa is the current co-founder of CapitalFloat, a digital finance company serving small businesses and start-ups in India. A Stanford graduate, Sashank was earlier an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, where he advised several leading financial institutions, investment funds, governments and foundations on business strategy, governance, operations and risk management.
Sumit Chhazed, Co-Founder, CredR
An IIT Bombay graduate, Sumit Chhazed co-founded CredR along with Nittin Mittal and Nikhil Jain, in February 2015, to bring trust, convenience and transparency in the used automobile industry.
CredR is not Chhazed’s first entrepreneurial stint. Earlier, he founded Coursewave, aimed at disrupting engagements in online learning, which was later acquired by a Silicon Valley-based company. Prior to that, he was a core group member of Educell, an inititative by IITians, aimed at providing mentoring to JEE aspirants. There, he headed business development and human resource management.
Sridhar Venkatesh, VP – Product Management & Business Development, Indix
A veteran of two startups, and most recently the CEO of an Indian joint venture, Sridhar moved to India in 2007. He grew up on the coast in San Diego and then spent five years at MIT in Cambridge, MA. When he’s not at work, you can find him on the beach training for a marathon or out on the water.
Raghav Verma, Co-Founder, Chaayos
Raghav, an IIT Delhi graduate of 2010, is the co-founder of Chaayos. He looks after the creative domain – marketing, business development and branding. An avid baker, he has created some of the sandwiches and dessert offerings at Chaayos.
Prior to this, he co-founded an online education company called Prepsquare. Before that, Raghav worked with Opera Solutions on analytics projects for large global credit card, private equity and logistics companies. He is also a semi-professional bass guitarist, and has played with 2 Delhi-based bands in the past 5 years.
Rahul Garg, Founder, Moglix
Rahul brings in 14+ years of experience in Technology Industry across Asia. Prior to this he was Head of Advertising Exchange for Asia at Google, based in Singapore, where he was instrumental in the launch of AdX. During his 5+ years stint at Google, he also wore hats on leading the strategy for Display, Mobile and Video advertising and Search products business. During the period he also led the IAB Advertising and Marketing initiatives across SEA. Prior to Google, Rahul worked as Senior Product and Engineering leader in the technology industry and holds 16 US patents + several publications in the area of system and algorithm design for Wireless and Multimedia products. Rahul has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and MBA from Indian School of Business – where he was awarded with the prestigious Scholar of Excellence.
Outside of work, Rahul is an active angel investor across India, SEA, Japan and US – some of the notable being Govoyagin, Tookitaki, 1click.io, Mobikon, Catchthatbus, Pitstop and more.
Dr. Charit Bhograj, Founder, Tricog Health
Dr. Charit Bhograj is the founder of Tricog, a healthcare startup which develops technology-enabled ECG devices to help heart patients gain access to quick, accurate and affordable diagnosis, which can lead to significant mortality reduction.
He carries over 30 years of experience in cardiology, having taken up the role of a consultant cardiologist at Vikram Hospital (Bengaluru) and Fortis, before deciding to turn entrepreneur.
Sachin Jaiswal, Co-Founder, Niki.ai
Sachin graduated from IIT Kharagpur in 2011 and started working at Oracle as a Product Manager, building data-driven products. After a year co-founded a data analytics startup, Innovaccer. Duringthe three years at Innovaccer, he juggled roles and saw the company grow into a sustainable venture. He started as VP Operations. Thereafter, he moved on to VP, Business Development.He is a firm believer of the power of technology, and its applications to build businesses at scale.