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, 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.
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.
Karan Bhagat, Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IIFL Investment Managers
Karan Bhagat is Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IIFL Investment Managers (earlier IIFL Wealth & Asset Management). Karan joined IIFL Holdings Ltd. (formerly India Infoline) to set-up IIFL Wealth Management Ltd. in early 2008.
Karan is responsible for providing direction and leadership towards the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, vision and its strategic goals and objectives. He has built a team of experienced and talented professionals from within and outside the industry, who work with and for, some of the most distinguished wealthy families in India & abroad.
He has over 15 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Karan holds an MBA in finance from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and acquired his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta.
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.
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.
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.
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.