MENTORS

LATHIKA PAI

Lathika Pai is the founder of SonderConnect. Her prior work experience includes large technology companies in the US and UK like Nortel, American Management Systems (CGI) and a $300 million fundd startup Relera which was in the cloud and managed services space. As a serial entrepreneur, Lathika successfully raised capital for her ventures both through equity and debt funding, as well as provided profitable exits to her investors. Her first entrepreneurial company Virtual Source was merged with Talisma's Technical Support arm to form B2K Corp which grew to 600 employees, and was then sold to Allsec Technologies. She has been on the Board's of International technology companies and helped them with their strategy for Asia. She is currently the Country Head at Microsoft for Startups, which supports startups in India and South East Asia. Microsoft for Startups engages with growth stage and typically Series A funded B2B startups.  

TAMMY REDPATH

Tammy Redpath is  senior Vice President and President of Target in India, an extension of the Minneapolis retailer's headquarters, located in Bangalore, India. In this role, Tammy leads all Bangalore-based operations in fields ranging from technology, E-commerce, and marketing to Human Resources, finance, data science and supply chain. Tammy joined Target in 1990. She began her career in stores and later held leadership roles in the marketing organisation. Before becoming the president of Target in India, Tammy was a senior Vice President of marketing, leading a global creative and operations team with discipline in strategy, digital and project management, production and experiential marketing. She was named president of Target in India in 2017 and has been instrumental in creating a strong cross-functional relationship between the Bangalore office and Target's Minneapolis Headquarters. 

BALA GIRISABALLA

Bala Girisaballa is the President of Techstars India. He received an MBA from Indian Insitiute of Management and an undergraduate degree from Osmania University. Bala is the founder and director of PurpleFront, a technology start-up helping small businesses leverage social media effectively to grow and retain customers. He was previously the MD of the Microsoft Accelerator India. 

His skills include- entrepreneurship and start-up experience in bootstrapping businesses from ground up, business strategy, M&A assessment & fund raising, expertise in enterprise application including CRM, ERP, SaaS, Om-demand & business portals and Technical expertise in Web, RIA (Rich Internet Applications) & open source technology. 

RICHA KAR

Zivame, an e-commerce company dedicated to the fashion needs of women, was established in 2011 by Richa Kar. Zivame is 

India's leading online lingerie store selling more than 50 brands, 100 sizes and 5000 styles. 

Prior to Zivame, Richa was a consultant at SAP. She remains active in Twitter and holds the reputation of one of the most influential women entrepreneurs in India.

  Founder of Zivame. 

RAJIV RAGHUNANDHAN

Rajiv is the founder of SeedX, an ecosystem for fund raising, advisory & business services for early stage ventures. He is also the Managing Partner at Arali Ventures, a deep tech, enterprise tech focused seed fund. His expertise is rooted in over 16 years of professional experience across Consulting, Operations & Technology fields. Rajiv also serves on the Board of Advisors across multiple early stage ventures. He has extensive experience in incubating & scaling new businesses, consultative selling, solution sales, large program management, business consulting and product design
 

Specialties: Angel investment, New business planning & implementation, Process Design, Product
Design, Operations Management, Large program management, Large deal pursuit management,
Talent development, Negotiation 

Managing Partner, Arali Ventures & SeedX

DILIP KUMAR

Dilip possesses over 15 years of post-qualification experience in all the areas of services provided by PDKA. His qualifications provide him with expertise and qualification for information Systems (IS) Audit. He specialises in business entry strategies for foreign companies in India, business valuations, setting up internal controls & corporate governances in start-up companies and providing CFO services to foreign companies in India. Dilip has also worked closely with startups in the past, assisting them in the following areas: the structuring of a legal entity, the need for a good accounting system, the importance of compliances and management reporting systems.

Chartered Accountant, P. Dilip Kumar & Associates

MEETA MALHOTRA

Meeta is a serial entrepreneur, who works at the intersection of branding, design and technology, and has founded 3 companies. Her career started with Infosys when they were just starting up. Meeta was one of two partners at Ray+Keshavan, a brand and design consultancy, before its acquisition by WPP-owned Brand Union in 2006, where she spent 14 years. Meeta co-founded KineticGlue, a social enterprise platform that was acquired by BMC Software in 2013. Meeta is also an active angel investor and advisor with KstartKalaari Capital’s seed stage fund. She has also created 'The Practitioner' at meetamalhotra.com, a Q&A resource for brand, design and marketing practitioners. 

Founder at The Hard Copy Previously Partner Ray+Keshavan Brand, Marketing, Design, Startups, Angel Investing

NANDITA LAKSHMANAN

A the Founder and Chairperson, Nandita provides the vision and direction for the PRactice. Her views on public relations, based on over 25 years of experience have helped shape the vision of the firm and influenced several of its best campaigns. Nandita is focused on establishing a culture of continuous leadership through mentoring and coaching,fostering entrepreneurship , and exploring collaborations which affiliates to prepare the firm for future growth. She leads with the belief that an idea is only as good as its execution, thereby maintaining a close eye on implementation and the last mile. Nandita has severed on various prestigious juries to determine excellence in PR, including the 57th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival for the PR category; the Sabre awards India, among others. She is an alumnus of the Fortune is State Department Global Membership Program, where she won the Exxon Mobil-Vital Voices grant for an idea titled “Integrity Decoded”. In 2014, she won the Sabre Individual Award for her contribution to the PR industry in India. The award called The PRactice as “unquestionably one of the best PR firms, showcasing a grown up, ethical approach that has served the firm well in a fast changing marketplace”. She was recognised among India’s top 10 women in Public Relations by Reputation Today in 2016. Nandita, in her free time, dabbles in the kitchen gardening and exploring the rich legacy of Indian arts and crafts- handloom in particular 

ARUNA SCHWARZ

Aruna founded Stelae Technologies 2002 to develop and commercialise software solutions in the Document Intelligence sector. Her experience is in utilising technology as an enabler to build customer driven solutions. Aruna possesses over 10 years experience in the IT and Telco sectors in UK, France, Spain, Africa and the Middle East with companies like Cable & Wireless, BT, 9 Telecom, Libertysurf and Rosebud Technologies. Her areas of expertise include strategy, marketing, product development and business development in IT and Telco sectors.

IRINA GHOSE 

As Country Head- Modern Workplace, responsible for driving Cloud Adoption and Digital Transformation for Office365, Windows, Security and Devices. This includes leading a team of Solution & Technology Specialists to develop business scenarios for the Enterprise & Public Sector customers and drive business growth and cloud usage. Approximately 22 years of industry experience including 17 years in Microsoft and prior to that at Wipro & HCL. At Microsoft, managed various leadership roles in Sales, Business Management & Strategy. Partnerships & Inside Sales in the Enterprise Segment & Education Vertical. Involved in various cross industry Diversity Initiatives and a recipient of the “Inspirational Women’s Award” at Microsoft. Outside work, lead initiatives for social causes related to Girl Child Education & also actively engaged with the start-up ecosystem along with SonderConnect (a foundation for Women Entrepreneurs) and Microsoft Accelerator. 

Specialties- strategic planning, conceptualising and envisioning new initiatives and execution excellence, team building and leadership, driving India centric innovation. 

 

SAVITA SINGH

Savita possesses over 20 years of technology experience, across multiple industries and geographies and is an expert in solving complex business problems with technology led solutions and building/turning around teams in global or local settings. She has worked with Global In-house Centres (GIC) for 15+ years and is very familiar with the strategic advantages as well as the challenges of offshoring technology work. She is actively engaged with the startup ecosystem and mentors early stage startups on technology and leadership matters. In her current role, she leads the technology work to drive Customer Centricity across the Royal Dutch Shell(RDS) Group of companies for both B2B and B2C segments with the goal of thriving in the era of energy transition towards a greener and cleaner world. In her last role as Sr.Director, Technology with Target, she led the digitalisation or front-of-store experience for millions of Target guests that shop across the 1800+ stores in US. This entails modernising the legacy point-of-scale, payment and return systems into an enterprise checkout capability that seamlessly inter-operates and integrates both internally and externally. Key priorities include rapid modernisation of the portfolio into micro-service based tiered architecture and API-fication leveraging the product management principles while organising the teams into Scrum based Agile model and SAFe lean, in-sourced engineering teams with full-stack ownership and open source tools and frameworks with strong focus on automation to reduce cost ownership. 

VAISHALI KASTURAE

Vaishali has 25 years of Banking and Financial services experience across Sales, Operations excellence , digitisation and automation. Currently is  heading the ISV business for AWS in India, helping B2B start ups achieve scale and global impact ans is a part of the AWS India leadership team.
Till recently, she was the India Managing Director and country head for Experian. She has  managed the India PnL and led focused growth in areas such as Credit Bureau, Decision Analytics and Software. Vaishali has also worked in the Corporate Bank-in operations and sales. She has  experience in setting a third party BPO practice and has lead and managed the Banking & Capital markets practice across the globe with a 2500+ headcount. Vaishali is responsible for Operations, Sales and Margins. End to End ownership of people and revenues. She has set up a Captive / GIC as the first employee in India and scaled it to over 50% of the global head count for a Fund Administrator (PE owned firm) and also has  experience in running the India Operations for the top Tier Investment Bank. Vaishali has managed Global process with functional ownership across the world.

ROMI MALHOTRA 

Romi Malhotra manages multiple start up operations starting from a handful employees growing to tens of thousands. Romi works with multinational companies and cultures and helps build strong teams, brands and processes. Also, practices and teaches leadership as a science of craft.

SAMEER GARDE

Sameer is a seasoned global leader with over 27 years of experience. He currently spearheads sales, operations, growth initiatives and strategic alliances as President of Cisco India and SAARC. Prior to joining Cisco, his expertise in technology and understanding of marketing opportunities has enabled him to lead several top-performing organisations across India, Europe, USA and Asia. He also played an instrumental role, while serving as President and MD in consolidating and stabilising the consumer and enterprise business for Dell India. Sameer has also served as President, South Asia at Philips Healthcare and Country Head for Enterprise Business at Samsung India.

President India and SAARC at Cisco india

RAVI KANNIGANTI

Ravi is working at Target at Director of Innovation and he manages Target Accelerator. He has more than 20 years of experience working for Retail and Supply Chain product companies such as Zebra Technologies, Tyco Retail Solutions Manhattan Associates, and Intel.

Evangelism and thought leadership on use of technology and process to solve business problems in retail and supply chain vertical is his core competency. He has experience aligning key internal talent with thriving eco-system by collaborating with partners, start-ups, universities, accelerators and incubators for innovation and faster development cycles. With strong project management background, he has experience translating strategy into practical steps for execution and rally key stakeholders around the future vision. Ravi has global experience and has worked with leading retailers and supply firm chains in the US, UK, Japan, China, Singapore, HK and India. Ravi graduated with MS in Engineering from Virginia Tech and MBA from Fischer College of Business, Ohio State University. He attended the "Retail Forum for Senior Leaders" at Harvard Business School Executive education.  

VINAYAK HEGDE

Vinayak Hegde currently works as CTO-in-residence at Microsoft forStartups. With over 17 years of experience, Vinayak has built multiple products across different domains such as IoT, large scale networks and large scale data systems in a variety of individual contributor and senior technical leadership roles. Previously, he has worked with Akamai, Inmobi and Zoomcar. 

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SHILPA SHARMA 

Shilpa has spent over two decades in the textile, crafts and lifestyle retail space. In 2010, she co-founded Jaypore, an online retail portal for exquisite Indian handmade and high on design craft products. She is on the board at AIACA and was appointed on a Leadership Group working on Circular Design Challenges by MIT in January 2019. Her domain expertise finds her empanelled with strategic advisory firms and also actively engaged with the IIM Ahmedabad led CCBP program for young entrepreneurs and the Young India Fellowship(YIF) at Ashoka University, as a mentor.

 

Aside from her work with FMCG, Creative and Lifestyle Businesses as a consultant, mentor and advisor, she manages to carve out time to manage two other ventures. Breakway (an outcome of her passion for travel, it plans and executes bespoke Beyond the Brochure experiential journeys around India) and Mustard (a delectable blend of a shared love for fine food and exceptional experiences, it offers Bengali and French cuisine and has a presence in Goa and Mumbai). 

SWATHI KULKARNI

Swathi is a seasoned professional with over 16 years of experience in the business of internet, digital marketing and growth. She has held multiple leadership positions in her career and has had successful stints at co-founding Nua, heading India operations for Inksedge and at Intel. An alumnus of ISB and BITS Pilani, her passion lies in growth hacking and designing impeccable customer experience products.

SEJAL SHAH GULATI

Sejal Gulati conceived and developed the concept of Time Inc India where responsibilities included setting up the entity both strategically and operationally. Time Inc. India is a rapidly growing global in-house center that consistently strives towards high standards of performance, delivery and excellence. She is also an ILI (Indian Leadership Initiative) fellow and moderator at The Aspen Institute which helps foster the next generation of values based leaders in India.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Business Development| Solution Sales| Strategic Marketing | Change Management | New Channel Development | Emerging Markets| Scaling Businesses| Incubating New Businesses | General Management 

General Manager Global Commercial Services at American Express, President Harvard Business School Alumni Board

SEEMA KUMAR

Seema Kumar is a senior technology leader with a proven track record of making technology and products work for the business. Her career spans several roles including product consulting, product management, business development, strategic alliances and partner enablement. Seema is proficient at understanding ongoing market trends and drivers and has been instrumental in influencing offering roadmap and strategy to suit various local and global market demands. She has experience leading and growing technical talent across the organisation. Over the last 15 years she has had the opportunity to be associated with several key shifts in the technology space spanning enterprise integration, business process management, Enterprise Mobility, Cloud and more recently Commerce, Marketing technology and Security. 

Country Leader, Cloud Technical Sales & Architecture at IBM

SANDY CARTER

Sandy Carter is a high performing executive with demonstrated expertise in General Management, Sales, Marketing , Strategy, and Ecosystem Development. Named one of the Top 10 Women in Technology, Sandy specialises in leadership, management, entrepreneurship, social media, digital marketing and strategy. Transcending disciplines, Sandy defines herself as multi-lingual in a technology driven businesses, with expertise in areas like Cloud, Internet of Things, Mobile and Social Media. Sandy is also an Adjunct Professor for Carnegie Mellon SV on marketing, innovation and leadership. She serves as an advisory board member with several organisations that strive toward diversity in the workplace and women's empowerment through entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Specialities: Leadership, Management, Entrepreneurship, Social Media, Digital, Marketing, Strategy
Technology Expertise: Cloud, Internet of Things, Mobile, Social 

Vice President at Amazon Web Services

SANKET ATAL

Sanket a leading executive in the field of Software Development with Enterprise Software with over 26+ years of experience in Informix, Oracle and CA Tech along with various E-Commerce (MakeMyTrip) companies, working in the US and India with geographically distributed teams. His areas of expertise lie in: business strategy, innovation, enterprise architecture, research & development, engineering, operations, program management, and process/governance.

Managing Director at Intuit

ARCHANA HINGORANI

Archana Hingorani is the co-founder of Siana Capital Investments. As the former ED and CEO at IL&FS Investment Managers, she has spent over 20 years focused on private equity and has been involved with 14 funds and overseen 160+ investments with an aggregate capitalisation value in excess of US$ 15 billion, 109 liquidity events and 70 fully exited investments. Archana is currently serving on the board at PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd and the Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Archaana is an advisory board member with TalentNomics Inc, a Washington based group that envisions expanding global leadership 

Co-Founder, Siana Capital Investments

DEBAJINI GHOSH

Ranked by Fortune India as the 11th most powerful woman in business in India, Debjani strongly believes that women should achieve complete substantive representation in the workforce. Debjani currently is the President of NASSCOM. Formerly the MD of Intel South Asia, she currently serves as an Independent Director on the Board of Yes Bank and is a member of Cisco's India Advisory Board. She is also a trustee of NASSCOM Foundation and Honorary Advisor, FICCI's/Innovation Committee. Her area of expertise lies in working with stakeholders to strengthen the prowess of the Indian IT-BPM industry globally and in India.

President - NASSCOM

HAROLD D'SOUZA 

Harold co-founded WalkWater Talent Advisors in June 2011. Today his firm is one of the fastest growing executive search firms in the country. Harold's expertise, rooted in over 18 years of experience in the executive search industry, is leadership talent acquisition. At WalkWater, he has worked with leading organisations like DHR International, Accord Group, Ernst & Young and PSS. His firm has also completed over 40 talent advisory projects for other established organisations and start-ups.   

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