Speakers

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Avnish Sabharwal

Managing Director
Accenture India
Avnish Sabharwal is Managing Director in Accenture, responsible for Accenture Ventures. He is responsible for designing and leading the Ventures and Open Innovation programme for India including managing relationships with start-ups, VCs, PEs, Accelerators, Incubators, Industry bodies, Government as well as Academia.

He has 25 years of distinguished track record of achievement and performance around developing, growing and turning around businesses for Top 500 Fortune clients in both mature and emerging markets. He is currently serving as elected member of NASSCOM Product Council.

Avnish is part of the Big Data and AI Steering Committee for India headed by Ministry of IT and Telecom, Government of India.
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K Ganesh

Serial Entrepreneur & Partner
GrowthStory & Promoter Portea Medical
Ganesh is a successful serial entrepreneur with four successful green field ventures and exits. He actively mentors, incubates and funds start-ups and is promoter of several Indian consumer Internet and ecommerce companies including Bigbasket.com – India’s largest eGrocery company, Bluestone.com – leading online jewelry company, Avagmah.com – India’s fastest growing online education company and HomeLane – India’s leading end to end, vertically integrated interior design and manufacturing provider which delivered more than 1000 projects delivered across the country. In addition, his angel investments include little eye labs (acquired by Facebook in Jan 2014), mustseeIndia.com, overcart.com delyver.com, onlineprasad.com, Pokkt, SilverPush and Oximity.

Previously, Ganesh founded of the data analytics BPO firm Marketics until March 2007, when the company was acquired by NYSE listed WNS for $ 63 MM. His previous 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.
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Prakash Mallya

Managing Director, Sales and Marketing group
Intel India
Prakash Mallya is the Managing Director for Intel India’s Sales & Marketing Group, and responsible for developing new growth areas in the region and has been with Intel for over 17-years. Over the years, he has held several regional roles–as the Director for Intel Asia’s Data Center Group, he managed the region’s data center strategy for cloud service providers, communications service providers, enterprise, and government infrastructure. He previously led Intel’s Asia Pacific strategy to win in the Manufacturing and Oil & Gas verticals. Prakash was responsible for Intel’s business growth in Malaysia and Singapore as the Country Manager of both of these countries. Prakash holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and an MBA in Marketing Management. Travel, photography, music and fitness are his passions.
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Gopal Pillai

Director & GM
Amazon Seller Services
Gopal has rich experience in diverse firms ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, with a focus on general management and innovation in products and services.

Gopal has been with Amazon for over 8 years, in various roles in US and India. He moved to Bengaluru, India in 2015 to lead Seller Services for Amazon India. He currently manages all aspects of the seller services ecosystem in India including seller acquisition, seller education & enablement services, fulfillment channel products, seller experience, seller engagement and seller offline and online marketing initiatives. Amazon India currently has over 300,000 sellers and over 170 million products, growing rapidly.

Prior to Amazon India, Gopal managed the Amazon.com Home Entertainment category and the Heavy Bulky Delivery Experience program for all US Retail categories. Prior to this, Gopal was the Category Leader for Mobile Electronics categories and the Product Owner for AmazonWireless.com, a specialty website for cell phone products and services.

Prior to Amazon.com, Gopal was Director of Digital Products for BusinessWeek. Before that, Gopal’s roles included co-founding an early stage technology startup and leadership roles in Non-profit, Healthcare, Insurance and Energy sectors.

Gopal graduated from the Executive MBA program at the Kellogg School of Management and has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Madras, India.
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Rajesh Raju

Managing Director
Kalaari Capital
Rajesh is a pioneer in investing in direct-to-consumer companies in India. His investment interests span consumer categories in retail, education and mobile. Rajesh returned from the US in 2006, drawn by the immense potential that India presents for entrepreneurs in reshaping the country. He has been a part of the startup ecosystem ever since.

In a career spanning over 20 years, Rajesh has had a broad set of experiences in the technology industry across product development, sales, M&A, equity research and private equity. He currently serves on the boards of several companies. Rajesh has an MBA (Hons) from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, a Master’s in engineering from Marquette University and Bachelor’s in Engineering from BITS, Pilani.

Portfolio: Cashkaro.com, Simplilearn, Magzter, Ovenfresh, Truweight, Embibe, Swipe Telecom, Superprofs, Truebil and Shopalyst.
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Alok Goel

Managing Director
SAIF Partners
Alok is Partner at SAIF Partners, a sector and stage agnostic venture capital fund. He focuses on Consumer internet and Enterprise/SaaS related businesses. Prior to joining SAIF Partners, Alok was CEO of FreeCharge which he led from Series A to eventual acquisition by SnapDeal. He was also COO of RedBus (acquired by GoIbibo). Prior to his startup stints, Alok spent 5 years at Google in Bangalore and Mountain View in various product roles. Alok holds an MBA from India School of Business and holds 2 patents. Alok was listed in the Fortune India 40 under 40 list for 2014.
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Manish Singhal

Founding Partner
Pi Ventures
Manish is a keen technology, people and business leader. He brings in over 24+ years of experience in building hardware and software IP oriented product companies, early stage investing, valuations, deal structuring and strategy advisory across different sectors.

He is the Founding Partner of pi Ventures, a venture fund focused on Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and IoT based out of India. He has been active in the startup eco-system in India for several years. He co-founded LetsVenture.com and led it to become the leading marketplace for startups & early stage investors in India (enabled 15 startups raising their rounds) within a very short span of time.

Before LetsVenture, he was the India country manager for Sling Media Inc, a silicon valley based consumer electronic startup. He built the R&D and product team in India from scratch and took it to a successful acquisition to Echostar Inc in the USA for 380M USD.

He is also a founder-mentor for an initiative called Women Entrepreneur Quest, which is an annual event for recognizing and rewarding women entrepreneurs in India.

After doing his engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1992, he has been instrumental in building several products and teams in different startups and established organisations like Sling Media, Ittiam Systems and Motorola. He has contributed to the standardisation of MPEG-4 standard and holds couple of video technology patents to his name.
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Samir Kumar

Managing Director
Inventus India
Samir is currently the Managing Director of Inventus Advisory Services India. He has been an early-stage venture investor in India since 2001.
Prior to co-founding Inventus, Samir led the India venture investing team for Acer Technology Ventures, where he made early-stage investments in the technology space.

Prior to his VC career, Samir spent 15+ years in the IT industry in India in Sales, Marketing and Product Management roles, starting with Computer Point, moving onto a 10+ year stint with Wipro Infotech, and finally a 2½ year stint with Planetasia.

Samir is an active Charter Member of Tie Bangalore, and has been a member of the Governing Body. He is also a Member of the Board of Governors of the technology incubator at IIT Bombay, and at Dayanand Sagar University.

Samir earned his B.Tech from IIT-Bombay in 1984 and an MBA from IIM, Bangalore in 1986, where he was awarded the Best All-Round Outgoing student.
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Alok Goyal

Co-founder, Partner and Founding Partner
Stellaris Venture Partners
Alok Goyal is a Partner at Stellaris Venture Partners, an early stage, technology focused venture capital firm based out of Bangalore. Alok focuses on investments in enterprise software, logistics and automotive companies. On behalf of Stellaris, Alok is on the board of Whatfix, Noticeboard and Loadshare, and also is an Independent Director on the board of eClerx, a publicly listed company in India.

Prior to Stellaris, Alok was a Partner at Helion Ventures, where he led enterprise software and services investments. Before his career in venture capital, Alok was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SAP India and had been associated with SAP since the year 2004 in various leadership roles in the United States and in India. Before SAP, Alok also worked with Siebel Systems, The McKenna Group, McKinsey & Company and Cadence Design Systems.

Alok has completed his MBA from INSEAD (France), MS in Computer Sciences from University of Texas, Austin and his B.Tech in Computer Science from IIT Delhi.
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Payal Shah

Partner & Head of Investments
Axilor Ventures
Payal leads all the early stage funding activity at Axilor. Prior to Axilor, Payal led Acumen’s business development efforts in India, managing fund raising and Acumen’s India partner network. She was instrumental in launching their corporate partnership program and bringing on board the first corporate donor to support Acumen’s India activities. During her tenure, she also served on the Steering Committee of ANDE India, an industry body aiming to support the SGB ecosystem in the country. Prior to Acumen, she was part of Sequoia Capital’s India team for a five year period, starting with the research team and then as part of the investment team. She began her career at McKinsey’s India Knowledge Centre, supporting studies in the media & entertainment sector. Payal has completed her post-graduation from Symbiosis Centre for Management & HRD, Pune.
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Archna Shukla

Editor in Chief
News Corp VCCircle
Archna Shukla is a journalist with close to two decades of experience with leading publications such as The Indian Express, Mint, The Economic Times and Business Today. At VCCircle, she leads the editorial teams across vccircle.com, techcircle.in
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Govinda Giri

Founder
Sagoon
Passion for change and success can never be confined in boundaries. This stands true in case of Sagoon’s inspirational founder, Govinda Giri. His journey that started from a remote village in Nepal landed him in Washington DC and now is making its mark in several countries like India, USA, Canada, Australia and more is no less than a movie.

But, that is what exactly defines this extraordinary visionary who went to the US to chase his big American dream, struggled for a bit doing odd jobs and finally landed a dream job at the Pentagon, Department of Defense as an IT engineer.

Time passed and something within him started to feel amiss. To everyone’s surprise, he left his dream job and set himself on a quest to developing a search engine that could provide relevant and personalized search results. From the confines of his basement, he started building the search-engine in 2009 under the name Sagoon. That was just the start.

By 2014, he realized that user’s behaviour with respect to their online lives was changing. And that’s when he decided to change the direction of Sagoon from Search to Share. In 2014, he pivoted Sagoon as a social commerce platform to change the way people use social media. His vision for the world was also realized by his two other visionaries, Kabin Sitoula and Swati Dayal who today are the founding pillars of Sagoon. Under Govinda Giri’s leadership, Sagoon has already tasted the success of Sagoon V1, Sagoon V2, two uber-successful rounds of mini-IPO and the launch of our first Android app.
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Greg Moran

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
Zoomcar
Greg has dedicated his entire career to sustainable development across the globe. Over the past six years, Greg worked in various financial, operational, and strategic roles within the international energy and infrastructure sectors. During this time, Greg was involved with projects on six continents, totalling over $12 billion. His primary focal areas within the sector included solar power, wind power, and energy storage. Greg previously held positions in investment banking, private equity, corporate business development, and energy policy formulation with Fieldstone Private Capital Group, Cerberus Capital, International Power, and the City of New York respectively.

Prior to co-founding Zoomcar with David, Greg studied at USC’s Marshall School of Business, where he was the Founder and President of the USC Energy Club, Southern California’s largest such club. Greg is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he holds a degree in International Relations.

While he’s not busy Zooming, Greg enjoys playing piano and hitting the golf links. He is also deeply passionate about competitive eating and he remains hopeful that someone will take him up on a dosa eating competition sometime soon.
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Ambareesh Murty

Founder & CEO
Pepperfry.com
Ambareesh Murty turned entrepreneur and launched Pepperfry.com in January 2012. In the last five years, he has established Pepperfry as India’s No. 1 Online Furniture and Home marketplace processing over 4 million customer orders. Prior to founding Pepperfry, Mr. Murty was the Country Manager of eBay India, Philippines and Malaysia, where he step jumped eBay’s growth by tailoring products and processes to local requirements while delivering a superior customer experience. During his tenure with eBay, he also served as the Vice Chairman of the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Mr. Murty started his career with Cadbury’s and has also held senior management positions at ICICI Prudential and Britannia. He holds a B.E. from the Delhi College of Engineering and is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. In his free time, Mr. Ambareesh Murty closely follows FC Barcelona, loves to read and collects Zippo lighters and memorabilia from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
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Iype Isac

Chief Delivery Officer
BankBazaar.com
Iype is the Chief Delivery Officer at BankBazaar. A BankBazaar veteran right from its inception, he has donned many hats from being the first foot-soldier to the CTO to the CDO. He has been a part of the core team that envisioned the idea of BankBazaar way back in in 2008, and today, Iype is face of BankBazaar Technology for the partners.

He leads the Technology Integration team, which works closely with the technology team at the partner end and facilitates a smooth interface between the partner financial institution’s backend and the BankBazaar platform. He has been an evangelist for BankBazaar’s technology from the very beginning, and his leadership has contributed significantly to BankBazaar’s success.
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Mithun Srivatsa

Founder & CEO, Blowhorn
Mithun Srivatsa is the cofounder of Blowhorn.com which was launched in Aug 2014. Blowhorn is the leading intracity logistics startup operating in major cities in India. Prior to founding Blowhorn, Mr. Srivatsa worked in multiple functions with the world’s largest shipping company – AP Moller Maersk – as a fast track management trainee. His last role with Maersk group was working with a core team entrusted with the turnaround of a port to a successful IPO.. He holds a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur and is an MBA from University of Cambridge – Judge Business School. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Besides logistics, his interests include Geopolitics, Cryptocurrencies and restoring motorbikes.
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Ashish Sharma

MD & CEO
InnoVen Capital India Pvt. Ltd
Ashish Sharma is the MD & CEO at InnoVen Capital India. Prior to joining InnoVen, Ashish served as the President & CEO of GE Capital, India, where his responsibilities included oversight of GE Capital’s activities in India, through its 100% owned Finance Companies (NBFC’s) as well as Credit Card JV’s (“SBI Cards”), a leading Credit Card player in the Indian market.

Ashish was associated with GE/GE Capital for ~20 years and held progressive leadership roles across General management, P&L Leader, Strategy, M&A and Corporate Finance. He has extensive global experience and had the opportunity to work across India, US, Japan, Australia & Europe.

Ashish has extensive governance experience and has served on boards of several Finance Companies and Joint Ventures. Ashish has also served on various industry bodies such as CII National Banking Committee, CII National Committee on NBFC’s and CII National Committee on Financial Inclusion & Digitization.

Ashish holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Allahabad and an MBA from S.P Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai.
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Piyush Chowhan

Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Arvind Lifestyle Brands
Piyush Kumar Chowhan has an MBA in Finance and Operations from Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB), Bhubaneswar.

He is an experienced professional working in areas of retail strategy, business analytics, customer loyalty and CRM, retail business consulting and supply chain management.

As CIO for Arvind Brands, he is responsible for IT strategy and execution of technology for all its brands business. With experience 20+ years in setting up new strategic groups, BU’s in areas of business, finance operations and analytics to achieve strong business benefits.

He possesses a strong domain knowledge in retail, e-commerce and supply chain management while working for global retailers like Walmart, Target, Circuit City, Tesco, Best Buy etc. He has set up and managed competency centers/ teams for retail and supply chain as shared service or captive units. He also has an exposure in building practice/ COE in business analytics and retail consulting.

With various publications under his name, Piyush is also proficient in Program Management, P&L Management, Business Consulting, PMO setup, ERP Implementation.

He has been featuring in many IT related events, Guest lecturing and published his views in many magazines like ETCIO, AIM.
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Krishnaprasad Shastry

Distinguished Technologist, EG CTO
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
KrishnaPrasad Shastry is a Distinguished Technologist and head of Advance Development Center, part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise CTO office. In this role he is responsible for driving strategic programs and advance development in emerging technologies like blockchain, AI and intelligent edge.

In his 15 years with HPE, Prasad has led several research and advance development activities in the areas of big data, software accelerators, in-storage computing and memory-driven computing.
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Mohan Lakhamraju

CEO & Co-founder
Great Learning
Mohan Lakhamraju is the Founder and CEO of Great Learning, an e-learning platform for working professionals to upgrade their competencies and succeed in the digital economy. He cofounded Great Learning with a vision to make it a lifelong learning partner for India’s young professionals. Great Learning has already delivered over 2+ million hours of learning to thousands of professionals from across India and conducts its hybrid programs across 6 cities in India presently.

Mohan also serves as the Vice Chairman and CEO of Great Lakes Institute of Management, one of India’s leading business schools, where he spearheads its growth and innovation. Over the past 6 years, he set up and developed its second campus in Gurgaon.

In prior life, he was Managing Director, India for Tiger Global where he focused on investments in India and other Emerging Markets. He also spent close to 10 years in Silicon Valley, first as an entrepreneur helping build a SAAS (software as a service) company called Stratify (now a division of HP) and then as a Venture Capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ).

Mr. Lakhamraju received a B.Tech in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay where he was the recipient of the Hughes Best Scholar Award, an MS in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley where he was a recipient of the Regents Fellowship and an MBA from Stanford Business School where he was the recipient of the David Packard Fellowship.
He is very passionate about high quality education and its ability to transform one’s life, having experienced it firsthand and has made it his mission to enable others in India have similar transformational opportunities.
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Shripati Acharya

Co-founder, Managing Partner
Prime Venture Partners
Throughout his career, be it as a business lead at Cisco or as a co‐founder of Snapfish, the world’s largest photo site acquired by HP or at Transarc, which was acquired by IBM, Shripati has combined his passion to build great teams, an extraordinary desire to excel and a keen eye for spotting the tales. He is known for being astute with a razor sharp intellect and a Zen‐like devotion to data driven decision‐making.

Shripati has also worked alongside Mr. Nandan Nilekani on the UIDAI project. Having spent substantial parts of working career in the United States and India addressing worldwide markets, Shripati brings a global management perspective. His passion for Indian business was seeded when he interned for Boston Consulting Group in India and has grown through investments in and mentoring of Indian online startups over the last decade.