Speaker Bio:  

Mahesh Murthy
Founder & CEO, Pinstorm
Mahesh has 24 years of marketing and communications experience – of which over 14 years are in online marketing. After dropping out of college, Mahesh sold vacuum cleaners from door to door and then found a home in advertising with Grey in India and Ogilvy in Hong Kong, where he won international notoriety as a creative director on HP, Microsoft, Unilever, The Economist, Pepsi and MTV - for whom he wrote and directed a spot voted “Asia’s best commercial of the decade”. Mahesh then moved to a Silicon Valley firm, CKS Partners (later, USWeb/ CKS) as Creative Director and eventually, Partner – where he helped create and launch the first commercial version of Yahoo in 1995 and the “Earth’s biggest bookstore” campaign for Amazon.com in 1997. Mahesh then moved to head marketing at iCat, which was subsequently acquired by Intel. Mahesh then returned to India to run Channel V, till its sale to Newscorp in 2000 and then founded Passionfund to invest in and guide startups. Among his investments were Geodesic, a mobile software firm with a 2008 market cap of over $500m; EBS Direct, Compassbox, acquired by CareerLauncher and WebDunia. Mahesh pens reasonably infamous columns across various business publications and has played the Donald Trump-equivalent role in an Indian rip-off of The Apprentice, involving entrepreneurs and business plans. While running digital marketing campaigns for his favourite charity in late 2003, Mahesh saw an opportunity to change the basic business model in advertising and set up Pinstorm with a bunch of great people to do so. Mahesh co-founded his second fund, Seedfund in 2006 with the backing of investors like Google and Motorola to create and guide even more revolutionary companies.
Rehan Yar Khan
Angel Investor, CEO at Flora2000.com
Rehan started a floral seed import business with the opening up of the Indian economy in the early 90s after which he briefly ran a highly profitable telecom business. After exiting the telecom business he started Flora2000.com in 2004 which is a unique venture to come out of India. In 2008 he came full circle as an entrepreneur and started investing in early stage companies in India. He have led over 15 startup investments in India. Building a quantitative culture, a strong team, and a strong focus on quality is the key values he have added to his investments. He is a part of IAN&rsquot;s nationwide management.
Sanjay Nath
Managing Partner, Blume Ventures
Sanjay has over 15 years of entrepreneurial, business development, management consulting and operations experience. He spent 7 years between PwC Consulting and IBM Global Services&rsquot. He co-founded and ran a Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) company. Sanjay has been a member of the Mumbai Angels. He has made 8 investments across mobile, online travel, software, healthcare. Sanjay was an early investor in InMobi. In US, Sanjay was a Principal with IBM Global Services and earlier a Consultant with PwC in a similar role. One of his key global, transformational projects was the HP/Compaq merger, where he advised and closely worked with senior executives and managers on a global scale. He brings a strong global network of investors, entrepreneurs and professionals across the US, South East Asia and India. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and is active in associations including TiE, Mumbai Angels, and The Churchill Club. Sanjay is an engineer from BITS.
Akhil Shahani
MD, Centre For Management
Akhil’s family has been in the education sector for the last 60 years and are involved in managing 24 institutions in Mumbai. He brings his vast network in the education space to Kaizen. After completing his MBA at Kellogg Graduate School of Management over 18 years ago, Akhil started a range of ventures in the educational sector. These include a business school for his educational trust and a vocational training franchise. He also runs the non profit SAGE Foundation which provides education and skills training for 100 villages in Maharashtra. SAGE was recognized for its work at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2008. He currently serves on the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Higher Education Committee and is a Past President of the American Alumni Association, which promotes academic linkages between US and Indian Universities. He is a regular speaker at educational conferences and had been profiled in media. In his spare time, he is actively involved in mentoring startup social entrepreneurs and promoting the cause of philanthropy
Paritosh Joshi
Strategic Advisor, Ormax Media
Paritosh Joshi is now an independent Media & Communications Consultant and mentor to a number of startups in the e-tail and technology sectors. Until April 2012, Paritosh was CEO, STAR CJ Network India Pvt. Ltd. a 50/50 joint venture between the STAR Group and CJ O Shopping, South Korea’s leading homeshopping business. After a B.Sc. in Statistics from Mumbai he went to IIM Ahmedabad completing the PGP in 1985. In his 27 years corporate career, his eclectic career path took in FMCG at P&G, ITC and the Maharaja Organisation, Sri Lanka, Media at Business Standard and STAR, Advertising, briefly at Lintas, Commodity Futures at a startup called e-commodities and Industrial Perfumery at Quest International that has since merged with Givaudan. Paritosh has developed an interest in middle distance running perhaps only to battle the bulge which is the inevitable concomitant of his obsessive enjoyment of food and wine.
Probir Roy
Co-Founder, Paymate
Probir has over 15 years of experience in technology, operations, strategy and playing leadership roles. He was VP at NewsCorp’s Star TV India, Member of their Executive Committee and Director, News Television India Limited. He was also Chief of Staff to the Executive Chairman. After that Probir was COO Euro RSCG Interactive and CTO of Euro RSCG Advertising, India & Middle East and on their Worldwide IT Board. Before he moved to the private sector and now as an entrepreneur he worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna from torial Advisory Board of NETWORK MAGAZINE, Vice Chairman, Internet & Mobile Technical Committee, (MRUC) of an Expert Member of the Indian Merchants Chamber’s, National Technology Committee.
Sushanto Mitra
Director, Hyderabad Angels
Sushanto is a management graduate with over 20 years experience in technology and finance. Prior to his current position Sushanto was with Techcap India, a human resources and financial consulting services firm which he founded in 1999. His earlier roles included stints at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and HCL Infosystems. He has been a regular contributor to Dataquest a leading technology fortnightly from India since 1996. He is also a frequent speaker at industry related events such as CII, NASSCOM, CSI, TIE and PANIIT among others. He has been a Jury Member for technology & startup competitions including Proto.in, EDGE and Eureka. He is also associated with India Innovation Initiative. He is a contributor of articles and an active participant in industry related events.
Swapnil Shinde
Co-founder & COO, Dhingana
Swapnil has over 10 years experience in driving Engineering and Product Management for companies like Yahoo, IBM, Symantec in the past. Swapnil has done his Bachelors in Computer Engineering from Government College of Engineering Pune and Masters in Computer Science from University of Southern California, Los Angeles (USC).
Siddhartha Roy
COO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment
Siddhartha is the Chief Operating Office for the Consumer Business & Allied Services at Hungama. His key responsibilities include strengthening the digital marketing initiatives with Hungama Digital; and the gaming business with Hungama Games Studio. Under his guidance, Hungama also set up a one of its kind consumer venture in digital entertainment- Hungama.com. He has previously also been responsible for spearheading the Hungama Mobile business. Prior to Hungama, Siddhartha is also the co- founder of BigAdda, India&rsquot;s largest youth network, a part of the Reliance ADA Group. During his tenure Bigadda gained a vast user base of 2.4 million. He has also worked with MTV Networks and Star TV, India. He has over 10 years of experience in new media communications.
Vishal Golia
Co-Founder, Gamiana Digital Entertainment
Prior to starting Gamiana, Vishal founded and led MAHARAJA GAMES, India&rsquot;s premier online game development company. He pursued his degree in Electrical Engineering in Northern Arizona University, USA. After gaining experience in the semiconductor industry with a four year stint at Micron Technology, USA, Vishal moved back to India to live his dream of founding a world class game development studio. Along with a dedicated and skilled team of artists and programmers, Vishal - a sucker for technology with a keen eye for arts and aesthetics - has shaped Maharaja Games to carve a niche for itself in the Flash gaming industry. Catering to prestigious clients such as Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, etc., Maharaja Games is a leading game developer. With Gamiana, Vishal takes his next step in the gaming industry as that of a publisher. With compelling IP and a stellar management team that has abundant international experience, this is his ambitious step towards taking India on the global map as an online games publisher.
Parag Dhanuka
VP, Nexus Venture Partners
Parag has several years of operational experience in technology companies. Before joining Nexus, Parag worked at Boston Consulting Group in Mumbai, where he helped clients in different sectors such as Consumer Goods, Technology & Healthcare on various issues including new product development and supply chain management. Prior to BCG, Parag held product development roles in Google and Komli Media. At Google, Parag worked on developing Google MapMaker, a wiki like tool to edit and create Google Maps. At Komli, Parag helped architect Vizisense, India’s first online analytics tool. Parag has an MBA from Indian School of Business, where he was in Deans’ List for excellent academic performance. He also holds a B. Tech in Computer Science from IIT Kharagpur and is an inventor of two US patents.
Amit Patni
Co-founder & Chairman, Nirvana Venture Advisors
Amit is a promoter shareholder of Patni Computers. Amit has 22 years of 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., 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.
Manoj Gupta
Founder and CEO, Craftsvilla
Manoj has an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad, B.Tech from IIT Bombay, MS from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and CPhil from University of California, San Diego. He has filed several patents in the US.Prior to Craftsvilla.com, he was the Principal at Nexus Venture Partners, a VC firm in India with a fund size of $320 million. While at Nexus, Manoj was board member of Bigshoebazaar India (which owns Yebhi.com), Sohanlal Commodity Management and was board observer of Snapdeal.com. Manoj has been very active in Internet, Technology, Wellness and Agri/Rural ecosystem in India and has been involved in grooming highly scalable businesses in these sectors. Prior to Nexus, he co-founded a semiconductor technology company, WIT, in US, which was later acquired by Chrontel.
Shashank Joshi
MD, My Mobile Payments
Shashank has over 20 years of professional experience. He has been a pioneer in the successful execution of merchant Cash Advance and Merchant Processing businesses through the offshore route. He set up India’s first computer retail outlet in 1994. Since 2000, he has been involved with IT enabled services viz, medical transcription, international & domestic call centre and outsourced accounting. Shashank has cross-border global experience of more than six years in "Simplifying Payments". His vision is that of "Simplifying Payments" while his Goal is to bring the convenience of Simplified Mobile Payments to every mobile subscriber in India. Shashank holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He has been the Managing Director at Prospectbase IT Services Pvt Ltd.
Nitish Mittersain
CEO, Nazara Technologies
Before heading to Nazara Technologies Nitish has also served as the Chairman of the Mobile Value Added Services Committee of the Indian Merchants Chambers - India&rsquot;s oldest business organization and has been widely recognized in the media for his contributions to the gaming and mobile based industries in India
Ravi Kiran
Co-founder, Venture Nursery
Ravi is a professional business builder, a growth advisor and an active angel investor. He is also the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Friends of Ambition. He is an active investing member of Mumbai Angels and Indian Angel Network. Of his twenty year long corporate career, he spent eight years at Lintas India and Initiative Media and twelve years at Starcom MediaVest Group. He has had divisional, country and regional leadership roles, based in Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore. He has built teams and product portfolio, grown businesses and stature for the company, mentored peers in the Middle East, Mexico, Russia, Poland and elsewhere on creating new lines of business. He also served on SMG’s Global Product Committee and Global Management Group, the company’s apex product and leadership groups respectively. Ravi has served on the juries of several industry awards Ravi holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Kashmir.
Karan Behal
Founder & CEO, PrettySecrets.com
Karan has over 8 years of entrepreneurial experience in lingerie retail and is an active member of the industry. He founded PrettySecrets; a ladies sleepwear brand in 2005 and also a chain of lingerie stores; Lace – the lingerie club in 2008. In 2012, Karan founded PrettySecrets.com, an online lingerie brand with a vision to become market leader in the online lingerie category. The company has been recently funded and is in the midst of a large scale up. Karan was schooled at The Lawrence School Sanawar (India) and completed his Bachelors Degree from Franklin & Marshall College (USA) with a double major in Business Management & International Relations.
Kashyap Juthani
Co-Founder, BucketBolt.com
Prior to bucketbolt.com, an online textbook buying & renting store, Kashyap had also started another company called Pocketsafe Consultancy during his college days. Pocketsafe was into online insurance and financial consulting domain. Kashyap is a graduate with Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Mumbai University. Bucketbolt is India’s premier online textbook buying & renting store started in late 2010 and have served more than 10,000 students till date.
Anirudh Singh
Senior Analyst, Norwest Venture Partners
Anirudh serves as an advisor on early stage and growth equity investments in Indian companies across a wide range of sectors at NVP. Before joining NVP India, Anirudh worked as an investment analyst at Canaan Partners India, where he specialized in deal sourcing and due diligence of opportunities in the telecom, education, healthcare and IT sectors. He was also part of the investment team for the Series A investment in Naaptol.com. Prior to Canaan Partners, Anirudh worked with the corporate finance practice at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, India. In this role, he participated in all aspects of M&A and equity financing engagements in infrastructure sectors such as oil, gas and power. Anirudh has also held positions at General Atlantic Partners and Evalueserve, Gurgaon. Anirudh obtained a bachelor of engineering degree in electrical engineering from Thapar University and a PGDM from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.