Keynote Speakers

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard - Representative, United States House of Representatives
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

United States House of Representatives

Tulsi is a decorated war veteran, a bright light in the world of politics, who happens to be a life-long practicing Hindu.

On January 3, 2013, Tulsi was sworn in to the U.S. Congress, taking her oath on the Bhagavad Gita, a historical event.

Tulsi Gabbard was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa in 1981, the fourth of five children. At the age of two, Tulsi and her family settled in Hawai'i where as a teenager, she co-founded the Healthy Hawai'i Coalition, a non-profit teaching children to take care of themselves and the environment. An advocate for environmental policy, Tulsi ran for the Hawai'i State Legislature in 2002 at the age of 21 and became the youngest person ever elected. A year later, Tulsi joined the Hawai'i National Guard to serve Hawaii’s citizens and the United States of America.

In 2004, Tulsi voluntarily deployed to Iraq with her fellow Soldiers of the 29th Brigade eventually serving two tours of combat duty in the Middle East. Tulsi was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was the first female Distinguished Honor Graduate at Fort McClellan's Officer Candidate School, and was the first woman to ever receive an award of appreciation from the Kuwaiti military on her second overseas tour. Tulsi continues to serve as a Captain in the Hawai'i National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team. In between her two tours, Tulsi worked in the U.S. Senate as a legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka, where she advised the senator on energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veterans’ affairs.

In 2010, Tulsi ran for the Honolulu City Council and served as Chair of the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee and Vice Chair of the Budget committee.

Representing Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, Tulsi is one of the first two female combat veterans, first Hindu and first female of Samoan ancestry to ever serve as a member of the U.S. Congress.

Tulsi was appointed Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2013.

Tulsi is currently serving on the Armed Services Committee and its Subcommittee on Sea Power & Protection Powers and Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations. She also serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and its Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

Tulsi also serves on the following caucuses:

  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
  • Congressional India Caucus
  • Bipartisan Veterans Caucus
  • National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
  • Small Business Caucus
  • Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus
Punit Goenka - Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.
Punit Goenka

Punit Goenka

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.

Mr. Punit Goenka, a young and dynamic professional with a strong entrepreneurial background, started his career with Essel Group, a vibrant conglomerate with diversified business interests in media & entertainment, infrastructure, and other leading sectors. Being the Managing Director and Chief Executive Office of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Punit has been extremely successful in enhancing the company’s performance and in driving the company towards its set goals.

Under his leadership, ZEE has achieved scores of milestones and prestigious awards, elevating the brand to a global cadre. Dun & Bradstreet – Rolta Corporate Award, BusinessworldInfocom ICT Award, IMC Fusion Award 2013 for Excellence in Media, are some of the many such awards bagged by ZEEL during Punit’s tenure. His futuristic vision and sharp acumen in the new media domain, has led the company to a global stature today. Punit is also responsible for expanding the company’s international presence across 169 countries, and its reach to over 730 million viewers.

Punit has received the prestigious Economic Times ’40 Under Forty’ India’s Hottest Business Leaders Award 2014. He has also bagged the prestigious IAA Leadership Award under the category of “Media Person of the Year Award”. Punit has been recognized as the “Entrepreneur of the Year” during the recently held Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2014. For his immense contribution to the media and entertainment industry, Punit has also been felicitated as the “Impact Person of the Year”. Going forward, Punit envisions ZEE to be ranked amongst the top global media brands.

Anu Madgavkar - Senior Fellow, McKinsey Global Institute
Anu Madgavkar

Anu Madgavkar

Senior Fellow
McKinsey Global Institute

Anu Madgavkar is a Senior Fellow with the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey’s business and economics research arm and is based in Mumbai, India. She joined MGI in 2011, and leads teams based in India, working on global as well as India-focused research themes. Anu’s recent research has focused on economic development, growth, and poverty alleviation in India and developing countries. She is a co-author of the recent MGI report, ‘India’s technology opportunity: transforming work, empowering people’. Prior to her current role at MGI, Anu was a Partner of McKinsey, focusing on financial services clients. She holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a degree in Economics and Statistics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbain.

Hital R. Meswani - Executive Director, Reliance Industries Ltd.
Hital R. Meswani

Hital R. Meswani

Executive Director
Reliance Industries Ltd.

Mr. Meswani graduated from the Management and Technology Program from University of Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from The Wharton School in 1990.

Mr. Meswani is the Executive Director and Member of the Board of Reliance Industries Ltd., a Fortune 500 company and flagship company of the Reliance Group based in India. The group’s businesses include Synthetic Fibers, Petrochemicals, Petroleum Refining and Marketing, Oil & Gas Exploration and Production and Retail. Reliance is also currently involved in rolling out a pan India telecommunications network to provide next-gen Broadband services.

Mr. Meswani is a core member of the leadership team at Reliance with responsibilities for several businesses and functions. He has been involved with almost all mega initiatives of the group through its growth journey.

Mr. Meswani was instrumental in establishing the world class petrochemicals complex at Hazira in India, integrating Fibres, Intermediates, Olefins, Polyolefins and other products which helped Reliance become a significant player in the petrochemicals arena.

Mr. Meswani also led the execution of the world’s largest refining complex at Jamnagar, India with a capacity of over 1.3 million barrels per day. The refinery was completed in a world record time frame of less than 36 months and at a world beating capital cost. The Jamnagar refinery complex uniquely integrates refining, petrochemicals and power generation coupled with associated infrastructure. Regarded as one of the most profitable and modern operating refining complexes in the world, the refinery has won the prestigious ‘International Refiner of the year’ award on two occasions and has set a benchmark for refineries to be built in the future. It has immensely contributed to the growth of Reliance and India and has firmly established Jamnagar as a refinery hub for the world.

Recently, Mr. Meswani led a group wide business transformation initiative aimed at installing scalable management systems and structures, standard business processes, best practices and their IT enablement.

Mr. Meswani is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is a recipient of the Indo American Society’s Young Achiever Award. He is a member of the Engineering Board of Overseers of University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) and is a recipient of the prestigious ‘The 2011 D. Robert Yarnall Award’ from The Engineering Alumni Society of the UPENN for his outstanding contribution in the field of engineering to society, that has enhanced the image of the University of Pennsylvania.

In the year 2012, Mr. Meswani was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers – the International Professional body for Chemical, Biochemical and Process Engineers) in recognition of his contribution to the process industries. He was also conferred the Honorary CEPM-PMA Fellowship Award for Project Management Excellence in the year 2013.

India: Delivering the Dream

A diverse country like India needs a collective dream to unite, to inspire and to galvanize her people towards progress and shared prosperity. With the youngest population among any of the major world economies, India has an unprecedented opportunity to grow if she can inspire her youth with a clear vision.

Can we have a collective dream in a country where economic, cultural and demographic aspirations are so varied? What structural changes do we need to help achieve that vision? What major trends, both domestic and international, are shaping the Indian dream?


Saikat Chaudhuri - Executive Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management / Adjunct Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School (Moderator)
Saikat Chaudhuri

Saikat Chaudhuri

Executive Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management
Adjunct Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Saikat Chaudhuri is Executive Director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a research institute distinguished by a dual focus on academic thought leadership and industry impact. Prof. Chaudhuri has served on the Wharton School faculty since 2004, where his research encompasses high-technology mergers and acquisitions, high-end outsourcing, and technological innovation in dynamic environments. He teaches MBA, undergraduate, and executive education courses on corporate development and M&A as well as innovation management. His publications span scholarly and managerial outlets, and he has received several teaching awards from the Wharton School, besides recognition from professional associations such as the Academy of Management and Strategic Management Society. His work has been cited by leading media, and he is often interviewed or quoted by the press on contemporary business affairs. Prof. Chaudhuri has been invited to speak at corporate forums, industry events, and academic conferences across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Based on his research and experience, he has provided consulting on developing and implementing acquisition, innovation management, and corporate growth strategies for a range of technology-based companies, besides providing expert legal testimony and advising the Indian government on IT-based economic development opportunities. Prof. Chaudhuri’s prior professional experience includes corporate development at Mannesmann AG, in addition to brief stints with Citibank, McKinsey and Company, and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. He holds Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s degree from Stanford University, and a Doctoral degree from Harvard University.

Sanket Akerkar - General Manager, Worldwide Sales Excellence, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft
Sanket Akerkar

Sanket Akerkar

General Manager, Worldwide Sales Excellence, Enterprise and Partner Group

As General Manager of Sales Excellence for the world-wide Enterprise & Partner Group (WWEPG), Sanket is responsible for improving overall sales productivity, providing business insight and implementing new sales models for Microsoft’s Enterprise business. These responsibilities extend from global sales strategy, sales model design, sales operations execution, field sales process design, role excellence, compensation, services and sales integration, business information, and field enablement.

Prior to this role, Sanket was Vice President of Developer Experience and Evangelism for Microsoft United States and a member of the North American Leadership Team. He was also the Managing Director for Microsoft India as well as General Manager of the Mid-Atlantic region of Microsoft United States and joined Microsoft in 2003.

Sanket came to Microsoft from McKinsey & Co. where he worked with software companies on a broad set of sales and marketing issues. He has a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.

Sanket is married, has two daughters and lives in the Seattle area. In his spare time, he enjoys playing squash and golf, collecting wine and travelling around the world.

Patrick Foulis - NY Bureau Chief, The Economist
Patrick Foulis

Patrick Foulis

NY Bureau Chief
The Economist

Patrick Foulis is The Economist’s New York Bureau Chief and US Business Editor, appointed in 2014. Mr Foulis joined The Economist in 2008. Before moving to New York he set up a new editorial bureau for The Economist in Mumbai, where he was based for four years as India Business Editor. Prior to that he was Banking Editor and Finance Correspondent.

Patrick has written extensively on the global financial crisis, the eurozone, business and finance in Asia and international corporations. He is the author of The Economist’s special reports on business in Asia, business in India and banking in emerging markets. He and four colleagues won a Gerald Loeb Award in 2012 for The Economist’s coverage of the eurozone crisis.

Before joining The Economist Mr Foulis worked at the Financial Times, where he was deputy editor of the Lex Column, and as a sell-side analyst in London, mainly on UBS Warburg’s number-one ranked European telecoms team. Mr Foulis graduated with a double first class degree in social and political sciences from Cambridge University and was born and brought up in Scotland.

Shailesh Rao - VP International Operations, Twitter
Shailesh Rao

Shailesh Rao

VP International Operations

Mr. Shailesh Rao serves as the Vice President for Asia Pacific, Americas and Emerging Markets at Twitter, Inc. Prior to joining Twitter in 2012, Mr. Rao was a senior executive at Google for over 7 years. First, he was a Director of local search for Google at its Mountain View headquarters. While there, Mr. Rao earned the prestigious Google Founder's Award for his role in the development of Google Maps and Google Earth. As the MD for Google India for close to four years, Mr. Rao was responsible for launching and growing the business and operations between 2007- 2011. He also played a leadership role in the growth of Google's YouTube business globally as Vice President for the YouTube and Display businesses across Asia Pacific. In January 2012, Mr. Rao was named the Internet Professional of the Year 2011 at IAMAI's 2nd India Digital Awards. He is an Active Angel Investor, and is one the Board of Directors of JLL, one of the world’s largest real estate firms. As a Wharton alumnus, Mr. Rao holds dual undergraduate degrees in Economics and History from the University of Pennsylvania with Honors, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management.

Finance: Investing in India

The World Bank and the IMF recently upgraded their estimates of India’s GDP growth on expectations of strong reforms, with India’s growth now expected to outpace China’s by 2016. Everyone from the common man to local businesses and institutional investors to international organizations is betting big on the Indian dream.

Which sectors are expected to shape the Indian growth story? Can we expect a series of sustainable reforms to match these high expectations? What should we expect to see in this year’s fiscal budget? What elements could potentially catalyze or hurt growth? What do we need to make programs like “Make in India” a success?


Ramnath Balasubramanian - Partner, McKinsey & Company (Moderator)
Ramnath Balasubramanian

Ramnath Balasubramanian

McKinsey & Company

Ramnath Balasubramanian is a partner in McKinsey & Company’s New York office, and part of McKinsey’s North American Financial Services leadership group. Since joining McKinsey in 2003, he has served clients in India, North America, Greater China, and East Asia. Prior to moving to New York, Ramnath founded and led McKinsey’s Insurance practice in India, and is the author of numerous insurance industry publications, such as “India Life Insurance 2.0: New Rules, New Game”. Ramnath holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and a Bachelor’s in Commerce from the University of Mumbai.

Munish Dayal - Partner, Baring Private Equity Partners India
Munish Dayal

Munish Dayal

Baring Private Equity Partners India

Munish joined Baring Private Equity Partners India in May 2007 and heads the investment practice in Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI), in addition to being an Operating Partner. He has over 25 years of global experience in establishing and building businesses in the BFSI industry, having worked with Citigroup for 16 years as a senior managing director across major markets (London, Europe, Singapore, Middle East, Africa, India). His roles ranged from global transaction services, risk management to asset-based finance, culminating as the Regional Head of SME and Retail mass markets for Asia Pacific. After his tenure at Citigroup in 2005, he joined a start-up bank in India called Yes Bank where as integral part of the management team and President of Business Banking, he was instrumental in building the mid-market business which aided the bank IPO. At present he serves as the Chairman of InfrasoftTech Limited, and as a director on the boards of RMZ Corp, Inditrade Capital, JRG Fincorp and Proactive Data Systems. He also serves as a member of the audit committee and remuneration and compensation committee of various companies.

Munish holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce with Honors from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, and an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.

Akshay Mansukhani - Partner, Malabar Investments
Akshay Mansukhani

Akshay Mansukhani

Malabar Investments

As a Partner at Malabar Investments, Mr. Mansukhani spends time on investment analysis and risk management. Malabar invests in small and mid-sized public businesses in India. The firm’s board includes Value Partners (Hong Kong), Oppenheimer & Close (New York) and Holding Capital (New York). Malabar’s current asset base is slightly below $200mm and we were the Hedge Fund Managers’ Award winner for Best India Fund in 2014.

As an advisor to his family office since 2003, Mr. Mansukhani has over 10 years of experience in money management. Prior to joining Malabar, Mr. Mansukhani was a Director at UBS in their Investment Bank. As part of UBS’ Alterative Capital Markets group, he co-invested $450mm and raised more than $5bn through pre-IPO’s, PIPE’s and private converts.

Mr. Mansukhani earned a Bachelor of Economics (2002) and a Masters in Business Administration (2004) from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated as a Joseph Wharton Scholar.

Mr. Mansukhani’s family is the promoter of the ‘Onida’ group of companies.

Jay H. Shah - Chief Executive Officer, Hersha Hospitality Trust
Jay H. Shah

Jay H. Shah

Chief Executive Officer
Hersha Hospitality Trust

Jay H. Shah is the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Trustees of Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT). Hersha is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that owns interests in 65 hotels in major urban gateway markets with high barriers to entry including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Miami and Southern California, totaling 9,616 rooms. Hersha focuses on owning and operating high quality, upscale, urban transient hotels. The company follows a highly selective investment approach and creates operational advantage by leveraging rigorous and sustainable asset management practices.

Mr. Shah is involved in all areas of the business with a particular emphasis on investor relations, capital transactions and acquisitions. Prior to his role as CEO, Mr. Shah served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Hersha Hospitality, as well as the Managing Director of the Hersha Group, a private affiliate of Hersha Hospitality Trust that provides hotel management, development and construction management services to hotel owners.

Before joining Hersha, Mr. Shah formed Shah & Byler, LLP, a law firm focusing on real estate and construction. Mr. Shah was also a consultant for accountancy firm Coopers & Lybrand LLP, and a legislative assistant to the late Senator John Heinz.

Mr. Shah currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Temple University and the Temple University Health System, The Episcopal Academy, a co-educational college preparatory school for grades K- 12 and Cornell University Dean’s Advisory Board for the School of Hotel Administration. He is also a Fellow at the Cornell Center for Real Estate Finance. Mr. Shah is a member of Real Estate Roundtable and of both the Philadelphia and International Chapters of the Young Presidents Organization. Mr. Shah was recently named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, for Greater Philadelphia and was a finalist in the national competition. In addition, he joined fellow CEOs from Marriot and Hilton, who were selected as the top three hospitality executives of the year by Commercial Property Executive magazine.

Mr. Shah received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, a JD from the Beasley School of Law at Temple University and an MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

Consumer: Understanding the Indian Consumer

With significantly more disposable income and shaped evermore by global influences, the Indian middle- and upper-class consumers’ wants and needs are nearly insatiable. At the same time, India has hundreds of millions of consumers at the bottom of the pyramid with access not even to their most basic needs in sanitation, healthcare or education.

How does one define the Indian consumer and how are they different from other emerging markets consumers? How do companies address such a large market that is so economically, culturally and demographically diverse? What are the political, bureaucratic and logistical challenges that companies face in reaching the Indian consumer? What role does technology play in influencing consumer behavior in India? What are some of the big consumer trends to watch out for in the next three to five years?


Jagmohan S. Raju - Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School (Moderator)
Jagmohan S. Raju

Jagmohan S. Raju

Professor of Marketing
The Wharton School

Professor Jagmohan S. Raju is the Joseph J. Aresty Professor at the Wharton School. Raju’s work focuses on pricing strategy, coupon programs, managing private labels and sales force compensation. He is internationally recognized for his research and consults with major companies worldwide including Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Johnson and Johson. With publications in top-tier academic journals, Raju is internationally known for his scholarly work. He has received numerous teaching and research awards.

Professor Raju received his PhD, MA and MS degrees from Stanford University, his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, and his BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He is the Director of the Wharton-Indian School of Business Program.

Rahul Anand - Founder, Hopscotch
Rahul Anand

Rahul Anand


Rahul Anand is the CEO and Founder of Hopscotch.in, a leading discovery based eCommerce destination for Indian moms. Launched in 2012, Hopscotch is transforming the Indian shopping experience and has become one of the foremost destinations for parents searching for unique and exciting merchandise for their children. Hopscotch is backed by a range of venture investors, including the Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin, Velos Partners, Mr. Wei Yan (CTO and Co-Founder of Diapers.com), Mr. Toivo Annus (CTO and Co-Founder of Skype) and LionRock Capital. Prior to Hopscotch, Rahul was a director at Diapers.com, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Rehan A. Khan - Managing Director, Abbott India Limited
Rehan A. Khan

Rehan A. Khan

Managing Director
Abbott India Limited

Rehan Khan is the MD and Board Director of Abbott India Limited.

Abbott India is a publicly traded Pharmaceutical company with annual turnover of $350 million, has 3,000 employees across South Asia and is Abbott Pharma's fourth largest affiliate worldwide.

The company has manufacturing operations in country and a broad distribution network with our products available in over 350,000 retailers. Under Rehan's leadership, Abbott India has been rated as the best performing multinational pharmaceutical company in the country for the past two years and he has also been rated as the multinational Pharma CEO of 2013.

Rehan has held leadership positions in Pharmaceuticals, FMCG/Nutrition, Management Consultancy and Private Equity sectors within the past 18 years. Prior to the current role, he was the General Manager & Country Head of Abbott Nutrition’s India business.

Rehan relocated to India in 2007 to join AstraZeneca as Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

Earlier in his career, Rehan spent 19 years in the US, UK and Continental Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Sweden) with Novartis Pharma AG, Accenture and Venture Media LLP.

Rehan is a guest speaker at The Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Business, The Indian School of Business and The London Business School. He and has also been an adjunct faculty member at Richmond, the American International University in London.

Rehan has a SM degree in Health Sciences & Technology from Harvard Medical School and MIT Sloan (Harvard – MIT Division of Health Sciences), an MBA from Drexel University and BS from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He is a graduate of The Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India.

Rehan is passionate about contemporary art and enjoys playing squash.

Charulata Ravi Kumar - CEO, Razorfish India / Columnist
Charulata Ravi Kumar

Charulata Ravikumar

CEO, Razorfish India

Charulata has over 25 years of international experience across more than 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Middle East and US in integrated marketing, brand strategy and communication development across Global and Indian brands. She has also specialized in quantitative and qualitative research analysis, consumer lateral insights and trend casting, mergers and acquisitions and business development for startups and new practices. She is credited with four stints of having set up organizations from scratch to success in their first year.

Charulata has served as Innovations Consultant to The Indian Express, a major Indian publication. She has restructured the brand and its marketing through a process of deconstruction and innovation, developing successful IPs bringing top brands to associate with them on these concepts while getting new readers to connect better with The Express. She also serves as a Columnist, Leadership Coach for Corporates and teaches Communication and Leadership at premier colleges in India.

In her free time, Charulata teaches social skills and “science through play” at Anchorage, an NGO for adults with down syndrome.

Ken Silverman - Head of North America, Sannam S4 Consulting
Ken Silverman

Ken Silverman

Head of North America
Sannam S4 Consulting

Ken Silverman heads all North American initiatives for Sannam S4 Consulting, Pvt., Ltd., the preeminent India market-entry specialist. The company, with offices across India, has served more than 200 leading corporations, universities, and non-profit organizations. Representative clients include Unilever, TJ Maxx, AOL India, Airbnb, MIT, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ken is a veteran international executive, entrepreneur, and strategist with more than three decades' experience in the global communications, media, and entertainment industries. His clients and initiatives have also included the fields of technology, healthcare, education, and a diverse range of charitable institutions. Since 1997 he has particularly focused on India, including 8 years representing US entertainment industry initiatives for Tata Elxsi, Ltd., the visual computing arm of the $100 billion p/yr. Tata Group, India’s oldest and largest industrial conglomerate. On behalf of Tata, and other Indian media clients, he secured, negotiated, and/or oversaw India-based assignments for the Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, Liberty Media/Starz, MGM, Sony, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and others.

In 2000 and 2001, Ken also produced and moderated two of India’s earliest and largest international media and technology conferences, featuring industry CEOs and leaders from six continents. He has additionally produced and/or spoken at India conferences at leading universities, film festivals, and industry gatherings around the world. Other Indian clients and affiliations have included Pentamedia Graphics, Ltd., in Chennai, Annapurna Studios, in Hyderabad, Famous Studios, in Mumbai, and the Government of Maharashtra.

Ken is a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of the South Asian Studies Association (SASA), and Chairman of the Board of the non-profit Caritas Telecommunications. His prior US clients and affiliations have included Columbia Pictures, Dow Jones, General Electric, Harvard University, Meredith Publishing, Tribune Company, UCLA, Warner Brothers Pictures, and others. He was formerly Chairman of the Board of the Tierra del Sol Foundation, Executive Vice President of Indians in American Media (IAM), and he has written often for The India Journal.


According to a recent Economic Times report, 54 percent of Indian technology firms that raised Series A funding in 2014 have already left the country, instead choosing to base themselves in countries with more appealing startup environments, including the US, UK, and Singapore. The future of the Indian economy depends on having a robust entrepreneurial environment.

What are entrepreneurs in India doing to overcome the countless regulatory inefficiencies they must navigate on a constant basis? How do investors view the future of entrepreneurship in India? Is there hope for change or will outdated regulations and red tape continue to hamper the growth of startup India?


Kartik Hosanagar - Professor, The Wharton School (Moderator)
Kartik Hosanagar

Kartik Hosanagar

The Wharton School

Kartik Hosanagar is a Professor at The Wharton School where his research work focuses on the digital economy, in particular Internet media, Internet marketing and e-commerce. He serves as the director of Wharton's Venture Initiation Program.

Kartik has been recognized as one of the world's top 40 business professors under 40. He has received several research and teaching awards including the MBA and Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching awards at the Wharton School. Kartik is a cofounder of Yodle Inc, a venture-backed firm that has been listed among the top 50 fastest growing private firms in the US. He has served on the advisory board of Milo Inc (acq by eBay) and is involved with other startups as either an investor or board member. He is currently a founder of Edtech startup SmartyPal.

Kartik graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelors degree in Electronics and a Masters in Information Systems from BITS, Pilani in India, and he has a PhD in Management Science and Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University.

Jishnu Bhattacharjee - Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners
Jishnu Bhattacharjee

Jishnu Bhattacharjee

Managing Director
Nexus Venture Partners

Jishnu is a managing director at Nexus Venture Partners, a leading venture capital firm in India and US, investing in innovative early to early-growth stage companies. Jishnu brings to Nexus several years of operating and investing expertise in hi-technology start-ups. He has invested in technology infrastructure, mobile, Internet and technology enabled services companies and is interested in a wide range of start-ups. Jishnu currently serves on the boards of Druva, Kaltura, Elastic Box, Unmetric, Helpshift, Vdopia, Blueshift, Arkin Net and 0xdata. His investments also include Cloud.com (acquired by Citrix) and Gluster (acquired by Red Hat).

Jishnu is an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and holds a masters and undergraduate from Georgia Tech and IIT Kharagpur in electrical engineering and is an inventor on more than a dozen US patents.

Pashupathy Gopalan - President, Asia Pacific, SunEdison
Pashupathy Gopalan

Pashupathy Gopalan

President, Asia Pacific

Pashupathy Gopalan has been with SunEdison since 2009 and is currently President - Asia Pacific. He is responsible for building SunEdison’s solar energy business in this region. Pashupathy has led SunEdison to build 400 MW of Solar Power Plants in India, Thailand, Malaysia and South Africa and has raised over $1B in debt and equity for the same. Under his leadership, SunEdison was named India’s Best Solar Power Producer by IPPAI (Independent Power Producers Association of India) and Deloitte, and was recognized globally for the ground breaking Gujarat Narmada Canal Top Solar project in 2012. He was also one of the team leaders responsible for MEMC’s acquisition of SunEdison in 2009.

Prior to SunEdison, Pashu worked with Cypress Semiconductor as Global Vice President – Strategic Marketing and Business Development. At Cypress Semiconductor, he was responsible for functions covering global market strategy, new business creation, mergers and acquisitions, venture funding and platform marketing for its products. Before Cypress, he was the Vice President – Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Government Relations at Bloom Energy/ Ion America, a leading fuel cell energy company based out of Silicon Valley, where he helped shape its global market strategy, product roadmap, alliances, and raised equity financing.

Pashu has earned a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University, Masters of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Arizona State University, and Bachelor of Technology in Metallurgical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, BHU, India.

Arihant Patni - Managing Director, Patni Financial Advisors
Arihant Patni

Arihant Patni

Managing Director
Patni Financial Advisors

Arihant Patni is an entrepreneur, financial advisor and active investor with extensive experience in diverse areas such as IT services/infrastructure (including computer software), business development/marketing and wealth management.

Arihant Patni is Managing Director of Patni Financial Advisors, a family office for the Patni Computers Family. The team executes investment strategies across various asset classes including debt, equity, alternate assets and real estate. He is also Managing Director of the Hive, an investment platform that helps fund and launch companies in big data and data analytics in India and the Silicon Valley, and Co-Founder /Director of Nirvana Venture Advisors, a venture capital fund focused on the internet space.

Arihant’s foray in the investments space came about when his family’s software outsourcing business, Patni Computer Systems, was acquired in 2011 at a valuation of $1.5 billion which included a full exit for promoters and private equity investors. While at Patni, Arihant had a broad exposure to the business of the company, including positions in the computer software and human resources departments, as well as being a business development and marketing executive. Arihant later worked with Fidelity Investments and Raay Software Inc. in Boston and was subsequently co-founder and CEO of Bodhi Global Services, a legal support services company set up in collaboration with AZB & Partners, which is one of India’s leading law firms.

Arihant received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Chemical Engineering. He continued his education at Babson College in Boston, where he received his Masters of Business Administration with concentration in entrepreneurship. He then received a separate Masters Degree in Statistics from Columbia University in New York.

Sunny B. Rao - Partner, Lightbox Ventures
Sunny B. Rao

Sunny B. Rao

Lightbox Ventures

Sunny Rao is a Partner at Lightbox Ventures in India and the Founder/CEO of ZoomIn, India’s largest photo service. Sunny has been an active participant in the consumer Internet story since its earliest days. In 1992 he joined an online startup in the Philadelphia area called Infonautics as one of its first employees. There, in addition to helping manage the technology infrastructure for an online research service, he helped create and launch Company Sleuth – a pioneering information retrieval service. Infonautics later went on to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

After Infonautics, Sunny co-founded Half.com – an online market place for used books, movies and games. At Half, as Chief Technology Officer, Sunny managed engineering and technical operations overseeing the launch of the service and eventual scaling of the platform to one of the largest marketplaces on the Internet. Half was acquired by eBay in July 2000 in a transaction valued at over $350 million. After the acquisition, Sunny remained with eBay and played a leadership role in the integration of the two companies’ technologies.

In 2007, he co-founded ZoomIn and quickly grew it to be the leader in the online photo space in India. With a world class technology platform, award winning website and in-house manufacturing, the company has helped millions of its customers use their photos to tell their story.

Computerworld has named Sunny a Premier 100 IT Leader in its annual ranking of global Information Technology leaders. Sunny is also a holder of multiple patents in the areas of e-commerce and search technologies.

Sunny received his Masters in Information Systems from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

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