Conference Overview

Panel DiscussionsTop experts collaborate & dissect key issues

Fireside Chats
One on one deep-dives on key issues

Networking Sessions
Opportunities to connect with the best

Indian stories, opportunities, challenges and insights, showcased to a global audience comprising world renowned Wharton Faculty, Wharton and UPenn Students and professionals from across the country.

The sessions will be focused around the conference themes of diversified business models, disruptive strategies and delivery of value. Speaker sessions will cover a variety of topics ranging from industry deep dives to issues and challenges of building and scaling business.

2018 Speakers

President, US India Business Council

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Nisha Biswal is president of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where she provides strategic guidance and leads advocacy efforts on behalf of USIBC’s more than 300 member companies, promoting long-term commercial partnerships to advance the bilateral trade relationship between the U.S. and India. Biswal served as assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from 2013 to 2017. During Biswal’s tenure, bilateral commercial trade between the U.S. and India nearly doubled, reaching $115 billion in 2016. Biswal was awarded the prestigious Samman Award by the president of India in January 2017.

Director, Center for Advanced Study of India

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Dr. Bouton is current Acting Director and Visiting Scholar at CASI. He was president emeritus of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs from 2001 to 2013, influencing the discourse on global policy issues. Dr. Bouton’s previous positions include Director of Policy Analysis for Near East, Africa and South Asia in the U.S. Defense Department, special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to India, and founding U.S. executive secretary of the Indo-U.S. Sub-commission on Education and Culture. In 2013, Dr. Bouton was awarded the Friend of India Award from India Abroad to commemorate his five decades of diplomatic service and scholarly work on India.

COO and VP Miga, World Bank

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S. Vijay Iyer is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group. He is responsible for overseeing the Guarantee Operations Group of the Agency and leading the Agency’s partnerships with the World Bank Group, other Multi and Bilateral institutions and Governments. Iyer served at the World Bank Group between 1993 and 2015, where he has held various positions, including Sector Manager, Africa Energy; Director, Sustainable Energy and Extractives; and Senior Adviser, Infrastructure. He joined MIGA from Rio Tinto, a leading global metal and mining company, where he served as Managing Director in India for the past three years. Iyer previously had important positions in public administration and economic development as a member of the Indian Administrative Services, and experience in banking and private industry. He holds MS Chemistry from Jabalpur University India, and a Masters in Management from Yale University.

Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets

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Venkat (Vinnie) Badinehal joined RBC Capital Markets in April 2017 as the Head of the Financial Institutions Group within Global Investment Banking based out of New York. Based in New York, Mr. Badinehal specializes in providing strategic, capital markets, balance sheet and M&A advisory services to financial institutions clients. Prior to RBC, Venkat was Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and before that at Merrill Lynch in the Financial Institutions Investment Banking Group. Venkat has served as an advisor on some of the industry’s most notable transactions. He has been part of over 200 M&A and capital markets transactions globally with an aggregate transaction value of greater than $500 billion. Venkat also has an MBA from The Wharton School and infact was the founding Chairman of the Wharton-India Economic Forum.

Executive Director, Penn Global

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As Executive Director for Penn Global, Amy Gadsden works with Penn’s schools and centers to develop and implement strategies to increase Penn’s global engagement both on campus and overseas. Prior to joining the Provost’s Office, Dr. Gadsden spent five years as Associate Dean for International and Strategic Initiatives at Penn Law. She has demonstrated experience and expertise in International Law and Development, Foreign Affairs, Politics, Policy Analysis, and Political Science. Dr. Gadsden has also consulted for the Pew Charitable Trusts, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She holds a B.A. from Yale College and a Ph.D. in Chinese legal history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Co-founder and CEO, Springboard

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Gautam is a successful entrepreneur working at the heart of education and technology. Having worked as a strategy consultant, venture and private equity investor and startup advisor, his latest venture 'Springboard' is a rapidly-growing workforce development company that has educated 200K+ students on new economy skills with 1:1 mentorship from industry experts. It has raised a successful Series A and has its biggest revenue markets in US and India. He is also a Wharton MBA from the class of 2010

Editor-in-chief, Executive Director, Knowledge@Wharton

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Mukul Pandya is the editor-in-chief and executive director of the Knowledge@Wharton, the online business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Senior Fellow in the Wharton School’s Management Department. A winner of four awards for investigative journalism and author of three books, Mr Pandya has more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Economist and other publications.

Founding Managing Partner, Consensys

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Kavita heads a unique VC-Hedge Fund, investing in next-generation Ethereum Blockchain technologies revolutionizing our current systems. Kavita is a recipient of the UN Social Finance Innovator Award in 2015 for being an integral part of the founding Green Bond team at The World Bank. Over her 16-year career she has set up innovative investment funds across East Africa, Middle East, South Asia and most recently in the US through World Bank, IFC,

CEO, Caliber Homes

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Sanjiv Das is a Senior Financial Executive with 30 years of extensive experience in consumer banking and capital markets. A proven leader, Sanjiv has significantly delivered innovation and thought‐leadership in C‐level positions at numerous global companies. Sanjiv was recently named as CEO of Caliber Home Loans, a Lone Star portfolio company, where he has leveraged his deep financial perspective, consumer experience and thought‐leadership to deliver record year over year growth in the non‐bank sector.

Founding and Managing Partner, Two Six Capital

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Sajjad Jaffer is a Founder and Managing Partner at Two Six Capital. Two Six Capital is a technology-enabled private equity firm that has pioneered Data Science for Private Equity. The firm’s approach to due diligence transactions and value add post investment is backed by 25 years of IP and research in Data Science. The firm has analyzed over $100 billion in granular transaction level revenue data and has been involved in over $27 billion worth of private equity transactions that have closed. Sajjad most recently worked with a private equity firm in Dubai. Prior to that he worked at Infosys where the firm grew from $0.5B to $3B. Sajjad had leadership team responsibilities focusing on large scale corporate transformations. Sajjad started his career at M&T Bank. Sajjad holds a B.A. from Bowdoin where he double majored in Computer Science and Government and minored in Economics, and an M.B.A. from Wharton. Sajjad also serves on the Advisory Board for the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative.

Wadhwani Chair, CSIS

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Richard Rossow is a senior adviser and holds the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at CSIS. In this role he helps frame and shape policies to promote greater business, economic, and defense engagement between the two countries. He joined CSIS in 2014, having spent the last 16 years working in a variety of capacities to strengthen the partnership between the United States and India.

Principal, JH Consulting; Former advisor to PM Modi

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Josh Felman is the principal at JH Consulting, a macroeconomic consulting firm based in Washington DC. He is also an advisor at True North, India's largest private equity firm, and a columnist for Project Syndicate. Previously, he had a long career at the International Monetary Fund, where he held a number of senior management positions, including Assistant Director of the Research Department. He has had an extensive association with Asia and with India in particular. During the mid-2000s he ran the IMF's India office, and during 2015-17 he returned to Delhi to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance, where he worked closely with the Chief Economic Adviser, Arvind Subramanian. Over the course of his IMF career he was in charge of the IMF's operations in Korea, Thailand, and Philippines; and during the East Asian crisis he was stationed in Indonesia, where he worked closely with the authorities to rebuild their financial system after a historic collapse. He did his post-graduate work in Economics at Oxford University.

Senior Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

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Bharat Poddar is a Senior Partner and Managing Director in BCG’s New York Office. He is a core member of BCG’s Financial Institutions, Insurance, Operations, and People and Organization practices. Since joining BCG in 2003, Bharat has worked extensively across the banking, consumer goods, insurance, and industrial goods sectors. He is a global practice leader for 'Digital' in financial institutions and has experience in digital, automation, operations, strategy and trasformation across geographies and expertise in the US and Indian markets

CEO, Birlasoft

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Anjan is the CEO and Managing Director of Birlasoft and has led a transformation of the company since April 2015 when he joined. Prior to this he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sasken Communication Technologies, a leading R&D technology solutions company till Sept 2014. In 1999, he co-founded MindTree, a global technology firm and established its operations in the US and then in Europe. He held several executive positions over his 14-year tenure at Mindtree, and eventually was the President of the company’s global IT Services Business from the Mindtree headquarters in Bangalore. Anjan’s vast career also includes experience at Cambridge Technology Partners, a Boston based consulting company, and Wipro. Prior to doing an MBA from the University of Florida, he earned a degree in Electronic Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra, where he is recognized as a distinguished alumnus.

Managing Partner, SRI Capital

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Sashi Reddi is a successful technology entrepreneur, business leader, and early stage investor. Sashi runs an early stage venture capital fund, SRI Capital, that is typically the first institutional investor in various technology start-ups in both the US and in India. A serial entrepreneur, Sashi has started four companies including AppLabs which was the world’s largest independent software testing company and was funded by Westbridge Capital. AppLabs was acquired by CSC, post which Sashi served as the VP & GM, Big Data and Analytics at CSC, reporting directly to the CEO. . He received his BTech in Computer Science from the IIT Delhi, an MS in Computer Science from NYU, and later a PhD from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

PRIZES

Besides being an amazing opportunity to showcase your startup before an audience of top investors and entrepreneurs, the startup challenge is an opportunity to win cash prizes alongside access to exciting perks

$20,000+
Judges’ Choice, People's Choice & Best Exhibitor Awards

Awarded on Pitch Day to the startups chosen by judges and attendees

Legal Advice from Legal Partners

Pro-bono legal advice from our legal partners. Awarded to the two Winners.

Mentorship from Experts

Unparalleled access to renowned Wharton entrepreneurs and industry experts.  Awarded to the two Winners.

Media Coverage

Opportunity to be covered by our offline and online media partners. This has included CNBC, Economic Times, Yourstory among others in the past

Global Stage

Top 10 teams pitch their business ideas to conference attendees, sponsors, and a global media audience

Startup Exhibit

Top 20 startups invited to WIEF Conference (Mumbai) to interact with investors and conference attendees as part of a formal startup exhibit

2018-19 Partners

Media Partners
Media Partners
Media Partners
Media Partners
Media Partners
Media Partners

Philadelphia Conference Agenda

Breakfast & Registration

8:15 AM - 8:45 AM

Opening remarks

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Speech by Dr. Amy Gadsden, Exec Dir., Penn Global

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Opening Keynote

9:15 AM - 9:35 AM

Panel: Economics & Policy Moderator: Rick Rossow (Wadhwani Chair, CSIS) Speakers: Vijay Iyer (VP & COO, MIGA) Josh Felman (Former Head IMF, India),

9:35 AM - 10:25 AM

Coffee break

10:25 AM - 10:45 AM

Panel: Blockchain & cryptocurrency Speakers: Kavita Gupta (Founding Managing Partner at Consensys)

10:45 AM - 11:35 AM

Panel: Tech & Analytics Speakers: Anjan Lahiri (CEO, Birlasoft), Sajjad Jaffer (Founder & CEO, Two Six Capital), Shekar Ayyar (Senior VP Corp Dev & Strategy, VMware)

11:35 AM - 12:25 PM

Lunch

12:25 PM - 1:10 PM

Panel: Startups & innovationSpeakers: Gautam Tambay (Co-Founder and CEOSpringboard)

1:10 PM - 2:00 PM

Panel: Finance Speakers: Bharat Poddar (Partner, BCG), Sanjiv Das (CEO, Caliber Homes), Venkat Badinehal (M.D, RBC Capital Markets)

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Coffee break

2:50 PM - 3:10 PM

Closing Keynote

3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Closing remarks

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Networking and Reception

3:45 PM - 4:30 PM

Logistics

The Philadelphia 2018 conference will be held at House of Flags, Houston Hall, University of Pennsylvania

Getting around Philadelphia

Recommended HotelsStaying for the night? Check out these options

Sheraton University City
3549 Chestnut Street
Website
Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel
120 South 17th Street
Website
Loews Philadelphia Hotel
1200 Market Street
Website
Hilton's Inn at Penn
3600 Sansom Street
Website
Kimpton Hotel Palomar
117 South 17th Street
Website

Getting to the VenueOptions to get there without a hassle

Parking at the Venue
Uber and Lyft are recommended, but you can use your own vehicle. However, finding parking within University City is typically hard

Using Public Transport
You can use Amtrak or Septa to get to Philadelphia 30th Street Station
Bus Route 21 and Septa Trolley stop 37th Street Station are easily accessible from the venue

Places to VisitGet to know the city while you're here

Reading Terminal Market
12th and Arch
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Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
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Independence Hall
Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th St
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Liberty Bell Center
6th Street, Between Market and Chestnut St
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