The Smart CEO Startup50 Conference was conceptualized with a very specific goal in mind: to ensure a clutter-free conference focused on gathering high-end entrepreneurship knowledge from investors and entrepreneurs. The Conference track will revolve around understanding the art and science of building long-term businesses in various sectors - including technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and retail.
The theme for this year's conference is Idea to IPO. And, the schedule comprises the following;
1.Opening Keynote by Krishnakumar Natarajan (KK), Executive Chairman, Mindtree. He will be speaking on the topic: "The 10 most difficult but critical decisions we made at Mindtree to take it from #Idea2IPO."
2. Panel Discussion on "Idea Validation & Year-1" The panel will discuss answers to the following questions: 1) How do I do better in Year-1 of my venture? 2) Am I pursuing the right idea? 3) Have I established proof of concept? 4) Is there a large enough market I can serve? 5) How can I get customer validation?
3. Fireside Chat: The road to an IPO - Srikanth Narasimhan, Founder of Veda Corp, will engage with the founder & CEO of Matrimony.com, Murugavel Janakiraman, on Matrimony.com's journey through to a successful IPO.
4. Mahesh Natarajan, Senior Vice President - Marketing & Business Development, Ananda Spa, will deliver a talk on 'From niche to scale; Building the luxury wellness brand, Ananda Spa, and taking it global'
5. Panel on scaling: 2 leading entrepreneurs & 2 investors take an in-depth view into the following questions;1) How do we get ready internally, within the organisation, to scale up rapidly? 2) How do deal with external forces? 3) How do we balance growth and profits? 4) How do we hire the right team and design the organisation optimally? 5) How do we enter new geographies?
6. Panel on Startup Brand Building: What are some effective strategies startups can adopt to build a strong brand, brand recall and presence among their customers?
7. From Angel to Series C - What to VCs look for in their investee companies?
8. Karan Bhagat, Founder & CEO of IIFL Investment Managers, shares tips and tricks on helping successful founders invest their millions & billions with care.
9. Keynote & Interactive Session with K. Ganesh of Growth Story.
10. Keynote & Interactive Session with Mr. Ashok Soota, Chairman of Happiest Minds and Author of Entrepreneurship Simplified. Mr. Soota will deliver a short talk on the key lessons he's drawn from building 3 different companies, Wipro where he was President, Mindtree, where he was Founder & Chairman, and now Happiest Minds.
And now, who are our speakers? Let’s give you a sneak preview.
10.00 AM - Opening Keynote by Krishnakumar Natarajan (KK), Executive Chairman, Mindtree. He will be speaking on the topic: "The 10 most difficult but critical decisions we made at Mindtree to take it from #Idea2IPO."
10.45 AM - Panel Discussion on "Idea Validation & Year-1" The panel will discuss answers to the following questions: 1) How do I do better in Year-1 of my venture? 2) Am I pursuing the right idea? 3) Have I established proof of concept? 4) Is there a large enough market I can serve? 5) How can I get customer validation?
11.45 AM- 15 minute Coffee Break
12 Noon - Fireside Chat: The road to an IPO - Srikanth Narasimhan, Founder of Veda Corp, will engage with the founder & CEO of Matrimony.com, Murugavel Janakiraman, on Matrimony.com's journey through to a successful IPO.
12.40 PM - Mahesh Natarajan, Senior Vice President - Marketing & Business Development, Ananda Spa, will deliver a talk on 'From niche to scale; Building the luxury wellness brand, Ananda Spa, and taking it global'
1.00 PM - Lunch
2.00 PM - Panel on scaling: 2 leading entrepreneurs & 2 investors take an in-depth view into the following questions;1) How do we get ready internally, within the organisation, to scale up rapidly? 2) How do deal with external forces? 3) How do we balance growth and profits? 4) How do we hire the right team and design the organisation optimally? 5) How do we enter new geographies?
3.00 PM - Opportunities for Startups in Ireland
3.30 PM - Panel on Startup Brand Building: What are some effective strategies startups can adopt to build a strong brand, brand recall and presence among their customers?
4.30 PM - From Angel to Series C - What to VCs look for in their investee companies?
6.30 PM - Keynote & Interactive Session with K. Ganesh of Growth Story.
7.00 PM - Karan Bhagat, Founder & CEO of IIFL Investment Managers, shares tips and tricks on helping successful founders invest their millions & billions with care.
7.30 PM - Keynote & Interactive Session with Mr. Ashok Soota, Chairman of Happiest Minds and Author of Entrepreneurship Simplified. Mr. Soota will deliver a short talk on the key lessons he's drawn from building 3 different companies, Wipro where he was President, Mindtree, where he was Founder & Chairman, and now Happiest Minds.
Soota is known to be one of the pioneering leaders in the Indian IT industry, earlier having led the growth of Wipro’s IT business from US$ 2 million to US$ 500 million run-rate. Subsequently, he was founding Chairman & MD of Mindtree and led it through a very successful IPO. His second entrepreneurial venture, Happiest Minds has already established several benchmarks in the IT Services industry in India and is on course to achieve its goal of being the fastest to achieve US$ 100 million revenue.
K. Ganesh, Chairman of Portea Medical; Partner at Growth Story
Krishnan Ganesh, is currently Chairman of Portea Medical and founder of angel investment platform GrowthStory. His previous entrepreneurial venture, TutorVista, was acquired by education company, Pearson, for US $213 million. His currently involved with companies such as Bluestone, BigBasket, HomeLane.
Amit Patni, Co-Founder & Chairman, Nirvana Venture Advisors
Patni is also a promoter shareholder of Patni Computers, a pioneer in Indian ITES. He carries 22 years’ experience in technology, software and projects. He has extensive experience in the computer hardware and components market in India and overseas.
Karan Bhagat, Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IIFL Investment Managers
Karan Bhagat is Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IIFL Investment Managers (earlier IIFL Wealth & Asset Management). He is responsible for providing direction and leadership towards the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, vision and its strategic goals and objectives. He has built a team of experienced and talented professionals from within and outside the industry, who work with and for, some of the most distinguished wealthy families in India & abroad.
Naganand Doraswamy, MD & CEO, Ideaspring Capital
Naganand Doraswamy is the Managing Director and Founder of Ideaspring Capital, an early stage fund focused on technology product startups.
With 25 years of experience in the industry, he is a successful entrepreneur and is well-networked in the community. Prior to spearheading the fund, he was the EVP & Co-Founder of SPAN Infotech, where he actively contributed to engineering in R&D and development as well as operations including HR, IT, and operations. Prior to joining SPAN, Naganand was co-founder of Lexar Networks, MA, USA working on an idea in cellular and Wi-Fi convergence. Prior to that, he was the Director of Software at PhotonEx Corporation, MA, USA where he built carrier class software for long haul transmission systems. He was one of the very early hire into the company that raised over $160 million in funding.
Ganapathy Venugopal (VG) is Co-founder and CEO of Axilor Ventures. Axilor Ventures is a platform for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. Through its programs which include Accelerator, Scale-up and Early Stage Funding, Axilor aims to support early stage entrepreneurs improve their odds of success in e-commerce, healthcare and clean-tech.
VG has over seventeen years of experience in the areas of strategy, finance and consulting. Prior to co-founding Axilor Ventures, VG was Head of Strategy & Planning at Infosys. VG serves on the boards of several companies.
Shubhankar Bhattacharya, Venture Partner, Kae Capital
Shubhankar Bhattacharya is a Venture Partner at Kae Capital. Prior to joining Kae, Shubhankar was the Co-Founder & CEO of Yaqsh.com, an online store for diamonds & diamond jewellery. He has also played various roles at CMS Info Systems & Technip. Shubhankar holds a Bachelors in Technology degree from NIT Trichy, and an MBA degree from ISB Hyderabad, where he graduated with “Dean’s List” honours. His debut book, “VCs are from Venus, Entrepreneurs are from Mars” launched on the Juggernaut app.
Srikanth Narasimhan, Co-Founder, Veda Corp
Srikanth is a co-founder of Veda and has over sixteen years of well-rounded experience in investment banking, private equity and corporate planning. He has advised and assisted many companies in their funding plans and M&A. He has also invested in companies, been on their boards, taken part in their growth strategies and successfully raised funds/acquired businesses for growth.
Earlier, Srikanth was with Ernst & Young, leading the private equity and M&A activities in the technology & services sectors. Prior to that, he was with ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of ICICI Bank (listed on NYSE), investing and managing a portfolio of investments in the IT/ITES sectors. He was also with RelQ Software, the leading software testing services firm in India, managing their corporate planning activities including acquisitions and fund raising. He has corporate experience as well, having worked with companies like TATA Motors and TATA Technologies.
A leading authority in the global IT sector, Krishnakumar Natarajan co-founded Mindtree in 1999 and has played key roles in building the company’s innovative approach to delivering IT services and solutions to global 2000 enterprises. Natarajan was instrumental in setting up Mindtree’s U.S. operations, driving expansion in Europe and Asia Pacific regions, and transforming Mindtree’s IT services business. Today, his mission as Executive Chairman is to focus on leadership development and ensure a high quality of governance. He also actively mentors different business groups within the company and works closely with the start-up ecosystem to bring in innovative models of business transformation for clients.
A 35-year IT industry veteran, Natarajan held several key positions at Wipro before co-founding Mindtree. He also served as Chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). His efforts as a business leader have been recognized worldwide, winning him several laurels. He was ranked amongst the most valuable CEOs in India by Businessworld & Forbes in 2016. He won Bloomberg UTV’s award as the CEO of the Year in 2010, Business Today CEO of the year award in 2014 and was recognized by Chief Executive Magazine’s as one of the twelve global leaders of tomorrow. EY honoured him with Entrepreneur of the year 2015 in Services.
Natarajan is an active member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He is also a regular speaker at international IT industry conferences and a faculty member at management schools around the world. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Chennai, India, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Xavier Institute, Jamshedpur, India.
Amuleek Singh Bijral, Co-Founder & CEO, Chai Point
A Harvard Business School graduate, Amuleek Singh Bijral is the co-founder and CEO of Chai Point, a retail chain which specializes in retailing tea and refreshments in India. Founded in 2010, the company has thus far raised US $10 million from DSG Consumer Partners, Eight Roads Ventures and Saama Capital.
Prior to turning entrepreneur, Bijral was the Managing Director for India and SAARC in RSA Security LLC.
Geetha Manjunath, Founder & CEO, Niramai Health Analytix
Geetha Manjunath is the CEO and founder of Niramai Health Analytix, a venture that’s developed a revolutionary non-invasive, non-touch, non-radiation approach to detect breast cancer early in women. Her expertise lies in the IT industry, and she has proposed and lead multiple research projects in data analytics, crowd sourcing, cloud computing, semantic web, mobile and distributed computing space. In fact, her research in these resulted in innovative prototypes, patents, publications, new products and some national and international recognition.
Murugavel Janakiraman began his venture in 1997 as a small tamil matrimony community website, created to bring together this community with the NRIs in the US. Today, re-branded as Matrimony.com, it has transformed the way arranged marriages happen in India, not just in a particular community, but across religions and sects. The company is backed by 3,500 employees across 150 branches, in 20 major cities.
Ranked among Deloitte Technology Fast 50 companies in India in 2008, 2009 and 2011, and listed as one of the top 50 companies in NASSCOM’s 100 IT innovators, Matrimony.com currently comprises two business segments; matchmaking services and marriage services, and related sale of products. Recently, the company has announced the launch of its IPO, to be scheduled on September 11th, 2017.
Prashant Mehta, Partner, Lightbox VC
After Wharton, Prashant cut his teeth in the dog-eat-dog world of finance at Lehman Brothers where he understood the art of investing in emerging markets. Keen to learn more about how technology was changing the world, he moved to Silicon Valley to join Yahoo! where he ultimately led the commercial operations of the Emerging Markets group to generate over $150 million in annual revenues.
Having seen the promise of technology in emerging markets, Prashant and his family moved to Mumbai in the midst of the world financial crisis to lead an early stage technology start up – Komli Media. Over the next five years, first as COO and then as CEO, Prashant led an incredibly talented team to position Komli as Asia’s leading advertising technology company. Along the way, they grew revenues 50x and expanded into 10 new international markets. Prashant now spends his days chasing down the next big thing.
Priti Sawant, Founder & CEO, Joulestowatts
Priti Sawant is a staffing Industry thought leader, who was earlier heading Magna Infotech as a CEO. She is widely recognized for her role in charting the growth of IT contract staffing in India and defining path-breaking staffing models for Fortune 500 companies. She brings over two decades of experience in managing strategic engagements and leverages her vast operational experience to advise companies on growing their business by uncovering new opportunities and identifying untapped revenue streams in addition to developing leadership capital. Priti is an active CII IWIN member and also channels her energies to mentor startups. She is also known in industry circles as a talent acquisition trendsetter and a gender diversity specialist. She has helped organisations articulate strategies for the development of diversity at the workplace by defining and addressing the challenges they experience.
Grow Fit is a healthtech and wellness company that helps customers achieve peak wellness by using a combination of data science, medical science and behavioural insights. She is a Melton Fellow and has served on the Board of Directors of the Melton Foundation, twice.she has played leadership roles at marquee companies like Oracle, eBay and Yahoo in Silicon Valley during their growth phases. Jyotsna is an all-star internet and mobile maven, having spent her career on the frontlines of internet businesses. Starting her career at payments pioneer Cybercash (later acquired by Paypal), She has played leadership roles at marquee companies like Oracle, eBay and Yahoo in Silicon Valley during their growth phases .She went on the play key roles at venture-funded companies backed by the likes of Kleiner Perkins and Menlo Ventures before moving back to India in 2008.
Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-Founder & CEO, Indus OS
Rakesh Deshmukh is the co-founder and CEO of Indus OS, a company that’s addressing the emerging market’s biggest challenge to developing technology to reach the bottom of the pyramid. The company, under his leadership, has developed the world’s first Regional Mobile Operating System which caters to the regional language user.
Rakesh is also the driving force behind building the senior executive team and developing strategy and operations to create a regional smartphone eco-system. Under his leadership, the company has successfully launched and implemented the first version of Indus OS which acquired 2 million users within 6 months.
Prior to Indus OS, Rakesh worked for more than a year in the mobile industry to gain industry experience. His entrepreneurial aspiration took shape in his early days at IIT. He has an ideal blend of technical understanding and business acumen, combined with great people skills. He is a pragmatic and strategic thinker, with prudent insights for structuring a clear and effective business strategy.
He is member of Asia Society and holds a BTech from IIT Bombay.
Mr. Vikram Gupta is the Founder & Managing Partner of IvyCap Ventures Advisors Private Limited that manages around Rs 900 crores across two Funds that have been raised almost entirely in India. Started in 2011, IvyCap has now become the largest home-grown Venture Capital Fund in India. IvyCap has made substantial investments in the Indian Startup ecosystem and has a sector agnostic investment approach. The current portfolio includes Leixir, RML AgTech, Aujas, Vinculum, Sokrati, FTCash, FieldEZ, Clovia, eShakti, Bluestone, Purplle & GrabOnRent.
Mr. Gupta has over 20 years experience in Venture Capital, Business Consulting, M&A, Strategy and Technology across multiple sectors. He is also known for setting up India’s First Healthcare and Life Sciences Venture Capital Fund where Ajay Piramal was the sponsor. Previously, he also managed the Clinical Genomics practice for IBM’s Healthcare and Life Sciences vertical in the US. He has also been an entrepreneur himself in the areas of technology and healthcare.
Mr. Vikram Gupta has completed his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi and has an MBA degree in Strategy and Finance from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Tanaz Buhariwalla, Director India, IDA Ireland
Tanaz Buhariwalla, Director for IDA Ireland in India has worked with IDA for over six years. Along with her team, Tanaz helps Indian companies set up in Ireland and leverage their Irish presence to trade across Europe.
Previously Tanaz worked for the British High Commission in India helping British companies do business in India and Indian companies set up in the UK. Over her 25 years career, Tanaz has engaged with MNCs, conglomerates, large corporates, SMEs and start-ups alike helping them in their plans for European growth. This has helped her develop in-depth experience in aligning company needs to business opportunities in the European markets. Some companies Tanaz has recently assisted expand their footprint within Europe include HCL, NIIT, Tech Mahindra, mid-sized companies like BrowserStack, SMT, Biotech Visioncare amongst others.
Her other achievements lie in significantly improving awareness about IDA and Ireland in Indian business circles through multi pronged and multi platform activities. Tanaz is a Commerce graduate from the Mumbai University and a post graduate in Change Management from the Open University, UK.
Mahesh Natarajan – SVP, Ananda spa
Mahesh is Senior Vice President at award winning luxury destination spa, Ananda in the Himalayas and also manages the Ananda Spa Institute, the integrated institute for holistic spa and spa management training. Mahesh brings over 20 years of experience across Marketing, Brand Building, and Business Strategy across international and Indian companies.
Mahesh started his career in the hotel industry, training and working with luxury brand Oberoi Hotels where he learnt the fundamentals of hospitality and hotel operations. A subsequent Masters in Business Administration and Marketing degree led him to new and varied roles in marketing and business strategy. He has also been an entrepreneur, creating and successfully running a CRM consulting and services Company.
A return to the hotel industry after a decade brought him back to Oberoi Hotels as Vice President Marketing where he helped in creating a unique identity for the Oberoi brand and increased its visibility in the global luxury hotels marketplace. Subsequently he moved to his current role at Ananda, where his focus has been on growing its signature wellness offerings, customer relationships, developing new markets and expanding Ananda’s footprint in India and abroad.
His deep interest in the world of health and wellness started and continues through his association with Ananda. He is a follower of Ananda’s traditional Hatha Yoga practice and has worked to incorporate their core Ayurvedic principles into his daily life. Mahesh and his family live in Delhi and they share his passion for travel and discovering new places and experiences.
Map & Directions
Map & Directions
The Taj West End Racecourse Road, High Grounds, Sampangi Rama Nagar Bangalore India 560001
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