Speakers

  • PRAHLAD KAKAR

    Prahlad Kakar founded Genesis Film Production Pvt. Ltd. in 1977 and virtually re invented regional television advertising, after having assisted Shyam Benegal, one of India’s most renowned filmmakers. “To tell a story in 30 seconds in the most engaging way possible” remains Prahlad’s raison d’etre for remaining passionate about ad filmmaking even 30 years later. Genesis, as is common knowledge in the business, continues to train generations of talented, dedicated filmmakers. Through the last few decades , corporates like Nestlé, PepsiCo, Britannia, Uni Levers have continued to communicate their brand stories through Prahlad Kakar. Making films that capture the dreams and aspirations of his vast target audience, Prahlad has ruled the ad film making business and has won several awards for technical excellence, Innovation and creativity in advertising & marketing over the years in India.

  • VINOD KUMAR

    Country Manager & Senior Partner - India & Middle East, SDRC India Advisors LLP

    Starting his career in international collaborations and projects, in 1989, saw Vinod at the nerve centre of various successful Joint Ventures and Colllaborations in Electronics & Telecom, Media & Publishing, Industrial & Consumer Electronics, Hospitality and Finance, with Multinational corporations entering India through the FDI route. In his corporate honcho avataar, Vinod, continued to helm important and visionary new ventures and projects including the first email service in India and went on to launch Microsoft first exclusive distribution in India, followed by SUN & IBM certified IT Training with a network of over 140 centres across India, training over 1,25,000 engineers in IT in the next four years. Vinod, led a Big 4, IT Consulting organisation in India, setting up its wholly owned subsidiary in the US, after securing venture alliances with Baan, Lotus IBM, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the XML World Group and executed multi million contracts for Texaco, DST Systems and other large corporations throughout the world, before overseeing the buyout of the company by a US based corporation, in an all cash deal. Vinod went to lead the development & successful sale of an indigenously developed navigation and geographic information system, based tracking patent and business. As the Managing Partner for India and Middle East at SDRC India Advisors, he presently invests in profitable, innovative, Small and Medium Companies. Vinod leads the SDRC team in Risk Profiling, Assessing Growth Potential and deciding on Investment for Seed and Venture Financing to MSMEs in innovative and disruptive technologies, apart from day to day overseeing and leading extensive research and analysis of linkages, growth potential and market factors of SMEs involved in over 29 clusters across 11 Sectors including Food Processing, Dairy, Leather, Pharma, Engineering and Automotive in over 19 states of India. As an investor and mentor, with a passion for growing innovative and disruptive brick and mortar, Small and Medium companies with a high growth trajectory, Vinod, supervises and mentors investments of over 135 m $ apart from mentoring over a thousand Entreprenuers, across various sectors under the India SME Forum’s Mentor 4 Entrepreneur Program. Vinod’s experience in startups, seed, equity & development financing and capacity building of MSMEs has successfully lead to innovative strategies in equity & growth capital investments in SMEs apart from the development of successful strategies for a nationwide Capacity Building Framework at the India SME Forum. Vinod passionately addresses and conducts workshops, motivational seminars and leadership sessions for Small and Medium Entrepreneurs and currently serves as the Honorary President at the India SME Forum, apart from advising various government agencies and institutions to strategize and deal with current issues and future challenges Vinod is member of the Board of World Union of SMEs headquartered in San Merino, nominated as a Member of India’s Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India’s Standing Advisory Committee on Flow of Institutional Credit to MSME Sector under the Financial Inclusion Development Department and is also a nominated member on the High Powered Monitoring Committee under National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub under StandUp India of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the Government of India. Vinod has a Graduate Engineering Degree in Electronics and Telecommunication & a Masters in Business Administration.

  • Dr. J.S. JUNEJA

    Chairman, Global Projects & Services (P) Ltd., & Jury Member Advisory Board, India SME Forum

    Dr. J S Juneja has a unique experience in the public & private sector managements and worked diligently for the SME development, policy formulation & advocacy, institutional capacity building & restructuring, entrepreneurship development for over three decades. Promoting investments and joint ventures from India to other countries of Asia and Africa especially to Mauritius and Botswana. Provided management consultancy to the Governments of Egypt, UAE (Dubai), Kenya, Sri Lanka and several other countries of Asia & Africa, United Nations organizations, Commonwealth Secretariat etc. He is Vice President of WUSME, Chairman of SME Committee & Past President of AIMA and former Chairman of NSIC. An MBA from University of Oregon, USA and Doctoral Degree in Applied Economics from the University of Bombay. He has been Visiting Professor to the University of Rhode Island, USA and IIT, New Delhi. Dr Juneja has written extensively and recently authored SMEs in Asian Region- Harnessing the Growth Potential and Policy Guidebook for SME Development in Asia and the Pacific edited and published by United Nation ESCAP.

  • J.P.SINGH

    President & Head-SME business Axis Bank

    Dr. J.P.Singh, President & Head-SME business at Axis Bank ,earlier a career banker and who has a rich experience in Indian banking sector of approx. 30 years began his career in 1986 with State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur as a Probationary Officer and moved to Axis Bank (then UTI Bank Ltd.) in March, 1995 as Manager. From 1995 to 2010, Mr. Singh has worked in Axis Bank branches across various geographies, the last being New Delhi Main Branch as Branch Head Before moving to Central Office in 2012 as Head- Business Banking he was Circle Head of Delhi Circle from 2010 to 2012. He is a Science graduate from Kanpur University and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from FMS, Delhi University, Delhi. Currently Mr.Singh is on the Board of Indian Highway Management Co. Ltd. (IHMCL), a subsidiary of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI),Govt. of India.

  • AJAY THAKUR

    Head -BSE SME

    A professional with more than 18 years of experience in Capital Market spanning India’s biggest Custodian to India’s biggest and largest Stock Exchange. Ajay has been instrumental in setting up the depository by the regional stock exchange, developing derivatives market and setting up the SME Platform.Ajay started the career way back in 1994 with Stock Holding Corporation Ltd as Senior Executive - Market operation. After working for one year joined Vadodara Stock Exchange in 1995 as Senior Management Executive looking after various departments viz Market Operations, Bad Delivery Cell and Auction. He was also assigned with the role to set up depository by VSE Ltd.He joined BSE Ltd in December, 1996 as Head – Arbitration and Business Development. He has developed the derivatives segment of BSE Ltd and also actively involved in opening of regional centers across the country. Presently as Head - BSE SME, responsible for the development of this segment of BSE Ltd. He very successfully launched the SME Platform on 13th March, 2012 and thus become the first Exchange to launch the Platform. Today BSE Ltd is the market leader in this segment with ninety percent market share. Within six months this platform has 13 companies listed and axnother 7 companies are to get listed. The success of this platform has brought a lot of enthusiasm in the market and more and more companies and market intermediaries are coming forward to get the companies listed on this platform.

  • ARUN PRAKASH

    Genetix Biotech Asia

    Realising that an M.B.B.S degree wasn’t going to be his lot, Arun Prakash opted for a career in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, amassing experience over a span of few years. In the interim, however, Prakash stumbled upon a significant lacuna between the medical products and services that Indian customers were facing from their suppliers. And it is thereon, that he identified the vocation of his life. Coming from a non-business background and a first-generation entrepreneur he started the business with very little money. The import regulations were very tough then, and not many would dare to put their money and effort into such a business. But with the unique cutting edge technology and best product mix, he has always been 5-10 years ahead of the competition, in terms of quality and logistic support. In 2010, he created the ‘Genetix Brand’ and in 2011, diversified into core healthcare with medical devices with the formation of ‘365 Medical’ for distribution of products for Advance Wound Management, Critical Care and Ostomy. Generally regarded as a ‘First Doer’ in the global market in many respects, he was the first to create a completely new business model in the biotech industry. Genetix Biotech was the first company in Life Sciences to start warehousing products , the only one to come up with the first Catalogue in 1996. Also, the first company in the Life Sciences market that provided over 10,000 SKUs from their inventory. Apart from offering a platform to a number of young new entrepreneurs, Arun has and continues to provide employment to hundreds of highly-educated people.

  • ANKUR GOYAL

    Head, Industry 4.0, BOSCH Engineering & Business Solutions (under invitation)

    Ankur is Head of Strategic Business Development for Industry 4.0 repsonsible for India and Turkey markets. He is responsible for driving revenue, formulating Go-to-market strategy and establishing new markets. He is passionate about technologies and business. At Bosch, Mr. Ankur Goyal is responsible for business growth in the areas of Connected Industry (Industry 4.0) targeting Automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Mr. Ankur Goyal has 13+ years of experience with a proven track record of sales and business development in areas of Internet of Things, Smart Cities and Smart Homes. Prior to joining Bosch, Mr. Goyal headed regional sales with a leading IoT startup in Bangalore. Mr. Ankur Goyal has done Masters from IIM Indore. He is an expert in defining go-to-market strategy for emerging markets in a simple yet effective way.

  • ANUP WADHWA

    Director , Automation Industry Association (AIA)

    Anup Wadhwa is an Alumnus of IIT Delhi from where he completed his Bachelor degree in Technology in Electrical and Electronics in 1975. His passion for Digital Electronics started in college and later took him to an exciting career in the field of Industrial Automation. Mr Wadhwa’s career has spanned several functions such as Corporate Planning and Technology Development, Integrated Project Management, Marketing and Consultancy, across different organizational styles. He has had major stints at BHEL and at Allen Bradley. He has a good grasp of several industries and their challenges in automation, having dealt with machine builders, electrical and instrumentation suppliers, system integrators, IT and BPR consultants, educators and business owners. Currently he is serving as the Director of the Automation Industry Association (AIA) and coordinating a National initiative, Samarth Udyog, through the IITD-AIA Foundation for Smart Manufacturing. He also pioneered other projects like AIA’s Campus Connect and Skills Enhancement Initiatives which aim to reshape the university curriculum and understanding of technology at the grassroots. A passionate student about life purpose and inner engineering, he volunteers time with individuals and teams through coaching and joyshops.

  • NINAD DESHPANDE

    Head - Marketing , B&R Industrial Automation

    Ninad Deshpande graduated in Electronics and Telecommunication engineering from University of Pune and is having varied experience in the automation industry. He has worked in different areas of automation industry such as application development, testing, R&D, technology marketing and marketing. He completed his Executive MBA from SIBM, Pune and currently is working with B&R Industrial Automation as Head – Marketing and Open Technologies specialist. He is also a member of the Smart Infrastructure committee at the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and is a member of the speaker bureau at the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC).


  • AJAY SEHGAL

    SVP & Head of SME Business, Vodafone India

    Ajay Sehgal is SVP & Head of SME Business. As SME Head, Ajay is responsible for the design and execution of the national SME business success plan - build and deploy the right strategies to improve Market share, Profitability & Customer experience in the segment. Ajay and his team works closely with circle teams to see success of the SME business in their geography as well. Ajay has over 20 years of experience with extensive business background in International / multi-cultural environments achieving revenue and business growth objectives in start-up, established and highly competitive environments. He has extensive experience to build business models which are required to meet & exceed organisation’s growth objectives. He has also managed to build and maintain relations with numerous key corporate decision makers across industries during his career. Before joining Vodafone Ajay worked with Hewlett-Packard as Country Sales Head where he was responsible for leading & developing a team of employees to gain market share, grow revenue with healthy gross margin for Printing & Personal Systems Group business. He was instrumental in creating Channel eco system for HP’s enterprise business which has helped HP to deliver double digit growth consistently for last 5 years. Ajay is an Electrical Engineer and MBA in General Management from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata and has also completed the 1 year program of “Accelerated Development for Managers” from Stanford University, USA (2014)..


  • PUNIT MODHGIL

    Chief Marketing Officer, ValueFirst Digital

    Punit Modhgil is deeply passionate about India, Internet and Inclusion. Following the merger of his last entreprenurial venture Octane Marketing with ValueFirst Digital, he is currently serving as their Chief Marketing Officer. Punit also serves on the executive board of DMA Asia and was awarded the prestigious DMAi Knight recognition in 2015 for his contribution to the marketing fraternity in the region. In 2017, he was recognized as one of the Top 25 Ecommerce Professionals in India by Asia Retail Congress. Punit has two decades of experience spanning mature markets and emerging ones. He has been an entreprenuer 3 times over (2 successes and 1 failure reads his scorecard) and also has held a number of senior positions in product management, sales and marketing with some of the world’s leading technology brands like Microsoft Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Siebel Systems, NIIT etc. At Microsoft, he led marketing for India’s largest software license business with annual revenues exceeding USD 500 million. He has led marketing outsourcing projects on both sides of the table. Before his role at Microsoft, he had incubated a marketing outsourcing business called Pro-more, built on a global delivery model serving the large UK clients with client servicing function in London (UK), design in Santa Cruz (California) and delivery/program management in Bengaluru (Karnataka). At Talisma, he led the worldwide marketing efforts for this leading CRM company while based out of Bengaluru serving markets like the US, UK and mainland Europe. Punit has served on the advisory board of the first Parliamentary Committee in India on National Information Infrastructure (1996) which led to the creation of Ministry of IT. He has been profiled in The Economic Times’ Global Indian and is often invited to industry conferences to share his expertise in the areas of technology, marketing, startups and inclusion. Punit is a fellow lifetime member of the IoD (Institute of Directors). He also serves as a trustee on the board of SETU Foundation (mysetu.org, an NCR based NGO focussed on skills development & child education). Punit has a graduate degree in science, majoring in Physics, from Ranchi University in India and has attended extensive management development programs during his career. An avid snowboarder and a published photographer. .


  • VIRGINIA SHARMA

    Director Marketing, Linkedin

    Virginia Sharma has been a marketing professional for over 17 years. Her journey in marketing started off with IBM wherein she held regional and global marketing leadership positions across North America, APAC and India. In 2014, Virginia came onboard with LinkedIn as Director, Marketing, Talent Solutions, Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. As part of her role as a director then, Virginia led data driven and digital demand generation campaigns to grow the LinkedIn Talent Solutions Business in APAC. Virginia’s most recent move got her back to India in 2016 as the Director of Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn India, Gurgaon. Through her new role, she help brands engage with the world’s professionals in one place and target a quality audience in a professional context. She is excited to bring her experience as a global marketer to her clients in the Indian market. Virginia has been a marketer all her life and continues to enjoy wearing that hat. Digital marketing, which was a growing conversation in the early 2000s is now a reality one cannot escape. Digital media has been a major catalyst in transforming the relationship between brands and customers. It has given brands a new platform to interact and engage with their diverse audience spread across a wider geography. Thanks to digital and social media,the role of marketing professional has evolved to that of a ‘marketing technologist’, making it essential for marketers to integrate technology solutions with traditional marketing strategies. Virginia’s current role at LinkedIn is also an intersection of marketing, technology and leadership. Their marketing solutions empower brands to target consumers with relevant content and raise brand awareness through high-impact content marketing campaigns on their platform. .


  • FARHANA HAQUE

    Vice President & Head IOT, Vodafone

    With over 16 years of experience in P& L management, developing CxO relationships, consulting and delivering business results. Farhana has deep experience in managing globally diverse workforces and large teams to deliver results for organizations. She is responsible for the IoT business for Vodafone India and has successfully driven the increased adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) as an enabler for creative business model transformation in established and new industries. She has a track record in being a thought leader , developing and executing long term and short strategic plans around digital transformations, Internet of Things , analytics and business transformation. An alumni of SPJIMR and NIT Rourkela, she mentors key startups in the area of women entrepreneurship and IOT


  • R.K RAI

    Director Tool Rooms & Cluster Development, Ministry of MSME

    Shri R.K.Rai, a Mechanical Engineer with Post Graduation from IIT Roorkee joined Ministry of MSME (Earlier known as Small Scale Industries) in 1993. He has vast experience of serving the Indian industries through various assignments in the states of Orissa, Assam and finally at the Ministry in the Office of Development Commissioner, MSME. In 2008 he took over the assignment of Director (Tool Room). Shri Rai has vast experience in the areas of Skill Development and Project Management. He has been a Member of National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT), Experts Committee of IGNOU, and Boards of Various State & Central Organisations for the past several years. Shri R K Rai has been responsible for Design and Implementation of various Schemes & Public Policies. Apart from being responsible for the Tool Rooms he is also coordinating the Technology Centre Systems Programme (A World Bank Project) of Ministry of MSME. This program is already under implementation at estimated cost of INR 2,200 Crore and will cover the upgradation of 18 existing Technology Centers all across the country and building new age Tech Centers at 15 new locations. The program will bring international Technology Partners and Cluster Network Managers together & will create national portal for MSMEs to improve the competitiveness of Indian MSMEs at the global stage.