Guest Mentors


Guest Mentors



Girija Nair

Founder & Ceo of, Cofounder & Ceo of, Global consultant with GLG and Merger Alpha, she has a vast spread of portfolio across diverse verticals. Enriched with 29 years of varied experience with leading brands like Naaptol, Reliance Retail, Reliance Infocom, Reliance Energy, Vodafone, Philips, Serco, Datapro, Cadilla, she is a hands on professional with certifications from University of Pennsylvania, for Analytics, with a distinction. A physics & electronics instrumentation graduate from Mumbai university, she went on to do her masters in computer science, diploma in business management, six sigma , literally adding a skill competency every five years.Her start up experience has been from an idea to investment stage for leading brands, which makes her a natural mentor to the startup verticals.

Smita Pethe

She is the founder of VERJINIA FOODS LTD. She was awarded as Best Woman Entrepreneur from Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is associated with Educational Trust as Educational Consultant. Smita Pethe has done Masters in Management from Bombay University also done DBM and DIM. She has continued her streak of success as an entrepreneur for the last 30 years .

Sashi Reddi

Sashi Reddi is the founder of SRI Capital as well as Founding president of TiE Philadelphia. Apart from being a Member of the Wharton Entrepreneurship advisory board, Member of the boards of T-Hub (Hyderabad) and Ben Franklin Technology Partners (Philadelphia).He is an investor in a dozen of software companies in US and in India. Helping visionary entrepreneurs realize their dreams of building great companies. Seasoned entrepreneur and business leader. Founded 4 start-ups over the last 20 years. His last company AppLabs, a software testing firm with 2,500 employees, was acquired by Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC). He also runs a charitable organization that supports 650 school kids in Hyderabad.

Padmaja Ruparel

Padmaja Ruparel is the President of Indian Angel Network and Built India’s 1st & Asia’s largest angel investor network – IAN ( with >350 investors across 10 countries.She has been in the Indian entrepreneurial eco system for the last 15 years – operationalised TiE Delhi, number 1 chapter amongst 60 TiE chapters, Executive Director of Indian Venture Capital Association, helped set up Lankan Angel Network, contributed actively to the Planning Commission’s report : “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”. She is actively engaged with the various committees of Ministry of Finance, SEBI, & was involved in the “India Inclusive Innovation Fund”, a US$1 bn. dollar fund which focuses on the Base of the Economic Pyramid to bring public, private & development fund investors, driven by professional management,promising financial & impact returns.


Dr. Rajendra Jagdale

Dr. Jagdale is the Director General and CEO at Science and Technology Park, an institute established by Govt. of India and Department of Science And Technology. His chief areas of proficiencies are Business incubation and promoting innovation driven cluster development, Intellectual Property Management and Technology Transfer, IT open source and freeware, and urban e-transformation using Science and Technology tools. His years of experience put him at par with others and his zeal of nurturing the start-up owners made him a mentor in Entrepreneurship and advisor for quite a few start-up businesses like BT especially neutraceuticals., Information technologies, and Food technologies, etc. With a professional strong base, he is a founder of Society for IP & Technology Managers (SEPTUM) and also the founder trustee of newly established Indian Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Parks and Business Incubators’ Association (ISBA).

Dr.Sudhiranjan Dey

Dr. SudhiRanjan Dey is Vice President with United Nations Higher Education Development Council for Africa as Vice President based in Capetown, South Africa and actively and effectively engaged in employability development across Africa, Latin America besides Asia, Pacific, Russia and Middle East.Dr. Sudhiranjan Dey has over 36 years of experience in Marketing as well as Education. He is a Chief Executive Officer at Global Management Xperts Ltd. wherein he manages accounts, business development and much more. He was a director and professor at Presidency College and was Professor, Dean, and Head of Training, Placements & Consulting at Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technology Science. He strongly believes in encouraging the fledgling entrepreneurs to work in the right direction with great zeal.

Dhananjay Bendre

Dhananjay is a senior director, sales consulting with Oracle, taking care of India and Sri Lanka. A management graduate from Pune University, he has diverse experience in diverse geographies like India & US. He has also served as the Executive Director & COO of IndiaCo Ventures Ltd, a investment raising venture. One of his outstanding experiences was as that of the CEO of HCC Infotech Ltd , a Incorporated company with Funding from Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd., leader in Infrastructure Construction. This organization was in the business of providing ERP solution to Construction Vertical across Globe. He built a 200 person strong profitable venture and grew the business to 6 Million in 3 years.

Rajneesh Kacker

Rajneesh Kacker is the Joint Director at Integrated HQs of MoD(Army), Ministry of Defence, Govt of India and Head of Defence Program & Business Development India – Wheeled & Tracked Platforms with Allision Transmission. He also worked as Exec.director & COO of Indiaco Ventures Ltd. With the proficiency of dealing with cross-functional teams to meet and exceed operational goals; turning around various projects and departments to higher levels of performance, he did justice to his designations of Military Adviser, CEO and COO etc. He has around 25 years of proven track record in senior leadership and top management roles in Army.

Paavan Nanda

Paavan Nanda is the co-founder of Zostel and Zo Rooms, an Electronic Engineering Graduate and MBA from prestigious IIM Calcutta.Prior to that he was associated with Brands like Abbott Laboratories,Merrill Lynch,TVS Capital Funds Limited and Bain & Company.

Rakesh Kalra

Rakesh Kalra is the Founder and CEO of UrbanPro (formerly known as Think Vidya). He is a graduate from Boston University. Prior to starting Think Vidya he has worked with various start‐ups. He has a long standing experience of 13 years in the field of Technology, including VP at, Boston. He finds his motivation in contributing to the education space in India for its betterment. He started in 2011 with this vision in mind and he is now leading a team of over 100 UrbanProites. The idea is to narrow the seek time of students in finding quality tutors and for reciprocally finding students for tutors. The extent of his leadership is visible in the experience at UrbanPro where an inquiry is posted every 5 minutes.

Neeraj Katare

Neeraj Katare is currently the Executive director‐leader with PWC for the supply chain and operational advisory in health care and pharma vertical. An alumina of IIT Mumbai, he has keen interest in mentoring, skill based volunteering and has a very strong orientation for causes like economic empowerment, health, disaster and humanitarian relief His current portfolio includes disruptive supply chain transformation, health ecommerce and operational consulting. This is his natural progression in consulting. He has 20 years of experience in global scale business operations. Also, he has cross functional leadership experience in business development, operations, R&D product development, sales marketing & distribution, SCM, inout licensing, technology transfer, CRM and technology management. He is a turn around champion and has managed to achieve 100% growth in two business units in the vitamins and medical equipment over two‐year period.

Vinay Pandya

A rank holder CA , and an IIM- Ahmedabad certified management professional, Vinay is an experienced CFO and a strategist with Scaling up experience at global level . He has also set up treasuries with more than USD 200 Million exposures in liquidity management, headed hedging strategies and fund management roles. He has 20 years of experience out of which 15 years were in Leadership positions. Having served as a Group CFO with the Ashok Piramal Group, Head of M&A with Micro Inks Limited, he has a plethora of specialized roles executed with élan and expertise.

Sukhendu Patnaik

Sukhendu Patnaik is an independent director for MSCDA export hub and is a supply chain professional. He has graduated from IIM Calcutta. His specialities include people process capability building and change management. He is associated with the Pharmaceutical industry for a long time and is a keen learner. He also has a greater interest for supply chain automation. His credentials make him a natural coach in the supply chain side of things.