Jury Chair


Former President

Former President, NASSCOM

Kiran Karnik describes himself as a ‘public un-intellectual’, a non-academic with a strong interest in public policy and strategy. Columnist and author, his books include “eVolution: India’s Disruptive Tech Story”, “Crooked Minds: Creating an Innovative Society” and “Coalition of Competitors: The Story of Nasscom and the Indian IT Industry”. He is widely recognized for his work in the IT sector, as President NASSCOM from 2001 to 2008, and for helping to put Satyam Computers back on track – as Chairman of its government-appointed Board – after it suffered the biggest corporate fraud in India’s history. He has been on many key government committees, including the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, and the National Innovation Council.

As CEO of Discovery India (1995-2001), he launched the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet in India and South Asia. As Founder-Director of the Consortium for Educational Communication (1991-95), he oversaw production and transmission of UGC’s Countrywide Classroom TV programmes. Earlier, he spent over two decades in ISRO and was deeply involved in the use of space technology, especially for education and development, including the path-breaking Indo-US Satellite Instructional TV Experiment (SITE) and the Kheda TV project.

He is currently involved with a few corporate Boards and a number of not-for-profit organizations in the fields of education, media and development. He is the Chairperson of HelpAge India and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi.

Gowree Gokhale

Gowree Gokhale

TiE Global
Mahavir Pratap Sharma

Mahavir Pratap Sharma

TiE Global

Rajat Tondon


Sameer Garde

President India and SAARC
Cisco India
Shiv Shivakumar

Shiv Shivakumar

Group Executive president
Aditya Birla group

Sameer Garde
President India and SAARC, Cisco India

Sameer Garde is President of Cisco's India and SAARC theater.

As President, Sameer is responsible for sales, operations, growth initiatives and investments in strategic alliances in the theater. Sameer spearheads Cisco's objective to be a transformational partner to the government across states and cities and provide customers with the right foundation for their digital businesses.

Over a career spanning 27 years, Sameer has led several top¬ performing organizations with an enduring track record across multiple roles and regions. His keen understanding of technology and market opportunities enables him to drive transformation and capture critical market transitions. A proven leader, Sameer has built and managed global and regional businesses in India, Europe, USA and Asia.

Prior to joining Cisco, Sameer worked with and mentored a few emerging technology and B2C/distribution-related start-ups and as an executive coach and business consultant.

Earlier, as the President and MD for Dell India, he consolidated and stabilized the consumer and enterprise business for the company. During his nine-year stint in Dell in various sales and management leadership roles, he was instrumental in making Dell the number one hardware vendor in the country.

Sameer has served as President, South Asia at Philips Healthcare and Country Head for Enterprise Business at Samsung India.

Sameer is a highly respected leader who maintains a commitment to professional development and inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

He holds an engineering degree from IIT Delhi and an MBA from IIM Kolkata. Sameer dabbles in amateur long-distance running and photography, and is a driving-holiday enthusiast.

Partner, Nishith Desai Associates

A practicing lawyer for 24 years, Gowree Gokhale leads the IP, Technology, Media and Entertainment, data protection law practice of research and strategy driven international law firm, Nishith Desai Associates. She has assisted several international businesses in India entry strategy, corporate and strategic deals, litigation and arbitration in TMT and Pharma sector. She has spearheaded several policy initiatives for the TMT and Pharma industry including for online content companies, gaming industry, IT industry as also for privacy and data protection laws. She has also been consistently working on high tech industry aspects. She has been named in several legal directories, including in in the Hall of Fame (TMT) in Legal 500.

Mahavir Pratap Sharma
Chairman, TiE Global

Mahavir Sharma, a serial entrepreneur is part of umpteen businesses and social organizations and exudes passion in idea and early stage angel investing, leadership and mentoring.

He is the current Chairman of TiE Global board of Trustees (www.tie.org), a first Asian to achieve that position. He is also the Chairman of TiE’s new initiative for investing in idea and early stage startups across India, the TiE India Angels (TIA) and also the Chairman and co-founder of Rajasthan Angels (RAIN- www.rainjaipur.co.in ) for the last 6 years.

A prolific speaker, who has had the honour of being the Chairman of the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC- Under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India) and the privilege in the past to have been on TiE Global board for 7 years during which has chaired various committees and initiatives including being the Vice-Chair for the year 2019.

In addition to be an active Angel investor he is also in the Business of Carpets, Jewellery, Marketing and Branding in a career spanning 30+ years. And in his philanthropic activities has been supporting the performing and visual arts of Rajasthan by leading in many non-profit initiatives for the last over 2 decades.

Rajat Tondon
President, IVCA

Rajat Tandon is the President of IVCA. He is focused on planning, developing, and implementing IVCA’s regulatory advocacy activities, while also identifying and solutioning ways for members to maximize their membership experience. His goal is to effectively influence regulatory outcomes in support of the alternate asset class and enable a full-spectrum ecosystem from Angels to AIFs.

Previously, Rajat was part of the leadership team at NASSCOM, the Indian IT and ITES/BPO body. In his role as Vice President, Rajat headed NASSCOM’s 10,000 Startups initiative, providing crucial support to technology startups in India. He is passionate about creating value for entrepreneurs, funding partners, and the ecosystem as a whole.

With his early stint as entrepreneur and extensive corporate experience in the IT & Telecom and GIS/Navigable maps, Rajat competently bridges the gap between boardroom expertise and on-the-ground experience. Over the past 25+ years, he has worked in various positions ranging from technical support, sales leadership, service delivery to strategic initiatives at Siemens, Nortel, and Nokia (NAVTEQ).

Rajat also brings with him his extensive network in the startups space, having worked closely with most of the eminent industry leaders. His knowledge of the startup ecosystem, its constituents, successes, opportunities, and challenges run deep.

Shiv Shivakumar
Group Executive president, Aditya Birla group

Shivakumar or Shiv as he is popularly known is currently Group Executive president at Aditya Birla group for Strategy and Business development. He joined the ABG group in January 2018.
Prior to this, Shiv was Chairman and CEO for PepsiCo for four years and before that with Nokia as CEO for India and later Emerging markets for nearly a decade. Shiv has been a CEO for half his career and was one of the youngest CEOS in India. Shiv worked in HUL for a number of years, mostly in marketing. Shiv has worked with over 50 brands in his career and seen many business transformations.
Shiv writes and teaches regularly on Innovation, leadership, Followership, Business Models, Digitization etc. across the leading business schools in the world.
Shiv is an avid sports watcher, a great fan of Manchester United and Barcelona football teams, John Mc Enroe and Roger Federer in tennis.
Shiv is a believer in giving back to society. Shiv has been on the Board of Governors of IIM Ahmedabad between 2012 and 2017, he was on the Godrej Consumer products Board between 2009 and 2017. He was the president of the All India management association in 2012-2013. He was Chairman of the mobile marketing association from 2014 to 2019 and Chairman of the Advertising standards council of India for 2018-19. He is currently on the board of XLRI and IIM Udaipur.
Shiv has been awarded many times in his career – Best CEO, Best brand builder, for leadership, for Turnaround etc.. The awards most dear to him are the two distinguished Alumnus awards he got from IIT madras and IIM Calcutta. He is one of twenty people in India to have distinguished alumnus awards from both IIT and IIM.
Shiv is married to Hamsini, who runs her own brand, innovation and Semiotics consulting company