KBF Class 10

Kunal Bajaj, Managing Director, Pulsar Capital

Kunal Bajaj is Managing Director at Pulsar Capital, a private equity firm with presence in the UAE and India. He has over two decades of rich experience across financial services and technology, with successful stints in venture capital, entrepreneurship, and at some of the world’s largest investment banks. He has a deep understanding of the capital markets and a strong track record of building personal relationships with diverse investors. He is passionate about spreading access to financial education as a path to financial independence. Kunal has over 16 years of impactful stints at some of the world’s largest banks such as Credit Suisse, CLSA, Goldman Sachs Japan and JP Morgan, where he drove numerous successful equity capital markets transactions. He was Managing Director and Head of India Equity Sales at Jefferies from 2011 to 2015, where he launched and grew the investment bank’s institutional equities business. In 2016, he founded Clear funds, a pioneering online robo-advisor targeting Indias mass affluent, which was acquired by MobiKwik in 2018. At MobiKwik, he shifted the companys focus towards a diversified financial services model, led strategic partnerships, and managed financing for growth. In 2021, he joined Blume Ventures, advising on capital raising and MA, as well as served as a member of the fund’s Investment Committee, evaluating investment opportunities from seed to exit. He currently serves on the board of Compound Express, a B2B2C investment platform launched by the DSP Group. Kunal is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and holds a Bachelor in Commerce from Jai Hind College, University of Bombay (1996). He lives in Mumbai with his wife Payal Kapadia, an award-winning author of childrens books. Kunals interests include skiing, scuba diving, reading, and travelling.

Jaideep Bansal, CEO, GHE Impact Ventures

Jaideep Bansal is an environmental and social impact leader. He is the CEO of GHE Impact Ventures, an award-winning social enterprise that is working to bring sustainable development to the remotest communities of India. GHE has brought solar energy and sustainable development to more than half a million people across five regions of India. Winner of the 2020 UN Climate Action Award, GHE’s work has been documented by National Geographic, BBC and NDTV were recognized and awarded by the WTTC and the World Tourism Awards. The UN- WTO and the G20 have recognized it as one of the successful case studies impacting SDG Goal No. 7. An IIT graduate, Jaideep has been instrumental in bringing the narrative of Sustainable Development to the wider arena through several articles and as a speaker at Davos, SEforAll and ADB. He has been featured repeatedly at Davos among the top leaders inspiring change in the world and was selected as an Asia Foundation Fellow. Jaideep was selected as a Young Global Leader by WEF and has served as the Foundation Board Member of the Global Shapers Community, an Initiative of the World Economic Forum. He is often found on the marathon circuit, or just playing drums.

Rohan Bhargava, Co-Founder of CashKaro EarnKaro

Rohan Bhargava is the Co-Founder of CashKaro EarnKaro and a Fortune 40Under40 entrepreneur. With over 25+ million registered users, CashKaro is the largest affiliate marketing channel in India and has made an extraordinary contribution to the country’s e-commerce growth. Rohan founded EarnKaro, a performance marketing platform to democratize affiliate marketing and empower millions to create an alternative source of income. Students and homemakers have been the primary beneficiaries of this platform. He has played a pivotal role in establishing the Affiliate Marketing Industry in India, as well as in the UK, where he founded his first Cashback business Pouring Pounds, in 2011. CashKaro and EarnKaro today collectively drive over half a billion dollars in sales to partner sites annually and have enabled members to earn over $100 million in real cash back. Rohan has also led investment funding rounds for CashKaro and thus far raised $30 million from prestigious investors like Mr. Ratan Tata, Kalaari Capital, Korea Investment Partners Affle Global. Rohan is an alum of the London School of Economics has a career spanning over 20 years. He started his professional journey with Washington Square Asset Management in London, where he managed an asset pool of $750 million. He later joined Aladdin Capital, a large US-based hedge fund where he led a $1 billion acquisition of Solent Capital.

Faye DSouza, Founder Editor, Beatroot News

Faye D’Souza is an award-winning journalist who has gained popularity, especially among the youth, for her balanced and unbiased style of journalism. With a following of over 3 million across social media platforms, Faye and her team of journalists have built a reputation for reliable, verified, non-partisan news updates on social media. Faye has been the recipient of several awards for her journalism including the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism the RedInk Award for Journalist of the Year in 2018 and the RedInk Award for reporting on health during the pandemic in 2021. She was also named Vogue’s Woman of the Year, and Impact’s 40 under 40 and has been rated among the most impactful women in media and marketing in India. Faye began her journalistic career at CNBC-TV18, where she honed her skills in covering business and finance, economic crime and corporate affairs. Transitioning to ET Now, she continued her focus on personal finance delivering incisive reporting and analysis on market trends and financial developments. She moved on to Mirror Now to become the youngest women journalist in India to head any national TV news channel as Executive Editor, where she tackled a wide array of pressing social and civic issues, exhibiting a fearless and direct approach to holding authorities accountable and advocating for societal change. Her work at Mirror Now cemented her reputation as one of Indias foremost journalists, known for her unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity and her dedication to shedding light on issues of public interest. Following her exit from television, Faye has launched her news app called Beatroot News to innovate with formats and restore dignity and credibility to news. In less than 6 months, Beatroot News gathered over 160k users, demonstrating its growing popularity. In addition, Beatroot News distinguishes itself from other news apps by adhering to a principled approach. It takes a stand against using algorithms and clickbait headlines, ensuring that news is delivered in its true essence. The app prioritizes the value of responsible journalism, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about the issues that shape our society.

Sabina Dewan, Founder and Executive Director, JustJobs Network

Sabina Dewan is the Founder and Executive Director of the JustJobs Network, which she co- founded with John Podesta in 2013. She was also a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Policy Research in India and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Before this, Ms. Dewan served as a Senior Fellow and Director for International Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC. Dewan’s research focuses on strategies for job creation and workforce development. Within this domain, her research examines how technology, climate change, the energy transition, and the restructuring of trade into value chains are upending traditional employment models. Her research hones in on the differential impacts of these forces on vulnerable segments of society. Dewan works closely with governments, businesses, and multilateral, and grassroots organizations providing critical labour market insights to help generate more employment, cultivate employability, and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Dewan’s vast experience includes working with institutions including the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, and the European Commission, as well as grassroots organizations in Sierra Leone, India and Western Samoa. She serves on several global and local committees. She is one of six advisors to the Swedish Prime Ministers Global Deal initiative. She serves as a member of the Global Challenges Foundations Climate Governance Commission. She is a member of the Confederation of Indian Industrys National Committee on Skills and Livelihoods; Niti Aayogs advisory committee for Vision 2035, and is part of the advisory group for Work Fair and Free Foundation. Dewan appears in several international media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, US News and World Report, CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, Times Now and NDTV.

Manasi Joshi, Paralympian

Manasi Joshi is an Indian para-badminton player and a world champion. Beginning her sporting journey in 2015, at present, she is ranked No. 4 in Womens Singles SL3, and she is preparing for the upcoming Paris 2024 Paralympics. A world champion in 2019, Manasi was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2022, and she has a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll modelled after her likeness. In October 2020, she was listed as the Next Generation Leader by TIME Magazine and appeared on their Asia cover, making her the first para-athlete in the world and the first Indian athlete to receive such recognition. Manasi is an engineer by qualification, and she has worked as a software developer with MNCs, banks, etc. She did her schooling at Atomic Energy Central Schools, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, India, and graduated from KJ Somaiya College of Engineering in 2010. From setting examples to breaking stereotypes, she has been a trailblazer ever since she took up para-sports following a road accident. Manasi has been conferred the National Award for Best Sportsperson with Disability (female) by the Government of India in 2019 and Shiv Chatrapati Maharashtra Rajya Eklavya Khel Krida Puraskar by the state of Maharashtra in 2017. She was named Para-athlete of the Year by the Times of India Sports Award (TOISA) in 2019. ESPN India honoured her as Differently Abled Athlete of the Year in 2019. She has been recognised by the BBC among the 100 Women of 2020. The same year, she was named Self-Made Women of 2020 by Forbes India. In April 2022, she was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Ranagarajan Mohan Kumaramangalam, Working President, Tamil Nadu, Congress Party

R Mohan Kumaramangalam is an entrepreneur, angel investor, national spokesperson and youngest state working president of the Congress party from the state of Tamil Nadu. Science and engineering being his first love, politics has been a second career for Mohan who over the last decade has held many diverse leadership positions in the congress party from the youth wing to the professional’s wing. Politics aside, Mohan has been passionate about green energy, building some of the subcontinent’s largest biogas plants and pioneering the use of new technologies to produce renewable natural gas. Mohan also ran businesses in the areas of biomass power production from agricultural waste and has invested in startups focused on energy conservation. Mohan graduated with a BS in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a McKinsey Scholar and Masters in Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Aniket Mandavgane, Director, East Asia, Ministry of External Affairs

Aniket joined the Indian Foreign Service as part of the batch of 2009. He is a graduate in mechanical engineering from Pune, although later he earned a Master’s degree in political science as well. This added a theoretical foundation to Anikets practitioner’s understanding of international relations and geopolitical dynamics. After joining the service, Aniket studied Mandarin Chinese as the compulsory foreign language. Anikets service has enabled specialization in China-related issues, politico-military affairs, and nuclear issues with postings in Beijing and Vienna. In Delhi, Aniket has served in multiple roles in the East Asia Division, presently holding the position of Director (China). Aniket has also completed a tenure in the National Security Council Secretariat. He is married to Dr. Anushree Vartak, a breast oncoplastic surgeon, now practising in Delhi after completing a Short Service Commission with the Indian Navy. They are parents to 4-year-old Anayaa. Aniket enjoys Indian Classical music and reading, preferring to sink his teeth into a juicy fiction.

Shannon Dona Massar, Co-founder and Director, Faith Foundation

Shannon Dona Massar identifies as an Indigenous woman with roots in the Khasi, Monpa and Adi tribes of North East India. With a Master in Social Work from SNDT Women’s University – Mumbai, Shannon has more than 15 years of experience with a focus on indigenous human rights and child welfare. Shannon spent years in the field fighting for child rights and victims of human trafficking while working with renowned Mumbai-based non-profits like Justice and Care and Save the Children India. In 2011, she decided to return to Shillong to pursue her dream of working for her communities and started her work with the State Child Protection Society (ICPS) and also taught at Martin Luther Christian University. With her heart set on building community-driven interventions, Shannon co-founded Faith Foundation, an organization dedicated to gender justice and children’s rights in Meghalaya. As its Director, she oversees its operations and has successfully expanded its reach, impacting 11000 children through partnerships with local schools and communities. In recognition of its deep commitment to community-based transformation, Faith Foundation was the 2023 recipient of the Global Fund for Children Dignity Award. Since 2014, Shannon has travelled internationally to participate in programmes like the Global Leadership School for indigenous women on Human Rights at the United Nations and Columbia University, further consolidating her commitment to global indigenous causes. She worked with international bodies such as the International Indigenous Women’s Forum and the UNFAO. Shannon has also shared her insights at various fora, including the “Heart of Her Nation Gathering” of the “Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples.”

Geeta Mohan, Executive Editor, India Today

She is the Executive Editor, of India Today, TV Today Network. Before this, she worked with other leading English channels of India, namely, Times Now, and NewsX, as well as the country”s national network, DD News. Her focus area has been foreign policy and international relations. In 21 years, she has covered many important foreign policy-related stories as also interviewed many stalwarts, including Heads of State, Heads of Government, Foreign Ministers of India and across the world. She hosts a weekly show on world affairs, ‘World Today’ on India Today TV. She also hosted shows like ‘The World’ and ‘Modi And The World’ which she co-hosted with Dr. C. Raja Mohan. A graduate from Delhi University. She did her post- graduation in Human Rights Law from the Indian Law Institute.

Priya Mohan, General Partner, Venture Highway

Priya is a founder turned VC and currently is a General Partner at Venture Highway, a seed fund that writes first institutional cheques for companies building in India for India and the world. She sits on the boards of companies that span across industries including SAAS, fintech and ed-tech. In 2012, she co-founded Vidyartha, an ed-tech platform focused on K12 students, where she drove product development, B2B sales and customer success, before successfully exiting to Byjus in 2018. Priya was also a State Guest of the United States of the coveted IVLP program (International Visitors Leadership Program) – 2016 batch, along with other ed-tech founders and educators from 18 countries. Prior to starting up, Priya spent 9 years working as an investment banker and an equity research analyst, when she helped high-growth companies raise private equity, structure execute complex transactions across private investments, secondary sales and MA. A Chartered Accountant and a Management Graduate from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Priya is also a trained Bharatnatyam danseuse having performed for over 13 years across India with top artistes and is the recipient of the CCRT Junior Scholarship in Dance and was a Graded artiste of Doordarshan. She is extremely committed to fitness and strongly believes that a strong body nurtures a strong mind. An avid reader, Priya juggles a few books at a time – between audible, kindle and the physical one.

Richa Natarajan, Co- Founder and Partner, UC Impower

Richa is a seasoned investment professional with 18+ years of investment banking and asset management experience across sectors. She is a co-founder and partner of an India focused growth stage impact equity fund – UC Impower. UC Impower looks to invest in entrepreneurs building innovative companies which focus on Accessibility, Affordability, Inclusivity for underserved communities and Environmental Sustainability in India. Richa is keen to invest in gender balanced companies and is often found mentoring women founders. Prior to co-founding UC Impower, she was a managing director at Unitus Capital’s Investment Banking team where she led the firm’s work in SME Finance, Agritech, Edtech amongst others. Prior to that, she worked with Deloitte and EY in their advisory services practices in the US and India. She has been recognized as a 40 under 40 Alternative Investment Professional in India, is a mentor to several startups and a guest lecturer on climate and financial inclusion. She lives in Bangalore with her husband and two feisty kids.

Manu Pillai, Author

Manu S Pillai is a historian and the author of the award-winning The Ivory Throne (2015), Rebel Sultans (2018), The Courtesan, the Mahatma the Italian Brahmin (2019), and most recently, False Allies (2021). Formerly Chief of Staff to Dr Shashi Tharoor MP, he has in the past worked at the House of Lords in Britain, and with the BBC on their Incarnations history series. Written over six years and researched in three continents, Manu’s first book, The Ivory Throne won the 2017 Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar. For three years, Manu also wrote a weekly column for Mint Lounge. His other writings have appeared in The Hindu, Open Magazine, the Times of India, Hindustan Times, The New Statesman, and other publications. Manu is an alumnus of Fergusson College, Pune, and holds a PhD in history from King’s College London.

Lezo Putsure, Founder CEO, Educentre School of Business

Lezo Putsure is the founder of Educentre School of Business. He has an MBA in Entrepreneurship from London South Bank University, London and studied Strategy at Harvard Business School, US. Educentre works with students, entrepreneurs, startups and is a Business incubator based in Nagaland. Lezo has worked with 1000+ young entrepreneurs across the Northeast region. He has also built and sold 2 businesses in the past. Lezo is also an India Acumen Fellow 2016 and his company works towards building an entrepreneurial mindset for the young people in NorthEast India while building an eco system for the startups and entrepreneurs to connect to global markets.

Mohit Sadani, Co-Founder, The Moms Co

Mohit started his career in typical fashion – as a computer engineer joining TCS immediately after for 2 years. He went on to join IIMA from 2006-08 and then spend 7 years in McKinsey where he spent 7 years in the retail and consumer goods space across India and UK. Wanting to switch over to the e-commerce side, hejoined Snapdeal to head Growth and Strategy. When the entrepreneurial bug bit in in 2017, Mohit Sadaani co- founded The Moms Co., which he and his wife built into Indias largest Mom Baby brand within 4 years. The brand was acquired in 2021 in what was Indias largest D2C acquisition at that time. Since handing over the business in 2022, Mohit has spent his time angel investing and working closely in the startup ecosystem. Over the last 2 years, he has invested in over 30 startups across D2C, Fintech, SaaS, Climate Tech and more. He also enjoys working closely with and coaching multiple founders, and uses his learnings from these discussions to share insights through content across social media platforms.

Talha Salaria, Founder, Lawyers At Work

Talha Salaria is an experienced corporate attorney with more than 20 years of experience in the profession. She set up Lawyers At Work, one of the few women led law firms in India at the time, with a passion to deliver personalised high quality commercially relevant corporate law advice. The firm has been recognised in the industry time and again for the work quality and client relationships. The focus has been on domestic and cross border MA, PE/VC, Corporate Commercial, Employment laws with domain focus on new technologies. Talha wears a second hat, as the founder trustee of Lapidary Foundation, an organisation working with youth of underserved communities who live in conflict zones. Lapidary Foundation currently works actively with young law students in Kashmir, to make them world class lawyers and provide them increased access to opportunities. She is an independent director on the board of JM Financial Products Limited, a part of the JM Financial Group. Talha is also an officer with the International Bar Association, one of the largest association of lawyers around the world and a partner of Social Venture Partners, an association focused on a sustainable philanthropy framework. Before setting up Lawyers At Work, Talha was a partner at MMB Legal and practiced corporate law at JSA, which continues to be one of the leading law firms in India. She is a graduate of National Law School India University, Bangalore, and an alumna of Welham Girls High School, Dehradun.

Abhishek Shah, President, TruDoc

Abhishek Shah has spent ~20 years as an entrepreneur in healthcare delivery, manufacturing and distribution. He has spent a few years as an early stage investor, investing early stage capital in technology companies that had found product market fit. As a founder, Abhishek ideated, scaled and successfully exited Asia’s leading digital chronic disease management company while impacting hundreds of thousands of individuals. He pioneered digital therapies in India, bringing accessible clinically validated solutions to patients across multiple conditions, delivering outcomes and cost savings at scale. In his current role, Abhishek serves as the President of TruDoc, one of the region’s largest standalone tech enabled primary care companies. Alongside the same, Abhishek is also a board member and investor in several healthcare and technology businesses. Abhishek completed his MBA from the Indian School of Business, holds a degree in Chemical Biomolecular Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and has been awarded the 40u40 by Business World. Abhishek is on a personal mission of improving the lives of 10 million people by 2030. His interests encompass reading, racket sports, scuba diving, skiing, deep conversations, and spending quality time with his wife and two sons.

Parmesh Shahani, Head, Godrej DEI Lab

Parmesh Shahani is an award-winning author, culture curator and LGBTQ inclusion activist. He presently heads the Godrej DEI Lab, an experimental think-do space that aims to empower inclusion ecosystems both within and outside the 127-year-old Godrej Industries Group of companies. Prior to this, between 2011-2021, he founded and headed the Godrej India Culture Lab as a multi-year inter-disciplinary project which examined the ever-changing nature of Indian society. Parmesh is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in corporate India and has guided many of the country’s leading companies on their inclusion journeys. His first book Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India (Sage Publications) was released in 2008 and his second book Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace (Westland Business) was released in August 2020 and won the 2021 CK Prahalad Prize for Business Book of the Year and the 2021 Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitivity. Parmesh holds an MS in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. He is a TED Senior Fellow, a Yale World Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a board member of KHOJ International Artists’ Association and Breakthrough.

Manuraj Shunmugasundaram, Founding Partner, Ganesan and Manuraj Legal LLP

Manuraj Shunmugasundaram is one of the founding Partners of Ganesan and Manuraj Legal LLP and is an Advocate practicing at the Madras High Court. He is also a National Media Spokesperson for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Party and Joint Secretary of the NRI Wing of the DMK. Manuraj has significant experience in assisting complex constitutional and criminal matters. He has represented parties in high profile cases of alleged money laundering and other economic offences. Manuraj also specialises in election laws, having appeared in various election cases. Manuraj has always worked to advance the cause of responsible politics, participatory governance and social justice. He has also worked as a Policy Advisor to Members of Parliament. Manuraj undertakes variety of pro bono cases. It was his Writ Petition before the Madras High Court in S. Sushma Anr vs. Commissioner of Police Ors 2021 which led to the High Court laying down extensive guidelines for the advancement of the LGBTQIA+ Community as well as sensitization of the media and police. In 2023, Manuraj was one of the recommended leading lawyers in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings. Manuraj serves on the Advisory Committee to the Chief Minister on Welfare of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees. He has been appointed as amicus curiae by the Madras High Court in a case involving citizenship of the Tamil refugee (T. Ganesan vs Government of India and Ors. 2023). Manuraj has been a part of the Legislative Fellows Program of the U.S. State Department in 2010, delegate of the Australia India Youth Dialogue in 2014, member of European Union Visitors Program in 2015, part of the Indian delegation of Project Interchange to Israel-Palestine in 2017.

Vidya Subramanian, Founder, Vidya Subramanian Academy

Vidya Subramanian is founder of Vidya Subramanian Academy (www.vidyasubramanian.com), an online portal that imparts customized training in Carnatic music, other traditional Indian artforms and languages. An accomplished Carnatic vocalist, Vidya is a Chartered Accountant (All India Rank 2 in CA Final) with an MBA in Finance from Boston College, USA. Vidya’s exemplary work in online teaching of Carnatic music has been featured on BBC World News, Zee TV and DD India’s Changemakers Program. She was conferred the Women Transforming India 2021 award by NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform and United Nations – India. Other awards include Kalaimamani Award (from State of Tamil Nadu), Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Award (from SAFA, an apex body of SAARC), CA Entrepreneur Award (from ICAI), Devi Award (by TNIE Group) and Artist Award by NYSCA under the Saratoga Program for Arts Funding. Vidya was recognized as an inspiring woman entrepreneur in the technology / social impact space by NITI Aayog and FICCI at the Road to GES 2017 Chennai. Vidya has held corporate positions with Analysis Group, Los Angeles and GE, Albany. VSA is run as an impact-driven social enterprise with a focus on empowering artists, especially women. Vidya welcomes students of all levels to contact her to explore learning opportunities. VSA Certification Exams, VSA Sabha and VSA Workshops are recent initiatives in her quest to take India’s traditions to a global platform. Her free YouTube music lessons and podcasts have benefitted several 1000s of learners. Vidya lives in Chennai with her husband and their two children.