Plenary Session III

 7 January : 1530-1730 hrs

Fuelling growth through Disruptive Innovations-Start-up Eco-system in Karnataka

Session Brief


Speakers at PBD :

  • Shri Priyank Kharge, Honâble Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, Government of Karnataka
  • Ms. V Manjula, Principal Secretary, IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka.
  • Mr. Sharad Sharma, Co-founder and Governing Council Member, iSPIRT  Foundation
  • Mr. Ravi Gururaj, Founder & CEO,
  • Mr. Shrikumar Suryanarayan, Co-Founder, Sea6 Energy Private Limited
  • Mr. Rahul Narayan, Fleet Commander, Team Indus
  • Mr. Naveen Jha, CEO, Deshpande Foundation, India
  • Mr. Naveen Tiwari, Founder & Chief Executive Officer


  • Mr. Sharad Sharma has over two decades of experience in the Internet, Enterprise Software and Infrastructure Markets and is a prominent voice in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. He has co-founded iSPIRT, a think tank focused on building the software product ecosystem in India. He has also chaired the Product Forum at NASSCOM. Prior to this, he headed Yahoo! India R&D where he led product engineering for all emerging markets and some global products. He has also held senior R&D role at VERITAS, Symantec, Lucent Technologies and AT&T. Sharad co-founded Teltier, a wireless infrastructure startup now part of CISCO and is an active technology angel investor through LetsVenture. Sharad was the Chairperson of the IEEE Student Chapter while at the Delhi College of Engineering, and started the Minicomputer Club. 
  • Mr. Ravi Gururaj is a serial entrepreneur with 5 ventures and 2 public exits, an angel investor, a mentor to numerous entrepreneurs, technology executive, and ecosystem evangelist. As the Founder & CEO of, he is building innovative last mile logistics solutions for the eCommerce industry.Ravi is a member of the NASSCOM Executive Council, chairs the NASSCOM Product Council and co-hosts the NASSCOM Product Conclave. He is Charter Member of TiE Bangalore where he launched the Cloud SIG, is Co-Chair/Founder of the Penn & Wharton Club of Bangalore, and is Co-Founder & Co-Chair of HBS Alumni Angels India chapter. Ravi received his MBA with high distinction as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School. He graduated with honors as Benjamin Franklin Scholar from the University of Pennsylvania in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology receiving a B.S.E. in Computer in Science & Engineering from the Moore School and a B.Sc. in Finance from the Wharton School. He was also are search scholar at the University of Edinburgh and schooled at La Martiniere for Boys in Kolkata. 
  • Mr. Shrikumar Suryanarayan is the Chairman and co-founder of Sea6 Energy Pvt. Ltd.( The company was founded in 2010 and is focused on the development of technology for offshore biomass production and conversion to a variety of bioproducts, including agricultural biostimulants renewable fuels and chemicals. He is also a board member and the Hon. Executive director for the Center for cellular and Molecular Biology ( C-CAMP) since July 2016. Shrikumar was formerly the President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Advisor at Biocon Limited, the largest life-science company in India ( over 25 years. He also served as the Chief Executive officer for the Translational Health Sciences Institute ( at the National Capital Region Biosciences Cluster, Government of India from 2009-2010, before giving that up to start Sea6 Energy.  Shrikumar has B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and a Masters in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi .He was conferred the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 2009 and was chosen as Entrepreneur of the year by Biospectrum magazine in 2012. 
  • Mr. Rahul Narayan is the heart and soul of TeamIndus. He has been a serial entrepreneur in Information Technology and Software Engineering with expertise in diverse range of technologies across multiple industry verticals and has extensive experience in systems design, development. Rahul has always dreamt of doing something that changed the world for the betterment of mankind. 
  • Mr. Naveen Jha is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Deshpande Foundation, India. He has been with the foundation since its inception in India bringing a vision of enabling local solutions through a bottom-up approach. He graduated from Brandeis University, a top ranked university in the USA, with a Masters in International Development and was the recipient of the prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship. He has also taken numerous courses at MIT's Poverty Lab and Harvard University. 
  • Mr. Naveen is the founder of InMobi. He has a Bachelor's degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT) and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where he was also bestowed with the Dean's Award, for his exceptional leadership and contribution. In 2013, his alma mater, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur also honored him with the esteemed Distinguished Alumnus Award for his excellence in entrepreneurship. Naveen is involved in the fueling of around 30 start-ups as yet in India and has personally invested and supported several start-ups like NestAway, SlideRule, Mettl, Moneysights, Bombay Canteen, Zimmber, Razorpay etc. A believer that start-ups will be the pillars of growing India, he co-founded iSPIRT, which is a change agent with  an aim to address government policy, create market catalysts, and grow the maturity of product entrepreneurs in order to transform India into a hub for new generation software products.He also founded and chairs a U.S.-based nonprofit called India School Fund which  sets up schools in rural India, a cause he cares deeply for. Naveen is a board member at Paytm and has been recognized for his entrepreneurial skills at various platforms. He received several awards and recognitions over the last several years:

  • Future Leaders Award presented by Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, 2015
  • Fortune's ˜40 under 40 most powerful, influential and important people in business, 2015
  • The Pathbreaker of the Year Award, 2014
  • Forbes India Leadership Award for Outstanding Start Up', 2014
  • 100 Most Creative People, 2014 across the world
  • The ˜Pathbreaker of the Yearâ Award, 2013 presented by Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister
  • 7th Most Important Personâ by Business Insider the Mobile Power List, 2013
  • Mobile Top 50 in The Drum, 2013