Indiaspora delegation to Israel

July 4 - 7, 2017 Israel

July 2017 was a historic month in India-Israel relations. It was the first time that an Indian Prime Minister visited Israel, 25 years after the two countries established full diplomatic relations.

To mark the occasion, Indiaspora took a high-level delegation of our members from the US and India to Israel, during Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit there. The purpose of the delegation was to hold trilateral meetings among Indian-Americans, Indians and Israelis on a people-to-people basis across various fields of activity, thereby engaging in “Track 2 Diplomacy”. To help organize our trip, Indiaspora was happy to partner with the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Global Indian Jewish Relations Institute (GIJRI).

Indiaspora’s delegation consisted of prominent members from various parts of the US in addition to some of our members resident in India. The primary focus of the delegation was in the realm of the innovation ecosystem (i.e. entrepreneurship and venture capital). As such, the group participated in several meetings in this space, which are elaborated upon below.

Prominent and highly respected people in Israeli society from different walks of life, namely government, public policy, business, finance, entrepreneurship and the arts, warmly welcome our delegation by graciously laying out the proverbial red carpet. The enthusiasm to begin building the tripartite partnership, starting with PM Modi’s visit, was evident. As a matter of fact, we were honored to receive some media coverage in the prominent Jerusalem Post newspaper.

We started our trip in Tel Aviv with a special welcome dinner on July 3 in the glass-walled 2C Restaurant atop the city’s tallest building, offering glittering nightly views of the bustling metropolis.

Work began in earnest early the next morning when we met representatives of Startup Nation Central (SNC), who gave us an excellent overview of the Israeli innovation ecosystem, helping us understand why and how Israel is home to so many innovative companies despite being a small country. This was followed by our participation in thoughtful discussions on geopolitics, entrepreneurship and diaspora relations at two of Israel’s top think-tanks, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA).

Immediately thereafter, we were whisked off to the Azriely Building, one of Tel Aviv’s tallest landmarks, for a unique “get to know you” gathering with young Israeli entrepreneurs in different fields, ranging from technology to irrigation. A guided tour of one of the city’s best contemporary art galleries, led by owner Shai Zemack, provided a nice introduction to the cultural and artistic aspects of Israeli life. Rounding off the day was a beautifully curated dinner with any by Israeli celebrity chef, Yonatan Roshfeld, at one of his signature restaurants. What a full and enjoyable first day in Israel!

July 5 saw us making an early morning visit to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange for a meeting with THE FLOOR accelerator, which specializes in incubating fintech startups, and where we were privy to some intriguing pitches by entrepreneurs with unique ideas. One is hard pressed to think of another location, with the possible exceptions of a couple of Indian cities and Silicon Valley in the US, which is as steeped in fintech innovation as Tel Aviv. We were also treated to a look behind the scenes of the workings and strategies of the stock exchange when we met with one of its senior executives for an exclusive presentation.

In the afternoon, a few members of the Indiaspora delegation were invited to an intimate meeting with PM Narendra Modi, where Indiaspora told him about our concept of a collaborative “technology triangle” involving India, Israel and USA. He was enthused by the idea and suggested that we move our idea forward by organizing events around this theme in India. The evening saw the entire Indiaspora delegation attend a historic public address by PM Modi, hosted by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, at a large convention center thronged by many thousands of Jewish emigrants from India to Israel.

Finally, when in Tel Aviv, you must eat ….. dosa!! A famished but intrepid bunch of delegates managed to navigate the streets of an unfamiliar locale at night to find Tel Aviv’s specialty Dosa Bar, run but a native Israeli with no Indian lineage, no less, and requested that the hole-in-the-wall restaurant be kept open more than an hour past its official closing time for this group of weary and hungry travelers! The owner kindly obliged, and we enjoyed a simple yet sumptuous meal of delectable masala dosas and “empty” dosas (which, apparently, is what they call “plain” dosas in Tel Aviv)! They could call their recipes whatever they liked, but as far as we were concerned, given that they served us delicious, hot dosas at midnight in Tel Aviv, it was all kosher!

The spicy sambhar did not seem to cost anyone much sleep, as we were all fresh and alert the next morning for an incredibly fascinating meeting with former Israeli Army General Pinchas Buchris. This esteemed gentleman (and for someone who was in the top echelons of one of the world’s best fighting forces, he is truly a gentle man) had participated in the famous Entebbe raid as a junior soldier and then went on to distinguish himself in many different military roles, including leading the crack cybersecurity intelligence unit of the army. Having achieved that, he retired at the pinnacle of his heady military career, taught himself the importance of retaining humility as a civilian, and went on to successfully found and incubate several Israeli cybersecurity startups. A true Israeli legend, and a wonderful man to boot!

No visit to Israel is complete without a visit to Jerusalem, so our delegation spent a part of July 6 and all of July 7 in the holy city, which feels like a cradle for much of global civilization. How fascinating, educational and enjoyable our visit to Jerusalem was! We took in the Via Dolorosa (or “Way of the Cross”), Western Wall, Mount of Olives, Arab Quarter, and so much more! We also spent some time reflecting on both humanity’s sins and its tenacity at Yad Vashem or the Holocaust Museum – a really moving experience!

As we finally bid each other goodbye at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, we left wishing we had a bit more time in the lovely country of Israel, amidst the warm hospitality of the Israeli people! We had formed bonds among the group that would last a lifetime, and we were all deeply satisfied at having moved the ball forward with respect to bringing three natural allies closer together in an area of their common and obvious strength – technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Indiaspora is looking forward to continuing our work on the “tech triangle” at other events in the US and India in the months ahead.

Sanjeev Joshipura serves as Indiaspora’s Staff Director. He lives just outside Washington, DC.


Indiaspora Israel Delegation

Agenda

July 3, 2017 – July 7, 2017

Indiaspora would like to sincerely thank our partner organizations

American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Global Indian Jewish Relations Institute (GIJRI)

 

July 3, Monday                     Welcome dinner in Tel Aviv

July 4, Tuesday                    Day 1: Meetings, Art Gallery Tour, and High-level Dinner

8 am – 10 am                         Startup Nation Central (SNC), a startup incubator that partners companies and countries to the people

and technologies in Israel that can solve their most pressing challenges.

Hilton Tel Aviv

10:45 am – 2 pm                   Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), an independent Israeli research institute and think tank

affiliated with Tel Aviv University dealing in areas of national security matters such as military and strategic affairs, terrorism and low intensity conflict, military balance in the Middle East, and cyber warfare.

 40 Haim Levanon St., Tel Aviv 6997556

3 pm – 4 pm                          Meeting To Be Announced

5 pm – 7 pm                           Guided Tour of ZCA Art Gallery, currently considered one of the leading galleries in Tel Aviv, featuring

contemporary art since 2010.

Kikar Hamedina, 68 Hey B-iyar St, Tel Aviv

8 pm – 11 pm                        Dinner with renowned Celebrity Chef Yonatan Roshfeld, a renowned celebrity chef who has won

acclaim from critics and diners alike for his signature restaurants as well as his role as a judge on Israel’s “Master Chef.”

Location: Yonatan Roshfeld’s restaurant with fusion cuisine

Invited guests: Yuda Doron, partner at Greenfield Cities Holdings, L.P. (GFC), which partners with and invests in early growth-stage Israeli global technology and tech-enabled businesses, with investments up to $20 million.

Salomon Kofman, aka Shlomi, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, soon to serve as the Consul General of Israel to San Francisco later this year.

Roee Tamari, CEO at Greenergy Renewable Energy, Ltd., a publicly registered company traded in the TASE, investing in the energy and agriculture sectors.

July 5, Wednesday              Day 2: Stock exchange tour, meetings, and PM Modi’s community address

9 am – 11:30 am                   The FLOOR accelerator & tour of the stock exchange with Jonathan Lavender, Global Chairman,

KPMG Enterprise & Partner, and Head of Markets of KPMG in Israel.

Based at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), The FLOOR is the first Fintech hub of its kind in Israel, providing a physical home for local Fintech entrepreneurs and serving as the focal point of access to Israeli Fintech for leading international financial players, tech giants and VC’s.

12:30 pm – 2 pm                   MAOZ, a fellowship and alumni program aiming to fill the public leadership gap

                                                     Invited guests: Dr. Yoav Heller, CEO of MAOZ

 Scott Tobin, General Partner at Battery Ventures, a global, tech-focused investment firm

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm              Shuk Ha-Carmel, Carmel Market

Stroll through old street bazaars and food vendors

5:30 pm – 9:30 pm             Prime Minister Modi’s Community Address to Indian diaspora

Gate 7, Pavilion 2, Tel Aviv Convention Center

10 pm                                        Yashka Shawarma & Grill

                                                    Recommended casual Mediterranean restaurant

Dizengoff St 105, Tel Aviv-Yafo

July 6, Thursday                   Day 3: Meeting in Tel Aviv and Travel to Jerusalem for sightseeing

10:15 am – 11:30 am            Meeting with Brigadier General Pinhas Buchris, Managing Partner at State Of Mind Ventures, an

innovative early stage venture capital fund investing in game-changing, technology-driven Israeli start-ups

                                                    Venue TBA

12 pm – 1 pm                         Casual quick lunch in Tel Aviv

1:30 pm                                   Delegation bus departs for guided sightseeing in Jerusalem

2:45 pm                                  Visit to Yad Vashem (Holocaust museum near Jerusalem)

5 pm                                        Continue Jerusalem sightseeing

7 pm                                        Dinner with invited guests

– Eli Beer, Founder and CEO of United Hatzalah, a national emergency response organization that uses tech to coordinate the activities of more than 3,000 medics, paramedics and doctors across the country

– Jonathan Medved, Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, a Global Equity Crowdfunding platform for accredited investors and angels

9 pm                                       Delegation bus departs for Hilton Tel Aviv

July 7, Friday                      Day 4: Jerusalem Sightseeing and Farewell Dinner

9 am                                       Delegation Bus Departs for Jerusalem

10:30 am – 6 pm               Guided sightseeing at Jerusalem:

– Wailing Wall, a section of the much longer Western Wall in Old Jerusalem, traditionally used by Jews for prayer, referred to as the”Wailing Wall” due to the practice of Jews weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples.

– Church of the Holy Sepulphre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis) to Eastern Orthodox Christians, is traditionally regarded as the holiest site in world for the Christian faith as the site of Jesus’ crucifixion.

– Arab, Jewish, Christian Quarters, located within the Old City, or 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi) of walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem, contains Arab, Jewish, Christian and Armenian quarters.

– Machane Yehuda Market (“The Shuk”), traditionally an open-air marketplace with more than 250 vendors, has recently emerged as a nightlife center with restaurants, bars and live music.

6 pm                                  Farewell Dinner

Invited guest: Dr. Efraim Inbar, Director of Bar-Ilan University’s renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (the BESA Center)

The BESA Center is an independent, non-partisan Israeli think tank conducting policy-relevant research on Middle Eastern and global strategic affairs, particularly as they relate to the national security and foreign policy of Israel and regional peace and stability.

7:30 pm                           Delegation bus departs for Tel Aviv

9 pm                                 Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport – Tel Aviv to take outbound flights

 

Welcome Dinner at 2C Rooftop Restaurant, Azriely Center, Tel Aviv, July 3

 

Diaspora panel at INSS think tank, Tel Aviv, July 4.. L to R: Nissim Reuben, AJC; MR Rangaswami, Indiaspora; Vijay Chauthaiwale, BJP’ Bharat Barai, GIJRI; Jason Isakson, AJC

 

Indiaspora delegation at Tel Aviv stock exchange, July 5

 

Western Wall, Jerusalem, July 7

 

Arun Kumar, KPMG, interviewed by Israeli TV channel, Tel Aviv, July 4

 

  • The Jerusalem Post – Building a Hi-Tech Triangle among Tel Aviv, Bangalore and Silicon Valley (July 5, 2017). This article discusses Indiaspora’s delegation to Israel in conjunction with Prime Minister Modi’s visit, which features interviews with Arun Kumar, KPMG and MR Rangaswami: “ ‘There is tremendous potential in the connection between Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Bangalore – more broadly, between Israel, India and the US, particularly in areas of innovation tech and entrepreneurship,’ Kumar, who is now chairman and CEO of India’s KPMG, which specializes in risk, financial and business advisory, said on Tuesday. Kumar stressed that parties could benefit from increasing the number of Indian students studying at Israeli universities, as well as from connecting the start-up ecosystems and incubators in all three places. Kumar said that as he takes part in his first trip to Israel this week, he is particularly eager to see such connections made in areas like digital health, agriculture and irrigation.”
  • India Abroad – Indiaspora and Jewish leaders partner for trip in July (June 30, 2017) This article prominently features Indiaspora and AJC’s joint delegation: “Indiaspora and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) are partnering to bring a high-level delegation to Israel when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits in July. On the agenda: Talks about technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, foreign policy and international geopolitics. M.R. Rangaswami, Indiaspora’s founder, said the two groups will bring a collective of about 15 participants, including entrepreneurs, philanthropists and venture capitalists. They expect to be in Israel July 3 through July 7. ‘Our delegation will engage in quadrilateral people-to-people Track 2 diplomacy between the Israelis, Indians, Indian-Americans, and Jewish Americans,’ he said. Joining them will be Dr. Bharat Barai, chairman of the Global Indian-Jewish Relations Institute (GIJRI)
  • The Hindu – Diaspora groups promote India-Israel-U.S partnership in security, technology cooperation (June 27, 2017) This article previews PM Modi’s historic visit and mentions Indiaspora’s participation in this historic trip: “A delegation of nearly two dozen Indian Americans and Jewish Americans will travel to Israel, corresponding with the PM’s tour. The group will host policy forums at Israelithink tanks, and participate in a community event that Mr. Modi is scheduled to address in Israel. American Jewish Committee’s Asia Pacific Institute, Indian American group Indiaspora and Global Indian Jewish Relations Institute (GIJRI) are organising the initiative. Policy forums at Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Tel Aviv University, BESA (Begin-Sadat Center) and Bar Ilan University will discuss opportunities for enhancing India-Israel relations in the academic, commercial, start-up, entrepreneurship, emergency management & strategic arenas, said M.R. Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora. Mr. Rangaswami said due to the close cooperation between Indian, Jewish and American technology entrepreneurs, a “tech triangle” between Bangalore, Tel Aviv and the Silicon Valle is taking shape.

Indiaspora Israel Delegation

Participants

 

  Mandar Apte is a film director and producer of From India With Love, a documentary which tells a story about a transformational pilgrimage to India taken by a group of Americans, who have all suffered from violence, in search of healing and transformation. Due to the success of this inaugural delegation, he has organized two subsequent delegations of elected officials and law enforcement. He is also a co-founder of Media Rise – a social impact nonprofit that inspires both the creation and consumption of meaningful media to accelerate social change. Before that, until March 2016, Mandar managed Shell’s GameChanger program on social innovation, focusing on investing in novel solutions to social and environmental challenges that would create shared value – for both business and society. Mandar is an award-winning social entrepreneur recognized with the prestigious “Ashoka League of Intrapreneurs” award and his work has been profiled by Fast Co. Mandar is an acclaimed expert on leadership and social innovation and has spoken on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership at prestigious forums including TEDx, Wharton Business School, Social Innovation Summit, Sustainable Brands, and London Business School, among others.

  Suchit Bachalli is Chief Executive Officer of Unilog Content Solutions and all its global subsidiaries. Unilog, a global technology company with headquarters in Wayne, Pa. and Bangalore, India, specializes in e-commerce and enriched product catalogs for the B2B marketplace. A company that originally launched as a small services company in India in the late 1990s, it has expanded to more than 800 employees worldwide. Before his current role as CEO, Suchit served as President for North America at Unilog since 2014. He has more than 15 years of technology sales and management experience, with strong industry knowledge in distribution, retail and online commerce. He has been instrumental in building an ecosystem of customers and partners that stands testament to the high quality of solutions delivery at Unilog. Suchit is a well-known advocate for his region’s foreign-investment community through his work with the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s Center for Direct Investment. He was selected by the Philadelphia Business Journal in its 2015 “40 Under 40” list.

  Bharat Desai is the Co-Chairman and CoFounder of Syntel (NASDAQ: SYNT), a leading provider of Digital Modernization, Information Technology and Knowledge Services to Global 2000 companies. Syntel employs over 22,000 people globally, generates nearly a Billion dollars in Annual Revenue and has delivered cumulative shareholder returns of ~1000% since listing. His family has established the Desai Sethi Family Foundation with a vision “to create a better world by encouraging education, entrepreneurship and wellness for citizens of the world”. The foundation supports entrepreneurship and innovation programs at Harvard University, IIT Bombay and the University of Michigan. Bharat is a Member of the Dean’s Council at the Harvard Kennedy School and on the Visiting Committee at the Stephen M Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He also serves as the Chairman of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Heritage Foundation. Bharat holds an MBA in finance from Stephen M Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering from the IIT, Bombay.

  Pia Desai is Director at DS Advisors, an investment firm in New York, where she focuses on private equity investments across a range of sectors. Prior to joining DS Advisors she held roles at McKinsey & Company, Microsoft and The Honest Company. Pia is also a director and board member of The DS Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that promotes the use of technology, education and entrepreneurship to improve lives and economic outcomes. The foundation supports entrepreneurship and innovation programs at Harvard University, IIT Bombay and the University of Michigan.  She is a certified yoga instructor and on the board of the Africa Yoga Project. Pia holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 

 

  VR Ferose is Senior Vice President and Head of Globalization Services at SAP. Based in Palo Alto, Ferose is responsible for the adoption of SAP products worldwide through the delivery of solutions targeted at individual local markets. Ferose is a Trustee at Autism Research Trust, which supports research at the Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University. He is a Director on the Board of Specialist People Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with the goal to create one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges. He is the founder of the India Inclusion Foundation a nonprofit, aiming to bring the topic of inclusion at the forefront in India. Ferose has co-authored a best-seller book on people with disabilities, GIFTED. He writes a monthly column on books, hobbies and culture for India’s leading daily Swarajyamag.com. Ferose was honored as a ‘Young Global Leader’ in March 2012 by the World Economic Forum. In a study published by Economic Times and Spencer Stuart, Ferose was selected as one of the leaders in ‘India’s Top 40 under 40’ – 2014. He was inducted into the ‘Happiness Hall of Fame’ at Stanford in 2016. In March 2017, he was given the AUCD award by Senator Tom Harkin for his groundbreaking initiative at SAP – ‘Autism at Work’.

  Vinod “Vinny” Gupta currently serves as CEO on InNow LLC, a cross border technology implementation company across three continents. Its primary mission is to improve the quality of lives in India in drinking and waste water solutions by bringing the next millennium technologies to India. The goal of the company is to effect a million lives in 2017 and double it every year. He has had a long and varied career in technology commercialization, technology management, and executive management and advanced materials companies. He is an accomplished entrepreneur as well, starting and running a number of successful companies, including Ohio Cast Products, Progressive Home Care and Technocast. As Chairman of the Ohio Board of Regents, he has led the organization’s technology commercialization task force. Vinny has served as President of the Asian Indian Alliance, a bipartisan organization that promotes strong platform for active political, social and economic participation of Asian Indian Americans in Ohio, and a number of company and philanthropic boards.

  Asha Jadeja is an angel investor and philanthropist based in Silicon Valley. She invests in for-profit tech, internet and high social impact start-ups in the Bay Area, New York and India. Asha and her husband Rajeev Motwani co-invested in over 100 startups as angels. Rajeev was the founding advisor to Google and the author of Google’s algorithmic architecture. Asha is the founder and managing director of Dot Edu Ventures. Asha launched the Rajeev Circle Fellowship in order to help Indian entrepreneurs “visit and connect with entrepreneurs, mentors and seed investors in Silicon Valley.” Motwani helped introduce Maker Faire in India in 2012, gaining inspiration from California’s Maker Faire. She is also introducing Maker Fest Pakistan in an attempt to “create a civilian bridge between India and Pakistan.” She is the trustee of the Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation, a charitable organization based in Palo Alto and Ahmedabad, India. The Foundation aims to support entrepreneurs in under-served pockets of the world to promote world-class entrepreneurship at a local level.  Motwani is a civil engineer by training.  Her graduate studies at UC Berkeley and Stanford included urban planing and political science.

  Lata Krishnan is CFO for Shah Capital Partners. She was a co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of SMART Modular Technologies, a publicly held company recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Fastest Growing Public Companies. Lata has also held corporate accounting and finance positions at Montgomery Securities, Arthur Andersen & Company LLP, and Hill Vellacott & Company in London, England. Lata is a Board Member of the Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group. She is also the Chair of the American India Foundation (AIF) (www.aif.org) since being involved in its founding in 2001. AIF is a premier foundation with a long-term commitment to accelerating social and economic development in India and strengthening the bonds between the US and India. AIF is chaired by President Clinton, includes luminaries from the community on the Board, and has offices in Silicon Valley, New York and India. Her community activities also include serving as a Board Member for the Commonwealth Club and as a Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. She received a B.S. with honors from the London School of Economics and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

  Arun Kumar is Chairman and CEO of KPMG in India. He also has served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service in the Obama Administration, where he led the trade and investment promotion efforts for the U.S. Government and served as the International Trade Administration’s lead official advocating for better market access for U.S. exporters. Before that, Arun was a Partner and member of the Board of Directors at KPMG, LLP, leading the firm’s West Coast Management Consulting practice, serving major global clients and emerging Silicon Valley ventures. Previously, Arun was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founding CEO and CFO of three tech ventures. Arun has been a member of advisory councils at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has served on the Board of TiE Silicon Valley and U.S. India Business Council. He has authored a book of poetry, Plain Truths (2010), and co-edited a book, Kerala’s Economy: Crouching Tiger, Sacred Cows (2007). Arun received his Master’s degree in Management from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Kerala, India.

  Arjun Mehta is a young entrepreneur who is Co-founder and CEO of the startup, Trakfire, which focuses on allowing music consumers to more easily discover emerging artists. Investors include Troy Carter, Jimmy Iovine, and WeTransfer. Prior to that, Arjun was a Co-founder and CEO of Stoodle.org, which merged with CK12 Foundation in June 2012. His team built the first HTML5-powered (mobile/tablet compatible) virtual classroom consisting of a real-time, collaborative whiteboard + voice + text communication tool, and offered it for free. Arjun was also a contributing writer for Hypetrak.com, popular music publication by Hypebeast. He is also co-director of sponsorships for USC Concerts Committee. Arjun is currently a junior in the inaugural class of Jimmy Iovine’s & Dr. Dre’s Academy for the Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation at University of Southern California, where he is completing a multi-disciplinary program in product design, coding, and business.

  Raghu Mendu is a Co-founder and General Partner of Ventureast. He was part of the team that was responsible for the pioneering privatization of a venture capital fund in India. He is a technology professional by training, and his investment focus covers the broad technology and services space including IT, mobile, education, hospitality, alternative energy and water. He operates as Ventureast’s partner based in the US.  Prior to co-founding Ventureast, Raghu had extensive corporate, entrepreneurial, and investment experience in the IT and banking industries in the US. He started a new subsidiary for Union Bank in Los Angeles called Union Bancsystems in the mid 1980s, and helped it grow to over $10Million in two years. Prior to this he was with Nixdorf Computer, first responsible for product development, and then for establishing the overall strategy and sales infrastructure for Nixdorf’s Financial Industries Group. As an entrepreneur, Raghu has built and sold three companies including one of the early technology product companies in India. He has also been involved in the acquisition of over eight companies as part of a US publicly listed rollup. Raghu holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Technology degree from IIT Madras.

  MR Rangaswami is a software executive, investor, entrepreneur, corporate eco-strategy expert, community builder and philanthropist. Recognized as a software business expert, he participated in the rapid expansion of the Silicon Valley software industry during his tenure as an executive at both large and small software companies. In 1997, he co-founded Sand Hill Group one of the earliest “angel” investment firms and was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. He produced the prestigious Enterprise and Software conferences that were held in Silicon Valley. He was also listed on the Forbes “Midas” list of investors. M.R. is the publisher of SandHill.com a leading website for entrepreneurs, VCs and CIOs. In 2007, M.R. embarked on a new venture as the founder of the Corporate Eco Forum, an invitation-only membership organization for Global 500 companies that demonstrate a serious commitment to environment as a business strategy issue. In 2012 M.R. founded Indiaspora (a non-profit) in 2012 to unite Indian Americans and to transform their success into meaningful impact in India and on the global stage.

  Ms. Preeti Sinha is Senior President and Global Convenor of the YES INSTITUTE at Yes Bank Limited. She also serves as an Advisor at Zone Startups. Prior to this appointment, Preeti was the Chief in the Delivery and Performance Office at the African Development Bank (AfDB). She was engaged in increasing the delivery of the business pipeline at the AfDB and achievement of its institutional commitments and initiatives. She has worked extensively on financing for development under Resource Mobilization and Strategy Development in over 4 continents – Asia, North America, Europe and Africa. With over 25 years of global experience, she now leads the YES Institute in New Delhi. Preeti was Project Director for the Financing for Development (FfD) Initiative at the World Economic Forum in Geneva and Davos, Switzerland. She has prior experience of over 15 years in investment banking for HSBC, Rabobank, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan. Preeti has an Executive Education degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Master’s degree in Global Leadership from the World Economic Forum, an MBA from the Yale University School of Management (SOM), and a BA Honors degree from Dartmouth College in Economics and Computer Science.

  Arjun Vaidyanathan is Partner in the CEO Office of KPMG in India. A fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a member of the Institute of Cost and Work Accountants in India, Arjun has over 27 years’ experience in Business Advisory services for businesses in India, US, Australia, Middle East and Europe. Arjun’s expertise is in Financial Restructuring, Design and Implementation of Governance Frameworks, Enterprise Risk Management, Operational Risk Management, Audits and Audit Analytics, Process improvements, Change Management (Business and Regulatory), Transaction Advisory, Merger Integration and Change. He has worked across various industries, including manufacturing and services, financial, power and utilities, and oil and gas. Prior to KPMG, Arjun was managing director at Amedeus Limited, and a Partner and Executive Director at Axis Risk Consulting before that. He completed his education at University of Mumbai and graduate studies at R A Podar College of Commerce and Economics.

 

Indiaspora Staff

  Sanjeev Joshipura is Indiaspora’s Director since July 2016. Prior to that, he was active in the US-India corridor for several years in a public policy and business capacity, via his own consulting firm. A naturalized American citizen, he was born and raised in India and migrated to North America in 2000. In the corporate realm, Sanjeev has worked at Fortune 500 multinational organizations in different industries, in the areas of strategy, finance and project management. Since 2008, he has been actively engaged in public policy, American politics and government relations. He has managed a US Senate election campaign, worked as a staff member on Capitol Hill advising congressmen and senators on economics and international affairs, and been the Executive Director of an international industry association with large member companies around the world. Sanjeev has a Bachelors in Computer Engineer from Pune University, India, an MBA from the University of Toronto, Canada, and a Certificate in Financial Risk Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology, USA.