Managing Director, Cholamandalam Investment & Finance VELLAYAN SUBBIAH Vellayan Subbiah, son of Padma Bhushan M V Subbiah, is part of the fourth generation of the Murugappa family. Mr. Vellayan, holds a degree of Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from the IIT Madras and a Masters in Business Administration from the Michigan University, USA. His professional experience includes a 6 year stint with McKinsey, Chicago and associations with 24/7 Customer Inc. Las Gatos and The Carlyle Group, San Francisco. He later debuted in the Murugappa Group, steering its BPO arm Laserwords and is currently the Managing Director of Cholamandalam Investment And Finance Company limited, a Murugappa group company. Mr. Vellayan is an avid cyclist and a marathon runner.


Founder & Chairman, FreeCharge Kunal Shah Kunal is the Founder & Chairman at FreeCharge. He started FreeCharge along with Sandeep Tandon in August 2010 with the aim to build a business that turned Recharges in to Rewarding Experiences for its consumers. In April 2015, FreeCharge was acquired by Snapdeal (India’s largest online marketplace). As a result of this, together the entity is India’s largest Mobile Commerce company with over a Million Transactions per day and a 40 Million strong user base. This also is the largest acquisition ever done in Indian Startup ecosystem; post acquisition FreeCharge continues to be an independent entity under Kunal’s leadership. FreeCharge emerged as a leader in mobile commerce in 2014, witnessing over 1000% growth and crossing over 10 million app downloads, making it the fastest growing app in the shopping category in India. Kunal also led the acquisitions of Wishberg and Preburn, two emerging technology startups, in 2014. In its journey, FreeCharge raised over $115MM of venture capital from a host of marquee investors – Sequoia Capital, Ru-Net, Sofina, Tybourne, and Valiant Capital Partners. FreeCharge is also widely known as a business concept that was specifically developed for India (not a copycat business from the West). Kunal, an avid believer in the power of free, was struck with the idea of taking the most common transaction in the country, the mobile recharge, and making it virtually free via premium coupons and vouchers from some of the country’s most desirable brands. In his spare time, Kunal is a voracious student of behavioral economics and science. He is an avid Texas Hold ‘Em poker player, and a proud college dropout from the NMIMS MBA program in Mumbai. Kunal’s current mission: to get every single Indian to experience a single transaction via FreeCharge


Independent consultant and mentor Dr. P GOPALAKRISHNAN Dr. P. (Gopal) Gopalakrishnan is currently an independent consultant and mentor. He is an experienced technology leader who has led successful product innovations, research, and technology strategy over the course a distinguished career. He was formerly the Vice President, Corporate Technology, IBM Corporation, based in Armonk, NY. In this role he helped the company set the broad directions for technology across some of the most strategic areas for the company such as cloud, analytics, cyber security, and cognitive computing. He was responsible for bringing well-considered technology strategy recommendations and actions for decision-making by the CEO and top leadership team in the company. He also managed several programs aimed at strengthening the innovation capabilities by developing technical talent and leadership across the company. He was the Vice Chair of the IBM Academy of Technology, a select group of global technical leaders responsible for innovation and technology across the company. Prior to this role, Dr. Gopalakrishnan was Vice President, IBM India Software Lab (ISL). In this senior leadership role he oversaw product development and technology innovation efforts of several thousand engineers spread across five cities in India. He was responsible for delivering on the product commitments across the team, promoting innovation, interfacing with local clients, and growing technical talent. One of the key priorities that he drove was the impact on global technical directions and new product directions for the company from this team of engineers. Dr. Gopalakrishnan has also held role as Director, Discovery Solutions, in IBM Software Group, where he helped take to market some early text analytics technologies. Dr. Gopalakrishnan received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he has been recognized in the Alumni Hall of Fame along with several other luminaries from the technology industry. He obtained a B.Tech Degree in Electronics and Communication from the Indian Institute of Science.

Prof. T.V. RAO

Professor, management consultant, author & speaker Prof. T.V. RAO Dr. T. V. Rao is currently Chairman, of T VRLS, Ahmedabad and an Adjunct Professor at IIMA.. He was Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad for over 20 years beginning 1973. While at IIMA he was Chairman of the Post Graduate Program, Fellow Program, Public Systems Group, Ravi Matthai Center and also coordinated the PGP review. He left in 1994 to serve as Honorary Director of the Academy of Human Resources Development as Honorary Director. He set up TVRLS in 1996, two years after he left IIMA. He was a Visiting Professor since then and Adjunct Professor at IIMA since 2006. He has also worked as L&T Professor of HRD at XLRI, Jamshedpur during 1983-85. Dr. Rao is the Founder and First President of the National HRD Network, and the First Honorary Director of the Academy of HRD, India. He was also President of the Indian Society for Applied Behavioral Science (ISABS). He worked with David McClelland of Harvard University (the initiator of the competency movement) and had joint research projects with him in seventies. Dr. Rao was a Visiting Faculty at the Indian Business School, Hyderabad and as HRD Advisor to the Reserve Bank of India. Dr Rao assisted the Administrative Reforms Commission in reviewing the personnel management practices for civil services, and also served as member of the HRM Review Committee of Nationalised Banks set up by the Ministry of Finance in 2009-2010. Dr. Rao worked as a short-term consultant to UNESCO, Ministry of Health, Indonesia, National Entrepreneurial Development Association, Malaysia and the Commonwealth Secretariat, London. Dr. Rao has designed and assisted in implementing performance appraisal and other HRD Systems for a number of organizations in India and Abroad. Dr. Rao’s consulting work is in the areas of designing and managing HRD systems of various corporations in India and other Asian countries. He assisted a number of Organizations on various HR themes. The organizations with which Dr. Rao assisted include: SAIL, NTPC, Indian Oil Corporation , HPCL, Bharat Petroleum, NALCO, SBI, Bank of Baroda, Neyveli Lignite, MRL, BEML, Reserve Bank of India; Larsen & Toubro, Voltas, Sundram Fasteners, EID Parry, TI Group, Crompton Greaves, Transpek Industries, BILT, NOCIL , IL&FS, Mahindra and Mahindra, Escorts, Tata Finance, Titan, Taj Group of Hotels, Tata Cummins, KPMG, ICI, Hindustan Levers, Pfizer, Chanrai Group (Nigeria), Indorama, Indonesia, Godfrey Phillips India, Amway, Nestle, Wockhardt, Wyeth, Fulford, Galfar (Oman), Ministry of Health, Indonesia; FAO, Rome; Commercial Bank, Sri Lanka; Hemas group Sri Lanka, CHR Oman etc. Dr. Rao and Dr. Udai Pareek are credited to have established the first dedicated department of Human Resources Development at L&T in mid seventies much before HRD was known and made it popular. Dr. Rao has been working on HRD field for the last forty years. Dr. Rao is the first to start in India a Leadership Development methodology in mid-eighties using what is later termed in the USA as 360 Degree Feedback. Dr. Rao’s HRD audit methodology is fist of its kind across the world and he started it and created a HRD Score card abed on the same. Dr. Rao has authored or coauthored or edited over thirty books dealing with HRD, Education Management, Health and Population Management, Entrepreneurship Development etc. Dr. Rao has won several awards for his outstanding contributions to HRD. Dr. Rao has several publications including over 50 books on various themes relating to Education, Health and Population management, Behavioral Sciences and HRD.


Management and market research consultant RAMA BIJIAPURKAR Rama Bijapurkar is India’s most respected thought leader on market strategy and India’s consumer economy. She has an independent consulting practice and works across sectors and organization types, describing her mission as ‘bringing market and customer focus to business strategy’. In addition to her consulting practice, Rama has served as an independent director on the boards of several of India’s blue chip companies. These include Axis Bank, Bharat Petroleum, CRISIL, Godrej Consumer Products, Infosys, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial services Ltd, Redington Gulf FZE. She also serves on the Governing Councils of the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India, the Insurance Information Board and is a member of the Eminent Persons Advisory Group of the Competition Commission of India. She has been a regular visiting faculty at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, her alma mater, and is a member of its Board of Governors. Ms. Bijapurkar is a dominant voice in the media on business and policy issues in her areas of interest and work. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed best-selling book on Consumer India, “We are like that only : Understanding the logic of Consumer India” (Indian edition, Penguin; international English and Chinese editions titled “Winning in the Indian market” , John Wiley ). She has most recently published a sequel to this, titled “A Never- Before World : Tracking the evolution of Consumer India” (Penguin). She is also the author of “Customer in the Boardroom: Crafting Customer Based Business Strategy” (Sage). Ms. Bijapurkar holds a B Sc (Hons) degree in Physics from Delhi University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (equivalent to an MBA) from IIM, Ahmedabad. Prior to setting up her own consulting practice, Rama has worked for over two decades in leading market research and management consulting companies.


Marketing Professor, Dean, Administration, IIM Bangalore. G SHAINESH Professor Shainesh has over two decades of research and teaching experience in India and abroad. He has conducted research and teaching assignments at the Goteborg University (Sweden), University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), Audencia Nantes and IESEG (France), Vienna University and MCI Innsbruck (Austria), Bocconi University (Milan), Curtin University of Technology (Perth), and the American University of Armenia (Yerevan). Professor Shainesh’s research focus on CRM, Services Marketing, and Service Innovations. At IIMB, he leads the cross-functional research initiative on consumer insights. His book titled Customer Relationship Management – A Strategic Perspective (Macmillan India) is a prescribed textbook for CRM courses at several business schools. He is also the co-author of a book on CRM titled Customer Relationship Management – Emerging Concepts, Tools and Applications. Professor Shainesh has worked for several organizations in the public, non-profit and the corporate sectors including telecom, software, engineering and service firms, both as an advisor and as a seminar leader. His clients include ABB, Aventis Pharma, B2K Corp, Department of Pharmaceuticals, HECL, Caterpillar, Ericsson, Indian Oil, Manipal Universal, MICO, NCSM, Otto Bilz, Philips, SKF, Indian Railways, IFFCO, ICPB, Ministry of Tourism, Power Ministry, TRIFED, Sanskriti, Pradan, etc. His case study Narayana Nethralaya: Expanding Affordable Eye Care was placed second at the GlobaLens 2014 NextBillion Case Writing Competition. He was awarded the Best Professor in Marketing by the CMO Asia Council during the ‘Best B-Schools in Asia Awards,’ July 2011, Singapore. He is also the past winner of the Citibank Special Research Award (1994) and PD Agarwal-TCI Award for Doctoral Research in Management (1995). Shainesh is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Indian Business Research (JIBR), an Emerald (UK) publication. He is a BTech from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India (1989) and a Fellow at IIM Bangalore, India.


Founder & CEO, MentorCloud   rs-headshot-201222222 Ravi Gundlapalli is the Founder and CEO of MentorCloud, a cloud-based peer-to-peer learning and mentoring platform for enterprises and professional associations. Ravi is a globally recognized thought leader on mentoring and learning, and author of “The Art of Mentoring.” Ravi spoke at several global conferences that include Horasis India Meeting & World Demographic Forum (Switzerland), Delivering Change Forum (India), Global Diaspora Forum (Washington DC, at the invitation of Hillary Clinton), National Entrepreneur Week (Mexico). Ravi has been featured in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, The Hindu, Forbes India and Knowledge@Wharton. Prior to MentorCloud, Ravi worked on supply chain solutions for Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Ravi is a mentor at Founder Institute and Startup Embassy in Silicon Valley, and is on a mission is to connect 100 million mentors and mentees by 2020. Ravi has a Ph.D. from University of Michigan, M.S. from Florida Atlantic University, and B. Tech. from IIT Chennai, India. .  


Serial entrepreneur, author and speaker   rs-headshot-201222222 Rajesh Setty is a serial entrepreneur, author and speaker based in Silicon Valley. He co-founded Audvisor ( and more than half-a-dozen startups in US and India. His latest (16th) book is titled Gratitude: Growing and changing your world one thank you at a time ( He maintains a blog where he has published more than 1925 blog posts. His first book was published when he was thirteen years old. Raj has been a member of the Band of Angels since 2007. He is also a top-rated teacher at the Founder Institute.