Fueling India’s biotech

startup
success

Nurturing game-changing startups

Patron

Governance Board

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Saurabh Srivastava
Patron

Saurabh Srivastava has co-founded and Chaired key institutions of modern India focussed on IT and entrepreneurship: NASSCOM; Indian Venture Capital Association; TiE Delhi-NCR; Indian Angel Network

He is a Padma Shri awardee & received an award from PM Shri Narendra Modi for his contribution to the Indian IT Industry as one of the 4 founders of NASSCOM.

After a stint with IBM and Unisys in the US and India, he founded several successful IT companies and India’s first private sector VC Fund, creating companies like India Bulls and Avendus. He has invested in around 100 start-ups, mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs and leveraged his global networks across investors, corporates, academia and technologists to build best in class companies and invest in them. Just like he built the foundations of the software industry which became the face of New India, he has led from the front in putting Indian biotech / healthcare innovation on the global map.

Govt boards/committees have included National Innovation Council, Government’s Start up Fund of Funds, SIDBI Venture Fund, Punjab and Rajasthan State VC Funds, STPI, SEBI Committee on AlFs, BSE Hi-Tech Advisory Panel, Telecom Centre of Excellence, Railway Expert Committee.

He served on the Advisory Board of Imperial College Business School London, has a Masters from Harvard University, a B Tech from IIT Kanpur (“Distinguished Alumnus Award”), Honorary Doctorate in Technology from the University of Wolverhampton, UK; DQ Lifetime Achievement Award for IT; Patrick J McGovern Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship.

Arjun Malhotra
Patron

A pioneer of the Indian IT industry, Mr. Malhotra served as Chairman of Headstrong’s Board of Directors before its acquisition by Genpact in May 2011. Prior to Headstrong he was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of TechSpan, which merged with Headstrong in October 2003.

Mr. Malhotra has a long string of entrepreneurial successes. He co-founded the HCL group in 1975, taking it from a six-person “garage operation” to one of India’s largest Information Technology corporations. The first leading Indian entrepreneur to relocate to USA, Mr. Malhotra took over HCL’s US operations (now known as HCL Technologies) in 1989 and grew it to nearly $100 million annual revenues. In 1992 he ran the HCL-HP joint venture in India, and in 1996 he set up and ran the joint venture with Deluxe Corporation.

Mr Malhotra is on the Board of Governors of ISB, Hyderabad and IIT (Kharagpur) Foundation. He is a past Co-Chair of the Global Pan-IIT Alumni Association. He is also a Member of IPSS and was on the Board of Governors of The Doon School. A Life Fellow of IIT Kharagpur, he has been awarded Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in September 2012. Punjab Technical University conferred an Honorary PhD on him in 2013.

He is a Charter Member of TiE, having previously served as the Chairman of their Global Board.

Mr. Malhotra studied at The Doon School, Dehradun, graduated from IIT Kharagpur with B.Tech. (Hons.) in Electronics & Electrical Communication Engineering and received the Dr. B.C. Roy Gold Medal. In 1985, he attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

He was awarded the Albert Einstein Technology Medal for 2001. The Institution of Engineers (India) has named Mr. Malhotra an Eminent Engineering Personality. For his contributions to the Indian IT Industry, he got the DQ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award.

He is presently an Advisor in a number of start-ups in Education and healthcare space

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Arun Seth
Board Member

Arun Seth took early retirement from his corporate career to focus on bringing the benefits of IT/Telecom to real world businesses in various sectors via a innovative entrepreneurial eco system and a focus on giving back to society.

Starting as the founding MD of British Telecom, India in 1995 he built it to its current leadership position.

He had been on several co-boards like Alcatel Lucent India, BT India, Tech Mahindra, Airtel, Acme Telepower and more. He had been very active with Govt and Regulators on shaping Telecoms Policy and IT Policy and was on the founding committee for the formation of the Data Security Council of India.

Currently he is an independent director on the board of Narayana Health, Jubilant Pharmova Ltd, Sify Technologies, Usha Breco Ltd, Serviont Global Solutions Ltd, etc. He has been an active angel investor for the last 20+ years and is an active advisor and mentor to several startups based out of India and USA including Healthifyme, Fitgalaxy, Healthcubed, Nutanix USA, InMobi etc.

He co-chairs the Nasscom Product Conclave and is currently a Charter member of TiE Delhi Chapter. Active with the Indian Angel Network, he is an advisor to The IAN Fund.

He is extremely active on NGOs and Education boards including DPS Ghaziabad Society, Pahle India Foundation, Helpage India Board, NCPEDP and more.

He has served on the Board of Governors for IIM Lucknow, IIIT Delhi and TERI University. An alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta – he has worked in several senior commercial positions in the last 40+ years. He has chaired Pan IIT in 2010 and was Vice President of IIT Kanpur Alumni Association.

Srikant Sastri
Board Member

Srikant is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta. After a short stint in the corporate sector, he naively became an entrepreneur in the mid-90s when words like ‘start-up’ were unheard of in India. After many bruises, Srikant finally built two large services ventures. Presently, as board member at several university incubators, Srikant has a ringside view of entrepreneurship. He is also a member of several central and state government bodies for innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development.

He co-lead a task force that created (design to manufacturing) a world-class ventilator during COVID using a radical model for accelerated product development, manufacturing, and go-to-market. He mentors a range of tech & biotech startups at incubators across India.

In his day job, as the Chairman, I3G Advisory Network, he advises CEOs and owners of fast-growing organizations as a hands-on orchestrator of rapid growth. He guides them in incubating new ideas, initiatives and ventures that bring in growth. Healthcare & Education are sectors of special interest to Srikant.

Sameer Wagle

Board Member

Sameer Wagle has over 26 years of Venture Capital and Operating experience in India and South East Asia. He is currently Managing Director at Asian Healthcare Fund (AHF) a Private Equity Fund focused on investing in Healthcare and Healthcare related areas.

Before joining AHF Sameer was Executive Director at Nomura Securities where he headed the Indian activities for the firm’s Private Equity division. Prior to Nomura, Sameer’s experience includes being a Partner at IL&FS Investment Managers, a 5+ year stint in Singapore in the VC space primarily with Vertex Management (a part of the Singapore Technologies / Temasek group) and being part of the early team at GVFL Limited, one of the first Indian Venture Capital firms.

Earlier Sameer had operational assignments at two Indian engineering companies viz – Crompton Greaves and DGP Windsor. He is an Electrical Engineer from the University of Pune, India, an MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA Institute, US and has undergone a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Policy (Health & Life Sciences) from the Takshashila Institution

In his personal capacity, Sameer has been associated with Aavishkaar, India’s first Social Venture Capital firm and Takshashila Institution, an India focused think tank focused on public policy.

Dr. Manish Diwan

Board Member

Head – Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development, & Make In India Facilitation Cell for Biotech sector

Leading large national programs for Government of India’s efforts to nurture and empower the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem in India. Sectoral lead for National Missions especially Startup India, Make In India; contributes to Policy Reforms; Strategic collaborations including International partnerships; serves on National committees and Advisory Boards.

Leads national flagship schemes and programs of BIRAC promoting Startups, Entrepreneurs and Industry. Manages Risk Funding through Grant-in-aid, Equity, co-investments by Angels, VCs, AIFs (Fund of funds); setting up Incubation Centres for capacity building; Human Resource development through integrating a large partner pool of mentors, experts, peers and industry associations. Being a central enabler representative, contributes in Ecosystem gap identification and finding solutions. A few policy initiatives include establishment of the Technology Clusters with Pilot and manufacturing facilities for startups, Field validation for startup solutions, Access to Regulatory guidance, Scaling and Global integration through a strategic network of national and international partnerships.
Supports technology led Startups, Entrepreneurs, Incubation Centres, Knowledge Clusters of Academia and Industry enabling them to address unmet needs in the Healthcare, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Industrial biotech, Agriculture, Waste management, Clean Energy and related areas through development of globally competitive, innovative products and technologies.

He has about 27 years of global R&D experience in Pharma/ Biotech sector from discovery research to product development, Science Administration and Project Management for Industry and Academia. Before moving into Public sector in 2017, he contributed to several Clinical Drug Candidates for global drug development at Daiichi Sankyo (India), Daiichi Sankyo (Japan), Ranbaxy, Dabur and University of Alberta (Canada). Also developed technologies during doctoral (ICGEB, NII India) and post-doctoral research (KAIST South Korea; University of Alberta) that were transferred to industry. Trained in Pharmaceutics, Molecular Pharmacology, Immunology, he has led
large professional teams in First-In-Class and Best-In-Class Drug Discovery, Translational Preclinical Research and Early Clinical Development.

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Padmaja Ruparel

Board Member

Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.

She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune India for 2017, 2018 2019, & 2021, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.

She is Co-Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalized IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country.

Padmaja has been nominated as Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures.

She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.

Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalized the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council.

She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.

In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.

Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business.

A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).

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Padmaja Ruparel

Board Member

Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.

She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune India for 2017, 2018 2019, & 2021, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.

She is Co-Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalized IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country.

Padmaja has been nominated as Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures.

She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.

Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalized the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council.

She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.

In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.

Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business.

A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).

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Dr. Manish Diwan

Board Member

Head – Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development, & Make In India Facilitation Cell for Biotech sector

Leading large national programs for Government of India’s efforts to nurture and empower the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem in India. Sectoral lead for National Missions especially Startup India, Make In India; contributes to Policy Reforms; Strategic collaborations including International partnerships; serves on National committees and Advisory Boards.

Leads national flagship schemes and programs of BIRAC promoting Startups, Entrepreneurs and Industry. Manages Risk Funding through Grant-in-aid, Equity, co-investments by Angels, VCs, AIFs (Fund of funds); setting up Incubation Centres for capacity building; Human Resource development through integrating a large partner pool of mentors, experts, peers and industry associations. Being a central enabler representative, contributes in Ecosystem gap identification and finding solutions. A few policy initiatives include establishment of the Technology Clusters with Pilot and manufacturing facilities for startups, Field validation for startup solutions, Access to Regulatory guidance, Scaling and Global integration through a strategic network of national and international partnerships.
Supports technology led Startups, Entrepreneurs, Incubation Centres, Knowledge Clusters of Academia and Industry enabling them to address unmet needs in the Healthcare, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Industrial biotech, Agriculture, Waste management, Clean Energy and related areas through development of globally competitive, innovative products and technologies.

He has about 27 years of global R&D experience in Pharma/ Biotech sector from discovery research to product development, Science Administration and Project Management for Industry and Academia. Before moving into Public sector in 2017, he contributed to several Clinical Drug Candidates for global drug development at Daiichi Sankyo (India), Daiichi Sankyo (Japan), Ranbaxy, Dabur and University of Alberta (Canada). Also developed technologies during doctoral (ICGEB, NII India) and post-doctoral research (KAIST South Korea; University of Alberta) that were transferred to industry. Trained in Pharmaceutics, Molecular Pharmacology, Immunology, he has led
large professional teams in First-In-Class and Best-In-Class Drug Discovery, Translational Preclinical Research and Early Clinical Development.

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Padmaja Ruparel

Board Member

Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.

She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune India for 2017, 2018 2019, & 2021, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.

She is Co-Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalized IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country.

Padmaja has been nominated as Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures.

She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.

Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalized the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council.

She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.

In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.

Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business.

A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).

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Sameer Wagle

Board Member

Sameer Wagle has over 26 years of Venture Capital and Operating experience in India and South East Asia. He is currently Managing Director at Asian Healthcare Fund (AHF) a Private Equity Fund focused on investing in Healthcare and Healthcare related areas.

Before joining AHF Sameer was Executive Director at Nomura Securities where he headed the Indian activities for the firm’s Private Equity division. Prior to Nomura, Sameer’s experience includes being a Partner at IL&FS Investment Managers, a 5+ year stint in Singapore in the VC space primarily with Vertex Management (a part of the Singapore Technologies / Temasek group) and being part of the early team at GVFL Limited, one of the first Indian Venture Capital firms.

Earlier Sameer had operational assignments at two Indian engineering companies viz – Crompton Greaves and DGP Windsor. He is an Electrical Engineer from the University of Pune, India, an MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA Institute, US and has undergone a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Policy (Health & Life Sciences) from the Takshashila Institution

In his personal capacity, Sameer has been associated with Aavishkaar, India’s first Social Venture Capital firm and Takshashila Institution, an India focused think tank focused on public policy.

Dr. Manish Diwan

Board Member

Head – Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development, & Make In India Facilitation Cell for Biotech sector

Leading large national programs for Government of India’s efforts to nurture and empower the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem in India. Sectoral lead for National Missions especially Startup India, Make In India; contributes to Policy Reforms; Strategic collaborations including International partnerships; serves on National committees and Advisory Boards.

Leads national flagship schemes and programs of BIRAC promoting Startups, Entrepreneurs and Industry. Manages Risk Funding through Grant-in-aid, Equity, co-investments by Angels, VCs, AIFs (Fund of funds); setting up Incubation Centres for capacity building; Human Resource development through integrating a large partner pool of mentors, experts, peers and industry associations. Being a central enabler representative, contributes in Ecosystem gap identification and finding solutions. A few policy initiatives include establishment of the Technology Clusters with Pilot and manufacturing facilities for startups, Field validation for startup solutions, Access to Regulatory guidance, Scaling and Global integration through a strategic network of national and international partnerships.
Supports technology led Startups, Entrepreneurs, Incubation Centres, Knowledge Clusters of Academia and Industry enabling them to address unmet needs in the Healthcare, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Industrial biotech, Agriculture, Waste management, Clean Energy and related areas through development of globally competitive, innovative products and technologies.

He has about 27 years of global R&D experience in Pharma/ Biotech sector from discovery research to product development, Science Administration and Project Management for Industry and Academia. Before moving into Public sector in 2017, he contributed to several Clinical Drug Candidates for global drug development at Daiichi Sankyo (India), Daiichi Sankyo (Japan), Ranbaxy, Dabur and University of Alberta (Canada). Also developed technologies during doctoral (ICGEB, NII India) and post-doctoral research (KAIST South Korea; University of Alberta) that were transferred to industry. Trained in Pharmaceutics, Molecular Pharmacology, Immunology, he has led
large professional teams in First-In-Class and Best-In-Class Drug Discovery, Translational Preclinical Research and Early Clinical Development.

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Padmaja Ruparel

Board Member

Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.

She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune India for 2017, 2018 2019, & 2021, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.

She is Co-Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalized IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country.

Padmaja has been nominated as Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures.

She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.

Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalized the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council.

She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.

In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.

Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business.

A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).

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Srikant Sastri
Board Member

Srikant is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta. After a short stint in the corporate sector, he naively became an entrepreneur in the mid-90s when words like ‘start-up’ were unheard of in India. After many bruises, Srikant finally built two large services ventures. Presently, as board member at several university incubators, Srikant has a ringside view of entrepreneurship. He is also a member of several central and state government bodies for innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development.

He co-lead a task force that created (design to manufacturing) a world-class ventilator during COVID using a radical model for accelerated product development, manufacturing, and go-to-market. He mentors a range of tech & biotech startups at incubators across India.

In his day job, as the Chairman, I3G Advisory Network, he advises CEOs and owners of fast-growing organizations as a hands-on orchestrator of rapid growth. He guides them in incubating new ideas, initiatives and ventures that bring in growth. Healthcare & Education are sectors of special interest to Srikant.

Sameer Wagle

Board Member

Sameer Wagle has over 26 years of Venture Capital and Operating experience in India and South East Asia. He is currently Managing Director at Asian Healthcare Fund (AHF) a Private Equity Fund focused on investing in Healthcare and Healthcare related areas.

Before joining AHF Sameer was Executive Director at Nomura Securities where he headed the Indian activities for the firm’s Private Equity division. Prior to Nomura, Sameer’s experience includes being a Partner at IL&FS Investment Managers, a 5+ year stint in Singapore in the VC space primarily with Vertex Management (a part of the Singapore Technologies / Temasek group) and being part of the early team at GVFL Limited, one of the first Indian Venture Capital firms.

Earlier Sameer had operational assignments at two Indian engineering companies viz – Crompton Greaves and DGP Windsor. He is an Electrical Engineer from the University of Pune, India, an MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA Institute, US and has undergone a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Policy (Health & Life Sciences) from the Takshashila Institution

In his personal capacity, Sameer has been associated with Aavishkaar, India’s first Social Venture Capital firm and Takshashila Institution, an India focused think tank focused on public policy.

Dr. Manish Diwan

Board Member

Head – Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development, & Make In India Facilitation Cell for Biotech sector

Leading large national programs for Government of India’s efforts to nurture and empower the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem in India. Sectoral lead for National Missions especially Startup India, Make In India; contributes to Policy Reforms; Strategic collaborations including International partnerships; serves on National committees and Advisory Boards.

Leads national flagship schemes and programs of BIRAC promoting Startups, Entrepreneurs and Industry. Manages Risk Funding through Grant-in-aid, Equity, co-investments by Angels, VCs, AIFs (Fund of funds); setting up Incubation Centres for capacity building; Human Resource development through integrating a large partner pool of mentors, experts, peers and industry associations. Being a central enabler representative, contributes in Ecosystem gap identification and finding solutions. A few policy initiatives include establishment of the Technology Clusters with Pilot and manufacturing facilities for startups, Field validation for startup solutions, Access to Regulatory guidance, Scaling and Global integration through a strategic network of national and international partnerships.
Supports technology led Startups, Entrepreneurs, Incubation Centres, Knowledge Clusters of Academia and Industry enabling them to address unmet needs in the Healthcare, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Industrial biotech, Agriculture, Waste management, Clean Energy and related areas through development of globally competitive, innovative products and technologies.

He has about 27 years of global R&D experience in Pharma/ Biotech sector from discovery research to product development, Science Administration and Project Management for Industry and Academia. Before moving into Public sector in 2017, he contributed to several Clinical Drug Candidates for global drug development at Daiichi Sankyo (India), Daiichi Sankyo (Japan), Ranbaxy, Dabur and University of Alberta (Canada). Also developed technologies during doctoral (ICGEB, NII India) and post-doctoral research (KAIST South Korea; University of Alberta) that were transferred to industry. Trained in Pharmaceutics, Molecular Pharmacology, Immunology, he has led
large professional teams in First-In-Class and Best-In-Class Drug Discovery, Translational Preclinical Research and Early Clinical Development.

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Padmaja Ruparel

Board Member

Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.

She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune India for 2017, 2018 2019, & 2021, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.

She is Co-Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalized IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country.

Padmaja has been nominated as Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures.

She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.

Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalized the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council.

She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.

In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.

Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business.

A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).

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Arun Seth
Board Member

Arun Seth took early retirement from his corporate career to focus on bringing the benefits of IT/Telecom to real world businesses in various sectors via a innovative entrepreneurial eco system and a focus on giving back to society.

Starting as the founding MD of British Telecom, India in 1995 he built it to its current leadership position.

He had been on several co-boards like Alcatel Lucent India, BT India, Tech Mahindra, Airtel, Acme Telepower and more. He had been very active with Govt and Regulators on shaping Telecoms Policy and IT Policy and was on the founding committee for the formation of the Data Security Council of India.

Currently he is an independent director on the board of Narayana Health, Jubilant Pharmova Ltd, Sify Technologies, Usha Breco Ltd, Serviont Global Solutions Ltd, etc. He has been an active angel investor for the last 20+ years and is an active advisor and mentor to several startups based out of India and USA including Healthifyme, Fitgalaxy, Healthcubed, Nutanix USA, InMobi etc.

He co-chairs the Nasscom Product Conclave and is currently a Charter member of TiE Delhi Chapter. Active with the Indian Angel Network, he is an advisor to The IAN Fund.

He is extremely active on NGOs and Education boards including DPS Ghaziabad Society, Pahle India Foundation, Helpage India Board, NCPEDP and more.

He has served on the Board of Governors for IIM Lucknow, IIIT Delhi and TERI University. An alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta – he has worked in several senior commercial positions in the last 40+ years. He has chaired Pan IIT in 2010 and was Vice President of IIT Kanpur Alumni Association.

Srikant Sastri
Board Member

Srikant is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta. After a short stint in the corporate sector, he naively became an entrepreneur in the mid-90s when words like ‘start-up’ were unheard of in India. After many bruises, Srikant finally built two large services ventures. Presently, as board member at several university incubators, Srikant has a ringside view of entrepreneurship. He is also a member of several central and state government bodies for innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development.

He co-lead a task force that created (design to manufacturing) a world-class ventilator during COVID using a radical model for accelerated product development, manufacturing, and go-to-market. He mentors a range of tech & biotech startups at incubators across India.

In his day job, as the Chairman, I3G Advisory Network, he advises CEOs and owners of fast-growing organizations as a hands-on orchestrator of rapid growth. He guides them in incubating new ideas, initiatives and ventures that bring in growth. Healthcare & Education are sectors of special interest to Srikant.

Sameer Wagle

Board Member

Sameer Wagle has over 26 years of Venture Capital and Operating experience in India and South East Asia. He is currently Managing Director at Asian Healthcare Fund (AHF) a Private Equity Fund focused on investing in Healthcare and Healthcare related areas.

Before joining AHF Sameer was Executive Director at Nomura Securities where he headed the Indian activities for the firm’s Private Equity division. Prior to Nomura, Sameer’s experience includes being a Partner at IL&FS Investment Managers, a 5+ year stint in Singapore in the VC space primarily with Vertex Management (a part of the Singapore Technologies / Temasek group) and being part of the early team at GVFL Limited, one of the first Indian Venture Capital firms.

Earlier Sameer had operational assignments at two Indian engineering companies viz – Crompton Greaves and DGP Windsor. He is an Electrical Engineer from the University of Pune, India, an MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA Institute, US and has undergone a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Policy (Health & Life Sciences) from the Takshashila Institution

In his personal capacity, Sameer has been associated with Aavishkaar, India’s first Social Venture Capital firm and Takshashila Institution, an India focused think tank focused on public policy.

Dr. Manish Diwan

Board Member

Head – Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development, & Make In India Facilitation Cell for Biotech sector

Leading large national programs for Government of India’s efforts to nurture and empower the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem in India. Sectoral lead for National Missions especially Startup India, Make In India; contributes to Policy Reforms; Strategic collaborations including International partnerships; serves on National committees and Advisory Boards.

Leads national flagship schemes and programs of BIRAC promoting Startups, Entrepreneurs and Industry. Manages Risk Funding through Grant-in-aid, Equity, co-investments by Angels, VCs, AIFs (Fund of funds); setting up Incubation Centres for capacity building; Human Resource development through integrating a large partner pool of mentors, experts, peers and industry associations. Being a central enabler representative, contributes in Ecosystem gap identification and finding solutions. A few policy initiatives include establishment of the Technology Clusters with Pilot and manufacturing facilities for startups, Field validation for startup solutions, Access to Regulatory guidance, Scaling and Global integration through a strategic network of national and international partnerships.
Supports technology led Startups, Entrepreneurs, Incubation Centres, Knowledge Clusters of Academia and Industry enabling them to address unmet needs in the Healthcare, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Industrial biotech, Agriculture, Waste management, Clean Energy and related areas through development of globally competitive, innovative products and technologies.

He has about 27 years of global R&D experience in Pharma/ Biotech sector from discovery research to product development, Science Administration and Project Management for Industry and Academia. Before moving into Public sector in 2017, he contributed to several Clinical Drug Candidates for global drug development at Daiichi Sankyo (India), Daiichi Sankyo (Japan), Ranbaxy, Dabur and University of Alberta (Canada). Also developed technologies during doctoral (ICGEB, NII India) and post-doctoral research (KAIST South Korea; University of Alberta) that were transferred to industry. Trained in Pharmaceutics, Molecular Pharmacology, Immunology, he has led
large professional teams in First-In-Class and Best-In-Class Drug Discovery, Translational Preclinical Research and Early Clinical Development.

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Padmaja Ruparel

Board Member

Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.

She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune India for 2017, 2018 2019, & 2021, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.

She is Co-Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalized IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country.

Padmaja has been nominated as Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures.

She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.

Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalized the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council.

She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.

In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.

Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business.

A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).

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Arjun Malhotra
Patron

A pioneer of the Indian IT industry, Mr. Malhotra served as Chairman of Headstrong’s Board of Directors before its acquisition by Genpact in May 2011. Prior to Headstrong he was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of TechSpan, which merged with Headstrong in October 2003.

Mr. Malhotra has a long string of entrepreneurial successes. He co-founded the HCL group in 1975, taking it from a six-person “garage operation” to one of India’s largest Information Technology corporations. The first leading Indian entrepreneur to relocate to USA, Mr. Malhotra took over HCL’s US operations (now known as HCL Technologies) in 1989 and grew it to nearly $100 million annual revenues. In 1992 he ran the HCL-HP joint venture in India, and in 1996 he set up and ran the joint venture with Deluxe Corporation.

Mr Malhotra is on the Board of Governors of ISB, Hyderabad and IIT (Kharagpur) Foundation. He is a past Co-Chair of the Global Pan-IIT Alumni Association. He is also a Member of IPSS and was on the Board of Governors of The Doon School. A Life Fellow of IIT Kharagpur, he has been awarded Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in September 2012. Punjab Technical University conferred an Honorary PhD on him in 2013.

He is a Charter Member of TiE, having previously served as the Chairman of their Global Board.

Mr. Malhotra studied at The Doon School, Dehradun, graduated from IIT Kharagpur with B.Tech. (Hons.) in Electronics & Electrical Communication Engineering and received the Dr. B.C. Roy Gold Medal. In 1985, he attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

He was awarded the Albert Einstein Technology Medal for 2001. The Institution of Engineers (India) has named Mr. Malhotra an Eminent Engineering Personality. For his contributions to the Indian IT Industry, he got the DQ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award.

He is presently an Advisor in a number of start-ups in Education and healthcare space

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Arun Seth
Board Member

Arun Seth took early retirement from his corporate career to focus on bringing the benefits of IT/Telecom to real world businesses in various sectors via a innovative entrepreneurial eco system and a focus on giving back to society.

Starting as the founding MD of British Telecom, India in 1995 he built it to its current leadership position.

He had been on several co-boards like Alcatel Lucent India, BT India, Tech Mahindra, Airtel, Acme Telepower and more. He had been very active with Govt and Regulators on shaping Telecoms Policy and IT Policy and was on the founding committee for the formation of the Data Security Council of India.

Currently he is an independent director on the board of Narayana Health, Jubilant Pharmova Ltd, Sify Technologies, Usha Breco Ltd, Serviont Global Solutions Ltd, etc. He has been an active angel investor for the last 20+ years and is an active advisor and mentor to several startups based out of India and USA including Healthifyme, Fitgalaxy, Healthcubed, Nutanix USA, InMobi etc.

He co-chairs the Nasscom Product Conclave and is currently a Charter member of TiE Delhi Chapter. Active with the Indian Angel Network, he is an advisor to The IAN Fund.

He is extremely active on NGOs and Education boards including DPS Ghaziabad Society, Pahle India Foundation, Helpage India Board, NCPEDP and more.

He has served on the Board of Governors for IIM Lucknow, IIIT Delhi and TERI University. An alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta – he has worked in several senior commercial positions in the last 40+ years. He has chaired Pan IIT in 2010 and was Vice President of IIT Kanpur Alumni Association.

Srikant Sastri
Board Member

Srikant is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Calcutta. After a short stint in the corporate sector, he naively became an entrepreneur in the mid-90s when words like ‘start-up’ were unheard of in India. After many bruises, Srikant finally built two large services ventures. Presently, as board member at several university incubators, Srikant has a ringside view of entrepreneurship. He is also a member of several central and state government bodies for innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development.

He co-lead a task force that created (design to manufacturing) a world-class ventilator during COVID using a radical model for accelerated product development, manufacturing, and go-to-market. He mentors a range of tech & biotech startups at incubators across India.

In his day job, as the Chairman, I3G Advisory Network, he advises CEOs and owners of fast-growing organizations as a hands-on orchestrator of rapid growth. He guides them in incubating new ideas, initiatives and ventures that bring in growth. Healthcare & Education are sectors of special interest to Srikant.

Sameer Wagle

Board Member

Sameer Wagle has over 26 years of Venture Capital and Operating experience in India and South East Asia. He is currently Managing Director at Asian Healthcare Fund (AHF) a Private Equity Fund focused on investing in Healthcare and Healthcare related areas.

Before joining AHF Sameer was Executive Director at Nomura Securities where he headed the Indian activities for the firm’s Private Equity division. Prior to Nomura, Sameer’s experience includes being a Partner at IL&FS Investment Managers, a 5+ year stint in Singapore in the VC space primarily with Vertex Management (a part of the Singapore Technologies / Temasek group) and being part of the early team at GVFL Limited, one of the first Indian Venture Capital firms.

Earlier Sameer had operational assignments at two Indian engineering companies viz – Crompton Greaves and DGP Windsor. He is an Electrical Engineer from the University of Pune, India, an MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the CFA Institute, US and has undergone a Graduate Certificate Program in Public Policy (Health & Life Sciences) from the Takshashila Institution

In his personal capacity, Sameer has been associated with Aavishkaar, India’s first Social Venture Capital firm and Takshashila Institution, an India focused think tank focused on public policy.

Dr. Manish Diwan

Board Member

Head – Strategic Partnership & Entrepreneurship Development, & Make In India Facilitation Cell for Biotech sector

Leading large national programs for Government of India’s efforts to nurture and empower the Biotech Innovation Ecosystem in India. Sectoral lead for National Missions especially Startup India, Make In India; contributes to Policy Reforms; Strategic collaborations including International partnerships; serves on National committees and Advisory Boards.

Leads national flagship schemes and programs of BIRAC promoting Startups, Entrepreneurs and Industry. Manages Risk Funding through Grant-in-aid, Equity, co-investments by Angels, VCs, AIFs (Fund of funds); setting up Incubation Centres for capacity building; Human Resource development through integrating a large partner pool of mentors, experts, peers and industry associations. Being a central enabler representative, contributes in Ecosystem gap identification and finding solutions. A few policy initiatives include establishment of the Technology Clusters with Pilot and manufacturing facilities for startups, Field validation for startup solutions, Access to Regulatory guidance, Scaling and Global integration through a strategic network of national and international partnerships.
Supports technology led Startups, Entrepreneurs, Incubation Centres, Knowledge Clusters of Academia and Industry enabling them to address unmet needs in the Healthcare, Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Industrial biotech, Agriculture, Waste management, Clean Energy and related areas through development of globally competitive, innovative products and technologies.

He has about 27 years of global R&D experience in Pharma/ Biotech sector from discovery research to product development, Science Administration and Project Management for Industry and Academia. Before moving into Public sector in 2017, he contributed to several Clinical Drug Candidates for global drug development at Daiichi Sankyo (India), Daiichi Sankyo (Japan), Ranbaxy, Dabur and University of Alberta (Canada). Also developed technologies during doctoral (ICGEB, NII India) and post-doctoral research (KAIST South Korea; University of Alberta) that were transferred to industry. Trained in Pharmaceutics, Molecular Pharmacology, Immunology, he has led
large professional teams in First-In-Class and Best-In-Class Drug Discovery, Translational Preclinical Research and Early Clinical Development.

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Padmaja Ruparel

Board Member

Padmaja Ruparel is nationally recognized as a key player in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has helped co found many of the relevant institutions, besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies.

She has been awarded as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ by Fortune India for 2017, 2018 2019, & 2021, is listed in Forbes India’s W- Power Trailblazers and “30 Most Powerful Women in India” by Business Today for 3 years running. The Women Economic Forum recognized her with its “Women of the Decade in Investment Banking” award.

She is Co-Founder & President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and now possibly one of the world’s largest group of business angels, comprising the who’s who of successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She built IAN from inception, making it within 15 years a unique institution globally, with close to 500 investors across 10 countries and a portfolio of ~200 companies in 7 countries, spanning 17 sectors. She has operationalized IAN’s international operations in London – making it the only angel group in the world to set up operations outside of its home country.

Padmaja has been nominated as Co-Chair of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). She is a member of the National Expert Advisory Committee on Innovation, Incubation and Technology Entrepreneurship. She is a member of several committees of BIRAC (Dept. of Biotech, Govt. of India), various committees of Ministry of Finance, DPIIT, & SEBI. Padmaja is a member of the Executive Council of IVCA (Indian Venture Capital Association).

Padmaja is the Senior Managing Partner of the IAN Fund I, a uniquely differentiated Fund which along with IAN, is set to create the largest horizontal platform in India for investing in seed and early stage ventures.

She is a member of the Governing Council of EM3 Services, a nation building venture seeking to create a paradigm shift in the Indian agricultural sector by improving productivity. Padmaja is an Independent Director on the Boards of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd. & Ester Industries Ltd.

Apart from cofounding IAN, she also set up and operationalized the Delhi chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) the world’s largest organization focused on entrepreneurship with over 16,000 members across more than 60 chapters across 14 countries. She also established a unique model of an incubator, in partnership with the Indian Government, leveraging 400 mentors to provide mentoring & domain expertise to around 50 young fledgling incubatee companies. She played a key role as Executive Director in building the Indian Venture Capital Association, India’s oldest and largest association of VC and PE firms. Currently, she is a member of IVCA’s Limited Partners Council.

She helped the creation of Lankan Angel Network in Sri Lanka. She contributed actively in the Planning Commission’s Committee on “Angel & Early Stage Investing in India” which resulted in a seminal report: “Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Eco system in India”.

In her corporate avatar at Xansa India, (Xansa was a US$800mn company listed on LSE before being acquired by Steria), she led several functions over a 16 year period : handled recruitment operations, built and successfully executed an innovative brand and communication strategy and led the corporate social responsibility initiative which engaged employees, clients as also the government. She was a key member of the corporate strategy and M&A team as the Company went public, forged joint ventures and the final acquisition of the Indian company.

Padmaja picked up entrepreneurial strings very early in her career – she revived and grew the family real estate business in Calcutta – growing if from 50,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft over 2 years and turned it around to become a profitable business.

A graduate with English Honours, Padmaja then completed her MBA as well as Chartered Accountancy (Intermediate) with her internship with S.R. Batliboi (an E&Y group company).

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