Board Members

Satya Narayan

member

Satya Narayanan R. is an Indian entrepreneur, teacher, and founder of CL Educate, formerly Career Launcher. He serves as a Member of Advisory Board at YourNest Angel Fund. In 2009, Satya received the Karmaveer Puraskaar from iCONGO and the most promising entrepreneur award at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards.

Satya graduated from St. Stephen’s College, with a B. Sc. in Computer Science. He then joined the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, completing his MBA 1993. Started with a program to train IIM aspirants’ for group discussion and personal interview training, Satya has built a publicly listed company with products for test prep, vocational training, content development, as well as K-12 schools. CL Educate made its initial public offering on the Bombay Stock Exchange in March 2017.

Zach George

member

Zach George spent seven years as an investment banker on Wall Street with Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital before founding Cactus Advisors - a specialist venture capital and business advisory firm based in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2015, Cactus Advisors created and managed the first ever corporate tech accelerator program in Africa – the Barclays Tech Lab Africa program designed to discover, nurture and empower the next generation of technology innovators in Africa, and subsequently managed the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s incubator and accelerator program

Zach is an Angel Investor and advisor to numerous African start-ups and SMEs and is a co-Managing Director for Startupbootcamp Africa – one of the world’s leading accelerator programs.

Zach was formerly an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital New York where he covered Mergers & Acquisitions, IPOs, Risk Management and Strategic Corporate Finance. Prior to his Wall St career, at the age of 22, Zach got his M.S. in Management Science from Stanford University specializing in Corporate Finance. He is a Mechanical Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology and a member of MENSA - the Global High IQ society. He has lived and worked in the Middle East, California, New York, India, South Africa, and Kenya

Baljinder Sharma

member

Baljinder Sharma graduated in 1989 with a degree in electrical, electronics and communication engineering from the National Institute of Technology, India and worked for HCL Ltd, a leading information technology services group. After a short but fruitful career in the IT services industry, he has since been involved in building entrepreneurial ventures in the education, technology, investment banking and telecommunication industry for the last 25 years. He is presently an investor in four companies and Board Member of two global private equity funds. He is based in Mauritius and has extensively worked in the India-Africa corridor over the last twenty years.

Rajiv Servansingh

member

Rajiv Servansingh served as the chairman of MindAfrica Group before taking over as the Managing Director of the State Trading Corporation of Mauritius. He has a lengthy experience in the public and private sector. Mr. Servansingh was elected member of the parliament from 1976-1982. He gave up active politics and engaged in business and consultancy/advisory services. He is currently involved in the Casino industry, Real Estate, Investment Promotion between India and Mauritius and Eastern and Southern African countries

Padmaja Ruparel

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 like TiE, IVCA, IAN incubator besides being an active Angel investor herself. Her operating experience spans large corporates, M&A, and startups/early stage companies. She has cofounded IAN, the world’s largest angel investor group with over 450 investors from around the globe, with 135+ investments across 7 countries with 32% IRR. And now as the Founding Partner of the IAN Fund, she is well on her way to create India’s largest horizontal platform.

Tomi Davies

member

Tomi Davies has over the last two decades spearheaded angel investing across the African continent and has worked with and supported hundreds of entrepreneurs who have created millions of dollars in economic value for the region. As a thought leader with increasing knowledge gained from nurturing entrepreneurs in a growing portfolio of tech-enabled early-stage business ventures originating from Africa, Tomi’s personal mission is “to help drive Africa’s development by supporting young entrepreneurs using innovation and technology to create social impact and economic value.”

He is Chairman of TextNigeria (Telecoms) and Non-Executive Director at MBO Capital (Private Equity) and Big Cabal Media (Media & Entertainment). He is a member of the Lagos State Science, Research & Innovation Council (LASRIC) and sits on the board of Laptops4Learning (L4L) Nigeria, the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), and the Global Business Angels Network (GBAN).

Mr Yaduvendra Mathur

Mr Yaduvendra Mathur was the Chairman and MD of the EXIM Bank of India for many years. Before that he worked for the World Bank and the AfDB in Ivory Coast.Mr. Yaduvendra Mathur, retired Additional Secretary in NITIAayog, Government of India. He is the ex Chairman of EXIM Bank and now the Chairman of Consulting Engineers Group (CEG - India’s largest private civill engineering consulting firm)

A First Class Graduate in Economics and an MBA in Finance, Mr.YaduvendraMathur is also the Chairman and Managing Director, Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and an Indian Administrative Service Officer of the 1986 batch. He has worked in various positions including Principal Secretary Finance, Government of Rajasthan, Assistant to the Executive Director (representing India, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland) of the African Development Bank in Cote d'Ivoire and Tunisia and several other distinguished positions. He was appointed as the Additional Secretary in NITI Aayog in 2016. NITI Aayog or the National Institution for Transforming India is a Government of India policy think-tank established by the Narendra Modi government, with an aim to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India

Rahul Sharma

member

Rahul Sharma, a prominent media, policy, corporate communications and public affairs expert, is managing director of APCO Worldwide in India. He has over three decades of experience in multiple sectors across India, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE.

Prior to joining APCO Mr. Sharma held a variety of leadership roles across the communications, business and policy sectors. He most recently served as deputy secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, president of Rediffusion Communications and president of Genesis Burson-Marsteller’s public affairs practice in India and South Asia.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from the University of Rajasthan, masters’ degrees in International Trade and Economy from Flinders University and a post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi

Mr Paritosh Gupta

Mr Paritosh Gupta is a key business leader and strategist with over 34 years of experience in leading, developing, financing and delivering infrastructure projects across various sectors, under Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework with extensive exposure to business partnerships with international agencies and Governments.

He is the founder CEO of KPDC and was part of a Task Force formed in 2013 for strategizing, partners’ selection and setting up of the Company.

His key areas of expertise include development and management of infrastructure projects in the areas of transport, special economic zones, energy, urban & industrial infrastructure, structured infrastructure financing and private equity. His major specialization is in the areas of Structured Infrastructure Financing and Private Equity.

Ramesh Awtaney

member

Ramesh Awtaney a dynamic entrepreneur, an Indo-African business magnate, investor, and philanthropist has deep business interests across Africa and the Middle East. He carries more than 28 years of rich experience in global technology, market development and business process outsourcing across Telecom Providers and other Verticals.

Under his leadership, iSON has become one of the leading centers of IT and ITes excellence and has acquired a pan-African footprint with presence in over 25 African countries. Staffed with over 12,500 employees across Africa and the Middle East in 29 countries, iSON has secured various people awards including the Great Place To Work (GPTW) organization’s award, under the Bright Spot category for ‘Best Practices’ and exceptional ‘CSR’. In addition, Ramesh was conferred with the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Champion in Biz Awards during the 2016 ASSOCHAM India Africa Trade and Investment Forum.

Awtaney is the best-known entrepreneurs of the “Digital Africa” revolution and has invested in African startup Oliza in Kenya and is anchoring Mondo Ride’s expansion plan in East Africa. An entrepreneurial advocation to the budding startups in Mobile apps and the Internet of Things (IoT) areas such as Athena, u2opia, and Ventus. Ericsson, and ABB in ASEAN and APAC regions, where he initiated several high-value business models.

Vuyisa Qabaka

member

Vuyisa Qabaka is a Tech and Small Business Advisor. He holds a directorship at venture builder, Entrepreneur Traction, and non-executive director seat at the South African Black Entrepreneurs Forum (SABEF).

Past projects have included setting up creative business strategies and innovation spaces, as well as consulting at executive committee level, with a focus bringing disruptive market positioning, offbeat social impact initiative and ecosystem development. Being involved with numerous companies and projects over the years, Vuyisa has build up extensive experience in corporate communications, business innovation, business development and marketing.

Vuyisa completed a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) Degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Property Analysis at the University of Cape Town. His journey into entrepreneurship already started as a 2nd-year student when he was involved with launching a student magazine and selling life insurance on campus. This is also where he developed a love for media

His column in the Business Times paper is weekly a massive hit. He also writes a blog on the township economy called Kasi Economics {read more at www.kasieconomics.com} and mentors start-ups in various townships for the Kasi2Kasi initiative. But his media talents extend further than just writing. He is the television host/presenter of Business Beat on Cape Town TV (DStv Channel 263).

Stephen Newton

member

Stephen Newton is a Member of Advisory Board at Africa.com, LLC. He has spent close to a decade growing and leading successful and profitable online companies. Mr. Newton served as vice president and managing director of InMobi Africa, the world’s largest mobile advertising platform. He took this position after he had led Google South Africa, where he launched local versions of Google Maps and StreetView as well as YouTube. Mr. Newton began his career as a general manager and part of the founding team of Hitwise UK. He helped the organization more than double its employees, customers and revenues, and consistently over-achieved company revenue targets in one of the group’s most profitable divisions. His efforts were pivotal in the eventual sale of Hitwise to the consumer information company, Experian. Post-Hitwise, Mr. Newton served as the vice president of DoubleClick’s Ad Exchange covering the Europe, Middle East and African markets (EMEA).

In the Google acquisition of DoubleClick, he took on the role of head of analytics & commerce EMEA, where he was responsible for the Google Analytics product (GA) and growing the third party GA proposition. A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Newton received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and his JD from Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles

Craig McLeod

member

Craig McLeod was previously CEO of Grotech Venture Capital fund and brings great experience having raised and led a VC fund before. He is currently CEO and Co-Founder of Get Build, a PaaS Website builder, and has forged strong partnerships with Google, 2Checkout, Microsoft, Facebook and many more. He also sits on the emeritus boards of a number of startups, as well as serving as mentor to a number of hubs, VC funds and incubators.

Previous highlights include having worked for Mark Shuttleworth, written an online bank, security consulting to governments, and UX design as one of the world’s top selling template authors. His last start-up co-founded with a Canadian partner prior to build was founded on $4000, and went on to a make 6000% return per annum.

He can also be found out and about speaking on Startups, Agile, UX Design, Information security, and has previously spoken at many events sponsored by the likes of Microsoft, Pearson, Amex, Adobe and others. Craig is passionate about mentoring, start-up’s and business partnerships.

Sandeep Khapre

Sandeep Khapre is the administrative CEO of BDO EA’s mainland African Offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. BDO EA is a part of a single multi-country entity that is headquartered in Mauritius and also includes offices in Madagascar and Seychelles. This sub-regional entity of BDO employs 800 professionals across 8 African countries. Sandeep started his consultancy career over 20 years ago in the area of Strategy Implementation at DCDM - Arthur Andersen. He also successfully worked in diverse areas such as Technology Consulting, Development Consulting and Transaction Advisory services. His sectoral expertise is in Financial Services, Government and International Financial Institutions, Hospitality and Agribusiness

Prior to working in Consulting, he worked in the industry at several senior positions for ten years, focusing on strategic planning, design and implementation of emerging technology solutions, marketing and operations. Sandeep has been to more than fifty-five countries for varying durations of time and is geared to handle local, regional and international challenges.

Akshay Grover

member

Akshay Grover is currently the CEO at Cellulant with the responsibility for driving the strategic direction and expansion of the business across Africa.

Prior to Cellulant, Akshay held multiple C-level positions at iSON, a diversified group with a presence in 30+ countries and 25000+ employees in the MEA and Asia Pacific region. During his stint at iSON, Akshay led the restructuring of its technology business, enabled multiple rounds of private equity capital raise for the BPO business and drove the expansion of the group into the ME, North and South Africa regions via multiple acquisitions. Akshay also played a vital role in evangelizing iSON tower – a newly created digital infrastructure platform in the south east Asia region. In his capacity as the Chief Investment Officer for iSON – Akshay co-led the creation, definition and execution of the investment strategy of ISONs technology investment arm – ‘i3’

Prior to ISON, Akshay spent 10+ years in investment banking at Ernst & Young and leading investments at the USD4bn+ TMT investment arm of Dubai Holding. During this tenure he has closed transactions in excess of USD 5bn.

A management graduate with specialization in Finance from one of India’s premier business schools, Akshay was selected by a leading credit rating agency as the ‘CRISIL Young Thought Leader’ and was identified amongst the top 15 ‘Leaders’ across the country by the Indian Institute of Management.

Vishal Sehgal

Vishal Sehgal is the Managing Director of Nischay Educorp. Earlier, he was the Head of Corporate Relations for a Large Multinational. In this position he led the external relationships for the company including relations with the government and related institutions, media and other stakeholders.

Mr. Sehgal is an experienced professional having worked in the areas of telecom, manufacturing, policy, consulting, banking and finance. He started his career with a telecom manufacturing firm and then worked at senior positions with a major Financial Institution among others. He has also worked with non-profits in areas of microfinance and education. He was the founding program coordinator of Pratham Delhi Education Initiate – amongst the largest education NGOs in the country.

Mr. Sehgal is an Electrical Engineer and an MBA. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) from the Kennedy School at Harvard University, USA. He won the prestigious Joint Japan World Bank Scholarship to attend the program. At Harvard, he was an elected member of the Harvard Graduate Council. He was also the winner of the Harvard Business School Business Plan Competition (Social Enterprise).

Subhashish Mazumdar

Subhashish Mazumdar is currently a Consulting Business Director and Senior Advisor to Digital TV Content/OTT content, Film Content Platforms and EdTech Startups in India. He has been intensely involved in Digital Media and Entertainment Services in the TV industry, and the new era Film/Content industry for the last 17 years; primarily for Digital distribution in all digital platforms.

He has been a Taskforce Member under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), Government of India for Digitalization of TV sector for 8 years. Was also a Task Force member for the launching of the 32 Educational Digital channels “Swayam Prabha “under the Ministry of HRD (Education), Government of India. He has successfully handled various Senior Leadership roles in Digital Media-Distribution and Content Strategy in almost all business and management functions of Marketing, Sales, Profit Centre Head, SBU Head, Branding, Digital Marketing, Customer Management, BPO services, Operations, PR & Communication and Regulatory Business policy in coordination with TRAI and MIB

He is a CXO level Top Management Professional in India and has worked in Senior Leadership roles in Hinduja Group, Tata Group, and Multinationals for over 31 years in diverse sectors of- Digital Media, TV and Film Contents & Convergence, Higher Education/EdTech, Retail Finance, and FMCG

Subhashish is also a Post Graduate in Management (MBA)from India’s premier management Institute -Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad (IIM-A)

Atul Chaturvedi

Atul Chaturvedi is an accomplished executive with domestic and international experience in operations, P&L oversight, multichannel product distribution, and marketing involving both start-up and mature organizations. Results-oriented, decisive leader with proven success in new market identification and launch and strategic positioning for multimillion-dollar telecommunications and consumer electronics organizations. Sustained track record of increasing sales and growing bottom line while spearheading operational improvements to drive productivity and reduce costs. Excel in dynamic, demanding environments while remaining pragmatic and focused. Led and motivated national teams comprised of more than 1,100 employees and managed P&L for business divisions exceeding $400 million revenue.

Become a Member of the India-Africa Entrepreneurship Forum

designed and developed byBRAND BALANCE