Group Captain (Retd.) Ajey Lele is Senior Fellow in the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and heads its Centre on Strategic Technologies. He is a recipient of K. Subrahmanyam Award (2013) for his outstanding contribution in strategic and security studies.
Arindam Basu (Aurie) acts as a Sustainability Consultant and Business Development manager - to help companies identify opportunities, mitigate risks, prepare for regulatory changes, and contribute to the targets set under international frameworks and other globally accepted "standards" enacted to address Climate Change risks..
Ambassador Ashok K. Kantha is the eminent Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi. A Distinguished Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation, he was Ambassador of India to China until January 2016 and Secretary (East) at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi with responsibility for about 65 countries in India’s extended neighbourhood.
Dr. Biswajit Dhar is Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, JNU and is a Ph.D. in Economics. He was Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries; Professor and Head, Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade; and Senior Consultant, Planning Commission.
Shri Nadupalli Sridhar is the Chairman and Managing Director of Sankhya Infotech Limited since December 1, 2005. He was Chairman at Sankhya Infotech Ltd. since September 2010 and has served as a Whole-Time Director since July 21,1997.. He was associated with Comptex Management Consultants, Hyderabad. He was the first person outside the US and Europe to be elected to the prestigious defence body called Global Offsets and Counter Trade Association in 2006 and since then he is a member of this prestigious world body. Shri Sridhar has been advising governments and industries on offsets. He particularly worked with Govts. of Malaysia, Israel and Turkey on offsets. Shri Sridhar was closely involved in the drafting of the recommendations of the Banking of Offsets clause for the Government of India and participated in several Government of India review meetings on offsets.
Shri Kohli is the Chairman of Araina Group of companies with business interests in Information Technology, Defence and Clean Technologies. He is Chairman of Indiasoft- Globalsoft Committee of Electronics & Software Export Promotion Council and a Member of the Governing Council of Software Technologies Parks of India (STPI). He is the former Chairman of Electronics & Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) and had been a Member of the Prime Minister’s IT Task Force.
Dr Nivedita Haran joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1980 and has held senior and distinguished positions in GOI and the Govt. of Kerala. She has been responsible for many innovations in good governance, and has a stellar reputation for honesty and as an effective reformer and harbinger of modernity and change. She is heading the Ente Bhoomi Trust that takes up issues pertaining to land management for the benefit of the common people. She heads Adharshila, a school for migrant workers’ children who otherwise would remain illiterate and get them admitted to regular govt. schools.
Shri PM Heblikar retired as Special Secretary, Government of India in September 2010 after over 38 years of service. He specialized in insurgency and counter-insurgency developments in India’s northeast region and in its neighborhood. He held several important and sensitive posts in the central government dealing with external security related issues. He is now writing for security and defense related journals and leading newspapers and magazines. He is currently setting up a Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security (CoE) in Bangalore to provide training in cybersecurity to government and private sector entities and leverage domestic software and hardware to create a national template of deterrence and knowledge. He is currently Managing Trustee, Institute of Contemporary Studies Bangalore (ICSB) – a not for profit think tank specializing in security and strategic affairs. In Dec 2011, he and two other like-minded individuals started a high end next generation security consultancy company in Bangalore to help bring new synergies to the world of private security and protection and expand India’s strategic footprint. Mr. Heblikar was decorated by the Government of India for Distinguished and Meritorious Service.
Rear Admiral Rahul Shrawat is an engineering graduate from IIT Roorkee and served in the Indian Navy for 36 years. He is presently Chairman and Managing Director, Naval Group in India. Naval Group France are the collaborators for construction of Scorpene submarines in India. He joined the High-Tech Defence Innovation Forum while he was the Director General of the prestigious Weapons and Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment ( WESEE), in the Ministry of Defence and also helped launch DIIA. He was subsequently also Chairman and Managing Director, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd.
As Technical Advisor, CII, Mrs Nagpal is passionately committed to making Indian Industry internationally competitive. She has held numerous distinguished posts through her career including Deputy Director General, CII, in pursuit of her ideals and is a dedicated reformer. She worked with Smita Purushottam in the early 1990s to introduce ISO9000 and TQM concepts into India.
Head and founder of iSPIRT, Sharad is a passionate evangelist of the software product ecosystem in India. He is the co-founder and Governing Council member of iSPIRT. He is one of the movers and shakers behind India Stack. He was the Chair of NASSCOM Product Forum and a member of the Executive Council from 2009-13. He has held a number of senior executive positions with leading technology companies. Most recently he was a SVP at Yahoo! and CEO of India R&D. Previously he turned around VERITAS operations in India. He also brought AT&T/Lucent R&D to India as an intrapreneur. Sharad is also an entrepreneur. He co-founded Teltier, now part of Cisco, and is currently the CEO of BrandSigma Inc. Sharad’s personal mantra is to lead big and small companies through orbit change. Sharad is one of the active technology angel investors in India with about two dozen investments. Details at and
Ambassador Shyam Saran, senior fellow at CPR, is a former foreign secretary and has served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, and chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries. He is currently a member of the governing board of CPR, Life Trustee of the India International Centre, a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (India), a member of the National Executive of FICCI, and an independent director at the Press Trust of India. In January 2011 Shyam Saran was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour, for his contributions to civil service. He writes and speaks regularly on foreign policy, climate change, energy security, and national and international security related issues.
Dr. Smitha Francis is an eminent Economist and a Consultant at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), New Delhi. She has highlighted rarely-studied interfaces between India’s trade and FDI liberalisation and other industrial policies and their adverse impact on incentives for domestic manufacturing. Previously, she worked at the Economic Research Foundation (ERF), the Secretariat for International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs; www.networkideas.org), and at the Research and Information Systems (RIS). She has also been a Visiting Faculty at the South Asian University and Ambedkar University.
Amit Kumar Singh has occupied several key posts in the corporate world and consistently supported indigenisation. As Director-Defence/Aerospace/Security/Space, Amit’s work assisted CII’s efforts towards development of a domestic defence and aerospace industrial base.
Anjan is the founder of Taraltec Solutions Pvt Ltd(www.taraltec.com), an innovative fluid technology-based start-up, a pure science R & D centric company. Previously he was Co-founder and managing director of HyCa Technologies Pvt Ltd (www.hycator.com); Director, Proact Research & Consultancy Pvt Ltd; and India rep, UNITOR (Norwegian MNC). He is the recipient of several awards and honours.
Ashish Puntambekar is currently employed as head of Strategic Planning and Design Thinking at a Fortune 500 Company, with the main responsibility to think up New Projects and to lead the Design Thinking initiatives across all business verticals of the firm.
Prof. Aynampudi Subbarao is President of the Indian Innovators Association. He was Advisor in the Ministry of Science & Technology 9DSIR), and is Advisor/ Consultant / Mentor of IITH, VNRVJIET, Foundation for MSME Clusters, Start-up Village etc.
Ambassador Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa has been a career diplomat who joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1979 and retired in December 2015. She has served as Ambassador of India to Japan (2012-2015), Qatar (2009-2012) and Sweden (2005-2009). She was concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Latvia (from Stockholm), and Republic of the Marshall Islands (from Tokyo). During her career, she has also held other significant assignments in Geneva, Hongkong, China, The Netherlands, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of External Affairs. In the course of her career spanning over 36 years, she has handled a wide swathe of issues and subjects related to India’s relations with key countries such as Pakistan, China, and Japan; participated in international conferences and negotiations related to climate change, sustainable development, disarmament and human rights and was instrumental in the active promotion of India’s economic interests in areas of trade, technology, investments and energy security during postings in Europe, the GCC and Japan. Ms Wadhwa is currently Chairperson of the India- Japan Friendship Forum, Member Governing Council of the Institute of Chinese Studies and is on the Governing Council of the Asian Confluence based in Shillong. She also serves as independent Director and advisor on a few Boards of companies.
'Meet Karthik, He drives the Volunteers operations and is responsible for intensifying strategic and mission-driven focus across the initiatives at iSPIRT Foundation. Karthik is a graduate from Manipal University and worked earlier on Swacch Bharat Initiative, 91springboard and WeWork. His expertise includes Program Management, New Markets, Market Intelligence, Business Development, Developers Relations and Acquisitions plus Alliances'.
Shri Nakul Saxena is Director Public Policy at iSPIRT. He has over 21 years of professional experience in the Airline, Banking and Policy Advocacy in the Tech. sector, with focus on Corporate Sales, Wealth Management and Industry Policy building for Software Products and Startups. He is an evangelist for Made-In-India Software Products and contributes actively in building towards a healthy ecosystem. He is working actively with the Central Govt - MOF, SEBI, RBI, DIPP, DEITY to bring out the best policies for the Software Product Companies and Startups.
Mr. PVG Menon is the Founder and CEO of VANN Consulting Pvt. Ltd. specializing in the electronics and semiconductor sector. Mr. Menon served as the National President of a leading trade body called the India Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA) and is a Member of the India Semiconductor Manufacturing Advisory Committee (I-SMAC) of SEMI USA. He is also a Member of the Sectional Committee developing Standards for Smart Infrastructure at the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) of the Govt of India, and the Working Group for Standards for Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0. In the past, Mr. Menon has been a Founder Director of the Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) and also served on the governing council of NIELIT.
Pavithran Rajan is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy. While serving in the Army he did pioneering work in Cyber Intelligence and Information Warfare. After taking voluntary retirement in 2013, he served as an Advisor for the Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI. Pavithran Rajan is an Adjunct Faculty at the Cyber Security Research Centre; Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and serves on the Board of Advisors of the E Raksha Research Centre, Gujarat Technological University. He is considered a thought leader in Information Warfare in India and regularly writes for various publications and also advises various central and state government agencies including the Armed Forces. Pavithran Rajan also serves on the Board of two private limited companies. He is an avid trekker and collects old wooden furniture.
R. Shivaraman, PhD (Nanotechnology – Magnetic Data Storage Devices) is one of the youngest PhD’s in Nanotech in the country. Shiva co-founded Big Bang Boom Solutions, an indigenous defence solution provider and tech integrator. Big Bang Boom’s flagship product is its work on developing robotization and unmanned operations capabilities for the T-series Tanks (T-72 & T-90), India’s Main Battle Tank. Big BangBoom also works on a BN based Hybrid Chobham Armor for individual use, use of drones for Riot Control, Blockchain for Defense Supply Chain Management, etc. Big Bang Boom in association with LOADs Korea won the DAPA Korea Defence Startup Challenge 2018 with a ground breaking solution to deploy Korean government’s proprietary defence tech to create an unmanned AI based autonomous pollution monitoring platform.
Mr. Ravin Vyas returned to India after a highly successful stint in the United States to expand his family business from textile chemicals to paint and coatings, from software solutions to digital media, and from education to rural empowerment. His passion is to make India a highly developed nation and he is devoting his energies to help the youth of India acquire the highest engineering skills and accomplishments. Mr. Vyas saw an exciting opportunity in promoting Indian Armed Forces’ collaboration with Industry and Academia under Make in India. Mr. Vyas is also a practioner of RashtraYog - an ancient Indian wisdom which focuses on mentoring individuals willing to prioritize national interest over personal interests. He has been practicing and encouraging people to “spend one day per week for nation building” since the last 10 years.
Lt General Satish Nambiar is a recipient of the Vir Chakra for bravery in battle, and the Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Param Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan by the President of India on Republic Day 2009. As Director General of Military Operations (1991), he led two defence delegations for discussions with Pakistan. He was appointed the first Force Commander and Head of the United Nations forces in the former Yugoslavia he set up and ran the mission from 3rd March 1992 to 2nd March 1993.
Shoili Kanungo draws, writes, and makes comics. She is an abstract painter and blends innovative styles for her creations. Her work has been published in the Indian Quarterly (IQ) magazine, The New Enquiry, VICE, and Papercuts. She designed the SITARA Logo at the request of SITARA, and the logo for the Defence Industry & Innovators Association (DIIA), also at our request.
Ambassador (Retd) Skand Ranjan Tayal served in Indian Missions in Sofia, Warsaw, Geneva and Moscow, Johannesburg, and Houston. He was Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan and to the Republic of Korea. He was Secretary of the Indian National Commission for UNESCO during 1991-95 and served briefly as the Director in charge of IITs in the Department of Education, MHRD. Amb.Tayal was on the Board of Hindustan Shipyard Limited (Vizag) and MMTC Limited as an independent director during 2013-16 and is Vice Chairperson of the India-Republic of Korea Friendship Society. He was also Chairman of the Governing Board of Dyal Singh College in New Delhi during 2013-16. He was a Visiting professor in the Delhi University during 2013-16.
Somshubhro (Som) Pal Choudhury is currently a Partner at Bharat Innovation Fund, a new $100M+ fund focused on creating innovation and IP driven start-ups out of India. Som is an Executive Council and Board Member of Indian Electronic Semiconductor Association (IESA), Charter Member of Technology Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and co-founder and cochair of India's premium IoT conference (IoTNext).
Amjad Ali Khan is the founding Director of the International Summer School, New Delhi—an independent, six-week undergraduate program which runs in partnership with some of the most reputed universities from across the world, under the banner of the Government’s Incredible India campaign and with regular support from the Ministry of External Affairs. Concurrently, he works as the consulting head of the Esya Centre, a newly established think tank which focuses on policies pertaining to cybersecurity, online content regulation & new technologies apart from his engagement with various other entities in an advisory capacity or as a consultant on specific projects.
Anthony Prince holds several important positions as President: Smart Engineering & Designs Solutions (India) Private Ltd, Kochi, President: Indian Marine Designers Association, Chennai, Chairman: Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Cochin Chapter, President: G T R Campbell Marine Consultants Ltd, Nassau , Bahamas, and President: Algoship Designers Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas.
Ashish Sonal is the Founder & CEO of ORKASH, a ‘make in India’ cognitive-computing and AI data-sciences company. ORKASH has developed massively-scalable automated Intelligence Systems in the areas of ‘tactical operations & intelligence management’, OSINT, cyber threat intelligence, and advanced information systems for Defence and Homeland Security. Ashish been in business leadership roles with multinational companies as well as a serial entrepreneur. He is advisor to many Fortune 1000 Companies and international financial institutions for risk management needs in emerging markets. He has worked extensively with the strategic security community of India, USA and Europe post 9/11, and as an advisor for technological solutions for safe cities, homeland security, costal security and cyber threats to the highest echelons of National leadership in the Government. He is Lead Author and Advisor on public policy frameworks to the Government on i) Technology architecture for Public Safety & Security in Smart Cities, ii) Social Unrest Management through the use of Non-lethal weapons, iii) Technology Architecture for Safe Cities
Prof. Aynampudi Subbarao (A.S. Rao) is President of the Indian Innovators Association. He is encouraging Indian startups to go global and helping them by showcasing them in International Innovation Fairs. He was Advisor in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, and is serving as Advisor/ Consultant / Mentor of selected organisations- IITH, VNRVJIET, Foundation for MSME Clusters, Start-up Villages etc.
Ambassador Dilip Sinha, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1978, was India's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. He was also ambassador to Greece and has served in India’s missions in Islamabad, Dhaka, Cairo, Bonn and Brasilia. He was head of the United Nations and the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran divisions in the Ministry of External Affairs. He served in the Prime Minister's Office during the term of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao. He was also Chairman of the Manipur Public Service Commission. He is the author of Legitimacy of Power – The Permanence of Five in the Security Council.
Kamaljit Singh Jassal is a Retd Navy Commander. As Joint Director in Ministry of Defence, he was responsible for macro Perspective Planning, Acquisition and Offsets of the three Services. He joined the corporate sector and was Country Manager of a MNC and Business Head of an Indian Shipyard.
Ambassador P. S. Raghavan is Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board of India. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1979 and has held various diplomatic assignments in Moscow, Warsaw (Poland), London (UK), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Pretoria (South Africa). He was Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office (2000-4) dealing with Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Energy, Space, Defence and National Security; headed the Development Partnership Administration (2012-3); was Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (2013-14) and was India’s Ambassador to Russia, Ireland and Czech Republic. He holds a degree in Physics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi and in Electronics & Communications Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Dr. Pankaj Agarwal founder and CEO of Panitek Power AG, an investment firm, based in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and India and active in the field of cleantech, new materials and deployment of new and sustainable technologies worldwide. His recent ventures combine innovative business models with solar PV, wind energy, energy storage and smart grids to deliver Smart Energy.
Praveen Dwarakanath is the co-founder of Big Bang Boom solutions, a defence technologies startup. Praveen has an undergrad in computer science and a MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow. He started his career in sales with Reckitt Benckiser, and then moved to Hindustan Unilever. After a few years in the corporate sector; he took his plunge into Entrepreneurship - founding India's most successful Education Research Company - Accendere Knowledge. He ran this company as the CEO, and ensured a profitable exit in the stock market. He has also invested into several tech startups as a part of his personal profile.
Rajiv Mahajan is currently Senior Vice President, Sales - Tejas Networks. Rajiv Mahajan graduated from Jamia Millia Islamia and from Birla Institute of Technology. Rajiv was Regional Sales Manager at 3COM Corporation, and Chief Executive Officer at CareGain. Rajiv Mahajan joined Tejas Networks in 2005.
Co-Founder Melt Iron (AcFire Computing Pvt., Ltd), Rinka has been an architect, a Technology Director and a serial entrepreneur in his career spanning over 30 years. He has worked in various Organizations from very large such as IBM and Novell to small startups. At IBM he was one of the leaders who was involved in turning around a very large and strategic project.
As CEO & MD at Tejas Networks, Shri Nayak has created one of the few high-tech telecom hardware companies in India which has held its own against fierce international competition against companies 10 times its size. He has done this by being an outlier among Indian companies, he has invested a huge proportion of his revenues in R & D.
Shri Shambhu Singh is Special Secretary & Financial Adviser at Ministry of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, New Delhi, Delhi. Shri Shambhu Singh is an experienced and highly impactful administrator and has driven transformation in all his charges. Amongst these is the Additional Chief Secretary-ship in the Govt. of Manipur, where he looked after forest and wildlife conservation, the environment, climate change impact, adaptation and mitigation. He also held the post of Joint Secretary in Government of India.
Commodore Shekhar is Vice President of the Aerospace Industry Development Association of Tamil Nadu (AIDAT) and is working on the proposed Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor. He established the Chennai Chapter of the National Maritime Foundation, and is the convener of the Blue Economy Strategic Thought Forum (BEST For India). He is the co- Founder, along with Dr Rao Tatavarti, of the Centre for Advancement of Science, Technology, Law and Engineering (CASTLE)
Smita Purushottam served as Ambassador to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Holy See and Venezuela, and in India’s Berlin, London, Beijing and Brussels missions. Convinced that India needs a technology revolution for genuine advancement and national welfare, she founded a new Do Tank “SITARA”, a Science, Indigenous Technology and Advanced Research Accelerator, to promote indigenisation of high-tech production and building a Science Nation in India.
Sujeet belongs to the 1994 exam batch of Indian Railways Service of Electrical. Currently he serves as Chief Design Engineer (Electrical) for Diesel Locomotive Works, the flagship locomotive manufacturing unit of Indian Railways, assisting in transition of the unit to manufacture the latest generation of electric locomotives. He has been instrumental in assimilation and further development of a new generation of motive power components.
Zorawar Daulet Singh is a brilliant author and foreign affairs analyst. He is a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. He is also an Adjunct Fellow with the Institute of Chinese Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the Forum for Strategic Initiative. His recent books include India China Relations: The Border Issue and Beyond and Chasing the Dragon: Will India Catch up with China? Zorawar's forthcoming book, Power and Diplomacy: India’s Foreign Policies during the Cold War is being published.