Sundeep Vira is a Chicago-based social entrepreneur and Chief Operating Officer for The Academy Group, which seeks to change America’s future by building a national pipeline of young leaders from underserved communities. Vira is also scaling sustainable clean water solutions for excess Arsenic and Fluoride removal, with an international consortium of partners in India. Vira serves on the board of Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust (GIFT), advisory board for Sattva Consulting and member of the INREM Foundation. Prior work in the social impact sector spans five years in projects in Cambodia, India, Nepal and Vietnam. Previously, Vira had a successful 20-year career in financial investment management, including 14 years with Nuveen Investments and subsidiary NWQ Investment Management, 3 years with family office Oclaner and 4 years with Morgan Stanley. Vira has an MBA with the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, where he currently serves as teaching coach for the Global Social Impact Practicum (GSIP) course.
Nagaraja (Naga) Prakasam is a versatile and passionate leader with 26 years of global experience (a decade in the USA and a decade+ in India). As a full time angel investor, he has invested in 21 start-ups, serves 12 boards, has seen 5 exits 1 write-off. He spearheaded Impact thinking in Indian Angel Network and co-founded IAN Impact. His personal mantra is “Start-ups should focus on India’s strength – people, problems, tech”.
He believes in a hands on approach and travels extensively in rural areas understanding the need first hand. He is sought after as a thought leader in the impact space and has inspired many students as a motivational speaker in a number of colleges.
Featured by Forbes magazine as Social investor engineering social change. Delivered C.K.Prahalad memorial lecture at WorldCoCreationDay. Chaired “Green Revolution 2.0 – Food Security and the role of innovation” at 10th CII Innovation Summit. Spoke at launch of Bank of Innovations and Ideas (BII) by Ministry of Rural Development along with Dr.Abdul Kalam. Awarded “Successful Person 2015/Vetri Tamilar” by Sangam4, Chennai. Proud to join CM of Rajasthan to unveil the state startup policy.
Partner at Acumen – New York based $100M impact venture fund and serves as an independent director in one of its portfolio company, Guardian – a micro finance venture working in Water and Sanitation. Founder Chairman of Native Angels Network (NAN) by Nativelead foundation (NLF) – enables entrepreneurship in non-metros of Tamilnadu, with the vision to Enable, Nurture, Incubate, Invest. NAN grown into 220 angels in Madurai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Erode, Tuticorin, Karur, Tirunelveli with 6 investments, touching 120 startups, 37 colleges.
Advisor and Mentor-in-Residence at NSRCEL, IIMB; Investment Committee, IIT Madras Incubator; Mentor at CIIE, IIMA; Board Member, Madurai Agri-Business Incubator, TNAU-NABARD.
Expert jury panel at Karnataka Government Elevate, Forbes 30 under 30.
Advisor – aIdea, NAARM Agri Incubator; Startup Oasis; Change Alliance; VIT – TBI; CARE School of Business, Trichy; IIHR-Bangalore.
21 Investments: Carbon Masters, Nativespecial, Neurosynaptic, Lumiere Organic, Guardian (exited), SP Robotics, Saahas, Freshworld (series A), Uniphore (series B, partial exit), GoCoOp (series A), Happy Hens, Rain Stock, Sattva Consulting, GramVaani (merged with OnMobile), Consure (series A) , Orangescape, Gamiana (exited), Stayzilla (partially exited), UnBxd (exited), Druva (series D), Solaron (exited).
15 boards: Carbon Masters – Waste to bio-CNG/Organic fertilizer, Neurosynaptic – telemedicine; Enabling access to quality and affordable healthcare to masses in rural and remote areas through technology, GoCoOp – online market place for co-operatives, Uniphore – voice recognition for 60+ languages and 100+ dialects. Pushes valuable information to 45Lakhs farmers a day. Freshworld – Farm to Home vegetables using cleantech smart carts. Saahas – Zero Waste Management; recycling 30 tons of waste a day. Rain Stock – affordable RWH, Gray/Black water recycling in Madurai, Guardian, SP Robotics, Lumiere Organic, Sattva Consulting, Happy Hens, Madurai Agri Incubator – TNAU-Nabard, Industree Skills Transform, Nativelead Foundation
Served as President of Atlanta and San Diego Chapters for the Association for India’s Development (AID). AID received Times of India Social Impact award in 2011 from the Prime Minister.
Earlier in his career, as President of CDC Software (world’s 12th largest enterprise software company) South & Southeast Asia, managed sales and India Engineering Centre of Excellence. During the 16 years tenure, grew from Systems Engineer to President involved in growing the company from $50M to $400M with ups and downs. At the age of 35, youngest executive to be given country head responsibilities. Intrapreneurial culture that he inculcated made the company to be shortlisted for prestigious NExT Practices Award for “Promoting Innovation & Entrepreneurship” by NASSCOM.
Currently residing in Bangalore, Naga holds a B.E. degree from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India and an MBA degree from the San Diego/Kennesaw State University, United States.
Vanita Viswanath has been a development sector practitioner and social entrepreneur for over 20 years. She is the former CEO of Udyogini, a non-profit that focuses on business services such as training, marketing support, financial linkages and end-to-end solutions from mobilization to market for poor women in socially secluded areas of India. Prior to joining Udyogini in 2000, Vanita worked with the World Bank in Washington DC during which time she was instrumental in conceptualizing and spearheading the World Bank Institute promoted Women’s Enterprise Management Training Outreach Program.Vanita did her MA and MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a PhD at the University of Texas, Austin, USA.
Sanjeev works with projects seeking to enable social impact through corporate involvement for sustainable business models in India. He has experience with the Boston Consulting Group, Alstom and Gateway to India, looking at the development and transfer of technology from France to India as well as developing business in both the American and Asian regions.
Sanjeev is a Telecom Engineer with an MBA from INSEAD. He is also one of the Trade Commissioners of France in India and is a visiting professor at EM Lyon.
Aarti brings strong expertise in creating, developing and publishing insights and content products centred around social impact and sustainability to reach diverse audiences. She has worked with multiple stakeholders in the social impact, sustainability, corporate, social sector, and the content, design, research and communications domain.
She has contributed to various publications including The Alternative, Women’s Web, Teacher Plus, Parent Circle and Deccan Chronicle. Aarti is a graduate from BITS Pilani and is an Alumnus of the IIM-Bangalore Management Program for Women Entrepreneurs (MPWE)
Rathish has extensive experience in conceptualising and implementing strategic large-scale solutions in social impact sector. He has contributed significantly at governmental policy level in education and skill development.
Rathish has also spent a decade working at SAP across their engineering, product management and corporate strategy divisions. He is a graduate from BITS Pilani.
Krishna looks at the overall growth and strategic direction of Sattva. He has worked with senior management teams of leading non-profits, social enterprises, corporate and funders to make their social impact initiatives sustainable and scalable.
He has also worked with Dell R&D, Longhouse Consulting and multiple non-profits, as well as been on the advisory board of non-profits and social organisations. He is a graduate from BITS Pilani and INSEAD.