Andrew Fleming has made himself a familiar name in the city of Hyderabad, thanks to his wholehearted mingling and participating in the local customs and celebrations. A strong believer in the power of community, he has lent his voice and support on projects on interfaith, countering violence against women, human trafficking, child sexual abuse, fake news and youth empowerment, apart from his role as British Deputy High Commissioner Hyderabad to promote business and trade between the UK and India’s Telugu region.
Sindhoora Yalla is an Interaction Designer with a background in psychology and sociology. A great believer and practitioner of empathy, she dreams of creating and living in a cruelty-free world, for people and animals alike. Her optimism has helped her through at many crossroads in life, converting barriers into opportunities.
Dr Venkatramana Vijay is as comfortable manoeuvring controls in a cockpit as he is wielding a scalpel in a surgery. Truly a frontline warrior in the face of the current pandemic, he has been flying emergency supplies all over the world in a Boeing 747, on the days he is not on his duty at the hospital saving lives as a cardiothoracic surgeon. A connoisseur of art and relics, he also collects antique cars and pre-war German motorcycles.
Prof P. J. Narayanan is a familiar name and face in the technology city of Hyderabad. An IIT Kharagpur and University of Maryland alumnus, he has an enviable career track with Carnegie Mellon University, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bangalore before he joined IIIT Hyderabad, where he is now the Director. A passionate tech-educator, he is known for his work in Computer Vision, Computer Graphics, and GPU Computing. A CUDA and INAE Fellow, Prof Narayanan has been the President of Association of Computer Machinery India.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan is the Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO). A paediatrician by qualification, she has worked in research on tuberculosis and HIV for 30 years and was previously Secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Dr Soumya joined WHO as the Deputy Director General (DDG) in 2017 becoming the first Indian to hold that post. She has a keen interest in promoting research on public health priorities and strengthening health research capacity in countries including on ethics. A firm believer in the power of technology, she advocates accelerating its access to improve health.
Dr Ranjana Kumari is a renowned and ardent activist for women’s rights, having dedicated her life to empowering women across the South Asia region, and a celebrated academician with a prolific body of work in her name. A member of the Global Safety Advisory Board of Facebook and Trust and Safety Council of Twitter, she’s one of the top 10 influencers for Gender Policy globally. She is the Director of Centre for Social Research as well as Chairperson of Women Power Connect.
Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian is the Chief Economic Adviser to the Govt of India. A PhD from Chicago-Booth and a top-ranking IIT-IIM alumnus, he is the author of the path-breaking Economic Survey commending Ethical Wealth Creation. By combining India’s rich economic and spiritual heritage with modern economics, the Survey advocates ethical wealth creation by combining the invisible hand of the market with the hand of trust. In a country wedded with socialistic ideas, the Survey has been talked about as a path-breaking departure in policy thinking in India. His idea of Thalinomics – what a common person pays for a vegetarian or non-vegetarian thali – in the January Economic Survey has been hailed as the Indian Big Mac Index. The behavioural economics of Nudge, which he authored in the July 2019 Economic Survey, has also been hailed as a key departure in policy thinking as it combines India’s rich tapestry of social and cultural norms with economic incentives to positively influence human behaviour. He is part of the core Finance Ministry team in the Central Government assessing the impact of Covid-19 on the Indian economy and putting forth the vision of Self-Reliant India or Atmanirbhar Bharat through the fiscal relief and stimulus packages. The slew of reforms in the stimulus package draws on several ideas from the last two Economic Surveys.
From Hip Hip Hurray to Out of Love, Purab Kohli has acted in an eclectic mix of movies and series. A Producer and a Tech Entrepreneur apart from being an actor, Purab has carved a niche for himself through sensitive portrayals of the roles he has chosen.
Akassh Aggarwal, has broken these forced norms and expresses himself unequivocally. He is an openly gay accessory designer, who has worked with numerous well known Bollywood personalities such as Sushmita Sen, Swara Bhaskar, Zeenat Aman, and Laxmi Aggarwal. By starting the ‘Pride India’ initiative, he works to aid other Indians who are part of the LGBTQIA+ to attain a sense of community.
Trivikram Kumar, has an ideology that must be heard. As the CEO of the robotics start up company XMACHINES, Trivikram works to create AI driven robots for farmers across the world, which makes farming profitable, without requiring the usage of harmful chemicals, or genetically modified seeds. The robot performs human tasks, but more efficiently, decreasing the cost of operation by 30%.
Moreover, these machines are now being utilised to serve the needs of our country during the pandemic, by sanitizing, and disinfecting surfaces.
Trivikram portrays the power of science in our world, the lives it could impact, the advances it could help us as a global community make, and its versatility and ability to adapt to various circumstances.
Preethi Srinivasan is the perfect emulation of this concept. After a fatal spinal cord injury, she found herself in the bounds of a wheelchair. However, she wasn’t willing to surrender to this challenge. By co-founding the charitable organization ‘Soulfree’, she currently works to transform the lives of the disabled. She is an inspirational speaker, psychologist, cricket-coach, writer, painter, and most importantly, a change maker. A few of her notable accolades include being awarded the prestigious Kalpana Chawla award and being applauded by the President Of India for her work.
Ritesh Bhatia, is a cybercrime investigator, with 20+ years of experience in his field of Cybersecurity. He has successfully solved cases of cybersecurity breaches for corporates and law enforcement and is also responsible for catching people who heavily abuse Bollywood celebrities on social media platforms, through the show- MTV Troll Police.
In his talk, Ritesh Bhatia will cover pertinent topics such as the vulnerability of the youth in cyberspace, where anonymity is a myth, along with extortion, and it’s potential to cause immense damage.
Our next speaker is literally, music to your ears! Sreerama Chandra is the voice behind more than 150 superhit songs in Hindi, Telugu and other Indian languages, as well as for the soundtrack used in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader’. Having followed his passion for music doggedly, he has persisted at it, winning contests and hearts. This Hyderabadi won Indian Idol 5 (2010) hands down, and has also acted in Telugu movies. He is a very popular name in the global musical concerts world.
Dr. Praveen Kumar Chintapanti explores life’s different spectrum and sees things through his lens – a view that finds beauty in chaos. A relentless learner, he has mastered the understanding of the basic tenets of human behaviour at its core through his professional and personal journey. He is a Guru in understanding complex organizational People behaviours and its impact on overall performance, through his education as a Psychiatrist and his experience at multiple organisations in India and abroad. Dr. Praveen strongly believes that wellbeing of an organisation is directly linked to wellbeing individuals within. He is very close to nature and derives from its chaotic yet elegant, sophisticated yet straightforward process and beauty.
Jayesh Ranjan is synonymous with the innovation ecosystem in this part of the country. An all-India topper of the IAS batch of ’92, he is the Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce Department and Information Technology Department of the state of Telangana, and the Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. Jayesh is an alumnus of various prestigious institutions like the IIMC, Lee Kuan Yew School, London School of Economics, Harvard and more, and supports many social, cultural and charitable causes. He is a part of the National Pool of Trainers in Leadership constituted by the Government of India, and is involved in training and mentoring newly recruited Civil Servants.
Raj Rachakonda is an IT Programmer based in US, and he will not tell you unless asked that he is the director of the superhit and critically acclaimed biopic ‘#Mallesham‘. Being bitten by the cinema bug in college, he used to assist in making short films, but took to IT as a full-time profession. The passion did not subside, and he made a Tamil movie in 2008 which, though appreciated by critics, didn’t do well financially. One fine day, he came across Mallesham’s TEDxHyderabad talk, and the rest, as they say, is history.
From campaigning for the cause of weavers to inspiring a biopic on him, we can’t wait to hear about Mallesham’s journey since his TEDxHyderabad talk in 2016. Padmashri Chinthakindi Mallesham is the inventor of the Lakshmi Asu machine that has brought convenience and recognition to all Ikat-Pochampally weavers, and has been instrumental in keeping the livelihoods and dreams of the weavers alive.
Honored as India’s representative for Folk Music by the UNESCO, Padmashri Malini Awasthi personifies the quintessential aspect of the musical tradition that passes down from generation to generation. With more than a thousand shows, nationally and internationally, Malini has preserved, documented, and disseminated various traditional and folk forms of Indian music, ranging from the Kajris, Thumris & Dadras in dialects such as Bhojpuri, Bundelkhandi and Awadhi. Malini runs an organization called “Sonchirayya” which provides a performing platform to various rural, tribal and folk artists from all over India.
Gitanjali JB is a multifaceted social entrepreneur and educationist. An alum of Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB), her interest in educational reforms was ignited when as a child she could not relate to what she was studying in the books. She gave up her flourishing corporate career of 20 years to set up Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL) as its Founding CEO. HIAL is an alternative institute for mountain development that aims to revolutionise higher education in India through the pedagogy of contextual and experiential learning.
Neha Aggarwal is an ace table-tennis player with an impressive tally of medals to her name! The only woman to represent India in Table Tennis at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, she has won 4 National Championship titles and over 40 International medals over a span of 13 years. As someone who eats, drinks and breathes sports, she earned Master of Science degree in Sports Management from Columbia University and worked at the United States Olympic Committee and the International Table Tennis Federation. With a vision to making a difference in India’s Olympic movement, Neha moved back to India in 2017 and is working with the Olympic Gold Quest in identifying and funding the best and most deserving medal prospects for the Olympic Games.
Once an award-winning software product designer, Suheim Sheikh traded in his clicks on the mouse with the ones on his camera, pursuing his passion of photography and sailing. An accomplished International sailor himself, Suheim has produced 6 National Champions, 25 National medalists and 10 State Champions through his NGO titled The Yacht Club of Hyderabad, which is the largest not-for-profit training establishment teaching economically challenged kids to sail competitively at international levels by providing them full-service patronage with a fleet of more than 100 boats.
At 21, Zabi Khan is a man on a mission to make the world a better place for animals. He has rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed more than 3000 animals so far, constantly spreading awareness about animal rights through his NGO “A Place To Bark”. A winner of National Youth Icon and Pride of Telangana Award in 2018, Zabi wants to start a sanctuary for all abandoned and injured animals, big or small, complete with a 24×7 ambulance service.
Dr R S Praveen Kumar is an exemplary IPS Officer, with honours and awards to his credit by the government of Telangana and India for his contribution to assignments resolving conflicts and maintaining law and order in sensitive environments in India and abroad. But, he has found his true calling in supporting and uplifting the children from the most deprived section of the society in his role as Secretary for Social and Tribal Welfare Educational Institutions. A Mason Fellow from Harvard University who is well-known for mentoring the Everest conqueror, Poorna and transforming the lives of over 200,000 children, he has catapulted these welfare institutions onto the global map, with almost no milestone out of reach by exhorting time and again “If not us, Who? If not now, When?”
Sudhanshu Mani is the man behind the production and execution of the state of the art Train-18, aka Vande Bharat Express, Indian Railways’ fastest self-propelled engine-less train, which was manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in a record-breaking time of 18 months! With over 36 years of experience in various depatments in Indian Railways, he is a passionate environmentalist and art collector. He is now enjoying his retirement, renewing his love for life!
An International Scientist with the expertise of working on gaseous detectors with over 800 publications in over three decades, Dr Archana Sharma is a Senior Staff Scientist at CERN, Switzerland. Dr Sharma actively facilitates knowledge exchange and capacity building in the science and technology sector exploiting her mandate in the International Committee and the Career Committees of the famous CMS experiment at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). To encourage research amongst the underprivileged, Dr Archana also runs an NGO called Life Lab Education and Research Foundation with the primary objective to create partnerships with educational institutions.
A ‘backbench doodler’ as he calls himself, Sri Priyatham is an award-winning Illustrator, Professional Artist and Art Instructor from Hyderabad. Having worked with many prestigious names of International repute including illustrating for #StrangerThings on Netflix, Sri has been in the limelight for exquisite artwork inspired by pop culture and life experiences. Most of his work is based on Hyper-Realism, where the most intricate details as perceived by the human eye make the illustrations stand apart.
India’s first woman to skydive over the North Pole, Padmashree Awardee Rachel Thomas decided to taste the thrill of Skydiving 40 years ago, with two young kids in tow! And then there was no stopping her – Since her first jump in 1979, she has completed 650 jumps in 18 countries, representing India at various National and International competitions. She is the recipient of National Adventure Sports Award (now known as the Tensing Norgay Award), Indira Priyadarshini Award, and the Railway Minister’s Award.
Defying odds at a young age, Meghana , is an international award-winning Rhythmic Gymnast from India. Meghana was the only participant from India for Rhythmic gymnastics in the XXI Commonwealth Games 2018 . She has also achieved one of the highest scores at Ness Ziona International Tournament. She has built her International expertise across the globe being mentored by multiple coaches in her career from various countries. She is highly dedicated and trains herself for nearly 6 to 8 hours daily, following her rhythmic passion.
Dr Falguni Vasavada-Oza takes pride in calling herself a Happy Person. A multidimensional Influencer, she holds a PhD in Advertising, and has been teaching for two decades in the area of Marketing and Advertising. She is currently a Professor at MICA, and loves to analyse how brands grow through the power of communication. Dr Oza is a strong believer in Gender Equality, Body Positivity, Women Empowerment, Work Life Balance and Happiness as a Lifestyle and Motivation. She inspires to accept one’s body and always focus on creating a strong personality that goes beyond physical attributes.
Harish Sadani runs an organisation called Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA), a one-of-a-kind organisation of feminist Indian men, that portrays patriarchy as a common enemy of women and men. Harish is an Ashoka Changemaker Awardee, with a Masters in Social Work from TISS. The impact of the work Harish does on gender and masculinity among young men in India has been documented by Government of India and Harvard University’s South Asia Institute. Harish has been passionately running multi-sector developmental programs on gender and health for over 26 years!
Sanjay Thumma better known as Vahchef, is an admirable Indian Chef and Entrepreneur in culinary arts in Indian cooking. He is among the top 10 YouTube stars from India. YouTube honored him the lifetime views in the YouTube channel which has reached up to over 290 million viewers. vahrehvah.com is the most watched chef across the globe as Sanjay, shares an inseparable bond with his audience. In fact, YouTube calls him DNA of YouTube India. Recently, Vahchef is assigned as a “Culinary Ambassador” for The Indian Federation of Culinary Associations, IFCA India.
Vijay Chadda has 45+ years of professional experience with 20 years, serving in the Indian Army. He has headed leading corporates however his innate desire to give back to society meaningfully, drew him from the corporate world to the Foundation. Under his leadership, the Satya Bharti School Program Bharti Foundation, provides free quality education to over 45,000 children from marginalized communities in rural areas, through its 254 schools across six Indian states. His army background inspired many processes and events to inculcate a sense of patriotism and integrity within the school program. He is part of various National Committees in the area of Education, Skill Development and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and on the Advisory Committee of leading schools and educational institutions.
Sandeep Sangaru is a multidisciplinary designer and entrepreneur. He studied Industrial design and Mechanical Engineering. He won several awards and accolades, including the Red Dot Design Award in 2009 (considered to be the Oscar of product design) and the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur Award – Design for Social Impact in 2012, among many others. His designs have even made it to Christies’s. Since inception his studio has been actively involved with the craft sector working with local people and local material to create global products.
He has worked with bamboo craftsmen in Tripura, the community of Khatamband artisans in Kashmir to revive the lost craft of Pinjrakari and with Channapatna’s wood-and-lacquer artisans. In his free time, this Star Wars fan enjoys taking vacations in remote mountains “where one gets cut off from everything normal”
Colleen Lightbody is the owner of Brainwise Coaching and Learning Systems. Her area of expertise lies in Neuroscience, Mindfulness, Brain-based Learning, Personal and Professional Leadership, and Emotional Intelligence. She is becoming known as “The Brain Guru” through her writing for blogs and magazines, as well as in television and radio interviews. Her positive and energetic style reflects the passion she has for living a life where her core purpose is to be a catalyst for change. From being over weight to climbing Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp, to achieving Provincial Colours in both Cycling and Triathlon, completing Iron Man Challenges, and many cycling races and ultra-marathons, Colleen Walks the Walk of Personal Mastery.
Anshul Sinha brings a difference by wielding his camera to create movies that address important issues. His most notable movies are ‘Gateway to Heaven’ on human corpse trading and ‘Mitti – Back to roots’ on agrarian crisis and farmer suicides. He has participated in more than 500 film festivals so far, winning more than 100 national and international awards, and continues to make an impact with his movies.
Lt Cdr Aishwarya Boddapati is a an officer of Indian Navy, who has brought glory to the country and Indian Navy by becoming a part of the first all-women’s crew to circumnavigate the globe on Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini on Project Navika Sagar Parikrama. She, along with her teammates, is the recipient of the prestigious Naari Shakti Puraskar (highest civilian award to be conferred to women in India) by Honourable President of India Sri Ramnath Kovind. Venturing into unexplored southern oceans, facing rough weather conditions, strong winds amidst high waves and sub-zero temperatures while being self-sufficient aboard the ship, including the maintenance and repairs of the equipment is no mean feat, and we are certainly proud of this Hyderabadi!
General V.K. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM (retd), is an Indian politician and a decorated and retired as the Chief of Army Staff. He is the Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs in the present government. He started his career as a military officer and became the first ever commando in the Indian Army to have been promoted to the General rank. On 11 March 2011, General Singh was inducted into the United States Army War College (Class of 2001 graduate) International Fellows Hall of Fame. He is the 33rd International Fellow and the first Indian Armed Forces officer to be inducted in this. He is also a graduate of US Army Rangers Course at Fort Benning, USA and US Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “Courage and Conviction” is the name of his highly acclaimed autobiography.
Dr. S.K. Joshi, Chief Secretary to Government of Telangana, is a multidimensional intellectual who joined the Indian Administrative Services. He is a Master of Technology and also holds a PhD (2010) from TERI School of Advanced Studies on “Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfers and the Environment – A Study of India.” As a key negotiator of India, he has travelled to several countries and participated in bilateral and multinational negotiations. He was associated with the United Nations’ Conference on Environment and Development (1992), Rio de Janeiro and the United Nations’ Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), Johannesburg. He has authored a book titled ‘Management of Transboundary Water Resources.’
Tabu, is regarded as one of the most talented Indian actors of her generation. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2011, besides winning National Film Award for Best Actress twice, six Filmfare Awards, including a record four Critics Awards for Best Actress. She is best known for playing protagonists in films that garner critical appreciation and she often gets appreciated for her intense and serious portrays. Her magic has been felt down in the South Indian film industry and internationally as well. Tabu has done films in Hindi, besides, English, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali language
Dr. Vikas Singh is a social entrepreneur and founder of Crux Management, consulting for governments and large businesses. He is associated with ISB, UNICEF, ILO, GIZ, and UNDP. He has worked on Swachh Bharat, PMJDY, digital literacy, demonetization, APY, Polio Program (with UNICEF), and entrepreneurship (with UNDP). He is a columnist with several well known publications. Dr. Singh has worked on building capacity, enhancing awareness, and enabling inclusion and these initiatives have impacted over millions of Indians.
Bel Pesce is an MIT grad, and author and an entrepreneur focused on democratizing access to relevant information, and finding solutions to challenges in a collaborative and empathetic way. She has been voted as Forbes 30 Under 30, BBC’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World and TIME Magazine Next Generation Leader. Bel is addicted to learning, and constantly shares what she learns in a simplified way. Bel designed her life to exponentiate lessons learned, connections and experiences. Her TED talk on ‘5 ways to kill your dreams’ is one of the most watched talk in the world.
As a scientist who has transformed the landscape of Indian agriculture, Dr Ramanjaneyulu GV and his organisation Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) work on public policy issues impacting food systems and farmers livelihoods and a framework to ensure income security for farmers. He has built a Community marketing System ‘Sahaja Aharam’ linking farmer cooperatives directly to consumers. He has won many awards, including one from World Bank, and has authored several books and articles on sustainable agriculture and public policy.
In 2015,at the age of 17, Meghana founded Make The World Wonderful (NGO) to reach her vision. Deciding to raise a generation of children in an empowering culture of harmony, she started a scalable pilot project with 50 underprivileged children. In just 2 years, the success of her work earned her over 1,00,000+ supporters from 80+ countries. Meghana and her team are now gearing up to set up 2,500 fully operational centers by 2023, because they believe every child counts.
25 year old Engineer and Entrepreneur Vijay Varada applies 3D Printing to solve problems, from creating accessibility devices for visually challenged to setting up Wind Turbines in Antarctica. He Co-founded fracktal Works, a company that manufactures 3D printers: devices that create physical objects from digital files. His mission is to make this technology accessable in order to help the makers, engineers, architects, designers build a better future for all mankind.
Designing two major futuristic products “Mount to a Cieling Fan” & “Atmospheric Water Generator” which could save electricity and help generate water in rural households, Chandra Sekhar won the Youngest Innovator Award. He was a grade 9 student when he had showcased his inventions at T-Hub, Hyderabad. Chandra Sekhar had also showcased his inventions on major platforms like Melting Pot, RISC and the road to Global Entrepreneurship Summit event in 2017.
Mark Dharmai is an International Para Badminton player holding a World ranking – 12th in Men’s Singles, 9th in Men’s Doubles and 4th in Mixed Doubles (as per the latest BWF rankings, 2017). He has been playing sports at a National level for the past twenty two years and has bagged many medals. Mark is a giant in the world of Para badminton and has made India proud by winning several medals at national and international level. Despite several difficult situations and challenges, in 2017, Mark won the silver medal in discus throw and shot-put, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He also won the silver in the Thailand Open Para Badminton International Tournament, in Bangkok, Thailand. Considering the odds that Mark has overcome, his story is nothing short of world class.
Mark Dharmai’s zeal and grit is not just contagious but also inspiring to many a sportsman. Born to a fisherman in Chimbai village, Bandra, Mumbai, Mark Dharmai’s struggles in life came in very early. He was born with a severe disability where his legs were twisted on the outside. Doctors would ask his family to rely on prayers for his survival. However, his mother did not give up. She helped him to walk and talk. Not only did he start walking but also showed a keen interest in sports from a very young age. Mark never wallowed in pity, instead continued to channel his energy into sports and soon enough became an ace Para-Badminton Athlete. Mark has tried to make his livelihood as a fisherman however his interest and heart lie elsewhere.
Rana Daggubati is a National award winning filmmaker, Digital Post entrepreneur, and a successful actor in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi films. Rana Daggubati made a sensational debut in Telugu and Hindi simultaneously as the lead actor in the political thriller ‘Leader’ and the crime thriller ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ in 2010. Having inherited a passion for cinema from his illustrious family, Rana’s first film as a Producer “A Belly full of Dreams” won him the National Award for best film, in 2006. His recent films the magnum opus Baahubali – The Beginning and the Conclusion directed by the India’s ace director SS Rajamouli has become one of India’s most successful film globally. Rana has won several other awards for the roles he has essayed in films.
Rana is accredited with having transformed the evolution of the digital postproduction landscape in South India. A suave businessman, his company, Ramanaidu Studios is one of India’s largest integrated production powerhouses offering production, distribution, exhibition and studio infrastructure. With over 400 theatres across South India, the studio has produced over 150 films and released over 1500 films. His entrepreneurial spirit compels him to invest in tech companies like Spaces – a VR company, Gamezop – a game development studio, and sports leagues like Super Boxing League
Anu Acharya introduced the concept of improved healthcare through personal genomics in India. She is the CEO of Mapmygenome India, a Genomics company whose vision is “To touch 100 million lives”. Ever since, she successfully pioneered the company through growing product lines, expanding affiliate network, and a Pre-Series A round of funding. From 2000 until April 2013, Anu was the CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions, a global genomics outsourcing partner for discovery, development and diagnostics. Anu was named by Red Herring Magazine to the list of 25 Tech Titans under 35 in 2006, Entrepreneur of the year award by Biospectrum magazine and Astia Life Science Innovators Award in 2008, she was honoured as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and ET Women Ahead honor by the Economic Times in 2015
Lt. Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.) is an ex-Deputy Chief of Army Staff, winner of multiple medals for distinguished service in the Army, and ultimately an academician all rolled into one. He is the recipient of the highest peace time award of PARAM VISHIST SEVA MEDAL, VISHIST SEVA MEDAL and SENA MEDAL. He also happens to be the brother of popular artiste Naseeruddin Shah. During his tenure in the army, he participated in counter-insurgency operations in North East India and Punjab, commanded an Infantry Division of a Strike Corps during Operation ‘PARAKRAM’ to quell the riots in Gujarat and subsequently commanded Bengal Area and an Army Corps comprising of 30,000 troops to combat insurgency in six North Eastern states. He also held the appointment of Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S), the second highest ranking officer in the country and was responsible for modernization of the Army and management and control of the Army budget. The General has served on a diplomatic assignment as Defence Attache and was elevated to the Armed Forces Tribunal. Armed with an M Phil, Lt. Gen Shah, has vast experience in the field of education, retiring as the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.
“Every human face has a story and I capture it”, says GMB Akash, a Bangladeshi multimedia journalist who has traveled to over 50 countries and received more than 100 international awards. His thought provoking work has been published in 100 major international magazines like National Geographic, The Guardian, Amnesty Journal amongst many others. He credits his laurels and success to hard work, honesty and respect towards the people whom he photographs.
In 2011 Nikon selected him as one of the 8 influencers in Asia Pacific (APAC region). He had solo exhibitions from 2006 to 2016 in various countries including USA, Italy, Germany, Bangladesh, and others. He founded the First Light Institute of Photography in Bangladesh in August, 2013. The proceeds from his One on One Photography Workshop help to achieve his ultimate objective of providing basic education for street children, unprivileged talented students, and child laborers.
Elca Grobler shifted base to Hyderabad from Australia along with her husband and three young children despite having a successful career in Risk Management, Investment Banking and Funds Management to establish My Choices Foundation, by selflessly chosing the road less travelled. My Choices was created to combat domestic abuse and human trafficking using newer technologies and other progressive methods, in turn empowering and supporting women and girls to become change agents in their own families and communities
Pradeep Lokhande, founder of Rural Relations enjoys huge popularity in terms of mail traffic so much so that internet’s instant search predicts Pradeep Lokhande Pune 13 when you just type Pradeep. Lokhande created the database of rural consumers in 49,000 villages in India as part of his consumer reference initiative which now helps corporates, donors and even ordinary folks reach out to rural India. The fact that he used this data which was valuable to FMCG brands in providing jobs and opening various channels and markets to bring about social change and betterment of rural population is marvellous. His effort of writing letters to various village heads asking about the schedule of their weekly markets opened a channel of communication which was beneficial both to the villagers as well as big companies like Telco, P&G, Tata Tea amongst others.
Anshu Gupta is founder of Goonj, an NGO that works in replenishing urban waste to a useful resource that can be used for transforming rural India in a way has never been done before. He is an exemplary person who is known to be an action-inducing leader given his humanitarian and disaster relief background. For him, social change should be brought on in a way wherein the receivers don’t need to hang their heads in shame or feel powerless. Goonj works in rural areas by spreading awareness and empowering villagers about the problems and their solutions along with facilitating the usage of locally available resources to aid the efforts, giving them clothes, utensils, furniture, food grains as an end result of the successes and prosperity brought on by the community endeavours. He has been bestowed honor and awards for being Social Entrepreneur by many prestigious organisations. He received Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2015 for his achievements.
Sunitha Krishnan is a highly accomplished and celebrated activist having turned her life to that of a legend. Having co-founded Prajwala, an NGO that works on sex-trafficked survivors and one of the largest rehabilitation homes in the country, she indeed is the one who works against all odds. Sunitha has had innumerable laurels bestowed on her for her stellar work from various reputed organisations and countries. She has received Padma Shri in 2016 from Government of India, Franco-German Award For Human Rights & Rule of Law, Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice, 2014, People of the Year award from LIMCA Book of Records, 2014, Human Rights Award by US Government amongst countless others.
Gauri Sawant alias The Trans Mommy has perfectly delineated that motherhood indeed has no gender. The love, affection and care she has for her daughter resonates with the kind of human she is i.e. extraordinarily daring and compassionate. Whilst her popularity soared with Vicks TV Commercial, her story began when she was a barely five years of age owing to her mother’s demise. The chaos she lived through since childhood of conflicting turmoil within and beyond her, finally paved way to her new life at 17, when with just Rs. 60 in her pocket, she arrived at City of Dreams, Mumbai.
She left behind her home, her city, her family but not her identity. Her talent of having exemplary communication skills landed her a job in Humsafar Trust wherein she used to motivate and advise people undergoing an identity crisis to embrace themselves and their true identities. One of her main tasks was to spread awareness about STDs and encourage sex workers to get tested where she met Gayatri, her informally adopted daughter’s biological mother – an HIV-positive sex worker. Her strong will to not let Gayatri go into sex work gave way to her becoming a doting mother. She has accomplished a lot being highly respected and extraordinary transgender social activist. She now runs an NGO – Sakhi Char Chowghi with a team of 150 workers with aim to promote safe sex and provide counselling to transgenders from the Mumbai suburbs. She was part of the crusade that made sure the third gender gets Aadhaar cards, as dictated by the NALSA bench.
But this isn’t all of her story. Join us at TEDxHyderabad event to know about her journey.
A Padmashree and Khel Ratna awardee, Bronze Medalist – London Olympic Games 2012, Gagan Narang runs the one of its kind ‘Gun for Glory Shooting Academy’ with 15 branches across the country. With a unique talent search program for children aged 11-15 years across India, they are adopted by the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation and provided free coaching and training under its scholarships.
Rajesh Dhuddu defines the term ‘Bitcoin’ & ‘Blockchains’ in the global payment industry for merchants and consumers alike. He is currently leading the Market Development initiatives for Quatrro Processing services in South Asia. Join us to know how digital currency is going to transform our lives.
The co-founder and CEO of NowFloats, an organisation that enables businesses to get online and get discovered, Jasminder is working on the next level web opportunities for businesses. With 18 years of experience in the IT industry he spent over 3 years on building India’s first global software product for the financial services industry at Tata Consultancy Services.
An active volunteer with iSPIRT, the Open API and the cashless India teams, Sanjay Jain takes a bow in defining the next generation payment systems. A key contributor in the India Stack, one of the developers of the Google Map Maker, Sanjay is currently leading the platform development efforts at EkStep, a not-for-profit learning portal for children.
The first blind student to graduate from MIT, Srikanth is the CEO and founder of Bollant Industries that churns employment opportunities for specially-abled individuals. He cofounded the Samanvai center for children, a non-profit organization to provide support to specially-abled students aiming for a professional career. Srikanth motivated and trained around 8,00,000 students and adults in Lead India 2020 training programs.
Known as the Mysterious Mountain Girl, Jaahnavi’s brainchild is the #Mission7Summit, through which she aims to climb the tallest peaks of every continent to be able to raise funds and educate the underprivileged girls in India. She has records to her name for climbing the Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Kilimanjaro of Africa and completing the Aussie 10 Challenge in 4 days.
Born in a weaver’s family, Mallesham is a traditional weaver of Pochampalli silk sarees in Sharjipet. With a strong desire to relieve his mother’s pain, he went to design a machine to mechanise the Asu process. While working at a workshop in Hyderabad, he noticed a machine’s movement and quickly returned home to give the final touch to his Asu machine that brought a revolution for the weavers in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. He named it after his mother, the Laxmi Asu Handloom Machine.
Dr. G.V. Ramana Rao is the Director of Emergency Medicine Learning Center and Research at the 108 GVK Emergency Management Research Institute in Hyderabad. He has mentored and trained over 260,000 professionals, doctors, nurses, EMTs/paramedics and first responders etc. Dr Rao has authored over 50 national and international publications and is an invited speaker to several international and national conferences. He is a recipient of Society of Emergency Medicine (SEMI) Excellence Award 2014 for his contributions to Emergency Medical Services.
Founder of The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project, She is the first National Geographic explorer from Sri Lanka. She is a marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of Blue Whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean. Join us to hear her amazing story.
Kiran Kanojia – India’s First Women Blade Runner – Blade Runner
A test engineer by profession and the sole game changer of her life, Kiran Kanojia is the first lady blade runner of India. A tragic incident left her with an amputated leg and an opportunity to turn her life around. A living inspiration for many, Kiran believes in not waiting for miracles to happen but to start living and working towards them.
Join us to hear her amazing inspiring story.
Founder of the documentary production company, Tourist With A Typewriter, Saeed is a freelance documentary filmmaker, documentary photographer and print journalist based in London. With a vision unlike others, Saeed captures stories and illustrates thoughts that are dedicated to human rights and social justice through his documentaries.
A woman with a vision that sees beyond our universe, Ritu Karidhal is a proud contributor to The Mars Orbiter Mission launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation. Leading the team behind the success of ‘Mangalyaan’, Ritu has been involved in a lot of revolutionary space operations with ISRO. A proficient alumnus of the Indian Institute of Science, she completed her Masters in Aerospace Engineering with a clear aim of working towards a change. An unassuming appearance coupled with extraordinary thoughts are two qualities that define Ritu.
Manasi wears many hats, successfully. She is the mother of a feisty two year old, an engineer with a degree in Information Science, a management graduate from IIM Bangalore, the project director of India’s first experiential music museum, a TED fellow and above all – a musician. Despite so many achievements, music is what defines Manasi. It is her first love, passion, dream and life. A trained musician in classical Carnatic music and a performing artist for the past 15 years, she has travelled the world through music. Manasi left behind a job at the prestigious Wall Street to pursue her passion – music. She makes music more relevant in the modern context and and is now working towards binding all boundaries through music.
After experiencing most of life’s significant challenges, Colleen turned her life around 10 years ago and now walks a journey inspiring others through her personal and professional achievements as a motivational speaker. Colleen is the Managing Director of Neuroleadership Africa and is committed to social projects and transf ormation. She has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and completed many marathons, ultra marathons, Iron Man Triathlons and is a competitive cyclist. With her positive, energetic and passionate style, she lives her life purpose as a catalyst for change.
“We are what we eat and plants give us what we feed.” He is waging a war against the use of pesticides in agricultural activities and has challenged the traditional methods of farming. Apart from running the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture as the Executive Director, he also runs a small outlet, Sahaja Ahaaram, which stocks pest-free products from farmers. After leaving his full-time government job, Ramanjaneyulu dedicated himself to the benefit of farmers and his campaign, ‘India for Safe Food’.
A Swiss national, banker, hr-consultant, teacher, passionate musician and dedicated social service man sums up for a brief description about Joe Koster. Conductor of the local vocal group Deccan Voices. Joe runs the Hyderabad Western Music Foundation with an aim of introducing Western Classical Music and Jazz to the people in Hyderabad and tries fusion to create a confluence which will bring different people together musically.
“Beirut, I Love You,” she wrote. “Of Love & War,” she portrayed. She performs wearing a pink bride dress at the Beirut International Marathon every year, to raise awareness on issues in Lebanon pertaining to animal rights, civil marriage, and to spread love, peace and positivity. She actively promotes the under-represented Arab artists through her projects and works in formats ranging from painting, installation, performance, mixed media, collage and writing. An avid fan of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s music, she believes in Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra of “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
One of the signatories to the Humanist Manifesto 2003, World Humanist Congress speaker, past director of IEHU; Babu Gogineni in two words is an ethical rationalist. From a television commentator to an international humanist and activist, he dedicates his progress to only rationalism, logic and love for humanity. Writing revolutionary articles in French, English and Telugu is one of the many things he does to inspire a million thoughts, while speaking on international forums about Science, Human Rights, Secularism and Democracy.
He is the first Indian Administrative Officer from the Zeme tribe of Manipur and the loud call out for India to look a bit upwards to the North-eastern region. The man who changed how every individual looked at Social Media, Pame carefully organised a blow to the government and easily connected his district, Tousem to the rest of the country by building a 100 km long road. Raising funds through social media and building ‘The People’s Road’ without any government help is his biggest achievement and one of India’s eye-openers. A brain storming, intellectual activist like Pame can run a tide of inspiration through the country’s youth and expect and higher wave of goodwill in return.
Raman’s story starts with a chartered accountancy certification and continues with massive revolutions in the world of Business Process Outsourcing. With a vision that strikes chords of a thousand decibels, he started off with his BPO work with American Express in 1984 and moved on to contribute in the kick-off for Genpact’s BPO arm in Gurgaon. Starting his own company, Spectramind in the year 2000, he went ahead to win the title of ‘Father of Indian Outsourcing’ after his company was bought by Wipro, making him the CEO of the BPO entity. Now the chairman and managing director of Quatrro Global Services, Raman Roy with his favourite line, “You probably think I come to the office on a bullock cart,” takes pride in setting the India BPO revolution running.
The creator of ‘Gateway to Heaven’ and other thought provoking short films, Anshul Sinha set many examples for the society with his simple and realistic films in the city of Hyderabad. From introducing the ‘One Rupee Daily’ concept to remove poverty in India in his first documentary film, he believes in bringing out the society’s real stories through his lens. Known for filming an award-winning piece with a mobile phone, Anshul has won accolades at national and international platforms.
A mastermind that is fuelled by innovation, intelligence and design roughly defines his thought process. A graduate from the MIT Media Lab, researcher at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and research affiliate at the Harvard Medical School, the founder of Tesseract Imaging is an open book of inventions. Currently working on spreading the movement of anti-disciplinary learning, hands-on creation and design thinking all across India through the MIT Media Lab India Initiative, he also leads the Design Innovation Workshop Series inspiring thinkers to create and innovate. By combining his pure love of photography and technology, Kshitij created novel camera designs and virtual reality experiences for film makers and photographers, bringing a revolution in the field of film-making and future of photography.