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
Kalpana Saroj’s humble and tough early life wouldn’t have indicated a future so bright. From being a daughter from an underprivileged background and a child wife armed with just basic education, she went on to become a successful entrepreneur and a devoted social worker. She grew her business empire from three to seven companies with a net worth of more than 1000 crores under the Kalpana Saroj Group. Her business interests span across manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, exports and film production. She also holds commanding positions in several organisations including the Dalit Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rashtriya Ekta Yuva Manchand was the Ex-Director of BhartiyaMahila Bank, India’s first bank exclusively for women.
Kalpana Saroj can’t be defined by her business accomplishments alone. She has organised activities to protect the rights of downtrodden women, workshops for the unemployed youth and health awareness programs and blood donation camps in tribal areas, distributed books to needy students and provided food, medicines and financial help to underprivileged patients.
She was even honoured with the Padmashree Award in 2013.
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.