OSAMA MANZAR – Founder & Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation (Jury Moderator):
Osama Manzar is a convert social entrepreneur spearheading the mission to overcome the information barrier between India’s rural sector, and the so-called developed society, through Digital Empowerment Foundation (www.defindia.org) – the not-for-profit organization founded to accomplish the mission. He is a Member, Working Group, Internet Governance Forum of Ministry of Communication & IT and was a Member, Task Force on Growth of IT, ITES & Electronics HW Manufacturing Industry, Ministry of Comm & IT, India.
RAJEN VARADA- CEO, Open Knowledge Community:
Rajen Varada is an ICT practitioner since 1995 and continues to be actively engaged in designing and implementing proof of concept solutions for rural development using technology and in particular ICT. He has developed solutions for health & early childhood care: (Sisu Samrakshak UNICEF), Disaster: (SMS4help – Solution Exchange), District e-Governance: (Parishkaram & Samadhan – Govt of AP & West Bengal) and most recently ‘Labnet” a migrant labour tracking and services portal. He is actively involved for the past nine years in study, evaluation and mentoring ICT innovations which impact the social sector. Rajen has been one of the thinkers behind movements like public sector software in India and actively support community ownership of technology – from community radio, community TV to open source applications.
MOE CHIBA ,Programme Specialist for Culture-UNESCO :
Moe Chiba, Chief and Programme Specialist for Culture at UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has been appointed since August 2006 to coordinate the Culture Sector of UNESCO New Delhi Office for Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka. She looks after programmes on World Heritage Sites, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Cultural Industries and Heritage Tourism among others. In 2011, while on sabbatical leave from UNESCO, Chiba worked and travelled to several parts of India and South Asia to gain understanding on the grassroot reality of, and to explore the possibility of introducing culture-based development.
Soumya Sarkar is National Editor in Mint, a sister publication of the Hindustan Times published in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. He has been working in Media and Communications for over two decades and was previously with The Times of India, The Indian Express Group, The Telegraph and the Down to Earth magazine. He has also worked as development and communications consultant with organizations that include the World Bank and the Aga Khan Development Network.
Archana has 12+ years of work experience in working with local NGOs, international voluntary organizations and funding agencies. Prior to Cisco she worked with Wipro, Vodafone and SAP as their CSR Head for India. Her core expertise includes CSR strategy and planning, project execution, corporate giving and fundraising, sustainability reports, NGO partnership and employee engagements.
Madhu Singh Sirohi is the Country Head of Vodafone Foundation in India which is committed to empowering women through access and capacity building. She has been associated with the world of education and corporate social responsibility for over 17 years. A strong advocate of women empowerment, she has spoken from many prestigious platforms on barriers that prevent women from maximizing their potential. In Vodafone, she has been working to address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges through the transformative effects of mobile technology with partners like SEWA, Pratham, Cherie Blair Foundation etc.
She was the erstwhile Country Head for Corporate Responsibility and Environment at Uninor, the Indian Business Unit of the Telenor Group. She was a part of the team that lead the GSMA mWomen agenda in India bringing focus to the gender gap in phone ownership. She conceptualized the integration of women in the telecom retailer network through the Uninor-Hand in Hand Citizen Centre initiative, a much awarded programme, setting up credible models in creating shared value.
Rajnesh Singh is Regional Director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau at the Internet Society where he oversees projects, initiatives and activities across the Internet Society’s functional and programmatic areas in the Asia and Pacific region, including Public Policy, Capacity Building and Internet Standards and Technology.
Prior to joining the Internet Society, Rajnesh played founding and leading roles in several technology and private equity investment firms, and still maintains varied business interests. In his professional capacity, Rajnesh has consulted on communications & power infrastructure, project management and business strategy for medium to large companies and organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. He has also held advisory roles across multiple sectors ranging from governmental organisations to sporting organisations and the private sector.
Rajnesh has worked extensively with the Asia-Pacific Internet community, and has held several leadership roles, including Founding Chair of ICANN’s Asia Pacific Regional At-Large Organisation (APRALO) and Chair of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society. He has worked extensively on ICT policy, training and capacity building in the region, including delivering programmes for UN agencies. He speaks multiple languages and is based in Austalia.
Manoj Dawane took charge as Head of the Unit Technology, GIR (Government & Industry Relations) and Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility for Region India with effect from November 11, 2013. In his current role, Manoj will be expected to establish a stronger industry position for Ericsson and to sharpen technology leadership area. He is a part of the region’s core leadership team.
Prior to this role, Manoj was Head of Engagement Practices within Region India whereby he was responsible for solution of all customer requirements for Region India. Solution areas involved were: Mobile Broadband, Fixed Broadband and IP, Operating Support Systems (OSS) & Business Support Systems (BSS), Mobile Commerce, Managed Services (Network and IT), TV & Media Applications.
Manoj joined Ericsson in May 2010 as Head of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation. Before joining Ericsson, Manoj was Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Mauj Mobile – wireless division of People Group. As CEO, Manoj led the Mauj Mobile team on their strategic growth path, both in domestic and international markets, addressing telecom operators, media companies, agencies and brands as primary customers. Manoj is recognized expert on the subjects of Technology, MVAS and Marketing in Telecom and has been a member of various industry bodies in India.
Ingrid Srinath has been a passionate advocate for human rights, social justice and civil society in India and around the world for the past 16 years. A graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, she spent the first 12 years of her professional life in advertising and market research with Lowe and Grey Worldwide.
She transitioned to the non-profit sector in 1998 to join CRY (Child Rights and You), where she was CEO from 2004-08. At CRY, Ingrid helped build brand and fund-raising systems, led the national coalition that successfully campaigned to make education a fundamental right for India’s children and guided the organisation’s transition from relief to rights.
From 2008-12 she served as Secretary General of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, an influential global network dedicated to defending and strengthening civil society throughout the world. She served as Executive Director of CHILDLINE India Foundation, India’s free, 24/7, emergency helpline for children in distress from 2013-14 and is presently CEO of Hivos India Advisory Services, a new for-profit venture from the Dutch INGO Hivos. She has served on the advisory boards of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (UN DCF), the World Economic Forum (WEF), Streetfootballworld, Magic Bus and the Prajnya Trust and on the boards of the INGO Accountability Charter, Public Interest Registry and The Rules.
He currently sits on the Board of .ORG, the Public Interest Registry, based in Reston, Virginia. He is the Director of Telxess Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. and Vcon Services Ltd. He was a Founder and former President of Internet Service Providers Association of India. He also was a founder, Board Director and CEO of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). He helped conceptualize and set up NIXI as a public private partnership between ISPAI and Department of Information Technology, Government of India and was involved in restructuring NIXI as an autonomous Registry and Regulator of the .IN Domain
(Indian ccTLD), including its commercial launch, drafting and implementing the INDRP, and appointment of Registrars, etc. Amitabh is the Director of Telxess Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. and Vcon Services Ltd. He was a Founder and former President of Internet Service Providers Association of India. He also was a founder, Board Director and CEO of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). He helped conceptualize and set up NIXI as a public private partnership between ISPAI and Department of Information Technology, Government of India and was involved in restructuring NIXI as an autonomous Registry and Regulator of the .IN Domain (Indian ccTLD), including its commercial launch, drafting and implementing the INDRP, and appointment of Registrars, etc. He was the spokesperson of India’s ISP industry for over a decade, contributing many articles over the years in various publications and journals, and was a speaker & presenter at various forums, including the IGF. He helped shape public policies in the telecommunication sphere as a member of various governmental and industry committees, expert groups and panels.
Jonathan is founder of PluggedIndia.com and a ‘stealth mode consumer tech startup’. He is an advisor to Reverie Language Technologies, Saavn, On Device Research and several other mobile centric businesses. And is also an active angel investor in India’s tech start-up market. He is a mobile internet expert, having spent a decade leading Vodafone’s mobile internet operations and strategy in developing markets including India, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. Prior to Vodafone he was Commercial Director at internet ad serving company Real Media and was Business Development Director for Reuters Media.
Andrew Richard Matthew Garton is a creative producer, musician and media artist working within community and cultural development fields in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. He is the founder and co-manager of The Secession Records, which produce, publish and archive audio recorded works and short-format documentaries and events. Since the mid-1970s Garton participated in numerous independent and community media initiatives in Australia and South East Asia: from radio and public access video in his teens to computer networking in the late 1980s and 1990s with Pegasus Networks. Garton was motivated at an early age towards collaborative media art works, combining interests in music, performance and public media. In the past twenty-five years he has written and performed plays, joined and formed bands, written scores for television documentaries, penned countless songs, piano and electronic compositions, experimented with recording and performance techniques.
Vijay Sai Pratap founded the LIS unit as the Director-Business Development and head of the
m-Governance & Life impacting services unit with OnMobile Global Ltd., and has been associated with the Mobile Telecom value added services industry for about a decade now. With a rich and valuable experience of over 12 years with the telecom Industry, he has played key roles across functions, from account management, business development, regulatory support, project & delivery management to product ideation and conceptualization. He was responsible for conceptualizing, defining and building the vertical/business unit leading into award winning projects for customers, prior to which he led and built business for the India Public account from its inception to becoming amongst the most significant contributors to the company’s topline. An Engineering graduate in Electronics & Communications from the University of Madras and a Masters in Business Administration from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher learning, Puttaparthy, he subsequently complemented his business skills with a Master’s in Business Law from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU-DED), Bangalore.
He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology at Bombay and completed his advanced studies from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is M.S. in computer science and a Ph.D. in communications. He works as a consultant and author from Bangalore, in knowledge management and new media. He was formerly the Communications Director at the United Nations Inter Press Service Bureau in New York, and vice president at India World Communications in Bombay. He is the Research Projects Director of Mobile Monday and co-founder of the Bangalore K-Community. Madanmohan Rao is research director at YourStory Media and editor of five book series (http://amzn.to/NpHAoE). His interests include creativity, innovation, knowledge management, and digital media. Madan is also a DJ and writer on world music and jazz.
He is an entrepreneur and founded Qubecell, a mobile payments startup focused in India & other emerging markets, which was acquired by Boku. Prior to Qubecell, he started Arena Mobile Asia which was acquired by Neomobile. He has deep experience of the mobile internet industry and has worked in India, Europe and the US in various leadership roles. He is an advisor to various start-ups, some of them are Tonic Media, Scroll.in, and WSO2 Telco. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School.
Madan’s passion and drive have created an ‘Industry’ for Assessments in India that did not exist before. Apart from all the other things that he is well known for, as a Co-founder and Chairman of Head Held High, Madan has been driving much of the organization’s initiatives through his ability to create, drive and scale-up new ventures. He was recently heading Strategy & Innovation for Manipal Global Education. Madan also serves on the Governing Council of TiE Bangalore.
Sameera has been working in the ICT field for past nine years and engaged in different areas of e-Development such as ICT capacity building, e-Government, Rural ICT development etc. at national level in Sri Lanka. Obtained his Bachelors Degree with Honours in Computing and Information Systems from London Metropolitan University, UK in 2005 and Masters in Management (SJP) in 2012 with modules on IT Project Management and Human Resources Management.
He privileged with holding key positions within his younger days of his career. Being the Branch Manager (Vin IT Technologies), Project Manager – HR Capacity building program (ICTA), Project Manager – Re-Engineering Government Program (ICTA) respectively 23, 27,30;
He managed various HR Capacity building projects and initiatives for GoSL at different levels since 2007. He also facilitated/moderated many workshops/seminars in various areas. Managing the first ever full fledged Computer Literacy Initiative of Sri Lanka, “eDiriya” was one of his flagship projects. Over 45,000 rural youths have benifited through this project.
Sameera was given the responsibility of coordination and managing e-Government policy of Sri Lanka since 2011. He also managed the review process of the formulation of new e-Government policy and served in the e-Government policy review committee (2012) too. He has been elected as an executive council member of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (www.cssl.lk) which is the premiere ICT professionals association in Sri Lanka at age 30 (2012), which is one of the recognitions and a milestone of his professional career. He was assigned to manage the National e-Government strategy formulation project for the next e-Govrnment e-Development phase for Sri Lanka at age 31.
Anirban Mukerji is Senior Manager within Qualcomm’s Government Affairs department. Based in New Delhi, India, he manages Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach™ initiatives in India and South Asia. Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. ICT4D professional, have worked on numerous e-Governance Projects like Urban Property Records Project for Karnataka, e-District Project for Government of India.
Nikhil Pahwa has covered the business of digital media in India for over 4 years. Prior to founding MediaNama, he was the Editor of ContentSutra (now owned by the Guardian Media Group).
Over the years, he has helped bring a pan-media perspective to digital media reportage, highlighting industry issues, identifying opportunities and problems, and questioning the efficacy of decisions being made by some large media companies.
Meet the Virtual Jurors:
Amir Ullah Khan Senior Policy Advisor Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
Amir Ullah Khan is a development economist and a senior policy advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Osmania University. He studied at the Institute of Rural Management Anand and has a PhD in Economics and Business Studies from the Jamia Millia University. He has worked as Researcher for the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the UNDP at Project LARGE (Legal Adjustments and Reforms for Globalising the Economy). He then was Academic Head at the Indian School of Finance and Management, after which he worked with Encyclopædia Britannica as executive director and editor.
Sunny is an engineering graduate from Delhi College of Engineering and studied Intellectual property rights at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. During his academic years he worked on statistical machine translation with the leading researchers in the field of Natural Language Processing. He also spent some time studying operating system security models at National Institute of Informatics, India.
He has been instrumental in the areas of mobile gaming and Cloud Computing. He was also part of the founding team at PlayUp where he was instrumental in integrating the next generation of mobile gaming against live sports with leading telecom operators in India. He is a die-hard cricket fan and will promptly share tips he received from legendary cricketer Steve Waugh.
Amarendra evangelizes “Live Your Highest Vision Now” for individuals, teams and organizations and has worked across a wide spectrum of Management Functions, Business Domains and Technologies.
He mentors executives, professionals and entrepreneurs across various verticals and has a rich experience in consistently building high performance teams for 17+ years.
He is an MBA (Finance) and his areas of expertise include – Business Planning, Strategy & Execution, Human Resources (Hiring, Talent Management, Performance Management), Learning & Development, Software Technology Implementations, Operational Excellence, Project Management and Risk Advisory.