Rethinking Business Models for an Emerging India
Today’s India is bustling with opportunities and the lure of its billion-plus people and an ever burgeoning middle class is hard to ignore. However, business strategies from the Western playbook are generally hard to replicate in India. Even the MNC giant, Amazon had to rejig its business model to suit the needs of its Indian customers. Making products “for India” is no longer an option but an imperative if MNCs want to win “the future”.
Joe Tumbarello,
CFO/COO, Transfast

As part of the Transfast management team, Joe Tumbarello is responsible for working with the team in developing corporate strategy, as well as leading the execution of those strategies and overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations and financial functions.
An award-winning Chief Financial / Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Tumbarello has a track record of proven success in achieving revenue, profit and business growth objectives in a number of business verticals, while keeping a keen eye to ensure organizations meet their compliance and regulatory responsibilities.
Mr. Tumbarello has a vast range of professional experience, having held senior financial, operational, and business management positions in companies including First Data Corporation, where he was a divisional Chief Financial Officer and General Manager, Cardservice International, where he was Chief Financial Officer, and FNDS3000 Corp., a prepaid company focusing on the South African market.
Most recently, Mr. Tumbarello was Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration at Global Cash Card, where he focused on banking and business relationships along with BSA, AML and OFAC compliance, expanding the bandwidth for review of current business, financial, operational and compliance procedures and developing best-of-breed processes in these areas.
Mr. Tumbarello has his MBA in Corporate and International Finance from Baruch College in New York.

Sandeep Malhotra,
Senior VP, ACH Systems, Global Products and Solutions, MasterCard

Sandeep Malhotra is Senior Vice President, ACH Systems for Mastercard. In this role, he is responsible for defining and executing the ACH strategy and new business models with a focus on both card and interbank payment network infrastructures, schemes and applications that provide consumers a choice of payments. He also served as the business lead for the acquisition of a UK-based ACH infrastructure provider.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Malhotra was responsible for global commercialization, growth, operations, integration and expansion of M/Chip, Contactless, In Control and other innovative products at Mastercard. In addition, he was the global lead for the Emerging Payments Product Architecture, Strategy and Pricing groups.
Mr. Malhotra has a proven talent for bringing innovative technologies to market in a business-focused way by applying a broad set of knowledge and expertise gained from working in various areas including solutions engineering, network products, mobile payments. He also provides technology leadership, execution know-how and enterprise architect vision, having spent several years in the software development area at Mastercard. As an avid inventor, he has contributed to many enhancements to Mastercard’s core systems and network.
Mr. Malhotra earned a Bachelor of Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Master of Science from University of Missouri-Rolla, Masters of Science from University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

Neeraj Singhal,
Ex-Head of Expansion, Uber India; COO, Swipecast

Neeraj works with early-stage tech companies and VCs to help guide operations, growth and expansion strategies. He spent 3+ years at Uber helping them formulate their international expansion playbook as the Head of Expansion for India and Subcontinent. In this role, he led Uber’s foray into India since they began operations in Bangalore in August of 2013; growing the business to 30+ markets, with over 300 employees in 2 years. Prior to working on the India operation, Neeraj was an International Launcher, and started Uber’s first markets in the Middle East and Africa, and has spent time working on the operations in Europe and North America. Neeraj is an advisor to Venture Capital funds in New York and San Francisco, and is currently COO at Swipecast.

Padmaja Chunduru,
Country Head – US Operations, State Bank of India

Mrs. Padmaja Chunduru, Dy. Managing Director of State Bank of India, is a career banker with more than 30 years of rich experience in banking and has held several important and crucial assignments. She has handled a number of important assignments in the Bank, both in India and USA. In her previous foreign assignment, she was the Chief Executive Officer of SBI, Los Angeles Agency.
Prior to coming to New York, Mrs. Chunduru was the Regional Head of the Bank’s Corporate Accounts Group in Mumbai, India and was responsible for deepening Bank’s relationship with the country’s large corporate houses. Before heading the Corporate Accounts Group, she also led some of the large Mid-Corporate branches of State Bank of India as a Deputy General Manager.
Mrs. Padmaja Chunduru is heading the US Operations of State Bank of India since November 2014. She holds a Masters degree in Commerce and is a Certified Member of Indian Institute of Bankers. Her hobbies include travelling and reading.

James E. Shapiro,
Resident Director, Tata Sons (North America)

James Shapiro joined Tata Sons as its Resident Director for North America in August 2014. His office represents the holding companies’ interests and assists group companies in the region in the areas of government affairs, media relations, academic partnerships, sustainability and business development. Prior to joining the Tata group, Mr. Shapiro worked at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) where his responsibilities included global business development and managing BSE’s global partnerships. Mr. Shapiro’s earlier experience includes cross-border investment banking and several senior management positions at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Mr. Shapiro earned an M.A. and M.Phil. in Economics from Yale University and a B.A. from Harvard University.

The Rise & Rise of Investments in India
The new Modi Government led India to a strong GDP growth. We are witnessing the rise of investor-friendly policies that has boosted market confidence and investment growth. Beneficiary of these changes include budding entrepreneurs who have come up with successful and innovative product offerings for the Indian consumer. They have also received access to previously under-tapped VC funding. VC investment activity in India, hit an all time high in 2015, standing at $8B (528 deals) in 2015. Valuations have sky-rocketed, though. But will more start-ups emerge? Will existing start-ups scale up? Will the deal making activity continue? Are the investors capturing value for an exit?
Shruti Chandrasekhar,
Senior Investment Professional, IFC

Shruti Chandrasekhar has over a decade of private equity & venture capital experience identifying and evaluating businesses across multiple industries and geographies. She is currently a Senior Investment Officer covering venture capital investments for the IFC. At the IFC, she focused on startups across emerging markets such as India, South Africa, Brazil, etc. that have established POC and are now looking to access growth. Prior to the IFC, she was responsible for private equity and venture capital investments (direct & indirect) for Premji Invest, a large Indian multi-strategy growth investor where she worked on private equity transactions in India as well as helped Premji Invest establish its Silicon Valley investment program. She has an undergraduate degree from MIT and an MBA from the Wharton School and some additional experience in consulting and investment banking. She loves travel and has moved her home-base every few years since 2000.

Alka Goel,
Partner, McKinsey & Co

Alka Goel is a partner with McKinsey & Co. in their healthcare and PE practice in New York. She has worked with over 70+ clients globally. Clients have included – fortune 500 companies, family owned businesses, governments, investors and their portfolio companies and non-profit institutions. She has served clients on a comprehensive range of business issues including growth, cost, organization, M&A target assessments and integrations, talent and leadership development. She is in the process of relocating to India to launch a healthcare focused venture fund.

Umang Dua,
Co-founder, Handy

Umang Dua is the Co-Founder of Handy (, the leading platform for on-demand home services. Umang’s idea is changing the way people receive and provide home services, a $400 billion market. Founded in 2012, Handy has expanded to 28 cities across three countries and has raised over $110 million from investors like General Catalyst, Fidelity, TPG, and Ashton Kutcher. The company has facilitated over 3 million bookings, served over 600,000 customers, and activated more than 80,000 independent professionals.

Prior to Handy, Umang worked at McKinsey & Company and also founded College Connect, an online platform that connected aspiring college students with enrolled students around the world. A Forbes “30 under 30” honoree, Umang earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from Amherst College, and was pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School before starting Handy.

Suren Sultania,
Co-founder, Headout

Suren Sultania is Co-founder at Headout (, the app to rediscover the joys of your city. Suren’s company is changing the way people experience their cities and spend free time by helping them discover and connect with thousands of fun activities and immersive experiences around them. Founded in 2014, Headout has expanded to 14 cities across 6 countries with a mission to make the world your happy place.
Suren has been pivotal in shaping the company’s vision, building the leadership team and developing its partnerships and revenue pipeline. Suren leads the marketing and business development functions and has helped Headout partner with some of the world’s leading entertainment and travel activity providers like the Empire State Building, Disney Theatrical Group, Grayline, and CitySightseeing.
Prior to Headout, Suren worked at Ptolemus Consulting, a boutique strategy consultancy in Paris that specialised in location-based technology. Suren was an Egide Eiffel scholar while pursuing his Masters of Science in Management from HEC Paris. He graduated with an HEC Merit scholarship and was named on the Dean’s list with special jury felicitations.

Gaurav Sharma,
Head of Growth and Data Sciences, Saavn

Gaurav Sharma is the VP of Growth and Data Science at Saavn. Focused on the core goal of automating efficient, data-centric decision-making across the company, Gaurav has led Saavn’s data science program to reduce user acquisition costs by 75%, increase user monetization by 7x, and drive product changes that have increased user retention by more than 10%. In addition to leading Saavn’s data team, Gaurav has assisted Saavn’s executive team in raising $100M in funding from leading institutional investors.
Prior to Saavn, Gaurav was a lifestyle marketing representative at Sony Music Entertainment and at Nissan, Edventure Partners, where he won the 2010 Baltimore AMA Marketing Excellence Award. He also served as Director of Product Development at, a “Music 2.0”.

The Transformation of Indian Entertainment Industry
Right from the versatility that Bollywood offers today to the rise of professional sports as a source of entertainment, the Indian entertainment industry has undergone significant change over the last two decades. With rising consumer demand, the Indian entertainment industry is on the cusp of a strong phase of growth that’s hard to ignore.
Ritu Banga,
Co-founder, Zoomdojo

Ritu Banga is a Co-founder of Zoomdojo, a college to career initiative. Zoomdojo works with educational institutions, NGO’s, and student organizations around the world, including in the US, Canada, China and India. Ritu is a trustee of Marymount School, New York. From 2007 to 2011, she was on the Board of the Asian University for the Women Support Foundation and has played a key role in the launch of this university in Bangladesh. She has also served on the Advisory Committee of the American Institute of Architects New York 2013 initiative “Global City / Global Practice.” She started her career in product management, marketing, and sales. She was then an early entrepreneur with Point of View, her strategic consulting firm, which worked with global companies and NGO’s entering India as the country opened its economy in the early 90’s. Ritu is a graduate of Delhi University and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Neha Uberoi,
Co-founder, South Asians in Sports; Former Professional Tennis Player

Neha Uberoi is a former professional tennis player, entrepreneur and health and wellness advocate.
Neha entered her freshman year at Princeton University at 16 years of age, winning Ivy League Rookie of the Year before taking a leave of absence to play on the professional tennis tour alongside her sister, Shikha Uberoi. She reached two WTA tour doubles finals and competed in the US Open before retiring and then completing her undergraduate degree.

An Indian-American role model, Neha advocates for healthy lifestyles and excellence in athletics and academics. She is the co-founder of South Asians in Sports, a network of South Asian professionals who work in the sports industry. She is also an associate board member of the New Jersey Tennis League of Trenton.

Across the US and in India, Neha frequently appears on various media platforms to provide commentary on sports, women’s empowerment and health and wellness, including The BBC, NeoSports, Sports Illustrated, The Huffington Post and Al Jazeera.

Roopa Unnikrishnan,
Head of Strategy, Connected Car Division, HARMAN International

Roopa is currently the Head of Strategy for HARMAN’s Connected Car Division and is also the President of TiE’s New York Chapter. She was also the founder of Center10 Consulting LLC where she advised a diverse range of clients including Harman Kardon, Estee Lauder Companies Inc., New York Presbyterian Hospitals, Microsoft, StructureTone, The United Nations, Kaplan and Haemonetics on a variety of strategic and organizational change initiatives.
She started her career with seven years in consulting at Katzenbach Partners LLC (KPL), a New York consultancy where she was part of the early start-up team (1999-2006). Roopa progressed to be Practice Lead, Outsourcing, specializing in issues dealing with strategy development and managing people and innovative technology. Her financial services experience covers credit cards and asset management, as the strategy director at one of Citibank’s units, Citi Cards (2006 -2007), and in her time as deputy COO and HR lead at BlackRock responsible for strategic projects in the sales and marketing divisions (2012). Roopa was with Pfizer Inc. for five years, with stints as VP, Corporate Strategy and Global Head of Pfizer’s worldwide talent and organizational team for Sales (2007-2012).
A Rhodes scholar who completed both an MPhil in Economic and Social History and an M.B.A. at the University of Oxford, Unnikrishnan also has a varied extracurricular life, being both a published poet and a world-class athlete in sports riflery. She has captained an Oxford University team and won many medals for her nation in the International arena. In 1999, she received the Arjuna Award from the President India for her sporting achievements.

Prem Parameswaran,
Group CFO and President of North America, Eros International

Mr. Parameswaran is the Group Chief Financial Officer and President of North America at Eros International Plc, a leading Global company in the Indian Film Entertainment Industry. Previously, he was Global Head of Media & Telecommunications of investment banking at Jefferies & Company, Inc. Prior to joining Jefferies, he was a managing director and Americas Head of Telecom in the Global Telecommunications and Media Group in the Investment Banking Division at Deutsche Bank and was with Goldman Sachs where he was a vice president and head of the integrated communications provider sector in the Investment Banking Division. Mr. Parameswaran had been advising clients in the global telecommunications and media sector for over 23 years including mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, and public and private equity and debt financings. Throughout his career, he has executed over 300 transactions and played a leading role in selected assignments for AT&T, SBC Communications, Reliance Globalcom, Clearwire, RCN, Vonage, Cbeyond, Paetec, Time Warner Telecom, NuVox, Grande, KPNQwest, US Lec, McLeod USA, Qwest, Global Crossing, NTT, Level 3, Frontier, Sabre, and others. In addition, he recently advised John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino in their acquisition of the Boston Red Sox. Prior to investment banking, he played a season of professional ice hockey in Europe.
Mr. Parameswaran received an MBA with Honors from Columbia Business School and a BA from Columbia University. He sits on the Board of the Columbia University Alumni Trustee Nominating Committee and has also established the Prem Parameswaran Family Scholarship at Columbia Business School. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of KARE Partners, a healthcare and hospital company with operations in US and India.

Neerja Narayanan,
Creative, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Neerja is an international media & entertainment executive with 16 years of experience across Asia, Europe & North America in multidisciplinary sectors, balancing studio mainstream and independent storytelling and controlling the creative and production pipeline. She has made her career as a gatekeeper for discovering, developing and producing content, and has become a leader in her field, a core member of senior management at the studios she has worked at. She has created the slate strategies for vertically integrated multi-national studios, including creative development in multiple languages for domestic & foreign releases. She was a Senior Vice President for content at Fox International Productions (FIP) and then assumed the same role at Sony International Films & TV based in NYC and LA. She has also worked in independent cinema in North America with organizations such as the IFP, Sundance, and has alliances with multiple film organizations worldwide. Prior to FIP, she was a VP at UTV Motion Pictures, producing award winning films such as ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Fashion’, ‘Jolly LLB’. She has produced 50 feature films which have won over 20 national and international awards, including BAFTA award nominations, Toronto, Pusan, London Film Festival award winners & Indian National Award winners.