Jinesh Shah, Founding Partner, Omnivore Partners
Jinesh Shah is the co-founder of Omnivore Partners, a venture fund investing in early stage Indian start-ups developing breakthrough technologies for food, agriculture and rural livelihoods.
Jinesh is a closely involved with multiple Omnivore-backed startups, including Stellapps Technologies, Barrix Agro Sciences, AgNext, Ecozen and FR8. Previously, Jinesh was the Vice President and CFO at Nexus Venture Partners, one of India’s leading early stage venture capital funds, where he lead the finance organization and also few select portfolio investments. He earlier served in Finance roles with Datamatics (leading Treasury/M&A), Patni Computers (initiating the IPO process), and HCL Technologies (founding the BPO business).
He is a Chartered Accountant with B.Com from R. A. Poddar College and an MMS (Finance) from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS).
Amardeep Sibia, CEO, SatSure Ltd
Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO, CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO at CropIn Technology Solutions, has made it possible to enable data-driven farming by connecting all the stakeholders in the agri ecosystem. CropIn is a leading Global Full-Stack AgTech Company that provides SaaS based solutions thus enabling businesses to utilize technology to effectively drive their initiatives around Digitization, Compliance, Sustainability and Traceability.
CropIn is passionately driven with the mission to 'maximize per acre value' and the vision to 'make every farm traceable'. With robust solutions that are crop and region agnostic, CropIn has so far digitized nearly 3.2 million acres of farmland, enriching the lives of nearly 2.1 million farmers in addition to creating a footprint in 29 countries globally.
Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund
Hemendra has over 22 years of experience in venture capital, private equity, management consulting and investment banking.
Hemendra in his career has invested in early stage agritech companies and SMEs in food processing and agricultural supply chain. He is a mentor, investor and board member with several food and ag-tech start-ups working on innovations in agri-inputs, market linkages, mechanization, food nutrition and farmer financing.
Hemendra is working as Venture Partner with Bharat Innovation Fund. In his previous assignments; he has worked with SEAF, Yes Bank, Rabobank, KSA Technopak and ORG-MARG.
He has authored many papers on the subject and speaks regularly at conferences pertaining to food and agribusiness sector. He is a management graduate from IIM (Ahmedabad) and Agricultural Engineer from Rajasthan Agricultural University.
Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, CEO, AgNext Technologies
Prasoon Gupta, Co founder and Director, Sattviko
A graduate from IIT Roorkee, Prasoon Gupta, Co-Founder and Director, Sattviko, is a serial entrepreneur. Owing to his talent and business acumen he was recognized as the youngest ‘Distinguished Alumni’ from IIT Roorkee and one of the youngest charter members of TiE Delhi. Prasoon has an extensive experience in entrepreneurship to his credit as he founded his first venture, ‘Techbuddy Consulting Pvt Ltd’ when he was still a student at the IIT.
Hailing from a rooted family with a modern outlook, he conceptualized ‘Sattviko Food’ based on traditional Indian recipes by giving them a modern twist with help of food technology. Thus with an aim to add a little bit of ‘Indianess’ to every household, he along with his friend Ankush Sharma in 2014 founded Sattviko which today has become India’s fastest growing food brand. The premium brand offers more than 25 tasty and healthy packaged snacks from across the Indian states such as Khakhra, Makhane, flavoured raisin, Gur-Chana, flavoured flax seeds, peanuts etc.
Under his leadership, Sattviko is growing with leaps and bounds. In 2017 Sattviko raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series-A investment from a bunch of investors led by Raman Roy, chairman of Nasscom. During the last financial year (2017-18) it grew at 700 percent rate and very soon high-quality Sattviko quick bites will be available in the middle-east and European countries.
After becoming a success story in just three years, Prasoon was rewarded with ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ in December last year by TiE Delhi NCR. Well known publication—Business World recognized him among the top 40 young entrepreneur in its 40 under 40 series. ‘Under Make in India’ programme Ministry of Skill Development conferred ‘National Entrepreneurship Award’ on Sattviko. The venture has also been nominated among top 20 startups of the country by Ministry of Food Processing, Govt of India. As Sattviko has a lot of anecdotes to say, its story has been published by Ivey Publishing and ISB in form of a successful case study for budding entrepreneurs. During his initial days with Techbuddy, he trained more than 15,000 students across the country and earned the ‘Pioneer of Tomorrow’ and India’s hottest startups awards from reputed publication houses for his venture.
Apart from business ventures, Prasoon also founded a non-profit organization called Swarajneeti, an NGO which is dedicated to democratic reforms in India through technological innovations.
In his leisure time he loves to travel. He believes in making new acquaintances, particularly with entrepreneurs. As a firm believer in ‘Karma’, he has been helping a number of startups and has also invested in couple of them.
Hitesh Ahuja, Founder and CEO, Yumlane
Hitesh Ahuja is Founder & CEO of CPG brand Yumlane, India’s first heat & eat category food brand with its flagship products Heat n’ Eat Pizzas. Yumlane, founded in 2016 is positioned as a mass premium brand targeting millennials, rushed moms, young kids. He believes Pizza in retail is once-in-a-lifetime, large unmet need and Yumlane is capitalizing this white space opportunity.
Hitesh is an MBA in Finance from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, and had a brief stint in HCL Technologies as M&A Analyst before joining New Silk Route Private Equity (NSR PE), USD 1.4B growth stage PE firm investing in consumer and logistics space. During his 6 years at NSR PE, Hitesh’s notable investments include USD 75 Million in a leading domestic beverage chain, Café Coffee Day and USD 40 Million in VRL Logistics, leading LTL logistics player which successfully IPO-ed few years ago on domestic Indian bourses. . Post NSR, in 2013, Hitesh began his entrepreneurial journey in consumer space with two short stints in Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry – Maroosh, Lebanese QSR and Khans, Indian QSR before deciding to focus on building a CPG brand.
Yumlane’s consumers love the convenience of Heat n’ Eat and Pizza and being an established category has helped Yumlane build its traction. It is currently present across 4 channels – Modern Retail, Traditional Retail, Online, At Work and has reached 1,000+ touch points in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and retail revenues of Rs 20 crores on Annualized Run Rate (ARR) basis within two years. Yumlane is targeting to grow 5x from here to Rs 1,000 million (Rs 100 crores) by 2020 and build Rs 10,000 million (Rs 1,000 crores) by 2025.
Hitesh enjoys reading, swimming and listening to podcasts in his leisure time. Currently, he is listening to The Turnaround of Harley Davidson voiced by Clyde Fessler.
Ebrahim Akbari, Co founder, Doodhwala
Ebrahim Akbari, the founding partner of Doodhwala, along with this partner scaled a 5 member company to a 400 member company in just three years, making Doodhwala India’s largest subscription based e-grocer. As a savvy negotiator and with cutting edge entrepreneurial skills he built a business model which has revolutionized the way people in India are buying milk and the way local dairies are selling milk.
Coming from a family of successful entrepreneurs, prior to Doodhwala, he was heading 20-year-old family business of Industrial fields supplies in Oman. As a Managing Partner he was tasked with sourcing new tenders and scaling the business across and outside Oman. In his first year, he increased the company turnover by 30% to 25 crore, and by 2015 to 35 crore. He also opened an office in Dubai recording Rs 5 crore turnover in the first year.
Besides an established entrepreneur, Ebrahim is a gold medalist swimmer, skilled theater artist and an avid reader.
Pawan Raj Kumar , Co founder & CEO, Supa Star Foods
Pawan, with more than 20 years of experience in the food service industry, is a co-founder and CEO of Supa Star Foods, a packaged food & beverage company that markets its products under two brands SUPACORN and MISHT.
In his different roles as an entrepreneur and investor, Pawan is quite positive about the market trends in two areas, healthy snacking and traditional food. Hence the two brands. SUPACORN stands for healthy and tasty snacking using corn as a base while Misht is the cool halwai that promotes traditional halwai snacks & sweets in convenient and hygienic packaging.
Apart from running these businesses, Pawan also has interests in two more food business HOI FOODS and BERILISHUS FOODS. Hoi is a food service brand that serves comfort food at affordable prices using kitchens of budget hotels across NCR. Berilishus is a bakery and kitchen for white label institutional supplies of breads, cookies, paranthas and many other products.
Pawan also led a successful business in commercial foodservice equipment called Continental Equipment India Pvt Ltd. This company supplies to some of the biggest foodservice names in the country including various hotels and QSR chains.
He has also co-founded two other companies in the past. ActiveKarma Ventures that was also in the healthy life style and Continental Systems that sold CAD softwares to the textile industry. Pawan is also an active angel investor in start-ups and is mentoring some of them as well.
Pawan is an Engineering Graduate from IIT Delhi and an MBA from IIM Lucknow.
Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Co founder, Ninjacart
Vasu is a co-founder of Ninjacart. He has total of 10+ years of experience in Technology and product domain with companies such as Infosys, HindustanTimes and TaxiForSure. At Ninjacart, Vasu leads people and marketing function was instrumental in setting up operations in initial days. He is a management graduate from School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL, Gurugram).
Gaurav Kapoor, Senior Private Sector Development Adviser, UK Department for International Development (DFID)
Gaurav is the Senior Private Sector Development Adviser with DFID, India. A seasoned adviser, Gaurav has about 20 years of experience across responsible PE/VC investments, investment funds, corporate development and policy reform having worked in domestic and international markets.
Gaurav brings substantial policy advocacy experience on economic development interventions such as business climate reform, making markets work in the low income states and ensuring value for money, in partnership with the Indian Government and apex institutions on India’s progressive reform agenda.Gaurav holds an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD, France and Wharton, USA and a B.Eng (Hons) from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Shripad Nadkarni, Founder Director, Fingerlix
Shripad Nadkarni is the Founder Director of Fingerlix (Maverix Platforms Pvt. Ltd.). Fingerlix is a brand of Ready-to-Cook & Eat Fresh Food which was launched in Mumbai last May and recently raised Series A funding from Accel Venture Partners & Zephyr Peacock.
Shripad was a Founder Director at MarketGate Consulting, a strategy and marketing consulting company. He has consulted across a multitude of sectors such as FMCG, media, apparel, OTC products, automobiles, entertainment and financial services. He sold MarketGate to the Publicis Groupe of France. He is a prolific angel investor and has helped create and nurture several brands such as Paper Boat and Epigamia as also brands in the sports & fintech space. Shripad’s breadth of experience prior to consulting covers industries such as healthcare, consumer goods and beverages. He has steered diverse businesses and led sales and marketing teams for several years in the course of his career.
Shripad was Vice President-Marketing and Business Head for New Beverages at Coca-Cola India for over five years beginning October 2000. He also led the communication of core brands (Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite) for India, Indonesia, Rural China and South West Asia. Prior to that he was Vice President-Marketing for the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Business and also headed the Vision Care (disposable contact lenses) profit center. He has also spent more than seven years in the pharmaceutical business of Johnson & Johnson India.
Shripad is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and an alumnus of executive programs at the University of California at Berkeley as well as Duke University. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has contributed articles to leading business dailies and magazines. He is an Independent Director on the board of Liberty General Insurance Company Ltd.
Amuleek Singh Bijral, Founder and CEO, Chai Point
Amuleek Singh Bijral hails from the state of Jammu & Kashmir. After completing his engineering with honors from Thapar University, Punjab and a MBA from Harvard Business School. He has worked with Microsoft Corporation and EMC (now a part of Dell) in developer, consulting, strategy and sales roles. Before starting Mountain Trail Foods Private Limited (Chai Point is a brand under it), he was the country manager for RSA (a world-leading Information Security Company).
He is passionate about building brands. He strongly believes that businesses by design should also be making a positive impact in the societies in which they operate. Technology, product design, and incentive structures have a critical role to play towards this. He believes that his loved ones are the pillars of support in his life.
Vijay Uttarwar, CEO, Naturell (India)
Vijay Uttarwar is a serial Entrepreneur with business experience spanning from Software to Consumer Products.
He is Founder & CEO of Naturell India Pvt Ltd. Naturell provides the finest nature-based products that helps consumer adopt a healthier lifestyle. Naturell has created and nurtured Nutrition & Protein Bars Category in India. RiteBite & Max Protein Nutrition Bars and Snacks are leading brand of Naturell.
At Naturell, he has inculcated simple philosophy, to continue the market leader position in the Nutrition Bar market in India. Naturell has positioned as the protein company of India. Naturell is working towards promoting & enhancing healthy living in India via launching innovative protein-based variety of products under multiple categories.
Vijay holds Msc in Agronomy from PKV Nagpur and MS in Computer Science from Florida Institute of Technology USA. He is a Sloan Fellow, and a member of the Asia Regional Advisory Board of London Business School. Vijay is also actively involved in social activities helping to improve the economy of small towns in India. He is Charter Member of TiE & mentors new entrepreneurs, helping them to build their companies.
S Venkatraman, Partner and Director, Rabo Equity Advisors
S. Venkatraman is a Partner & Director with Rabo Equity Advisors, the Investment Advisor to India Agri Business Fund 1 and 2. This is the first private equity fund in Asia dedicated to the Food & Agribusiness sector. At Rabo Equity, Venkat is the senior member of the investment team, involved in deal ideation, origination, evaluation, investment, execution and portfolio management.
Venkat has a B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Venkat has over 23 years of work experience which comprises
Over seven years with Rabo Equity
Eight and half years with Rabo India Finance Ltd (100% subsidiary of Rabobank International), where he headed the Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory team (FAR).
7 years in the consumer marketing space, spread across Johnson & Johnson and Marico Ltd, both based in Mumbai (India).
1 year with Essar Steel in the Project Management team
Venkat has a sound understanding of the sector dynamics across food and agribusiness sectors (F&A). He has authored publications in all these sectors. He has also spoken at various industry forums and showcased his sector knowledge. He has also advised various domestic and international corporates on entry strategy, market study and implementation assistance in the F&A space.
Kuchibotla Srinivas, Partner – Food, Agri & Retail Practice, KPMG
Puneet Kumar, Vice President, Nexus Venture Partners
Puneet finds his passion and purpose in simplifying how businesses and consumers interact with one another through technology. He grew up in an agricultural mandi in Rajasthan and spent most of his first 16 years of life at his shop dealing with farmers and auctioning grains in the Mandi. Through his work, he enjoys nurturing the passion for finding and growing lifelong friendships. He is most excited about Agri-tech, Consumer brands, SaaS platforms and Gaming in India. Due to his close relationships with farmers, food and agriculture sectors are closest to his heart.
In his life before Nexus, he dabbled with entrepreneurship, consulting and advising startups in education, entertainment, SaaS and consumer tech. Most recently, he led one of McKinsey’s first sales acceleration programs for a leading SaaS startup in India. During his time at McKinsey, he led projects that helped companies bring new and disruptive technologies to market in the US, Europe, and India. His most engaging experiences pre-McKinsey include stints at a global macro hedge fund (Passport Capital), and with start-ups in Silicon Valley and India in consumer tech.
Puneet grew up around small-scale entrepreneurs and farmers in a small town in Rajasthan. He studied engineering at IIT Madras and has complemented his engineering education through an MBA from the Stanford GSB, and the CFA program. He joined Stanford as a Reliance Dhirubhai Fellow (100% sponsorship) and graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar (top 10% of the class). In his leisure time, Puneet enjoys playing poker, board games, tennis, and photography.
Anurag Malempati, Founder & Executive Director, Leap India Food & Logistics
Founder & Executive Director of Leap India food & Logistics, One of the leading developer of Agri Silos in the country.
Co-founder and Non executive Director of Nkars Online (Torquex.com) – One of India’s early automobile marketplace and led them to secure a Series – A Funding.
Over 5 Years of Experience in Agri Silos. Was instrumental in Raising the series A capital of USD 7 Million from Neev Fund And USD 20 Million Debt capital.
Co-Founder and General Secretary, Association of Silo Operators and Developers [ASDO]
Vaidhehi Ravidran, Vice President, Aspada Investment Advisors
Shruti Srivastava, Principal, Omnivore Partners