Our Team of Experts
Ajay heads the Wadhwani Venture Fastrack program of the Foundation.
An entrepreneur, mentor, angel investor, and an active contributor to the innovation and startup ecosystems
Founding Director of Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Bennett University
Headed Bennett Hatchery – the startup incubator of the Times Group
Worked with the Azim Premji Foundation for many years
A Charter Member of TiE and serves on several national committees of FICCI and CII
M.S. in Computer Science from Stevens Inst. of Technology, NJ, and a B.E. in Computer Engg. from Delhi University
Several certifications from Carnegie Mellon University
Sr. Analyst - VFT
Amaresh Nashi is an engineer turned business researcher, he has earned his master’s in computer network engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was actively involved in developing socially beneficial mobile apps and served as a graduate student senate.
Later, he worked as a consultant a financial consultancy firm in Bangalore, India serving various types of businesses and went on to earn an MBA from the University of Colorado Boulder specializing in finance & operations, winning several business competitions along the way, most prominent being the Association for Corporate Growth Competition Colorado and the CFA research challenge Colorado.
His most recent stints were at Cisco and Ball Corporation in USA & in India, supporting their financial planning & analysis units. Ast he was always looking for opportunities that would work for and impact people, Amaresh is now working with the Wadhwani VFT team, developing high quality research studies on the entrepreneur ecosystems and supporting the operations of the team.
Program Manager - VFT
Arun Nair brings over 14 years of experience of which 8+ years are in startup operations. He has worked extensively in the startup ecosystem, creating startup ecosystem in Tier 2 cities and has been instrumental in running many startup-focused communities. His core expertise is in operations, business development, and government relations. In his current role, Arun helps accelerate the success of growth-stage startups.
Deepanjali (Anjali) brings with her a rich and valuable experience of over 20years. She has expertise across functions that include Business Development, Executive Coaching, Program Management and Market Access for Startups. She has led and managed teams to excellence in Multinationals and tried her hands in entrepreneurship as well, she now finds her passion for being a catalyst to drive success for Startups. In the recent past, her key driver has been to build a strong bridge between the corporates and Startups. She has enabled Market Access for Startups and mentored them for critical thinking and power-packed pitching. In her previous roles at TiE and Microsoft she managed and facilitated programs that cull out the best for entrepreneurial success. Anjali is passionate about making a difference to people and impacting lives and is excited to be part of the Wadhwani Foundation for this very purpose!
A seasoned professional with over 16 years of work experience, Farha Bano is the Program Manager at Wadhwani Foundation. Having been an NEN e-leader as a student, she joined the Foundation in 2018 with the vision to make a difference in the lives of people by “Creating Jobs, Changing Lives.” Apart from contributing to program management, she likes to dabble in learning content design, research, and stakeholder management.
With 25+ years of work experience as a senior management professional - out of which 12+ years spent in the startup ecosystem in leadership roles - Gayathri Sharma has been helping build the startup ecosystem in India since January 2008. Her core strength lies in building networks as well as in governance, operations, people, and relationship management. She is well connected to all the stakeholders in the Indian startup ecosystem and has extensive experience in conceptualizing, running, and managing accelerator programs. As part of the Wadhwani Entrepreneur initiative, she has played a pivotal role in building Tier 2 startup ecosystems in India and has also helped conceptualize, build, and scale the Wadhwani Venture Fastrack program. She is currently leading the efforts to launch a platform for the startup ecosystem, which provides lifelong support to startup founders through access to on-demand content, knowledge resources, and connects.
Mayank is a new generation entrepreneur who is empowering non-technical entrepreneurs, makers & side hustlers, launch their products faster in the market using the power of no-code tools. At Wadhwani Venture Fastrack, he is building the product which is empowering thousands of global Start-ups with
on-demand, AI-enabled, high-quality customized access to knowledge, experts, and funding opportunities.
An educational startup founder and startup coach, Mehar Zariwala, Program Lead at Wadhwani Venture Fastrack. Mehar started her first educational company at the age of 24. During her stint at the ISB DLabs incubator at Hyderabad she has coached and mentored startups from various sectors. Over the last 12 years she has been practicing experiential learning and design thinking with a varied audience spread across different geographies. Her constant endeavour is to work at the intersection of business, design and learning.
A Lean Startup Methodology expert and founder of two successful ventures, Naved Ahmed is the program manager for Wadhwani Venture Fastrack. With over 15 years of diversified professional, Naved has mentored more than 31 startup entrepreneurs. Naved is a skilled project management professional with varied experience in IT services, education, animation, e-learning, electronics, and SaaS product companies. Currently, Naved is building a world-class impact program for incubators and accelerators.
Program Manager - VFT
Prarthana is a Startup Enthusiast working towards supporting entrepreneurs from early to growth stage through various innovative programs and initiatives across domains. She has been part of the startup community for 8+ years supporting them through programs at Google India and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE Bangalore). Currently, she is a Program Manager with the Venture Fastrack Team at Wadhwani defining processes and further enabling the ecosystem. She was the founding team member of a Quick Service Restaurant called IndyHOP in Bangalore and grew it to 3 outlets and played a pivotal role to define systems and processes that would enable the business to scale. During her me time, you will either find her indulged in a book, tending to her garden or experimenting with her cooking skills.
Rajeev is working towards enabling a vibrant Wadhwani Foundation Ecosystem Platform which will connect WF beneficiaries (across the WA, WE and WO Initiatives) to peers, mentors, experts, service providers, customers, and others.
- A software professional with engineering, business development and management experience in India, Australia, Canada and US
- Has varied experience in general management, entrepreneurship, information technology, software development, consulting, and planning of technology for enterprise & e-commerce companies.
- BE in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Bhopal and Post Graduate Diploma in Software Enterprise Management from IIM Bangalore
Vaibhav Saraf holds an MBA degree from Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. He comes from an engineering background and has been working as a Product Manager in the Edtech space since 2017.
He has extensive experience in building, launching, deploying, and maintaining various Academic and Learning solutions. He has launched two mobile apps with more than 700000 downloads. He has also trained 2000+ users on various products.
Vaibhav is now working with the Wadhwani VFT team, building the next generation of the VFT Learning Management System.