An initiative funded by the U.S. Embassy New Delhi
Patricia A. Lacina, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy
Patricia A. Lacina, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, assumed the role of Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. on September 9, 2021.
From July 2018 until July 2021, she served as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany. From 2015 to 2017, she served as Principal Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State. From 2013 to 2015, she served as Deputy Chief Information Officer for Business, Management and Planning and Chief Knowledge Officer. Patricia’s overseas assignments include Management Officer in Cairo, Deputy Director of Frankfurt’s Regional Support Center, and Director of Human Resources in both Vienna and Brussels. She has also completed tours in Buenos Aires, Nairobi, Moscow, Bogota, and Mexico City. Domestically, she also served in the Bureau of International Organizations Affairs as the Office Director of Global Systems.
Patricia holds a B.A. in Special Education and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.A. in International Affairs from California State University at Sacramento. Originally from rural Iowa, Patricia is married to Carlos Zapata, who recently retired from the Foreign Service. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.
Erik Azulay, Executive Director, Nexus
Erik Azulay is a technology commercialization expert and serial entrepreneur specializing in small business startups and international market strategies. He has managed commercialization and incubation projects in 12 countries around the world, and launched and sold two logistics companies based in the United States and Russia.
Mr. Azulay's experience includes overseeing the creation and running of the National Technology Commercialization Center in Kazakhstan. Under his leadership the Center incubated Kazakh start-ups to bring their innovations to market and created a multi-million dollar small business commercialization grant program which continues to this day.
As President of the Alliance for Commercialization and Innovation Research, he currently runs the Nexus Innovation Hub and Incubator. The Nexus Incubator is funded by the U.S. State Department and showcases best practices in incubation and entrepreneurship from India and the U.S. In just over two years of operation, Nexus startups have raised over $33 million in outside funding.
Apurba Mitra, Associate Partner, KPMG
Apurba is an Associate Partner with KPMG's ESG practice. As a climate, energy, and ESG specialist, over the years she has focused on solutions around deep decarbonization, ESG transformation, energy transitions, carbon markets, green finance, platform building, complexity economics, sustainability reporting, strategy, etc. She has worked extensively with the corporate sector but also worked quite closely with the government on policy. In her previous role, she was the Head of Climate Policy and modeling at WRI India.
Swarandeep Singh Kambo, FRSA, Founder & General Partner of Lykke Capital.
Swarandeep oversees the strategic direction of the fund. His primary responsibilities include sourcing and screening investment opportunities, ensuring investments meet financial and operating objectives. Swarandeep oversees the fund's portfolio, including Lets Dress Up (LDU), Glip, Plume Beauty, TravClan, InnerFit, Intents Mobi, and Recur Club.
In addition, Swarandeep is a Venture Capital Scout with Saison Capital, the corporate arm of Credit Saison, a Tokyo-listed 30b AUM consumer finance company and one of the largest credit card issuers in Japan. He supports the corporate venture arm which does direct and fund-of-funds investments.
He received a B.E. in Information Technology from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT). He is a member of the 2017 Class of UNLEASH Fellows, 2018 Class of StartingBloc Fellows, and Climate Reality Leaders. He has spoken at several conferences & panels: GSG Global Summit, and HBS Business Club.
Pratap Raju, Founding Partner, Climate Collective
Pratap Raju has been in the climate and clean tech space since 2009. From being one
of the pioneers in solar in the early days of National Solar Mission, he has pivoted to
supporting climate and clean tech startups throughout South Asia, where the
Climate Collective has accelerated over 600+ cleantech startups across the region.
A graduate from Harvard and and then Oxford University, Pratap Raju has been an
entrepreneur for the past 20 years in IT, media, renewable energy, and now climate.
Priyank Shanker Garg, President at Tapas Clean Energy LLP, Member - Indian Angel Network
Priyank started Tapas Clean Energy LLP, a Clean Energy Enterprise currently generating over 5GWh of Carbon free energy every year. He started this venture after 13 years as Managing Director at Advance Valves where he: developed globally patented products, revitalized the brand, led digital transformation, developed global talent teams, grew revenue 5x with improved profits and ROIC. Priyank has a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University and a B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT Delhi.
Priyank is a prolific angel investor since 2007, ranking in the top 50 in the country as per Fortune in 2022. He has invested in more than 50 companies including Myntra, Druvaa, Uniphore, Highstreet Essentials, Farmart, Thinkerbell Labs, Consure Medical, Druva Space among others. Priyank continues to mentor various startups in advisory as well as board capacities with specific focus on Cleantech and SaaS.
Priyank is a member of the Indian Angel Network and an active leader in professional industry groups such as ISHRAE, ASHRAE and others. Priyank has been on various startup Juries such as the NASSCOM Emerge, India Innovation Initiative 2016, Samsung Innovation, Times of India Big Challenge jury etc. Priyank has been an active member of the IIT Delhi Alumni network during his stint in Silicon Valley and continues to maintain strong ties with his alma mater.
Rahul Bagga, Founder & Managing Director, Aumirah
Rahul Bagga is Founder & Managing Director of Aumirah [Aumirah IP and Aumirah Analytics]. He has also founded a legal tech company - IP Sarthi Legal Tech Pvt Ltd to develop online tools for managing several aspects of IP.
He is MSc DIC in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and is a registered Indian Patent Agent with more than 13 years' experience of working in IP sector in three different countries. At Aumirah, he leads a spirited, high performing and young team of engineers, lawyers and analysts. Through Aumirah, he has served more than 1000+ domestic and foreign clients over last 3+ years in range of matters pertaining to intellectual property rights in India and across the world. His specialisation is patent law and has over the years gained significant expertise, and with his spirited colleagues at Aumirah, he has advised companies/startups/MSMEs from across multiple industries such as EVs, Energy, AI, Robotics, Biotechnology, Pharma, Drones, Defence, Automotive, General Engineering, Agriculture and nanotechnology. He also serves as mentor to various other Delhi/NCR based incubators such as Nexus & Aspire Labs, and has also been empanelled by i-hub Gujarat.
Further, of late, together with his team, he has been working closely on drawing contracts, agreements, term sheets, and advising startups and MSMEs in transactions and private equity matters.
Mr. Jeet Vijay, CEO, MeitY Startup Hub (MSH)
MSH is the nodal agency of the Ministry of Electronics and IT to support and promote deep-tech startups across India. MSH is responsible for 51+ incubators, 26+ Centre of Excellence, multiple Accelerators, among other assets. Also, responsible for conceptualizing and implementing new schemes and programs to support more than 3000 startups that are associated with MeitY Startup Hub.
Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI
Dr Vibha Dhawan is the Director General of India’s premier research institution- The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and has been associated with TERI since 1985. Dr Dhawan is actively involved in research as well as policy development at the national and international levels. Dr Dhawan is a well-published researcher and has been instrumental in the establishment of the highly successful Micropropagation Technology Park at TERI. In the area of advanced biofuels, she guides the activities of the DBT-TERI Centre on Integrated Production of Advanced Biofuels and Biocommodities.
Reecha Goel, Global Strategy & Sustainability Lead. IBM Consulting
Reecha has 21+ years of experience across multiple dimensions of business and technology such as Sales, Strategy, Solutioning & Delivery, spread across industries and geographies. Transformational projects and Innovation have been the cornerstones of her success. She has performed multiple entrepreneurial and P&L roles during her career including setting up practices ground up, building teams, client relationship management, establishing and achieving business and sales targets, amongst others.
Reecha is a Thought Leader in Banking and Platinum Badge Holder in Insurance Industry. Alongside the Industry, she is a technology avid, shouldering to her credit multiple certifications in the new age technology platforms such as Data Sciences, Automation, Cloud Architect & Cognitive. The blend of Technology and Industry knowledge makes her stand in the Leadership position @IBM.
Reecha is also a building block of the newly established Global sustainability practice at IBM, wherein she leads this practice both from Sales and Delivery perspective. In her role, she works with the IBM Global Leadership teams to strategize and incubate sustainability offerings, build the practice, identify solutions and develop sustainability journey of the clients, and spearheads C-suite discussions with IBM clients. Besides, she also leads the discussions with the M&A team to build partnerships across the ecosystem of sustainability.
Santhosh Muzumdar, Johnson Controls
Santhosh Muzumdar leads Government Relations and Sustainability for Johnson Controls (JCI) in India. He is currently leading JCI’s efforts to bring the best of technologies and business models from across the globe while tailoring them to India’s needs.
He has more than 22 years of broad geographical experience across organizational functions and industry verticals. Combining technical and commercial expertise to facilitate business growth. Santhosh has been actively involved with policy formation committees, industry associations and government authorities to bring out effective guidelines in creating energy efficient, safe and secure infrastructure. Most recently, he Led JCI’s efforts to promote Energy Service Performance Contracting Model with various ministries and eventual inclusion in finance budget 2022. He has authored several white papers and articles in leading magazines on topics related to sustainable cities, advanced traffic management systems, fire protection in buildings among others.
Before joining JCI, he worked at Underwriters Laboratories India (UL) in various roles of increasing responsibility. He has collaborated extensively with both private and government sectors in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific
Ashok Pralhad Athawase, Director Sustainability, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia
Ashok has a 20 years of exciting journey with Coca-Cola, he started with the GET Program of year 2000 and progressed through various supply chain facets like HCCB plant operations, region technical, technical services and commercialization at BU. Providing solutions, add value and winning along with system Partners has been my Passion, which lead to successful commercialization of many new products, technologies, value engineering and QSE solution projects, including 40 + capacity expansion projects which enabled YOY business growth for last 12 years including 4 New futuristic greenfield plants.
Avik Sanyal, Technology Team, ReNew Power
Avik is part of technology team at ReNew Power, India's largest RE focused IPP in terms of installed capacity. He leads the Energy Storage track and is actively involved in scouting new technologies & developing solutions for the energy domain. Avik has 8+ years of experience in Technology & Innovation roles in leading organizations in India. He holds a Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from Universitaet Heidelberg. In his free time, Avik likes to read non-fiction and fiddle with cricket statistics.
Ashwini Saxena, CEO, JSW Foundation
Mr. Ashwini Saxena, CEO-JSW Foundation, Board Director JSW Shakti, JSW South-West Port Limited and Trustee Heal Foundation holds Masters' degrees in Geology, Business Management and on CSR Leadership from University of Geneva. His more than 30 years’ career with reputed organisations such as UNIDO, IFC (World Bank) and corporates took him across India and Africa. He has led MSME development/ CSR/ Sustainability programs and championed IFC’s Sustainability Tools in South Asia.
He has several publications to his credit and he contributes frequently on a number of Task Forces & Advisory Committees. He is currently the Chairman of CII Western Region CSR Committee, Member CII National Task Force on Water Management and other forums such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and others. He is an avid reader, music & photography enthusiast.
Jasmeet Kaur, Founder, XAPER Waste Solutions
Jasmeet Kaur is an M.Tech in Biotechnology with keen interest in working for the environment and to uplift the underprivileged communities with socially impactful initiatives.
After gaining experience in different sectors including Healthcare and Academics, she finally started to pursue her dissertation project of post-graduation of 'Biodegradation of Plastics' as a full-time project and formed XAPER Waste Solutions Pvt Ltd with Mr. Ajay Palta and Govind Palta.
XAPER Waste Solutions is a technology-driven social enterprise building machines and solutions for managing the menace of solid waste to reduce the carbon footprint. She represented XAPER at GES 2019 in the Hague Netherlands.
She is leading and operating multiple projects with Govt authorities for zero-waste projects under Waste to Wealth Mission. O/o Principal Scientific Advisor to Govt of India, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Rail Coach Factory Indian Railways, Municipal Corporation Assam and Army Cantonments are the few customers that XAPER is giving the services for waste processing and disposal.
Suchin Jain, Founder, Inoviea
Suchin Jain is an IIT-Delhi, IIM-Ahmedabad, University of Texas at Austin alumnus, a patent holder and author of an upcoming book. He founded Inoviea 8 years back and has innovated a number of products such as ipanelklean, E-boat, AI/ML based Disinfection Chamber to fight COVID, Harmless Dog Guard and many more.
For last 5 years Inoviea is a renewable energy focussed start-up with its disruptive technology ipanelKlean, which is a waterless solar panels self-cleaning system that can upto Double the power generation of existing and new solar plants, even without any additional rooftop space or land area, creating large annual economic, environmental and social Impact of 8 bil USD, save 100 bil litres of water, save 60 mil tons of carbon emissions and numerous human lives. It's fully automatic, manpowerless, doesn’t have any moving parts on solar panels, reduces payback period upto 40% and provides 15 times extra return from your solar investments.
The start-up has received government grants from 3 ministries and won international competitions and well on its way to implement over 9 projects across MNCs, large Indian Corporates and Government companies. The start-up is looking to raise pre-series funds to meet its upcoming scale up plan has been selected by JITO Shark Tank Pune and is in discussions with the investors. The startup is also selected by McKinsey to be part of its 5th annual Early Stage Investor Conference (ESIC) ESG start up fair.
Dhwani Mehta, Co-Founder & CEO, Ecovia.
Dhwani, a Warwick graduate, had been in the eCommerce & fashion space for over 3 years before she decided to embark upon an entrepreneurial journey with the mission of eliminating single-use packaging waste. Pioneering the return-ability of eCommerce packaging, she aims at championing circular economy in India with Ecovia, and also making sustainability economically sustainable.