An interview with Shyam Menon, Partner and Co-Founder at Bharat Innovation Fund and Infuse Ventures, and Chief Growth Officer at CIIE.CO.
John Hoffmire: Like so many CRISP scholars, you’ve had an interesting journey including everything from being a research engineer to managing two successful venture capital funds you co-founded. Tell me how your career has taken shape. Shyam: For me personally, it began back in 2001 when I got an opportunity to be part of a nanomaterials startup in Ann Arbor, Michigan when I graduated from a Masters program in materials engineering. I bounced around couple more next gen energy startups developing high temperature fuel cells in Boston and Connecticut. Then in 2004, I decided to explore if I could handle
An interview with Shailesh Pathak, Chief Executive Officer of L&T IDPL (Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd.)
John Hoffmire: I always like to start an interview by asking for a broad brushstroke picture of a career. Will you tell me about yours? Shailesh: A British friend described my career as poacher-turned-gamekeeper-turned-poacher. After my MBA in 1986 I worked in project finance and investment banking with ICICI for four years in Bombay, as it then was. After a brief stint with HSBC, I joined the Government of India’s top civil service, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). I spent the next 17 years in the IAS in a variety of fascinating roles at districts and state capitals. In 2007
An interview with Dr. Shalini Sharma, Founder and CEO, Sanshodhan An E-Waste Exchange, and founding Director of the Global Institute for Circular Economy and Sustainable Development Goals (ICE&SDGs)
John Hoffmire: You are the founder of Sanshodhan An E-Waste Exchange, an emerging company working for e-waste management and the development of zero waste businesses and organizations. You also founded Global Institute for Circular Economy and Sustainable Development Goals (ICE&SDGs), the NGO. Tell me how this came about? Shalini: It goes back to January 2017, when I was cleaning and reorganizing my home. I found that I had accumulated too many obsolete electronic devises. When I decided to dispose of them through recycling, I discovered that it was quite a challenge to find authorized scrap-dealers to take and recycle my obsolete electronics.
John Hoffmire: You are a principal scientist at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, which is known for its excellence in scientific research in chemistry and chemical engineering. Tell me about the work you do there, if you will. Nitin: The saying, “Do what you’ll love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” definitely applies to me so I would say, rather than work, I follow my passion for studying new technologies being developed in my institute and coming up with the best strategies to turn them into intellectual property assets for the organization. This involves reviewing disclosure
An interview with Sreedevi Devireddy, Founding Chief Executive Officer, SR Innovation Exchange, the technology-business incubator of SR University, Warangal
John Hoffmire: In the three years since I met you as a fellow of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) at Oxford University, you created and have steered SR Innovation Exchange (SRiX) to a level where you are receiving international recognition. Please tell me more about that. Sreedevi: I explain it this way: in the years before Oxford, while I had done meaningful work and research in the field of Innovation and entrepreneurship, to that point I had been jogging. Then, with all the inspiration, learning, and support I received as a CRISP fellow, combined with my
In its 72 years of independence, India has shown its unprecedented prowess in building a modern, democratic nation. It has lifted millions out of poverty, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has increased its global influence by becoming a member of the G20 and the BRICS. More recently, it has played a central role in providing the world with COVID-19 vaccines as it has one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing capacities in the world. However, what’s so unfortunate and saddening for a country making such strides on a global scale is that its gender gap
An interview with Sachinder (Sachin) Mohan Sharma, Group General Manager at the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL)
John Hoffmire: I’ve been on trains in India but I still can’t fathom the scale of what you must manage as the Group General Manager at the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL). Tell me more about what you do. Sachin: The Government of India has entrusted DFCCIL with construction, maintenance and operation of the dedicated rail freight corridors across the country. The Indian railway is a lifeline of the Indian economy, traversing the length and breadth of the country. The ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata comprises only16 percent of the route kilometers but carries
An interview with Sushrut Vaidya, innovation leader with one of the largest technology companies in the world
John Hoffmire: One of the things that always impresses me when I sit down with a CRISP scholar is the interdisciplinary learning that each of you have engaged in. You are no exception. You’ve gone from a Bachelor of Engineering, to printing technology and graphic communication, technology management, Indology and Buddhist studies. Then on to consulting for Fortune 100 clients and working on emerging economy issues, and now heading business innovation at one of the largest technology companies. That’s a lot of diverse learning! Sushrut: Well, my engineering degree has served me well in fields related to emerging markets and business innovation.
An interview with Kamesh Gupta, Senior Vice President, Strategic Collaborations & Programs, Group Technology & Innovation Office (GTIO), Tata Sons Limited
John Hoffmire: Kamesh, you are a man who wears lots of hats. Tell me about your many responsibilities at Tata. Kamesh: As a Senior Vice President, Strategic Collaborations and Programs in the Group Technology and Innovation Office of Tata Sons, my job is to create and deliver strategic collaborations and new technology programs for global impact. So, in a way, I wear a focused singular hat, but yes, the way we go about delivering impact opens into many avenues and opportunities to make a difference. The fact that my role allows so many critical departures from the regular ways work
An interview with Dr. Mohita Gangwar Sharma, Professor of Quantitative Techniques and Operations Management, FORE School of Management, New Delhi
John Hoffmire: I hope you don’t mind my starting out on a somewhat personal note by saying I remember you as one of the nicest people I have ever met. I’ve often wondered how you balance your kindness and positive attitude against the sometimes hard edge that is expected in the business management world. Mohita: In describing the life that we working women lead, especially the work-life balance for the working women, I’ve often used the analogy of flying a kite. I love the beautiful festival of ‘Uttarayan’, which represents the dawn of positivity, and the meaningful lessons to be
An interview with Suphiya Khan, Associate Professor, Banasthali University, India, and Founding Director at Drumlins Water Technologies Pvt LTD
John Hoffmire: When I met you in Oxford two years ago, if I remember right, you were working on providing safer drinking water throughout India. Is that still one of your priorities? Suphiya: You remember right. In India, as in many other parts of the world, water scarcity is considered a major crisis in the 21st century. And fluoride contamination is a major contributor to the world water crisis affecting about 200 million people worldwide. My research has led to a new, low-cost method to remove harmful fluoride from drinking water with specially made teabag-like pouches. This new method uses pouches
More youth from the Northern Province are turning to innovative startups under the initiative of Yarl IT Hub (YIT), originally set up in 2013. They are made competitive via the Yarl Geek Challenge Accelerator which runs for six months for a selected cohort of early-stage startups twice a year. During these six months, the startups will be offered training, mentoring, seed funding, and networking opportunities. In doing so, the accelerator aims to help its entrepreneurs generate revenue, acquire the skills needed to build a startup, expand their networks, and to be investor-ready. When initial applications were called, the Yarl IT