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Movers And Shakers Of The Week [July 20-25]

Movers And Shakers Of The Week [July 20-25]

Soaib Grewal, venture partner, Times Internet announced his departure from the company

upGrad has appointed Rohit Dhar as the new President - Products

Zee5 India has hired Manish Kalra to lead their AVOD service

We bring you the next edition of the movers and shakers of the week.

This week, Soaib Grewal, venture partner, Times Internet announced his departure from the company. After his three year stint at Times Internet, Grewal said that he had been obsessed with a problem statement made explicit by Covid-19. “It’s come to a point where this deserves my full attention,” he added. Grewal will continue supporting the portfolio companies in a personal capacity.

While in the startups, the hiring has started to scale. Enterprise contract management provider Icertis said it has seen strong growth in hiring in the first half of 2020 as the company added over 300 employees globally. 

To meet the increased demand, Icertis hired a total of 319 employees in the past six months including more than 50 recent graduates from the class of 2020. With this, the company has also added a senior leadership team who will drive additional growth including Betsy Atkins to Board of Advisors, Pranali Save as CHRO, and Ajay Bhandari as EVP, Professional Services. 

Similarly, deeptech startup announced the doubling of its workforce amid increased demand for AR applications in retail and ecommerce. It said it now employs more than 50 people, across its development centre in Bengaluru and sales offices in San Francisco and Gurugram.

The company hired mid-level to senior roles in R&D (AI/ML and Data Science), Engineering, Customer Development and Delivery, 3D and Visual Innovation. The company plans to expand its sales presence to the UK, North Asia and SE Asia in the coming few months.

Further, MagicLab, the parent company behind dating and networking apps Bumble and Badoo, has been renamed to Bumble. Bumble will continue to be led by its CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd who will operate and continue to scale the apps. Further, it has also made key leadership appointments including Tariq Shaukat as President, Ronen Benchetrit as the parent company’s Chief Technology Officer, and Tran Taylor, Chief People Officer. 

On the Board level, Ann Mather has been appointed as non-executive Board Chair and Matthew Bromberg, Pamela Thomas-Graham and Elisa Steele as Board Members. 

Here are the other movers and shakers of the week:

upGrad Strengthens Leadership Team

Bengaluru-based edtech startup upGrad has announced the appointment of key senior leaders. It has appointed Rohit Dhar as the new President – Products.

Dhar, who had cofounded Brainybatch Internet, has over 13 years of experience in managing products for leading companies like OLX, Flipkart, eBay, PayPal, and StubHub. He will be leading the entire Product, Data Science, Analytics, and Design teams at upGrad.

Further, the company hired Puneet Tanwar as President – Technology who will be leading the Technology vertical at upGrad. Tanwar has over 20 years of experience in software development and joined upGrad from 1E, a UK-based software product company where he was Head of Engineering, India. Prior to this, he has held leadership positions in Engineering in firms such as Diebold Nixdorf, Microsoft and Electronic Arts.

Prior to this, the company appointed Deepak H. Singhka as the Vice President – Business. He will help steer the entire business towards growth and manage as well as improve upon the success rate for working professionals, the college, and the academy business. He started his career at Mahindra & Mahindra and went on to work at BYJU’S. There, he was responsible for initiating the ‘Field Sales’ across multiple cities in India, along with ‘Inside Sales’ in the Bengaluru office.

The company is geared towards doubling up its workforce to 2000 by the end of this fiscal. Founded in early 2015, upGrad has onboarded over 30K paid learners and impacted more than half a million individuals globally, within a short span of 5 years.

Zee5 India Appoints Manish Kalra

Indian entertainment company Zee5 India has hired Manish Kalra to lead their AVOD service as Senior Vice President and Business Head. In his new role, he will be responsible for overall AVOD business, developing the platform and content marketing strategy including, strategy for user acquisition and retention campaigns, partnerships and alliances for distribution and consumption of the AVOD content on the platform and driving overall growth.

With over 19 years of experience, Kalra has experience in the online business and marketing space. Prior to this, over the last 10 years, he has taken up various leadership roles like CMO, CBO and CEO in various online organizations like Amazon,, and Homeshop18.

He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from XLRI, Jamshedpur and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

With content across 12 languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati & Punjabi, ZEE5 is home to 1.25 lakh hours of On Demand Content and 100+ live TV channels. 

Ken42 Appoints Sasi Kumar Sundarajan As Advisor

Bengaluru-based edtech superapp platform Ken42 announced the appointment of Sasi Kumar Sundararajan as their Advisor. He will be based out of Ken42’s Bengaluru office.  

With over 23 years of experience in the industry, he has worked with PwC, Deloitte and EY as Practice Leader cover Public, Govt. and Private sector consulting in Growth, Restructuring, Investments, Technology and Capacity Building across several sectors in India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Middle-East and GCC. 

He has also been a guide, mentor and advisor to Startups, Incubators, Accelerators, PE Funds and Universities in the areas like Future of Work, Industry 4.0, Big Data, Digital, Disruption, Startups, Mid-markets, Growth, Sharing Economy and Circular Economy. 

Ken 42 is designed to support students at every stage of their crucial learning years, from Class 6 through 12 in its offering for schools, and from standard 12 through higher education and placements, Ken 42 is strongly differentiated from other learning management platforms.

Trimble Elevates Jayant Keswani As Marketing Director 

Trimble Inc has announced the appointment of Jayant Keswani as Marketing Director at Trimble Buildings, India & Middle East. In this role, Keswani will be responsible for developing and executing Trimble Buildings’ marketing and communications strategies in alignment with Trimble’s overall business strategy as well as identifying new market opportunities across India and the Middle East. 

He has been with Trimble for more than five years, most recently serving as Director of Marketing for Trimble Buildings in the India region. He has more than 30 years of industry experience, having held various marketing and leadership positions at the leading consumer and technology companies, including Airtel, LG, Panasonic and Autodesk. 

Trimble’s hardware and software products and solutions are used in construction, agriculture, transportation, utilities and geo-spatial industries globally. It is focused on solutions that optimize the complete Design-Build-Operate (DBO) lifecycle of buildings. 

Airtel Appoints Ganesh Lakshminarayanan

Bharti Airtel announced the appointment of Ganesh Lakshminarayanan as CEO-Enterprise Business. 

In his new role, Lakshminarayanan will be responsible for further strengthening Airtel’s market leadership in the B2B segment and accelerate growth as enterprises undergo digital transformation to become future ready. He will report to Ajay Chitkara, Director – Airtel Business.

 He brings rich experience in the IT and technology sector. Prior to joining Airtel, he was COO for Capillary Technologies. Over the years, Lakshminarayanan led various functions at Dell – Global Consumer and SME Services, Ecommerce business for Americas and Sales Ops for APAC. 

Lakshminarayanan takes over from Ashish Arora who has been elevated as CEO – Global Business and looks at expanding Airtel’s global networks, including submarine cable systems, to serve international and domestic customers. 

 Airtel serves over 2500 large and one million plus SMEs and startups with its integrated product portfolio that includes data centres, cloud, security and collaboration. 

Amit Tyagi Appointed As CEO Of ApnaComplex

Bengaluru-based Apartment Management and Security Solutions company ApnaComplex has announced the appointment of Amit Kumar Tyagi as the new Chief Executive Officer. Raja Sekhar Kommu (Rajs), the current CEO of the company will now be the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Tyagi joined ApnaComplex as the Chief Business Officer in July 2018. With more than 13 years of experience, he has been driving revenue growth of leading global go-to-market teams across multiple industries. In addition to ApnaComplex, he has been very active in IIMB Alumni activities and currently serves as Dy. Director in IIMB Alumni Association. He has an MBA from IIM Bangalore and B.Tech from IIT (ISM), Dhanbad. 

He will look after the management of the day-to-day business of the company and contribute in leading and developing ApnaComplex’s future growth. ApnaComplex has 20,000 Apartment Societies in over 80 cities that use their solution to manage all aspects of their society. 

Bada Business Appoints Sunil Chopra As COO

Edtech startup Bada Business has appointed Sunil Chopra as its Chief Operating Officer. The new COO will bolster the organizational leadership as it undertakes a major countrywide expansion over the next few years. In his new role, Chopra will be responsible for spearheading and overseeing operations as the organization enters its next phase of growth.

With almost three decades of experience, he has worked across different sectors ranging from IT, Technology, Electronics to Telecom. He has also held multiple positions and performed a variety of roles ranging from sales, management, business development to people strategy. 

He has been the Group Executive Director of Manufacturers for Gionee and Karbonn Mobiles (Jaina Mobiles) as well as the first country head of Sapient, India during the course of his career. His last stint was as Global President with HealthCubed Inc, Alkemi & Acumen Funded.

An alumnus of IIM, Lucknow, he has undertaken successful leadership roles with top MNCs including GE, Nokia, Sapient, Xerox, among others.

Aquapay Appoints New CEO Nitin Chavan

Enterprise Payments Major and Platform as a service (PaaS) specialist, Aquapay Payments Technologies announced that Nitin Chavan has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer.

Chavan joins the Aquapay team with two decades of experience spanning across Logistics, Aviation, Insurance and Banking majors. He has about 15 years of enterprise payments experience and a strong track record of growth acceleration and business transformation.

He was most recently served as Vice President & Business Head – Commercial Cards, India at Axis Bank Limited with knowledge and understanding about Commercial Cards, Enterprise Payment Ecosystems, Process Innovations and Technology platforms.

Prior to Axis Bank, Chavan held strategic positions at American Express & ICICI Bank. He is a Bachelor of Technology Graduate from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) and MBA in Marketing from Mumbai University.

Aquapay’s existing enterprise product suite in the area of Supplier Payments, Utility Bill Payments, GST Payments, Direct Tax Payments, Virtual Cards etc. help companies to improve their process efficiency, drive savings and attain technological edge with enhanced controls and user experience.

Fruzzanté Appoints Deepak Bhatnagar As Director

Mumbai-based Fruzzanté has appointed Deepak Bhatnagar, as one of the Directors of the company. With more than 30 years of experience, Bhatnagar recently retired as the Director – Sales & Marketing at Sula Vineyards Pvt. Ltd. While he still continues his contribution at Sula as an Advisor, he has joined hands with his long-time family friend Shrikant Save at Hill Zill Wines. At Fruzzanté, he will focus on product visibility and brand awareness. 

He is a Senior Sales and Marketing Management executive in the industry for delivering revenue and profits within highly competitive markets. In his career span, Bhatnagar has worked with brands including Lowenbrau Buttenheim Pvt Ltd, Som Distilleries, Forbes and Cambell, etc. 

Founded In 2016, Fruzzanté began its journey as a full-fledged winery, which also produces alcoholic beverages from Sapota  Chikoo commercially. The brand has plans to enter Goa, Telangana and other states after this is set properly. 

Dr Srinivas Chunduru Joins Snack Amor As Strategic Advisor

Snack Amor has appointed Dr Srinivas Chunduru as a strategic advisor. He has also invested an undisclosed amount in the company through his family office VANS Investments. 

With more than 20 years’ experience at Piramal Housing Finance as Business Head and Executive Director, Chunduru has expertise across diverse functions such as P&L Management, Business Development, Corporate Strategy, M&A, Investor Relations and Strategic HR. He brings in extensive experience in managing large teams, working closely with foundations and initiatives as an advisor and/or as a board member, and partnering closely with founders/ promoters/family managed businesses for strategic business growth.

He has also been a key advisor for Ola as its Interim CHRO and CEO (OSPL) and continues to be on the board of Ola group companies (OSPL).

Dr. Chunduru has earlier worked with initiatives in the space of Food, Livelihood, Skill Development and Education. He is the Founder and Member of Board of Vans Group (Vans Investments, Vans Skilling and Advisory) which has interests in varied areas like Edutech, Fintech, Skilling & advisory and HR analytics. Snack Amor is a health food and snacking startup based in Mumbai.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the movers and shakers of the week!