As part of its Urban Works Innovation Challenge 2019-2020, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai invites you to a panel discussion moderated by Nruthya Madappa, Managing Partner at The CoWrks Foundry, and featuring distinguished startup founders and domain experts, Srivardhini K. Jha, Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Gokul Shrinivas, Founder/CEO of Minion Labs and Manik Mehta, CEO/Co-founder of Safer Infra and Founder of Leaf Wearables.
India has witnessed disruptive innovation throughout its history – from manufacturing to software services, e-commerce, and apps. Each year, more than 800 new technology startups emerge in the enterprise sector. In 2019, the country produced 16 startups valued at over $1 billion. In addition to popular disruptors in the entertainment and retail markets, several impactful startups are solving complex city-level challenges of mobility, resource efficiency, and safety. Our panelists will share their journey as leading entrepreneurs and experts who are using technological innovations to advance sustainability and safety in our cities.
The panel will be followed by an Information Session for those interested in applying for the Urban Works Innovation Challenge.
Srivardhini K. Jha is an Associate Professor in the area of Entrepreneurship at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B). Her research interest is Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the context of emerging countries. Her specific research topics include: organization and evolution of global R&D in multinational enterprises; organizing for corporate entrepreneurship; innovation in Indian startups; impact of strategy, organizational structures/processes and regulatory environment in scaling up social enterprises; and hybrid organizing. She has published papers in several peer reviewed international journals such as MIS Quarterly, MIT Sloan Management Review, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences and others. She is a regular presenter at the Academy of Management, Academy of International Business, and Strategic Management Society Conferences. She teaches MBA and Ph.D. courses on Entrepreneurship and Technology Partnerships.
She holds a post-doctoral degree from the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics, a Ph.D. in Corporate Strategy and Policy from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, an MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Information Science and Engineering from Bangalore University. Prior to entering academia, she has held senior managerial positions at Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Infosys.
Gokul Shrinivas is the founder and CEO of Minion Labs, a Bengaluru-based startup. Minion Labs helps businesses reduce their electricity costs and improve their productivity by providing real-time device-level electricity consumption insights using a smart energy device delivered through its analytical platform. Gokul has won numerous awards and received recognition from government and private organizations including Startup India, Invest India, World Bank, UNEP, WRI, CII, KPMG, Tata Motors, Google, and the World Economic Forum. Previously, he worked at Amazon. Gokul is also a state-level hockey player, NCC cadet, Carnatic guitarist, and guest faculty at IIT Madras.
Manik Mehta is the co-founder and CEO of SAFER Infra. SAFER Infra is an infrastructure of rangers (first responders) who can respond and audit any safety issue or medical emergency within a short stipulated timeframe. This was created after co-founding Leaf Wearables, an XPRIZE winning company dedicated towards women safety, along with a brand called Leaf Studios. Before devoting all his energies to Leaf, Manik was working on four social ventures through a student-run organisation (ENACTUS) in college. He received recognition on the world stage for his self-sustaining venture created for Delhi's slum dwellers. Manik is an electronics engineer and an alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering where he developed the habit of tinkering and experimenting.
Nruthya Madappa is a Managing Partner at The CoWrks Foundry and Director – New Products at CoWrks. At The CoWrks Foundry, Nruthya leads an interdisciplinary team in crafting a program that blends the best of the Indian ecosystem with exposure to global standards in product and company building. She established The CoWrks Foundry with a vision to nurture businesses whose roots are firm and build resilience into their core. She is redefining and transforming the landscape of the start-up space by collaborating with top global educational institutions, an enviable line-up of reputed mentors and access to a curated network of potential investors & clients on her side. As the Director of New Businesses at CoWrks, Nruthya drives innovation, conception and development of new products and new lines of businesses at CoWrks. With her passion for technology, and a deep understanding of the business sector, Nruthya has expertise in harnessing both strategic and deep technical expertise to build scalable solutions developing the strategy and implementation roadmap.
Over a career spanning 10 years in for-profit and non-profit ventures, such as NetApp, TeachAIDS, Keystone Strategy, Cuemath and more, she has led global teams across tech, healthcare, education, economic policy, and finance. Nruthya holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.