Introducing the Creative Entrepreneurs Speaking at PKND #17

We’re exactly a week away from the next Pecha Kucha Night on ‘Creative Entrepreneurship‘, and it’s time to introduce you to our ten amazing speakers for the evening.

Gautam Sinha graduated from NIFT (Delhi) and soon started his career in fashion, where he discovered his true calling for leather as his design inspiration. That led to the launch of his own brand, Nappa Dori, in 2010 in Hauz Khas Village, followed by Nappa Dori Home and a third store at Meherchand Market in 2012. The name literally means ‘leather and thread’ and the brand has since rapidly grown in recognition for its distinct designs and fine craftsmanship. Nappa Dori is a tribute to the rich tapestry of Indian culture. Architecture, urban icons, regional art, the British Raj period, everything that personifies the visual world of India. Empowering Indian Craftsmanship, reviving traditional methods to work with leather and creating a resurgence in Indian craftsmanship, focusing on creating distinctly designed objets de luxe.

Arpit is one of the earliest supporters of the Indian startup ecosystem. He is co-founder and volunteer-Director of Headstart Network Foundation, a non-profit involved in promotion of entrepreneurship in India. Aript currently works at TLabs, the Times Group’s startup accelerator, where his primarily responsible for running the mentoring program and various community outreach initiatives. Before joining TLabs, Arpit was an entrepreneur running Academic Ventures, a Technology Commercialization company, where he consulted several incubators and startups on business planning and strategy. Before starting up, he sold High Performance Computing services to large enterprise customers at Tata CRL, Pune (now a part of TCS). During this time he has planned 8 Barcamps and conducted 50+ startup community events in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. Arpit holds a B.Tech from NIT Trichy and a MBA from IIT Bombay.

Kethaki Nair is passionate about youth and entrepreneurship. She began her career with Ashoka’s Youth Venture working to accelerate the impact of the world’s largest network of young social entrepreneurs. She is currently a fellow with Teach for India and teached the 4th grade at a government school in Chhattarpur, focusing on basic literacy in Math, English and the Science. Kethaki also works for Generation Enterprise, where she’s a founding member of the Udaan Project, a business incubator for low income youth. Udaan aims to provide entrepreneurship training to these youth, followed by testing their ventures, providing funding, and assisting them launch their ventures. Kethaki has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wesleyan University.

Prakash Gurbaxani is the founder and CEO of QVC Realty, the India’s first Private equity-funded Real Estate Company. Prakash has over 28 years of experience in a wide variety of industries including real estate, construction, BPO and technology. Before this, Prakash was the CEO of TSI Ventures (, a joint venture between Tishman Speyer, USA and India’s ICICI Venture. Prior to joining TSI Ventures, Prakash was CEO of TransWorks Information Services, one of India’s leading BPO companies with almost 4,000 employees. One of the finalists for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2001 awards sponsored by Ernst & Young India, Prakash has a series of key accomplishments to his credit. He successfully launched India’s First Internet Media Company, Micromedia, in December 1997. In April 2000 he co-founded 24/ a leading outsourced CRM services company based in Bangalore, India, and was CEO until December 2001. Prior to returning to India, between 1983 and 1997, Prakash worked in various senior management positions in the construction industry in the United States. Prakash holds a Master’s Degree in Construction Management from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, NJ, and a B.S. (major in Civil Engineering) from Regional Engineering College (REC), Nagpur, India.

Rajat Tuli is a post graduate from MICA, Ahmedabad. He worked in advertising at Mudra for two years before plunging into entrepreneurship. He co-founded Happily Unmarried with his batch mate Rahul Anand in 2003. Although the initial years were full of struggle, Happily Unmarried is now on its way to become one of India’s iconic youth brands. Rajat’s interests include writing comedy, long distance running and product design. He won the young creative entrepreneur award instituted by the British Council in 2009.

Anand Vemuri is founding partner at 91springboard, a startup incubator and co-working space based in New Delhi. He previously led new product development at Caldera Medical, a successful Southern California medical device startup, and has an additional failed medical device startup under his belt. His previous experience includes stints as a researcher at Abbott Vascular / Stanford University and as a marketing analyst at GE Commercial Finance. Anand holds a BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and a Masters in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

Nikhel Mahajan, also known as Sattyananda, is co-founder of Audio Ashram, Radio 79 and most recently, Cafe 79. Audio Ashram, launched in 2008, is a platform for experimental musicians, that has played a key role in promoting electronic music labels in India. This has largely taken place through Radio 79, an online radio station launched by Audio Ashram that has listeners across 72 countries. Nikhel began his career in music in 1997 as a sound engineer for Red FM. Later, he joined music label Dada Music as creative head before launching his own venture. He has performed as a music producer (showcasing all three projects: Sattyananda, Kalyug and Shiva Central) at various international music festivals, including UK’s Glade Festival and Freedom Festival in Portugal.

Prashant is Co-Founder of Signals, a stealth mode start up in the mobile app space. Prior to starting Signals, he was part of the core team at Spice Labs, where he was instrumental in developing a portfolio of an app which got downloaded by more than 52 Million users. Before Spice he was part of Monsoon Multimedia, a mobile video startup based in San Jose. A hard core mobile enthusiast (addict as he often calls it), Prashant is founder of the Delhi Chapter of Mobile Monday, a global community of mobile developers. When he is not thinking about mobile apps, he loves to travel, write poems, cook and read. He lives in Noida with a Macbook, an iPad, an iPhone and two Android devices.

Hanumant Khanna is co-founder of a design studio called Quick Brown Fox, which he founded in 2010 with his partner, Sujay Sanan. Prior to founding the Studio, Hanumant worked at a design studio in Mumbai for a year, and then at another in Delhi for two years, after which he decided to work for himself. A graduate of the National Institute of Design with a Diploma in Graphic Design, he has a keen interest in design logic, branding systems, and the wit that makes them work. Hanumant is at his happiest in the sports arena or riding his motorcycle in any direction out of the city. Interestingly, logos designed by Quick Brown Fox include those of CMYK Bookstore, Audio Aashram and I Say Organic, which funnily enough have all been associated with Pecha Kucha Night in some way.

Mitali Kalra, the owner-founder of Crostini is a former investment banker who left a lucrative career in international finance to open a chain of health food restaurants across India. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant and completed her MBA from INSEAD, Mitali has previously worked with leading Big4 Accounting Firms and in the fields of Private Equity and Investment Banking, both in India and internationally. Being exposed to international markets like London, Singapore and New York, where it’s so easy to grab a cup of yoghurt or a smoothie or some delicious, wholesome sandwich and soup, Mitali believed there was a huge need in India to make healthy food accessible and widely available. It was this passion for healthy eating that led her to set up a health food café in South Delhi with plans to roll out in other parts of NCR.

Come listen to this exciting bunch of people share their stories, experiences and insights, followed as always by food, drink, fire and brilliant conversation!

When: Thursday, 21st March, at 7:30 pm

Adianta School for Leadership and Innovation
Near Qutab Minar Metro Station
D-57, 100 Foot Road, Chattarpur Enclave
New Delhi


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About Ayesha Vemuri

Ayesha Vemuri is responsible for thought leadership and outreach efforts at CKS. She has undergraduate degree in Visual Art from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she also studied such varied subjects as biology, literature and the humanities. At CKS, she is responsible for curating the Design Public blog, managing our various social media platforms, organizing Pecha Kucha Nights and contributing to the intellectual content of the Design Public Conclave and other CKS initiatives. Find her on twitter at @ayeshavemuri.
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