Advisory Board

Dream. Dare. Do – that is Suyati’s work principle in a nutshell.

Michael J. McLeod

President & Chief Operating Officer, Interface Security Systems

Michael McLeod brings in 25+ years of experience adorning senior executive roles in many prestigious organizations. Through his career, he has been helping businesses undergo rapid growth with digital transformation strategies, progressive business models, and Go-To Market strategies. He has built a culture of continuous improvement in all endeavors through innovation, by leveraging technology to drive improvements in process and customer experience. Mr. McLeod is a catalyst in delivering significant growth through both M&A and organic sales strategies.

Since 2000, McLeod has been the President and Chief Operating Officer for Interface Security Systems, LLC. There, he is responsible for the day to day operations of all Interface companies and has achieved over 18% CAGR while transforming their business through an innovative strategy. McLeod played a key role in developing the company from a regional security monitoring organization to an international Managed Service Provider of a comprehensive bundle of monitored, mission-critical managed network, physical security, interactive video, and business intelligence (“BI”) services. All these are being delivered over a Private Payment Card Industry (“PCI”) compliant cloud-based network to many of North America’s most recognized establishments across multiple business sectors including the retail, hospitality, dining, jewelry, and QSR industries.

Sanjay Jesrani

Founder & CEO, Go North Ventures

As Founder and CEO of Go North Ventures, Sanjay Jesrani provides strategy inputs to high-growth early stage companies and SMBs wanting to move to their next orbit. Go North Ventures is an angel investment and advisory form, focused on investing in and mentoring Startups. As an active member of the Indian Angel Network, Sanjay has investments in startups across the Healthcare, Education, Impact, Consumer and FinTech sectors.

Sanjay has over 20 years of solid execution experience from his multiple executive roles at Hitachi Consulting and Sierra Atlantic, running his family business and operating a successful Chartered Accountancy practice. He has helped global companies strategize, merge and grow into successful businesses.s based out of Hyderabad, India.

A Charter member of TiE, Hyderabad, Sanjay is also on the advisory board of Parampara Capital, an independent Director on the board of Unimed Health (Star Hospitals), and on the Business Advisory Council at Woxsen School of Business, Hyderabad. He holds a Bachelors degree in Commerce and is a fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). A keen golfer and art enthusiast, he was also a founding member of Sierra Atlantic’s CSR initiative in India. He is based out of Hyderabad, India.

Dr. Rajesh Vasa

Professor & Deputy Director of Innovation Lab, Deakin University

Professor Rajesh Vasa is an information technology expert with nearly two decades of experience. He specializes in complex software solutions, and analysis of large data sets. He has deep knowledge and experience in technology strategy, machine learning, mobile app based businesses, and building/managing software engineering teams. He has worked in a range of roles including Software Engineer and Data Scientist, besides running an engineering team as an IT Director at Thomson-Reuters (HR technology). He is a trusted adviser for technology companies in Australia, Japan and India.

Professor Vasa is based at Deakin University (Australia), where he is the Deputy Director of the Innovation Lab. He leads a team solving problems with high societal value/impact – modeling congestion, helping warn people on impending heart attack/epileptic seizure, detecting cyber attacks early, building smart homes for elderly using IoT technology, as well as general purpose tools that improve productivity.

Gian Kolbjørnsen

CTO of Bolder and CEO of Bolder Technologies

Gian Kolbjørnsen’s focus on managing continuous change and growth through strategy, leadership and innovation comes from his decade long experience and knowledge in the military and the United Nations. For more than 20 years, he has built agile, focused and effective teams in the IT industry in Norway, and elsewhere. Kolbjørnsen has served in a variety of roles in the IT industry – developer, business analyst, R&D Manager, Senior Adviser, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer. In several of these roles, he has handled the challenges of establishing and operationalizing globally distributed teams. He has the ability to lead such teams in a targeted and efficient manner, without compromising on quality or security.

Aside from extending his experience as an adviser to many companies, Kolbjørnsen is currently working as the Chief Technology Officer at Bolder AS, and as Chief Executive Officer at Bolder Technology AS. The Bolder companies are into developing a new technological platform for social arenas that will help users of the Bolder platform to achieve a more active and conscious lifestyle. The platform will enable the creation and exchange of activities, knowledge and experience, both in the physical and virtual world.

Kolbjørnsen lives in Sandnes, Norway, with his family.

Ramesh M Shah

Owner, D C Limited

Ramesh M Shah is President and CEO of DC Limited, an international business development and management consulting company. His specialty is in providing guidance to startup companies in restructuring and in developing offshore research & development, international trade, joint ventures, partnerships and technology transfer, within the United States and overseas.

The founder of DataChem, Inc. Dr. Shah has decades of experience in multiple industries like life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology and IT. He is a Member on the Advisory Board of Nesch, LLC; Biosynergetics, Inc; Encompass Media, LLC; Safis Solutions, LLC and Medical Animatics, LLC. He has also acted as a Technical Advisor for India to several Indiana based companies for offshore research and development and marketing.

He has published over 20 scientific papers and owns nine patents. Shah was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists and Licentiate of the Royal Institute of Chemists, U.K. In 1988, Dr. Shah was awarded the Finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Arthur Young and Venture Magazine. In 1991, he won the Indiana Small Business Exporter award by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Wolfgang Hoeltgen

Co-founder, Director at Grey Orange Pte. Ltd.

An electrical engineer by profession, Wolfgang Hoeltgen is the founder and Managing Director of CTH Consulting Team Hoeltgen GmbH (1998), an IT Consulting Company based in Germany. To Hoeltgen’s credit is a long career in multiple international projects in Information Technology and Enterprise Solutions areas such as SAP. He was the Director and the management adviser to Gadhia-Solar, an Indian solar company, and collaborated with BITS Pilani and a few German institutes and universities. He has also occupied senior management positions at IBM.

Hoeltgen organizes regular science and technology shows for the youth. He believes there is tremendous scope for improvement in Indo-German business relationships. Towards this, he founded the German Indian Business Center (GIBC) atHannover in 2007 with the support and encouragement of the local government. GIBC offers Indian companies collaboration and settlement opportunities in Germany. In the last couple of years, Hoeltgen has started about 30 Indian companies with their German GmbH entity in Hannover.

In 2012, Wolfgang Hoeltgen, along with two graduates from BITS Pilani, co-founded and mentored GreyOrange, a robotics company. GreyOrange specializes in warehouse automation, and has grown from just four engineers in 2012 to around 600 in 2016.

Shilen Sagunan

Founder and CEO, SS Consulting

Shilen Saugunan is the CEO and Founder of SS Consulting, a global advisory firm providing expertise on Strategy, People, Process and Technology to Startups and SMEs. Through SS Consulting, Shilen offers high potential startups mentoring, seed angel investments and acceleration. Shilen was the lead investor and chief mentor of a successful Fintech startup, Paymetry. A part of Paymetry’s equity was acquired by ICICI Bank recently.

Before he founded SS Consulting, Shilen was the MD and CEO of Arbitron India. He joined the parent company, Arbitron Inc. as a senior software developer in 1999, and rose through the ranks quickly to Director of IT, before coming to Kochi to set up the fully owned subsidiary. He played a key role in the amazing success story of Arbitron at Infopark. Shilen also led the seamless merger and transition of Arbitron India to Nielsen and TCS, after Nielsen acquired Arbitron Inc. in 2014.

Shilen holds a Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering from IIT and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Calicut. His first job was as an Engineering Scientist at ISRO for 8 years. He now gives back to the scientific and IT community as part of the Board of Directors at UL Cyberpark, Regional Council Member of NASSCOM, Kerala, Member of the Board of Governors for the Technology Business Incubator at NIT, Calicut, and as Chairman for Malabar Innovation Zone– Kerala’s first Accelerator with its own Native Angel fund, Malabar Angels. He operates out of Kochi and Kannur.