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Meet The Speakers

The Zopper NXT10 InsurTech Summit 2023 featured a stellar galaxy of the finest and most iconic speakers, who shared their valuable insights in every session and put the spotlight on the diverse facets of the insurance ecosystem.

Eminent Speakers

Ajay Prakash Sawhney

IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary,
Ministry of Electronics and IT,
Government of India
Keynote Speaker
With a remarkable career spanning more than than two decades, Ajay Prakash Sawhney has served in the highest leadership positions including serving as the Secretary to the Government of India at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology until his retirement on February 28, 2022. During his tenure, Sawhney played a pivotal role in shaping the IT vision of Andhra Pradesh. His strategic vision and dynamic leadership was instrumental in driving forward numerous e-Governance projects, fostering the growth of the IT industry in the region. Additionally, he spearheaded the design and establishment of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad, propelling it to become a premier institute for IT research and education. Sawhney's relentless dedication and impactful contribution have left an indelible mark on the country's information technology and governance landscape.

Golak Bihari Panda

General Manager
Govt & PSU Business Relationship
With more than three decades of stellar experience as a highly esteemed banking professional, GB Panda has been working in the BFSI industry and with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Throughout his remarkable career, he has demonstrated in-depth knowledge of Project Finance, Retail, SME lending, Wholesale Banking, Merchant banking and investment banking, among others.

M.R. Kumar

Former Chairman,
LIC of India
With a highly distinguished career spanning three and a half decades, M.R. Kumar took charge as Chairman, of LIC of India on 14th March 2019, after having joined the organisation in 1983. A notable facet is that he has had the unique privilege of heading three Zones of LIC of India, viz, Southern Zone, North Central Zone and Northern Zone, headquartered at Chennai, Kanpur and Delhi, respectively. He also headed two prestigious divisions i.e. Ahmedabad in the Western Zone and Ernakulam in the Southern Zone as Sr. Divisional Manager. He was also the Regional Manager (Marketing) and Regional Manager (P&IR) at Kolkata and Chennai. As an Executive Director, he headed the Personnel Department as well as the Pension and Group Insurance vertical of the Corporation. His rich experience working across the country, right from North to South and East to West including the heartland states of India, has given him a deep insight into the insurance landscape. His motto is: There is no substitute for hard work and sincerity.

Panel Speakers

Abhijit Paul

Senior Vice President,
Reliance Retail
With professional experience spanning more than 17 years, Abhijit Paul is Senior Vice President and Chief Merchant Online, at Reliance Retail. By catering to customised preferences and new trends, Abhijit Paul has masterfully optimised productivity at an organisational level and fuelled a vision of innovation and experimentation in his domain. His stellar track record reinforces a keen eye for the finest details and proficiency in understanding how to innovate and set the highest benchmarks of excellence amidst emerging trends. Prior to this, two iconic brands he has worked with include Sony and Onida.

Aditya Agarwal

Chief Financial Officer and Head of CorpDev, ClearTrip
Aditya Agarwal wields the power of strategic vision and innovation in his current role as Chief Financial Officer and Head of CorpDev at ClearTrip. With a proven track record of driving revenue growth and fostering strategic partnerships, he has worked extensively with iconic brands like Infosys, ITC Ltd and Flipkart. Aditya is dedicated to shaping the future of the travel landscape through dynamic business strategies and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Prior to this, he had more than 10 years of private equity experience in London and India with Goldman Sachs, StanChart and TPG Capital.

Amol Dethe

(By The Economic Times)
Having worked as a business journalist for national TV channels for close to a decade and learning global, digital media, Amol Dethe is currently Editor at ETBFSI and ETCFO (By the Economic Times). His expertise includes generating content (from local to global), media training, moderating events, offering solutions for financial literacy and teaching journalism, and much more. With a keen eye for detail, a passion for facts and a unique perspective on everything, the power of storytelling becomes a compelling one when Amol Dethe leads the narrative with precision and rigour.

Anand Pejawar

Deputy Managing Director,
SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
A dynamic thought leader and banking and insurance industry veteran with more than three decades of professional experience, Anand Pejawar is currently a Deputy Managing Director at SBI General Insurance. He is known for pioneering the most productive integrated model of Bank Insurance and Microinsurance in SBI Life Insurance, which is considered a trendsetter in the sector. He has also represented the Life insurance sector in various highly illustrious regulatory committees formed by the Government of India, IRDAI and RBI. He is an alumnus of Columbia Business School in Manhattan, New York.

Anand Rao

Chaitanya India Microfinance Pvt. Ltd.
Beginning his career with Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Trust, Anand’s dream has been to enable a complete transformation at the grassroots level in India. Originally from Mangalore, his vision was to empower Chaitanya to have a compelling local presence with deep roots in the community. Anand’s focus on his core values has led Chaitanya towards its mission to financially strengthen the low-income families in PAN India. Under his proficient leadership, the company stepped up and launched advanced tools to simplify processes and enhance operational efficiency.

Anjan Sengupta

Digital Transformation Lead (Customer Service - India)
BSH Home Appliances India
With 25+ years of diverse professional experience, Anjan Sengupta has an impressive track record of driving digital transformation, delivering best results in customer success, team management and operational excellence, besides service excellence with reputed brands such as Bosch, Siemens, Unilever, Godrej, Faber and VIP, etc.

Anup Seth

Chief Distribution Officer and Chief of Diversity and Inclusion,
Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance
Anup Seth is a driven leader, known for his collaborative leadership style, and expertise spanning the spectrum of start-ups, turnarounds, and high-growth companies, showcasing a consistent ability to elevate performance and enhance productivity. Currently, Seth is holding the position of Chief Distribution Officer and Chief of Diversity and Inclusion at Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance.

Arun Kumar B

Head – Strategy, Innovation and Analytics,
CreditAccess Grameen Ltd.
Currently leading the Strategy, Innovation and Analytics team at Grameen, Arun Kumar has been at the forefront of leading technology implementations in the banking and finance sector for more than a decade. Passionate about microfinance, he has handled multiple roles in strategy, products, new initiatives, customer service as well as technology at Grameen Koota. His key competency areas include microfinance strategy, process design & re-engineering, technology strategy & architecture, project management, product innovations, new product development, marketing, and customer service delivery. An alumnus of IIM-Indore, Arun has been a part of several iconic brands such as Grameen Financial Services, Barclays, HUL Ltd.

Bhushan Harendra Sheth

Chief Risk Officer,
With more than 15 years of work experience in the insurance industry, Bhushan Harendra Sheth is currently working as the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) at Zopper. Prior to joining Zopper, Bhushan worked at J.B. BODA Group as the AGM - Affinity and Technology, where the key focus was on developing mutually beneficial relationships in the affinity business and implementing extended warranty programs. Having worked at Icare Insurance Broking Services Pvt. Ltd. as Associate Vice President, he has been ensuring the best insurance deals for corporate clients. A keen eye for detail and a relentless commitment to customer-centric excellence mark Bhushan’s leadership vision and work ethic.

Fareed Syed

Vice President,
Airtel Payments Bank
With a highly diverse and multifaceted work experience, Fareed Syed is a dynamic strategist who is passionate about building strong products and solving problems that can bring about a meaningful change in how people live life or use products. His expertise includes creating strong product roadmaps, driving key metrics - Funnel/Conversion, managing cross-functional teams, creating data product suite and driving data room exercise with partners, monetisation strategy and building strong strategies focused towards acquisition, retention and cross sell, among others. Prior to joining Airtel, he worked with renowned brands such as Ola, Flipkart, BankBazaar and The Hindu.

Hitesh Kotak

CEO And Chief Executive - India, Middle East and Africa,
Munich Re
As Chief Executive, India, Middle East and Africa at Munich Re, Hitesh Kotak leads the growth of this innovative insurance market. His expertise includes boosting the growth of clients and partners with reinsurance branches spanning all business fields in India. Combining his strategic vision and dynamic leadership strengths to harness excellent growth opportunities, Hitesh Kotak is of the view that the Indian insurance market will continue to enjoy double-digit growth in the coming years. A keen eye for detail and a compelling, problem-solving approach enables Hitesh to propel growth and efficiency at the highest level.

Jagadish Ramadugu

Managing Director & CEO,
Pragati Finserv Pvt. Ltd.
Jagadish Ramadugu is a renowned figure in the financial services industry, serving as the Co-Founder, Managing Director, and CEO of Pragati Finserv, now an integral part of the esteemed financial service organisation Northern Arc Capital. With a relentless commitment to financial inclusion, Ramadugu’s leadership has propelled Pragati Finserv to pioneer innovative financial services tailored to underserved segments, contributing significantly to inclusive growth in rural areas nationwide.

Karan Vashisht

Chief Product Officer,
As Chief Product Officer for Zopper, Karan Vashisht is pioneering the product vision, building scalable products, enabling insurance distribution across industries. With almost two decades of experience in the insurance industry, Karan is a highly-regarded product thought leader, a successful team manager, and a strong advocate for Zopper’s goals.

Kunal Varma

Co-Founder and CEO,
A serial entrepreneur and a founder of two companies, Kunal Varma is the Co-Founder and CEO of Freo. His entrepreneurial vision is to enable customised financial products and banking for people when they need it most. He views the future of the fintech industry as a highly growth-centric opportunity to create value and expand the industry in a way that everyone benefits from it. Technical leadership and mentoring teams represent his core leadership values. With seven years of work experience in the field of research, development and technology, Kunal has a bachelor’s in technology from IIT Roorkee and holds an MBA in marketing and strategy from ISB, Hyderabad.

Maneesh Ajmani

Head Preferred Banking, NRI, Investment Services & Bancassurance,
RBL Bank
With over 20+ years of diverse experience, Maneesh Ajmani’s expertise lies in Retail and Wealth Management, Customer Service, HR & overall business operations & management. With a compelling track record in Sales & Marketing, Processes, Products and P&L management, he has extensive understanding of consumers and has been leading business across all levels. Currently at RBL, he is responsible for Preferred Banking Segments, NRI, Investment Services, Bancassurance, India Startup Club, Product & Business at a national level. His former stints include brands like Royal Bank of Scotland, ICICI Bank, Electrolux, and others.

Manish Goel

General Manager
After Market Revenue & E-Commerce Projects
With 25+ years of experience as a Customer Service professional in HVAC, Retail, Consumer Durable, Infrastructure industry, Manish Goel specialises in Service Operations, Channel Management, Aftermarket revenue, NPS, Service Automation, Service Network and Team Building. A key strength pertains to being able to start up and scale businesses with value creation while highlighting business priorities for the year ahead and charting out a leadership centric vision on how to better serve valued customers and partners in the industry. Making innovations for a better world forms the crux of Manish Goel’s guiding vision for the coming years ahead.

Manish Jaiswal

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer,
Poonawalla Housing Finance Ltd.
A veteran in the field of banking and finance, Manish comes with an expansive career spanning over 3 decades. With his expertise in the SME sector, he is responsible for innumerable research papers, SME business banking models, product development and others. Mr. Jaiswal has been a pioneer in the field of banking and finance, and has led to a continuous growth for Poonawalla Housing Finance under his leadership. He has been a part of several renowned brands like Crisil Ltd, Dhanlaxmi Bank, Fullerton India Credit Company and Eicher among others.

Mayank Gupta

Co-Founder And COO,
Mayank Gupta is a highly experienced and dynamic entrepreneur with an unstinting vision for embedded insurance and democratising coverage across the country. With a proven track record of over 17 years of work experience, he has successfully led multiple startups, including EduKart, showcasing his strong entrepreneurial acumen and responsive leadership. Mayank is currently serving as the Co-Founder & Chief Operations Officer of Zopper.

Nalini Venkat

President - Strategic Partnerships & Head of Institutional Business,
Digit Insurance
With a career spanning over 2 decades, Nalini is an expert in Corporate Sales and Strategic Partnerships, with specialisation in the insurance sector. Based out of Bengaluru, Nalini has been leading the partnership sector at Digit for over 6 years. Alumni of IIM-Kolkata, Nalini brings forth a masterful understanding and proficient experience in building partnerships and alliances, helping the organisation grow multifold. During her illustrious career, she has been a part of brands like Marsh & McLennan, Bajaj Allianz and HDFC Standard Life Insurance.

Neelesh Garg

MD and CEO,
Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.
With more than a decade of professional work experience in the banking and insurance landscape, Neelesh Garg is CEO and Managing Director, of Tata AIG General Insurance Co Ltd. To sustain the iconic brand’s rich legacy and to further strengthen its footprint pan-India is intrinsic to his strategic vision and innovation-centric approach. An alumnus of IIM-B, Garg began his high-powered career with ICICI Lombard, where he went on to become its executive director and emerged as the driving force behind setting up its retail division and thereafter, leading its foray into global markets.

Parvez Mulla

Blume Ventures
Having been a part of retail banking, insurance and financial services for over two decades, Parvez Mulla brings in-depth expertise and diverse work experience as former COO at HDFC Life. At a time when technology is fuelling change in the insurance ecosystem and customer expectations, the industry veteran comes with remarkable experience and a keen eye on retail banking operations, enterprise technology, emerging tech and digital transformation. Prior to HDFC Life, Parvez Mulla has been the driving force as former Chief Executive - Retail at L&T Finance Holdings Ltd. and as General Manager - Retail Banking at ICICI Bank Ltd.

Pranshu Diwan

Head of Insurance,
Alumni of IIT Bombay & IIM Calcutta, Pranshu Diwan is currently the Head of Insurance at Paytm. Bringing high energy dynamism and nurturing resourcefulness are his core leadership values. He has worked on portfolio analytics, building response models, optimising marketing campaigns and direct mail acquisition channels. Prior to OLA, Pranshu had founded 2 InsurTech startups as well as raised angel funding from marquee investors. He was also a part of the founding team at Aditya Birla Health Insurance, where he was heading Data Science and analytics, Sales Digitisation & streamlining online buying journeys.

Ramganesh Iyer

Bain & Co.
Ramganesh lyer, presently in the role of a Partner at Bain & Co. boasts an extensive career spanning over a decade. As an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, he brings a wealth of experience in the realms of wealth management and investment. Throughout his career, Ramganesh lyer has left an indelible mark by consistently delivering impressive revenue growth and nurturing strategic alliances. His professional journey has seen him make significant contributions to distinguished organisations, including Peepul Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd., PARK Financial Advisors, and The Boston Consulting Group.

Sanjiv Roy

Country Head - Third Party Products,
YES Bank
With more than 20 years of diverse professional experience in B2B and B2C business, Bancassurance and multichannel product distribution in the banking industry, Sanjiv Roy is currently Country Head - Third Party Products, YES Bank. A result-oriented, decisive leader with proven success in highly demanding environments, his expertise includes spearheading operational improvements to drive productivity, new market identification and strategic positioning for SME-focused, mid-size NBFC. Prior to YES Bank, he had worked at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited and Bharti AXA Life Insurance.

Satish Nair

Assistant Vice President,
With more than two decades of professional experience, Satish Nair is currently Assistant Vice President, Hitachi. Having established his expertise in this highly complex segment, his proficiency paves the way for leading the ecosystem and collaborating with customised innovations that can drive growth and revenue. Over the decades, he has successfully demonstrated vibrant leadership and evolved a disciplined and rigorous approach to creating a strong, diversified brandscape that caters to fast evolving needs and expectations in sync with consumer sentiments and market requirements.

Satishwar Balakrishnan

Aegon Life Insurance
Satishwar Balakrishnan began his journey as a chartered accountant and has a rich work experience of close to two decades in the financial and insurance industry. He has held pivotal roles at IndiaFirst Life and Reliance Life Insurance, driving their growth and success with his strategic vision and business acumen. As MD and CEO, Satishwar Balakrishnan steered the company by disrupting the traditional brick-and-mortar model and positioning Aegon Life as India’s only 100% digital life insurance company.

Saurabh Jain

MD and Head of Wealth Management,
Standard Chartered Bank India
With more than 20 years of stellar work experience in the banking industry, Saurabh Jain has demonstrated his passion for excellence by combining his leadership skills with an impeccable work ethic. Currently, he is the MD and Head of Wealth Management, Standard Chartered Bank India. In his second stint at the bank, he is the driving force leading its wealth management service to be the largest in India. He also led the launch of the bank’s new digital platform in less than three months, thereby ensuring a competitive advantage. He also held key leadership roles at HDFC Bank Ltd. and Citibank India.

Sheetal Chawla

General Manager - E-commerce & Digital Transformation,
Tata Motors
With a passion for problem-solving and a focused approach to making solutions work, Sheetal Chawla has more than a decade of work experience in the industry. Throughout Sheetal’s career, her work has built a solid foundation and an innovation-centric approach to address knowledge gaps and craft high-impact solutions. She also co-founded an online marketplace platform that provided vocational skills training and job partner networks and built a 10K user base within 6 months. An alumnus of IIM-Kozhikode and IIT Kharagpur, Sheetal Chawla has been a trailblazer in all segments she has managed and this includes management consulting, business strategy, business transformation, and product management, among others.

Souvik Sengupta

Ex Protium/Ex SCB
Spanning 27+ years of a highly distinguished career in scaling profitable businesses across segments including MSME, Retail & Consumer Lending (Physical, Digital & Data Driven), Souvik Sengupta is Ex Protium. Prior to this, he held eminent leadership positions such as being the former MD & CEO, of Standard Chartered Capital and former CBO, of Reliance Capital. His diverse experience spans retail, corporate, and commercial lending products in a strong regulatory ecosystem and he has played a pivotal role in large Fls such as ICICI Bank, HDFC, Citicorp, GE Gap, StanC, Reliance Capital and many more. He is a pioneer in the Indian Lending Industry and has been an active contributor to policy-making bodies.

Sudip Bandyopadhyay

Group Chairman,
Inditrade Capital Limited
Sudip Bandyopadhyay is a distinguished leader celebrated for his dynamic expertise in the financial services sector, cultivated over an impressive three-decade career. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, he has held pivotal roles, notably as the Head of Treasury & Investments at ITC Ltd. His journey continued with valuable contributions to organisations such as Reliance Money and Destimoney, where he further enriched his industry insights and knowledge. Sudip Bandyopadhyay is a sought-after authority whose wealth of experience continues to inspire and inform the financial services landscape.

Surjendu Kuila

Co-Founder And CEO,
Surjendu Kuila is a seasoned entrepreneur and technology expert, presently serving as the Co-Founder & CEO of Zopper. With a remarkable career spanning over 18 years, Surjendu has exceptionally built and scaled organisations to new heights. Building a digital-first culture of innovation is intrinsic to Surjendu’s vision and work philosophy.

Venkataraman R K

Executive Vice President and Head,
Bancassurance and Investment,
Equitas Micro Finance India Pvt. Ltd.
Spanning more than 25 years of diverse and compelling work experience, Venkatraman R K is renowned in the banking industry for his razor-sharp attention to detail, in-depth knowledge, analysis and remarkable expertise in this domain. Currently, he is spearheading the Bancassurance sector for Equitas and has established himself as a solid leader with extensive product innovation skills. Having worked with renowned brands such as Exide Life Insurance, YES Bank, Kotak Bank, and ABN AMRO, among others, he brings many years of discipline, rigour, knowledge and diverse experience to the table.

Virendra Somwanshi

Group President and Head - Wealth Management and Capital Markets,
Bank of Baroda Group
Virendra Somwanshi is a dynamic and results-oriented banking and private wealth professional with an impressive career spanning over 22 years. His unwavering commitment to excellence and high-energy approach have made him a notable figure in the financial industry. Currently, Mr Somwanshi holds the esteemed position of heading the Wealth Management and Capital Markets vertical at the Bank of Baroda Group, where he is driving the growth and success of this division. His strategic vision and extensive expertise in private wealth, broking, loans against securities, and mortgages make them a valuable asset to one of India’s leading financial institutions.

Vivek Shah

Managing Director,
Co-Head of Investment Banking,
Haitong Securities India
With a highly distinguished career, Vivek Shah is currently Managing Director at Haitong Securities, one of China’s largest investment banks. Having begun at the India IB office for Haitong Securities in 2013 along with the Haitong India CEO, he has been the driving force in leading the IB practice across origination and completion of M&A, PE Fund-raise, ECM and DCM transactions, with a special focus on the FIG and fintech sector in India. Known for his strategic vision and growth-centric approach, Vivek Shah has made a transformative impact in the investment banking segment.

Celebrity Guests

Abhishek Acharya

Mind Reader, Magician, Mentalist
Abhishek Acharya fully comprehended his calling in his late 20s when his interest in the occult and paranormal developed into something spectacular. Today, he is an artist of global repute and has proven his mettle by accurately predicting the outcome of events, and results of elections and even lending support to the police to solve complex crimes. Abhishek Acharya has made several TV appearances and has authored many books penning his experiences.

Prashasti Singh

Stand-up Comedian
Prashasti Singh is an MBA alumnus of IIM Lucknow and went on to work with prominent brands like Deloitte, P&G, and Dell and even did a 4-year long stint at a major television company before finding her calling as a stand-up comedian. Beating her fellow comic contenders, Prashasti Singh won a spot in the top three at Amazon Prime Video’s immensely popular comedy show, Comicstaan. Currently, the acclaimed comedian calls Mumbai her home.

Rahul Bose

Director, Actor, Athlete
Belonging to the brilliant strata of actors in Bollywood, Rahul Bose created his niche by mastering not-so-conventional roles which heralded the dawn of a new genre in the Indian film industry. A staunch social activist and a blue-blood rugby player, India has come to know Rahul Bose as a maestro. The 56-year-old actor and director was formerly an advertising copywriter and is now an active participant in the International Rugby Tournament with the Indian rugby team.


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