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The IAN Incubator

A unique public private partnership to create and nurture innovative start-ups and make them profitable and investible companies.
 

IAN mentors network is a huge repository of successful entrepreneurs, domain experts, academicians and experienced professionals, who are willing to share their wisdom, knowledge and expertise for the benefit of start-ups.

Abhishek Ganguly
Abhishek Ganguly

Abhishek Ganguly, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, is 33 year old and a Business leader with a proven track record of more than a decade in the Sports, Lifestyle and Retail industry.

He has had a successful stint of 3 years in Reebok during its early phase in India. There he started with Supply Chain and Planning and then got into Sales & Retail. Those days being early days for organized Retail in India, meant lot of challenges in every aspect of the business. Having worked on various parts of the value chain, Abhishek considers this stint as baptism by fire for him into the Indian business environment. At the time he moved out of Reebok in 2005, Abhishek was heading the Southern Region for the company. Opening one exclusive store a day with a strong partner network, Reebok became the largest Sports brand in the region and eventually in the country touching 45% market share. Coincidently, India remains the only country where Reebok is the market leader in the Sports category.

Post that Abhishek joined Puma’s start up team in South Asia as the Director- Sales & Marketing. He was the second employee for the company and has been responsible for setting up the Sales, Marketing, Retail, Product, Souring and Planning functions in the company. Building teams, offices, manufacturing set up, Stores, franchisee network at a fast scale, Puma soon became the Most Desirable Sports Lifestyle brand in South Asia. Puma connected to target consumers through its strong Retail presence, innovative product offering and quirky marketing campaigns. This resulted in a huge growth in revenues in the last 6 years and with strong profitability. Currently the brand has 180 exclusive stores and 1400 Multi brand stores in South Asia.

Establishing Puma from scratch to success is Abhishek’s biggest achievement. Currently, he is the Executive Director in the company, where he heads the Sales and Retail functions. He also got involved in setting up Puma’s cricket business. Eventually Abhishek went on to become the Global Cricket Head for Puma, an additional role for him in the company for the last one year. Puma has been able to establish a clear positioning in cricket in all the relevant nations with an exciting range of products, players association, team sponsorships and marketing campaigns.

Abhishek has a penchant for startup situations and businesses. His acumen to understand business dynamics coupled with a strong commercial sense gives him the strategic purpose in business scenarios. And with a background of hands on experience in various facets, he has the "Operator's Insight". Abhishek has exposure to multiple consumer products and experience in managing various sales channels- Direct Retail, various wholesale networks and online commerce.
Although having a busy corporate life, Abhishek has been the brain and inspiration behind setting up of Media Moments, a Public Relations, Communications and Digital Marketing company. This company is run by Abhishek’s wife, Poonam Ganguly, and has offices in Bangalore and Delhi. In a short span of two and half years the company has become one of the leading PR / Communications company in Lifestyle and Fashion space in India with more than 40 leading clients.

Over and above Sport and Retail, Abhishek is keenly interested in New Age Media & Technology and innovative Marketing concepts.

Afzal Oomerbhoy
Afzal Oomerbhoy

Afzal Oomerbhoy, is the third generation businessman from the 96 year old Ahmed Oomerbhoy Group, manufacturers of the first consumer packaged Edible Oil brand known as Postman Oil. Working as a partner along with his brothers Afzal Oomerbhoy was responsible for expanding the AO Group from Edible Oils to cosmetics, frozen foods and a large scale distribution house. Under their management and entrepreneurial efforts, the brand of Postman oil commanded the largest market share seen in the Indian Food Industry and became synonymous with the word Cooking Oil in India and the Middle East. Taking on from the Edible Oil business, he expanded the Oil portfolio to include India’s first (Even before Marico) consumer packaged coconut oil known as AO Coconut Oil. Another collaborative industry set up under Mr. Oomerbhoy was the formation of Bombay Soap Factory or BSF. Initiated on the basis of created a all round FMCG group, this company became the outsourcing hub for soaps, cosmetics and glycerine for multinational houses such as Johnson & Johnson, Parke Davis & Mueller Phipps. However the largest entrepreneurial and independent venture undertaken by Afzal Oomerbhoy was the formation of India’s first large scale Export Oriented Cold Storage facility known as Hindustan Cold Storage or HCS located in Thane.HCS specialized in processing and exporting its entire production of frozen food meat, fish and shrimp products to the Gulf, Japan, USA and Europe and till today is involved in heavy trade within this sector. Currently away from family business, Afzal Oomerbhoy and his Son have leveraged the established reputation and contacts and capitalized on developing trade operations in current and new markets and develop new product lines. Mr. Oomerbhoy has also been a mentor and an inspiration for many small scale industries within the community who have expressed the desire to explore the export market and become established and consistent food companies. Mr. Oomerbhoy has done his College from St.Xaviers College, Mumbai and B.B.A. from University of Houston, Texas.

Areas of Interest :
  • IT products and services
  • High end BPO services
  • Leading edge technology in areas such as telecommunications and embedded domains
  • Retail
  • Consolidation opportunities in domestic IT products and services
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Consumer Services/Products
  • Education
  • New Media
  • Export
  • Import
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Real Estate
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Entertainment
  • Pharma etc.
Ajai Chowdhry
Ajay Kaul
Ajay P Lavakare
Ajit Surana
Ajit Surana

Mr. Ajit Surana has had an illustrious academic career. He is a Chartered Accountant as well as an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School.

He started Dimensional Securities and is its Managing Director. He started Dimensional Securities from scratch. Dimensional Securities and its associates are one of the leading brokers with membership on the leading exchanges in India across all the segments. Dimensional Securities has a presence in several cities of India and offers a wide spectrum of financial services. He has been in the broking business for over 20 years and has a wealth of experience.

Mr. Ajit Surana has been very active at various BSE/SEBI committees. He was instrumental in setting up the Derivatives segment of BSE as well as its Index Committee. He was on the Governing Council of the Derivatives Segment for 3 years. He was also a member of the J.R.Verma Committee constituted by the SEBI on Risk Containment measures in the Indian Stock Index Futures Market. He also represented BSE on the Technical Committee on Derivatives of the SEBI and was on the Board of AMNI (body representing stock brokers) for four years.

Mr. Ajit Surana is the founder and currently the President of the Wharton Alumni Association of India. He has been instrumental in making the Wharton Alumni Association the most active alumni club in India among all the leading US business schools. In fact, in recognition of his efforts he was elected to the Wharton Alumni Association Board, USA ---- the first one from India. The Wharton Alumni Association was the first recipient of the best International Club 3 years ago. Mr. Ajit Surana continues to be one of the leading lights on the Index Committee of The Stock Exchange, Mumbai as well as Mumbai Angels.


Ajoy Khandheria
Ajoy Khandheria

Mr Khandheria has over 15 years of experience in building telecommunications businesses. Mr Khandheria has invested in several successful companies, including Advanced Fibre Corporation (AFCI). He has also been an active angel investor for the past four years. Besides investing, Mr. Khandheria has built successful global businesses for large corporations, such as Harris Corporation, ItalCable, and small companies including ConvergeLabs, where he was the founder and CEO. He currently advises several large successful companies including U T Starcom, Hughes Software Systems, and ipUnity. He was also one of the founders of a successful telephone company in India.

Ajoy has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and an electrical engineering degree from M.S. University, Baroda, India.

Areas of Interest :
  • Leading edge technology in areas such as telecommunications and embedded domains
  • Consolidation opportunities in domestic IT products and services ttest
Akhil Shahani
Akhil Shahani

Akhil is a serial entrepreneur with ventures in Education, Private Equity, New Media, Commodities and Non-profits. He currently holds the following positions:

  • Managing Director, Centre For Management.
  • CFM is part of a global network of 500 colleges and 75 Universities that bring internationally recognized MBAs into India.
  • Director, Kaizen Private Equity
  • Kaizen is India’s first Private Equity fund that invests solely in the $86 Billion education sector
  • Director, Smart Entrepreneur Network
  • Runs a web portal providing advice to entrepreneurs around the world
  • Partner, East India Paper Company
  • One of India’s oldest paper & packaging distributors
  • Trustee, The Shahani Trust
  • A 60 year old private charitable trust that provides support in education, healthcare and housing. Trustees are on the board of 24 colleges in Mumbai

He has been given numerous industry awards and has been featured in many publications. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University (USA).

Areas of Interest :
  • IT products and services
  • High end BPO services
  • Media & Entertainment
  • New Media
  • Education

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