Speakers + Performers
MAJOR DEEPAK RAO
Commando Trainer + Author
Hon. Major Deepak Rao is cited to be the Indian Pioneer of Modern Close Quarters Battle Training by the Defence Ministry. For his outstanding work, he was bestowed with the Presidents Rank award and made one of the Brand ambassadors of the Indian Army TA in 2011 along with MS Dhoni & Abhinav Bindra. He trained more than 20,000 commandos from Army, Para Special forces, Black Cats NSG, Marine Commandos, Air force Garud & 12 State Police Anti Terror Units receiving 4 Army Chief Citations, a record for a single individual. He was responsible for helping modernization of Close Quarter battle Training for battle Schools in northern & eastern Command under directive of Army Commanders. He is a resource for Govt of India to train small ATS teams as force multipliers. He has studied Samurai Warrior Culture from Tokyo Japan & Zen Buddhism from Harvard University. He has received World Peace Award in 2009. A rare combination of brain & brawn, Major Deepak Rao has multiple Doctorates in Law, Medicine & Military science. He is also a published author of 10 books. Major Deepak Rao has authored the World’s first Close Op training encyclopaedia which went into FBI, INTERPOL and SWAT libraries as the only Indian book on Fighting Terror. Major Deepak Rao got World Peace Award in 2008. He has received multiple commendations from President, Prime Ministers, FBI Chief, INTERPOL Secretary General & Her Majesty, the Queen of England!
Founder, Mann Deshi Champions
Prabhat was born in a farming family in the rural Indian village Mhaswad. He worked in the US with sports brands and athletes from NBA to Track & Field. Het left the Industry to make Indian villages future sports hubs of India. Currently he runs Mann Deshi Champions which aims to empower young girls with the power of sports and he is working with Mann Deshi Foundation for water conservation and agricultural practices. Mann Deshi has developed 8000+ athletes in India. 3 athletes are playing at the International level including Junior Olympics in Argentina 2018. 150 athletes are representing on the national level. He has built an entrepreneurship/ career development academy for 1000 rural Indian girls. He has also spearheaded water conservation program as a result built 16 water reservoirs in rural India.He is a visiting guest Speaker at Georgetown University, Trinity College, NYU, World Bank, BBC World, and TEDx. He was one of the representatives of Mann Deshi at the World Economic Forum Davos 2018. He has been successful to forge cross-sectoral partnerships amongst businesses, government, voluntary organizations, community groups and social enterprises for sustainable development in the sector of sports, water and agriculture.
Paper Artist + Typographer
A paper illustrator and typographer making purely paper artworks for clients like Google, Adobe, Instagram, Disney publishing worldwide, Tanishq and many more! Mumbai-based artist Sabeena Karnik is able to shape paper to her will and bend it to the sway of her imagination. She excels in creating three-dimensional decorative designs using paper as her principal medium. The degree holder in graphic design, who has some 160,000 followers on Instagram, is going places with her passion for paper quilling, an art form that involves rolling strips of paper, and shaping and moulding them to make exquisite expressions. Her skill at merging quilling and paper sculpting with typography has seen her do a Google Doodle for Independence Day, 2015, and create a miniature replica of the Mysore Palace for Karnataka Tourism.
Chief Eating Officer, The Bohri Kitchen (TBK)
Before selling Samosas at TBK, he sold ads for 4 years at Google. The Bohri Kitchen was created to simply keep his mom busy, so he could get more time with the living room television. Eventually with the power of his mother’s cooking skills TBK turned into a mini bohri food revolution. The momentum required him to quit Google to sell Samosas and take up the mantle of Chief Eating Officer. 3 years hence he’s fortunate to have raised funding from the who’s who of the Restaurant Industry, set up their first outlet in Kamala Mills, taken TBK to the Top 10 on TripAdvisor, achieved recognition as the “Best Bohri Food Restaurant” by Times Food Guide and was elected as Forbes 30 under 30 and one of the top 50 food influencers in the country. Munaf Kapadia, in his late twenties, did something not many would have the courage to do so. He decided to connect the two dots of the unavailability of the authentic Bohri cuisine and the fact that his mother loved to cook food.
Founder & CEO, Project Mumbai
Project Mumbai is a not-for-profit, engaged in social transformation through initiatives of scale. He has led one of the largest public private people initiatives of beautifying 36 railway stations of Mumbai within seven days in 2016. Launched one of the biggest plastic donation-collection-recycling volunteering initiatives in Mumbai in 2018 with over 85,000 donors. He is also the recipient of the iVolunteer Hero of the Year award by social volunteering organisation iVolunteer. he has scaled up the initiative one year later with over 1.25 lakh volunteer donors, in 2019, converting all plastic waste into amenities for Mumbai. The action has found mention in the Limca Book of Records , 2020 Edition. He has played the role of a catalyst in bringing citizen volunteering to the next level to protect Mumbai's water bodies. The initiative is now being listed in the Limca Book of Records Edition 2020. He is also the recipient of the IdoBRO RISE Award for contribution to India's Social Development. Shishir has also launched The Smiling Schools project, arguably India's biggest mental wellness program for adolescents for any Municipal corporation. Aimed at building the emotional and mental wellness of every child this initiative has been launched across 1300 schools in Maharashtra and aims to positively impact teachers parents and over three lakh adolescents from municipal schools.
Founder, Happy Roots
Happy Roots is a National award winning company which has helped smallholding farmers and rural women build sustainable food supply chains since its inception in Yr 2016. So far they have touched lives of over 15,000 smallholding farmers across Maharashtra, increasing their incomes by 50% and have created over 1,000 rural women entrepreneurs in Ahmednagar, building a first of its food processing unit - owned, managed and run by these women. They are now building an AI powered tech platform which aims to create economic opportunities and financial inclusion for rural poor by digitising their offline economic & credit history and facilitating access to organised credit systems. She is awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar ‘17 by the Hon’ble President of India & Ministry of Women & Child Development. She is also awarded Business Today’s Most Powerful Women in Indian Businesses (2017) and Digital Women Awards 2017, Social category by She The People TV, Google India & Facebook India. She was also awarded Phoenix Leading Lady Award 2017 and many more.
Satyam Mishra hails from Bhagalpur in Bihar and holds an engineering degree from the Manipal Institute of Technology. He believes that teachers are vectors of education and proper education for girls is a topic very close to him. He came up with a different approach to teaching math and it created history in the Teach for India network with all his students going to college and 100% of them being first generation college students.
The new approach was recognized by Teach for India as the 'Transformational Impact Journey Math Specialist'. He became the first Indian to be invited by the Malala School, started for the Syrian refugee girls in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanese-Syrian Border. He then got invited by the American University of Beirut to give a talk and motivate volunteers to join and help educate the refugee girls. He has worked/taught in Nepal and worked with Teach for Nepal. He has trained fellows who then are going to teach students in Nepal, South Africa, Lebanon, Austria, Bulgaria and of course India. He is also a National Consultant for secondary classrooms in Teach for India.
Founder, Mind Assets
At the tender age of 6 months, when most of the infants would have not even learned to say ‘Maa’, Maitri Shah was diagnosed with the ‘Congenital Muscular Dystrophy’. Even though she was confined to a wheelchair, she refused to go to any ‘special schools’ and completed her education in a regular school. She stood first in HSC MHT-CET examinations in PwD category (Maharashtra) after having scored a whopping 95.09% in her SSC examinations. As a step forward, she went onto graduate in Computer Engineering from the prestigious K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering (Mumbai). She was recognized as a Young Changemaker by Dr. APJ Kalam, 11th President of India at IIT Bombay while she was an engineering student. Currently, Maitri is pursuing her online Masters’ in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. She then co-founded an NGO named ‘WoW’ (Wills on Wheels) to engage, educate and empower people in wheelchairs. She then went on to form a tech start-up, named ‘Mind Assets’. This company provides online training and new-age digital job opportunities to people with disability so that physical infrastructure is not a barrier to have a career.
Ever Since its inception in July 2017, ‘Mind Assets’ has successfully trained and employed several differently-abled individuals based on their merit and is currently being incubated by ‘Riidl’ (the name of ‘Somaiya’s Incubation Cell’), UnLtd India (Incubation for social entrepreneurs). Maitri had the privilege to meet Padma Vibhushan Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Former DG, CSIR & President, Indian National Science Academy at Maharashtra Start-up Week, as part of top 100 start-up finalists. Recently, Mind Assets was awarded as “Outstanding Social Impact start-up” by Somaiya University.
Food Writer + Consumer Insight Specialist
Kalyan Karmakar started his career in market research in 1997. He began food blogging as a hobby in 2007 and then switched tracks in 2013 to become an independent food writer. He is now considered to be one of India’s leading food bloggers. He is a popular food columnist and a published author too. He runs Finely Chopped Consulting, a specialised consumer and market insights offering in the food space that brings together his two worlds of being consumer market researcher and a food writer. He started writing his blog www.FinelyChopped.net in 2007 which makes him a pioneer in the field. His debut book, a food travelogue called The Travelling Belly published by Hachette India in 2014, went into a reprint within a year of it being published. He is the curator of the Times Kitchen Tales, a pan Indian initiative to celebrate regional Indian food from the Times of India. He is also a popular food columnist and his words can be found at NDTV Food, Times of India Blogs, DailyO, Femina, The Indian Express and Scoopwhoop.
He is the India representative for HOST Milano. He won the best food writer and critic award 2019 in the 16h edition of the ICFA Awards organised by the Indian Culinary forum, has won the FBAI Best Food Blogger Award multiple times in every year since its inception, the Best Indian Food Blogger Award in the BH&G and Social Samosa Influencer Awards 2017, and the Godrej Protect Power Blogger Award in 2017. He was a finalist in the Esomar World Congress in 2008 in Montreux and won the best paper award in the Esomar Asia Pacific Conference, 2010, in Melbourne. ESOMAR is the world’s leading market research organisation. He is a part of the jury for the the Conde Nast Best Restaurant Awards, Food Super Star Academy, BW Hotelier Awards, Times Travel Awards and the Living Foodz Epicurean Guild Awards. He was a part of the 20 best food writers in India list published by The Upper Crust magazine.
CLIVE VAZ+ KARAN SAJNANI
Clive Vaz & Karan Sajnani form an electro-organic duet creating rich soundscapes using exotic ethnic instruments from across the globe. Both Clive and Karan are accomplished musicians who have had successful projects together, as well as individually. They met during the time they were part of the ensemble Tribal Flora. Their duet draws upon the internal inspirations of years of music making, travel, performances and experiences.
Clive Vaz is a Mumbai based musician, flutist, didgeridoo player and plays other instruments including, djembe, ukulele, keys and guitar. Clive is also an electronic music composer and producer. His music combines electronic music with instruments from across the globe. His compositions and music style is an amalgamation of Lounge, Deep tech, Oriental Indian fusion, Dub, Ambient and World Music. He has been touring India, playing at multiple music festivals and at some of India's most prestigious stages. Clive has also released 4 albums with Cafe De Anatolia a record label from Macedonia.
Karan Sajnani is a classical guitarist, didgeridoo player and a hang drum player; he heads a group called Satori which specialises in study and research of sound based on ancient Indian science. The group specialises in applications of sound on a variety of industries, with a strong focus on healthcare. He is a practitioner of spiritual empowerment through sound in the lineage of Agastya. He has played and performed a variety of genres of music from childhood ranging from hindustani classical(tabla), rock n roll, blues, hard rock, western classical, Spanish, African, avant-garde, world, and tribal. He has had the good fortune of being mentored by world class music professors. He currently also manages a technology firm alongside his musical endeavours.
An enthusiast of life, art, learnings, and happiness, Priyanka is a Writer, Ballerina, and a Certified Fitness Consultant. Believing in the power of love, she puts her heart and soul in all her creations. Being a free-spirited empath, she has been breaking norms since her childhood. Her early-on experiences with health led her to explore her journey and find her power and purpose. While curiously seeking her calling, she came across Ballet and has been unconditionally devoting to it. Through her story, Priyanka believes in helping people understand their body energy and intuition.
Prioritizing well-being in all its entirety, she wants to share her experiences that could find resonance, courage, and change to see their moment of truth, accept who they are, and find their potential. As she is working on giving shape to her endeavour, Tvisi, her recent accomplishments include being a Certified Fitness Consultant from International Sports Science Association, Ballet Teacher at Indian Academy of Russian Ballet, Reiki Practitioner, and a Certified Progressing Ballet Technique Coach from PBT, Hong Kong. Her recent distinctions include qualifying as a PBT Coach, performing at India Kids Fashion Week and Mumbai Sogetsu Ikebana (a fusion event organized for Japanese Consulate).
Troop from Kolhapur
Originating from Maharashtra, Mardani Khel is a weapon-based martial art form. It owes its development to the geographic conditions of the state, i.e.hills, caves and valleys. This medieval form of combat emerged during the Maratha dynasty, and was also employed in wars during the religious persecution and conquest of indigenous Indians. Kolhapur used to be the centre of the Maratha kingdom, and the villages around it had talims (training centres) where skilled elders prepared youngsters for war. After the First War of Independence in 1857, the British banned the use of weapons used by Indians, with talims subsequently forced to turn Mardani Khel into a folk game to ensure its survival.The use of weapons- swords, katyar (dagger), lathi kathi (bamboo sticks), veeta (darts), bhala (javelin), dand and patta (long-bladed swords) continued but the moves were made more stylised and less lethal.