Project Management South Asia Conference 2023

Sold out! Registrations are now closed

2- 3 September | ITC Grand Chola, Chennai


Hon. Dr. Palanivel Thiagarajan

Minister of Information Technology & Digital Services, Tamil Nadu State

Dr. Palanivel Thiagarajan is the Minister of Information Technology and Digital Services of Tamil Nadu. He was the Finance and Human Resources Management Minister of Tamil Nadu between May 2021 and May 2023. He has released a White Paper on Tamil Nadu's finances after a long time and he is a great scholar and economist.

Ike Nwankwo, MSc, MBA, PMP

Governance Committee Chair, PMI

Ike Nwankwo is the managing director at Distinct Management Ltd., an independent project management consultancy focusing on information technology, construction and business transformation. He provides project, program and portfolio management consultancy and interim management services to a broad international client portfolio and assists organizations to deliver value through the effective implementation of their projects and program and the delivery of their organizational, strategic and corporate objectives. Over 25 years, Mr. Nwankwo has managed portfolios and led the delivery of multi-million-dollar projects and programs across diverse sectors, for a diverse range of multinational organizations across the United Kingdom and Africa.

A passionate and active volunteer to the project management profession; he is a member of and has served in several project management professional organizations and committees. He has supported multiple PMI initiatives and served on the Board of Directors of the PMI Nigeria Chapter as Vice President of Finance (2013-2014), President (2014-2016) and was the PMI Region Mentor for Africa (2016 -2020).

He holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Nigeria and an MBA from Middlesex University Business School, United Kingdom. He has several professional and project management certifications, including Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Project Management Practitioner (AgilePM), Disciplined Agile Lean Scrum Master (DALSM), PMO Practitioner (PMO-P), Prince 2 Practitioner (Prince2) and Prosci Certified Change Practitioner (PROSCI) and is a graduate of the PMI Leadership Institute Master Class of 2016.

A motivated professional speaker, he has presented topics focusing on the awareness and value of project management and on leadership and co-authored a book on Global Leadership. Mr Nwankwo enjoys learning, networking, travel, music, Scrabble and Sudoko. He is enthusiastic and passionate about volunteerism, mentoring and giving back to society.

Kishore Jayaraman, OBE

President - India & South Asia, Rolls-Royce

Kishore Jayaraman is President for Rolls-Royce India and South Asia. Since taking over the role ten years ago, Kishore has been instrumental in driving strategic focus and significant expansion across the Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, Defence and Power Systems businesses.

A strong proponent of technology innovation, he led the establishment of Rolls-Royce’s digital and engineering capabilities in India that now contribute significantly to global development projects. He also leads the growth of the company’s manufacturing and sourcing footprint in India through joint ventures with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Force Motors, as well as other key partnerships.

Prior to joining Rolls-Royce, Kishore held diverse leadership roles across markets at GE for 23 years, and his last assignment was as President and CEO of GE Energy, South Asia. Based in New Delhi, India, Kishore serves on several boards and is at the helm of industry committees and associations, whilst being a champion for sustainability and strategic ecosystem evolution for the present and future.

Kishore was recently awarded an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty The Queen for services to international trade and investment, with a key focus on promotion of India-UK trade.

Srimathi Shivashankar

Corporate Vice President and Business Head of EdTech Services at HCLTech.

Srimathi has 25+ years of work experience in managing and transforming businesses. At HCLTech she has been instrumental in strategizing and leading programs such as operationalizing new HCL delivery centers, Diversity and Sustainability practices, HCL Foundation, and HCL Grant. She is passionate about inclusive development and explores ways to build business eco system with talent from diverse backgrounds.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, which has recognized her accomplishments through the Distinguished Alumna Award, and an MBA in International Business Management from Ohio University. She won the WeQual Award in 2021 in the Business Transformation category, and was named in the top 25 Women leaders in Consulting for 2022 by the Consulting report.

Srimathi has been a key speaker at various international forums, most notably in UN, WBCSD, World Investment Forum, WEF, NASSCOM, and CII. She continues to participate as committee member for drafting policies both at Global and National levels.

Lt. Gen. A. Arun

Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal

Lt. Gen. Arun joined the National Defence Academy in Jan 1982, opting not to join the IIT, despite an all India rank of 13.

He has about 41 years of varied experience, largely in the command of men in Counter-Terrorism roles. With experience in planning and delivery of Personnel Management and logistics in International Task Forces in Cambodia and Sierra Leone and Short term projects in forecasting and structuring of Large Coalitions including significant civilian components at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Attended the Prestigious Senior Mission Leaders Course conducted by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

He holds multiple Masters Degrees in Defence, Strategic Management, Nation Building and Conflict Prevention and Creative Writing. Post Graduate Studies in Personnel Management, Human Resources Development and Creative Writing.

He is a Fellow of the ‘Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies’ in Canberra, Australia following a successful Post - Masters Academic Programme.

Lt. Gen. Arun was seriously wounded in operations in Jammu and Kashmir, a recipient of the Sena Medal for Gallantry, Yudh Seva Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Conflict, and awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation Four times in addition to the ‘North Star Medal for Excellence’.

He enjoys listening to music, spending time with the family and pets and public speaking. Prolific short story writer.

Personality Development in general and ‘People - Leadership Development’ in particular are his passions. He has conducted over 902 sessions/lectures/workshops for various education institutions/corporates/within the Army. He created a record by successfully conducting a Workshop for about 17,200 students from all over India on ‘Leadership and Happiness’ all in one session!

Dr. Srimathy Kesan

Founder & CEO, Space Kidz India – A leading Indian Aerospace Startup

Dr. Srimathy, Founder & CEO of a leading Indian Aerospace Startup Space Kidz India, pioneering in design, fabrication and launch of small satellites, spacecrafts and ground systems. Her goal is to provide economical and sustainable access to space to cater the needs of education, research and the industry. With 7+ years of experience, we have launched 18+ BalloonSats, 2 Suborbital Payloads and 3 Orbital Satellites which include World’s first 3-D printed and Lightest Satellite - KALAMSAT", was launched by NASA and 4 other Orbital satellites, KalamsatV-2, SD SAT, AzaadiSAT and AzaadiSAT 2.0 by ISRO.

She is the only Indian to be decorated with the Ambassador status to the top 3 Space centers of the World, NASA, ESA and GCTC - Moscow. Apart from taking children to these research centers for hands-on Space training - Rocket building and launching techniques, Satellite making.

Dr. Srimathy Kesan became the first woman from India to experience zero gravity flight, along with Astronaut Moon Walker Charles Duke, the first woman engineer of the Apollo mission Ms. Poppy, astronaut Richard Garriott, and astronaut Wrangler Christina Korp.

Sowmya Iyer

Founder and CEO, DViO Digital

Sowmya Iyer is the Founder and CEO of DViO Digital - a global creative-tech and digital-first marketing organisation. DViO’s offices are in UAE, India, Qatar and KL with over 200 digital and creative technology experts working for DViO.

In addition to being the driving force behind DViO, Sowmya is also a start-up investor, a TEDx Speaker and Chief Mentor at the MAD-Tech Incubator, a marketing incubator for start-ups in advertising, content and marketing technology.

She started her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 17. She has run a youth portal, been a journalist and a TV Anchor, run an engineering design start-up and worked extensively in media research - all before the age of 22.

She started DViO in the year 2011, initially with a set of investors and eventually bought them out to own 100 % of the company.

Her education in English Literature and Arts combined with running digital and technology companies early in her life helped her build DViO as a company that specialises in convergence of Creativity, Digital Channels and Technology to achieve business growth for its clients.

Sowmya is particularly known for her interest in the start-up eco-system. She started an incubator for ad tech and marketing tech start-ups. The idea of the incubator is to connect the world's innovative technology with brands and businesses DViO works with.

DViO's incubatee and partner companies are working on technologies like Video Tech, Content tech, VR and AR, ML and AI. DViO helps integrate their solutions to solve real business and marketing problems.

With the incubator - which keeps adding new technology and companies to it every year -- DViO has created a unique positioning of a creative and digital company that's always riding the Next Wave.

Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kauvery Hospitals

A Gold Medalist in Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr Aravindan Selvaraj is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Kauvery Group of Hospitals.

He practiced Orthopaedic Surgery for 15 years in the world’s best hospitals in Ireland and UK since 1995. He returned to India in 2010 with a vision of setting up a world-class hospital in Chennai and thus the Kauvery Hospital at Chennai was born. Today, Kauvery hospitals group has 10 hospitals with 2000 beds in Tamil Nadu & Karnataka.

He has been awarded 'Best Doctor' by Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University & ‘Pride of Tamil Nadu’ for his achievements in the healthcare industry. In 2022, he was awarded Sir M Visvesvaraya award for ‘Excellence in Healthcare’ instituted by AIMO from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in recognition of Kauvery Hospital’s contribution to the healthcare sector in terms of service to the general public, creation of jobs for the underprivileged and the scientific advancement of medical care.

Other positions held:

• Chairman of ASSOCHAM Tamil Nadu State Development Council
• CII Southern Region Health Industry Committee Co-Chairman
• TiE Governing Council Member
• Set up the Innovation and Incubation Center at Kauvery Hospital
• Founded Healthcare Capital, an NBFC to invest in Health Tech Startups

R. K. Shenoy

Member of Executive Leadership Team, Mobility Solutions Bosch Global Software Technologies (BGSW)

Mr. Shenoy is an Alumni from NITK, 1986 E&C branch and Alumni of IIMB and Carnegie Mellon.

He has been associated with BOSCH Group since he graduated from NITK and currently member of Executive Leadership Team, responsible for Mobility Solutions at Bosch Global Software Technologies.

Initially he was responsible for Industrial automation in RBIN (erstwhile MICO). Later he moved to Mobilities space, starting with Embedded Software development for Engine management. Prior to the current role, he was heading Embedded Solutions and Product Engineering Business unit for Mobility for all domains like powertrain, safety, driver assistance, steering as well as other business sectors like consumer goods, Industrial, Energy & Building Technologies.

He carries about 6 years of international experience in Germany and was instrumental in setting-up Product Engineering (Mechanics, Hardware and Software) with special focus to frugal engineering & emerging market platforms. He is also responsible for centres in Vietnam and China.

Mr. Shenoy has been passionately driving talent development strategies with around 30 universities thought curriculum development, Faculty development, hackathons on new technologies & setting-yp specific labs at campuses which should enable co-innovation between industry & academia.

He has been actively mentoring startups & on the board of SIMYOG which is a startup in the area of simulation product development for EMC in which Bosch has also invested.

Being a member of NASSCOM - Engineering R&D council, he is focusing on industry ready future talent build-up & innovation eco-system in India.

He is truly an engineer at heart, married and blessed with two kids. He is interested in driving, gardening, farming and do-it-yourself.

Sandeep Kochhar

StoryTeller | Personal Brand Expert | TEDx Speaker | LinkedIn Influencer | LinkedIn Top Voices 2019: India | Certified Leadership Coach

Sandeep Kochhar is a Social Media influencer & Indian Institute of Management Bangalore Alumnus. An Electronics & Telecommunication Engineer with more than 22 years of Corporate Consulting experience. He is an insightful innovative powerful inspirational Speaker & Storyteller. He loves using storytelling as an instrument to change & transform. He has 30+ years of experience in poetry, storytelling & creative writing. His authentic, very real ‘Wabi Sabi’ StoryTelling Leadership series has helped people make that big switch in their lives & radically improve their way of thinking. He has 350 million+ views on the stories he shares on LinkedIn. And, he has over 660,000+ followers who trust him. He is the Founder CEO of, an eclectic Leadership Consulting practice that operates across geographies in the space of unconventional Learning in different areas of People Consulting, Coaching & Leadership. He also has substantial experience in Content Marketing, Visualization, Conceptualizations, coaching & hiring for Gaming organizations. He is Certified Leadership Coach & has been a coach to Forbes 30 under 30 Ecommerce entrepreneur, Top Leaderships, CXOs of various industries/organizations as well as LGBTQ++ Community members.

He has worked in various roles relating to Program/Project Management, Business/Process Transformation, Organization Restructuring & Change Management in companies like HT Media, British Council, Honeywell, IBM, & HCL Technologies.

He has carved his own path on Social Media, learnt through his failures & has excellent foresight that allows him to recognize the power of StoryTelling to change worldviews. This has helped him develop taste for his own exotic recipe of life which he uses to help people find their own mojo. You will often find him Coaching individuals on building their Personal Brand & Social media presence. His other areas of passion include Coaching, Entrepreneurship & Digital Marketing. In his leisure, he loves connecting with people, adding value to their lives & his, practices yoga, writes poetry & coaches students to pursue higher education programs.

Saveen Hegde

Founder, Unbox Experience

Saveen Hegde is the founder of Unbox Experience - a boutique consulting firm headquartered in India which has successfully delivered innovation & strategic transformation engagements for over 100+ global firms spread over 22 countries. As a certified Innovation & Design Thinking practitioner from Harvard University - he has led consulting engagements on Innovation & Strategy which have proven to be highly effective for leaders many Fortune 500 companies, across 20+ countries. He recently concluded a project on Design Thinking with Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has also completed his Executive Management Program in Neuroscience at the Sloan School of Management, MIT.

Saveen has represented India in the World Championship of Public Speaking and was recognized as one of the top 10 public speakers in the world by Toastmasters International in 2017. He competed amongst 33,000 participants from over 100 countries. He is also a 3-time TEDx speaker. Saveen was also invited to represent region 13 (South East Asia) at the coveted Toastmasters International Convention 2020 with over 66,000 registered attendees to speak on the topic - Design Thinking: A Way of Life.

Apart from his expertise in Innovation & Strategy, Saveen is an improvisational theatre artist who has done 300+ live performances in 4 countries for over 2,00,000 people. He learned improv theatre at the renowned UCB theatre in New York. He is truly an embodiment of his life mantra: LIVE. LAUGH. LEARN.

Through his keynote addresses - Saveen has addressed leaders across 10 countries, we are happy to have Saveen at the year's conference with the theme is Innovation in Action: Connecting Humans & Technology

Ashutosh Bhatawadekar

Learner | Curator | Thinker | Engagement Director | Tata Consultancy Services

Senior Industry Professional having 25 plus years of experience in the field of Enterprise-wide Agile Transformation, Coaching , Consulting & mentoring. Ashutosh brings with him key experience in Leveraging Coaching for bringing about a Transformation mindset and a culture of Agility across enterprises and leaders.

Core area of expertise includes

  • Working with CIO's, Senior Executives & Account Leadership by coaching, mentoring & guiding them in their journey towards adapting Agile, DevOps, Lean and Digital Transformation practices.
  • Establishing Value Added processes across programs by keeping focus on Business value & Outcomes generation and aligning the teams on meeting this objective.
  • Establishing Value Management / Transformation Office /Agility Office / Agile Management Office for driving Digital Transformation across the length and breadth of organization

Tal Karkashon

Lead solutions engineer (APAC),

Tal is a dynamic professional with experience in Solution Building and Business Consulting. Tal has 10 years of experience working with Enterprises on guiding companies towards operational excellence by reimagining their workflows, meticulously analyzing processes, and implementing transformative improvements. She has led a dedicated team focused on crafting business processes solutions. She holds a BA in Psychology and certifications for BPM and DMS solutions

Dr. M. Manivannan

Professor, Bio Medical Engineering, IIT Madras

Dr. M. Manivannan is a professor of Biomedical Engineering in IIT Madras. In 2005 Dr.Manivannan set up the first Touchlab in India at IIT Madras, which is still unique in India. He has recently set up experiential Technology Innovation Center (XTIC) which is the first multidisciplinary center for VR/AR/MR and Haptics in India.

Before joining IIT Madras he was a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) of Harvard Medical School (HMS) in Boston, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Maryland, Department of Commerce, USA.

He served as visiting faculty in the Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru.

He has spinned of many start-ups in India and abroad, and he is in the board of many other start-ups. He has also spinned of few research Foundations and Industrial Consortiums.

He has been an expert for selecting faculty for several IITs and Medical Institutes in India and technical advisor to a few government bodies.

Yadvendradev V. Jhala

Indian Scientist, Retired Dean & Senior Professor Wildlife Institute of India

Yadvendradev V. Jhala, obtained his Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia USA in 1991, in Wildlife Science and a Post Doc from the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He joined the Wildlife Institute of India in 1993 as faculty and retired as Senior Professor and Dean in February 2023. He is a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy. Jhala studied prey-predator interactions between wolves and blackbuck for his doctoral degree. Subsequently, Jhala conducted long-term ecological and behavioural studies using modern technology of radio and satellite telemetry on wolves, lions, striped hyenas, snow leopards, and tigers. He liaised with the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate change to design, supervise, and implement the estimation and monitoring of tigers, leopards, and other wildlife populations across India. The National Tiger Survey of 2018 led by Jhala was awarded the Guinness World record as the largest wildlife survey. He has assisted the Governments of Bangladesh and Nepal in establishing country scale wildlife monitoring programs. Jhala’s peer reviewed publications based on quantitative scientific rigor has assisted in formulating modern wildlife conservation policy in India. Jhala’s research has been instrumental in i) banning veterinary diclofenac that caused the decline in vultures; ii) identifying and addressing causes of Great Indian Bustard declines and commencing their conservation breeding; iii) understanding the social organization and coexistence of Asiatic lions with humans; iv) status, demography, ranging patterns, and conservation genetics of tigers; v) ecology, status, and ancient lineage of Indian wolves; vi) Jhala has led the project and provided the science required for the reintroduction of cheetahs to India from Southern Africa. Jhala has trained over 1600 conservation practitioners from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Nepal, Austria, and USA. He has guided 65 Masters and Doctoral students. Jhala’s work is an example of blending basic and applied science in the area of conservation biology, and using it to formulate policy and to manage and conserve India's endangered species.

Rajendran Dandapani

Business Solutions Evangelist, Zoho Corporation. President, Zoho Schools of Learning.

Rajendran, a founding member of Zoho Corporation, is a Business Solutions Evangelist. His vast expertise in conceiving and nurturing creative concepts into full-fledged software applications and his role as President at Zoho Schools of Learning, Zoho's ongoing experiment in alternative education, make him a much-sought-after speaker and panelist.

Inspired by the golden age of Apple under Steve Jobs, he believes in aspiring to be "insanely great" at whatever he and his team takes on.

Outside of work, he is an omnivorous reader, and shares his hard-earned experiences from the School of Hard Knocks through his Youtube Channel titled "Rajendran Dandapani Presents".

Kewyn George

Global Director- Information services @Expeditors

Kewyn George is a Technology Thought leader with more than 20 years of experience, with leadership and contribution to the growth of Technology Industry.

He is the author of Digital First and a column writer in Forbes India and an industry thought leader who has been published in several industry magazines. Currently he is the India Technology Centre Head for one of the largest freight forwarder & logistics organization in the world. Prior to this role he worked in Gartner as a CxO advisor, worked jn AstraZeneca & played a key role in establishing AstraZeneca’s Tech Center in Chennai. Kewyn is an ardent Coach and Mentor on Leadership, Strategy, Technology and Empowerment. His Passion towards mentorship continues from Students to Startups

He is an active member in the industry through organizations like CII and NASSCOM. He serves as a member in the Future IT & Emerging Technologies council, Govt of Tamil Nadu. Key Contributor in Crafting the $100 Billion IT Growth plan by 2030 for State Government of Tamilnadu. He was the Program Chair for the GoTN's Umagine Technology & Innovation Summit held in March'23 Social Vision.

Working for the Development of underprivileged Girl Children in the terms of social Empowerment, Education and Employment

Sandeep Kumar

Founder & CEO, ProductDossier.

Sandeep brings in 28 years of professional experience in Software industry. He has been on both sides of the technology. The user and the Provider. His expertise lies in Professional Services Automation, Project & Portfolio Management and operation excellence in IT/ ITES companies.

He founded ProductDossier in December 2005 with the single focus on building enterprise solutions for operational excellence and thereby building digital culture in the global IT/ ITES companies. ProductDossier PSA - a Professional Services Automation software is being used by several organizations like QuEST Global, Tata Technologies, Quality Kiosk, Onward Technologies to name a few. ProductDossier has offices in India and USA and its software is being used across 27+ countries across the globe.

Before founding ProductDossier, Sandeep was working with Geometric Software (now HCL), and Tata Research Center (TRC). He is alumnus of Indian Institute of science, Bangalore.

Santosh Bhadule

Director - Software Technology, Burns & McDonnell

Santosh Bhadule is a passionate engineering leader with track record of driving change in process and technology with Lean leadership, building high performing and self-organizing teams and while promoting a culture of creativity, inclusion and empowerment. He is a recognized leader in building innovative software solutions and services for construction management, Asset Management (IIoT), Industrial Automation and Digital transformation.

More than 25+ years of experience in leading, mentoring and managing global teams, delivering valuable insights to clients based on data and applications. 10+ years of experience in strategy, planning, execution and release of commercial enterprise solutions for construction, Energy, Utility, Water, Oil & Gas and Telecom domains. Technology evangelist with focus on customer outcomes, relentlessly driven to achieve simplification and demonstrate value.

Santosh is six-sigma trained and a champion for people change management. He has successfully lead many utility and infrastructure clients through the Digital Transformation Journey.

In his leisure, you will find Santosh living his Cricket passion by actively playing, promoting and training kids in schools and universities in USA.

Ramam Atmakuri

Executive Vice Chair Emeritus
L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), India, and
Chair, Board of Directors
Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF)

40 years in manufacturing, IT and non-profit organizations

As Head of global delivery centers for multinationals Cognizant, Invensys and Baan, he led multi-disciplinary teams across continents, successfully managed mergers and acquisitions, and delivered several multi-million-dollar transformation programs that resulted in business growth. Serving non-profit last 9 years.

PMI Volunteer for 22 years as founder and President of PMI Pearl City Chapter, India, Region Mentor for South Asia, Chapter Insight Team, Data and Analytics Insight Team, Board of PMI India and currently in the Board of PMI Educational Foundation

Recipient of the prestigious PMI Eric Jenett Project Management Award of Excellence

Namita Mishra

Senior Solution Consultant, SPM, ServiceNow

Namita Mishra has two decades of experience. She is a passionate technology leader, product leader by heart with experience in selling complex enterprise software across Asia.

She is a subject matter expert for Strategy management & Project & Portfolio Management. Having served as a Director of product management in the software industry for over a decade, turned into advisory presales executive.

She has successfully brought the products from inception to market. This journey has enhanced the understanding of dynamic nature of software industry & empathy for end users. She is also a champion of Agile methodologies, is a certified Scrum Master and has helped many teams with their Agile transformation journey.

Her “can do” attitude and passion of making customers successful in their journey stands her out in the crowd. At present she is the Sr. advisory solution consultant for Asia region (excluding Japan & ANZ) making the end users successful in their strategical portfolio management journey.