Jury 2011

Osama Manzar is the chairman of Manthan Award and mBillionth Award. He founded DEF in 2003 to overcome the information and content gap among the masses of India. He is also on the board of World Summit Award, and was member task force for IT & ITeS with Ministry of Communication & IT for business enhancement. He is member working group, Internet Governance Forum, Ministry of IT.

Amir Ullah Khan is an economist working at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Deputy Director, Strategy. He has worked as a Researcher for the Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the UNDP at Project LARGE (Legal Adjustments and Reforms for Globalizing the Economy). He was then the Academic Head at the Indian School of Finance & Management after which he worked with Encyclopedia Britannica as Executive Director & Editor. He teaches a course on Indian Economic Policy at the Indian School of Business,Hyderabad and at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi. His latest book for Academic Foundation is titled “Common Property Resource Management: A focus on Forestry”, edited by Dr Mousumi Majumdar. He has previously authored “States of the India Economy” that analyses regional and interstate diversity in India with respect to access to water, sanitation, health, education and the net impacts of infrastructure development.

Mr. Ashis Sanyal started his career as an Engineer in Ministry of Communications in 1975. During 1982-2000, he worked in the areas of Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility and Millimeter wave Electronics. Since the year 2001 he was responsible for the implementation of e-Governance Projects. He was the Mission Leader of the Core e-Gov Infrastructure Project and was the alternate Mission Leader for the National e-Governance Plan. Since his retirement in 2010, Mr Sanyal has been actively providing consultancy services for the Capacity Building e-governance project and ICT projects. Mr. Sanyal has published more than 45 technical papers in his work field and has participated in various International Conferences and Workshops in over 19 countries. He was a recipient of UNDP Fellowship at National Institute of Standardization & Technology, USA in 1991 and has undergone Chief Information Officer Training in e-Governance in Korea in July 2003 where he was awarded the highest award for the Best Participant. Mr Sanyal was adjudged as the “EMC Engineer of the year 2000” by the Society of EMC Engineers India, Bangalore and “e-Champion Year 2008”, a distinction awarded by the Dataquest magazine of India.


Gaurav Chopra is the Associate Vice President at Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). In his current role, Gaurav is primarily responsible for strategic planning of finance, new business initiatives, marketing functions and international business. His specialized areas of interest are digital marketing and digital payments. Prior to this, he worked at ICICI Bank for a short while and was responsible for Manufacturing and IT functions at Confederation of Indian Industry in Mumbai. A quintessential entrepreneur, Gaurav founded a logistics company in 2000 at the age of 21 which provided customized solutions to large manufacturing companies. This company was then acquired by Assam Bengal Road Carriers.


Amitabh Singhal is the Director of Telxess Consulting Services and Vcon. He was a founder and former president of the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI). He also was the founder, board director and CEO of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). He helped conceptualize and set up NIXI as a public private partnership between ISPAI and Department of Information Technology, Government of India and was involved in restructuring NIXI as an autonomous Registry and Regulator of the .IN Domain (Indian ccTLD). He was the spokesperson of India’s ISP industry for over a decade, contributing many articles and forum lectures. He was earlier a senior VP at GTL and is now on the Board of Public Interest Registry (PIR), a Virginia based nonprofit, which runs the .ORG Domain (the 3rd largest gTLD after .COM and .NET).

Chirag Jain is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with over two decades of multifaceted US and India experience. His spectrum of
experience covers executive ownership for Engineering – product design and delivery, Professional Services for US Fortune 500 clients, Operations – HR, Finance & Legal as well as Business Development. At Webaroo he has led the mobile initiatives, first with a downloadable client and then with an open SMS based platform called GupShup. He has been instrumental in establishing GupShup as a platform for user-generated content and an m-CRM platform for enterprises. In the most recent past Chirag has focused energies in policy making working with various stakeholders, namely, TRAI, mobile operators, trade associations and others. Chirag is also a member of the mobile VAS committee at IAMAI and has been an active speaker/panelist at Mobile conferences for Indian Merchants Chamber, Mobile Monday, IAMAI and other industry bodies. Most recently he was conferred with the Amity Leadership Award 2011 on Mobile and Embedded Technology by Amity University.

Arvind Rao has more than 20 years of global experience in the Wireless telecommunications, private equity, venture capital and emerging market sectors. With his passion & motivation, Arvind has transformed Onmobile from a start-up with big dreams to the No.1 Telecom
VAS player in India. Prior to cofounding Onmobile, he was the Managing Director of Technology investments at Gilbert Global Equity Partners, New York. Prior to that, he was a Principal with the Chatterjee Group, an affiliate of Soros Fund Management. During these years, Arvind led private equity venture capital and strategic public investments in wireless telecommunications, internet, satellites, application software and IT services worldwide. Earlier while at Mckinsey & Co., Arvind specialized in the IT, telecom and electronics sector, providing strategic counsel to high-tech clients on new business entry and development strategies, acquisitions, alliances, product marketing and distribution strategies.

Jonathan Bill is the Head of Data and Internet Services for Vodafone in India. His remit is to lead India’s data strategy, approach and commercialization.Since his arrival, Vodafone has launched 3G and has grown its mobile internet user base substantially.Prior to joining Vodafone Essar Ltd earlier this year,Jonathan was Head of Emerging Markets for Vodafone Group running data and internet operations for emerging markets including seven markets in Africa, Egypt and Central Europe. Before working at Vodafone Group, Jonathan spent two years driving the development of Egypt’s internet and data business and also led the acquisition of the region’s largest Arabic content destination business on behalf of Vodafone Egypt. Jonathan has held several key posts outside of Vodafone including Commercial Director for Real Media, an online advertising business and Director of Business Development for EMEA at Reuters Media.

Karan Gambhir has over 8 years of experience spanning across the Financial Services, ITES and Telecom industries, working largely on product and business management. After 4 years of working in large corporate houses like GE and Adobe he moved to the startup world, having worked with companies as small as 20 employees in strength to One97 Communications,which is among India’s largest and fastest growing mobile value added services companies. Karan has been with One97 for last 2 years as Head of the Prepaid Business.

Milind Pathak heads the SAARC business and the Mobile Content Solutions business unit at Comviva. In his twin role, he provides strategic direction and operational focus to expand the SAARC MU mandate and drives the company’s content aggregation and portal management business.Milind has over 17 years of experience in managing sales, business development, marketing, strategy and operations. Prior to joining Comviva, Milind was Co-CEO & Country Manager, Buongiorno Hong Kong) Ltd, where he developed and managed the company’s Indian business and played a vital role in building Buongiorno’s business in India and the SAARC region. Prior to this he was with Mitsui for over 8 years as Head of New Services Business, where he defined the entry strategy of multiple companies in sectors such as mobile commerce, telematics and mobile value added services.

Manjula Dissanayake is a founding member of Zone24x7and currently overlooks the operations as the Vice President of Global Operations. Manjula is the Chairman for the Board at Zone24x7 University of Moratuwa – Electronics Systems Research Lab and was instrumental in establishing research partnerships with prestigious research organizations such as Stanford Research Instituted (SRI) and Oracle (former Sun Microsystems). He had been serving as a visiting faculty member at leading universities in Sri Lanka. He is an experienced business professional with a progressive career of 14 years in the IT enabled Services sector. Prior to Zone24x7 Manjula has held management,consulting and project roles at Motorola (Former Symbol Technologies),Parcel House PLC and Informatics PLC. He is an Executive Council Member of the Sri Lanka Association of Software Service Companies (SLASSCOM), taking a lead role in sustainable initiatives to build the ICT Capacity in Sri Lanka. He is also a Co-Chair of the Membership Development Sub Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Rakesh Godhwani, after spending amazing formative years ingreat High-Tech space organizations like Wipro , Intel and Qualcomm and after doing different roles in sales, product marketing and business development, he realized that his passion is to make other’s reach their maximum potential and help fulfill their dreams. Nothing gives him more satisfaction than shaping curious minds and learning from them. He currently heads IIM Bangalore Alumni Association, is an Adjunct Faculty at IIM Bangalore and coaches startups in the hi-tech space. His first book “Plunnge! Reinvention for a new generation” was released on July 12, 2011. For More details, visit www.plunnge.com.

SM Ashraf Khan is currently working as the CEO of MCC Ltd and team leader of ZAPP, a mobile application development unit in his company, which takes the initiative to expand applications based on the local needs. He was a pioneer citizen journalism activist using mobile technology in Bangladesh. His expertise in multimedia content development allows him and his team to associate themselves with both public and private sector organizations. He has an extensive track record working with the development sector. He has received recognition for his dedication and excellent contribution to ICT industry by winning the Manthan South Asia Award 2009 & 2010 and WSYA 2010. He has completed his Bachelor degree in Computing and Information Systems from London Metropolitan University and Masters Degree in Development Studies from East West University, Bangladesh. He received NUFFIC fellowship in 2007.

Shahzad Ahmad is the Country Coordinator of Bytes for All, Pakistan and founder of the Digital Rights Institute (DRI). He is currently working in the area of ICT policy advocacy, internet rights and freedom of expression. He is a development communications expert and is at the forefront of Internet Rights movement in Pakistan. Shahzad is a Diplo Fellow, executive board member of the Association for Progressive Communications, advisory board member of .PK ccTLD and member of the International Advisory Board of Privacy International, UK. He regularly contributes to various publications and research studies around ICTs for Development, Freedom of Expression and gender related issues. Widely travelled, he regularly participates in various forums at local, regional and global level.Shahzad maintains a strong engagement with the broader civil society networks and strongly believes in participation and openness.

Sanjaya Karunasena is an Enterprise Architect with nearly 15 years of industry experience.Sanjaya has significant architecture and development experience in product development and enterprise software development, including experience in the retail, telecommunication, and eGovernment domains.He has experience in leading a 300+ engineering team, developing many enterprise solutions, providing strategic direction to improve software engineering productivity and software quality. He is currently designated as the Head of Technology and Chief Technology Officer at ICTA. Previously, he worked as the Director of Services in a leading SOA company, responsible for all client services and infrastructure services.

Sinnathamby Shanmugarajah joined Microimage in 1998 as senior software engineer after returning from his education from Bharathithasan University (Trichy, India). He became the Chief Technical Officer of Microimage in 2000 and was responsible for leading many technology innovations of the company. He was heading the mobile division of the company since 2004.Shan and his team’s engineering efforts resulted in winning inaugural GMS Asia Innovation Award and getting commended for couple of products at the GSMA World Awards in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Also some of the key products engineered under Shan’s technical leadership won many local awards and received patents/pending patents as well.

Soumya Sarkar is the News Editor at Mint, a sister publication of the Hindustan Times published in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. He has been working in the Media and Communications field for over two decades and was previously with the The Times of India,The Indian Express Group, The Telegraph and The Down to Earth magazine. He has also worked as development and communications consultant with organizations that include the World Bank and the Aga Khan Development Network. Besides working in the areas of environment, rural livelihoods, energy and water resources, Soumya is keenly interested in science and technology issues.

Laura Turkington is the Interim Director for Vodafone India Foundation which focusses on improving access to a better education, empowering women and using mobile innovation to create social change. Laura manages the existing portfolio and supports a number of programs and partnerships which work to achieve this goal. Prior to this, Laura was responsible for Vodafone’s award winning corporate responsibility program in Ireland and the Vodafone Ireland Foundation. Before joining Vodafone, Laura worked as Director of Strategy for a leading NGO and has worked in several senior positions in the ICT /Telco sector both in Ireland and further afield. Laura holds a Bachelors Degree in Law LLB.

Suren Pinto is the founder and CEO of WaveNET a leading supplier of value added service platforms for the telecommunications industry in Sri Lanka and the region. Spearheading its global operations with customers and operations across South Asia, South East Asia, Australia and Africa, he has been instrumental in transforming the company from a startup to a leader in innovative Data, Voice and Multimedia solutions. A born entrepreneur, Suren has led WaveNET from the age of 19 when he founded the company and built around him a strong team of professionals delivering complex telecom solutions to some of the biggest networks in the region. He is passionate about technology and contributes extensively to the product vision.