Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies Limited (NSE:HAPPSTMNDS), is widely recognized as one of the pioneering leaders of the Indian IT industry.
Positioned as ‘Born Digital. Born Agile.’ Happiest Minds is a digital transformation company with business lines of Product Engineering Services, Digital Solutions and Infrastructure & Security. Happiest Minds expertise includes all digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, security, cloud, digital process automation, blockchain, augmented/virtual reality, drones/robotics etc.
Happiest Minds was listed on NSE/BSE in September 2020 and achieved a record increase in listing price. Ashok was earlier founding Chairman & MD of MindTree, a company he also led to a very successful IPO. Prior to MindTree, he led Wipro’s IT business for fifteen years, making it the second largest IT company in India. He also led the turnaround of Shriram Refrigeration into a highly profitable company after 4 straight years of losses.
Ashok has been the President of leading industry association Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force for IT and was on the Advisory Council for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva. He is a Fellow of INAE and CSI and on the Board of Governors of Asian Institute Management (AIM), Philippines. He is a recipient of multiple IT Person of the year (Dataquest and Elcina) and Lifetime achievements awards including Financial Express (2016), Dataquest (2017) and Chiratae Ventures, earlier IDG Ventures (2018).
On April 5, 2021, Ashok launched SKAN (Scientific Knowledge for Ageing and Neurological Ailments), India’s first private sector-led, non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to carry out medical research on ageing and neurological disorders. Focus will be on under-researched areas in ageing ailments as well as Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorders, and cerebrovascular disease. Ashok has committed US$ 30 million for SKAN and the goals are to find kinder and gentler remedies; to delay the onset and slow the progression of the diseases; and to enrich the lives of people afflicted with such ailments. Ashok is not new to philanthropic work. He is the founding Trustee of Ashirvadam, an NGO committed to caring for the environment and providing support to the needy including vocational training, education and medical assistance.
Ashok holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of Roorkee (now called Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee) and a master of business management degree from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines.
His hobbies include trekking, the outdoors, yoga, taichi, meditation and swimming. Ashok is co-author of the national bestseller – “Entrepreneurship Simplified: From Idea to IPO”.
Board of Directors
Executive Vice Chairman & CEO – Product Engineering Services
Joseph has over 25 years of professional experience, the majority of which has been focused on helping technology and digital engineering companies unlock new levers of growth. In 2011, Joseph became one of the co-founders of Happiest Minds and currently serves as its Executive Vice Chairman and a member of its board. At Happiest Minds, Joseph has played a key role in establishing the Product Engineering business unit, which helped in substantiating the company’s digital credentials and contributed towards a highly successful IPO.
Prior to Happiest Minds, Joseph owned the P&L responsibility at Mindtree for the Microsoft Strategic Business Unit that contributed 8% of the company’s revenues at the time of his departure. In this role, Joseph devised and implemented a strategic program that resulted in Mindtree establishing themselves as one of the largest vendors of Microsoft while becoming their engineering partner of choice.
Joseph joined Mindtree through its acquisition of Aztecsoft, where he was first responsible for making inroads into Microsoft and rapidly scaling it into a multimillion-dollar account. During his combined association with both companies, Joseph was instrumental in winning several large deals while contributing across complementary areas like strategy formulation, customer engagement and strategic marketing.
Before making his foray into the world of technology, Joseph spent the early part of his career in banking and manufacturing, which has allowed him to develop a broader perspective.
Joseph holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from BITS Pilani and a PGDM from IIM Ahmedabad.
Apart from the satisfaction and happiness he gets from engaging and collaborating with people and customers, Joseph enjoys time with family, running, cooking, political analysis and passionate debates.
President & CEO, Digital Business Services (DBS)
Rajiv Shah is the president and chief executive officer of the Digital Business Services of our Company.
He is also a member of the Executive Board. He is a global executive with more than 30 years of success across the healthcare, financial services, technology, travel/transportation, and software industries.
Throughout his executive career, Rajiv has held leadership and board level positions at technology-driven organizations including Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Wipro Technologies, IBS Software Services, and Mu Sigma. Prior to Happiest Minds he was an advisor to Founder CEOs and of various companies and worked with PE firms during their investment evaluation process.
As a CEO and Executive Director of IBS he was responsible for turning around a company with proprietary software to a highly profitable growth organization. He engineered the change in business model from on-premise to SaaS which improved revenue and profitability visibility. Apart from enabling expansion into new global markets he initiated acquisitions of niche product companies and successfully integrated them. He facilitated a major transaction to provide very profitable exits to shareholders.
In his prior roles Rajiv led Financial and Healthcare Business Units at Wipro, oversaw the establishment of an international operations of a major IT company – EDS, established a JV between one of the largest US BPO companies (TeleTech) and Bharti group, and established new entity for an Australian Conglomerate – Kerry Packer Group. After establishment, he ran these businesses as a CEO and Executive Director.
Rajiv has lived and worked in various parts of the world and holds MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri. He has completed Executive Management courses at multiple business schools and has also participated in Global Leadership Alliance Training in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Stanford University. He continues to speak at various forums and has published leadership articles.
RAM MOHAN C
President & CEO, Infrastructure Management & Security Services (IMSS)
Ram Mohan is President and CEO of Infrastructure Management and Security Services Business Division in Happiest Minds Technologies. He is also a member of the Executive Board of Happiest Minds.
Prior to Happiest Minds, Ram was EVP and Global Head of IMS, Enterprise Integration, Mainframe services and APAC business in Mindtree Ltd. Together, these businesses constituted $250m revenue for Mindtree. He was CISO for Mindtree and also was responsible for Automation Initiative across the organization.
Ram Mohan has 30+ years of experience in Infrastructure Management and Tech Support. He has been in senior management positions for the last 20 years. Prior to Mindtree, he was EVP (operations) of e4e. He was founder and COO of Vinciti Networks, specialized service provider in Infrastructure Management and Tech Support which he ran successfully for 5 years and built a 1200 strong team, before rolling up to the holding company.
Ram also worked in Support division of Wipro for 11 years in various capacities from customer support to business development. He helped the formation of Wipro’s Global Support division in 1997, now Global Infrastructure Services division.
Ram also worked as a Systems Manager in MPACT Immedia, Michigan, USA from 1993 to 1997, thus acquiring the multifaceted experience in IT Management and Business, technology, operations and managing multiple business. He also has experience of working both in service organizations and product companies. He has also played key role in M&A activities.
Ram holds Bachelor of Electronics Engineering degree with distinction from Bangalore University. Ram is a distinguished speaker in many Infrastructure and Support forums and seminars. He has also taught MBA (IT) students of Symbiosis. He is also winner of coveted Chairman’s award in Mindtree and Happiest Minds and is a CSO 100 award winner.
Managing Director & CFO
Venkatraman Narayanan is the Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of our Company. He is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and holds a bachelors’ degree in commerce and another in law. Venkat has been associated with our Company since April 2015 and has over 25 years of experience in the areas of general management, operations, finance, & law. Prior to joining us he was CFO, Sonata Software Limited, TeamLease Services Limited, Perot Systems TSI (India) Limited, Transworks Information Services Limited, MindTree Limited, Director Operations Oracle and Consultant at Arthur Andersen. Venkat has also been on the Board of Directors of Sonata’s subsidiaries and Perot Systems.
Officers of the Company
Senior Vice President & Head of CoE - AI/Analytics
Ajay Agrawal has 25 plus years of experience in the Technology Industry. He spearheads the CoE for leadership around Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Big Data and Data Engineering among other initiatives.
As a serial entrepreneur Ajay has been instrumental in building world-class products and companies in the high-tech space. He has led multiple start-ups from incubation to successful exits by identifying emerging market opportunities, building high-caliber teams, and demonstrating keen understanding of the customer. His Silicon Valley based start-ups were funded by likes of Intel Capital and Philips. His most recent venture Cupola Technology, an IoT Engineering Company was acquired by Happiest Minds in May 2017.
On the Technology front Ajay is experienced in building strategies and world class products and solutions for emerging areas such as AI, Data Analytics, IoT, Video and Networking. He has also managed large cross-functional teams for successful delivery of global award-winning products.
Ajay holds a Master of Engineering degree (E&C) from BITS Pilani, Rajasthan, is on the board of various Industry bodies and a regular speaker at various Industry forums.
President – Operations & Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PES
Nanda is the President – Operations & Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PES at Happiest Minds, and is responsible for all its engineering, technology management, and operational activities. He is also a co-founder of Happiest Minds and has been playing the role of a rain maker which has led to significant growth of the organization, leading to a very successful IPO in 2020.
Nanda has 28 years of in-depth global experience in software and enterprise product development having worked with Mindtree, Aztecsoft, IBM in various senior leadership roles. He has led and managed global practices, product development, support and professional services leveraging geographically distributed teams.
He played multiple leadership roles at Aztecsoft (now a part of Mindtree) in his 11 years stint. He was instrumental in winning many multi-million-dollar deals, running independent P&L units, and in establishing the Product Engineering Practice. He also helped Mindtree establish a thought leadership position in the Offshore Product Engineering segment.
Nanda distinguishes himself in building and sustaining strong customer & employee loyalties. He has an excellent track record of aggressively building, developing and executing strategic vision for business growth. His core strength lies in creating and managing globally distributed engineering teams and practices.
Nanda holds a postgraduate degree in Computer Applications from University of Hyderabad and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Utkal University.
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, IMSS
Ganapathi T.B as Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President of IMSS business unit oversees the key functions of Global Delivery, Practice and Solutions, Business Finance, Operational Excellence and other enabling functions. He drives and oversees the continuous renewal of key business operational parameters.
He brings in over 23 years of global diversified experience in the IT industry. Before joining Happiest Minds, Ganapathi spent more than a decade at Wipro where he handled multiple roles. In his last role as Solution Delivery and Operations Head he was responsible for implementation of Enterprise Security Solutions and managing Enterprise Security Services business operations. He also served as client engagement and technical manager for large accounts. In his onsite stint, he served as large account and presales manager driving revenue, growth and operational efficiency.
Ganapathi distinguishes himself in building and sustaining a strong leadership team there by enabling more customer loyalties through execution rigor and operational efficiency. He has a good track record of building, developing and executing operational strategies for business growth. He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Mysore university.
Senior Vice President & Head of CoE, IoT
Saifee is Senior Vice President for Digital Business Services and also heads the IoT Center of Excellence (CoE) at Happiest Minds. He is a technology entrepreneur involved with multiple technology startups with over 24 years of extensive technical and management experience in building niche global technology products across multiple areas like Multimedia and Communication technologies, Broadband modem, Set top Box, Triple play Gateway, IoT, Complex Hardware and Portable components across multiple platforms, etc.
Earlier, Saifee was CTO and Co-Founder of Cupola Technology and joined Happiest Minds when Cupola Technology was acquired in May 2017. Prior to Cupola, Saifee was Co-Founder & Director Platforms at Verismo Networks. At Verismo, he led the Platform, DSP and Hardware teams to create a truly world class OTT, IPTV product. Prior to Verismo, he was involved with startups Ishoni Networks, GPS Usha, BEL and was instrumental in building their respective technology products for the global market.
Saifee has completed his Masters in Electronics & Communication from NIT Nagpur and has filed patents in the areas of Internet TV remote, multimedia user interface and self-recommendation engine.
PRAVEEN KUMAR DARSHANKAR
Vice President & Head of Legal, Company Secretary & Compliance Officer.
Praveen Kumar Darshankar is the head of the legal department, Company Secretary and Compliance Officer of our Company. He joined the Company on July 1, 2015 and he was appointed as the Company Secretary on July 23, 2015. He holds a bachelors’ degree in commerce from Gulbarga University and a bachelors’degree in law from Bangalore University. He is as fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. He has 21 years of experience in the secretarial and legal functions. Prior to joining the Company, he was associated with Sonata Software Limited as a company secretary and compliance officer.
Senior Vice President & Global Delivery Head for the Product Engineering Services (PES)
With over 22 years of experience in the technology industry space, Preeti comes with lots of experience in leading large teams delivering multi-million dollar projects. Her expertise lies in managing end to end delivery of Products for IDCs as well as Projects for ISVs. She is currently serving as the Global Delivery Head for the Product Engineering Services (PES) Business Unit.
Before joining Happiest Minds, Preeti was Technical Director at AOL India handling their rich media products that included Winamp, Shoutcast, AOL Video amongst others. Prior, to AOL India, she was part of Symphony Services and was instrumental in setting up their Performance, Scalability and Reliability Engineering team for Seibel.
Preeti holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, GNIIT from Bombay and has also done her Accelerated Management Program from ISB.
Vice President, CTO-IMSS, Lead-Cyber Security Practice
Priya Kanduri brings in more than 20+ years of experience in IT security with domain expertise across Cyber Risk & Analytics, Data privacy & protection, Access Governance, Risk & compliance. She is currently serving as the CTO for Infrastructure & Security services business unit (IMSS) at Happiest Minds Technologies and also leading the overall cyber security practices and delivery.
Priya focuses on business development, new service line conceptualizations, development and successful delivery to customers across all cyber security service lines i.e. risk & compliance, data privacy, proactive threat management, cyber detection & response. Her key focus is on cyber security solutions and managed service platforms for the new age digital enterprises – ensuring security and agility of their current and future business needs.
Before joining Happiest Minds Priya worked with the enterprise security services division of Wipro technologies for over 12 years delivering large compliance and cyber security programs to Fortune 500 companies across UK and Europe regions.
Priya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from SVU college of Engineering, Andhra Pradesh
Executive Vice President & Head – Engineering & Business Excellence
Raja has 18 years’ experience in Quality Management, Project Management, Software Engineering processes, Change Management, Metrics and Analytics and Value Engineering. He has been a core member of the quality team in Infosys, one of the largest IT firms in India.
In his most recent role, Raja was responsible for organizational delivery performance and engineering capability improvement. He has extensive experience in leading quality initiatives across the organization.
Raja holds an M.Tech Degree from BITS Pilani.
Vice President & Chief People Officer
A people oriented leader, Sachin has a proven record of creating, nurturing and executing industry leading people management practices; building an highly motivated and empowering work culture and unwavering organizational growth.
All through his journey, he’s believed that the best kind of success stems from teamwork, collaboration and the trust people put in one another.
Prior to taking on the Chief People Officer’s role at Happiest Minds, Sachin was heading the people function at OSSCube – a global leader in digital transformation solutions which has been consistently ranked among the Top 10 Great Places to Work in India in various studies. OSSCube was acquired by Happiest Minds in the mid of 2017.
Sachin previously served in HR leadership and managerial positions at Lodha Group and Citigroup Global Services.
Sachin is an alumnus of Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, where he did his MBA in HR and he also hold a bachelor’s degree in management. Sachin is certified as a Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and an international certified user for Thomas International Behavioral Instruments (Thomas PPA).
SAJITH S KUMAR
Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer
Sajith has over 23 years of experience in diverse technology and management roles. Sajith has varied experience in the IT field, he has handled multiple roles from supporting IT to developing applications to building large teams to deliver IT initiatives for large enterprise accounts.
Prior to joining Happiest Minds, Sajith worked with MindTree on multiple roles\initiatives as a pre-sales head for an industry group and Microsoft Technologies, head of L&D for Infrastructure Management & Technology Services group and also as a DM\PM, Architect and lead on multiple projects. Sajith has also worked with Wipro in the infrastructure and networking group, and also as an Application Developer.
Sajith is an Engineering Graduate from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore.
SHARON S RAJKUMAR Ph.D.
Vice President & Happiness Evangelist
Sharon is the Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies. Her unique skill sets are the key to drive the Happiness Agenda across the organization.
Built on the mission to create ‘Happiest People . Happiest Customers’, Happiest Minds believes that happiness enabling practices must be built on strong conceptual frameworks and that happiness and mindfulness enabling strategies must filter throughout the organization across its business operations.
Her role is to distill the tenets of happiness into organizational practices; synthesize the vast body of knowledge on Happiness and disseminate within the company, assess the effectiveness of the people practices through happiness quotients and drive improvements; and assimilate the culture of the organization that is built on the key values of Sharing, Mindful, Integrity, Learning, Excellence and Social Responsibility (SMILES). These values are an integral part of the organizational fabric and form the foundation of long-term relationships and lasting partnerships amongst the key stakeholders.
She has been with Happiest Minds since its inception in Aug 2011.Prior to Happiest Minds, she has been with Corporate for 6 years and moved into Academics, where she has been a Professor for 10 years with Christ University Institute of Management and for 4 years with Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli as Professor and PGP Chairperson.
Sharon has hosted and participated in various workshops and seminars throughout the country.She holds a PhD in the area of Servant-Leadership, an MPhil in Entrepreneurship and an MBA from Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli.
Sharon’s interests are in mentoring, counselling and recently, painting.
Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Sridhar has over 27 years of experience in diverse technology management roles. As Chief Technology Officer, Sridhar is responsible for leading Industry domains, technical advisory services and solution accelerator initiatives at Happiest Minds. He is a technologist with hands-on experience in conceptualizing, designing, building & launching products for various startups to industry leaders.
Before joining Happiest Minds, Sridhar was CTO at Mindtree, Product Engineering Services and responsible for setting technology direction, incubating emerging technologies, leading horizontal technology practices and IP initiatives. Sridhar held multiple senior roles in both product and services organizations like Aztecsoft, Tektronix & Tata Elxsi both in India & US.
Sridhar has a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and a Bachelor of Engineering from Andhra University in India.
Senior Vice President and Head of CoE, Digital Process Automation
Sundar has 22 plus years of experience across Consulting and leading Analytics delivery. He started out as a Systems programmer at TCS Delhi implementing Core Banking solutions for a Swiss Bank. Post his MBA, he joined Accenture as a business consultant delivering Operations Transformation programs for Indian manufacturing companies and managing their first IT outsourcing deal with an FMCG major. Thereafter, Sundar led the Global Analytics capability at McKinsey & Co., building Centres of Competences in the areas of Risk Analytics, Marketing Analytics, Service Operations and Supply Chain Analytics. Post McKinsey, he was the Chief Operating Officer at AbsolutData Analytics scaling up their Analytics delivery to a 500 member capability and building new capabilities in Business Intelligence and Social Media Analytics. In his last role, he was the India lead at Antuit, a CPG & Retail Analytics company, and built a 150 member Analytics delivery team in the areas of Supply Chain Analytics and Marketing Analytics.
Sundar studied Computer Science & Engineering at IIT Delhi and is a gold medallist in Marketing & Finance from XLRI Jamshedpur.
Senior Vice President, CISO, Head-Cyber Security Practice
Vijay Bharti is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Senior Vice President of Cyber Security practice at Happiest Minds Technologies. He brings in more than 22 years of experience in the area of IT Security across multiple domains like Identity and Access Management, Data Security, Cloud Security and Infrastructure Security.
Vijay is responsible for driving overall cyber security services portfolio and also internal information security risk management and compliance. His recent work includes building solutions and services for addressing security challenges for today’s digital organizations, securing technologies like IOT, Hybrid Cloud, Serverless computing and leveraging latest tools including AI/ML and Automation.
Prior to joining Happiest Minds, Vijay has worked with Wipro in different roles/initiatives for its Cyber Risk Services practice. Vijay was one of the initial members of the security services group and contributed in multiple areas to help drive significant growth for the group.
Vijay is an engineering graduate from NIT-Rourkela.