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About Wadhwani Foundation

Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving job creation in India and other emerging economies through large-scale initiatives in entrepreneurship, small business growth, innovation, and skilling. Founded in 2003 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dr Romesh Wadhwani, today, the Foundation is scaling impact in 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Romesh Wadhwani

Founder and Chairman

  • Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Until 1999, built three successful companies, the last of which was exited at over $9 billion
  • Founding Chairman and CEO of $3.5 billion Symphony Technology Group
  • Founder and Chairman of Wadhwani Foundation (2003)
  • Founding Chairman of PE firm Symphony AI (2018)
  • Member of the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge
  • Padma Shri 2020 awardee
  • President Obama appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John. F. Kennedy Center
  • Board Member of Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.

Ajay Kela

President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation


Dr. Kela leads the Foundation’s initiatives globally and is driving its expansion across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

  • Expanded Foundation’s initiatives across 20 countries and enabled over $100M of Govt. investment during the past eight years
  • Scaled startup Symphony Services to $175M with eventual exit at $780M
  • Grew AutoCAD business from $170M to $850M during 10 years at Autodesk
  • PhD research on computer graphics lead to multi-million dollar products at GE and Autodesk
  • B-Tech, IIT Bombay, India and Ph.D from University of Rochester, USA

Leadership Team​

President and CEO,
Wadhwani Foundation

Chief Operating Officer,
India/SE Asia

EVP,
Wadhwani Advantage

WA Leadership Team

barsha-chatterjee

Barsha Chatterjee

National Leader
Advantage Program
Rashmi-khurana

Rashmi Khurana

National Leader
Advantage Program
prathyush_sharma

Pratyush Sharma

Healthcare
Vertical Lead
Bibhudutta_Subhasish

Bibhudutta S

Industrial
Economist
Runa_Tarafdar

Runa Tarafdar

Advisor Partnerships & Program Management Office
MicrosoftTeams-image (4)

Meenakshi Singh

Change Management
Officer

Ajay Kela

President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation

Dr. Kela leads the Foundation’s initiatives globally and is driving its expansion across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

  • Expanded Foundation’s initiatives across 20 countries and enabled over $100M of Govt. investment during the past eight years
  • Scaled startup Symphony Services to $175M with eventual exit at $780M
  • Grew AutoCAD business from $170M to $850M during 10 years at Autodesk
  • PhD research on computer graphics lead to multi-million dollar products at GE and Autodesk
  • B-Tech, IIT Bombay, India and Ph.D from University of Rochester, USA

Sanjay Shah

Chief Operating Officer, India/SE Asia

Based out of Bangalore, Sanjay heads the India/SEA operations of the Wadhwani Foundation.

  • Over three decades of experience in founding and steering software product companies to the global market
  • Founded Zapty, Instavans Logistics, Skelta, Everest Software and Accel Computers, some of which were successfully acquired
  • Last stint was with iManage as its Managing Director for Asia responsible for business development of its solutions in Asia
  • On the board of Sasken Technologies and Instavans Logistics as an Independent Director, and on the advisory board of Avo Automation
  • Member of iSpirt (Indian Software Product Industry Round Table), Young President’s Organization, and currently on the board of the Bangalore chapter
  • M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and a B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering from IIT, Bombay

Samir Sathe

EVP, Wadhwani Advantage

Samir leads the Wadhwani Advantage program in India, Egypt and provides Global mentorship to the Advantage program, focused on accelerating small business revenue and job growth. In addition, he leads the effort of Academy in building Do it Yourself consulting tools. He also leads Talent Acquisition function at the Foundation.

  • 28 years of experience in India, Asia, Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, and US in doing change management. He is a ‘Master in Change’ from INSEAD, France
  • Attended ‘Leading Professional Service Firms’ at Harvard Business School and ‘Challenges of Global Poverty’ at MIT
  • An author, speaker, disruptive thought leader and practitioner of management science to bring about systemic change in entrepreneurial leadership
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