Founder & Chief MentorMr Mahendra Swarup is the driving force behind Venture Gurukool. As its Founder and Chief Mentor, he has conceptualised the philosophy of the Gurukool and paved the path for both investors and startups to gain from it. Much before online startups became a common term in India, Mr Swarup served as the Managing Director and CEO of Times Internet Limited and was instrumental in leading Indiatimes to the position of industry leader, securing the first ever ‘Superbrand’ status for an internet company in India. He was also Head of Private Treaties (Brand Capital) for The Times of India Group (Bennet, Coleman & Co), where he enlarged the portfolio for the Group considerably during his tenure. Known for his astute and disruptive thinking, Mr Swarup has over 30 years of business experience in operations, sales and distribution, purchasing/procurement, exports and human resources. He has also served as the President of the Delhi Management Association and the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA) in the recent past. He co-founded Tyroo Media and also served in top management positions in Pepsico and Nestle.
Co-FounderNtasha leads all the Partnerships and Alliances for Venture Gurukool as a Co-Founder. Having worked with the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA), where she led the innovation initiative, the Gurukool network is getting woven from her desk. Ntasha has worked with Bloomberg New Energy Finance and ANZ Bank in the past, focusing on the energy and resources sector in India and Australia. She is a Santos Scholar and has done her Bachelor of Science in Finance from Lancaster University and her Masters of Science in Energy and Resources Management with Distinction form University College London (UCL). She has published her thesis on the investment opportunities for new electricity generation technologies by adhering to stringent risk-return parameters. She was bestowed with the Torrens Award by UCL for outstanding academic excellence.GK, as he is known to friends and colleagues, is a seasoned Human Resource professional and has a strong track record of maximizing ‘People leverage’ in multi-stakeholder, highly competitive environments, across diverse industries, geographies and cultures. He accomplished this through strategic partnership, strong leadership skills, active collaboration, engagement and alignment. GK’s served PepsiCo for 18 years in various leadership roles, lastly as its Director Organization and Management Development (OMD). GK has worked across diverse industries, but Consulting has been his forte. he earlier headed the India HR function for Encore Capital Group, a US-based blue chip financial services company. GK is committed to partnering with start-ups to help them acquire and develop the right talent to promote innovation and sustained performance. Mentoring has been GK's passion and he strongly believes in the power of diversity & inclusion.Kush is the tech geek at the Gurukool. With 13 years of experience in India and the US across industries, Kush puts his software, analytics and MIS skills to work with clients in business analysis, presales and management of technology engagements/programs. Earlier, he served as a Principal Consultant at PwC India. Kush has helped with a number of benchmarking and strategic projects for startups like TempleYatri, Avocado and National Skill Development Corp. He has also worked with Lunexa, a California-based startup, and has been a part of many Business Process Reengineering projects in companies like Ford Motors, Dell, Motorola and some power utility and pharma clients. Kush did his BTech from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago and his MBA from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He also has a Certificate in Business Analytics from Manipal Global Education Services, Bengaluru.Manish is the go-to person at Gurukool for finance, corporate strategy, fund raising (Venture Capital, Private Equity and IPO), merger & acquisitions, debt funding, investor relations and corporate governance. In a career spanning 23 years, Manish has worked start-ups, SMEs, and well as large corporate across industry sectors as diverse as Retail, Media, Internet, Reverse Logistics and Manufacturing. He has had significant associations with Archies, Indiatimes and GreenDust, India’s first reverse logistics company in senior management roles. Manish’s enviable track record in handling IPOs on multiple occcasions in the past, along with his deep networking in the investor community makes him an asset for both investors and startups. Manish also runs his own corporate advisory practice to primarily focus on fund raising and M&A. Manish is a commerce graduate and a member of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (CS) and The Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWA).Pratap heads the legal and taxation services at Venture Gurukool. He is an attorney with substantial experience of working for the private equity and portfolio companies, on various corporate transactions, due diligence, compliance management, legal analytics, research and finance & taxation in Indian, Mauritius and Singapore laws. He has also managed legal agreements and compliances with investors from multiple jurisdictions during fund-raising and through life of the fund. He has overall experience of over 21 years in the field of Corporate Compliance, Legal and Secretarial across Securities Laws, Capital Market Laws, and Corporate Laws with 11 years in Private Equity. Pratap’s key strengths involve setting up and leading Compliance teams and building a cohesive compliance unit for both small and large organisations. Pratap has been instrumental in setting up both domestic and international funds and liaising with Indian and foreign investors. He has a post graduate degree in commerce and an LLB from Allahabad University.Kaushal heads the Financial Services at Gurukool. He brings along a wealth of experience in building financial strategies for companies operating in the IT, Mobile, Media and Entertainment, Retail, Travel, Manufacturing and Healthcare space. Previously , Kaushal was the head of corporate advisory at Providence Consultants, which provides research and analytics support to the private equity and venture capital industry. Kaushal has also worked with ING, in its Private Equity and M&A division and with Pramod K Jindal and Associates, where he headed the taxation advisory wing. Kaushal conducts financial management workshops for entrepreneurs in partnership with business schools and MSME bodies. Kaushal is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA in Finance from Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, USA. He has completed his bachelors degree in commerce from the University of Delhi.Tim has over 11 years of experience in financial and engineering services. Prior to Venture Gurukool, he served as a Partner of Flair Capital as its in charge of investment advisory. Tim is on the advisory board of various early and growth stage firms operating across sectors. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (BIMTECH) and a Faculty for NEN’s Entrepreneur Support Program. He speaks regularly at various fund-raising forums such as IIT Kanpur, IMT, IMI, IILM and IIMT. Earlier, Tim was a director of Providence Consultants, a financial research and analytics firm. Tim has also worked for Emerson Climate Technologies, USA, GE, USA and Satyam in India. Tim is a GE trained six sigma black belt and a certified six sigma green belt. Tim is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT, Madras, and an MBA (Finance, Entrepreneurship) from Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, USA.Shivank has been working as an Investment Manager with Venture Gurukool for about 2 years now. At Venture Gurukool, He is responsible for investor relationships and sourcing deal flow. He has done his Bachelor's in Management Studies (A course mentored by Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi) from University of Delhi. He is also a CFA level III Candidate.
Saurav is a veteran digital media consultant with 28 years of international experience. Saurav has mapped each and every stage of growth and evolution of the digital media ecosystem through the years. Saurav has traversed content, strategy and P&L roles at senior management positions in reputed media organisations in India and the Middle East, apart from having consulted clients from government, development sector as well as corporate sector in South East Asia, Central Asia, Middle East and India. Saurav is an acclaimed speaker and communicator and an empaneled consultant for UNDP and the World Association of Newspapers (Wan-Ifra). Saurav’s forte lies in strategic communications and advocacy, digital media strategy and marketing, social media marketing, sentiment analysis and corporate training.