people

Advisory Board

Sukham Saini

Creative Director
Chair of The Virangana Project Advisory Board

As an Indian born Australian, Sukham Saini has always been passionate about giving back to the community, both here in Australia and India. She has over 15 years experience across multicultural events, having personally raised over 100K through sponsorships and fundraising for various charitable organisations. She has a background in Marketing and Strategy, with over 10 years corporate experience across multinational companies such as Ancestry.com Australia and Sony Electronics. She has also previously run her own franchise business and currently owns a multicultural events production company.

Sukham has recently been appointed as the Chair of the Advisory Board for The Virangana Project, a Australian NFP initiative created to address inequality in the Start-Up sector that matches Indian women entrepreneurs with global investors, which she believes has the capability to expand on a global level where many other women face similar challenges.

Her vision is to use the Virangana platform to position and showcase the innovation, business acumen and commercial viability of women-led startups and enable them to break down the gender barriers that confront women entrepreneurs across the world, through the provision of mentoring, networking and access to investment capital. 

Sukham believes that every single person in this world has the potential for greatness, should they want it. Always creating her own opportunities, she is an advocate for all women by helping them understand their own power and unique value. She is determined to leave her mark in the world and assist other women in attaining recognition, equality and financial independence. 

 

Anil Chhikara

Advisor, India, Start-Ups & Venture Capital

(Serial Entrepreneur, TEDx Speaker, Chairman - Startup India Foundation and Anchor Judge in India's First Startup Reality TV Show)

Anil is a serial entrepreneur at heart and believer in power of dreams. Anil loves mentoring budding entrepreneurs and innovative startups on building business plans, successfully pitching to investors, go-to-market strategies & scaling up businesses.

Anil is founder and Chairman of Startup India Foundation, an initiative by a group of successful and experienced entrepreneurs to help grow the early stage startup ecosystem in India. Anil is a well-regarded startup mentor in the Indian startup ecosystem and a TEDx speaker. Anil was the anchor judge for Haywards 5000 Haunslay ki Udaan, India's First Startup Reality TV Show and the official startup coach for The Vault Show, India's answer to Shark Tank. Fondly known as Katappa of the Indian startup ecosystem, Anil is admired for his outspoken no-nonsense views about the startups and the ecosystem. He is most sought after judge for startup pitching events and hackathons. He has judged over 1000 startups in the last 12 months.

In 2001, Anil founded 24x7 Learning and led its growth over a decade to become India’s largest e-learning implementation company besides successfully raising multiple rounds of investments including $4m from Network 18. Prior to founding 24x7 Learning, Anil had successfully setup and launched businesses for two large multinational companies in India.

Besides his engineering from NIT Kurukshetra, he has studied sculpting at New York Academy of Fine Arts and about art markets at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.


Anmol Saini

Advisor, Strategic Partnerships

Anmol Saini was awarded the UN Women National Committee Australia MBA Scholarship via the University of Sydney in 2015 for her work and commitment to women in leadership. Born in India, Anmol attributes her determination to her parents, who migrated to Australia in their early 30s to provide their daughters with a better quality of life. Abundantly aware that equal opportunities are not afforded to many girls and women in developing countries like India, Anmol's background is the driving force for her interest in international relations and achieving gender equality globally.

Anmol holds an MBA with Distinction from the University of Sydney, is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a professional member of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association.


Carine Khoury

Advisor, Finance

Carine has extensive experience in senior financial, management and business development roles across the telecommunications, real estate and health sectors in Australia, Europe and in the Middle East. Her fluency in 4 languages reflects her strengths and her adaptability to deal with cross border transactions. Carine brings a fresh perspective to any situation with her broad range of skills and solid academic background.

She has been involved in all aspects of business including finance and accounting, business and strategic development, marketing, HR, compliance and IT.

Carine holds a Bachelor of Engineering (suma cum laude) in telecommunications from Notre Dame University and a Master of Science in Management (Corporate Finance, Accounting and Management) from HEC, France.

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ShanShan Wang

Advisor, Design Innovation

ShanShan is a Design Entrepreneur. She has won over 5 international design and innovation awards and has been named as one of Australia’s youngest innovators and the next generation of disruptive business leaders including Business Insider, AMP Amplify, Sydney Morning Herald and most recently Australia’s Women’s Weekly- Women of the Future.

She focuses on the delivery appropriate, actionable, and tangible ideas to commercial viable products. Resulting to IP liberations, new, innovative avenues that are grounded in business viability and market desirability.

ShanShan has a Bachelor of Industrial Design, Honours 1st class from the University of New South Wales.

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Dr Sandhya Tewari

Advisor, Pharma & Medical

Dr Sandhya Tewari is the General Manager- International & Government at the Medical Technologies & Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre- MTPConnect. Prior to this she was the Senior Manager of the biotechnology team at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources at the Victorian Government's lead agency for the promotion and facilitation of the State's economic development. In this role, she led the State's investment attraction, trade and business development activities in biotechnology since 2009. She has over 20 years of international experience in trade development and investment attraction, including in India where she worked as Director - Biotechnology at Confederation of Indian Industry for 9 years. Before joining the Victorian Government, Dr Tewari worked at the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria managing their portfolio of biotechnology projects. 

She holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from University of Manitoba, Canada.

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Tripti Shinghal Somani

Advisor, to the Board

Tripti Somani is a Chartered Accountant and Post Graduate in law, is the founder of KGS Advisors. She has been mentoring and advising entrepreneurs—comprising handholding and laying procedures for SMEs, due diligence reviews, forensic audits, statutory and internal audits, and other business advisory services—across sectors and business stages to help them build successful exponential-growth businesses. She is also the founder of Gvriksh (a go green initiative), which works extensively on tree plantation, recycling and upcycling of waste; the curator of Incupedia, StemEdkids (innovative learning), and BEconomy (a go cash free initiative). Ms. Somani is the Founding President (Delhi) and part of the national managing committee of COWE INDIA, which creates a one-stop solution for women in business. It will be the debut ramp walk for this paragon of intelligence, elegance, and flamboyance. And so, she is as excited as any first-timer, but more confident than the many timers because she is going to walk with her heart.

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Mahadevan Shankar

Advisor, Strategy, Audit & Corporate Governance and Cross-Border

Mahadevan has over 25 years of global experiences providing Audit, Corporate Governance, Cross border Strategic Advisory, Fund Raising and Corporate Finance to start-ups, mid-size and billion dollars multinational entities based in Australia, India, Russia, Central Asia, Canada, South Pacific and Middle East countries. His industry expertise includes Solar Renewable Energy projects, Manufacturing & related services sector, Financial Services entities - Banks, NBFCs, Insurance & Institutional Investors, Mineral Resources including precious metals, Oil & Gas Exploration & Production projects, Infrastructure sector including road, ports & energy.

Mahadevan is a Fellow Chartered Accountant from India and Qualified CA member of CA ANZ, Qualified Professional Member of Institute of Internal Auditors (PMIIA), Australia.

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The Virangana Project Advisory Board is carefully selected team of leaders in the Australian and Indian startup communities.