Pune Inspire 2014




Dr. Charu Apte
Founder, Sahyadri Hospital

Title of Talk: Affordable Healthcare

Dr. Charudatt Apte, a neurosurgeon, is the Chairman & Managing Director of Sahyadri Hospitals. After the realization of his dream project “Sahyadri Speciality Hospital” at Deccan Gymkhana Pune, in 2004, the chain rapidly spread across Maharashtra. Today the chain has twelve network hospitals with over one-thousand beds.

Sahyadri Speciality Hospital also has facilities in haematology, oncology and oncosurgery, cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, orthopaedics and joint replacement as well as a blood bank.






Joi Barua, Artist & Musician

Title of Talk: A Musical Journey

Joi Barua is a Singer, Musician, and Lead Vocalist of the band “Joi.”   He was born in Assam and now lives in Mumbai.  He has lent his voice to many Indian movies like Udaan and Dev D.  He has a mixed musical style incorporating elements of rock, soul, jazz, folk and world music.

His personal inspirational role models include his father, who always encouraged him to take music out of classrooms into the hearts of people, and his ex-school Principal, Sister Mabilia, who guided his passion for music.  He considers Sr. Mabilia as his first guru in life; she is a continuing source of inspiration.

Joi was awarded the Best Debut Award (2010) for his album Joi- Looking Out of the Window at the Big Music Awards organised by Big 92.7 FM, Guwahati. Joi has been a part of some of the biggest advertising campaigns in the last few years singing jingles for Fiat Linea, Vodafone, Reliance, LG, Hero Honda, Nescafe, and many more.

Marc Cremer, Founder, Green Tokri

Title of Talk: Agro-Sustainability //

Marc Cremer is an Indo-German Agricultural Engineer.  He was born in Pune to an Indian mother and German father. The family moved to Germany after a few years.  There, he pursued his dream of becoming a farmer through his own little farm from the age of 15.  After school, Marc came to India and worked on a farm in Mahabaleshwar for a year before returning to Germany and studying Agriculture in Göttingen and Berlin. Marc completed a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University/Berlin. He did internships on farms in Germany, Sri Lanka, India and Burundi, Africa.

Then – together with his wife Benedikte – he returned to India to found an IT company making software for the European market. He sold the IT company in 2005 and, since then, is working full-time in his Agricultural Company Green Tokri.


Sister Lucy Kurien, Founder, Maher

Title of Talk: Love Before Service – The Work Of Maher //

Sister Lucy Kurien was born on in 1955 at Kolayad in Kannur District, Kerala.  When she migrated to Mumbai in 1969, she was deeply moved and distressed by the appalling poverty and squalor in the city.  A deep inner urge to make a difference to the lives of the poor and famished led to her making a decision to join a religious order, The Sisters of the Cross.

In 1989, Sr. Lucy joined HOPE (Human Organisation for Pioneering in Education) which helped marginalized women gain modest employment.   However, she could no longer be content with the sheltered existence at HOPE while remaining a silent spectator to the horrific violence and abuse against women which she constantly witnessed.   A traumatic incident resulting in the death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child at the hands of her drunken husband laid the foundation for Sr. Lucy’s decision to devote the rest of her life to the cause of battered and destitute women.  Thus was born Maher in 1997.  Today, it is a home for 230 women and around 700 children.

Today, Maher has spread its wings to several villages in Maharashtra, Kerala and Jharkhand with more than 24 ongoing projects.  While a devoted Catholic Christian herself, Sister Lucy has an unshakable faith in confluence of religions of the world in attaining human well-being.  She established Maher as an inter-faith organization which seeks the help and blessing of all religions and faiths in its work for the weak and the downtrodden.

She is a recipient of several national and international awards and has received worldwide recognition for her work.  She received the Global Women’s Summits 2011 Leadership Award, USA.  The work of Maher has been recently chronicled in detail by two American authors – William Keepin and Cynthia Brix- in their book, “Women Healing Women.”




Priyanka Amar Shah, Ecopreneur

Title of Talk: An Act of Green //

Priyanka Amar Shah is an ecopreneur, and an animal and nature lover who isenabling the Urban Farming Concept at an Individual and an Institutional level through her company, iKheti.

Prior to her getting into her current avatar, she worked three and a halfyears with Aspire Human Capital Management as an IT Consultant and as a Business Development Manager at YES Bank & Dimensions Innovation Labs.







Kumar Shiralkar, Activist

Title of Talk: Critical theory and practice for Radical Social Change //

Kumar Shiralkar was born in Satara and brought up in Miraj. After graduating in Mechnical Engineering, he took admission for M.Tech. at IIT Powai but chose to not join the University.  Instead, he went to work at Baba Amate’s Shramik Karyakrta Vidyapith at Somnath. Over the last 40 years, he has been working as an activist in tribal and rural areas with the toiling masses.

Now he is mainly concentrating on experiments aimed at alternative developmental models and methods which will help fulfil the livelihood needs of the majority.





Hughen Thomas, Founder, Plazma Technologies

Title of Talk: Creating Technology through Flow

Hughen Thomas is a multi-patent innovator and entrepreneur.

His company, Plazma Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has developed a revolutionary industrial robotic system that is transforming the fabrication industry in India, U.S and the Middle East. Hughen attributes these innovations to what he terms as the “Flow”.

Flow is a process through which an individual directly downloads from the universal consciousness. It is  in this flow, Plazma’s systems are now evolving into multi-tool robotic solution platforms.









Panel Discussion

A panel discussion on “Moulding the Future” was held during the event with these panelists:

Gen. Arjun Ray, CEO, Indus International School

gen-rayA soldier-scholar of the Indian Army, Lt. General Arjun Ray has wide-ranging experience in war, conflict management, and social transformation of those who have been alienated.
As CEO of the Indus Trust, he provides the vision and strategic direction to all Indus International Schools and institutions. He is responsible for long-term perspective planning, leadership training, teacher development programmes, integrating parents, children and community, and implementing the Trust’s social responsibilities.
Lt. General Arjun Ray is a graduate from the prestigious Staff College at Camberlay, UK, and served as the country’s Deputy Military Advisor in London. In his last assignment, he commanded the newly raised 14 Corps in Ladakh. His success in forestalling insurgency in the region by winning over alienated communities into the nation’s mainstream has been nationally and internationally acclaimed. As part of Operation Sadbhavana (Goodwill), he set up 13 Sadbhavana schools, 11 Women’s Empowerment Centres, and 60 Adult Education Centres for non-literate women along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. He provided free education and pastoral care in Bangalore colleges to 125 Ladakhi girls.
In recognition of his services in nation-building, he was awarded the Param Vashist Seva Medal, the highest award in the armed forces for distinguished service. His success story in change leadership has been selected as a case study for business and management schools in India.
In his second calling – international school education – he has set up three International Baccalaureate Schools, the Leadership School, the Indus Training and Research institute, and the world’s first Equal Opportunity School for children living below the poverty line. The latter is in sync with his belief that schools must have a social objective; they cannot just be centres of academic excellence. IB World has recently acclaimed the General as one of the six IB World School Leaders on rethinking education, especially by making high quality education affordable to the poor. Education World has also named him as one of the 50 game-changers in education in India.

Ms. Parimal Chaudhari, Director, Praj Industries Ltd.

Parimal-ChaudhariParimal Chaudhari is presently the Managing Trustee of Praj Foundation, the CSR arm of Praj Industries and a Director with Praj Industries Ltd. Pune This CSR work has been recognized as the most innovative in the field by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

As a journalist, she worked for the Business India group of magazines. As an academician, she taught at the Department of Communications and Journalism at the Pune University for six years. As a film maker she made documentary films, corporate films, educational TV serials, films for institutions serving social causes, under the banner of her own company -Turtle Communications.

She recently produced a Marathi film, Madhu, in June 2014. She has been a Rotary Fellow for Group Study Exchange program and a Fulbright Fellow to study Communications Technology.

Ms. Rajas Kasbekar, Advocate and Solicitor, Partner at Little & Co.

Rajas-Kasbekar Rajas Kasbekar is a Solicitor, Advocate and a Partner with Little & Co., based in Mumbai. She has done her Masters in Law and is qualified as a Solicitor in India and in the U.K. She advises domestic and international clients across sectors. She regularly speaks and presents at domestic and international legal conferences. Additionally she has authored several articles of legal interest for various publications.

Dr Shona Nag

Shona Nag Dr Shona Nag completed training in Medical Oncology from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and St George Hospital, Sydney. She is currently practising in Pune , as Senior Oncologist in the Dept of Oncology at Jehangir Hospital .Dr Nag has conducted a tumour board at the Sassoon general Hospitals from 2003-2010. Dr Nag is Principal Investigator for over 55 global clinical trials, most of these have been in breast cancer. She has numerous publications and presentations to her credit.
Dr Nag is currently Chairman of Oncology Group-Maharashtra – a state based co-operative oncology group. In 2010, she was awarded the best principal investigator and site for clinical research in India by ISCR (a national body). The same year she was also awarded the GSK – Ethnic Research initiative for breast cancer research in developing countries.
She is a member of several International Cancer Societies and ICON (Indian Collaborative Oncology network) and has been on several advisory boards and DSMB’s for drug development in the country.
Her special areas of interest are women cancers. She is also involved in cancer prevention through awareness campaigns and public lectures. Dr Nag is a Trustee of the Nag Foundation, an NGO involved in Cancer care, Research and Education and a co-founder of a support group called BreastFriendsPune which is involved in the survivorship aspects of breast cancer. 

Mr. Ravi Pandit, Co-Founder, Chairman & Group CEO, KPIT Technologies Ltd.

Ravi-Pandit Ravi Pandit is the co-founder, Chairman and Group CEO of KPIT Technologies Ltd. His vision has steered KPIT toward achieving leadership position as product engineering and IT consulting partner to automotive & transportation, manufacturing and energy & utilities industries. Under Ravi’s leadership, KPIT has combined its deep industry & technology expertise, presence in relevant geographies and highly scalable delivery infrastructure to enable clients expand their product development footprint, enhance operational efficiencies and optimize processes. He has been instrumental in shaping KPIT’s technology strategy and building a unique partnership model based on the tenets of innovation and sustainable development.

MC: Nalini Sengupta

Nalini Sengupta Ms. Nalini Sengupta, Founder and Principal of Vidya Valley School started this school in June 2000, which has grown to a strength of 1100 students. It has an excellent reputation for being an innovative and caring institution that provides quality education. The Mission Statement is ‘A Healthy body in a healthy mind’.

She was also invited to start a new school by the Dr. Vikhe-Patil Foundation in May 1991.  It was one of the first schools in Pune to break out of the age-old norm of classroom based, exam-oriented education.

She has been the Vice-President of Indian Association for Pre-school Education (IAPE), the Pune Chapter. As office bearer, she has been responsible for organising and conducting various workshops on pre-school education for teachers and parents.

Moderator: Dr. Aravind Chinchure

Aravind ChinchureAravind Chinchure is a Ph. D. in Physics with 20 years of experience in R & D, innovation, intellectual property, venture investment, business strategy, policy and teaching.

He is an inventor, innovator, worked with large MNC & Indian companies, successfully built a start up and mentors entrepreneurs based in India and abroad. He has worked on diverse technology areas in the field of materials, chemistry, physics, electronics, renewable energy and information technology. Currently, he is a Chair Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Symbiosis International University, Pune. Till recently, he was working as “Asst. Vice President – Innovations” at Reliance Innovation Leadership Centre (RILC), Pune. He was a visiting scientist at the University of Oxford, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Southampton University, UK, Institute of Applied Physics (IAPD), Dresden, Max-Plank Institute, Stuttgart & Dresden, Germany, and Paul Scherer Institute (PSI) Zurich.

He is recipient of international fellowships from European Union, Dutch Academy of Sciences, Max-Plank Institute, TIFR and Department of Science & Technology (India). He has received Innovation Excellence Award from Indira International for his contribution in spreading awareness on innovation across India.  He was recently invited by the former prime minister of Netherlands to be a guest of honour at the event held at European Parliament, Brussels. He has authored 28 research articles published in international journals in the area of condensed matter physics and has filed 4 patents as lead and co-inventor in different geographies including US, Europe, Japan in the area of fuel cells.