Passionate about change
Mad about tech
Big on hardware
High on innovation
Fond of founders
Progress first, Perfection next
Obsess over details
Live off each other
Help, Hustle, Hack
Ask pardons not permissions
Shankar is an accomplished business and organization leader, a spirited patron of arts, history and heritage, a successful entrepreneur and an inspired educationist. In a highly dynamic and diversified professional career spread over 15 years he has held leadership positions in businesses, education institutions, social development organizations and programs within The Sakthi Group, and in the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Shankar has a proven track record in building teams, strategic planning, managing programs and operations in multiple domains spanning business (textiles, automotive, financial services, agri-foods, retail), education (arts, science & technology), culture and heritage, community and social development, international youth affairs, cross-national institutions and alliances etc.
As the National Chairman of Young Indians (YI) in 2011-2012, Shankar played a key role in the creation of the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE). He also led Indian delegations and has represented India as the Global Young Leader in the BOAO Forum in Hong Kong (2011) and China (2012) and has delivered keynote speeches at the Commonwealth Business Forum London, CHOGM Perth summit (2011), G20 France, and Aspen Institute Seminar, Italy (2010).
In his role as Managing Trustee of The Vanavarayar Foundation and keeping with the legacy of his ancestors, Shankar has organized tours, lectures, book publications and awareness programs towards the cause of preserving and portraying the architecture, heritage, culture and history of the Kongu region. As Member of the Apex Body of Siruthuli, he led several projects aimed at enhancing water conservation and rejuvenation through education programs, communication campaigns, and by fostering wider community participation.
As President of KCT and as Vice-Chairman of National Council for Higher Education in CII, Shankar aims at transforming the Indian higher education system through path-breaking reforms in governance, learner-centric academic programs and infrastructure, research & innovation driven industry partnership, international collaboration among others. Shankar has led strategy, events, publications, communications and policy making within CII at the regional (South India) and the national level in areas such as higher education, youth affairs, entrepreneurship, family business and skill building.
Vish co-founded FORGE - an incubation enterprise launched by Coimbatore Innovation and Business Incubator (CIBI), a DST (Govt. of India) catalysed TBI, jointly promoted by the Sakthi Group of Coimbatore, and hosted by KCT, Coimbatore. After having launched new products, businesses and startups, he has now taken up the challenge of launching new institutions with nation building, impact, development, and global collaboration as core purposes.
Vish leads our vision in FORGE to create & catalyse innovation powered enterprises that harness the power at the intersection of hardware, software, and computing technologies to solve real-world problems, creating economic gains and delivering social impact. He presently leads strategy, fund raising, entrepreneurship training, consulting & advisory programs, ecosystem operations, startup investments, alliances, and general management.
As an innovation & business strategist, for enterprises and startups (specifically as startup coach), Vish supports his clients in designing experiments aimed at rapidly and cost-effectively proving the big business potential of innovative ideas. On achieving early-proof he supports in creating a compelling business case & plan (with proven business model) to drive towards full-fledged execution and helps build a comprehensive business analytics framework to effectively measure and manage the process of execution.
Vish has 18+ years of diverse experience in strategic business planning, managing profits, product strategy, product management and marketing, strategic alliances and business development for software products, IT solutions and consumer/tech/internet companies in the enterprise, SMB & consumer markets.
In the past he has managed business strategy, strategic innovation and product marketing in mid to large sized enterprises, and has helped over 25 startups take off with 360D support for business modelling, product planning, sales & marketing operations, fund raising, and overall business execution. He has worked for 8 years in the global telecommunications industry in technical sales and marketing, product management, strategic alliances, and business strategy, while serving Cisco, Nortel, & Ericsson. He has 7+ years of resident international work experience in USA, Canada, Sweden, Israel and China.
Vish received his PGDM majoring in strategy, entrepreneurship and marketing from IIM-Bangalore in 2010, and his BE degree specialising in electronics and communication from CEG-Chennai in 2000.
Meera is a serial networker, compulsive and prolific entrepreneurship evangelist, educated in multiple disciplines spanning technology, business, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing, and most importantly a die-hard believer in the latent force of innovation among students and of business growth among MSMEs.
Meera is currently heading the planning, operations, and overall execution of the 5 year state level Startup Activation and Acceleration Program (SAAP) championed by the EDII (Govt. of Tamil Nadu). In this role she is leading the execution of the Tamil Nadu Student Innovators (TNSI) and the Tamil Nadu Innovation Grand Challenge (TNIGC) program aimed at discovering, nurturing and funding innovative ideas among the students and young professionals. Over 300+ institutions, 5000+ students, 100+ experts, 100+ innovative ideas, 100+ program days per year etc. make this one of the largest state-level innovation development programs in India.
In the past few years, Meera has led several programs centred around entrepreneurship education, training, and mentoring for different beneficiaries covering students, researchers, women SHGs, MSME entrepreneurs, social enterprises, and campus companies. As the founding Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship in KCT Business School, Meera led curriculum design and delivery, apart from managing various entrepreneurship programs for students and educators, guiding students in their immersion projects and in creating Business plans. She heads the Entrepreneurship Development Cell at Kumaraguru College of Technology housing six student run campus companies.
Meera has 16+ years of experience in Entrepreneurship & Business Management, in the Education and Textiles sectors. As a first generation entrepreneur in the textile and fashion sector, she has exported textiles to various countries across the globe, trained more than 400 students and skilled 300 + underprivileged women to empower them as entrepreneurs. She has been appointed as the Member Advisory Council for Research in Entrepreneurship and the Nodal Hub Coordinator – EDII, Government of Tamil Nadu, coordinating and mentoring the entrepreneurship activities of 25+ HEI in the region.
Meera holds the prestigious post of the Charter President at Women Entrepreneurs – Coimbatore chapter, which is growing forum of 25 + members building a strong network for women in business. She is an NEN certified Mentor involved in mentoring women entrepreneurs and student entrepreneurs in the region. Meera was the recipient of the ISB GOLDMAN SACHS 10000 WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS, Certification in Entrepreneurship from ISB, Hyderabad.
Meera received her Bachelor degree in Computer Technology from Coimbatore Institute of Technology, Coimbatore, followed by MBA, M.Phil and PhD degrees from Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore. She is a certified Green belt in six sigma. She has recently completed a Entrepreneurship Educators Program from BABSON College, Boston, USA.
Dinesh joined FORGE in August 2017 as the Program Manager of ProtoSem and has played a vital role in its success leading to the launch of our FORGE.FELLOWS program for pre-incubation into a full-fledged 1-year program for final year engg/tech/science undergrad students, and as a 2-year Startup Masters Program for young graduates leading to a M.E/M.Tech degree. Highly analytical and focused on using metrics to measure progress and enhance performance, Dinesh is very hands on in rigorously tracking the different facets of the program. Everything from curriculum design, coordinating with industry partners, domain experts and tech mentors, guiding the student innovators in their everyday learning, prototyping, and mentoring them as a friend, Dinesh does with a smile, and sincerely too. He deeply cares about making sure the student innovators of FORGE.FELLOWS go on to becoming startups, setting up tech enterprises that launch products to solve real-world problems.
Dinesh strives to design a technological framework that would effectively unleash the entrepreneurial spirit within the Protosem students. He strategically plans and designs the program, monitors the progress, resolves the issues and takes corrective measures focusing on consistency. Dinesh completed BE specializing in Electronics and Communication from Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology. He did his ME in VLSI Design at Jansons Institute of Technology, and worked as academician (Assistant Professor) in KCT.
Ashwini joined FORGE by September 2017 and as Program Lead in FORGE.FELLOWS leads our mission to make student innovation programs rigorous, structured, methodical and outcomes oriented, and to make this real she leads our pursuit of converting educators into innovation managers. She graduated with a Bachelor degree in engineering (ECE) in 2009 from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Bangalore and a Masters degree in VLSI Design from SRM University, Chennai. After completing BE, she worked as a financial advisor (part time) at ICICI Prudential and as a Production Manager in A.B. Engineering Works, Bangalore. Post completion of her Masters, she worked as an academician (Assistant Professor) in Dept. of ECE at The Oxford College of Engineering, Bangalore and at KCT, Coimbatore.
Ashwini was into a research on Quantum dot based solar cells and Low power VLSI. She has 4 research publications, 2 international journals, 2 national journals and presented research papers at 6 international conferences in 2 different countries. In 2016 December, she took a Sabbatical to work for Global Leadership Forum and was a part of the organizing committee. She was responsible for Delegate experience of the Forum held under the aegis of the World Culture Festival in Delhi on 12th and 13th of March 2016, by the World Forum of Ethics in Business. The international leadership summit witnessed a participation of business leaders from about 100 and more countries.
She is also a faculty at Art of Living that conducts meditation and life skill development courses for the youth and elderly. She is Passionate about travelling, cooking, drawing and learning languages. She has traveled over 5 Countries in 2 continents, cooks 4 different cuisines and knows about 8 languages.
Mukund joined FORGE in November 2018 as Innovation Manager. With 4+ years of experience as Strategic Design & Innovation Consultant, Mukund is on continuously look out for ideas, concepts and design strategies to help the innovators and startups develop a solution that is viable, feasible and desirable.
He looks after the seamless execution of iTOOLS, tweak them with the ever changing innovation landscape, and ensure that the innovators & startups are able to effectively apply the tools & techniques to catalyse the entire process and mitigate the risks in their startup journey.
Mukund is also working on Sandbox, a massive compendium of Challenge briefs curated by Team FORGE with a mission to ignite young minds design and build prototypes, and jumpstart their tech startups. He also co-ordinates the operation and ensures effective outcomes in the FMPI program[Fellowship in Managing Product Innovations].
He has played diverse roles in leading Corporates viz., Innovation Consultant at Nokia; Strategy Consultant at Robit Plc,Finland; Strategic Foresight & Innovation Consultant at Rohrbeck Heger GmbH, Berlin; Design Engineer at Cyient; Associate Engineer at Cameron. He also founded ThirdEye, a product startup focused on social innovation by designing assistive devices for the visually impaired and was recognised as the most 'Investor Ready Startup' at Summer of Startups.
Mukund received his BE specializing in Mechanical engineering from Anna University, Chennai and his M.Sc. in International Design Business Management from Aalto University, Finland. He also holds a Diploma degree in Innovation Management from European Innovation Academy.
Prabhu joined FORGE in 2016 and is responsible for the standards of creative output and Philosophy. With 4+ years of experience in Creative Designing, Prabhu develops ideas for Promotional and Advertising Campaigns. With an aspiration to become a Graphic Designer, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Applications at Rathinam college of Arts & Science. He then pursued a course on Graphics & Web Designing at Arena Animations, Coimbatore. He has a vast experience in Audio Editing and Graphic Designing. He believes that the creative designing is crucial for the success of any brand of an organization.
After a rigorous design course in SPREAD, Bangalore, Prabhu is putting together a Visual Design System with the guidelines, design standards & templates to set in motion a creative design strategy in FORGE. FORGE being an innovation hub where new ideas and products are born, Prabhu strives to promote an environment and a culture that recognises the importance of creative design in all everything we do, and by that ensure our work, our designs, our processes inspire as well as inform, educate, and enable the innumerable startups and innovators in our fold.
Hasan joined FORGE in January 2018 as an Animator, and is the brain behind the graceful motion pictures and storyboards. He works closely with the audio and video editors, to creatively produce original animation designs, and visually appealing animes.
He has served in the Tamil film industry and has worked to generate the eye catching Title Animation of blockbuster movies like Nanbaenda and Premam. Hasan also provided the Title Animation support for the movie 10 Enradhukulla and worked as a Digital Intermediate for the movie Nedunchazhai. Capable of simulating and producing lifelike characters and images employing computer animation & modeling programs, he has participated and won first prizes at C-Animation Festival (Chennai), Warrior Animation Festival (Chennai) and Abai Animation Festival (Mysore).
Ambitious of becoming an Animator, he completed his Diploma in 3D Animation at Da Vinci Media College (Digital Media Studio), Chennai. He worked as an AR Character Designer and Animator with iCreator, a gaming company based out of Chennai. He has also worked as VR concept Designer and animator at Prime Edge Info Solutions and as an Architect, 3D modeling and Senior Animator at Wepop. With an experience of working under diverse areas of animation for 4 years, Hasan enjoys the buzz of working in a dynamic environment and takes responsibility for building, accurate, and detailed frame by frame visuals at FORGE.
Saravanan, the Creative designer at FORGE gives life to the marketing briefs and communications and is known for producing visually stunning Designs. He pays strong attention to details and looks after designing a range of digital and print deliverables. He produces design concepts and materials for all our print and digital collaterals for marketing, advertisements, and communications.
Saro completed his B.Sc specializing in Visual Communications at Rathinam College of Arts and Science. He then worked to creatively design and produce signboards at the firm, Golden Signs. He has always been passionate about being a graphic designer and as a hobby he designed several posters for his college. He was spoken for design of the posters and pamphlets for the campaigns and voting process during the college election. Besides being a designer, Saravanan dabbles with the art of photography and brings an added dimension to his work in FORGE.
Sindhu develops content for websites, blogs and newsletter since her joining in FORGE from April 2018. In 2012, she completed her BE specializing in Electrical and Electronics at PSG College of Technology. She did MBA at KCT Business School, specializing in Finance and Operations. She was a part of the team that developed a Hybrid Inverter capable of being operated in both Solar power and the power generated from fossil fuels. Capable of generating content using data-driven insights, she is able to present intricate details in a easy to read manner, she a has a proven track record of producing creative and substantive content.
Sindhu develops content for various marketing and communications materials in FORGE. She is responsible for conducting thorough research on industry related topics,and leads our editorial for our newsletter FORGE.FLASH. She manages and actively contributes to our social media content, apart from moderating our blog site.
Krish leads Operations at FORGE post his joining in December’18. Given that the ecosystem is dynamic & disruptive, Krish works to standardize the operations by establishing processes and foster ease of business and efficiency ensuring that it evolves as BAU (Business as Usual) or a matured unit. Also charged with establishing a robust, result-driven plan to streamline operations via Cadence and Governance with clear timelines besides creating SOP for operations ensuring business continuity.
He is responsible for planning and managing the overall operations and admin of FORGE.FACTORY covering coworking facilities and services, events & community programs, procurement, and all matters concerning external vendors, suppliers, and providers. Also leading the charge with a holistic suite of programs aimed at delivering high quality skills and competencies development, effectively managed platform and process of networking etc. and ensuring the outcomes in revenue generation targets by effectively galvanizing the resources & risks and achieving operational excellence.
Krish has 25+ years of experience in Hospitality and IT/ITES sectors. A well-grounded individual with 19+ years of experience in diverse fields viz., Tech support, Core Banking, F&A, Insurance, US Healthcare domains etc. and has proven track of records of managing large delivery teams across varied functions ranging from leveraging Customer relationships, Project Management, Transition to Service Delivery and P&L Management.In the past, he was associated with leading corporates and fortune 500 companies like ITC, Taj, HSBC, DELL etc serving in the managerial capacities leading large scale of operations at multiple locations across the globe.
Krish holds an undergraduate degree specializing in Hotel Management and Applied Nutrition and a PG Diploma in service and account management. Krish is a sports and fitness enthusiast and loves music; Passionate about food and travel, Indian tradition, literature, Culture and Spirituality.
Ramya is with FORGE since January 2018 and looks after the HR function, managing everything from hiring, policies, and talent dev, apart from doubling up as the Ms. Fix-It for our CEO, as his EA. She did her undergrad in B.Sc-Computer Science at Shrimati Indira Gandhi college of Arts and Science, Trichy. She completed her MBA specializing in HR and Marketing from SASTRA University. She has as an experience of working as a Software Engineer for 2 years at Capgemini.
Ramya is charged with leading our HR function we refer to as FORGE.FUTURE, in keeping with our intent to brand everything FORGE. Followed by another F word. In doing so she has to always ensure ‘How we do our work?’ is more important than ‘What work we do?’,c constantly aligned with our values enshrined as FORGE.FOUNDATION.
Swetha Subramanian has almost 10 years of experience in the field of Corporate Law. She is a partner at Lakshmi Subramanian and associates, and is practising as a company secretary for past 4 years.
Vivek is the Innovation Director at FORGE since his joining in January 2019. He is charged with mapping and coordinating the end-to-end affairs of the managed innovation process that FORGE executes in the context of the FORGE.FELLOWS (pre-incubation) and FORGE.FIRST (incubation) programs. He is responsible for the outcomes of catalysing tech-enabled innovations, aimed at achieving manufacturing ready prototypes both quickly and cost-effectively.
A T-shaped Engineer and a passion driven Tech enthusiast, Vivek likes to work in a challenging and dynamic environment. He also manages and contributes to the Sandbox Portal, a compendium of rigorously validated industrial challenges curated by FORGE, apart from managing the infra, internal capacity building, tech mentoring both at support and expertise levels. With a rich experience of working across diverse industries viz.,financial management, education, automotive software - automotive ECU product engineering, He works on a broader spectrum to improve the innovation outcomes of strategic programs such as iDEX and other corporate open innovation programs.
Vivek holds an undergraduate degree specializing in Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering from Government College of Technology, Coimbatore. He has served in multiple roles at Bosch for 8 years including Senior Software Engineer, Product Administrator, Project & Community Manager.
Vignesh a.k.a Vicky after joining us in Jan 2018, has been charged with managing the overall technical scope of HWjunction, making sure we are ready to support the needs of innovators and startups with equipment, tools, resources and tech support. He manages all aspects of technical operations for ProtoSem, Hackathons and FORGE.FELLOWS. He directs and provides technical support in design, development, and system integration aspects of the innovative solutions prototyped and incubated in FORGE. Capable of efficiently solving technical problems, he is nailing the twin objectives of offering the most critical tech and achieving 100% effective capacity utilization. With a right blend of technical expertise and mentoring skills, he plays the role of an innovation coach to the student innovators, and as an innovation consultant to the startups. Vignesh comes with industry work experience having worked with Soliton Technologies, Coimbatore, and is passionate about exploiting tech to create impact, bring change, and to positively contribute to nation building.
Vicky graduated in the field of Electrical and Instrumentation Engineering at GCT, Coimbatore.
Ashok joined FORGE in July 2017 and as Lab Associate is assigned with a prime responsibility of mentoring and providing technical support for the student innovators and early-stage startups, aimed at fast-tracking the design and development of deployment ready prototypes. With expertise in 3D Printing, Digital fabrication tools, CAD modeling etc. he brings the most and best out of the Digital FabLab at HWjunction.
On the commercial side, Ashok is an Industrial Designer and manages all aspects of the MIT FABLAB certified rapid prototyping lab in FORGE. His skills are utilised in offering design and fabrication services generating substantial revenue for FORGE. He completed his Bachelors of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics from Info Institute of Engineering in 2017. Being constantly updated with the technological trends and developments, he has developed Home Automation systems leveraging advancements in IoTs.
Manoj joined FORGE in May 2018 and works in the areas of web development, IT and networking. he graduated from Sri Ramakrishna College of Engineering in 2018 with a Bachelor degree in Computer Science Engineering. He has worked with Amazon Go and developed an RFID Tag for the products to aid in advanced Bill Generation. He is passionate about coding and writes an efficient well designed code employing the best software development techniques. Manoj also manages networking with expertise in network diagnostic and analytical tools.
At FORGE, he works to design and build effective website and web portals with his appreciable programming skills and in-depth knowledge of HTML/CSS. Manoj has the ability to work in a fast paced environment regularly updated with updates on the advancements in web applications and programming practices. He works closely with the content developers to design an appealing and user – friendly design and layout for the website.
Prasath works in the areas of web development, IT & networking at FORGE from May 2018. He holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science Engineering, from Sri Ramakrishna College of Engineering. Becoming a full-stack developer is his ambition. Prasath has designed and developed a faculty Management system for the college, has worked on a Trolley Tracking Project developed exclusively for airports by Roots, Coimbatore.
As web developer, he is primarily responsible for designing and coding the layout of FORGE website. He integrates and manages data periodically following the industry and company trends. Mastering diverse technologies and techniques, Prasath maintains, scales and expands the website. He also works to maximize network performance by monitoring performance and troubleshooting the network problems. He is assigned with the task of upgrading and optimizing the network.
VK joined the FORGE tribe by November 2017 as an intern and was later employed to the role of Lab Associate post his Bachelor degree in Mechanical engineering at Info Institute of Engineering . He is the Graduate Innovation Engineer of our very own ProtoSem and is an archetype of how original & creative, the students get after being nurtured & transformed during the course.
His contribution to around 10 projects in various domains ranging from designing an Emergency Safety System for Hyperloop Transportation Concept for the AUTODESK DESIGN INDIA CHALLENGE to a system for De-Icing the Planes by Acoustic Resonant Methodology is proof-enough that VK's skills are multi disciplinary and is known for his multi-faceted approach to solving problems with technology.
At FORGE, He handles Industrial Design & analysis, manages the operation of the labs at the HW Junction and is a technical support entity to the ProtoSem course. He also facilitates the day-to-day operations of the Launch Pad course and focuses on Mechanical Design/Thermal Analysis along with Test Case Validation in the DFMA Product Acceleration Process adopted by FORGE.
Adi is the Lab Associate at FORGE since his joining in July'18 after ProtoSem, a comprehensive skills and competency development course offered as a part of FORGE.FELLOWS that transforms students into Graduate Innovation Engineers. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Mechatronics Engineering from Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore.
An eclectic person by nature, He is a Tech-explorer & a Machine-Learning enthusiast who goes mad about ML algorithms & Python Programming. A self-motivated learner with innate curiosity, he believes that constant learning is the only way to grow & expand one’s mental horizons.
At FORGE, he mentors the ProtoSem Innovation Engineers and help them as they build technological solutions to real-time industrial & societal problems. He is responsible for implementing the wide range of activities in our non-stop calendar for ProtoSem and execution of day-to-day schedules for our fellowship programs including FMPI, FDPE etc.