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Meet the Winners of YourStory India’s CTO Excellence Awards 2024

Business Wire India

YourStory, India’s biggest platform working to foster the startup ecosystem, trained the spotlight on the architects of the country’s exponential technological advances and scale, at the India Tech Leaders Conclave 2024, a curated gathering of top tech visionaries and leaders.
 
Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory, said, “Our goal is to bring well-deserved recognition to tech leaders who have played crucial roles behind the scenes, shaping their company’s success and India’s tech story.”
 
At the end of the one-day conclave at Shangri La Bengaluru, on June 21, YourStory presented India’s CTO Excellence Awards 2024, in association with Longhouse Consulting. The awards recognise and celebrate India’s best tech startup leaders.
 
As the auditorium burst into applause for the pillars of the Indian tech ecosystem, Shri Priyank Kharge, Hon’ble Minister Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Information Technology and Biotechnology, said: “You are the people who have put India on the (global) map. It is easy to build an app but to scale it in Indian conditions, it is impossible without you guys…You have fearlessly tried to do things differently, and I think that is something that the Europeans and the Americans want to learn from us.”
 
Pramod Varma, CTO, EkStep Foundation, Co-founder, FIDE, and ex-Chief Architect, Aadhaar and India Stack, accompanied Kharge, presenting the awards to 23 top tech leaders.
 
The awards recognise tech leaders based on a comprehensive set of criteria, including but not limited to the number of years in a CTO role, impact on business growth, innovation, intellectual property contributions, leadership, mentorship, functional responsibilities, and more.

Reflecting on the importance of the undisputed architects of India’s startup ecosystem, Anshuman Das, Co-founder and CEO, Longhouse Consulting, said: “A founder is the soul of the company, but the CTO is the backbone of a startup.”
 
Here are the 23 top tech leaders whose contributions to furthering innovation were honoured at India’s CTO Excellence Awards 2024:
 

  • Jeyandran Venugopal, CPTO, Flipkart: With over two decades of experience across Yahoo, Amazon and Myntra, Venugopal’s visionary leadership continues to shape the future of ecommerce in India. He has integrated advanced technologies to enhance various aspects of Flipkart’s operations, including AI-powered product recommendations, voice search, vernacular language interfaces, and voice assistants (including Flippi).
 
  • Phanimohan Kalagara, CTO, Pine Labs: With over two decades of experience across ecommerce (Flipkart), fintech (PayPal) and CAD/CAM industries, Kalagara is leading tech innovation, especially in enhancing Pine Labs’s merchant commerce solutions across Asia. His expertise include Virtual Reality and predictive analytics, which he has successfully integrated into various products and services throughout his career.
 
  • Ajit Narayanan, CTPO, Licious: Narayanan has been pivotal in building and scaling digital products across ecommerce, healthcare, mobile and AI domains. At Licious, he is leading the transformation of the brand and its consumer experience through technology-driven innovations. Earlier, Narayanan served as a founding member and CTO at MFine and as the CTO at Myntra.
 
 
  • Sanjay Mohan, Group CTO, MakeMyTrip: With over three-decades of experience, Mohan has a proven track record of bringing a strong platform mindset to all organisational functions. At MakeMyTrip, he heads the company’s technological innovation and AI-driven strategies, leading the group’s product and technology strategy, planning and execution. Mohan has also been instrumental in implementing Generative AI for personalised travel planning, integrating voice, and conversational interfaces to enhance accessibility for users, including those in regional languages.
 
  • Shamik Sharma, SVP – Engineering, Atlassian: Sharma has expertise across ecommerce, digital media, social networks, enterprise software as well as consumer electronics. Before Atlassian, Sharma has scaled organisations and processes from small founding teams to large, specialised teams. He co-founded CureFit, driving technological innovations in health and fitness. Under his leadership, CureFit pivoted from physical fitness centres to a digital-first approach, helping the platform onboard 1.5 million new users during the pandemic.
 
  • Sanjay Suri, Entrepreneur: Suri joined Nykaa in 2016, driving the company’s technological advancements and product innovations, taking the brand from an early-stage startup to IPO. Suri has also pioneered the new initiatives, Nykaa Fashion and Nykaa Man, through its website and app. Prior to Nykaa, he worked as the CTO at Tradus.
 
  • Raghu Krishnananda, CPTO, Myntra: With a rich background in leading large-scale technological innovations, Krishnananda has been instrumental in leveraging technology to enhance customer shopping experience at Myntra. Prior to Myntra, he worked at Samsung Research Institute as the Head of Service Platforms, leading the design and development of personalisation and monetisation platforms, mobile payments, digital lending and entertainment services.
 
  • Suvonil Chatterjee, CTPO, Ola Electric: Chatterjee plays a crucial role in steering Ola Electric’s product and technology strategies. He joined Ola in 2016, and has overseen projects that leverage AI and ML to improve customer service and operational efficiency. Prior to Ola, he was the Head of Design at Flipkart, and instrumental in enhancing user experience and design innovation. Chatterjee’s career transition from design to a leadership role in product management and engineering is a testament to his versatile expertise and ability to adapt to evolving technological landscapes.
 
  • Satish Mani, CTO – Flights SBU, MakeMyTrip: Mani has been instrumental in driving MakeMyTrip’s technological advancements, and maintaining its leadership in the online travel sector. With a background in engineering, Mani earlier played a key role in developing and scaling the Cleartrip platform.
 
  • Giridhar Yasa, CTO, Lendingkart: Yasa specialises in cloud architectures, large-scale distributed systems, virtualisation, and ecommerce systems. At Lendingkart, he leads the company’s technological strategy and innovation, and is responsible for developing a scalable tech framework to enhance the platform for customers, channel partners and co-lending partners, to ensure minimal onboarding time and customisable workflows.
 
 
  • Rahul Chari, Co-founder & CTO, PhonePe: Chari has been instrumental in shaping the landscape of digital payments in India. Prior to co-founding PhonePe, he played a pivotal role at Flipkart, building the entire tech stack for eKart. Chari also launched the first legal music download store in India, selling singles across almost all music labels in the country.
 
  • Akash Saxena, CTPO, Viacom18: Saxena is a seasoned technology leader. He earlier served as the CTO at Disney+Hotstar, managing over 300 million monthly active users.
 
  • Amod Malviya, Co-founder & Engineer, Udaan: Malviya played a crucial role in revolutionising the B2B commerce space in India, contributing and scaling the company’s engineering platforms. Earlier at Flipkart, he laid the groundwork for the company’s tech advancements, particularly in developing eKart.
 
  • Vishwanath Ramarao, CPTO, Acko: Ramanrao leads the technology strategy, product development, and design at Acko. He has delivered innovative and personalised insurance products at Acko, leveraging advanced technology, enhancing customer experience.
 
  • Amitabh Misra, CTO, Sprinklr: With over 25 years of experience in building large-scale platforms, Misra oversees the global research and development teams (including product and engineering) at Sprinklr. Prior to this, he worked with Snapdeal, before incepting GOFro.comm, a travel startup that revolutionised online travel booking experiences.
 
  • Mumu Pande, Global COO, Quor Group: Pande is the Global COO at Quor Group (merged entity with Eka Software), and has spent over a decade spearheading the product development and engineering teams, and driving significant innovations in the commodities sector. She has been pivotal in launching new products and features that cater to the evolving needs of the commodity trading market. She has also been a strong advocate for gender inclusivity within the tech industry.
 
  • Dale Vaz, Founder and CEO, Aaritya: As the former CTO at Swiggy, Vaz has played a crucial role in transforming the online food ordering platform into an AI and ML-first organisation. During his tenure at Swiggy, Vaz led the development of Swiggy’s robust tech infrastructure, driving innovation across Swiggy Food, Swiggy Instamart, and other verticals, deploying over 140 AI models. Before Swiggy, he spent over a decade at Amazon, overseeing the development of consumer tech, payments engineering, and mobile engineering.
 
  • Bapu Kota, CTO, VerSe Innovation (Dailyhunt & Josh): With a proven track record of building high performing teams that focus on innovation, intellectual property, and collaboration, Kota brings experience in starting and expanding product and technology organisations in Asia-Pacific markets.
 
  • Kailash Nadh, CTO, Zerodha: With over two decades of experience, Nadh has been pivotal in transforming Zerodha into a fintech powerhouse. His contributions include the development of Zerodha’s core trading platform, Kite. Under his leadership, Zerodha has adopted technologies like Flutter for mobile applications and Vue.js for the web.
 
  • Murali Brahmadesam, CTO, Razorpay: As the CTO and Head of Engineering at Razorpay, Brahmadesam oversees the company’s tech strategy and development. He has been instrumental in advancing the company’s engineering capabilities, leading an 800-member strong engineering team. Before Razorpay, Brahmadesam served as the Engineering Leader for Aurora Database Engines and Distributed Storage at AWS.
 
  • Karan Mehta, Founder and CTO, Ring and Kissht: Mehta believes that a CTO needs to understand that many moving parts must work together for customers to get the best experience, and focuses on tech that enables trust. Kissht has been at the forefront of the digital lending wave, starting operations when the idea did not exist, and working to ensure that every single Indian has seamless access to credit.

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