2nd Annual Rural Market Growth Strategy Summit 2018


Amit Sharma

Co-founder & CEO


Amit Sharma is the Co-founder & CEO of SHOPX (SHOPX.in), a technology-led startup in Bangalore that aims at expanding ecommerce to “India II” by connecting brands and suppliers with small merchants and consumers on a digitally managed retail platform.

With over 16 years of experience in technology, startup building and ecommerce, Amit has designed and built one of the first Grid Computing Management Platforms in the world. He holds two international patents for the same as a lead inventor (filed by Infosys Technologies) and has also published more than 10 research papers in international IEEE/ACM Journals and Conferences.

Apart from raising multiple rounds of funding and starting two successful businesses in the past, Amit has also led the Startup Leadership Program in Bangalore. He holds an MBA from UCLA and has worked with leading consultancies in Silicon Valley before setting base to build a profitable ecommerce business in India.

Archis Joshi

Marketing Manager

Vitalis – Cipla

Archis is a B Pharm, MBA and has done an Executive Program in Business Management from IIM Lucknow. A dynamic pharmaceutical professional with 17 plus years of rich experience in sales & marketing. Worked in top Multinational as well as Indian company…Cipla, GSK, Pfizer.

Currently heading 5 operational teams within Cipla cardio-metabolics. Operating turnover is 500 Crs & heading a team of 16 Brand managers /GPMs. Chronic business & that too cardio metabolic is a major therapy handled. Successfully established brands in chronic segment across various stages of product life cycle.

Arvind M Sonmale

Managing Director & CEO

Sustainable Agro-commercial Finance Ltd

He is a career Banker having been in the industry for over 42 years.

He started his banking career as a Probationary Officer with State Bank of India (SBI) in July 1975. His 9 plus years with State Bank of India (SBI) took him through various areas of commercial banking responsibilities including that of a Branch Manager of a SBI’s office in Panaji (Goa) and in SBI’s International Division at its apex Central Office in Mumbai.

The year 1984 saw him joining the newly operationalised Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and over the next 20 years, his work responsibilities took him through various areas including Trade Finance, Project Finance, Forex Operations, Corporate Finance, Regional Office Head, overseeing of Overseas Offices, and new Initiatives which included being a point person for introducing Forfaiting in India. He was also the key person coordinating the start-up of two Joint Ventures promoted by Exim Bank, one - a consultancy organisation called Global Procurement Consultants Ltd. which coordinated procurement of multilateral funded Projects by Indian companies and two - Global Trade Finance Ltd. (GTF) which catered to factoring requirements of Indian SMEs.

In December, 2004, Shri Arvind Sonmale took over as Managing Director and CEO of Global Trade Finance Ltd.,(GTF) promoted by Exim Bank with equity participation from IFC, Washington and FIM Bank, Malta. GTF was a leading factoring company in India, which was actively engaged in Trade Finance aimed mainly at the SME sector in India. His association with GTF ended in April, 2010.

In September 2010, he was approached by Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., headquartered in Jalgaon, Maharashtra to assist them in setting up a unique, one-of-its-kind financial institution. The objective was to focus on extending easy, quick, hassle free finance to small and marginal farmers for developing agriculture infrastructure aimed at improving their economic and living standards. He readily agreed to take up this unique challenge. Maharashtra was the first geographical area targeted for coverage. He engaged himself in creating the organisation and carrying out activities such as surveying and reviewing the small and marginal farmer needs, the current set-up for availing finance by them, the difficulties faced by farmers in availing loans, preparing a blueprint for a finance organisation including financial model, product design, credit processes, marketing outreach, organogram, recruitment, statutory approvals, etc. The institution was operational in April 2013.

Atul Arora

Product Head, Rural and Inclusive Banking


Avnish Tripathi

Ex- Vice President (Head) - Marketing & Sales

Godrej Tyson Foods Ltd.

Sales & Marketing professional with 16 years of business experience across diverse industries including FMCG, Foods & Beverages and Consumer Durables. Specialises in Business & Marketing Strategy, Consumer marketing, Channel & Category management.

At Godrej Tyson he is Accountable for development of Sales & Marketing strategy in line with Business strategy for delivery of overall Top-line, Bottom-line & Market Share for the branded business. Leads the Sales & Marketing agenda through 185 member strong organization across Retail, Food Service & Alternative channels.

Biswabaran Chakrabarti

Vice President

Rural Marketing Association of India

Mr. Biswa Chakrabarti is Vice president – Brand and Channel Management of Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd. (CGCEL). He joined erstwhile Crompton Greaves Limited in the year 2003.

He has a rich experience of three decades in both sales and marketing, and the longest stint has been in Philips India for 15 years. He has been a key player in designing distribution system for Philips Lighting.

His working in Crompton started at the Lighting Division, initially in Lamps business and later as head of sales and marketing for both Lamps and luminaires. Under his leadership, Crompton Lighting sales team experienced the highest growth. He is passionate about exploring new markets and creating channel partners. He has launched various channel management programme during his long span of career. He is fellow member of Indian Society of Lighting Engineers and Vice President of Rural Marketing Association of India.

Atul Mittal

Chief Sales & Marketing Officer - Mumbai & Nairobi

MicroEnergy Credits

A rural sales and marketing champion, having more than 18 years of cross-functional experience across India and East Africa. Graduated with an Agri & AH degree and then MBA in Marketing, Atul is a Judicious strategist with an excellent track record of brand building and aligning organization to achieve excellence, market presence, profitability, and unparalleled market reach. Skilled relationship builder and trusted adviser, with hands-on experience in brand communication, ground activation, consumer insight generation, rural awareness programs, channel marketing. Pivotal resource on business expansions, new alliances and 360 degree marketing at PHILIPS, Castrol, Wockhardt, Max New York Life d.light Energy. High achiever driving cross-functional team performance.

Madan Mohan Pandey

President Sales-Consumer Care Division

Emami Limited

In a career spanning 19 years, Mr. Pandey has worked across different geography, multiple countries and handled multiple categories. Prior to joining Emami, he has worked with Marico for 15 years where he spearheaded the Sale function.

In his stint in Marico, Mr. Pandey has made remarkable difference by being part of the cross functional team that managed the acquisition of youth brands like Setwet, Zatak and Livon from Reckitt Benckiser apart from re-establishing the brands in the market.

It is under his able leadership, conceptualization and implementation of GTM transformation is taking place in Emami.

An alumnus of IMT Ghaziabad, Madan has over 19 years of robust experience; and been part of Emami for close to 2 years.

He ensures that people working with him succeed by getting the best out of individuals.

Narendra Mishra

Head -Agri & Inclusive Banking Corporate Office Mumbai

DCB Bank Ltd

Narendranath Mishra is currently working as Head–Agri & Inclusive Banking and has been associated with DCB Bank since August, 2007. He has overall experience of 18 years in rural banking and agri business. He looks after overall priority sector banking in DCB Bank. He has played pivotal role to organically grow assets, liabilities business in branches primarily in rural and semi-urban areas with multi-product customer centric branch based model in more than 100 branches set up under his leadership. Various loan products namely tractor and farm equipment finance, Kisan Credit Card, Dealer Trade Advance, Gold loan, Commodity based finance were launched successfully across these branches during his tenure in DCB Bank.

Prior to DCB Bank, he has been associated with ICICI Bank and Rallis India.

He holds PGDRM degree from IRMA, Gujarat and has completed graduation in agriculture from Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneshwar. He was also a member of Agri Business Committee, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and had been visiting faculty in NMIMS, Mumbai. He has also published several articles in newspapers on rural banking and agri domain and has been speaker/panelist in national; level forums in these areas.

Puneet Kumar Vidyarthi

Associate Vice President & Head – Marketing & Digital Innovations

JCB India Limited

Sanjay Panigrahi

President- Rurban and Special Projects

Pidilite Industries ltd

Sanjay Panigrahi is a professional of 30 plus years of experience. An MBA from IRMA from the First Batch in 80-82, Sanjay has had a rich and diverse experience in the fields of Mktg, Sales, Distribution, New Business Development and Organization Development across geographies including handing of P & L responsibility and leading start-ups in Rural space .

He started his career as Management Trainee in Amul and worked for more than 20 years in building and running in various capacities this grass root Farmers Organization under the leadership of Dr. Verghese Kurien. Sanjay was a member of the key leadership team at Amul which launched many new brands and set up a strong Sales and distribution infrastructure which has made Amul, a Rs. 25000 Cr business today.

Sanjay subsequently worked for Pidilite Industries Ltd (Fevicol) currently the Industry leader with business exceeding Rs 5000 Crs heading their Consumer Products Division where he led the Marketing and Sales functions of many a leading brands like Fevicol , M Seal, Fevikwik etc. During his tenure, the business of the Consumer products Division had trebled.

Sanjay has worked as the CEO of Sahaj e-Village ltd, a Rural e-Commerce start-up which created a network of 30000+ Village level IT entrepreneurs in Gram Panchayat level in one of its kind in six states of the country.

Currently Mr. Panigrahi heads Emerging India business Division of Pidilite which handles marketing and sales of the Fevicol range of products in Small Towns /Peri Urban and Rural geographies of the country a segment which is considered to be the next frontier of growth of Indian economy.

Sarabjit Singh Puri

Director and CEO

Fateh Technologies Pvt Ltd

Sarabjit Singh Puri, an engineering graduate in Instrumentation Technology is a Founder Director and CEO of Fateh Technologies Pvt Ltd, serving Rural India since 2003.

Sarabjit is into Rural communication and Branding and help the companies to reach rural India.

He has run many Outdoor, BTL and ATL campaigns for the MNCs like Bayer, DuPont, BASF, Etc and have strategically built many brands in Rural India. Had a Vision to expand across the services and geography in Rural world by reaching people every niche and corner.

He has pioneered the concept of Localised Agri Call centre for agri companies in India. and now serving many MNCs in this concept.

He has achieved a phenomenal success in Rural communication and Branding in India for Agri Companies. Sarabjit have a vision to open up branches across the world to serve the Rural People.

Having corporate office in Fort, Mumbai with 9 regional offices. Fateh Operates from 22 cities in India under his leadership. After earning a reputation in agri companies by working for more than 70 companies for agri sector. Fateh have started working for FMCG, Banking and other sectors as well under his leadership.

Sarabjit have travelled across country by road more than 4 lac KMs. An astute visionary and an expert in Rural India who believes that in India Branding can be done only on local basis and have handled campaigns on local basis from respective offices.

Now Sarabjit have ventured into the field of HR with a startup called GREEN ORANGE HR PVT LTD to provide manpower to the companies for Rural India .The vision of Green Orange HR is to act as a bridge between the colleges and Industry.

Sikander Aman Khullar

Business Development Head (Iran) and National Sales & Distribution Manager (Rural India)

Tata Global Beverages Ltd

Sikander is an experienced National Sales Manager and Business Development Head with a demonstrated 25 years history of working in the food & beverages industry in India and overseas across the value chain (plantations, manufacture, commodities, branded sales & distribution and marketing).

His current focus areas are Sales, Distribution, Routes to Market & Rural.

He has handled several key portfolios in Tata Global Beverages as Business Development Head (Iran), National Sales & Distribution Manager (Rural India), Routes to Market, (Urban India), IT enablement of the Sales team (India) and Regional Head (North India).

He has also worked as National Sales and Distribution Manager, Emami Healthy & Tasty Edible Oil, Emami Group. And, he was the Country Head, Brand & Sales, Geoplant Group, Georgia (Eastern Europe).

In terms of academics, Sikander has done several courses and certifications. The key ones are Advance Management Program (in Leadership, Strategy and General) from Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore) and PGDBA/MBA in Marketing from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (Pune).”

Suresh Pillai


BrandIdea Analytics

In over three decades of being in the Brand Strategizing realm and the custodian of many established and well-known brands, Suresh Pillai had always been intrigued by one thought – for any given marketing issue, of the several nuggets of insights one had, how does one know which one is right? Often, the one chosen was that which was most acceptable amongst the few options.

The search for the precise direction to take – based on facts and not on judgement – drove Suresh Pillai to undertake the mammoth task of building data and insights from the ground-up – covering 7 lakh villages, 7000 towns and 80,000 neighborhoods of India. This is the bedrock for the unique BrandIdea Analytics application, arguably the pioneer in granular analytics globally, and operating on the brave, rare model of not just an advanced analytics platform, but providing the relevant external data as well.

Even as he marshals the pressures of running a fast-growing business, he is constantly seeking to empower the business user at all levels and demystifying Analytics to give it it’s rightful place alongside Marketing - not just in the comfort of the Boardroom, but in the hand-helds of the salesman braving the heat & dust of India's streets.

Tarun Bhargava


Silver Campaigns

Tarun is a First-Generation Entrepreneur. An Engineer & MBA by qualification, he worked with Large Indian and Multinational companies in the field of IT & Telecom for 14 years before starting his entrepreneurial journey 8 years ago. Starting his branding and advertising business in 2010, In just 5 years his business build an enviable list of clients like Hero MotoCorp, LIC, Bharti Airtel, Pernod Ricard, Luxottica, IDC, BSES, Times Group, SBI, PNB, Rajasthan Government, Delhi Government & Multiple Central Government Ministries. He has been involved in various utility service providers since 2011, helping them build a portfolio of non-tariff incomes & consumer engagement strategies. He has over the years mastered the business of utility bills' advertising, which he now plans to take to the next level - Pan India.

Ullas Kamath

Joint Managing Director

Jyothy Laboratories Ltd

Kasaragod Ullas Kamath, M.Com., LL.B., F.C.A., A.C.S., M.Sc (LSE) is the Joint Managing Director & CFO of Jyothy Laboratories Ltd. He is responsible for business development, new projects, sales, financial management. He has over 25 years of experience.

Mr. Kamath, has been the part of driving force in transforming the company from a proprietary concern to a multi-brand FMCG corporate with key brands like Ujala, Maxo, Exo, Pril, Henko, Margo, Mr.White, Chek, Neem & Maya Under the leadership, Jyothy Laboratories had a successful IPO offering in the year 2007 and a QIP in 2011. He was also instrumental in the acquisition of Henkel AG's India operations in 2011 and helped elevate Jyothy Laboratories Ltd to a 10 brands FMCG company. Present market cap of JLL is over Rs 6500 crores.

Mr. Kamath has participated in the Advanced Management Programme at Wharton Business School (2004) and at Harvard Business School (2008). He also spearheads Jyothy Laboratories’ latest initiative in organised laundry services called Fabric Spa. He won "All India CA Business Achiever Award - SME Category 2008" instituted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Mr. Kamath is also an Independent Director of V-Guard Industries Ltd., Cochin & Co-Chair of FICCI Karnataka State Council.

Vaibhav Deshpande

Principal Consultant

CSC eGovernance Services India Limited

A business development and management professional with more than 25 years of experience, has covered assignments in multiple domains like eGovernance, BFSI, Education, Healthcare, inclusive of institutional and industrial products, covering international markets like EMEA, Asia Pacific, US, as well as domestic markets and of course rural India.

With CSC SPV, a company promoted by Meity- Government of India, for more than five years now, heads state operations in Maharashtra, driving the Digital India Program through Common Service Centre network across domains like G2C, B2C, Financial Inclusion (Banking, Insurance and Pension), Education, Skills, Health, Agriculture, Rural Wifi enablement, thus enabling services reach through ICT to every citizen at the Gram Panchayat level. Some of the major projects undertaken include PMGDisha, UIDAI, PMJDY, Stree Swabhimaan, Wifi Chouphal and CSMSSY.

Vineeta Hariharan

Chief Programme Officer - National Rurban Mission

Ministry of Rural Development

Over the last twenty years, Vineeta has emerged as a Public Policy Leader with excellent skills in the public sphere, which includes; thought leadership, policy formulation & dissemination, public addresses, conflict management, management of multi varied stakeholders at the National and International level. She has over the years, with her academic training and professional experience, developed unique capabilities of evolving strategies for public management and policy, in multi-disciplinary sectors, with abilities for trouble shooting for the most complex public administration & policy challenges. While working at a strategic level she still retains an eye for detail with excellent analytical skills.

Apart from being a qualified Civil Engineer and holding a Masters degree in Planning from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, she has also completed her mid career Masters program in Public Policy and Administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (2010-11). Here, she had the opportunity to interact with policy makers and administrators from over 20 countries in Asia, Europe and USA and learn from experts from IMF, World Bank and ADB and leading universities of the world.

Following her work within the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation from 2012-14, she received a Fellowship from the Netherlands Government to pursue a Short Term training in Land Management, organized by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Washington, UN Habitat.

She currently leads a Government of India Mission, with the Ministry of Rural Development, where she had the opportunity to design, formulate and now roll out the programme across the country. The Mission aims at creating clusters of growth across Rural India, by provision of economic and basic amenities.

Yogesh Gupta

Executive Vice President- Institutional Business & Chief Financial Inclusion Officer

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Limited.

Yogesh Gupta is a versatile leader, managing and heading diverse vertical in Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Currently his profile includes heading major business verticals like, Business Procurement & Financial Inclusion, Corporate Division & Corporate Agency in the organization.

His key responsibilities include Sales & distribution management, Business development, New Acquisitions and Micro Insurance Distribution.

His expertise lies in rural market insight, people management, cost centric management, strategic alliances with diver channel partner management and product development. He has more than 20 years of diversified work experience, out of which 14 years have been spent in Life Insurance.

He has played a key role in the organization by not just setting up the rural sales channel of the company but also leading it as an example for other private life insurance players who are new to the idea of micro insurance in rural sector. With his consistent leadership management, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd. is currently the market leaders in the rural insurance space.

Under his leadership company has been able to cover more than 20 crores customers in Financial Inclusion segment. He has been instrumental for making Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd market leader in Financial Inclusion segment.

He has represented the company and received the esteemed SKOCH Financial inclusion awards for consecutively 7 years from various eminent personalities.

Has featured in various magazines like “The Times of India”, “Economic times”, “Business Standard”, “Outlook Business” & “Inclusion” for the contribution in rural & micro insurance business.

He is a Chartered Account from the Institute of Chartered - Accountants of India (ICAI) and has attained bachelor of Mathematics.