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Pragyan 2011 - Panelists


Dr. Farida Rasulzada, Lund University, is an internationally recognized public speaker, who is currently performing research on how to promote health, creativity and innovation in organizations.

She is well known for her talks revolving around health, creativity, leadership and management. Her research has brought to light a previously unknown scientific relationship existing between creativity/ innovation, the well-being of employees, and the leadership that promotes creativity.

This Pragyan, Dr. Farida Rasulzada is one of the esteemed panelists at Crossfire. She has given exceptional speeches in universities, municipalities, and research academies, among other public and private organizations. Her talks have enlightened several nations, including UK, Germany, Spain, India and Portugal. Now, it’s NITT’s turn !


Shruti Kohli has to her merit over a decade in print and broadcasting media reporting.  She graduated from Rani Durgawati University, Jabalpur (MP) 2001. Although finance is her key area now, she has reported on Crime and Legal Beats ( The Times Of India, Bhopal & New Delhi 2001-03 and Transport  (Indian Express, New Delhi 2003-05).

In 2006, began her drift towards  commerce,  with the reporting on economic crimes covering EoW and other Personal Finance topics in CNBC TV18, Mumbai. In 2008-2009, she reported  Stocks, Mutual Funds, Insurance, Tax, Retirement Planning and all others that comeunder Personal Finance in India Today, Mumbai, by now having a firm foot in the finance field.

She holds a National Stock Exchange (NSE) Certification in Financial Markets and a FPSB Certification in Financial Planning (Associate Financial Planner). A member of the Mutual Fund (MF) conferences and training sessions at HDFC and ICICI banks, she is now Founder-MD, Spink Turtle Media from October, 2009.

Padma Venkatraman (also known as T.V. Padma) was born in Chennai. She completed her undergraduate at St. Joseph's College, Bangalore University, where she obtained a university rank.  She moved to the United States to pursue graduate research in Oceanography and obtained  her doctorate degree in this subject at The College of William and Mary in Virginia. In her capacity as an oceanographer, she has worked at the M.S. Swaminathan Inst., Chennai, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Trust, The Insitut fur Meereskunde in Kiel, Germany and is now an adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island, USA.

In addition to her interest for science, Dr. Venkatraman has a passion for writing. She is the author of over 100 popular science articles and wrote a weekly science column at the Hindu newspaper for over 5 years. She has also published several books for children, such at Mathematwist (which combines her love of mathematics with her love of writing) and The Forbidden Temple (stories set in the past). Her award-winning first novel, CLIMBING THE STAIRS ( was released to starred reviews in 2008 by Penguin, USA. CLIMBING THE STAIRS is the winner of the Julia Ward Howe award presented by the Boston Authors Club at the Boston Public Library, and the RI Book of the Year award.

The novel has also garnered several other honors, including: American Library Association Best Book, New York Public Library Best Book, Booklist Editor's Choice, NCSS-CBC Notable, Booksense Notable, CCBC choice, CLN Top-25, Amelia-Bloomer choice, Capitol Choice award, PASLA best book, Publisher's Weekly Flying Start selection, and was shortlisted for state awards in Utah, South Carolina and Maine. Dr.Venkatraman is also the recipient of the 2008 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Nonfiction and the winner of a Storytelling World honor for her children's picture book The Cleverest Thief, a retelling of a traditional Indian folktale. Dr. Venkatraman's second novel, ISLAND'S END, is set in the Andamans and draws on her experiences as a researcher there. It is scheduled for August 2011 release by Penguin, USA.











Vice Admiral (Retd) S K K Krishnan, an NIT- Trichy alumnus graduated from the then REC-Trchy in 1969 and was immediately commissioned in the Indian Navy. He completed his Post Graduation from the Naval Academy in St. Petersburg in Russia and returned to India to serve the Navy in various capacities.

He served as the Defence Advisor in Canberra, Australia and then as the Commanding Officer of INS Shivaji stationed at Lonavala. Further on, he became the Director of Defence Machinery and Defence Establishment at Hyderabad, and eventually the Chief Executive of the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.

All throughout, he was an indelible part of the Indian Navy. He was serving as the Vice Admiral when he retired from the Navy. He then donned the role of Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai (a Govt. of India undertaking engaged in building warships and submarines) until he retired in July 2008, at the age of 60. Currently, he is active as the Senior President (Defence, Hydrocarbons and Gear) of Walchandgear Industries Limited, Pune.

Narendra Shenoy acquired his Masters in Management Studies from the S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology. He started the companies
Unimold and Axiom Automation.

His blog Autobiography of an ordinary man), chronicles his daily life and it is extremely popular due to his quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. He is also very fond of the Hindusthani Classical style and tries to promote young talent by hosting small concerts.





Mr.Narayanan Krishnan, the only Indian in the the Top 10 CNN heroes, 2010, is an award-winning chef who gave up his career and started the non-profit Akshaya Trust in 2003, which provides care and food for destitutes in Madurai.
Every day, he wakes up at 4 a.m., cooks a simple hot meal and then, along with his team, loads it in a van and travels about 125 miles feeding the homeless and mentally-disabled in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
He serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to 400 indigent and elderly people in Madurai.

Ajjay Agarwal founded the MAXX Group, by establishing Maxx Mobile Communications Limited (MMCL) in 2004 and thereafter, established Maxx Moblink Private Limited (MMPL) in 2008. Today, Ajjay’s deep knowledge of the mobile phone industry, calculated risks and an excellent team have made MAXX the fastest growing mobile phone brand in India with MMCL having reached the Rs.1200 crore mark till 31st Dec 2010.

Ajjay’s vision for the company is to revolutionize quality of life through the MAXX brand by providing technologically advanced mobile phones. He wishes to expand MAXX’s pan-India presence and driving growth in smaller cities and towns in India.
In April 2008, Ajjay realized the potential of the Indian mobile handsets market and decided to ride the wave by selling initial MAXX handsets through his already well-established distribution network in India. He invested heavily in the business while expanding MMPL’s network to 21 states in less than a year. The risks paid off – from sales of 3000 units in April 2010, MAXX Mobile achieved average sales of 3.5 lakh handsets per month by the end of 2010.


An IIT Kharagpur graduate, Mukesh Kumar worked in Yahoo! before moving to the start up "Innovation Labs".

He is currently working in Amazon as a Software Development Engineer. Mukesh Kumar is the recepient of the Pratibha Award and the Silver Medal for Indain National Math Olympiad.

Mukesh Kumar has been a part of the VOICE club for the past 5 years.

He makes it a point to take time off his busy schedule and travel to various colleges including IITs and NITs to give seminars on topics such as time management, proactive leadership, positive thinking among others.

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