Abha Agarwal co-heads the Consumer, Financial Institutions Group (FIG) & Business Services vertical for Avendus’s investment banking business and is based in Mumbai.
She joined Avendus in 2007 and has over 12 years of investment banking experience across sectors including financial services, consumer (food & beverages, education, fashion and lifestyle) and business services (logistics and payments). She has a wide experience across private equity (PE) fundraising, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and structured solutions with a track record of closing 20 transactions, few of which were the most complex ones in the history of Avendus.
Prior to joining Avendus, she had a brief stint with Accenture Consulting.
Abha holds an MBA degree from S.P.Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai and is also a Chartered Accountant.
Smita leads strategy and investments for Omidyar Network’s Financial Inclusion initiative in India.
Before joining Omidyar Network, Smita served as senior program director at CAFRAL, a global think tank promoted by the Reserve Bank of India, where she designed and delivered executive programs and workshops on strategy, risk management, digital banking, financial inclusion, and governance for bank CEOs and directors. Prior to her time at CAFRAL, Smita was business head, Gramshakti at Fullerton India Credit Company, a Temasek subsidiary, where she set up a business model to offer loans and other third party products to rural customers.
She began her career with ICICI Bank, where she held various leadership positions including head of rural and agricultural insurance business, head of strategy, head of e-channels, head of CRM, and head of international resources. She was instrumental in introducing innovative products and channels to improve convenience and access for customers. Smita has also taught microfinance courses as a visiting faculty member at NMIMS School of Business Management.
Smita volunteers with the Indian Cancer Society and spearheads one of the largest pan-India projects for providing financial grants for treatment of poor cancer patients. She was also instrumental in conceptualizing and launching the first debt mutual fund for supporting cancer cures.
A Chartered Accountant, Smita graduated from Sydenham College in Mumbai and attended executive programs at Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management.
Ms. Shilpa Mankar Ahluwalia is a Partner in the corporate advisory group of the Firm and focuses on the banking & finance, mergers & acquisitions, and foreign investment practice areas.
Ms. Ahluwalia advises various companies, banks and financial institutions in connection with their financing activities (plain vanilla and structured financings, loan syndication and guarantee structures, securitization structures, equipment financing and issue of non-convertible debentures). Her clients include the International Finance Corporation (The World Bank), Investec Bank, Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited, Deutsche Bank and GE Money. She has also advised several payment services companies such as the American Express Banking Corporation, Microsoft, Paytm, GoIbibo, Flipkart, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Oxygen in respect of their payment products and services. She has advised several factoring companies on their factoring products and strategies in India.
An established Banker with strong experience in leadership positions in reputed Institutions, now Founder & CEO of SMEcorner, a new age Non Banking Finance Company focused on micro SME lending in India
Lizzie Chapman is the co-founder and CEO of ZestMoney, FinTech startup of 2017. ZestMoney is India's largest digital lending
platform that introduced the concept of 'cardless EMI' to make life more affordable for hundreds of millions of households in
Lizzie has been a leading figure in the fintech landscape of India since 2011 when she moved from UK to spearhead the India
operations for digital lender Wonga.com. In 2013, she joined Development Bank of Singapore to help launch `digibank’ – India's
first mobile-only app bank. Her passion for the potential of technology to disrupt the delivery of financial services prompted
Lizzie and her co-founders to start ZestMoney in 2015. She was voted FinTech Female Leader of the year, 2017.
A CFA Charterholder and BSc from Edinburgh University, Lizzie started her career at Goldman Sachs in equity research and asset
management. She then became an investor for The Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest endowments, focused on financial
services and Indian investments. She is an Investment Committee member of the early stage fund India Quotient and sits on the
board of IndiaMart - India's leading SME marketplace and classified site.
Gaurav Chopra, Founder, IndiaLends is a business strategist turned entrepreneur
with more than 14 years of experience and domain expertise in driving business
innovation in digital finance, credit analytics and mobile payments across Indian and
At IndiaLends, Gaurav’s goal is to get rid of the unorganized lending sector in India
and bring more people into the fold of formal channels of credit using better
underwriting techniques and technology.
Before moving to India in 2013, Gaurav spent 8 years working at Capital One Bank in
the UK leading teams in analytics, credit risk, marketing and business strategy.
He has pursued an MBA from London Business School, MSc. from the London School
of Economics and BA (Hons) in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
Dr. Kshama Fernandes has been the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of IFMR Capital Finance Private Limited since August 1, 2012 and serves as its Managing Director and Senior Partner. Dr. Fernandes served as the Chief Risk Officer and Head of Risk Management at IFMR Capital Finance Private Limited. Prior to joining IFMR Capital, she was Professor and Head of Finance at Goa Institute of Management. She has worked on consulting assignments for the World Bank, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and NSEIT. She developed the SEBI mandated certification programme for derivatives for the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and NCDEX. Dr. Fernandes is a Director of IFMR Investment Managers Private Limited. She has extensive experience across financial advisory, consulting, and academia.
Experienced Managing Director of an systemically importnat NBFC with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry, with institutions on repute. Skilled in Portfolio building & Management, Fund raising and compliance, Microsoft Excel, Financial Inclusion, Credit, and Commercial Banking, with strong networking skills. Strong business development professional, Doctorate from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.
Gaurav Hinduja co-founded Capital Float, a digital lending company, in 2013. As the Managing Director of Capital Float, he continues to drive leadership in the Fintech space through numerous strategic partnerships with industry leaders in the e-commerce, travel, hospitality and trade segments. Gaurav has played a key part in Capital Float’s evolution of becoming the leading digital co-lending model for SME lending. He was the COO of Gokaldas Exports and possesses immense experience in operations and complex supply chain management. Gaurav holds an MBA from Stanford University and graduated from Christ University in Bangalore with a distinction in commerce.
Forbes India '30 Under 30' Entrepreneur, with over seven years of global experience in the credit risk and lending industry. Co-founded IndiaLends - India's fastest growing credit underwriting and risk analytics platform that connects consumers with financial institutions to get the best credit products - in 2015. Has experience working in risk assessment and consumer analytics, financial modelling, and financial operations design roles in the US, UK, and Indian Markets. Alumnus, Bachelors of Technology, IIT-Madras.
Demonstrated Strengths include Quantitative and Business Modelling, Business Research and Design, Capital Fundraising, Market Research and Digital Analytics, New Product Development and Product Launch, Project Management, and Business Process Design and Management.
Specialities: Expertise in marketing, credit and financial analysis, use of modelling to assess risk and evaluate credit worthiness, business cycle forecasting, SAS based quantitative data mining, loss forecast modelling, BASEL based econometric loss provisioning, fraud analytics and credit governance.
Piyush Khaitan (PK) is a seasoned operating executive who has
successfully founded a number of companies, and built and
operated them to high levels of success. He was the Managing
Director of Venture Infotek until divestment in 2010 and had
established DEL, India’s largest secure card personalization bureau
which merged into Venture Infotek.
He has also worked closely with Card Networks, RBI & IBA in framing policies and giving direction to the card payments industry in India,and was founder chairman of the ‘ePayments Focus Group’ of the Smart Card Forum of India (SCAFI) from 2000 through 2005.
In 2012, along with his brother Dhruv, he founded NeoGrowth Credit Pvt. Ltd., of which he is the Managing Director. NeoGrowth is a Non-Bank Finance Company with a unique Tech-nTouch
lending model focused on Retail SME businesses. He was also Founder President of The Digital Lenders Association of India in 2016-2017.
PK has a bachelor’s degree with honours from Mumbai University, and has undergone Small & Medium Enterprises Program (SMEP) from IIM, Ahmedabad.
Continuing the family tradition of social commitment, PK set up the Kusum Kumar Khaitan Centre in Bangalore which makes a substantial difference to the lives of over 1,500 persons
with visual disability each year, Programs include computer education for the blind, a talking book library, living skills workshop, counselling centres etc.
Harshvardhan Lunia, Co-Founder & CEO, Lendingkart Technologies Private Limited: Harshvardhan is a Chartered Accountant and has completed his Post Graduation from the prestigious Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Mr. Lunia drives the primary aspect of business in the company: Designing innovative credit solutions and delivering them in the simplest and most efficient manner to MSMEs. He had about a decade of experience in corporate banking before he embarked on an entrepreneurial route in 2011. He started his career with large private sector and multinational banks in their small loan divisions. He has worked with top companies like ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HDFC Bank.
Siddharth Mahanot is the Co-Founder and COO at Indifi Technologies Private Limited, a platform that
enables access to debt-financing for small businesses. Indifi seeks to improve access to SMB financing in
India, by providing small businesses access to multiple lenders. He is responsible for defining and
delivering the business strategy and providing overall leadership for Indifi’s operations.
Siddharth, along with his other partners established the company in June 2015. With over 15 years of
work experience across multiple geographies, he has held a broad range of leadership positions across
renowned financial services organisations in Credit Underwriting and Risk Management functions. He is
adept in his knowledge of mortgages, commercial lending, finance for small businesses and micro-
Prior to embarking upon his entrepreneurial journey, he served as the Executive Vice President &
National Credit Manager; Commercial Credit atIndiabulls Housing Finance Limited. Here he was
responsible for large ticket commercial loans and construction finance to real estate developers. In
addition to this, he has been associated with various brands like Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd, Citi
Bank and ICICI bank, where he was applauded for his people management and risk management skills
and his unfailing ability to deliver on commitment.
Born and brought up in the national capital, Siddharth holds a B.com degree from Delhi University and
has earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Institute of Management Technology.
Experienced Lead Partner with a demonstrated history of providing professional services to leading players in the financial services industry. Extensively skilled in Assurance, Internal Controls and Due Diligence with strong program and project management capabilities. Member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Vinod is recognised as a Venture Debt expert and was part of the core leadership team @ Silicon Valley Bank India Finance, which started the Venture Debt industry in India in 2008. Vinod has a wide range of experience in the financial services space spanning Venture Capital, Mezzanine debt solutions, Corporate Banking and Special Situations as well as Marketing, Product Development and Retail Business Strategy.
Notable companies funded include Swiggy, Oyo Rooms, Byju's Classes, Myntra, Firstcry, Toppr, USPL (Wrogn), Nestaway, Portea & Practo.
Vivek is the co-founder of KapitalTech and is also the group risk advisor for ITI Group (Formerly Fortune Financial), where he advises the group in areas of Credit and Risk for their various lending activities including Housing Finance, Asset Finance and ARC verticals. He has over 10 years of prior experience in the financial services space. He has previously worked with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Edelweiss in their investment banking divisions. He has originated and executed funding transactions cumulating to over Rs 5000 Crs across product classes.
Wriju is the Chief Business Officer at IDfy. He has held various positions in Sales and Business
Development at Oracle in Asia Pacific and North America between 2002 and 2007. He completed his
MBA from INSEAD in 2008. He joined the Corporate Strategy team at BT in London in 2009. He left
BT as Director of the Life Sciences practice in 2015 to join IDfy as its Chief Operating Officer.
During his stint at BT for Life Sciences, Wriju launched world’s first cloud service for the Life Sciences
Industry. It was the beginning of his love affair with data. Data is used everywhere in Life Sciences,
from describing organisms and tissues through genetic sequencing, to understanding the effect of
drugs on populations through the study of patient records. Today at IDfy, he is on a quest to help
companies in the Financial Services sector mitigate risks and identify fraud with the help of
Ganesh Rengaswamy focuses on Quona’s investments in India and Southeast Asia. Before co-founding Quona, Ganesh led Accion Frontier Investments’ work in India. Ganesh is a seasoned entrepreneur and venture investor.
Prior to joining Accion Frontier Investments in 2014, Ganesh was a General Partner of Lok Capital, a venture growth fund that invests in social enterprises with innovative and technologically advanced services in financial inclusion, education and employability. Ganesh previously served as the Asia Director for Unitus Inc., a global organization that works to reduce poverty by finding commercially sustainable solutions in financial inclusion.
Prior to Unitus, he led the entry of Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund Greylock Partners into the Indian market and co-founded Travelguru.com, which was acquired by Travelocity. Early in his career, Ganesh worked for Infosys where he was responsible for customer acquisition and growth engagements for US-based Fortune 1000 clients.
Ganesh current and past investment and entrepreneurial advisory roles include Unitus Seed Fund, Village Capital, the Indian Angel Network, Accion Venture Lab, GSF Accelerator, IIM-Ahmedabad and ISB, and he has been featured on Bloomberg, CNBC, and The Economic Times.
Ganesh previously served on the boards of Hippocampus Learning Centres, Rural Shores and Shubham.
Advisory in Direct Tax and Regulatory matters including compliance services
Specialising in the Financial Services Sector especially Non-Banking Financial Companies (‘NBFC’) in entry strategy, domestic and international taxation, regulatory licensing and capital structuring.
Advisory in connection with tax and compliance of large banks, NBFCs, Mutual funds, Insurance and financial institution