Rethinking what’s next with industry experts in masterclasses at TechSparks 2021, India's largest startup-tech conference

Listen and learn from experts in different industries on one platform. Meet mentors like CM.com’s Deepika Christina, 100X.VC’s Sanjay Mehta, Refyne’s Apoorv Kumar, Oracle’s Vikas Raina and more.
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Former chairman and CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

Today, with 70+ unicorns, over 250 accelerators and incubators as well as a rising number of corporate and family office investors, there is no dearth of leaders and mentors in the Indian startup ecosystem. 

India is making a mark on the global ladder with Indian unicorns like Freshworks listing on Nasdaq, and others like Zomato and Nazara Technologies making a stellar debut in domestically.

What’s more, while category leaders like Ola, OYO, Paytm, Zoho, BYJU’S and several other growth stage players are expanding their territories in international markets, global leaders like Amazon, Lenovo, SAP, Snowflake, and Oracle among others have shown keen interest in the Indian market.

At TechSparks 2021, we bring you the chance to learn directly from these entrepreneurs, investors, CTOs, CPOs and global industry experts in the form of masterclasses.

We have an interesting lineup - from understanding cloud to product building strategies and from conversational commerce technology to investor-entrepreneur playbook -- this is an opportunity for tech enthusiasts to learn all about improving efficiency. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions that your business has been struggling with for sometime now.

Here’s a quick look at some of the masterclasses we have at the moment. With 14 days to go for TechSparks 2021, we will be adding a lot more interesting and insightful masterclass sessions. Until then, here’s a quick look at some of the not-to-be-missed masterclasses at TechSparks’ 2021.

What investors want 

With an increasing number of startups leveraging the ‘pandemic induced opportunity’, investors are not shying away from taking risks and investing large sums of money in Indian startups. Yet, "what an investor wants" is the most pressing question for any entrepreneur.

Sanjay Mehta, Founder & Partner, 100X.VC looks to answer a lot of doubts that early to late stage founders have in his upcoming masterclass “What investors want”. Sanjay is one of the most vocal and active investors in the Indian startup community. He has angel invested in 103 startup companies in diverse sectors. He is also an active member of Indian Angel Network, Mumbai Angels, B2B 1K Ventures & CIO Angel Network, and Venture Nursery. 

An entrepreneur's playbook for building defensible, habit-forming products

This masterclass by Punit Singh Soni, Founder & CEO, Suki will delve around the concept of product thinking. A must known skill for leaders and product managers, product thinking allows one to understand what makes a product useful for a customer, applying it to design and then building towards better outcomes.

An ex-Google, Motorola and Flipkart executive, Punit has more than two decades of experience in product development. He is currently the founder & CEO of Suki, an AI-powered, voice-enabled digital assistant for doctors. 

Application Security Playbook for business 

This masterclass by Venkatesh Sundar, Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Indusface will give CMOs and market leaders a deep dive into the future of application security. Globally, application security has become a necessity with an increasing number of companies looking to develop their own apps, in addition to purchasing a record number of applications and incorporating open source code into their applications in the wake of rapid digitalisation. This has made the global application security market valued at $4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $15.25 billion by 2026. 

How to build, grow and stand out in a crowded market

This masterclass will be one of a kind opportunity to learn the strategies of building a successful edtech business. And who better than Vedantu co-founder Vamsi Krishna to talk about the challenges of growing in a crowded market like edtech and building solutions to stand out.

An edtech unicorn and a pioneer of live classes, Vedantu was seeing year-on-year growth of 2.3-3X in 2019 – this jumped 5X in 2020. In 2021, the edtech startup is witnessing 4X year-on-year growth. Vedantu’s topline run rate is $65 million at the moment and their target is to increase that figure to $200 million by next year. 

How to improve customer experience using Conversational Commerce Technology 

In the era of contactless consumerism, we came up with this masterclass on conversational commerce to delve into the world of AI chatbots, more personalised communications and integrated AI cloud solutions for enterprises among others. This masterclass will be led by Deepika Christina, Customer Experience Lead, CM.com India Hub. Recently, CM.com earned Frost & Sullivan’s 2021 Competitive Strategy Leadership Award.

According to Deepika, consumers have started gravitating toward brands that provide convenient, personalised, and hassle-free AI experiences. Making a difference through service is the most effective way to create value for the clients particularly when direct to consumer model application is on the rise. In addition, the exceptional conversational intelligence of the solution dramatically enlarges its applicability to ensure that the solution best suits the needs of the market. 

Localising global fintech products for Indians

Localisation is important to build trust and gain consumer confidence in any market. Particularly, when it comes to functions of finance such as lending, investment, and wealth management among others. This masterclass will be led by Apoorv Kumar, CTO & co-founder, Refyne.

India's first earned wage access platform, Refyne, is backed by investors such as DST Global. For Apoorv, technology is his tool to manifest creativity. An IIT graduate and having worked with organisations such as Goldman Sachs and Shubhloans, with this masterclass, he will share his experience in building localised global fintech products for Indians. 

How to build a digital-first brand taking on big incumbents

With the rising number of digital-first touchpoints, it has become imperative for brands to focus on building a digital-first strategy. The aggressive growth seen by D2C models amid changes in consumer mindset during the pandemic has changed the way brands look at customer engagements.

And who better than Amit Khatri, co-founder of consumer electronics brand Noise to talk and go deeper into these concepts. Started with a $1 million investment, Noise made its mark in one of the most crowded, price-sensitive and low entry barrier markets of smartphone accessories. 

'Eye'ing the tomorrow of the SaaS ecosystem 

The year 2021 proved to be a turning point for the Indian SaaS ecosystem. While Freshworks got listed on Nasdaq, Chargebee made it to the unicorn club. A SaaSBOOMi-Mckinsey report cited SaaS as a $1 trillion opportunity for India. FarEye is one of the logistics SaaS players making a dent in this ecosystem with their low code, intelligent, predictive logistics SaaS platform.

This masterclass will be led by co-founder and CTO Gaurav Srivastava. A small town boy from Dhanbad, Gaurav was not only responsible for building FarEye's first tech product, but also setting up the tech team and building a strategy with only 10 people.

Today, FarEye’s tech team stands at over 450, and boasts three clearly articulated products. Today, FarEye is empowering global enterprises across 30 countries to shrink delivery time by up to 27 percent, increase courier productivity by up to 15 percent, eliminate risks by up to 57 percent, and ensure operational excellence and Gaurav is leading this growth at the frontend.

Modern Cloud: Why serverless technology is a key building block

The global serverless architecture market is forecast to reach $25.49 billion by 2026. Serverless technology does not imply running applications without servers. Instead, it is a method of providing backend services on an as-used basis. AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions and IBM OpenWhisk are all well-known examples of serverless services offered by the cloud providers.

This masterclass will delve into advantages and applications of serverless technology and will be led by Vikas Raina, Senior Principal Cloud Architect and Dev Advocate, Oracle for Startups. A tech speaker and a blogger, Vikas is a startup business strategist, cloud evangelist and cloud architect with 20 years of experience in S/W program management, strategic IT planning and governance.

Importance of adopting a zero trust security approach

According to analysts, the global zero trust security market size is expected to reach $59.43 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 15.2 percent from 2021 to 2028. With increasing globalisation, digitisation and newer future of work oriented policies, there is a need to protect enterprise digital environments whilst also preventing unwarranted access due to the wide scale adoption of wi-fi, cloud, IoT and other technologies.

And, to gain more insights around this zero trust security approach, join this masterclass by Adam Boynton - Regional Sales Manager, Security at Jamf. Adam joined Wandera in 2015 and is one of the Regional Sales Managers at Jamf, following the recent acquisition in July 2021. Adam has been at the forefront of the company’s journey to Zero Trust Security where his role has enabled him to understand why organisations are moving from legacy VPN to Zero Trust Network Access and why Jamf Private Access has become so popular. He has experience helping both private and public sector customers discover and implement zero trust network access, mobile threat defence and secure web gateway technologies.

Digital Soft Landing Programme by the Hague for Indian startups

The Hague is the first city in the Netherlands to launch a digital platform that helps international startups to establish themselves in the city. Known as Digital Soft Landing Programme, it aims at attracting international companies to the city, which can eventually provide foreign direct investment (FDI) and jobs in The Hague. This was set up as a collaboration between the Municipality of The Hague, The Hague Business Agency and innovation hubs in the city.

This masterclass will help Indian entrepreneurs understand the upcoming opportunities in the Netherland startup ecosystem and the key benefits regulatory authorities are offering for Indian startups. This masterclass will be led by four key business stalwarts including Anesh Kisoen, International Business Advisor - India and founder, Digital Soft Landing Programme, The Hague Business Agency; Stef Prinsen, Senior Account Manager, Innovation Quarter; Prajeet Patel, Head of European Operations, Intello Labs; and Mohammad Samheel, Founder & CEO, Osind Medi-Tech. 

For this and a lineup of action-packed sessions from Oct 25-30 2021, check out TechSparks 2021.

Edited by Anju Narayanan