While policy and funds are critical to the transformation and upliftment of any society, the experience of the last hundred years has shown that technologyy & entrepreneurialism has a much bigger and central role in achieving that successs in a timely manner. From their inception in the late 1950s, the IITs have been the apex technology institutions in India, pulling in the best minds from far-flung rural and urban areas alike. Naturally, a lot is expected from this IIT ecosystem for advancement of the whole country, particularly that two-third where rural India lives. As a response to that expectation, IIT alumni have come together to create an impact platform called WHEELS Global Foundation (https://wheelsglobal.org/) to tap into the power of the global IIT ecosystem (alumni, IITs). In this seminar & interactive discussion, we will discuss how this platform is a perfect vehicle and opportunity for the students, faculty, alumni, innovation and greater India to achieve the vision of transformation of rural India, and of India becoming the developed economy powerhouse in the near future.
WHEELS Global Foundation
Ratan Agarwal, IIT Bombay batch of 1985 is vice-president and board member, WHEELS Global Foundation. Mr Agarwal has held a variety of executive roles in corporate America over the last three decades in building and scaling multiple new start-ups as well as leading strategy, operations, marketing, and business development at several Fortune 500 companies. Currently, in addition to responsibility in the WHEELS Global Foundation, he is a co-founder and managing partner of CARBON Group Global, a global sustainability solutions-holding company, creating rapid replications (‘CARBON Copies') of proven solutions with market-based models in Education & Learning, Women’s Empowerment, Resources (Food, Energy, Water), Health, and Economic Development.
Mr Agarwal is also active in supporting the innovation ecosystem in USA’s northeast corridor through his investment activities (via Keiretsu Forum and Mid-Atlantic Bo-Angels) and mentoring (at local incubator TechLaunch NJ & Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator). He is also a Board member / advisor to several start-ups in Cloud/SaaS, software, and digital marketing.
While at Cisco, he led the incubation and launch of Cisco’s IoT solutions and Cloud Infrastructure services, in addition to running a multi-billion global services business. Prior to Cisco, Mr Agarwal led the marketing & business development of two business units at Telcordia and led several consulting engagements at A.T. Kearney. He received his MBA at Wharton School and Masters in Structural Engineering at IIT Bombay. He lives in New Jersey, USA.