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Cisco Diverse Leadership Forum 2014

Cisco Diverse Leadership Forum 2014, hosted by CCW India ERG, was held at Cisco, Bangalore on September 9th. With the theme of Multidimensional leadership, forum was packed with keynotes, panels, technical demos, leadership lessons in various formats. Following are this year's highlights.

  • Key notes - Vaishali Kasture (Goldman Sachs, MD) and Colin Kincaid, VP Cisco Systems.
  • True to its name and theme, forum had diverse (industry, skill set, experience, gender) speaker panel across the board.
  • With over 900 footfalls, CDLF 2014 exhibited 70:30 ratio on gender diversity and industry diversity.
  • Introducing Cisco Men for Inclusion India Chapter with CDLF - 2104.
  • Multidimensional and technical leadership panel, Technical demos from various external companies.

Event Glimpses

It was a huge success with active participants from over 27 companies including names such as IBM, SAP Labs, Goldman Sachs, EMC, Intuit, etc. With ERG leads from across the industry joining hands, Cisco looks forward to much bigger forum next year.

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Cisco Diverse Leadership Forum 2014

Topics Speaker
Inaugural  Amit Phadnis,
VP and India Site leader, Cisco Systems
Key Note  Vaishali Kasture,
MD Goldman Sachs
Key Note  Colin S Kincaid,
VP Marketing, Cisco Systems
Cisco Men for Inclusion  Colin S Kincaid
VP Marketing, Cisco Systems

V C Gopalratnam,
VP IT & CIO, Cisco Systems

Gunjan Samtani,
MD, Goldman Sachs
Multidimensional Leadership Panel  Dr.Mamatha Gowda,
Jt.Director, Govt of Karnataka

Sujatha Visveswara,
VP, Wipro

Pradipta Banerjee,
VP, CGI India

Shyam Suri,
VP, Cisco Systems

Moderator - Daisy Chittilapally,
Director, Cisco Systems
Carving Out Your Space in Technology Leadership  Dr.Gururaj Rao,
IBM Fellow and VP

Srikanth Narasimhan,
DE, Cisco Systems

Kshira Muthanna,
Engineering Manager, GE Transportation

Usha Jagini,
NetApp APJC Lead

Moderator - Tanuka Dutta,
Director, Cisco Systems
Unconscious Bias Jill Sheldekar,
Director, Ecosynth Consulting
Leadership lessons Narayanan Subramanian,
Principal Engineer, Cisco Systems
from Apollo US Space Program
Aspects of Financial Planning George John
Director, Cisco Systems
Breaking Free from Conventional Careers Mridula Martis
Technical Demos IBM, Intuit, SAP, MobiSir, EMC, Cisco and more,
Cisco on Cisco tours Nagarajan R and Abhilash Deshmukh


PowerVC - Virtualization Manager

PowerVC is the advanced virtualization management solution for Power Systems built on OpenStack to provide advanced management capabilities for PowerVM and PowerKVM environments .PowerVC has  quick time to value and low total cost of ownership, as the focus of this offering is simplicity and ease of use. PowerVC supports PowerVM based environments by leveraging the new capabilities in Hardware Management Console (HMC). PowerVC is enhanced this year to include the support for PowerKVM environments leveraging the OPAL FW on Power 8 systems. This demo would be to showcase the virtualization management of PowerVM and PowerKVM environments using PowerVC.

IBM Power8 Maximizes Social Business Performance on MongoDB with Overcommit

Mongo DB is a widely used Open Source NoSQL Data base in Social media and Cloud environment, such as "craigslist" and "SoftLayer" and the performance of Social media / Cloud Infrastructure depends on the performance of Mongo DB. Mongo DB performance in turn, depends on the platform on which it runs. The purpose of this demo is to show case how Power8 helps in boosting Mongo DB performance in Overcommitted condition. Overcommit is allocating more virtual processors than physical processors available on the server.

IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration

DB2 has always been the price performance leader for running transactional and Analytical workloads for the last decade, BLU Acceleration is a leap forward. IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration speeds analytics and reporting using dynamic in-memory columnar technologies. BLU Acceleration uses IBM patented technologies to deliver a unique combination of performance, ease of use and cost efficiency – with 8 to 25 times faster reporting and analytics and cases of even 1,000 times faster answers to queries as vouched by our customers globally.


User Contribution Platform to personalize QuickBooks
by Merrin & Jayanth

"QuickBooks Online" is a SAAS accounting solution for small business owners across the world. Although accounting is 'hidden' to a larger extent, first time users may not be comfortable using an 'accounting software'. As part of simplifying the on-boarding of first time users, we have embarked on a journey to personalize QuickBooks for them based on their business so that they learn the software with ease, understand the benefits and are delighted during first use. We built a user contribution platform that combines both implicit and explicit contribution of users to achieve this. Using data mining techniques as well as expert contribution, our personalization engine has helped build confidence in users so much so that our conversion rates improved drastically.

by Sushma & Pradeep

This is a New Product offering for India tax markets

Problem we are solving:

  • Solving for India taxpayers to help find an affordable, trusted CA, share documents & file his tax returns with ease.
  • For CAs, help find customers, help him build awareness of his services, improve his work efficiency.

Technical Stack:

  • TaxOKPlease has a user friendly portal which aims in making tax filing as easy as 1-2-3 for tax filers.
  • We have made use of the latest technology to achieve this.
    • The web layer consists of HTML5 with JavaScript/Jquery and CSS.
    • The middle business layer consists of Java EE and Spring technologies.
    • The database layer is Cassandra using the latest CQL language.

QuickBooks Online Android app

This product is an online app where Intuit is taking the mobile app to the world

Problem space: SBO’s want to run their business on your smartphone or tablet while on the go.

Technical solution: Google in-app subscriptions billing and Localization

Customer Impact: Keeps small business organized, stay productive from home, work, & on the go!


SAP Health Central

A nationwide health platform, for government and non-government public health agencies to effectively manage public health initiatives for the residents of a country.

  • This is achieved by helping authorities collect, store and manage public health records on a centralized database. This database can then be analyzed by these agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs and plan future initiatives.
  • Through the grid interface, it can also easily integrate with Hospital Information Systems hosted at various Hospitals, which results in consolidation of all in-patient and out-patient health records of a citizen on a common database.
  • The National Health Grid contains health data of all the citizens from birth to death to provide case history based treatment to save upon diagnostics. This data can also help to design need based initiatives for maximizing effectiveness.
  • The grid interface also exposes APIs for partners to build applications and leverage the core features provided by platform.
  • High level of security and access control to ensure privacy of health data, while providing a unique, consolidated health profile.

SAP Ganges

SAP Ganges is a business network, built on SAP HANA,  offering seamless connectivity for consumer products companies, in the emerging economies, to the last mile of its value chain, which consists of unorganized retail stores.

SAP Ganges, aims to connect  up to 1 million mom & pop retail stores by 2016 into this network along with CPG Firms and Banks

SAP Auction Analytics/SAP Game Analytics

  • Decision support system for KKR during the IPL 2014 Season
  • The application is built on the SAP HANA Platform. We use the predictive capabilities of the HANA platform.
  • The user interface is completely built using SAPUI5, SAP’s user interface framework.
  • The player statistics across T20 cricket competitions like IPL, Champions League and Big Bash league are analyzed and based on this information the application helps the teams make their choices.
  • Over 20 different aspects of player performance are analyzed and insights provided real time based on user inputs. This is possible due to the tremendous computing power of SAP HANA.

Milk cooperative Producer Payment

App built on SAP HANA to Identification and profiling of milk producers using Aadhaar (Unique Citizen ID) and enable a transparent milk procurement and electronic payment to farmers in their bank account


Cloud Computing: SAA(service Assurance Administrator Software)

The goal of SAA is to enable Cloud Service Providers to offer “Protection and Performance Assured cloud machine flavors” for the IaaS service catalog. These virtualized cloud machine flavors and their host servers are monitored to meet specified service level objective measures.

Windows & Android Tablets on Intel IA

Experience the Intel Tablets a combination of performance and entertainment, uses the power of Intel processors for super-responsive apps.

Windows* 8 tablets on Intel architecture lets you experience your favorite legacy apps along with new modern apps, share files between your laptop, desktop or tablet seamlessly. Experience the 3D and 4K content playback along with magical experience of Intel widi Technologies.

Android* tablets with Intel Inside® browse the web at high speed, play HD movies, experience Intel WIDI, advanced camera features ,apps optimized to run natively on Intel platform!



Mobisir can be used by content providers to deliver and administer learning to the students. Offerings from Mobisir include:

  • MOLP - Modular Online Learning Platform
  • mobiSlate - For Android tablet platform
  • mXams - For Moble platforms
  • mCAP - Modular campus administration platform

Cisco Men for Inclusion

Cisco Men For Inclusion is an effort to achieve an inclusive environment in the workplace. It’s mission is to shape our diversity culture and drive inclusiveness for all under-represented groups in Cisco to fuel innovation and growth.

Cisco Men For Inclusion is led by Kin-Ching Wu, VP, Cisco and Rich Goldberg, VP, Cisco.  It has wide ranging support and involvement including executives John Manville, Ron Ricci, Graham Allan, and Don Proctor. Cisco Men For Inclusion has drawn inspiration from Men Advocating Real Change (MARC), an online community for men committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace

The MARC website serves as a forum in which its members can engage in candid conversations about the role of gender in the workplace. It also showcases member-generated advice, insights, and best practices to inspire men who wish to expand gender diversity within their organizations.

MARC offers a space for men to grapple with sticky subjects directly and honestly in a judgment-free atmosphere. Hate speech is not tolerated, but freedom of expression is expected and encouraged. MARC is a place where men can be themselves and openly discuss whatever is on their minds with respect to gender issues at work.

MARC is an initiative of Catalyst, the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. Jeff Barth is its Program Manager, and Jeanine Prime, PhD, Vice President, Research, is its Director.


Vaishali Kasture

Vaishali Kasture

Vaishali Kasture, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in India, is a role model for women in the corporate world. She was named among the 'Hottest Young Executives to watch out for', in Business Today 2010. Her Past roles include Managing Director & COO (India) at Butterfield Fulcrum Group, SBU Head at Infosys, Asst. Vice President at Citibank, India to name a few.

Being a managing director for operations, particularly for an investment-banking firm, Vaishali has a hectic schedule and yet manages to find time for fitness.Vaishali Kasture is an avid runner, winning Gold medals at various Indian Half Marathons. A working mother and pet lover, she also guides colleagues on fitness, nutrition, weight training and power yoga.
Colin S Kincaid

Colin S Kincaid

Colin S Kincaid, Vice President for Cisco's Central Networking Software Product Management, Marketing, and System Architecture organization is directly responsible for portfolio management and strategy for IOS, IOS-XR, and NX-OS platform independent software. He has a rare blend of technical and business acumen that certainly sets him apart from the crowd.

He has solid industry experience and a strong business sense. This has enabled him to quickly build a strong strategy and organize the team to more effectively deliver that strategy to our customers. He is a strong mentor for his team and is highly focused on building an organization of continually improving individual and team excellence.
Amit Phadnis

Amit Phadnis

Amit Phadnis, Vice President, Enterprise Networking Group, Cisco Systems leads the strategy, engineering, and business direction of Cisco's networking technology for the enterprise segment in India and South East Asia.

Amit has made significant contributions to Switching and Routing technologies. A technical leader with over 22 years of experience, he has grown in pace with Cisco in India. Currently, he has 25 patent applications filed with US PTO, of which over 20 of them have been already issued.

Amit was one of the first managers to join Cisco when it started operations in India circa 1999. Over the years, he has worked towards building world class teams in India. Today he leads over 1500 engineers directly and has been leading the site strategy for India with the India Engineering Board, contributing to a number of Engineering-wide initiatives on the talent and technology innovation fronts.

VC Gopalratnam

VC Gopalratnam

VC Gopalratnam (Gopal) is Cisco’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Asia Pacific Japan and China region and VP, Information Technology. He is also the leader for Global IT Services, guiding the vision and strategy for key IT enablers across the organization. In addition, he serves as Chief of Strategy, Planning, and Operations for Cisco India, managing infrastructure development and operations, university relations, and company priorities of inclusion and diversity and corporate social responsibility.

A core member of Cisco’s executive leadership team in India and the region, Gopal has worked in the technology industry for more than 25 years with leading multinational corporations. He serves on the Board of the Cisco Foundation and leads the India Civic Council Board.

Gopal holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Chennai, India, Master of Science degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Environmental Risk Studies, and an MBA in MIS/finance.

Dr Mamatha Gowda

Dr Mamatha Gowda

Dr Mamatha Babbur Ramachandra Gowda has trained policy makers, drafted public policies and dealt hands-on with the day-to-day work of governance at all levels, from the City Corporation to the Chief Minister’s office in her 22-year career as an administrator. She is presently the Joint Director of the Information Department, Government of Karnataka. She simultaneously wears the hat of Media Advisor to Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Government of Karnataka.

Her PhD from Bangalore University, A Study of the Organizational Communication System and the Introduction of Models (using various Information Technology mediated Communication tools) to Increase the System Efficiency, is a clear example of the unique skills that she brings to the table of governance.

She has been a journalist, a college lecturer and a Product Manager in a leading Information Technology corporate before getting full-time into governance. She is also a painter and is interested in all kinds of crafts, cultural heritage, creative writing and non-fiction.
Sujatha Visweswara

Sujatha Visweswara

Sujatha Visweswara is the Vice President and Solution Delivery Head at Wipro’s Healthcare and Life Sciences division. She is renowned for her single-minded focus and determination. Academically brilliant, she has completed her M Tech in Automation and Control from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.

One of her biggest achievements at Wipro was while working with an Oil and Gas Company in UP, she headed a team which was building a very new solution for the market. The company won the best innovator award from the government that year.
Pradipta Banerjee

Pradipta Banerjee

Pradipta Banerjee, Vice President, Human Resources at CGI India, is a member of the Executive Management team and is responsible for all strategic and operational initiatives. He is a key member of the CGI HR global network and has been responsible for shaping CGI’s vision for people practices. Pradipta has more than fifteen years’ industry experience, holding leadership roles in various multinational organizations.

Pradipta is a member of the HR and training counsel at Bangalore Chamber of Industries and Commerce and is the chapter chairman for the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC). A frequent guest speaker at multiple global seminar and conferences, Pradipta is an established thought leader within the human resource industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Bangalore University.

Shyam Suri

Shyam Suri

Shyam Suri is the VP of Engineering for Core Software Group India, Cisco Systems. Shyam has been in the networking industry for two decades and has worked on various aspects of switching, routing, protocols and systems. Shyams experience is split between startups like Retix, Stratacom, Navini Networks as well as over a decade in various groups within Cisco Systems. During this time he has contributed to building the initial incarnations of multi-protocol routers  to working on several Cisco service provider products like BPX/AXIS, MGX, GSR, 7600, CRS, ASR9000, ASR 901, Core Routing Protocols etc.Shyam relocated to India to start Navini Networks operations to build its next generation wireless base stations & CPEs. At Cisco Shyam was working on Service Provider products managing the edge routing portfolio comprising of 7600, GSR , 10K and ASR 9K edge routers. He currently manages the NOSTG team in India.

Shyam brings in a unique culture of strong engineering with a bias towards technology innovation that solves customer problems.Shyam holds an MS in Computer Communications, MBA in Technology Management and BE in Electronics Engineering.

Daisy Chittilapilly

Daisy Chittilapilly

Daisy Chittilapilly is Director- Sales, IT Services for Cisco India & SAARC. In her current role, Daisy is responsible for driving Cisco’s strategy for the IT Services market, a key vertical for Cisco in India. In addition to sales, she also focuses on forging strong partnerships with Indian IT players to jointly develop solutions and go-to-market strategies for the global marketplace.

An industry veteran with over 19 years of experience in the Information Technology sector, Daisy has been with Cisco for over 10 years and has held key positions across sales management in Enterprise & Commercial businesses; Strategy & Operations, and played a key role in achieving several strategic wins/ milestones for Cisco India.

Prior to joining Cisco, Daisy worked with Wipro, in a range of sales management roles. Daisy is a B.Tech (College of Engineering, Trivandrum) and holds a Post Graduate Certificate in General Management (XLRI, Jamshedpur)

Srikanth Narsimhan

Srikanth Narsimhan

Srikanth Narasimhan, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco Systems is an Accomplished business and technology architecture leader with 25 years of experience in enabling Business Strategy through a "passion for business innovation", Strategic Architecture for an Enterprise and Technology innovation. He has held senior management and architect positions held in the areas of engineering, product management, product marketing, product implementation, consulting to CxOs, enterprise architecture.

He has deep understanding in theory and practice of enterprise architecture and domain expertise in Context aware Computing, Socially-aware Applications Design, Network Security, Identity and Policy Management, Business Process Management, e-Commerce, Enterprise Data, Unified Communications, and SOA. He has published thought leadership papers to Carnegie Mellon's SEI and The Open Group. Srikanth holds a B.E. in Computer Science from Regional Engineering College, Trichy, India and is TOGAF-8 Certified.

Gururaj Rao

Gururaj Rao

Gururaj Rao, IBM Fellow, eServer Chief Engineer, IBM is credited with a knack for a competitive approach to research and product development in the context of the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. He has become the backbone of e-business as big corporations recognize the value of anchoring their computing to a core robust and powerful enough to serve a rapidly-evolving business environment.

Rao's success as a visionary in the field owes to his long-term perspective. Even after 31 years at IBM Rao continues to peer deeply into the future to possibilities for more trailblazing. Gururaj Rao was born in India and received his bachelor of science from the University of Mysore. He then received an M.S. from the Indian Institute of Science before coming to the U.S. for a Ph.D. from Stanford.

Kshira Muthanna

Kshira Muthanna

In GE parlance, Kshira Muthanna is a 'restart' candidate. For 14 years after she graduated, Muthanna stayed home to raise her kids. Then, in 2000, the technologist decided she was ready for a job and joined GE in Bangalore. She is a great inspiration for other restart candidates and has mentored a few of them at GE.

She is the Technology and Quality Leader for GE transportation and has a vast experience of around 14 years. Kshira Muthanna holds a PHD in Reliability from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Gunjan Samtani

Gunjan Samtani

Gunjan is global co-head of Liquidity Risk Technology and the head of Financial Risk Technology in Bangalore and Asia Pac. Previously, he was head of Banking Technology in Asia Pacific and Bangalore. Gunjan serves on the India Technology Career Development Committee, co-leads the Innovation pillar of the Bangalore Technology Investment Board and is a sponsor of the India Technology Council. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2010 as a vice president and was named managing director in 2012.

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Gunjan worked for other Wall Street firms - Citigroup, UBS and Bear Stearns in different technology leadership roles. Gunjan has authored books in the fields of service oriented architecture, business process management and collaborative commerce and their applicability to the financial industry.

Narayanan Subramaniam

Narayanan Subramaniam

Narayanan Subramaniam, Principal Engineer, Cisco Systems, is passionate about technology and holds a perspective beyond the realm of traditional marketing and sales. He uses his depth and breadth of technical expertise in order to build critical consensus to create and/or discover/leverage key technology trends. As is expected of a true technology evangelist, he gives honest opinion on products and trends pertaining to technology and is fully dedicated to technology. He keeps himself abreast of the latest trends in technology.

As a Principal Engineer for the Collaboration Technologies portfolio of products at Cisco, Narayanan's role is to facilitate the 'transformation', given that the technology and experience landscape is being disrupted by the technology tenets of Cloud Computing, Mobility, Social and Network Collaboration, as well as the effects of Globalization and a Carbon-Controlled Economy.

Mridula Martis

Mridula Martis

When this svelte and charming young lady decided to give up a high profile career in chartered accountancy and was confident that dance was her calling, few would have believed that Mridula Martis would eventually set up her own dance academy and become the only trained associate of the United Kingdom Alliance (UKA) in the country.

Dance With Me, the studio that she opened in February 2003 in Bangalore, has since been striving to attain the highest professional standards in dance, while making it a fun activity too. Mridula also conducts workshops at Infosys, HP, Accenture, Microsoft, Dell, HSBC, ITPL, etc, which are hugely popular with people enrolling on the waiting list.

It takes immense grit to chuck a budding career and follow your dreams with a passion like Mridula’s. Swing, Jive, Salsa, Rock n Roll, Rumba, Samba, Pasodoble, Cha Cha Cha, you name it and Mridula will serve it on her dance floor- sublimely and with style galore.

Jill Sheldekar

Jill Sheldekar

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Jill Sheldekar has over ten years of professional experience and has been consulting as an interculturalist for over four years. Having worked and lived on three continents, Jill's programs are based on a solid foundation of personal experience driven by her passion for culture and travel.

Jill studied management in cross-cultural contexts at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She also led intercultural teams during her employment with the Australian Administration Services Group, the country's leading administration firm for superannuation and investments.

After her university stints in India and Australia, she returned to US and completed her education from Arizona State University. She then relocated to Pune and worked as a trainer and language coach at Inlingua International School of Languages. In her time there she trained over 200 Indian and non-Indian executives in language and corporate soft skills. Jill has personally trained executives from Honeywell, Whirlpool, MKCL, Sandvik and others.

She is the Director of Ethnosynth Consulting, a learning and development organization that provides intercultural training and coaching to multinational corporations. Jill is also on the board of SIETAR India, the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research.

George John

George John

George John, Director, Global Support and Quality Services, Cisco, manages predominately L2 & L3 support, testing and QA for applications developed and deployed by Cisco IT internal to Cisco, the team is located in San Jose, Raleigh, Hangzhou, Beijing Hyderabad and Bangalore and works with Strategic IT partners like TCS, Wipro, Zensar, etc. He has been in Cisco for more than 5 years started with leading the Production Support CoE.

George has a breadth of experience in IT, Manufacturing and Quality. He joined Cisco in May 2008 from Dell in Bangalore, where he worked for more than four years in the areas of IT and Quality. Prior to Dell he worked in GE for more than 6 years in the areas of manufacturing, quality and IT. He spent his initial part of his career in Kirloskar Electric and ITC. He is a certified Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Black Belt and has experience in process improvement, operational excellence and metrics-based IT service delivery.

George has a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed an Executive General Management Program at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B).

Cisco Connected Women – CCW

Recognizing the need for more female participation in the high-technology industry, Cisco has programs and resources to help women develop their skills as individual contributors, managers, and executives. Cisco Connected Women (CCW) is the Cisco's internal Employee Resource Groups dedicated to development of women.
Over the last ten years the CCW at Cisco, has grown to over 38 chapters, offering more than 4000 global members opportunities for development, networking and generating new business. CCW contributes to a strategic effort to enhance Cisco's success in attracting, developing and retaining talented female employees.

CCW India has more than 1000 employees as its members. The CCW India activities are strategized and executed by a core team of volunteers lead by the CCW leads, with the guidance of executive sponsors and thought leaders. The volunteers develop programs in line with the business guidelines, employee network directions and needs as per the local culture. The Executive sponsors give thought leadership, business direction and funding for CCW activities. The thought leaders give direction and guidance to the team for the activities and also help in driving down the message.

Some of the activities organized by CCW chapter in India include:

  1. Mentoring
  2. Exec Shadowing
  3. Professional workshops like the Powered Development Sessions and Technical Leadership workshops
  4. Community initiatives - Girls in Technology, Engagement with UR Council

We look forward to seeing you at Cisco on September 9th, 2014.

If you have questions about registration or general event information, contact the CDLF team by Email.