TCA Investors help
startups scale up

Mehul Nanavati

Managing Director at Raj Petro Specialities Pvt Ltd

Mehul Nanavati

Managing Director at Raj Petro Specialities Pvt Ltd

Mehul is currently Managing Director at Raj Petro Specialities Pvt Ltd., India, also Director at Raj Petro Specialties DMCC, Dubai. Over the 27 years, he has worked across several business areas from Projects, Operations, International business development to IT/ERP projects.
Mehul has been instrumental in running a Multi-National organization, now as part of a German MNC. Prior roles included setting up a new manufacturing unit, managing unit operations and setting up the international business arm at Raj Petro Specialities.
Mehul holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Madras, an MBA from the University of Manchester, UK, has completed the General Management Program (GMP) from Harvard Business School and holds other technical qualifications in EXIM, ISO:9000, GMP and other areas.

Narayanan R

Director and Co Founder, Nett 10 Digital Ltd

Narayanan R

Director and Co Founder, Nett 10 Digital Ltd
  • MBA from a premier Management Institute at Calcutta. (IIMC)
  • Born in Calcutta, College in Bombay, worked in Delhi and Chennai.
  • Professional.
  • Coca Cola Export Corporation, New Delhi. (Employee)
  • Nestle Products India Ltd, New Delhi. (Employee)
  • Rediffusion Advertising, Chennai. (Employee)

Gum India Ltd, Chennai (Confectionery) (Promotor)

In its time, the company was the market leader in the gum business with a national share of over 60%. The company eventually wound up.

Indian Food Fermentations Ltd.(Processed foods). 

As the main promoter and Chief Executive this listed company was to franchise the Masala Dosa through automatic dispensing machines from 1992 to 2000. 

Over 250 franchises were set up in Bombay city alone. Investors exited profitably subsequent to the public issue. The company is no longer in operation.

Nett10 digital Ltd (Promotor)

A consultancy organization focused on the IT industry and the FMCG industry. 2000 till date.nett10’s primary focus is to bring IT products to the Indian marketplace.

2020 media (Promotor)

A leading public relations firm focused on the technology industry. 

The company has been acquired by the Publicis groupe.

Kaati Zone (Promotor)

Exited profitably, purchased out by a partner.

Nett10 advisors LLP 

A micro venture capital advisory firm.

Nat Natraj

Co-Founder & CEO, AccuKnox

Nat Natraj

Co-Founder & CEO, AccuKnox

Nat Natraj is currently co-founder, CEO of AccuKnox, a Cloud Security Company that was formed in partnership with Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California.

Natraj lives in Cupertino, California, and is an investor, advisor in a number of SAAS/Cloud Services companies like KloudOne, KloudLearn, K2Insure, etc. Natraj is active in investing, advising startups in Silicon Valley and Chennai. 

He is also active in TiE, ATEA (American Tamil Entrepreneur Association), NativeLeads, and IIT Startups.

Natraj has a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and a B. Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay.

Navneet Agarwal

Managing Director, RBA Exports Private Ltd

Navneet Agarwal

Managing Director, RBA Exports Private Ltd

Navneet is currently the Managing Director at RB Agarwalla Group of companies, engaged in the manufacture and exports of iron castings from India for the past 35 years. RBA is the largest manufacturer exporter out of India for sanitary and infrastructure application castings.

Navneet has been instrumental in growing the business by adding several critical product lines to key customers in Europe and the US. He has been key in driving the strategy for the group, helping evolve the entire supply chain and production base to compete effectively in the world market. Prior to RBA, Navneet worked with a large manufacturing group in the US focused on the automotive and power transmission businesses.

Navneet completed his MBA from Booth School of Business, the University of Chicago in 2003, majoring in Finance, Strategy and Marketing.  This was preceded by his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1995.

Navneet and his wife Radhika moved from Kolkata to Chennai in 2006, where they live with their daughter and son. In his spare time, Navneet likes to travel, watch movies and read.

Padma Chandrasekaran

Angel Investor

Padma Chandrasekaran

Angel Investor

Padma has worked for over 30 years as an executive, entrepreneur and board member in the for-profit and philanthropic sectors in India, UK and USA. She currently serves on the boards of Archean Chemicals, Adani Capital and PNB Metlife. She is a member of The Chennai Angels (http://thechennaiangels.in/) a leading angel investing group in India, and a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE) Chennai (http://chennai.tie.org/.)

She is a founding trustee and board member of Algolabs, the AI / data science initiative of the Chennai Mathematical Institute. Padma served on the board of directors of CAMS (Computer Aided Management Systems) and Sterling Software between 2013 and 2018. Padma has been on the advisory board and investment committees of three venture capital companies (Unitus Capital since 2013, AWE Funds since 2019, Pavestone Capital since 2022). Padma’s private sector experience (1984-2003) was in the IT / Internet sector during which she traversed the standard gradient of developer, manager, executive officer and entrepreneur. She spent between 1984 and 1994 in software services, working for ICIM / ICL UK in Mumbai, Pune, UK and the Bay Area, California.

She was a founding member of Sify Ltd, India’s first Internet company and part of the team that took it public on Nasdaq in 1999. She co-founded and grew a platform oriented software services company between early 2001 and 2003 and sold it to an acquirer. Between 2003 and 2011, she worked as Senior Program Manager for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She held responsibilities for strategy development, program implementation, impact evaluation and research in HIV prevention initially, managing a portfolio of over $200 million in grants. Subsequently she managed major initiatives in infectious diseases (vaccines, diagnostics) and maternal and childcare.

From 2012 to end of 2017, Padma consulted for the Gates Foundation on various health, life sciences, and global development related areas and continued to be on some of their advisory boards. Padma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics / Statistics from the University of Calcutta; an MBA (PGP 1984) from IIM Ahmedabad and an MBA with specialization in Telecommunications from the University of San Francisco, California. She has authored several highly cited peer reviewed publications in academic journals such as The Lancet and the British Medical Journal. She has participated in several conferences and is a sought after public speaker. Outside work, Padma likes frittering away time reading and debating completely inconsequential things such as economics, science and technology, philosophy, history and science fiction. She is also an ardent fan of both systems of Indian classical music.

 Palaniyapan

Executive Director And Promoter, Gi Retail Private Ltd

 Palaniyapan

Executive Director And Promoter, Gi Retail Private Ltd

RM. Palaniyapan, Executive Director and Promoter of GI Retail Private Limited, owns the following companies:

  • GI Hospitalities Private Limited
  • GI Smart E Cargos Private Limited
  • GI Tech Gaming Co India Private Limited
  • Smart Rs Services Private Limited

Mr. Palaniyapan has been the driving force of the group’s technology and new product innovation and development as well as all non-administrative operational areas of the group’s business for the last seventeen years.

Microsoft had featured the gaming solution developed by him and his team as its case study in 2004. 

The group is proud to say that it has significant market leadership through the following achievements:

  • Hermes is India’s No. 1 railway ticket distribution partner for IRCTC.
  • Hermes and I Cash are India’s No. 1 money transfer company
  • Hermes is also India’s No. 2 Online b2b air ticket distribution company.
  • I Cash is the largest used instrument in IMPS switch

Pankaj Daga

Director, Meenakshi Packagings Private Ltd

Pankaj Daga

Director, Meenakshi Packagings Private Ltd

Pankaj Daga is the Director at M/s Meenakshi Packagings Pvt Ltd, specialized in manufacturing Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Import and trading of Building materials. 

He created his brand name ‘Fab World’ in the year 2014.

On the academic front, Pankaj completed his M.sc in International Business, the UK in the year 2002. He returned to India to join his family business of manufacturing. He is a frequent International Traveler. He has exposure in real estate.

Pankaj specializes in sourcing the greenest product to replace the traditionally older options.

He was married to Surabhi in the year 2005. Presently, she is a Homemaker. Shubham is 6 years old and Ria is a 1-year-old. He lives with his parents.

Pankaj wants to share his expertise in the process and implementation stage if any opportunity comes. This can be either just financially or on board.

He feels that the potential and growth of the online business is going to revolutionize the total economy – startups with creative ideas that can make life comfortable for normal masses. 

He enjoys water sports at leisure and is an avid photographer.

Piyush Bhandari

Partner, Intuit Management Consultancy Private Ltd

Piyush Bhandari

Partner, Intuit Management Consultancy Private Ltd

Piyush Bhandari is a qualified Chartered Accountant, an entrepreneur by choice, and an avid tech enthusiast. He graduated with distinction from Loyola College and then completed his Masters in Commerce from Madras University.

He worked with the Sanmar Engineering Corporation from 2003 to 2006 He played a key role in strategic initiatives of the group including mergers and acquisitions.

In 2007 he started his entrepreneurial journey by establishing IMC (Intuit Management Consultancy) Group which specializes in cross-border advisory services focusing on Asia, Middle East, and the African region. 

He specializes in market entry services, corporate advisory, global mobility, international tax, and outsourcing services. They presently have offices in Chennai, Mumbai, Dubai, Dammam, and Singapore. He has advised several mid to large enterprises which include many of the Fortune 500 companies.

This year the group also launched a portal www.yourglobalpro.com which is an online marketplace, comprising over 3000 professionals catering to customers seeking professional services for their businesses in over 60 countries.

He serves on the board of CPAAI International which is the fourth largest independent accounting network in the world. He will also be serving on the Board of Entrepreneur Organization this coming year.

In the past, he has served on the committee of Jain International Trade Organisation for 4 years where he spearheaded the administrative service initiative which encouraged the students to prepare for the civil services exam by the Government of India. He is also a member of the Confederation of Indian Industries.

Prabhakar Ram

Newgen Imaging Systems Private Ltd

Prabhakar Ram

Newgen Imaging Systems Private Ltd

Prabhakar finished his schooling at Vidya Mandir in 1985 and completed his B Com at Vivekananda College. After university, he joined his family’s printing and packaging company in 1988. 

His 7-year stint with the family business, which was mainly a small-scale industry, provided experience in sales, finance, and production. During this time he also set up a corrugated box factory and a paper distribution company.

He moved out in 1996 to set up Newgen Knowledge Works (P) Ltd to provide e-publishing services as an export business. Newgen started by providing typesetting to major publishers and over the years has built capabilities to provide services throughout the publishing value chain.

Newgen currently employees more than 800 people and has offices in the US and the UK.  Newgen also has a subsidiary in the UK that provides technology solutions to the publishing industry.

In 2004 Carlyle invested in Newgen and subsequently exited in 2011 by selling their stake to three funds, Darby, Aureos, and Eplanet Ventures.

Pradeep Cholaiyil

Chairman & Managing Director, Cholayil Private…

Pradeep Cholaiyil

Chairman & Managing Director, Cholayil Private...

Pradeep Cholayil, Chairman & Managing Director, Cholayil P Ltd (CPL), is the man who is now spear-heading the aggressive growth and diversification plans of the company; in the process leading brand Medimix to become the world’s largest selling ‘natural wellness’ products; he is also strategizing the future plans of CPL, and its diversification into pharmaceutical, healthcare, cosmetic and ayurvedic product segments.

Mr. Pradeep Cholayil joined the Cholayil stable in 1983 & has held various roles in CPL, starting as the Head – Marketing & Finance at Cholayil, under the able guidance of his father, a visionary & founder of Cholayil, the Late Dr. V. P. Sidhan, progressively growing within the company, before becoming its MD.

Under the dynamic and enterprising leadership of Mr. Pradeep Cholayil, CPL has now emerged as a key player in the FMCG industry in the country and across international markets, transforming into a multi-crore organization with business flourishing both nationally and internationally. 

Taking the growth and new market challenges head on, in the last 8 years of his leadership, the company has significantly increased its market reach in the new markets across the country.

Having consolidated its presence in the N/W/E Indian markets, and with a strong manufacturing backend in place, the company is now planning on an aggressive expansion and penetration into these markets, by expanding the distribution footprint and depth.

Under Pradeep’s able leadership, CPL in the year 2011 acquired Krishna Thulasi, a leading herbal soap brand owned by Krishna Herbals based in Kollam. Krishna Thulasi is a household name in parts of Kerala, and its acquisition was a logical move in the brand synergies of Cholayil. 

Earlier, in 2001, CPL also had acquired one of India’s oldest brands of talcum powder and soap, Cuticura.

Despite facing the odds of heavy globalisation, and the dynamic consumer preferences in the personal care segment, Mr Pradeep has made sure that Cholayil has retained its core vision – take the power of natural wellness ingredients to consumers through the array of existing products, and the slew of new product launches.

Mr Pradeep Cholayil’s vision, drive and leadership is slated to take Cholayil P Ltd, to greater heights.

Besides the Medimix brand of products, CPL has also aggressive plans to expand its presence in holistic ayurvedic care, through its “Sadayush” ayurvedic care centres. Sadayush will combine the brilliance and effectiveness of ancient ayurvedic techniques with modern aesthetics, thus offering holistic health care to people. 

Pradeep is also an acclaimed photographer; He is also the man behind “Green Passion”, a book that will showcase the rich tradition of ayurvedic plants and herbs – most of which are cultivated and grown at the Cholayil Medicinal Plant Conservation Park, a 80 acre herbs park in South Tamil Nadu.

Pratik Shah

Owner, Specsmakers Opticians Private Ltd

Pratik Shah

Owner, Specsmakers Opticians Private Ltd

Pratik Shah started his career as an equity research analyst in 2004. He later moved into the eyewear space and started Sri Venkateswara Optics in 2005 and then renamed the brand as Specsmakers in 2007. The first store in 2007 has now grown into a network of 300 stores across South India.

He is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry, skilled in negotiation, customer service, coaching sales, and retail. He graduated from the Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University as a strong business development professional with an MBA in Finance & Marketing.

Pratik Shah is also a member of the round table India, EO, and RAI.

His interests lie in the consumer business and value for the money domain with an option to scalability and he is very happy to connect with energetic entrepreneurs in the consumer space through The Chennai Angels.

Premkumar S

Hcl Infosystems Ltd.

Premkumar S

Hcl Infosystems Ltd.

Prem has been one of the key business leaders of HCL. His association with the group spans many years in various capacities across HCL Limited, HCL Frontline, Deutsche Software, HCL Technologies, and presently HCL Infosystems Ltd.

He is the Executive Vice-Chairman of HCL Infosystems Ltd. and focuses on building and executing a robust transformation agenda to augment the pace and sustainability of profitable growth at HCL Infosystems. His specific focus is around a robust ‘turnaround’.

Between 2012 and early 2014, he was with Apollo Hospitals Group, as the Group CEO. Prior to that, Prem was the Senior Corporate Officer and President for HCL Technologies, where he led the Financial Services vertical from USD 100 M business to over USD 1 Billion in a quick, profitable, and organic way.

He is the Chairman of the CII National Committee on IT &ITeS and is actively involved in strategic and policy-making agendas to promote and shape the Industry. He is a Charter Member of TiE Chennai, involved with their various activities. He is also the Corporate Advisory Board member of edX, an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT.

He is a sports enthusiast and a much sought out speaker. He is also a member of many young start-ups.

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Become An Angel

Membership is by invitation only. A new member should be referred and recommended by a current TCA member (sponsor). Any current rolex datejust mens m126300 0015 41mm oyster bracelet automatic member can sponsor a candidate for Membership by sending a profile of the candidate to the secretariat with a short cover note explaining why he/she considers the candidate a potential member.

Interested candidates can view the list of TCA members above and approach us through them or send an email to connect@thechennaiangels.com.