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About us

Nations must create, develop, and sustain innovative new businesses through entrepreneurship for sustained growth, employment generation & long term survival. Entrepreneurs can act as powerful agents of change & “drivers of innovation” by reducing inefficiencies, creating jobs, boosting economic development.

However, the start-up environment is hostile as services remain inadequate, inaccessible & expensive. Entrepreneurs require assistance at the individual level — with technical training, market research, and financing. They also need keen mentors to direct their energy so that they do not fizzle out before striking success.


PadUp is an ever expanding and scalable KNOWLEDGE & MENTORING PLATFORM for early stage startups, which partners with Incubators and Accelerators across market segments (Government, Corporates and Educational Institutions) to provide deep mentoring and 360° handholding services, through its scientific, well tested and proven programs and processes, to deliver higher survival rates for these startups.


The Founding and Affiliate group is passionate about spending their next 20 years in sharing their knowledge, experience, wisdom and network with the new generation entrepreneurs to solve some real large scale problems thus helping create entrepreneurial success and employment opportunities resulting in significant social impact and wealth creation for the entire ecosystem. 


Our Core Purpose

To participate in “Nation Building” by helping create Employers, NOT Employees, by driving the entrepreneurial spirit of India



Our Vision

To become a key player in the startup ecosystem by actively supporting new technology companies to build sustainable and scalable businesses thus creating a huge impact in the entrepreneurial space



Our Mission

To impact over a 1000 Startups over next 7-8 years by providing structured high quality coaching, mentoring & monitoring across tech sectors, thereby impacting survival and success rates positively; igniting them to solve real problems by building large companies



Our Core Values

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Execution Focus

Partner centric

Authenticity and Integrity



The Team

Pankaj Thakar

Pankaj Thakar has 33 years of Corporate and Start-up Experience. In his various C-level roles and as the founder of multiple start-ups globally, he has built, advised and transformed both corporate and start-up companies to become highly successful. Pankaj worked with many reputed companies like HCL Limited, India Telecom Ltd, Atlas Telecom Ltd etc., Value First Media Ltd.. He has created Global Start-ups like Consilnet Inc. based out of Silicon Valley USA and recently Cellcast Interactive which he successfully exited. All these companies have been in technology and consumer space.


Pankaj is a tech evangelist with specialization in Digital Media Strategies, Digital Marketing, Online Consumer Behavior and Big Data Applications & Analytics. He has attended Harvard Business School & MIT’s Executive Education programs in Digital Media, Digital Marketing, Big Data Analysis & Applications that makes him relevant and gives an edge over others to understand analyze and build world class companies.


Pankaj enjoys mentoring, coaching and advising Strat-ups at various stages from idea to growth & currently is engaged with many of them. He is a prolific speaker & has spoken in many conferences and seminars, globally. He also enjoys writing and has written many case studies/White papers in Traditional as well as Digital Marketing & recently on "Change Management" while helping a company to "transform" & stay relevant. Finally, he believes that his best is yet to come!


Hence his next move – Padup Ventures – that helps an individual or individuals or a company to start a technology differentiated venture who walk in with not more than an idea and a laptop, to start, survive, sustain and scale their business. He enjoys speaking to young entrepreneurs at all levels, specially in universities where he interacts with them regularly to motivate, incubate and accelerate their entrepreneurial ambitions by educating them in the science and art of entrepreneurship – science being the process and art the entrepreneurs’ ability, passion and vision to build a sustainable and scalable business.


Rajat Jain

Rajat Jain, Founder, currently on the Boards of Times Innovative Media, TIMDAA, Neva Garments and Xerox India, has rich corporate experience in the consumer, media, entertainment and telecom spaces in India, both at young stage companies and MNCs. Startups and business transformations are his passion and his key areas of expertise are understanding consumers across various spaces, building and working with teams and growing businesses that revolve around brands.


An Alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, he brings to the Company a wealth of over two decades of multi sector experience and strong industry knowledge and network. His corporate experience includes leadership roles at Hindustan Lever, Sony Entertainment, Walt Disney and Xerox. Now he is on the Board advising and providing strategic guidance to the management team. Rajat now leads Neva Garments Ltd , a leader in Thermal wear in India for several years as its Executive Vice Chairman. Previously, Rajat became the Chairmanof the Board, Co Founder, MD & CEO of Mobile2win, a leading Mobile Value Added Services provider in India to build a team, grow and scale the business and take it to an exit. In 2009, he led it to a successful merger with Altruist Technologies, a large player in the Mobile Value Added Services space in India.


In his earlier corporate career of two decades until 2007, he was a Global SVP and the Managing Director of Walt Disney India and laid the foundation of building the “Disney” brand in India, including the acquisition of Hungama TV as well as starting the UTV acquisition. Prior to Disney, Rajat built out Sony MAX (a channel of the Sony Corporation), a leading cricket and movies TV network, pioneering the “Cricket to Entertainment Transformation” in India in 2001. Rajat has also held senior management positions with the Essel Group, Modi Telstra, Benckiser and Hindustan Lever.


Rajat has been actively engaged in the development and restoration of the Braj Region (4000 sq km spread across UP, Rajasthan and Haryana HQed at Vrindavan, near Delhi), the Land of Lord Krishna, via his “Not For Profit” NGO The Braj Foundation ( ), founded in 2005, of which he is a Trustee from the early days of the Foundation.


Syed Safawi

Syed Safawi , Co-founder, comes with almost three decades of leadership experience, with two decades growing and transforming companies in India and outside in consumer goods, beverages, telecom, infra and beauty & wellness. An Investor in technology platforms and on several Boards and Advisory Boards, he educates over ten thousand underprivileged children through his E&H Foundation. After a distinguished corporate career leading several transformations, Syed has also co-founded a business solutions platform called Optiwize, focused on family owned businesses and SMEs. He has served comapanies like Coca-Cola, Bharti Airtel, Relaince Communication, Viom Networks (A Tata-Tele JV), VLCC etc. with specialising in turning companies around with large profitability, fundraising and exits. Syed was the CEO of Viom Networks, a TATA-SREI-PE joint venture, where American Tower Corporation closed the acquisition of a 51% controlling ownership in 2016, thus figuring among the top-10 inbound M&A deals in India ever, across sectors. Besides the business transformation, the organizational transformation witnessed an increase in people engagement scores to 87 ( vs. 62) comparable to Top 100 companies in India. 


Prior to Viom Networks, Syed was with Reliance Communication Limited as the President and CEO of the Wireless Business and Chairman of the Reliance Management Board. He worked with RCom, taking it to over 150 million customers, a US$ 4 billion revenue and US$ 1 billion EBIDTA. He is an MBA from India and alumnus of The Wharton School, USA and a certified Director from the Institute of Directors. His wife is a medical doctor, who works with international agencies in social and preventive health and they have two daughters.


With like-minded socially responsible trustees, Syed has started the E&H Foundation, a not for profit, focused on providing quality education and healthcare to the underprivileged children in India’s state of Uttar Pradesh. The foundation currently educates over 10,000 children, with a vision to scale up to 100,000 by 2020.


Divyendu Kumar

Divyendu Kumar has had more than three decades of experience in the Indian as well as international business world. Till recently, for about a decade, he was the Managing Director of a multi-billion US Dollar, 3,500 employee-strong automotive sales, marketing, servicing, financing & leasing, and retailing business with a multi-country footprint in the Middle East, managing globally leading franchise brands as well as own brands.


Prior to that, he was closely associated with the Tata Group of India, and was the Head, International Business for Passenger Cars at Tata Motors for a number of years before relocating to the Middle East.


A graduate B. Tech engineer from currently christened Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-ISM), Dhanbad and a post graduate PGDM from Indian Institute of Management (IIM, Kolkata), he has a deep knowledge of and hands-on experience predominantly in the Indian as well as global automobile industry. In addition, for a number of years, he also has had active leadership roles in companies in the commodities, real estate and telecom industry related services markets. Around the core of Sales and Marketing, and Finance functions in the Indian domestic and international markets, he has a proven track record in and widely recognized insights into business fields as diverse as Leadership, Vision & Strategy Development and Execution, Formation and Management of Strategic Alliances, Systems and Process design an re-engineering, Project incubation and implementation, Organisational Development and Organisational Change Management, Product Development, Discrete Manufacturing, and Logistics.


In the last few years, he has become actively involved in the business start-up scene, having contributed to the formation of an incubation and accelerator space, called the ASPIRE, at Kent Business School in the United Kingdom and having encouraged budding entrepreneurs with early stage investments.