Speakers | The Gaming Lounge 2021 by Eximius VC

Pioneers of Gaming Industry

Our speakers

Nitish Mittersain
Founder & MD - Nazara Technologies

Nitish has 2 decades of experience in the gaming industry building Nazara Technologies, only public gaming company in India (Market Cap $1bn+). Network companies include NODWIN Gaming, Nextwave Multimedia, and a few more. 

Malte Barth
Founding Partner - BITKRAFT Ventures

Malte has been active as an entrepreneur, investor, and operator in the Digital Media and Games space for over 20 years. He served as Head of Esports at Modern Times Group (Stockholm) where he built one of the largest Esports portfolios globally.

Rajan Navani
Founder & CEO - JetSynthesys

Rajan is the Vice Chairman & MD of the Indian arm of Jetline Group of companies. He is also the Chairman of the CII National Council on India@75, a CNBC India’s Young Turk and a part of the ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum. 

Jaynti Kanani
Co-Founder & CEO - Polygon

Jaynti is the Co-founder of Polygon (formerly Matic Network). Polygon became a cryptocurrency protocol that crossed a market capitalization of $14 billion. Before Matic Network, he was already in the blockchain space doing a side project called Game of Theories, where users can bet on TV series/Movie universe theories.

Akshat Rathee Gaming Lounge
Akshat Rathee
Co-Founder - NODWIN Gaming
Eitan Reisel
Managing Partner - VGames | Ex-Google

Eitan is the founder of an early-stage venture fund for gaming startups in Israel (Indian portfolio: MPL) and has 10+ years of experience working with Games and B2C companies. He also founded Google Games team in Tel Aviv.

Paavan Nanda
Co-Founder WinZO

A second-time entrepreneur, his first venture was Zostel & ZO Rooms. Co-founded WinZO in 2018, the largest vernacular real money entertainment platform with over 50 Mn users and facilitates over 2.5 billion micro-transactions per month.

Sameer Pitalwalla
Business Director (ASEAN & India) - Epic Games

Sameer has held leading positions across organizations as Director at Walt Disney India and CEO and Co-Founder at Culture Machine Media. Currently, he is the Business Director (ASEAN & India) for Epic Games.

Rahul Sood
Co-Founder & CEO - Irreverent Labs

Rahul is the CEO of Irreverent Labs, a venture backed gaming studio. He was the co-founder and former CEO of Unikrn, a global esports and video games wagering organization that launched in 2014 until it was acquired by Entain PLC in 2021. He also developed the first seed funding and start-up investment program at Microsoft, which grew into the Microsoft Ventures incubator program.

Anuj Tandon​
Head (India & MENA regions) - Corporate Development - Krafton

Anuj played a leading role at Nazara, building their Mobile Game Publishing business. He co-founded Rolocule Games, acquired by Dream11 & the CEO of YUZOO Games (India). At present, he heads M&A, business and strategy at KRAFTON.

Dev Bajaj
Dream Capital

Dev has 17+ years of experience across entrepreneurship, venture capital, PE and investment banking. Prior to joining Dream Sports, Dev was a Venture Partner with Kalaari Capital evaluating and managing early-stage investments including Gaming.

Simon Davis
Founder & CEO
Mighty Bear Games
Simon is an industry veteran with experience working at the likes of King, Ubisoft and Bigpoint prior to founding Mighty Bear.  A one-time Develop Magazine “30 under 30” recipient (sadly he’s now far too old to qualify), today Simon oversees all things Business and Product Design at Mighty Bear, Makers of Butter Royale and the recently announced Disney Melee Mania
Roland Landers
All India Gaming Federation (AIGF)

Roland is leading AIGF, the apex self-regulated industry body for transactional online skill gaming. He has more than 2 decades of experience in the media and entertainment industry, scaled businesses with profitable growth. He is also guest speaker at INSEAD Singapore.

Sreeram Reddy Vanga
Founder - InnoPark | Co-Founder OpenPlay (Nazara)

Sreeram Reddy is a serial entrepreneur with over 16 years of experience. He is the Founder of Hustle Partners & Innopark (India) Pvt. Ltd which is into the business of building technology driven companies (Openplay Tech, Kofluence, Hustle, ForMen, ForKids)

Anirudh Pandita
Loco & Pocket Aces

Anirudh is a founder of Loco & Pocket Aces, a Sequoia Capital-funded the company behind channels like FilterCopy & Dice Media. Pocket Aces being listed as one of the top 10 Indian startups to watch out for in 2018 and Loco is India’s leading live game streaming platform made in India.

Vamshi Reddy
Kalaari Capital

Vamshi is a pioneer in launching and scaling a profitable OTT startup Apalya in 2006 for 15 years, he brings in hands-on experience of an Entrepreneur’s journey to the venture capital side at Kalaari as a partner.

Anton Backman
Principal - Play Ventures
Co-Lead - Future Fund

At Play Anton focuses on new investments across free-to-play and play-and-earn game studios as well as crypto infrastructure such as blockchain protocols and other platform businesses. Previously Anton co-founded a Nordics-based micro-VC backed by the founders of Supercell, Skype and other Nordic companies. Anton also worked as an operator in crypto for a few years before joining Play Ventures.

Rahul N Bhardwaj
Co-Founder & COO
Junglee Games

A successful serial founder, Rahul now leads Junglee Games, which has nearly 50 million global users across 9 games including Howzat (the largest cricket game on Facebook) and Junglee Rummy. Prior to Junglee Games, Rahul was the co founder and Product Mango at TwoMangoes.com.

Saurabh Aggarwal
CEO & President - Octro

Saurabh has 19 year experience in entrepreneurial and Indian gaming app market. He founded Octro in 2006, the company behind Teen Patti and Rummy. For eight years, he had bootstrapped Octro and then raised $15M in series A funding  from Sequoia Capital.

Bhanupreet Saini
Head of Public Policy - IAMAI

Bhanupreet identifies policy issues affecting the industry and implements policy programs to address them. He was also the Head of Planning and Policy Management in the Indian Army and worked as a Chief Communications Officer at United Nations for the Indian contingent.

Ashish Chandra
Advisor - Gaming Startups
Ex WhatsApp, Netflix, Jio

Ashish has 20 years of experience in internet and tech industry. He leads the legal and regulatory affairs of WhatsApp India, Netflix, Jio & eBay . He is also building the e-commerce and fintech / payments business of Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp in India.

Pankaj Karna
Founder & MD - Maple Capital Advisors

Pankaj is an experienced banker, entrepreneur & investor with over 25 years experience having worked in leadership roles in Grant Thornton, Rabobank and BNP Paribas in India. Instrumental in over 100 M&A, Private Equity and Structured Finance transactions and was recognized as one of the 25 chosen entrepreneurs profiled in a book by IBEF.

Anirudh Rastogi
Founder & Managing Partner - Ikigai Law

Anirudh was named “Achiever of the Year 2017” by Business World magazine and was instrumental in the reversal of the RBI ban on cryptocurrency by the Supreme Court. His company has clients including Microsoft, MPL, Sequoia Capital, CoinDCX, Niti Aayog etc.

Zhong Liu Michael Fan
Partner - Galaxy Interactive

Zhong Liu MK Fan is the Partner at Galaxy Interactive and he leads investment over there. He is an investor at The Sandbox, 1047 Games and board member at Rct.ai & AccelByte Inc. He specialized at building and at leading teams to achieve greatness and to explain complex concepts to large audiences and to translate key strategic ideas into tactical actionable.

Chandresh Sampat
Head of Global Investments & Corporate Development - JetSynthesys

Chandresh has over 23 years of experience across manufacturing, retail, luxury, and in venture capital. He has led more than 65 deals aggregating to over 1500 Cr across both traditional and consumer-tech sectors. Prior to joining JetSynthesys, he spearheaded Springboard Springboard for Brand Capital – Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd 

Gaurav Agarwal
Girish Menon
Partner & Head - Media & Entertainment - KPMG India

Girish has more than 17 years of advisory and M&A experience and has advised on more than 175 M&A transactions. He specialized in the Media and Entertainment sector and also leads the gaming practice within the M&E segment.

Lokesh Suji
Director - ESFI | VP - AESF

Lokesh Suji aka dAwesomeNinja (that’s his
ingame name), is an esports Evangelist, Hustler and a Telecom Veteran with 18+ yrs of corporate experience with companies like Huawei, Airtel, Reliance etc. His aspiration is to ensure that esports in India matches the international level

Vishwalok Nath
Director - ESPL India Today

Vishwalok Nath comes with 19+ years of experience and is currently Business Head – Gaming & eSports, Director World Esports Cup (WEC) & Director Esports Premier League (ESPL) at India Today Gaming which is 1st ever Franchise based esports league of Free Fire in the world.

Dinesh Singh
Partner - Leo Capital

Dinesh Singh is a partner at Leo Capital India. Previously, Dinesh has been an entrepreneur in diverse spaces in India and US like, education, travel, AI. He co-founded Sunstone that has gone on to become a leader in the entry level MBA program in India. Dinesh lives between Bangalore and Pune and works on new opportunities and portfolio companies in the region.

Ashwin Haryani
VP Esports - MPL | Co-Founder - GamingMonk

Ashwin built GamingMonk, an Esports community platform focused on Indian gamers with a reach of 1.3Mn+ users. It got acquired by MPL, one of the largest online Esports & mobile gaming platform, with over 70 million users in India and 3.5 million in Indonesia.

Naman Jhawar
SVP Strategy & Operations - MPL

Naman Jhawar works as a Vice President, Strategy & Operations at Mobile Premier League. Naman graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2011 and is currently based in Bengaluru, India. They used to work at Barclays Investment Bank and Absa 

Prakash Parthasarathy
AVP - Dream Capital

Prakash comes with 9+ years of experience working in the venture capital and private equity industry at organizations like Kotak, BNP Paribas, Multiples. He leads investments, M&A at Dream Sports (parent company of Dream11, Fancode, DreamX).

Rajat Shringi
Investment Professional - Elevation Capital

Rajat focuses on early-stage investments in the Gaming, Travel, Healthcare, Real Estate, Agri-Tech, and Clean-Tech spaces. Prior to joining us, Rajat was at Iron Pillar Fund, where he focused on investments in growth stage technology companies. 

Aparajita Srivastava
Partner - Ikigai Law

Aparajita leads the product-regulatory practice at Ikigai Law. She co-authored a comprehensive report on digital games and sports, commissioned by IAMAI. She was recognized for her “ability to provide constant high-quality support” in the Indian Business Law Journal.

Phylicia Koh
VP - Play Ventures

Phylicia has worked with gaming startups like Mighty Bear Games and has over 9 years experience leading marketing and growth at startups and organizations like the Singapore Economic Development Board. Currently, she is a VP at Play Ventures (Gaming VC fund).

Anshul Rustaggi
Founder - Totality Corp

Anshul founded Totality Corp in July 2017, a playable NFT gaming universe with a Confluence of Indian mythology in the gaming metaverse. With Web3 gaming evolving, Totality Corp. is building ZionVerse, a Metaverse platform based on Indian mythology that would combine monetary features with game-play.

Akash Bhat
Host - The Desi VC Podcast

Akash Bhat features prominently on the investment and venture studio teams at Scrum Ventures, a VC firm investing between the US-Japan corridor. Before moving to the United States, he co-founded a startup (Shiksha) in India, led community & operations at NASSCOM 10K Startups.

Vatsal Gaur
Partner - Pier Counsel
Parth Chadha
Founder & CEO - EWar Games

Parth is building EWar, India’s leading skill-based gaming platform offering Esports and casual games for real money. EWar has witnessed its user base broaden to 2.3Mn+ users and 5x gross transaction value growth since Jan ’21. He was an Associate at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Nikhil Malankar
Founder & CEO - GameEon Studios

Akash Bhat features prominently on the investment and venture studio teams at Scrum Ventures, a VC firm investing between the US-Japan corridor. Before moving to the United States, he co-founded a startup (Shiksha) in India, led community & operations at NASSCOM 10K Startups.

Vaibhav Chavan
Founder & CEO - underDOGS Gaming

Vaibhav has 15 years of experience in gaming and  is the founder and CEO of underDOGS Studio, a game development and publishing company focused on making high quality fun games globally. With over 200 games developed, he has expertise for cross platform development on platforms like Android, iOS, Amazon, Windows and PC