Based in Dubai for over 30 years, Tanvir has established a track record earning trust and delivering value. his leadership has been recognised by The Banker Middle East, Cards International and the Freddie Awards.
He is the Managing Director of The Partnerships Advisory, a team of global banking and finance experts advising on successful strategies across the Middle East and Africa.
He is the Founding Partner of TanGo Holding, an ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market) domiciled, Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) supervised, Real Estate Holding Company.
Tanvir sits on the Decision Committee of Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, a $ 545 M Government Venture Debt Fund of the UAE Ministry of Finance.
Previously, at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Tanvir launched and built one of the largest Payments and FinTech businesses in the region with $ 3 B in annual volumes, and over $ 600 M in peak unsecured lending. At ADIB he also managed and grew the Mortgage portfolio to $ 2 B in Real Estate secured lending book.
Earlier he launched the Advisory division at The International Investor (TII) and built media assets at Motivate Media Group.
Tanvir is blessed to be an Instructor and an Alumni of Harvard University (USA), a qualified Chartered Marketer (UK), holds a Business degree from Bombay University (India), and graduated high school from Dubai (UAE).
Partner, Banking and Digital Transformation
Akshaya Gaur has over 39 years of experience in the Banking industry and has a track record of leadership in Banking Technology with a strong customer, business and delivery focus. He possesses in-depth expertise in a wide spectrum of traditional and emerging technologies in the Banking sector. Akshaya has a proven track record of delivering major transformation programs in international environments across the UK, Singapore, UAE, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and India.
Akshaya is an alumnus of IIT Delhi, IIM Calcutta, INSEAD and Oxford University. He is an Executive Coach and received his Certification of Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coaching from the College of Executive Coaching, CA, USA.
Partner, ESG and Sustainability
Aruna Narayanan is a sustainability enthusiast and strategic thought leader with a passion for driving prosperity through people empowerment and planet protection.
She is a highly accomplished results driven professional with 20 years of international experience in management consulting, sustainability, ESG, innovative waste management, circular economy, marketing communications and corporate social responsibility. With previous leadership positions at organisations including Dulsco, Accenture, Purecog Holdings and Ocwen Financial Corporation, she is adept at supporting companies and their clients on sustainability journeys with a lasting positive impact across multiple stakeholders.
Presently Aruna serves on the advisory board for various companies enabling them to embed sustainability and ESG into their businesses by leveraging global initiatives like the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Aruna is an alumna of the Harvard Business School (USA) and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (UK). She also serves as the President of the Alumni Network of Harvard Women (UAE Chapter).
Partner, Turkey & CIS
Yılmaz Sonışık advices on (new) digital business development and strategy development, digital (marketing) growth and global extension, innovative business solutions with edge cutting technology implementation, digital transformation (strategy & culture & technology), business agility and collaboration for both start-ups and corporate companies.
Aman Ladia is a 15-year-old inventor and entrepreneur based in Bombay, India. Aman has a keen interest in blockchain and cybersecurity having also won international-level cyber and mathematics competitions.
Aman's catalogue of products includes an AI-enabled power-saving home automation device and a wearable safety jacket for bikers, both of which have received awards from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Government of India. Aman, as a solo competitor at age 14 beat out larger, better funded and more experienced teams.
He writes regularly on popular Blockchain blogs and has delivered talks at various international conferences as a part of his effort to expand the technology to the common man.
Aman has dived into cryptography - learning vulnerability analysis by exploiting misconfigured access privileges on network nodes at his school. Since then, he has worked with other institutes, attempting to strengthen their internal systems.
As a technical architect at Blockchain Fortress, a Canadian-based firm, Aman has been working toward constructing new applications for the technology, in vastly different fields: from finance to real estate to education. He views the technology as a bridge between corporations and governments. In addition to his hands-on experience with blockchain, he is also working with the R&D Department of Emirates NBD Bank to develop new Blockchain technologies.
Aman balances his tech career and interests while also attending the Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Mumbai, where he has held a top position in academics all through. He has been conferred with the prestigious Homi Bhabha Young Scientist Award twice, in addition to having won over 35 zonal, national and international Olympiads and scholarships.
Over the past 20+ years, Benita has worked and lived in several key regions across the globe, including Europe, Africa, Latin America, the CIS and the Middle East. She has managed projects and cross-cultural teams focusing on building networks and liaising with stakeholders ranging from top government officials to relevant public and private sector entities.
At the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2009-2019), she was a key contributor towards the setting up of the then newly formed External Relations Department identifying and engaging key stakeholders within the UAE and later internationally. Her work focused on the development and implementation of new partnership concepts and initiatives that allowed for a greater liaison between the Dubai Chamber, the business community and various government entities. Her work brought together various stakeholder groups together in a focused exchange of ideas and best practices.
Benita introduced oversaw and participated in several outgoing Trade Missions and high-profile inbound visits, as well as managed the evaluation and implementation of the Dubai Chamber’s participation in overseas events. From 2016 she managed Dubai Chamber’s involvement with Latin America as a new market including the development of a Stakeholder Plan within the Chamber’s overall business strategy. She led initiatives to engage with and develop relationships with identified priority stakeholder groups.
Her final project, the Global Business Forum (GBF) - Latin America in Panama in April 2019 - was Dubai Chamber’s first overseas large-scale events including a HE Presidents of Panama and Haiti as well as a large high-profile business delegation from the UAE (https://gbflatinamerica.com/).
Since June 2019, Benita has been part-time involved with a UK-based Fintech start-up heading their Global Partnerships vertical. She has set up a Global Partnership Network of over 60 associations, industry-government bodies and private-sector entities from across the globe.
Benita holds an MSc in Services Marketing (Distinction) from Bournemouth University, UK, a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing (CIM UK) as well as a BA in Business Administration and Tourism from the University of Applied Studies and Research "Hochschule Harz", Germany.
Ibolya is an entrepreneurial, strategic, results-driven and agile C-Level Marketing Executive, with 15+ years of leadership experience in building, innovating and growing profitable brands, and developing high-performance organisations.
At The Partnerships Consulting, Ibolya advises senior executives looking for market entry, expansion growth, building strategic partnerships and other Board level initiatives. Her objective has always been to combine marketing strategy with the delivery of a full suite of marketing initiatives adding real value at each stage.
She seeks to win by rallying teams behind a compelling vision backed by executional excellence. Her focus is on driving big brand-building ideas, delighting customers throughout their physical and digital journeys, and delivering disruptive 360 innovation. Ibolya thrives in environments where change is needed to accelerate growth.
Her key skills are Relationship Management, Talent Development, Stakeholder Centric Marketing, Strategy, Conceptual Innovation, Integrated Communications, Consumer Journey and Funnel Mapping, Digital Marketing, Social Media and E-commerce.
Lynnette’s core professional passions are technology and real estate. She has spent her career in the technology sector for over 20 years and has specialised in the PropTech industry for the last 11 years due to her passion and experience in the real estate industry in the U.S. and Dubai.
Lynnette holds multiple accreditations from the US-based National Association of Realtors (NAR). She currently is the Director of Research and Data for the Propertyfinder Group providing strategic direction on real estate data intelligence in the UAE. Previously, Lynnette was instrumental in building the tech stack, business plans and regulatory outreach for Property Monitor amongst other real estate digitalisation efforts in Dubai.
Lynnette applies her unique blend of technology and real estate experience to optimise business performance through data and tech-driven strategies. Her highly developed understanding of real estate consumer behaviour is sought by leading Banks, Developers, Institutional Investors, Consultants and Governments.
Successful track record of managing a portfolio of Mid to large corporate relationships of diversified industries within the UAE.
Extensive knowledge of all aspects of Corporate Banking in terms of product knowledge, budgeting, bank’s credit policy, Legal, documentation and operating systems.
Extensive experience in Wholesale Credit Administration including Central Bank Reporting and internal MIS.
Over the years coached and guided junior colleagues and developed their work-related areas.
Sanjay Sethi is an international executive with over 20 years of experience primarily in financial services, payments, loyalty and real estate. He has a bias for action, moves fast and gets things done. He has an excellent track record with blue-chip companies including American Express, MasterCard (managing the Citibank relationship), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, a private equity portfolio company and a real estate firm. Sanjay brings an entrepreneurial flair having started two businesses.
Recently, Sanjay has been a trusted advisor to senior executives looking for independent analysis on acquisitions, private equity investments, expansion growth, product launches, market entry and other strategic initiatives. Sectors include FinTech, Banking, E-Commerce, Real Estate, Health Care, Heavy Industry, Manufacturing and Food Service.
Sanjay has lived in London, Dubai, outside Tokyo and Paris, Chicago, Nairobi, Toronto and Montreal, worked across 28+ markets in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America and speaks 3 languages.
Sanjay holds an MBA from London Business School where he was a Scholarship recipient and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Retail Bankers. He also studied at JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management, ESC Rouen (a Grande Ecole) and Concordia University.
Soumitra Banerjee is a technology professional with 28 years of experience, possessing in-depth knowledge of traditional and emerging paradigms. A change agent, his primary strengths are in creating fit-for-purpose and fit-for-future strategies in these critical areas: leadership, infrastructure delivery, production support and service management. With a proven track record in delivering large-scale transformation programs with impactful business outcomes, he has hands-on experience in executing these strategies. With a passion for people development, he has been the go-to leader for coaching and mentoring high-potential employees.
Responsible for leadership, streamlining the infrastructure delivery in India, and creating the next level of functional capability have been the key deliverables in HSBC Technology. Additionally selected to represent the organisation at the global Agile/DevOps summit (SFO). Co-created the global IT service centre in India for Standard Chartered GBS and went on to lead transformation and run global production support. Led the regional centre ~3000 resources. In the role of managed services at Microland Ltd was responsible for all integrated technical services delivery in the country. This included commercial and delivery responsibility. A hands-on leadership role that included being accountable for large programs (PWC, GE, GE telecom, SCB, Deutsche Bank, Crisil, and Hutchinson Orange). At Techna and REPL was responsible for services marketing application projects/training. Client’s interactions include IICM (Ranchi), JJ Silk Spectrum, GRSE Ltd, Coal India and Siemens. Strategic positioning of REPL IT and services in e-commerce initiatives, application development and training in India.
Major career achievements are in the areas of technology transformation, production support, high-potential leadership mentoring, creating centre-of-excellence, multi-geography technology operations teams and result-oriented client engagements. Delivered transformation programs in specific functions that introduced automation and created modern workplaces.
Soumitra completed a PG diploma (systems) after graduating with a major in Physics. He was sponsored for an INSEAD management development course and as an internal systems auditor. He is certified as an ITIL practitioner and trained as a solutions architect in AWS and robotic process automation (UiPath). Soumitra is a tennis player, and avid reader and has a deep interest in cinema and its potential to showcase and impact societal behaviour.
Govindarajan Venkateswaran, a.k.a “Venky” believes in working for the betterment of enterprises, their customers and communities by harnessing his skills and experience and doing something he loves doing. A consummate career banking technology professional, he brings his technical and his management skills to help clients transform their businesses to deliver outcomes and customer/staff experiences that delight. He sees value in the use of technology and tools to help enterprises maximise their potential and performance, and generate tangible business benefits with a guaranteed measure of success.
Venky specialises in Business and Technology Strategy, Architecture and Design, he has seen action across Corporate and Institutional Banking, Financial Markets, Payments and Wealth Management and businesses. For a while, early in his career, he also worked with Supply Chain logistics and finance with large FMCGs. In this context, he has worked with operating models, strategy and roadmaps, governance and due diligence of various large projects/platforms and business domains. This has been possible given his skills and knowledge of banking and technology domains coupled with excellent stakeholder management and collaboration with several partners that deliver the client desired outcomes.
His experience has been over many years with major global banking institutions as well as emerging global and super-regional banks operating in Asia. The roles have geographically covered a footprint that stretches from Australia and New Zealand to OECD markets and also the emerging Africa, Middle East and Asian markets.
In his career, he started as a developer, worked as a product owner, a software quality assurance and audit manager and has been a career architect heading the function for Institutional Banking for several banks. He has kept pace with the arrival of new technologies and methodologies in technical areas like Dev/Ops, Cloud usage, Data and Analytics, Container-based development and deployment, Open Banking and API-led architecture and makes it a point to ensure he is armed with up to date knowledge of technology and tools to deliver optimum results as befitting the client needs. He is also well aware of new regulations in the banking domain such as GDPR, PSD2 and the emergence of disruptors which have an impact on the financial services industry.
His commitment to a better future also drove him to lecture at leading universities as an adjunct professor, primarily in the field of Banking and Technology. He is also committed to serving the community through his various efforts to help those less fortunate through organisations like Habitat for Humanity, Riding for the disabled and several independent initiatives of his own. He is also an avid sportsperson, personally involved in equestrian sports and cycling and an avid follower of rugby union. His hobbies include music, documentaries, travel and photography.
Venky graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and followed it up with a Post Graduation in Business Management specialising in Technology and Systems Management.
Apoorva Bajaj is a skilled professional with 10 years of rich experience in Investment Management, Hedge Funds, Consulting, ESG Quant Scorecard Creation, Carbon Intensity Modelling, Blockchain, Tokenization of Real-World Assets and Emerging Technologies Skilling. He has worked with clients across the globe on various projects to create award winning products along with high client satisfaction and excellent feedback.
In his previous roles Apoorva was the Practice Head of Financial Markets at GlobalData where he created quant scorecard-based products which won multiple awards. He has worked with Hedge funds of Goldman Sachs, DE Shaw and Credit Analysis Unit of J.P. Morgan tracking Oil & Gas, Mining and Steel sector MNCs.
Apoorva is an alumnus of IIM Kozhikode and IIT (ISM) Dhanbad. He is a Gold Medallist from IIM and a CFA Charter-holder. He is a sought-after trainer in emerging technologies including AI, Blockchain, Data Science etc. He has done advanced technologies training from courses offered by IBM, Google, Indian School of Business (ISB).