Best known for his dynamic leadership, Kundan Shekhawat, Founder & CEO of Ascent Technology Consulting, is responsible for steering the company to where it is today.
Raised in a humble family and disciplined military background, he is a down to earth visionary with deep-rooted values.
He has comprehensive experience in financial services & extensive expertise in Product Development Engineering, strategy & P&L management. With a career spanning 18+ years, his vision was the one that carried Ascent through its successive stages of growth.
A passionate entrepreneur, Kundan’s determination built the organization to constantly enhance competitiveness, profitability, customer focus, partnership, branding, corporate values & governance.
Reza Asgari - CEO Financial Services
Reza has an extensive background in Finance and Technology in the Financial Services industry. Reza will lead to grow our business and presence and work closely with everyone involved in business expansion. He will also be involved with Ascent’s various business aspects globally with all key Management & Strategic Advisory members.
Reza has spent the first half of his career in CIO positions managing technology for various banks and brokerage firms, building trading floors and complex trading applications.
In the second half of his career, Reza has held Partner positions in Unisys and various Big Four firms, such as Coopers & Lybrand, PwC, and most recently as a Partner at IBM with practices in Financial Risk Management and Payment Cyber Security.
Reza holds a BS in Accounting, MBA in Corporate Finance, and his Ph.D. course work is in Information Technology and minor in Finance.
Reza and his wife live in New Jersey, and he enjoys his spare time skiing, horseback riding, and developing ADX and Stochastic trading models for Russell 2000.
Nandini Shekhawat - Director & Member of the Board
A dynamic & versatile individual with several years of experience in a variety of fields, Nandini is an effective leader with distinguished abilities in end-to-end process management, motivating team members, & resolving a variety of different escalated issues.
Skilled in conceptualizing initiatives that enhance process efficiency, her proven skills in team management & a variety of other fields set new parameters of achieving both business & individual goals.
Siddharth Kohli - Member of the Board
Siddharth Kohli is a Chartered Accountant, a Company Secretary and a Corporate Lawyer by profession. He has in the past worked with organisations like EY, IFCI and RBI. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and has worked extensively on development projects across the South Asia region.
He has led financial and strategic transformations in early to mid stage companies by bringing together corporate best practices and strong governance models. He is an expert when it comes to investor relations and related transaction advisory.
Pradeep Sagar - Member of the Board
Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants . Completed the examination requirements of The Institute of Company Secretaries. Obtained the CMC – Certified Management Consultant, designation, Canada.
Entrepreneur, relishing the establishment of enterprises and leading them to success.
Co founder and CEO: SAGAR & SAGAR: Partner, set up, incubate, seed and grow enterprises. Currently engaged in ventures in green technologies, education, general trading. We are seeking products and services that would find a market in the Middle East and Africa.
SFC: Invests in mature entities and financial instruments. Our goal is to profit from investment and treasury activities by seeking arbitrage and other opportunities in the short term and in exceptional strategic long term investments.
Shantanu Ghosh - Advisor to the Board
An international leader in the financial management space, Shantanu Ghosh adds value to Ascent with his deep knowledge & experience. His cross-functional & multidisciplinary expertise forms a strong support for our growth. His proficiencies have helped him achieve:
Financial Leadership with Management at board, bank, international and country level.
Board memberships in IdeaSpace Solutions, ING Financial Services, Bharat Overseas Bank and Lokkur Investment Advisors Private Limited
Banking Experience of 38 years including roles as Country Head Retail/SME/ASBU Banking in ING Vysya Bank
– Execution of 10 large Mergers (as Board Member, COO, Head of Integration and Advisor)
Steve Cohen - Advisor to the Board
Highly accomplished and polished, forward thinking, transformation, strategic planning and business development-focused expert with extensive advisory services and leadership experience. I develop new industry solutions, strategic plans, drives growth & enterprise sales programs, new business channels, value creation, structures high-performance teams, develops new relationships, and provides access to key, C-level decision makers. Sharply focused at the exciting convergence of risk, treasury, cognitive, cloud, social and real-time intelligence for banks.Excellent communicator who gains the trust & respect of clients by demonstrating global thought leadership, innovation, integrity, honesty, excellence and professionalism. Dynamic, visionary, results oriented, value driven, highly motivated leader with proven record of delivering and exceeding results, pragmatic strategies, flawless execution, out of the box/visionary thinking, and superb access to key decision makers.
I also globally manage key clients which creates value by satisfying client requirements. I manage C-level relationships for new & current business opportunities while maintaining the overall strategy & service delivery of SME’s to client companies.
Very passionate about innovation, business development, strategic planning and developing, nurturing, maintaining, leveraging C-level relationships, spotting and solving complex risk and treasury issues, and architecting solutions with his team of senior Risk and Cognitive SME’s. Maintains C-level access by providing ongoing thought leadership to senior executives, while providing Risk & Treasury Advisory Services, and comprehensive software solutions.
Teamwork & Collaboration | Problem Solving Skills | Open & Unique Communication Style | Deep Market Intelligence | Integrity,Trusted Respected | Thought Leader & Innovator
I’m very open to networking, collaboration and knocking around ideas.
Gerald Hayden - Advisor to the Board
35+ years experience in both managing Global Financial Services & Insurance – IT & Business Units as well as applying Operational Business Process changes and Technology Solutions. Currently focused on developing and designing “Customer as a Platform”, Robotic Process Automation and API Economy business models. Heavy use of Digitized Marketing, Mobile, Business Process Re-engineering, New Business Models, Fintech threat assessment, Financial Marketplace economic models, Customer Experience Management, Social, Mobile and Analytic Strategies. Large focus on driving Share price factors, achieving lowest cost structures, reducing operating and balance sheet risk.
Former COO, CFO, CIO and CMO for major U.S. Regional Bank (now BofA) and Global FS Insurance Firm. Co-founder of one of the first “Digtized/Virtualized” FinTech Financial Services (Meltife Bank) in the U.S. and achieving profitability in 90 days. 6 time Master Black Belt in 6 Sigma Lean for new Business Process and New Business Model Development.
18 years of Global Consulting – applying/justifying Technology, including Channel Partner Solutions Development, Go To Market, and Client CxO Business Consulting to align IT Investments with Business Strategy Execution. Experienced in Global Regs/Directives and technologies such as ITIL, Basel, Solvency, Sarbox, FFIEC, HIPAA/GLB/DPD and Global Privacy Law.
Selected list of former Clients include Citi Group, Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo, ANZ, Bank of Central America, Aetna, CIGNA, CNP, Banco Chile, Bank Itau, Barclays, UBS, State Farm, Travelers, The Hartford, AIG, SONY LIfe, Lloyds of London, Toyota Japan, Mitsubishi Motors, Honda, General Motors, United Technologies, John Deere and Caterpillar. Internal Clients include Cisco Systems for Quote to Cash, Juniper Networks for Strategic Global Sales and Good Technology for short and longer term revenue sales to drive share Price.
Dr. Jai Menon- Mentor
Dr. Menon (www.menonjai.com) is a global technology leader with over three decades of experience spanning the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia across IT, telecom, and media industries.
Having traversed two phases – a researcher inventing deep-tech and corporate leadership – he has entered a third phase of mentoring and entrepreneurship across a broad range of industries.
He has held global CIO/CTO and other leadership positions in IBM, AT&T, Airtel, Bharti Enterprises, and HT Media. A Distinguished Alumnus of IIT-Delhi, he has received several global recognitions such as Global CIO 50 (US), Forbes (US), GSMA (Spain), Telecom Asia (Hong Kong), IDC (Singapore), and NASSCOM (India). He has authored over 35 US patents, 3 European patents, and nearly 100 international research publications. He has also served on several global boards and advisories, including the TM Forum, GSMA, NASSCOM, CII, IBM, Oracle, Teradata, Aricent, Zinnov, and Firstwave Cloud Technology.
He has been a member of IEEE, ASME, ACM, and Phi Kappa Phi. Dr. Menon received his MS/Ph.D. from Cornell and BTech (first rank) from IIT-Delhi. He has completed executive management programs from Harvard, Wharton, and Sloan (MIT) business schools.
Atul Kulshreshtha - Strategic Advisor
Atul started his entrepreneurship journey in late 2020 and established GroByz Partners to help businesses transform and get ready for the future, primarily focusing on Digital Enablement & Adoption.
Over the last 3 decades, Atul worked with some of the best global organizations like – Capgemini, Colt Technologies, GE, FIS, American Express, etc., with outstanding leadership and best talent, helping clients on business transformation, growth, and optimization.
Till recently, Atul was Global Account Executive for a portfolio of large strategic Technology accounts, responsible for driving account growth and enhancing client relationships. Before that, Atul was heading the Business Services for India region and leading Capgemini’s Global Shared Services.
Atul joined Capgemini following the acquisition of IGATE and initially led the service line integration, transformation, and managed delivery for the global Financial Services portfolio. At IGATE, Atul was the Global BPO Head responsible for driving growth and strategy for their BPO business unit.
Atul is a fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. His interests include behavioral sciences, disruptive technologies, and talent development. He believes that the key to success is getting the right team and flawless execution.
John Denham - Strategic Advisor, Canada
John has been involved in the management of numerous technology companies over many years.
He is Managing Director for Trakcom Wireless Inc, a leading manufacturer of communications products and solutions for railroads and rapid transit systems.
He is also Chief Operating Officer at Eomax Corp., a manufacturer of tactical surveillance and reconnaissance systems used by defence and homeland security organizations around the world.
John is also Chief Financial Officer of Opterus Inc., a provider of SAAS-based store management software to major retail chains and President of Occulus Inc. a start-up sales management software company.
John was formerly Chief Financial Officer of Route1 Inc. (TSX: ROI) a provider of secure remote network connection solutions, and Managing Director of CIBC World Markets.
John is a professional Engineer and Chartered Financial Analyst.
Vikash Varma - Independent Board Member and Advisor
Vikash Varma is an experienced executive, having held CEO and other senior roles at several startups and large tech companies. He has extensive experience in growing companies globally. Vikash serves on the Board of several startups and non-profit organizations.
As a Board Member, Vikash leverages his extensive experience as a seasoned CEO to help Entrepreneurs establish global partnerships, raise financing and accelerate revenue.
Heminder Ahluwalia serves the role of Chief Operations Officer in Ascent. He comes with 27 years of experience in industries like telecom, financial services, manufacturing and IT advisory. He has worked in organizations like Texas Instruments, Tech Mahindra, 3i Infotech, Gartner and Aditya Birla in the areas of Program Management, Operations and Digital Business. His most recent assignment was with Aditya Birla as VP Digital Business where he provided thought leadership, big picture overview and worked with CxOs in helping them craft their digital business roadmaps. Prior to this, he was with Gartner for 12 years where he built its CIO advisory business for India. Heminder looks into all aspects of operations including Huma Resources, Product Development and Sales and Marketing (India Operations). Through his leadership he is empowered to drive change through transformation and optimization of processes, technology and people, thereby working towards placing Ascent on an exponential path for growth.
Pallaw Mishra - Chief Technology Officer
He led a dynamic career at Defence Research and Development Organisation, India for 20+ years, experience spanning Artificial Intelligence, Quantitative Modelling, Machine Learning, Models and Algorithm Development, Game Theory, Information Security, Geographical Information Systems, Battlefield Simulation, and their applications in Systems Analyses. He achieved significant milestones in complex projects of national importance relating to Strategic Systems and Decision-Making, Conventional & Cyber Warfare, Crisis Games, Forecasting and Perspective Planning. He was Project director for Information and warfare analytics where he directed application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Strategic Decision Planning related to conventional, cyber and intelligence warfare. He has number of research publications in national and international journals in the area of Cyber warfare, Information Warfare, Game Theory and Warfare Analytics. He is a member of review board of International Journal of Network Security.
David Kalkut -Vice President Sales North America
David Kalkut is an accomplished enterprise sales leader with over 25 years of selling Business Process Transformation and Digital Transformation platforms to Fortune 2000 companies.David led the International Sales efforts at Autotask – a New York based startup that provided Professional Services Automation Software to banks and insurance companies. He oversaw the exponential growth and acquisition of new customers, while driving top line revenue expansion across North American, EMEA and APAC markets. He was instrumental in opening offices in London, Sydney, Singapore and Toronto and helped integrate strategic innovation and established best practices to a global user community.
David has lead sales divisions for both domestic and overseas based companies that provide low code application development platforms for enterprises to quickly build and evolve apps to meet their customer and employee needs and drive digital transformation on a global scale. In these roles David has lead the Financial Services Teams in an effort to deliver business process management strategies that enables large enterprises to define critical business policies and procedures, and deploy business rules that govern critical business operations. David has experience in global expansion strategies and has resided in the UK, Sydney and Singapore during his career.
Shashi V - Regional Sales Head Middle East and Africa
An ex-Microsoft Program manager, Shashidhar has led strategic product development efforts with products like Microsoft Excel mobile, Microsoft Word mobile, Mobile Media App, Promart Escrow and AutoBCM.
With a Computer Science graduate degree from GMR IT, he dropped out of BITS, Pilani Masters degree to pursue his passion of product development. He possesses a large amount of experience in core software product development.
He drives Ascent in terms of business development, sales, strategies, delivery and support for Middle Eastern and North African region.
Mohammed Tariq - Head of Marketing
Tariq comes with 16 years of experience and has worked in various industry verticals, such as FinTech, Healthcare, and Insurance in areas of SaaS software services, development services, Mobile App, Market Research, and Advertising in the US, Canada, and the UK in such companies as: Ebix, Eli Group, KiwiTech and AdMan.
Tariq is very hands on with SEO and PPC aspects of digital marketing to obtain a maximum impact on lead flow for the business and enjoys introducing new lead-generation channels to the system for growth hacking.
Neeti Shekhawat - Head of HR
Neeti is an experienced Human Resources Professional and having contributed to Multinational organizations & exposure to working in a Start Up, she has been a Strategic Partner to Business and hones a breadth of knowledge and experience in developing and managing a sound, humane and value based HR organization. She originates and leads Human Resources practices and objectives that will provide an employee-oriented; high performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity, and standards; goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior workforce.
Diversity has been the theme for Neeti’s journey and with a keen understanding of business she enjoy‘s roles that impact organizations as a whole. She is a strategic thinker who understands that great companies require the intersection of great ideas, talented people and a unifying culture. As Head of HR for Ascent, she collaborates with businesses in understanding the people imperatives critical for business success and delivering the same through a wide spectrum of HR interventions.
Over 14 years of experience in the business continuity management, customer service, team management & finance division of multinational banks. Diploma in system analysis & designing. Qualified Business Continuity professional practitioners from DRI International and Lead Auditor ISO 22301:2012 & ISO 9001:2015 from BSI Training Institute.
Implemented BCM in one of the largest international financial institution with 57 country membership and the biggest Islamic bank in Abu Dhabi.
Proven expertise in Business Impact Analysis, BC Risk Assessment, BC Planning & Strategy, Business Continuity Policies & Procedures, Disaster Recovery, Project Management, Team Management, Contingency Planning, Vendor Management, Stakeholder Relationship, Workflow Automation, Internal/ External BCMS Audit & Certification.
Satish Amuluru - Product Head Financial Control
Satish Amuluru has 14 years of experience in design, development and implementing the banking products across the globe and has vast knowledge in Fintech Products, Card Networks, Clearing and settlements. He is a techno-functional expert in understanding the functional and technical aspects of products and projects. Satish Amuluru has successfully implemented large banking projects in India and middle east, he is a specialist in designing Banking Reconciliation products. His hobbies are cricket and listening to music.
Nitisha Ghosh - BCM Consultant North America
A seasoned IT Risk Professional, Nitisha has over 15 years of strong management consulting experience and expertise in IT risk assessment & remediation planning, information systems & compliance auditing, IT security architecture review, and business continuity management. A prior Big-4 Advisory Manager, Nitisha has worked with Fortune 500 companies and is skilled in leading and delivering successful client engagements across different technologies. She has traveled extensively across North America & Asia Pacific providing auditing and advisory services across diverse industry segments such as Banking, Finance, Energy, IT and IT Enabled services.
Nitisha holds a Masters in Information Technology from Symbiosis International University. She is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) by ISACA and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) by IAPP. An effective leader with proven abilities in managing diverse teams, Nitisha believes in people collaboration and technology innovation.