Mentorship is a critical component in the success of any startup. At SPJIMR FinNovate Accelerator, we recognise the importance of quality mentorship. To this end, we have assembled an impressive panel of CEOs, experts, and seasoned entrepreneurs to provide mentorship to our selected startups.Our mentors are carefully selected based on their extensive experience, expertise, and keeping start-up requirements in mind. Every start-up selected for the programme will get mentorship sessions with this high-quality mentor panel. The mentorship sessions are designed to be interactive and customised to the specific needs of each start-up, providing guidance on a range of areas, including business strategy, product development, customer acquisition, and fundraising.

The mentor panel at SPJIMR FinNovate Accelerator consists of three categories of mentors: Leadership Mentors, Entrepreneurship Mentors, and Functional Mentors.

  • Leadership Mentors

    The Leadership Mentors are ex-CEOs and leaders of large corporates in the BFSI segment, who bring with them years of experience in running and scaling businesses. Insights from CEOs and industry leaders are incredibly valuable for entrepreneurs and start-up founders, particularly in the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) segment, where the competitive landscape can be quite complex. As a start-up, it can be easy to get caught up in day-to-day operations and lose sight of the long-term goals and objectives. However, experienced leaders who have successfully navigated the challenges of running and scaling businesses can provide valuable perspective and insights that can help start-ups to see beyond their current circumstances and plan for the future.

    Our mentors will help start-ups navigate the complex corporate landscape. Large corporations in the BFSI segment often have intricate systems and processes in place, and it can be difficult for a start-up to understand how to work within these structures. Mentors who have experience in this area will provide guidance on how to navigate these systems and how to build effective relationships with key stakeholders within larger organisations. Finally, mentors who are ex-CEOs and leaders can help by drawing on their own experiences to help entrepreneurs to identify new opportunities, anticipate potential challenges, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

    Ajay Srinivasan

    Former CEO, Aditya Birla Capital

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    Rakesh Bhutoria

    Managing Director, Banyantree Finance Pvt Ltd

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    Neeraj Swaroop

    Former CEO, Standard Chartered (South Asia & ASEAN)

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    Samuel Joseph

    DMD, IDBI Bank

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    Mrinal Singh

    CEO & CIO, InCred Asset Management

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    Ajay Mahajan

    Managing Partner

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    Bala Parthasarthy


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    Parag Shah

    Independent BFSI Practitioner 

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    Ganesh Rengaswamy

    Managing Partner, Quona Capital

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    Amit D Kumar

    Co-Founding Partner, ah! Ventures Fund

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    Raghu Gulati

    Managing Director, Deutsche Bank

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    Shyamal Saxena

    Former MD, Head- Retail Bank, Standard Chartered Bank

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  • Entrepreneurship Mentors

    The Entrepreneurship mentors are seasoned entrepreneurs or start-up investors with 8 to 10 years of experience in entrepreneurship. These mentors bring a wealth of unique expertise and knowledge on what it takes to build a successful start-up. Entrepreneurship mentors are experienced individuals who have built successful businesses and have a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with building a start-up. They can provide invaluable insights on product development, customer acquisition, and scaling the business based on their own experiences and expertise. For example, an entrepreneur who has successfully built and scaled a B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) business can provide insights on how to develop a product that meets the needs of enterprise customers, how to build an effective sales team, and how to navigate the complex world of enterprise sales.

    Similarly, a start-up investor who has experience in investing in tech start-ups can provide valuable insights on how to navigate the challenges of securing funding for tech start-ups and how one start-up is stacking up compared to the hundreds of start-ups they have seen. Further, these mentors also act as faculty for workshops to ensure that the curriculum is tailored to the unique needs of start-ups. The mentors provide hands-on guidance and practical advice based on their own experiences and will help founders to develop the skills and knowledge they need to build and grow successful businesses.

    Dinesh Tiwari

    MD, Broad Peak Capital Advisors

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    Jithin Sreedhar

    GM, Payments Management, MyGate

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    Sumit Rungta

    Co-Founder, Invoice Bazaar

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    Santosh Kumar

    Head of Innovation, Citi India Markets

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    Madhukar Bhatia

    Managing Partner, Pentathlon Ventures

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    Abhishek Sanghvi

    Co-Founder, Ecosystem Ventures

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    Sujith Nair

    CEO and Co-founder, FIDE

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    Asutosh Upadhyay


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  • Functional Mentors

    The Functional mentors are experts in specific areas such as technology, legal, marketing, trade finance, lending, markets, treasury etc. They bring a deep understanding of these areas to the table and can provide invaluable guidance on navigating the challenges that start-ups face in these fields. To illustrate, a legal mentor will provide guidance on setting up the legal framework for the start-up, negotiating contracts, and protecting intellectual property. A marketing mentor will provide guidance on developing a marketing strategy, building brand awareness, and acquiring customers. A finance mentor will provide guidance on financial planning, fundraising, and managing cash flow. A treasury & markets mentor provides deep insights into how these businesses are set up and run at banks. Access to these subject matter experts can be extremely beneficial for start-ups, as it ensures they have access to the best possible advice in every area of their business. These mentors can provide specialised guidance and support that complements the broader guidance provided by entrepreneurship and leadership mentors.

    Karan Ambwani

    India Lead, dYdX Foundation

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    Vedanarayanan Vedantham

    Marketing Leader, Microsoft

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    Sudha Jayshankar

    Former ED, HR, MSCI Inc.

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    Litesh Majethia

    Former Head, Supply Chain Finance, BoB Capital Markets

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    Shashank Jain

    Former CFO, Shubham Housing Development Finance

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    Sunil Kumar

    Chief Compliance Officer, Federal Bank

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    Raghu Iyer

    Founder, Raghu Iyer and Associates

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    Ashita Aggarwal

    Professor, Marketing, SPJIMR

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    Vineet Barnwal

    Corporate Trainer and Coach

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    Prashi Mohan

    Head of Products, ProEdge

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    Hitesh Sachdev

    Head- Start-up Engagement, Innovation & Investments, ICICI Bank

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    Vivek Gopalakrishnan

    Senior Advisor

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    Kartikey Trivedi

    Group Head, Compliance, Axis Bank

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Partner with us

We invite applications from experts who wish to be associated with FinNovate to provide mentorship and guidance to the startups on a volunteer or contractual basis.

We are looking for Mentors who meet the following criterion:

  • Who has been or is a start-up Founder
  • Founders who have led start-ups to a minimum of Series A level of funding and ideally Series B or above.
  • Founders with experience in institutional fundraising & scaling up a start-up, preferably in the field of finance or related to finance.
  • Founders passionate about contributing back to the start-up ecosystem.
  • Founders willing to devote 18 to 20 hours a year towards mentoring.

If this is you and you are passionate about mentoring, please send us your resume or LinkedIn profile on

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