The Participants of Cerebrate 2009, Kumbhalgarh

Cmdr. Satyabrate Dam – Mountaineer of International Repute

Commander Satyabrata Dam is the first Indian to accomplish one of the rarest feats in the adventure world, having scaled‘The Three Poles’ – Mt Everest, North Pole and South Pole.

He is recepient of the Nao Sena Medal, and belongs to the elite submarine arm of the Indian Navy. He is presently the Jt. Director (Mountaineering), Directorate of Adventure & Sports, Indian Navy.

Satya has climbed in most of the major mountain ranges including the European Alps, Canadian Rockies, Yosemite (USA), Simian mountains, Blue Mountains (Australia), Andes, Patagonia, the list just goes on!. Satya has climbed the highest peaks of the six continents.

He holds the distinction of being the first and the only Indian speaker at the prestigious Kendal Mountaineering Film festival at Kendal, UK. His mountaineering articles and photographs are regularly published in some of the world’s leading mountaineering journals. He is also an internationally published author of crime fiction.

Besides mountaineering and the outdoors, he has been a national level badminton player and cricketer. He has also sailed around the world. He was a national champion in yachting twice and also represented the country in windsurfing and water skiing.

Timeri Murari – Acclaimed Writer and Novelist

Timeri Murari wears several hats . He is an accomplished journalist, novelist, who is also completely at ease with non-fiction, screenplays and stage plays.
His film, The Square Circle, made Time magazine’s top ten best films. He later adapted it for the stage and directed it at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre. His novels include the international best-seller Taj: A Story of Mughal India (published by Penguin) and The Arrangements of Love.

He was awarded the prestigious ‘R.K.Narayan Award’ for literary works. He authors a bi-weekly column for the New Sunday Express.

Kalyam Varma – Photographer, Film-maker and Naturalist

Kalyan Varma is one of India’s leading wildlife photographers. Although he started his career in the IT and software sector, his passion for nature and wildlife made him leave this behind so that he could devote his time and effort to nature photography and film-making.

A winner of the Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, Kalyan’s photos, blogs, workshops, and field efforts have made him a well-known name in wildlife conservation circles. His work has appeared in many international magazines like National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Sanctuary Asia, etc.

Kalyan works on projects for the BBC Natural History as their Natural History camera man and also with wildlife NGOs in India, such as the Nature Conservation Foundation. He is a founding member of India Nature Watch.

R. Madhavan – Agriculturist

Madhavan is an IITian, turned farmer who married his passion for farming with his engineering background.

His love for farming made him quit a job at ONGC and follow his heart. He believes in smart agriculture, where Only 20% of agriculture involves tilling the soil and the rest 80% with engineering skills.

Madhavan bypasses the middle men and sells all his farming produce himself.

He believes that food insecurity is more threatening than an atom bomb. About 49% of Indian children suffer from under-nourishment. He believes that producing more food is a solution to the problem and he is already walking his talk.

Former President Abdul Kalam, visited his farm and acclaimed that “We need not one but a million Madhavans in this country!”

Abhijit Bansod – Inspirational Designer

Abhijit has been a key member of watchmaker Titan’s design studio since 1998. His most significant work in the past year has been Titan’s Heritage Collection of watches. He learnt to design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, after completing his engineering from Nagpur.

Abhijit designs from his heart He believes in celebrating creativity, combining it with fragments of Indian tradition with cutting-edge technology, fusing cultural motifs and contemporary forms.

Besides watches, Bansod is involved in product design of everything from vases to picture frames and lifestyle accessories under the brand name LIFEthings.

RJ Anjaan – Radio Jockey, Compere, Adventurer

Anjaan is a multi-talented media and event professional who believes that Life is a Party. He has domain expertise in radio, television, theatre, film, artiste Liaison, and live events.

Currently relishing his role as Sr. Programming Manager with the Radio One network, where he is also the RJ. A freelance compere, stand up comedian and corporate trainer (having hosted more than 1000 events), Anjaan is a storehouse of creative energy and talent.

Anjaan is a self-proclaimed online networking junkie and an adventurer. It therefore comes as no surprise that he is amongst the two shortlisted from India in the Top 50 for the “Best Job in the World”, Australia.

Andreah Jeremia – Actor, Singer, Model

Andrea Jeremiah is a Tamil playback singer, film actress and a model.
She has also acted in Tamil movies, most recently being Pachaikili Muthucharam directed by acclaimed director Gautham Menon.

She was a part of a Jackson Five-style troupe called Young Stars at the age of 10 which kick started her singing career.

She has also launched a company named The Show Must Go On (TSMGO Productions) to promote live art and artistes.

Sriram Bharatam – Entrepreneur and Change Leader

Sriram is the recipient of the prestigious ‘YEO Kauffman Community Award’ for his successful philanthropic efforts as a Social Entrepreneur. He is the first non-American member to win this award. This alumni of MIT was also a nominee of the ‘Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award
He left a very promising career to establish a non-profit to aid victims of a natural calamity that occurred in Orissa, India in late 1999 . An avid believer of the power of the world wide web, he used the power of internet to raise significant sum of funds for Cyclone victims & build a global community of 18 million in just 45 days through Cause an Effect foundation. Sriram is currently the CEO of Iridium Interactive.

Rashmi Dhanwani – Social Media Activist

Rashmi has been managing and directing in the content space for over four years now. She started her career in TV with The Great Indian Comedy Show as a script writer.

Rashmi has also worked as an assistant director with Black Magic Motion Pictures and managed content for The National Entrepreneurship Network (an organization that promotes entrepreneurship in India).

Over the last one year, Rashmi has managed media for Mumbai Unplug ’07 (on the lines of Earth Hour 60) and coordinated the Literature section of the Mumbai Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2008 and the Children’s Literature section of the Mumbai Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2009.

In her present role, Rashmi works with Breakthrough, and has played a key role in the social media campaigning for the “Bell Bajao” campaign.

Suresh Sambandam – Entrepreneur, Innovator

Suresh Sambandam is the Founder & CEO of OrangeScape that was a finalist for the NASSCOM Innovation Awards 2008. At the age of 19 years, he kicked off his career by co-founding a company, at Cuddalore, a tier-3 town near Pondicherry. After this initial stint of 3 years, he went on to work at Hewlett-Packard. Later, Suresh joined Selectica and rose to senior position, as Director of e-Insurance product division in a short-span. The e-Insurance Division and its products were later acquired by Accenture. He has exposure in global client engagements at DELL, Vodafone, Unilever, etc.

He also does mentoring for budding entrepreneurs at IIT Bombay, E-Cell. Suresh is a regular speaker at industry forums & academic institutions

The Organisers…

Arun Nair

Arun Nair is Senior Manager, Marketing at Club Mahindra and heads their web-initiatives. He is also the brainchild behind Cerebrate along with Kiruba Shankar.

Arun is a strong advocate of social media and web 2.0 and has successfully spawned a few initiatives – including a popular travel and holiday blog.
Recently, his efforts at leveraging the social media won him the prestigious and coveted “Best Practise” award across the entire Mahindra & Mahindra group.

For the period 1999-2002, Arun was the Indian representative for, and part of the executive committee.

Arun is an avid reader, and also a prolific writer. He contributes to the NASSCOM blog, a few travel blogs and his own blog where he writes on technology, business and social media.

Kiruba Shankar

Kiruba Shankar is CEO of Business Blogging and Founder Director of F5ive Technologies. Prior to this, he was Associate Director at

Kiruba is one of the founders of The Knowledge Foundation, the group behind successful events like BlogCamp, India’s Biggest Unconference on Blogging,, premiere event showcasing startups.

Kiruba loves teaching and teaches at Madras Advertising Club and Asian College of Journalism. He has lectured at IIT Madras, IIM Bangalore and IIM Kozhikode.

He is a professional podcaster and hosts a show called ‘The Kiruba Show’ where he interviews CEOs of Indian IT companies. BusinessWorld Magazine ranks his blog as one of India’s top blogs.

Kiruba is a rowing champion and has captained the Sify Rowing Team to four championship titles. He has participated in Chennai and Bangalore marathons.

Lakshmi Sharath

A media professional with more than 12 years of experience, Lakshmi has worked with various media – TV, online and radio. A start up enthusiast, she has worked with the likes of TV18, CNBC, Lycos Asia .

Lakshmi was lured by the broadcast media and she went on to set up Radio Mirchi in Chennai where she was the Programming Head. She moved on to be a core member of 92.7 BIG FM and was the Vice President, and Head of South Operations where she launched 9 stations.

Writing and travelling have always been her twin passions. She loves off-beat destinations, meeting locals and looking up the stories, the myths and the historic details about the places she visits. Her love for travelling and writing finally pushed her into taking a sabbatical from her job to pursue this road less taken.