Board of Directors

  • Umesh Sachdev

    Co-founder and CEO

    Umesh Sachdev, Co-founder, and CEO of Uniphore, is a modern-day entrepreneur with a passion for technologies that have massive societal impact. Umesh co-founded Uniphore with Ravi Saraogi to bridge the communication gap between man and machine using voice and speech. Umesh was globally recognized in 2016 as one of the ten ‘Next Generation Leaders’ by Time Magazine. The MIT Tech Review recognized him as one of the ‘Innovators Under 35’. He has been conferred with the title of ‘Innovative Entrepreneur’ by the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP). Umesh holds patents in Speech Recognition Technologies and Voice Biometrics and is the author of many technical papers. Umesh is an alumnus of Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, and also a renowned ‘TED Talk’ speaker.
  • Ravi Saraogi

    Co-founder and President APAC

    Ravi, Co-founder & President-APAC, leads Sales, Delivery and Customer Success for Uniphore. His passion for mobile learning applications and technologies found traction when Uniphore was founded. Ravi and Umesh envisioned building solutions that give more power to human speech. He has vast experience in directing technology teams in initiatives spanning mobile theft security, wireless network development, and mobile learning applications. Ravi is currently an active member of the Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI), where he identifies and develops business opportunities in the field of mobile payments. He is known for his excellent analytic skills, dexterity in problem resolution, and proclivity for driving operational excellence. Ravi is an alumnus of Jaypee Institute of Information Technology.
  • Andrea Ayers

    Board Member

    Andrea J. Ayers is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Convergys Corporation, and has been a director of the Company since December 2014. She had a significant role in the transformation of Convergys from a company with three business lines to a customer management solutions company with approximately 125,000 employees worldwide. Her expertise in multi-channel customer experience, customer management analytics and technology will be extremely valuable for Uniphore.
  • John T. Chambers

    Board Member

    John Chambers is the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, a purpose-driven venture capital firm focused on enabling startups from around the world to build and scale. In his role, Chambers uses his decades of experience disrupting the technology industry to invest in and coach companies that are leading the next market transitions. Prior to founding JC2 Ventures in 2018, Chambers served as CEO, Chairman and Executive Chairman of Cisco. During his 25+ years with Cisco, he helped grow the company from $70 million when he joined in 1991, to $1.2 billion when he became CEO in 1995, to $47 billion when he stepped down as CEO in 2015.
  • Sumant Mandal

    Board Member

    Sumant is Managing Director and co-founder of LA-based March Capital Partners, in addition to being co-founder of two leading technology incubators in the San Francisco Bay Area; The Hive, focused on AI and Blockchain driven companies, and The Fabric, focused on cloud, IoT and network infrastructure companies. He has been part of incubating more than 25 companies. Sumant leads investments in Cloud Computing, IoT, AI/ML, and Network Infrastructure as well as companies supporting the Indian market. He currently serves on the boards of numerous market-leading companies, including Astound, BillDesk, The Rubicon Project, CarTrade, IoTium, KMesh, SparkCognition, Decision Engines, and Xage Security. In his nearly two decades of venture capital, Sumant has generated multiple meaningful exits in companies he has either incubated or been the first institutional investor. His exits include Velocloud Networks (acquired by VMWare), Perspica Systems (acquired by Cisco), The Rubicon Project (NYSE: RUBI), Kosei (acquired by Pinterest), Appcito (acquired by A10 Networks), Deep Forest Media (acquired by Rakuten), Kazeon Systems (acquired by EMC), Mimosa Systems (acquired by Iron Mountain), Ankeena Networks (acquired by Juniper), Cetas (acquired by VMware), and Apture (acquired by Google). In 2000, Sumant joined Clearstone Venture Partners, where he went on to become a Managing Director four years later. Prior to Clearstone, Sumant spent more than eight years as an entrepreneur, starting companies in both India and the United States. Sumant has an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University. He is a Charter Member of TiE.
  • Burt Podbere

    Board Member

    Burt Podbere serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for CrowdStrike. Since joining the company, Podbere has been instrumental in establishing the company’s long-term financial management strategy and developing the company’s global expansion strategy. During his five plus year tenure at CrowdStrike he has help secure approximately $1B in equity financing through several funding rounds including its 2019 IPO as well as approximately $1.5B in secured and unsecured debt. Podbere has worked in Canada, Europe, and the U.S. where he has garnered extensive knowledge of both domestic and international finance, SaaS businesses, and international operations.
  • Pankaj Patel

    Board Member

    Pankaj Patel was Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco Systems, Inc. where he reported to the CEO as the Engineering head of the company’s $38 billion product and solution portfolio. He drove the business and technology strategy across Cisco’s Routing, Switching, Wireless, Security, Mobility, Video, Collaboration, Data Center and Cloud offerings delivered by a global team of over 26,000 engineers. Mr. Patel is a proven results-oriented and seasoned technology leader with 25+ years of experience developing highly scalable products and services by building and leading large, high-performance global engineering organizations, setting clear vision, directing strategy and delivering against goals. He is passionate about translating strategy to execution, and delivering the best experience for the customer. Mr. Patel retired from Cisco in October of 2016 and now serves on the Board of Directors of several startups. He is focused on incubating, investing, and advising startups with their strategy, product development, and go-to-market as well as helping them scale. Patel is also a mentor and sponsor to numerous employees throughout the industry.
  • Rob Rueckert

    Board Member

    Rob Rueckert joined Sorenson Capital in 2015 and leads the firm’s growth-stage technology practice. He co-founded Sorenson Ventures in 2017 where he invests in software and security. Influenced by his engineering background, Rob is a “product-first” investor, focusing on product leadership, technical depth, and differentiating quality – a winning formula for innovation and growth. Rob enjoys working closely with ambitious leaders and is equally devoted to both solving their challenges and celebrating their accomplishments. Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, Rob spent 15 years in Silicon Valley at Intel Capital, where he invested in over 50 companies worldwide and across multiple technology sectors, including enterprise software, cloud computing, data platforms, security, communications, consumer internet, and consumer devices. Rob managed and oversaw more than 25 successful exits from his portfolio, including four IPOs and acquisitions by Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung, Cisco, and many others. Additional past positions include software and data engineer / consultant for Arthur Andersen and executive roles for a number of other companies. Rob holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth and a Bachelor of Science in information systems from Brigham Young University. He is a Kauffman Fellow.
  • Pradeep Tagare

    Board Member

    Pradeep Tagare manages National Grid Partners’ $250M enterprise and energy-focused corporate venture fund based in Silicon Valley. The fund has invested in 20 startups including 3 early-stage VC Funds in the UK, Israel and the US. Pradeep joined National Grid Partners from Intel Capital where he worked for over 13 years in Silicon Valley and India. At Intel Capital, Pradeep led 16 investments which resulted in 2 IPOs and 8 M&A exits with 2 Unicorns and 1 Decacorn in the portfolio. Prior to Intel Capital, Pradeep spent over 12 years in Silicon Valley in technology/product marketing roles at startups such as Inference, BroadVision, Healthon, and as an entrepreneur starting Yopa, a mobile middleware software company (acquired by XDrive/AOL). Pradeep has an M.S.E.E from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a BE (EE) from the University of Bombay, and is a Kauffman Fellow.
  • Ranjith Menon

    Board Member

    Ranjith Menon is Executive Director at Chiratae Ventures India Advisors. He has been in the industry since 2000 and in the venture investment advisory since 2007. Prior to Chiratae Ventures, Ranjith worked with Cyient (earlier Infotech Enterprises), India’s premier Design Engineering and GIS Company. As Manager-Marketing he played a key role in conceptualizing and launching new service offerings for the Aerospace vertical, which is one of the largest offshore Aerospace practices out of India. Earlier in his career, Ranjith has served as a stress test engineer at Infotech Enterprises and also gained shop floor experience at Bharat Earth Movers Limited, India’s largest earth moving equipment manufacturers. Ranjith is a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). He holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University and an MBA from the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.

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