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Bhakti Vithalani

Founder & CEO

Bhakti Vithalani is the Founder and CEO of BigSpring, a lifelong skilling platform with the mission of providing a direct path to employment for everyone. BigSpring was born from a decade of work in vocational training across sectors, job types and geographies. Under Bhakti’s leadership, BigSpring has garnered over 1 million learners globally and been selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Technology Pioneer 2020. Bhakti also sits on the Board of Governors for JA Worldwide and Co-chairs JA’s Learning Experiences Committee.

Previously, Bhakti worked as an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company leading client engagements for the High Tech and Corporate Finance practices and started her career in product development in Silicon Valley with Siebel Systems.

Bhakti is a Computer Engineer with University Honors from Carnegie Mellon University (where she was among the first women from India to attend) and has an MBA from The Wharton School, where she was a Joseph Wharton Fellow.

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Arun Nagarajan


Arun is the Chief Technology Officer at BigSpring. Previously, Arun was Director of Engineering at Uber and Site Lead for the NYC office. He helped build and scale Uber Eats which is now a large global business.

At Google, Arun was a tech lead on the Developer Platform team that enabled external developers to build compelling experiences. Prior to Google, Arun spent almost a decade at a Boston area company leading a team building a cross-platform mobile application development framework for large enterprises.

Arun has a BS in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.

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Sudha Bala

VP, Customer Success

Sudha is VP of Customer Success at BigSpring. Prior to BigSpring she led customer success and operations at SAP enabling the adoption of key cloud technologies and a cohesive experience for hundreds and thousands of customers. She launched and ran the customer adoption and advocacy agenda for the mobile and cloud platform businesses of SAP to mold and showcase customers' digital outcomes.

She began her career in brand management roles at Unilever and Procter & Gamble. Sudha graduated from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science with a degree in Chemical Engineering , and an MBA in Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.


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Frits van Paasschen


Frits Van Paasschen has been President and CEO of both Starwood Hotels & Resorts worldwide and the Coors Brewing Company.

He held numerous executive roles at Nike, ultimately becoming President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Before that, van Paasschen was a Vice President, Finance at The Walt Disney Company, having begun his career in consulting at The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company. He serves on the boards of Royal DSM and William Sonoma and previously was a director on the boards of Oakley, Jones Apparel, and Barclays.

Van Paasschen is an investor and board member of three hyper-growth unicorns, Sonder, citizenM Hotels, and Convene (Chair). He is a frequent keynote speaker and Amazon best-selling author of The Disruptors' Feast.

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Dr. Greg Badros


Greg Badros earned his B.S. from Duke University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington.

He has over 20 research and trade publications including the Cassowary Constraint Solver which is now integrated into Apple's iOS and OS X. Greg worked as a Sr. Engineering Director at Google leading AdSense and then Gmail+ and Google Apps, then was a VP of Engineering & Products at Facebook leading both Ads and various consumer teams.

He now runs Prepared Mind Innovations advising numerous startups, makes early-stage investments, and builds prototypes for fun.

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Hugo Bague


Hugo Bague is a seasoned global executive with experience in metals and mining, technology, advanced manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

From 2007-2017, he was the Group Executive Organisational Resources for Rio Tinto plc, a leading international metals and mining group. Bague was previously Vice President of Human Resources for the Technology Solution Group of Hewlett Packard Corporation. He also worked for Compaq Computer, Nortel Networks, and Abbott Laboratories.

Bague is an external advisor to McKinsey & Company, and also a Non-Executive Director with Jones Lang Lasalle, where he chairs the Compensation Committee.

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Shailesh Rao


Shailesh is a Partner at TPG, responsible for its Growth and Social Impact portfolio across sectors in India and Southeast Asia.

Previously, Shailesh was the Vice President for International Operations at Twitter, launching the service in over 50 countries and MD of Google India, when he was recognized among the 100 most impactful leaders in India by Businessweek. He has served on the board of JLL, a Fortune 500 real estate services company.

Shailesh holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and dual degrees from the University of Pennsylvania – B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and a B.A. with Honors.

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