The Team

Dr. Riad Hartani


Riad has been involved in a string of technology startups in the Silicon Valley as founder and key executive. His areas of expertise are in mobile communications, internet eco-system, ad network and artificial intelligence. Earlier, he held senior engineering and business roles, and consulted with lead organizations in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. He holds two Engineering degrees and a Master degree, a Doctorate and Post-doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Paris, and the University of California, Berkeley (all with highest honors) and completed the Executive Education in Business at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Anand Gupta


Anand has 20+ years of technology management, engineering, operations, product development, innovation, competition analysis, strategy formulation, and technology evaluation experience with wireless telecom equipment providers and their wireless operator customers both in the USA and internationally. He has extensive experience in  network deployments and performance analysis and with Big Data applications at Sabre, Spatial Wireless, Alcatel-Lucent, and Mitel/Mavenir. Anand holds a BS degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the IIT New Delhi and a MBA from the University of Dallas.

Rolf Lumpe


Entrepreneurial and pragmatic global executive driving international business and expansion of Fortune 100 and start-up companies for more than 20 years. Leading sales, consulting, and business development across diverse industries and functional areas combined with deep knowledge of Asian markets, customers and cultures. Excellent understanding of existing and emerging technologies, products, solutions. As consultant providing business, IT / media and technology consulting including service and media planning, advising on technology transformation and providing technical due diligence for PE and VC firms. Holds master degree in electronics from RWTH (Germany / Japan) and attended INSEAD Business School (France).

Arun Rao


Arun Rao has over 20 years of innovative, multi-domain experience in both Corporate and Startup environments. He has held executive positions in companies like IBM, EDS, Cognizant & Verizon and founded/co-founded successful startups such as Digerati (Sold to Medilinq ’97) & Applabs (Sold to CSC ’11).

He has been hands-on involved in many first-in-the-world (software & hardware) projects, authored multiple patents as well as one of the first Java books in 1996. Arun graduated from IIT Delhi with a degree in Computer Science and has extensive experience in current state-of-the-art technologies including Blockchain, Deep Learning and Cloud.

Frank Rayal


Frank is a telecom industry strategist and thought leader with a passion for bridging the technology-market divide. A wireless industry veteran of 20 years, Frank is co-founder of BLiNQ Networks and has held senior product management and business development positions at Redline, Metawave and Ericsson where he launched innovative wireless solutions. He consults on the technology, market and economics of wireless networks, spectrum, and infrastructure solutions. Frank holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and an MSc in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Ananda Sengupta


Over 20 years experience in product development, product management, marketing, business development, sales and delivery of a wide range of software and hardware products covering all the spectrum of networking and Internet technologies. He Held leadership roles in an industry forum and have a strong network with professionals in leading Fortune 100 companies in the Telecom and Media space, and been a strategic advisor to lead technology and venture capital firms. Ananda is a BTech from IIT Delhi, MBA IIM Calcutta.

Dean Sirovica


Dean was recently VP of Business Development for Huawei R&D USA, responsible for strategic positioning, Partnerships, and M&A.  He is responsible for positioning Huawei as a technology leader, Partnerships with the local ecosystem, and M&A. Dean is a member of the Band of Angels, helping entrepreneurs grow their business. Previously, Dean was Managing Director of Vodafone Group R&D USA, leading Vodafone’s R&D activities outside of Europe including Vodafone Ventures. Dean was founding President and Chairman of the Mobile Wireless Internet Forum. Prior to Vodafone, Dean held the following roles. Cofounder Malibu Networks, a pioneering developer of wireless DSL. Director with Sprint PCS where he deployed Sprint’s CDMA network in Southern California & Nevada. Director of Wireless Engineering at USWEST. Dean spent several years in academic research on communications and distributed systems. Dean holds BSEE and PhD from the University of Sussex, UK, and MBA from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.

Milja Hofman


Having sixteen years of experience in the International Roaming environment, Milja founded the company Roamingwise in 2011, in which she uses her roaming experience gained at Telfort/KPN The Netherlands and the Data Clearing House MACH in Luxembourg. Closely following the GSM Association standards, Milja delivers training on a broad range of roaming topics (ao 4G Roaming) during seminars, on-site and off-site. As she is in close contact with a large number of mobile network operators worldwide, Milja is well equipped to deliver strategic management advise on roaming and perform a roaming audit on a commercial, technical and financial level. Milja has a Master degree from the University of Amsterdam and studied one year the Master ‘Estudios Europeos’ in Alcala de Henares Spain.

Isabelle Paradis


Isabelle is President and Founder of HOT TELECOM, one of the most innovative and creative telecom research and consulting companies in the industry. HOT TELECOM has been supporting Tier-1 and Tier-2 operators on a global basis for over 15 years, more particularly on the subjects of International and wholesale.

More recently, Isabelle has been working with many of the world’s telecom service providers to help them define their transformation strategy. She has published several articles and reports on the subject and has spoken at numerous conferences around the world to share her views on the future of the international telecoms business.

She is also passionate about encouraging the involvement of women in technology and science and conducts multiple panels and interview with leading women globally.

Isabelle holds a Bachelor degree in Engineering, an MBA in Finance and has over 24 years working globally on all continents.

Anurag Maunder


Anurag is a hands-on senior executive with a founder’s mindset of getting things done. He has released many products in the market.

He has several years of executive management experience with Research & Development teams along with responsibility for establishing technology direction in the areas of AI (ML, DL, RL), Robotics, Search, Big Data Analysis, Storage and Networking.

Dan Cauchy


Dan has over 20 years of experience in ICT and is a worldwide authority in the areas of embedded computing and automotive internet technologies. He is currently a Board member of GENIVI alliance. Dan was a lead executive at multiple startups and Fortune 100 corporations and a frequent speaker at lead industry events. Dan was also responsible for vertical market strategy and related ecosystem development, which included Mobile (Android, Moblin, LiMo), In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI). He consulted to the top business and technology players in the mobile internet space, providing strategic technology roadmaps and M&A advisory.

Richard Jeffares


Richard is a recognized technology evangelist and has advised some of the world’s most prestigious organizations in the design and execution of innovative growth strategy. Richard commenced his career with Telstra and has since gone on to work with blue-chip businesses including Credit Suisse in London, Siemens AG in Munich, Motorola in Chicago and Cap Gemini in Hong Kong. He deployed one of the world’s first mobile internet solutions for Orange/Hutchison Hong Kong and led UK Broadband’s first mover TD-LTE 4G network as CTO before assuming his most recent COO role at Ultrafast Fibre in New Zealand. Richard holds a Master of Information Systems from Griffith University in Australia.

Mano Vafai


As an industry veteran with a multi-disciplinary skill set, Mano brings extensive experience ranging from strategy, business development, and solutions architecture to M&A, building strategic partnerships, and product development. He has worked both for public and leading edge start-up companies in the Mobile Internet, Wireless Networking and semiconductor industries.  A graduate of Purdue University with MSEE degree, Mano has played a pivotal role in several industry initiatives like  MSF, ETSI, NGMN , LSTI and WiMAX forum.

Shervin Bakhtiari


Shervin has 20+ years’ experience spanning various TMT senior technical and business roles, leading emerging technology innovation, development and adoption with extensive international work and project experience in Silicon Valley, Canada, Middle East, and Asia Pacific/China with Fortune 500 and startups. He has been involved in the full innovation life cycle from strategy, development, deployment, sales & business development, strategic partnerships, and Investment/M&A across telecoms, DC/Cloud, digital media, digital health, and Fintech verticals. He is active in startup innovation advisory, growth, and venture investments. He holds both a Bachelors and Masters of Engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and various post-grad certificates.

Eric Chan


Mobile technologies evangelist, covering the overall mobile ecosystem from handsets to software to applications. Founder of multiple Silicon Valley startups, industry reference on mobile trends and evolution and applications design. Consulted to various Fortune 500 Companies, such as Intel, NSN, Xerox PARC, and Wells Fargo Bank. Most recently, he was focused on social CRM application services and loyalty programs for mobile operators in emerging markets. He holds a Masters in Software Engineering and a Bachelors in Business Administration, both from Carnegie Mellon University.

Etienne Piciocchi


Etienne has 18 years of experience in strategy and corporate finance consulting in the Telecom, Media and Technology sector, in both developed and emerging markets. He is also an affiliate of Hot Telecom and Value Partners, and started his consulting career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Etienne has successfully delivered 75+ complex assignments, and helped corporations and private equity firms make difficult decisions related to investments, growth, regulation, and business transformation. This included strategic and industry reviews, spectrum auctions, target screening and valuations, commercial due diligence, acquisition planning and integration, and performance improvement. Etienne has a passion for TMT convergence, digital innovation, and technology startups. He is also a Screening Committee Member for the London HBS Alumni Angels Association. Along with his MBA, CFA, and MSc Eng credentials, Etienne is qualified in project and programme management.

Dr. James Shanahan


Jimi has spent the last 23 years developing cutting-edge information management systems. He started a boutique consultancy (Church and Duncan Group Inc.) whose major goal is to help companies leverage their vast repositories of data using statistics, machine learning, optimization theory and data mining. He held Chief Scientist positions at lead ventures in the US and Europe. Jimi received his Ph.D. in engineering mathematics from the University of Bristol, U. K. and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Limerick, Ireland. He is a Marie Curie fellow and member of IEEE and ACM. In 2011, he was selected as a member of the Silicon Valley 50.

Clint Cooper


Clint has over 25 years of executive management, strategic planning, engineering, operations and large network deployment experience in international wireless telecommunications companies. Extensive international background includes seven years working in Europe. Clint was with AirTouch/ Vodafone for  11 years where he delivered some of the first CDMA, GSM and 3G networks worldwide. As Managing Director at Vodafone HQ in Newbury, Clint had technical responsibility for sixteen operating companies. Prior to this Clint was CTO, Vodafone Italy, where he directed the planning, design and implementation of the 2nd GSM network across Italy, 60M POPs and the acquisition of 13M customers. After Vodafone, Clint joined Italian start-up, eBiscom as Partner and CTO. With a 1.6B euro IPO, eBiscom built Europe’s first broadband IP communications company, delivering triple play via fiber to the home. The company was sold to Swisscom for 3.7B euros. Clint presently directs Teocalli Partners, a management consulting company that specializes in the wireless  sector.

Mats A. Vilander


Mats has been in the global telecom/technology industry for more than 20 years in both CXO level roles and executive line management roles, leading global sales teams and executed large infrastructure contracts, including managing services for Mobile Network Operators and leading solution sales from product units. As a Corporate Director in Ericsson, Mats was a board member in some of the Ericsson ventures and the Ericsson Marketing Board and was also responsible for some of the key M&A activities acquiring new technologies to the Ericsson product portfolio. As head of Sales and Business development at ZTE Corporation for Europe, Mats developed the business from the first operator contract, resulting in sales of solutions of over 500 MUSD to MNOs. Mats has extensive experience with top tier strategic consulting firms, Price Waterhouse and Andersen with whom he led over 17 mobile license bids for GSM/3G/WIMAX/EVDO.  Mats was CEO with the Swedish Venture Capital Association EVCA and has held various other senior positions with start ups and venture capital organizations. Mats currently serves on the Investor Growth Capitals (IGC) Technology Advisory Board. Mats holds an M.Sc. in Economics from Stockholm School of Business and a MBA from UCLA (Andersen School of Management) in Finance.