Having lived in a myriad of global cities across North America and East Africa, my perspective on the complexity of modern identity emerged at an early age through experiences analysing my lineage and its cultural evolution (which has moved from Gujurat, India to Kenya to Canada where I was born.)
Since 1995 my work online has sought to explore phenomena involving cultural expression amongst communities online and during high school I designed rural community access programs with Nairobi’s first ISP to attempt online education for children who had no books in their schools and had never used a computer before.
One outcome of studying the evolution of digital music alongside Comparative Religions at McGill University in the late 90s was the creation of Indian Electronica – my umbrella arts organization which has, since 2002, operated as a record label, online radio station and podcast series plus hosted a music festival with sessions in Toronto, New York, London and Mumbai, and has been co-produced with the BBC.
In 2005 I moved from New York to Toronto to found a studio called Design Guru that specializes in strategic design involving interfaces for online communities, and has since worked with over 70 global organizations – including NGOs, universities, political parties, media production firms and more.
Both independently and through incubated project work at Design Guru I’ve launched a number of SaaS start-ups – including tripping.co (a service making it easy to collaboratively plan trips), introduction.io (a hosted portfolio service for creatives) and GetFilmi (a digital distribution platform for Indian cinema.)
As of 2014 I’ve turned the majority of my attention to working with local and global partners to develop Canada’s start-up ecosystem and position our country as a prime launch pad for globally-focused emerging business models.
For the past two years my work running IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program in Canada attempts to unify efforts between government institutions, member organizations, venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerator programs and more to provide maximum value to entrepreneurs working in Canada. Most recently I’ve founded an initiative called Startup Safaris to open access to African ecosystems through once in a lifetime adventures on the continent giving investors etc high touch experiences with founders etc…