Forum 2015

May 8th till 10th Airlie, Warrenton, VA

Indiaspora’s second Forum once again gathered Indian American leaders for a three-day summit of candid conversation, strategic discussion and cultural experiences in order to advance the causes of the community.

Forum 2015 happened over the weekend of May 8-10, 2015 at Airlie, a Warrenton, Virginia hotel and conference center. Airlie is situated 50 minutes from Washington D.C. on 1,200 well-manicured acres at the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains.


  • 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | Welcome Reception
    Uniting the Network
    An evening of networking and stimulating conversation! Enjoy Indian inspired food and drink.
  • 9:00 pm | Movie Screeening :  ‘?’ It’s ‘For Here Or To Go?’      
    Q & A with director Rucha Humnabdkar

  • 8:00 am | Breakfast
  • 9:00 am to 10:15 am | Opening Plenary & Town Hall Meeting
    The Role of Indian Americans – Coming of Age
    We are now perceived as a powerful minority – are we really? We have a blend of two generations – what does this mean? How do we harness the power of the 3 million? Led by our Founders Circle, all participants will share ideas and opinions in a spirited and candid fashion – this not for attribution opening town hall session.

M.R. Rangaswami Founder, Indiaspora

Shekar Narasimhan – Board, Member Indiaspora

Rajan Navani – Board Member, Indiaspora

Karthick Ramakrishnan – UC Riverside – “Unveiling the Indiaspora Survey

Representative Joe Crowley (NY)

Desh Deshpande, Kris Gopalakrishnan & Sunil Wadhwani – Indiaspora Founders Circle

Ramesh Raskar: “Kumbhathon and Beyond”

  • 10:15 am | Coffee/Tea Break
  • 10:45 am to 12:00 pm – Room TBA | Breakout Sessions
    – What Does It Take to Make It In US Politics?

    Over 30 Indian Americans ran for office in the 2014 cycle and many more are expected to do so next time around. Can we have a national agenda? How can we be successful?

          Moderator: Rep. Ami Bera

          Panelists: Kumar Barve, Neel Kashkari, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi

  • – Indian American Women in Leadership
    The role of women is rightfully a major area of concern. Are Indian American women in a better position than their American or Indian counterparts?

           Moderator: Sejal Hathi

           Panelists:  Maya Ajmera, Maina Chawla Singh, Vikram Gandhi, Priya Natarajan

  • – Immigration Issues – the $64,000 Questions
    H1B, Green card, undocumented… What are the priorities? How do we get the message across to the political establishment and policy makers?

           Moderator: Suman Raghunathan

           Panelists: Navneet Chugh, Nishith Desai, Rucha Humnabadkar, Devesh Kapur

  • – Media and Indian Americans – Is It Time For A Global Channel?
    Indian Americans have now moved into key roles in major media throughout the US. The worldwide diaspora exceeds 30 million and there is a large appetite for news, entertainment and the like. Is it time to do something different?

          Moderator: Atul Singh

          Panelists: Ninan Chacko, Ashok Malik, Aneesh Raman, Arun Venugopal

  • – “UnConference” TBD at the Forum


  • 12:30 pm | Lunch Plenary & Mid-day Recap
    US Priorities for the US-India Relationship

Senator Tim Kaine (VA) and Representative Ami Bera (CA)

Moderator Shekar Narasimhan

  • 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm | Afternoon Plenary
    How to Create A Vibrant US-India Partnership for the 21st Century
    The US and India have a love affair. Will this result in a happy marriage? What is the give and take? Can this partnership withstand a rocky road? A powerful panel will have a no holds barred discussion and debate.

          Arun Singh, Indian Ambassador to the United States

         Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State

         Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Commerce

         Puneet Talwar, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

         Sadanand Dhume, American Enterprise Institute


        Update from the Indiaspora Delhi Dialogue

        Sudhir Jain, Rajan Navani, Inderpreet Wadhwa


  • 3:15 pm | Coffee/Tea Break


  • 3:45 pm to 5:00 pm – Room TBABreakout Sessions
    – Five Ideas to Increase Business Between the US and India
    US-India trade is now $100 billion and the objective is to grow it five fold as soon as possible. Is this realistic? What needs to be done to get us there?

           Moderator: Nish Acharya

           Panelists: Mukesh Aghi, Ashok Mago, Jigar Patel, Vikram Singh

  • – How Can We Collaborate to Skill 500 million Indians?
    India has enviable statistics – the largest young population in the world. But they have to be educated and more importantly gainfully employed. This requires more than rote education. What can we learn from the US and how can we help?

          Moderator: Sunder Ramaswamy

         Panelists: Ashish Dhawan, Sunil Kumar, Deepa Prahalad, Aromar Revi

  • – Indian Americans in Non-Traditional Professions
    The stereotypes are being broken everyday. Indian Americans are making their mark in professions outside the comfort zone. They are inspired by India and also collaborating in new ways with their heritage and culture. Is there a pattern?

          Moderator: Balan Ayyar

         Panelists: Reena Esmail, Arvind Manocha, Sheetal Prajapati, KK Raghava

  • – Creating A Powerful and Virtual Indian American Network for Change
    The Modi visit galvanized the community and showed what can happen when we are excited and proud. Can this be the start of a new network? How can we create a sustainable one?

          Moderator: Raj Goyle

         Panelists: Sanjay Ramabhadran, Anand Shah, Mansi Shah, Navin Thukkaram

  • – The Holy Grail: Intersection of Medicine and Technology
    We have debated healthcare issues ad nauseum with no results. Can the best minds in medicine and tech come up with innovative and game changing solutions?

         Moderator: Pat Basu

         Panelists: Bala Ambatti, Amita Gupta, Goutham Narla, Amita Shukla

  • 5:15 pm to 6:00 pm | Five Pillars for A Meaningful Life

         Dada JP Vaswani

  • 7:00 pm | Gala Evening
    Black Tie or Indian Formal

           Soprano Kamala Sankaram

           Comedian Vijai Nathan

  • 8:00 am | Breakfast
  • 8:45 am to 10:00 am | Morning Plenary
    Game Changers

        Manoj Bhargava: “Two Impactful Innovations for India”

       Vivek Murthy: “Of Saints, Scientists and Surgeons General”

Sunil Wadhwani: “Affordable healthcare in India”

       Shiv Khemka: “Educating India’s Youth: Where Do We Go from Here?”

      Ramji Raghavan: “Sparking creativity and curiosity ”

      Sri Ramasubban: “India’s Apollo Moment”



  • 10:00 am | Coffee/Tea Break


  • 10:15 am to 11:30 am – Room TBABreakout Sessions
    – The Role of Philanthropy
    We are the highest earning demographic in the United States at $89,000 a year. How do we translate this success into helping others in the US and India? Are there new giving models? Can we move the needle and become role models?

          Moderator: Vivek Maru

         Panelists: Gowri Ishwaran, Anand Parameswaran, Ramji Raghavan, Nalini Saligram

  • – How Can Indian Americans Impact Policy in the US?
    The next US Presidential elections are almost here. Politicians will be coming to the community for help and support. What are our core values? Do we have an agenda?

           Moderator: Neera Tanden

           Panelists: Persis Khambatta, Ravi Sandill, Ganesh Sitaraman, Mini Timmaraju

  • – Youth Power – Connecting Young Indian Americans and Indians
    The diaspora is as strong as our next generation. How do we get the youth from our community and India connected and collaborating? This is our next big opportunity – how do we play it?

          Moderator: Pradeep Khosla

        Panelists: Ayna Agarwal, Abin Kuriakose, Varun Sivaraman, Anshul Tewari 

  • – How Do We Leverage “Soft Power” – Religion, Yoga, Fashion, Bollywood and Cuisine
    India’s contribution to the world in non-economic and political fields has been as important. This soft power can be the secret weapon that works to resolve issues. What are the latest trends and how can we leverage them for good?

         Moderator: Srinivas Aravamudan

        Panelists: Jyoti Bachani, Mitra Kalita, Kanniks Kannikeswaran, Suhag Shukla

  • – “UnConference” TBD at the Forum
  • 12:00 pm to 1:00 pmClosing Plenary & Lunch
    Busses to Union Station and Dulles Airport depart at 1:10 pm

Len DePas-5116