Indiaspora Forum 2016

May 20-22, 2016 Chubb Hotel and Conference Center | Philadelphia, PA

The 3rd annual forum, hosted by Indiaspora, will once again bring together the leadership of the Indian American and Indian community for a three-day summit during Forum 2016 which is set to happen over the May 20-22, 2016 weekend in Philadelphia, PA.

Venue: Chubb Hotel and Conference Center | Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia,  the City of Brotherly Love, is not only home to many national historic sites, but home to the founding of the United States. With a deep and rich history of the past, present-day Philadelphia reveals its multifaceted, captivating personality block by block, mural by mural, garden by garden, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Christine VirsunenEvent Manager: Christine Virsunen

Christine brings over two decades of experience in managing meetings, events and large-scale productions for major corporations as the founder of Encore Productions. She works meticulously to incorporate the highest standards for all events.

Indiaspora’s Retreat Forum gather’s 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.

For logistical information relating to Indiaspora events, including travel and accommodations for the annual retreat, please contact Christine directly.


6:30 pm | Welcome Reception

An evening of networking, stimulating conversation and Indian-inspired food and drink.

9:00 pm | Movie Screening : ‘Growing Up Smith’ (fka ‘Good Ol’ Boy’)  

Q & A with producer, writer & actor Anjul Nigam


7:00 am | Yoga

8:00 am | Breakfast

9:00 am to 10:15 am | Opening Plenary & Town Hall Meeting

The Maturation of the Indian American

Our community continues to grow and mature. Along with it come challenges. Are we ready to take the next steps? Led by the Founders Circle, participants share ideas and opinions in a spirited and candid fashion.

(This is a not-for-attribution session.)

A Philadelphia Welcome: Raj Gupta & Vikram Dewan

Indiaspora update from board members and Founders Circle

10:15 am | Coffee/Tea Break

10:45 am to 12:00 pm | Breakout Sessions

How many Indian Americans will win in the 2016 elections?
This is the craziest election cycle in memory. What is our role? Can we develop a game plan for success?

Moderator:  Raj Goyle

Panelists: Jay Chaudhuri, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Neil Makhija, Jenifer Rajkumar

          Mission 2022: Imagining the US-India Relationship
          What will the relationship look like post-Obama? How can we make this the defining partnership of the 21st century? What can we do when India turns 75?

Moderator:  Pramath Sinha

Panelists:   Bill Danvers, Sadanand Dhume, Sudhakar Kesavan and Namita Thapar

Indian American Women’s Issues
We have many successful women in our community. Problems still exist, such as parents’ expectations and societal pressures. Who are the role models? What are some of the lessons learnt?

Moderator:  Meera Joshi

Panelists:   Aditi Hardikar, Asha Jadeja, Kavita Shukla, and Geetha Vallabhaneni

 Indian Stereotypes
We are doctors, academics, tech geeks and motel owners. We are also brown. How do we educate mainstream America on who we really are? How do we deal with day-to-day issues?

Moderator:  Maya Ajmera

Panelists:    Vikram Dewan, Nissim Reuben, Kamala Sankaram & Amita Shukla

12:30 pm | Lunch Plenary & Mid-day Recap

2:00 pm to 3:30 pmAfternoon Plenary

The US-India Partnership: The Road Ahead
The US will have a new President in January 2017. How will the Obama-Modi partnership transition without skipping a beat? What needs to be done to keep the momentum?

Keynote:  Arun Singh, Indian Ambassador to the United States

Moderator:  Sanjeev Joshipura

Panel:  Manpreet Anand, ,Dynaneshwar Mulay & Vinai Thummalapally

3:30 pm | Coffee/Tea Break

3:45 pm to 5:00 pm | Breakout Sessions

Creating a Win-Win in US-India trade
There are great expectations that trade between the two countries will blossom to become several hundred billion in short order. Are there concrete steps that can be taken to make this a reality? What does each side need to do?

Moderator: Rick Rossow

Panelists:  Nishith Desai, Ranjan Pant, Jigar Patel and Anand Shah

      Medicine as a Bridge Between US & India
ven though we are 1% of the population, we are 7% of all the doctors in the USA. What are the opportunities to collaborate with India? Can we find specific initiatives or causes that can lead the way?

Moderator:  Amita Gupta

Panelists:  Shinjini Kundu, Aseem Shukla and Chittaranjan Yagnik

The Millennial Connect
How do we get the young people engaged on both sides? We need both virtual and physical interactions. Can we build a 5 year plan?

Moderator:   Varun Sivaraman

Panelists:     Tanveer Kathawala, Shohini Kundu, Steven Olikara, Rahul Rekhi & Kumal Sood

Indian Culture and Its Global Leverage
Hollywood Bollywood very very jolly good. Eat, pray love. Will it get hijacked and appropriated. Can we brand it and control the message?

Moderator:  Reena Esmail

Panelists:    Vinita Belani,Prasad Kaipa, Raghu Rao & Ramesh Raskar

Under The Radar

The California text book controversy, 10% under the poverty line, undocumented Indians. How do we confront these touchy issues and fix them for our next generation?

 Moderator: Pradeep Khosla

Panelists: Devesh Kapur, Aneesh Raman, Karthick Ramakrishnan & Suhag Shukla

5:15 pm to 6:00 pm | The Indiaspora Ball: The Big Project for 2017

The first Ball in 2013 was a resounding success. How can we raise the bar? How do we get more funding? How can you get involved?

  Convener: MR Rangaswami

        8:00 pm | Gala Evening
Black Tie or Indian Formal Celebration with Philadelphia Civic and Business Leaders



7:00 am | Yoga

8:00 amBreakfast

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

Host:  Hari Sreenivasan

Sangita Iyer, Ricky Kej, Kiran Sridhar, Bob Chitester, Srikant Bolla, Nina Davuluri

    10:00 amCoffee/Tea Break

10:15 am to 11:30 am Breakout Sessions
The Pillars of Philanthropy
What are the 3 pillars that can make an impact? Are they education, healthcare and religion? How do we inspire Indian Americans to do more good?

Moderator: Mitul Desai

Panelists:  Vasundhara Kalasapudi, Raju Reddy, Ranjini Saigal and Vandana Tilak

Workshop:  Storytelling Essentials

If you are going to deliver a Ted talk or present a business plan, good storytelling is critical to success.  Create a connection with your audience.

 Vijai Nathan

Master Class: Social Media

This one of a kind workshop is taught to media folks worldwide. You will leave with specific, concrete ideas on making the best use of your social media time and how to build and enhance your brand online and influence people.

Sree Sreenivasan

Where are Indian Americans in our racialized society?

Indian- Americans are largely silent in the national discourse on race, and in some cases, underplay their own racial and ethnic backgrounds. How can we contribute positively and make an impact?

Moderator: Sushma Raman

Panelists: Medha Jaishankar, Shaun Jayachandran & Sheela Prasad

        Balancing Life, Career, Family…
Two successful careers, young kids, aging parents, and great expectations.
How do couples deal with these challenges?

Moderator:  Priya Dayananda

Panelists:   Jigar and Khushali Shah, Vinay Singh, Shalini Vallabhan and Smita Rawoot

        12:00 pm to 1:00 pmClosing Plenary & Lunch
Buses to 30th Street Station and Philadelphia Airport depart at 1:00 pm