Experience Dharavi




We have stellar line up of speakers who have truly pushed the boundaries
in their field and help us look at the bigger picture.

Srimathy Kesan

Founder, Space Kids

What does it take to break the boundaries & launch the lightest satellite in the world?

Dr Srimathy Kesan is a visionary. Founder and CEO SpaceKidz India. Under her guidance, students designed Kalamsat - the world’s lightest satellite ever to be placed in orbit! Dr. Kesan has inspired over a thousand students to pursue their space dreams regardless of their field of education, social status, and geographic location. She recently launched the first ever 3D printed femto satellite on a NASA’s Terrier Orion rocket into Suborbit. Dr Kesan will talk about her vision & redefining space dreams for Indian kids.

Bhau Katdare

Founder, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra

Can you turn poachers to protectors?

Bhau Katdhare is a reformer. Founder of Sahayadri Nisarg Mitra, Bhau has been instrumental in conserving vultures & turtles in Maharashtra. Bhau comes from a very humble background with no background in conservation but that did not stop him from mobilising villages & the government to conserve endangered species. Bhau will talk about changing mindsets to truly protect our nature in his talk.

Gulafsha Ansari

Founder, Dreaming In A Slum

What does it take for a young girl from a conservative background to dream big and become a football star?

Gulafsha Ansari is a rule breaker. At 22, she is a leading footballer in India encouraging girls from poor background to learn life skills through football. Gulafsha will talk about her journey of breaking stereotypes & redefining a girl’s boundaries.

Venkat Iyer

Author, Moong Over Microchips

Can you break the mould & go from techie to a farmer?

Venkat Iyer is a believer. Doing what each of us secretly dream of, Venkat Iyer went from being a manager in an IT firm to a successful self-trained farmer. Venkat will talk about his adventures of choosing to grow moong over designing microchips.

Megha Gupta

Founder, DharaviMarket

How can you open up a local artisan market to the world?

Megha Gupta is a game-changer. The founder of DharaviMarket.com, Megha has made sure that this e-commerce initiative provides the local, skilled craftsmen and artisans direct access to local and global markets. She will talk about changing the lives of local artisans & preserving age-old art through technology.

Baburao Laad Saheb

Founder - 5 Star Acting & Dance Classes

Do you believe in real heroes?

Baburao Laad Saheb is your everyday behind the scenes hero. A director, painter, actor, producer, mentor, cameraman, photographer, and coach, Baburao has been training actors over 25 years free of charge. He will talk about his journey of making Bollywood dreams come true.

Shirin Merchant

Expert Canine Behaviorist

Can we learn humanity from dogs?

Shirin Merchant is a canine evangelist. Found of Canines Can Care, Shirin is dedicated towards canine training & counselling. She advocates the role of dogs in our society and will talk about her experiences with dogs which will change your view of the man’s best friend.

Jameel Shah

Founder, Shah Shoes

Could Cinderella’s shoes have been made in Dharavi?

Jameel Shah is dream chaser. As a successful celebrity shoemaker, Shah who creates designer shoes with locally procured materials through his venture Shah Shoes. Today, many Bollywood biggies are his loyal clients. Shah will walk us through his life & setting up a shoe empire from scratch.

Kumar Shailabh

Founder, Uplift Mutuals

Can we provide insurance to all?

Kumar Shailabh is a visionary & founder of Uplift Mutuals, a pioneer in the mutual micro-insurance space in India which is run on solidarity and collective responsibility. A unique initiative that works to provide insurance to population who are below poverty line and has already covered over 3,00,000 people. Kumar Shailabh will walk us through the journey of Uplift Mutuals.

Debjani Roy

Health care Communication Design

How do we design interventions that work in urban slums?

Debjani works in the area of Health care Communication Design. From being a User Researcher to managing public health program in public hospitals, she uses elements of co-design to understand perspective and behavior of people living in Urban Slums. Her talk is on how co-creation empowers the users to share their insights, which increases the persuasion and motivation to adapt any healthcare program.

Bian Li

Founder, The Hungry Lab

How do we future-proof the next generation?

Bian Li is a visionary and Founder of The Hungry Lab, whose mission is to challenge the status quo in collaborating for better ideas that have a lasting future impact. Through our Global School for the Future™, The Hungry Lab is future-proofing today’s youth, workforce and communities for the next generation of global challenges. We are provoking new thinking, structures and systems around old problems. By redefining how opportunity is created, how innovation is measured and how progress is shaped, we are creating a world where anyone who is hungry to belong to the future has the ability to do so.


Not SlumDogs but SlumGods

SlumGods is a Dharavi home grown hip hop crew of rappers, beatboxers & B boys. They conduct training for children and introduce them to the world of Hip Hop. SlumGods will be putting up a mind blowing performance for us on stage.

Our Host for the event!

Mae Mariyam Thomas

Mae Mariyam Thomas is a radio presenter, journalist, writer & voice over artist, with over a decade of experience in the radio industry. She began as a news editor for a community radio station in the UK. She eventually returned to India and worked at Chennai Live 104.8FM, an English radio station in Chennai, as their Creative Manager. Thereafter, she moved to Bombay and joined erstwhile NH7.in as a music journalist/sub editor. She is most well known for hosting the afternoon request show, Mumbai On Demand on 94.3 Radio One. Eventually from broadcast radio, she explored the growing medium of podcasting and became the Creative Director of the biggest podcasting network in India. Currently, she runs her own indie music podcast, Maed in India and has started her own boutique podcast consultancy & production company.

Conference Information

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