Board of Directors
Chairman and Managing Director
Pramod Saxena, a Chemical Engineer from IIT-Roorkee, worked in various capacities spanning over 38 years and was associated with DCM Group, Essar Group and Motorola. His rich and varied experience spans Telecom, BPO, Steel, Petro Chemicals & Fertilizer industries where he had held lead responsibilities for Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), setting up green field projects, Joint Ventures (J&V) and managing business operations in India & abroad.
In early stage of his career, Pramod was involved in various operations management and project monitoring & controls as a lead in the headquarter of the CMD's office for the biggest fertilizer, chemical and petrochemical company, DCM, in India from 1976 to 1987. Projects included a unique waste based cement plant, expansions of PVC& caustic soda plants and a captive power plant.
As part of Senior Management team of Essar Group for over 10 years, Pramod had been responsible for:
- Setting- up of a 4.0 Mil Ton Iron Ore Pelletization project at Vizag
- M & A for a textile mill in Mauritius
- 1 Billion US dollar LBO deal for 100 million US $ (33%) equity for Essar Group in privatization of Italian State Steel Company (ILVA) in 1992-93
- Setting-up of the first Cellular Mobile business in India
- Acquisition and management of BPL cellular business and its transition to Hutch Essar JV
- Management of Aegis BPO business in USA/India during its initial years of operation
- CEO of the Chairman's Office to assist on Essar group operations and controls in Steel,Shipping, Oil & Telecom
As President (Continental India) for Motorola Inc. from 1998 – 2004, he led Motorola to be the leading cellular (GSM & CDMA) infrastructure provider in the region with 40% share of the market and many fold growth in the revenue.He provided leadership to all Motorola businesses in Continental India .
Pramod has also played a key role in the industry having Co-Chaired FICCI's Telecom Committee for many years and has contributed liberally towards corporate social responsibility, health and education causes.
Pramod's main entrepreneurial venture, Oxigen, pioneered the digital micro payments industry, which he leads himself. Pramod founded Oxigen Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. in 2004 (formerly known as 'India Prepaid Services Pvt. Ltd), and he presently serves as its Chairman and Managing Director. In the past the company received investment from Citi Venture Capital (USA) and Microsoft (USA).
Pramod gauged the potential in the Indian mobile space way back in 2003. By the time he started operations in Oxigen (July, 2004), he was certain that the mobile handset would play a far more important role than just being a communication device in the hands of people and it would have a transformative impact on the lives of the masses of India. His vision was to cater to service fulfilment for the middle to low income classes in the country in their neighborhood, with a low margin and high volume oriented business model. This company thus started off with mobile recharges on its network and subsequently added more services to its bouquet with each passing year, such as DTH recharges, bill and subscription payments, air, rail, bus travel, entertainment subscriptions, online shopping and more.
Over the last few years, Pramod changed Oxigen's focus towards developing a nationwide infrastructure for easy access of financial services. He added Kiosk Banking as Business Correspondent (BC) to SBI, Mobile Money Wallets and Domestic money remittances to Oxigen’s portfolio, to develop, align & enhance Financial Inclusion, in line with the country's FI agenda.
This network and services portfolio has now grown to become the largest service aggregator and distributor for micro-payments and is unique as it is India's first company that digitized cash and distributed micropayments. Oxigen uses mobile and IT as the back bone to deliver value to the last mile.
Pramod has successfully promoted many business ventures, besides Oxigen,
- Chorus Call Conferencing Services India Pvt. Ltd., Chairman, India (a company setup as JV with Chorus Call Inc, USA). The company provides premium International Audio Conferencing, Video Conferencing, Audio & Video Media Streamlining and Collaboration Tools (ipresent & data prese) using the highest grade of technology. www.choruscall.com
- Oxigen Inc. USA, Investor and Director. An online business to tap into the Non Resident Indian community, for the fulfillment of payments and remittances needs for their families in India, leveraging Oxigen India's local delivery platform. The company is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. www.oxigenusa.com
- Mpower Softcomm Pvt Ltd, Founder, India. MPower is a pioneer in providing Financial Transaction Solutions to the global Tier 1 customers in Financial Services, Retail, Utility Payments, Airtime and other Electronic Services Delivery. www.mpowersoft.com
- Lemko Corp, Pramod serves on the Advisory Board of Lemko Corp, a Chicago based telecom technology company engaged in development of next generation technology for low cost mobile networks for rural and low density areas. www.lemko.com
- Green Grameen Micro Finance Foundation, a small offshoot into the microfinance space has been formed to address the dual objective of Poverty Alleviation by extending micro credit to people, who are otherwise unable to access finance from the mainstream banking channels and Women Empowerment. This was a 2 year long experiment to understand how microfinance services can also be overlayed on Oxigen infrastructure.www.greengrameen.com
INVESTMENTS TO SERVE THIRD PARTY ENTERPRISE
BCUBE IT SERVICES
Pramod has been passionate about mentoring youth who display innovation in their workspace. 3 young men reached out to Pramod with ambitious plans to set up their own Call center services with a focus on customer deliverance, with right mix of technology and by creating innovative ways of handling customer queries. This went on to become BCube, which he not only mentors, but also invested in capital of the company during its foundation period. BCube started its operations with a contract to handle Oxigen's Customer care center and today is a fast growing BPO, handling Contact center and Customer Relationship Management services for many companies .
UNITUS SEED FUND
Pramod is a founding investor in Unitus Seed Fund, India's leading venture seed fund, supporting start-ups, innovating for the masses. This pioneering fund invests across healthcare, education, mobile commerce, retail & distribution, agriculture, water and energy sectors. It backs high-quality entrepreneurs in India who are creating disruptive businesses that are improving the lives of millions of India's low-income population.
Other investors in Unitus Seed Fund include Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla, Pramod Bhasin, Harsh Mariwala, Desh Deshpande, Hemendra Kothari, Ravi Venkatesan and other business leaders in India and The United States of America.
IvyCap ventures is a venture capital fund which is build around the alumni ecosystem of premier educational institutes in India such as IIT and IIM. It invests in innovative ventures promoted by the alumni and also supports young entrepreneurs in building their businesses.
Pramod, as an alumnus of IIT Roorkee, is one of the anchor investors in IvyCap Ventures. He is also a mentor on the mentor board and advices the portfolio companies of IvyCap ventures. In his role as an anchor investor, Pramod has supported and provided guidance to the IvyCap team in building this fund. Besides 5% of the returns on the investment that he has made,he is committed to "give back program" which will be provided to support incubation activity in IIT Roorkee.
As a mentor to portfolio companies of IvyCap, he has mentored young companies and their entrepreneurs. He is also actively involved in shaping direction for the mobile, mobile commerce, and payment industry in his role as a mentor.
Mr. P. N Devarajan , has a wide experience in Technology Transfer and General Management for 50 years in Organic Chemicals, Pharma Intermediates, Heavy Chemicals, Oil Refinery, Polymers and Downstream intermediates. Widely globally travelled in connection with Technology Transfer, Manufacturing and Joint Venture formation.
A Chemical Engineer from IIT Khargapur, Mr. P.N Devarajan has worked in various capacities with his Career associated as Chairman & Managing Director- Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd, Chairman and Managing Director-India Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Group President-Reliance Industries Ltd, Essar Oil Ltd and Independent Director- Dr. Reddy Laboratories.
His career highlights include:
1998-2001-Chairman – Research Council, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a laboratory under CSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology .Guided & monitored various research projects both government’s & sponsored.
1998-2001-Member – Research Council, National Chemical Laboratories, under CSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology.
1994-1999-Member – Planning Board of Madhya Pradesh, Government of India. Planning & Monitoring of Projects under Industries & Infrastructure.
1995-1999-Director – Bank of Baroda. Nominated by the Government of India, was a member of a Committee to promote Foreign Branches and member of committee in building Assets such as the corporate Head quarters.
1983-1994-Director in the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India. Nominated by the Government of India, was a member in Buildings & Assets Committee. Member of Committee established to build two currency Printing Presses.
1978-1981-Member – Indo – US Trade delegation. Nominated to represent the Public Sector Companies by the Commerce Ministry, Government of India.
Served as a Member-
- Sub-Committee, (Petrochemicals & Chemicals) of Planning Commission, Govt. of India
- Sub-Committee (Rajdyaksha Committee) Reorganization of Ordnance Factories(Defence), New Delhi
- Chemicals Export Promotion Council, Bombay
- Governing Council of Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, New Delhi
- Indo – US Trade Business Council
- National Aerospace Laboratory Restructuring Committee, Bangalore
- Managing Trustee of Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhani Trust, Chennai
- Founder and Director of Centre Social Initiative and Management, Chennai
Blue Label Telecoms,Chief Executive Officer
Brett is the Co-founder and Joint Chief Executive Officer of Blue Label Telecoms Ltd, a Company incorporated in South African and listed on the JSE Limited. He has an impressive entrepreneurial history having founded and operated a number of small businesses in South Africa, from the early 1990's. During his career, Brett has been involved in a wide range of industries, including the distribution of fast moving consumer goods and insurance replacements for electronic goods.
His business achievements have seen him secure a number of prestigious nominations and awards, including the ABSA Bank Jewish Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003) and the ABSA Jewish Business Achiever Non-Listed Company Award (2007), which he won jointly with his brother Mark Levy. Brett was nominated as an Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur SA Finalist for 2007.
Blue Label Telecoms,Chief Executive Officer
Mark is the Co-founder and Joint Chief Executive Officer of Blue Label Telecoms Ltd. He graduated with a B.Compt degree from UNISA in 1993. After initially taking up a position as a commodity trader in South Africa, Mark decided to pursue his goal of becoming an entrepreneur in earnest and has spent the past several years spearheading Blue Label Telecoms’ impressive growth in South Africa and its international expansion.
Together with his brother Brett Levy, Mark recently won the ABSA Jewish Business Achiever Non-Listed Company Award (2007). Mark was also nominated as an Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur SA Finalist for 2007
Joint Managing Director
Sunil Kulkarni is referred to as the techno-savvy mind behind developing and delivering Oxigen Technology for various services & products including Oxigen Wallet, which is an innovative payment mechanism and prepaid wallet accessible online/on-mobile. He successfully led the company's development & growth from a recharge/billpay company to an integrated Recharge & Money Transfer Payment Solution company. He is now responsible for taking the company to its next greenfield opportunity in Banking , Domestic & International Remittances, Mobile Wallets, Merchant Payments, IMPS and Aadhaar enabled payments, to propel Oxigen into its next growth phase.
Sunil took charge of Oxigen Services (known as India Prepaid Services Pvt Ltd in 2004) as CEO in April 2004, to launch in India, the first e-Distribution Network for mobile recharge coupons’ dispensation over Point of Sale (POS) terminals, PC and SMS.
Milestones in Oxigen
- 2004- Enabled recharge as eVoucher on POS Terminal for all telcos ,
- 2005- Launch of e-Top up and bill payments in retail
- 2007- Integration of DTH recharge
- 2008- Oxigen Wallet OxiCash Platform & Technology Development and its Business Development with affiliates, JV with Microsoft,Roll out of IRCTC and Air Ticketing Oxigen Online Business Development
- 2009- Business tie-up & Integration of White Label web services for all Banks
- 2010- PPI License was issued
- 2011- Kiosk Banking Business Correspondent tie-up with SBI & Service Delivery for SBI Freedom Mobile Application
- 2012- SBI MobiCash Mobile Application Service
- 2013- Oxigen Money Transfer Service Integration with NPCI on IMP
- 2014- Oxigen Aadhaar Integration and commercial roll out of eKYC service for Oxigen Wallet, Aadhaar based Cash Out Pilot for PPI
Prior to joining Oxigen, Sunil served as General Manager-Marketing & Business Development in Motorola India’s Wireless Infrastructure business for 9 years. He looked after Business Development, Business Strategy and Product Marketing functions for GSM & CDMA wireless technologies. He started his professional journey in 1986 with Siemens Ltd., where he last served as the Head of Semi-Conductor Division.
As Sunil’s brief portfolio above suggests, it’s no surprise that he not only holds a Degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering, from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur, but is also a Gold medalist.