Brand Strategy India 2020 will bring together contributions from some of the foremost thought leaders from the jurisdiction. For information about speaking and participation options, please contact Rebecca Learoyd at Rebecca.Learoyd@lbresearch.com 

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Diva Arora
Fidus Law Chambers
Diva Arora is a Partner in the firm. With previous stints in a large IP firm and one of the Big Four Consulting Firms, together with several years of managing her own boutique IP practice, she has brought a broad-spectrum experience in IP protection, strategy and enforcement to the firm. Diva has represented clients in diverse civil and commercial litigations, commercial arbitrations, contract and property claims as also intellectual property disputes, and has appeared before a variety of judicial and administrative forums in India. She has advised clients on complex issues of protection and enforcement with respect to breach of confidential information and trade secrets. She has also assisted in setting up joint venture companies and has drafted and vetted business purchase agreements, software development and other service agreements and assignment/license agreements for acquisition/ exploitation of intellectual property, non-disclosure agreements and MoUs.
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Suni Augustine
Head, Legal
Hotel Leelaventure
A legal professional with 20 years’ experience in the legal arena, Suni Augustine holds an LLM in intellectual property rights and a PhD on trademarks. He started his career as an advocate handling IPR cases and trademark registrations, and he worked as an examiner of trademarks at the Trademarks Registry in Mumbai. He completed his PhD on “Well Known Trademarks” at Mumbai University in 2007. Dr Augustine began working in the corporate sphere in 2004 and has worked in various sectors including the steel manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, MNCs, business process outsourcing, telecommunications, media and entertainment, wind power, aviation, hospitality and real estate sectors. His experience includes coining of new trademarks, trademark acquisitions, mergers and acquisitions, and trademark assignments worldwide. Dr Augustine has filed several trademark applications for various corporates in-house and has been actively involved in IPR strategisation at his present and past companies. He also has experience of IPR litigations, including complex issues related to technology transfers in JV arrangements, etc.
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Ranabir Basu
Senior Counsel and Associate VP – Legal
Mondelez India
Ranabir Basu is currently Senior Counsel and Associate Vice President – Legal at Mondelez and has been with the company since 2017. He focuses on providing strategic legal advice to the India chocolate business and international business operations for Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. He advises on customer planning and activation to drive growth with channel partners and also partners with the media team and logistics. He is also the Legal Lead for the manufacturing site at Baddi and the Global R&D Technical Centre at Thane. Enabling the business and driving governance, control and risk mitigation are his KPIs for the role. Mr Basu is also part of the Extended Leadership Council for the India Business Unit.

Prior to joining Mondelez, Mr Basu worked as Regional General Counsel and Legal Director of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd (DRL). He was the Legal Lead for the India generics business and advised the commercial operations for APAC, MENA, Australia and New Zealand. During his stint at DRL, Mr Basu managed a team of nine lawyers to support DRL’s global R&D business, biologics business and global trademarks portfolio across more than 40 countries and was the legal lead for several business deveopment deals. Ranabir was also part of strategic legal and commercial management teams such as the Global Legal Department Leadership Council and Global Generics Indian Operating Committee.

Prior to joining DRL, Mr Basu worked in companies such as Unilever, Sandoz and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Mr Basu completed a 10-year stint at GSK, five of which he worked as Senior Counsel Global Manufacturing and Supply at GSK’s head office in London working on several international business development deals and global supply chain projects. Mr Basu is an LLB (Hons) graduate of Calcutta University and has completed his MBL at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
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Suvajit Chakraborty
Corporate Counsel, India and South Asia
Suvajit Chakraborty is currently working as the Corporate Counsel and Head of Legal for PerkinElmer, the Indian subsidiary of an American global corporation focused in the areas of diagnostics, life science research, food, environmental regulation and industrial testing to make the world a better place. Previously, Mr Chakraborty worked in the pharmaceutical sector with Cipla Limited/Cipla Health Limited and media sector with STAR TV and the Times Group looking after diverse legal and regulatory issues. Mr Chakraborty completed his dual degree of law and management at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, scoring a first class with distinction. In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Liberal Arts Fellowship on a full scholarship by the Young India Fellowship in association with the University of Pennsylvania.
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Mandar Chandrachud
Associate Vice President - Legal
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd
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Dominic D'souza
Head, Strategy, Legal and Regulatory
Skystar Entertainment
Dominic D’souza is a legal professional who has been part of the Indian media and entertainment industry for over two decades. In addition to completing his studies in law, he has a master’s degree in mass communication and journalism.

Mr D’souza has over two decades of media experience, having been associated with several national and international production houses, broadcast channels (news, general entertainment and sports) and print and newspaper publications. He has worked with major media conglomerates with various business interests in print, broadcasting, Internet and broadband, new media and over-the-top platforms in litigation and non-litigation related matters pertaining to media and entertainment, and IP. He has also handled property, labour and corporate matters. His work has also encompassed policy, regulations, strategy, documentation and advisory work, as well as setting up standard operating procedures and systems for various business verticals. Mr D’souza is also a source of authority and reference to Indian government bodies and industry trade bodies in the media, IP, broadcasting and telecoms regulatory sectors.

Having been recognised for his comprehensive knowledge in the Indian media and IP industry, Mr D’souza has also contributed in various ways including through sharing his knowledge pro bono, both to the younger generations via educational institutions, as well as professionally. He has participated in various IPR summits as well as APAC conferences and summits.
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Ashish Gupta
Head, Legal, and Company Secretary
ES Online Services (India) Private Limited (eBay)
Ashish Gupta is a dynamic and result-oriented legal and corporate secretarial professional with over 14 years of experience managing corporate legal affairs, including commercial, compliance and litigation matters and corporate secretarial functions, at renowned corporates such as eBay Group, Flipkart Group, ICICI Bank Ltd, ABN AMRO Bank, HDFC Bank Ltd and Escorts Group.

Mr Gupta started his career as a Management Trainee with Escort Finance Ltd and is now Head of Legal and Company Secretary of ES Online Services (India) Private Limited, an Indian subsidiary of eBay Inc, USA, one of the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace companies, with a presence in 39 countries.

During his career Mr Gupta has acted as an in-house corporate counsel and has a broad range of experience leading varieties of assignments. He has also assisted on due diligence for the Flipkart- Walmart deal, eBay-Flipkart deal and eBay-Snapdeal deal, the merger of eBay Motors into eBay India, and the launch of 2GUD.com (a Flipkart marketplace for refurbished goods).

Mr Gupta also works with various Indian industry associations such as the US India Business Counsel, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) on policy advocacy with various ministries of the Government of India.

He holds a master’s degree in commerce, a bachelor’s degree in law and a postgraduate diploma in business analytics. He is a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
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Bharadwaj Jaishankar
IP Counsel, Asia
Bharadwaj Jaishankar is the IP Counsel-APAC at Diageo. He has been practising as an attorney in the IP field for over 11 years, with his areas of specialisation being trademarks, copyright, designs and geographical indications. Before joining Diageo last year, Mr Jaishankar worked with leading IP firms in Delhi. He has a deep knowledge and understanding of various contentious and non-contentious aspects of IP law, including devising strategies for IP adoption, protection, enforcement and commercialisation. In his current role at Diageo, Mr Jaishankar and his team work to protect and enforce Diageo’s IP assets across APAC. In addition, he also supports IP commercialisation activations, as well as supporting on innovation projects. He is also an active member of INTA, and is a member of its brands and innovation committee, having served past terms with other INTA committees.

Outside of work, Mr Jaishankar is an avid ultimate frisbee player, and is learning to play the trumpet.
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Shilpa Joshi
Deputy General Manager, Legal (IPR)
Mahindra & Mahindra
Shilpa Joshi is Deputy General Manager of Legal at Mahindra, with a focus on IP, dispute resolution and general commercial documentation.
After graduating, Ms Joshi worked at Mahindra & Mahindra’s legal department, focusing on IPR, consumer protection and criminal matters. She then entered private practice at Manilal Kher Ambalal & Co, where she represented corporates in contractual, civil, debt recovery and intellectual property related disputes.

In 2012 she rejoined M&M to develop an in-house IP team to focus on all IPR related matters across the Mahindra Group. She currently leads the IP vertical within the Group Legal Department (IP Team). She has shaped the function to offer a one-stop shop for all IP matters ranging from registration to litigation to IP provisions in M&A agreements and other advisory matters. She has undertaken digitisation efforts for efficient management of over 3,000 trademark portfolio matters and several litigation matters. She was instrumental in listing the Mahindra and M&M well-known marks with the Indian Trademark Registry.

Ms Joshi graduated with a BLS/LLB integrated degree from ILS Law College, Pune. She has also completed a diploma in intellectual property rights and cyber law, and a diploma in corporate law, and she completed WIPO’s online certificate course on intellectual property laws.

A frequent speaker at international conferences, including INTA and ACCA events, Ms Joshi is also actively involved in Mahindra’s Early Leaders and Women Leaders Program.
Ashok Kumar P
GM, Group Head of Litigation
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Vijayalakshmy Malkani
Senior IP Counsel
Ms. Vijayalakshmy Malkani is an in-house legal counsel at Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) with rich experience in IP. Prior to joining HUL, she has worked with reputed companies like BIC India, Marico Limited and UPL. Her experience focuses principally on various aspects of IP management, IP litigation management, Brand Protection and enforcement issues (contentious and non-contentious), IP monetisation, strategic inputs related to brand acquisition/divestment. In her current role with HUL, her additional responsibilities include creating and upholding a centre of excellence for IP within the teams in India and South Asia, devising strategies with the global team for ensuing a strong IP framework for Unilever and HUL, leading/promoting/conducting capability building/training and IP awareness sessions inhouse as well as for law enforcement agencies and school students. Ms. Malkani is also a guest lecturer in IP at the Institute of Intellectual Property Studies and a dissertation guide/supervisor on topics of IP for students of NMIMS. She was recognised as one of the top 100 powerful woman in law by WIPF in 2017 and also awarded the IP star woman of the year at the Global IP awards 2019 organised by Legal Era.

Ms. Malkani is a law graduate and also holds an LLM in IP from the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, USA. Her other qualifications include certificate course in IP by IPCIC- Interpol, CopyrightX from Harvard Law School, PG Diploma in IP from NLS, Bangalore, WIPO courses on IP and PG Diploma in HR from Wellingkar Institute.
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JLN Murthy
Former General Counsel
Red Bull
JLN Murthy is an international arbitrator.

Mr Murthy is a former general counsel with 20 years’ experience. Currently an independent director with a legal focus with multinational corporations in India and abroad, he is a highly accomplished and seasoned legal professional with a wide range of experience on corporate and judicial trainings in ADR. He has handled several arbitration matters both domestic and international.

Mr Murthy is a panel arbitrator, mediator and conciliator for SIAC, HKIAC, KLRC, ICC, ICADR, NAC and WIPO. He has participated in training more than 1,200 judges, 3000 advocates and others in arbitration, conciliation and mediation. On the corporate side, he has conducted corporate training for over 40 companies on ADR (arbitration, mediation, conciliation), IPR, cyber law, taxation, criminal law, contracts and agreements, commercial law, employment law, labour law, competition law, etc.
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Ganesh Naidu
General Manager, Legal
Metro Brands
Ganesh Naidu is a legal professional with over two decades of experience, first as a legal practitioner and then as in-house counsel working at different Indian corporates.

Mr Naidu provides cost-effective and timely resolutions, and has experience of various aspects of corporate, consumer, information technology, intellectual property, banking, real estate and other laws.

Mr Naidu has handled sensitive civil and criminal matters for the company and its promoters and directors. He has participated in various criminal and forensic investigations, and planned and conducted raids on counterfeiters’ locations. He has also handled legal due diligence, specifically pertaining to litigation in the context of IPOs at companies he has worked for.

Mr Naidu has drawn up standard operating procedures for litigation and non-litigation work at the corporates where he has worked. He has also sought to streamline the in-house Legal Department so the business teams within the corporate would look towards the Legal Department as pillars of legal support and providers of caution notices rather than deal blockers or bureaucratic hurdle-makers.

He has always believed in providing resolutions to the issues on hand and prioritising the most urgent matters first.

Before joining Metro Brands Limited, Mr Naidu worked with corporates including Just Dial Limited, Allcargo Logistics Limited and Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Company Limited.
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Ranjan Narula
Managing Partner
RNA, Technology and IP Attorneys
Ranjan Narula founded the specialist IP law firm, RNA, in 2004, and is now its Managing Partner. He has twenty nine years’ post-qualification experience working on contentious and non-contentious IP and technology issues. Mr Narula has been practising as an advocate and patent attorney since 1991 handling a wide range of IP, IT and technology matters including IP management issues, strategic advice on IP clearance, acquisition and enforcement. He has worked in-house and in private practice including a stint with an international IP practice heading its India operations. In 2019, Mr Narula was invited to join the INTA board of directors.

Mr Narula has been ranked as a leading IP practitioner by various publications including WTR 1000, IP Stars (Managing IP), WIPR Leaders, Who’s Who Legal, Asia IP Experts and others. He is regularly invited to speak by universities and chambers of commerce on IP issues. He has authored several articles and papers on key IP issues that are published by IP magazines and blogs such as IAM, World Trademark Review, Bloomberg, Lexology, IPKat, etc.
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Siddhartha Patnaik
Lead Counsel, Group Corporate Legal and Overseas Litigation
Essar Group
Siddhartha Patnaik is the Lead Counsel, Group Corporate Legal & Overseas Litigation at Essar Group in India. Overall, Mr Patnaik has around 19 years’ experience as a practising advocate before the Supreme Court of India, High Courts and tribunals. He has practised at law firms and worked as in-house counsel at various Indian and multinational companies including Etisalat Telecom, Vodafone India and Reliance Power.
Mr Patnaik has been a Corporate Generalist Attorney with substantial experience providing pre-emptive legal support to the business by focusing on pre-defined procedures in the areas of contract management, litigation, corporate law, domestic and international commercial arbitration, including various regulatory issues and legal compliance, etc.

Mr Patnaik also has experience of successful litigation dispute management and handling high- stakes litigation in South Asian Countries while formulating appropriate legal strategy in consultation with the business team to avoid exposure in issues relating to white-collar crime, governance, risk and compliance, financial, legal, and environmental, product and personal liability matters.
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Omesh Puri
Omesh Puri is a Partner with LexOrbis and heads the trademark, design and copyright practice of the firm with over 11 years’ experience. He has undertaken a wide array of assignments in prosecution and enforcement of Intellectual property rights and regularly advises on complex commercial and IP transactions and has noteworthy experience in representing clients before different IP offices including Trademark Registry, Design Office, Copyright Office and the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. His current focus, along with IP prosecution and contentious matters is advisory services to the Technology and Media & Entertainment sectors including on transactional aspects.

He regularly advises start-ups and small and medium scale enterprises in identifying and protecting their IP assets in India as well as internationally. He is responsible for large IP portfolios from various industries including Pharmaceuticals, Foods and Beverages, Computer Software, Fashion, Sports, Automobiles, Liquor etc.

Omesh is actively involved in the IP awareness campaigns with several government organizations. He has authored several articles which have been published in India Business Law Journal, Asia IP, Trademark Lawyer Magazine, Managing IP, Lexology, Mondaq to name a few. He speaks regularly on IP issues at various forums. He is also a member of well-known trademark committee of INTA.
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Jitendra Kumar Sharma
Unit Manager Legal IPR
Jitendra Kumar Sharma is an IP attorney with around 11 years of legal experience in procuring, maintaining and protecting intellectual assets for diverse companies and organisations. An expert in online brand protection including internet policing for trademark and copyright infringement and domain name disputes, recovery actions and enforcement, he is also an expert in identifying and analysing legal issues in a fast-paced and rapidly changing business environment, both online and offline, and on various social media platforms. He has experience removing content from social network sites which infringe trademarks and copyright.

Currently Mr Sharma is working with MetLife and is responsible for its online brand protection, including internet policing of MetLife’s brands on all social media platforms, and domain name disputes, recovery actions and enforcement. He works closely with the global brand and marketing team and assists in defining strategies for the world wide web and on all social media platforms.

Mr Sharma has conducted various training sessions for businesspeople and academics on brand awareness and has conducted several faculty development programmes in several universities and colleges in India.
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Kamal Sharma
Brand Protection Manager and Legal Counsel
Procter & Gamble – Indian Subcontinent
Kamal Sharma is the Brand Protection Manager for P&G Indian Subcontinent and the Brand Protection Legal Counsel for P&G IMEA. He is responsible for designing and implementing the company’s strategy to fight counterfeiting and protect P&G’s product portfolio across the Indian subcontinent. Kamal has over 13 years of experience dealing with critical IPR related issues and conflicts that are detrimental to the business and kicking off enforcement proceedings against IPR infringement and counterfeiting. Before working at P&G, Kamal has worked with a Tier 1 IP law firm advising and counselling clients across industries like FMCG, automobiles and healthcare, on litigations involving trademarks, copyrights and designs. Kamal is a strong advocate of protecting retailers and consumers from counterfeiters and counterfeit products and has been leading these discussions across various committees and forums.
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Niharika Swaroop
Legal Counsel
Ms. Swaroop is a legal counsel at Infosys Ltd. and currently manages the trademark portfolio and trademark enforcement at Infosys Ltd. She is responsible to develop strategies for brand protection and technology monetization. She has several years of experience in IP litigation and prosecution, Technology Licensing, Telecom litigation, IP Transactions and Design Patent litigation in India and USA, with project-specific engagement with Canada, Europe, and China. Prior to this, Ms. Swaroop has spent over 6 years dealing with critical IPR related issues and conflicts that are detrimental to a brand and developing risk mitigation strategies to tackle evolving approaches of the Infringing entities. Before moving to Infosys, she was working in a Boutique IP litigation firm in New Delhi, where she worked on patent and trademark litigation matters.

Ms. Swaroop is a certified WIPO IPR specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering, law as well as a Master’s degree in Intellectual Property Laws.
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Harshitha Thammaiah
General Counsel
Harshitha Thammaiah is the General Counsel of Xiaomi India. With over 14 years of extensive experience in advising on corporate, technology and IP matters, Ms Thammaiah set up Xiaomi’s legal and compliance team in India. Prior to this, Harshitha spent over a decade at top-tier law firms advising large multinationals and start-ups on general corporate and technology matters including mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, entry strategy, intellectual property, data protection and the viability of new technology business models.

Ms Thammaiah has advised on IP due diligence in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues relating to transfer of intellectual property, escrow arrangement, open source issues, IP filings and registrations, disputes and enforcement strategy. At Xiaomi, Harshitha regularly advises the business on IP filing and portfolio management, IP enforcement and prosecution, IP litigation matters and on brand protection and anti-counterfeiting strategy and its implementation.
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Harshitha Vasanth
Manager, Legal, IP
Harshitha Vasanth, an expert in intellectual property law, joined ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd – widely known as Ola – as a Manager in 2019. She is solely responsible for intellectual property prosecution and portfolio management at Ola.

Working with reputed organisations like Indus Law and Diageo, Ms Vasanth has over six years’ experience in intellectual property rights. Over the years, she has gained extensive experience in intellectual property prosecution, portfolio development and management for both large and small businesses. She has also worked on IP matters across South East Asia and Australasia.

Additionally, Ms Vasanth has been recommended on IP STARS (2018), a leading specialist guide to IP firms and practitioners worldwide.
Garg Vyas
Manager Legal and Head, IPR
Bajaj Electricals
Garg Vyas is Manager of Legal and heads the intellectual property team, overseeing brand protection and anti-counterfeit measures, at Bajaj Electricals. He coordinates diverse teams and resources, with a proven track record in product and service protection, IPR risk, due diligence and IPR audit, and strategies to support growth and performance, protect brand value and implement anti-counterfeiting measures.

Mr Vyas is an active member of the Confederation of Indian Industries’ National Committee for IPR, working on various policy matters, advocacy, services and projects, and guidance and support to the industry.

He has been a guest speaker at conferences addressing IP in manufacturing and R&D; the impact of the National IPR Policy 2016; and standard essential patents, software patenting and disruptive technology.

Previously, Mr Vyas led the IPR vertical at CG Power and Industrial Solutions, having previously managed IPR research in various contexts at Aranca. Earlier, he was a lead analyst at Dolcera ITES. He has experience in business development, litigation, and brand awareness and protection.

Mr Vyas is a certified TRIZ Level 1 expert. He holds bachelor’s degrees in electronics and communication engineering, and in law, as well as a master’s degree in intellectual property rights.