THE CREW

DHEERAJ SHARMA


NIT Kozhikode
18 Years in IT, emids Technologies (Co-Founder)
Previously: Headstrong, iGate, Cognizant, Aditi

Dheeraj approaches PlayAblo the way he approaches parenting – with a fine mix of patience, assertiveness and unwavering support. After all, PlayAblo is his brain child!

A one-time rock star whose secret desire is to fly a biplane a la Richard Bach, Dheeraj is today on the mission to revolutionize learning through PlayAblo.

“I truly believe in our mission of helping the next generation of children to be young thinking adults as opposed to mere rank chasers,” he says “Rank & meritorious scores should be mere side effects. It is the curiosity that must be kept alive and burning bright. All else and more will follow.”

This Founder and CEO of PlayAblo was a Quality Assurance professional in one of his previous avatars – a fact that is reflected in every aspect of the app. Dheeraj is also the wind beneath the wings for his team, guiding, motivating and leading by example. It is not uncommon to see this go-getter urging his team to push the envelope and think out of the box – and supporting them unflinchingly when they do!

A hands-on parent, a voracious reader, a dependable leader and a man in the pursuit of excellence – that’s Dheeraj Sharma for you!

ANANTHAKRISHNAN G


IIM Kozhikode
19 Years in Product Development, IT Consulting for Financial Services & Capital Markets Industry
Previously: Headstrong, Oracle Financial Services Software, Mahindra Satyam

Diligent, methodical, tech-savvy, energetic & fun-loving – these are just some of the adjectives colleagues use to describe PlayAblo’s Chief Technology Officer, Ananth!

A self-confessed automobile enthusiast & a movie buff, Ananth has over 19 years of rich IT experience working in the Financial Services & Capital Markets Industry.

His systematic approach to everything he undertakes means that not only is he on top of his game at work, he is also counted among the rare breed of professionals to have a mailbox free of all unread mail – an enviable feat indeed!

Even more impressive however is this travel enthusiast’s ability to solve all the Rubiks Cubes 2x2x2 to 11x11x11! Oh yes! Did we mention he can also speak Japanese?

Ananth, who believes that parenting is about living one’s life through their children, is also a great proponent of using technology to enhance our daily lives. His association with PlayAblo then was a natural partnership as the co-founder: “It helps me fulfill my burning desire to improve the lives of people with technology,” he explains.

MIRA SOOD


Mira Sood – Chief Academic Officer
M.A. B.Ed. UGC-NET/JRF
23 years in Education.
Previously: DPS R.K.Puram, Punjab University, St. John's High School.

Educationalist, Nutritionist, Radio Announcer, Singer, Writer… many passions, one name: Mira Sood. Fondly dubbed ‘Mother India’ by her colleagues, Mira is known for her energy and enthusiasm – something she brings to the numerous endeavors she pursues. Called a ‘Master of All Trades’ by friends, this self-confessed foodie lives by the philosophy ‘Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.’

With an impressive career spanning more than 23 years in education, Mira took to being the Head Advisory Council of PlayAblo the same way she takes to all things – with infectious optimism and élan. Her rich experience in teaching, training and developing curriculum has been crucial in shaping PlayAblo’s own approach to content creation and learning methodologies.

Of her association with PlayAblo, Mira says “I was looking for a project that brings innovation to the field of education. PlayAblo does just that. So here I am!”

SUCHITHRA PREM KUMAR


BITS Pilani
14 Years in IT Seasoned
Project Manager
Previously: Headstrong,Steria, Kanbay

They say there is only one degree of commitment – total. Our Program Manager Suchitra Premkumar best exemplifies this. Unreserved commitment, fierce dedication and a laser sharp focus make her the go-to person of choice for problem-solving, firefighting or simply some good advice.

Suchitra believes in giving her all to any task she undertakes and it shows! Her attention to detail might lead her friends to dub her a closet cleanliness freak, but it is this trait that helps her effortlessly manage various aspects of PlayAblo, bringing it all together into a smooth-functioning, cohesive unit.

‘Live and Let Live’ has always been Suchitra’s philosophy. An avid reader, she also loves to cook for friends and family.

A former techie, Suchitra had long nurtured the desire to be in the educational space. “What better than PlayAblo - which is an amalgamation of education and technology! Being a parent, I am happy that a well designed, well thought out app will be going into the hands of our children,” she says.

PONDIVYA ELIZABETH M


Head of Content Delivery
12 Years in L & D Project Management
Previously: KPMG, Accenture, TCS, SIFY

Believing that every problem has a solution, and every cloud a silver lining, Divya is one of those ever optimistic individuals who looks at every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Hard work is clearly second nature to our Head of Content who joins PlayAblo after a rewarding career spanning more than 9 years in the field of Learning and Development.

A baking enthusiast known for her sumptuous chocolate cakes, Divya’s approach to life is simple: stay true to yourself. The need to make a difference in the lives of children led this avid reader to PlayAblo. She is a firm believer in the saying that elearning is the modern day answer to ancient prayers by students. In Divya’s own words,“We at PlayAblo are constantly pushing the envelope. We do not adopt the dull and drab textbook approach to education. Instead, we use fun and innovative methods to get the Children thinking.”

Vedanarayanan Vedantham


INSEAD, Singapore CMO Academy | SPJIMR, Mumbai
13+ years across financial services consulting,
Product Management, Branding, Marketing
Previously: Simplilearn, Stayzilla, PayPal, Cognizant

“A strong sense of humor and an ability to not take oneself too seriously are essential traits for navigating life successfully.”

Vedanarayanan (a.k.a - 'Veda') is a proponent of this thought and extends this philosophy to even the brands he manages. He is a believer in the maxim that strong brands are secure in who they are and do not take themselves too seriously. They inject humor into their communication which in a way humanizes them in the eyes of the consumer.

Veda has been through multiple adventures in his professional career spanning marketing, product management & financial services consulting. Since being bitten by the startup bug a few years ago, he has helped grow digital-first brands across travel and online education. He is a decorated public speaker and has spoken at various international forums including New York, San Francisco, Singapore. Veda is a member of the India CMO Council advisory board and a graduate from INSEAD Singapore's CMO Academy. He also happens to be a soon to be published author, a fast-improving martial artist, better than average singer and a lesser than average flautist.

In his mind,

Playablo is NOT -

“Your usual startup with adventurous twenty something founders looking to solve imagined problems of lazy, urban Indians.”

But instead, Playablo is -

“An unusual startup with level-headed founders looking to inject a sense of much-needed adventure & imagination into children's learning.”