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Our Team

Simanor’s team is comprised of individuals with distinguished experience in operating and advising local and international companies. We have an active presence in multiple cities in both US and India. Please click on a team member’s name for a detailed bio.

Divakar is a Managing Director at Simanor. Before joining Simanor, Divakar worked as a General Partner of Pacesetter Capital Group. Divakar has been a successful fund manager in the private equity industry for over 35 years. He has an extensive experience in sourcing deals, conducting due diligence on portfolio companies and structuring Investments.

The highlights of his Business Experience include:
  • General Partner of Pacesetter Capital Group (1997-Present)
  • Executive Vice President of Pacesetter SBICs (1993-1997)
  • Executive Vice President of Equico Capital Corporation, a venture division of the Equitable Life (1987-1993)
  • Vice President of Fulcrum Venture Capital Corp. (1979-1987)
Boards and Other Affiliations:
  • Glow Networks, Inc.
  • Trans Global Technologies, Inc.
  • Biogenex Laboratories, Inc.
  • Past Chairman of National Association of Investments Companies (NAIC)

Divakar graduated with an MBA from UCLA in 1973. He has an MS from Stanford University and a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Viji Sampath has over 30 years corporate and consulting experience in the food, agribusiness, consumer products and oil & gas industries, in the areas of strategic planning, M&A, and international business development. He has held senior corporate development and management positions at ConAgra Foods, Basic American Foods, Baskin-Robbins, and Hunt-Wesson Foods. He was instrumental in leading ConAgra Foods’ entry into India through the acquisition of the edible oils division (“Sundrop” brand) of ITC Ltd. He also served as a Senior Manager at Price Waterhouse Management Consulting Services group, where he advised food industry clients. Viji’s board affiliations include:

  • Monterey Gourmet Foods, Inc., California (NASDAQ: PSTA): Director (2008-2009). Served on the Audit Committee, and on a Special Committee formed to evaluate unsolicited acquisition bids. The company was eventually sold to Pulmuone, Inc, a leading food company based in S. Korea, in Dec 2009.
  • Nano Science Diagnostics, Texas (a food safety diagnostics company): Advisory Board member.
  • Vigilistics, Inc. California (a manufacturing software company): Advisory Board member.
  • ITC Agro-Tech Ltd., Hyderabad, India: Director (1997 – 2000).

Viji has initiated, negotiated, and successfully closed acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and strategic alliances globally. These transactions involved privately held and public companies based in N. America, India, UK, Australia, Dubai, and S. Africa. In addition, Viji has evaluated numerous acquisition opportunities in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China.

Srinath ("Sri") Geedipalli has 20 years of professional experience in Operational, Business Development and Finance roles in multiple industries. Sri is a Managing Director and Co-Founder at Simanor, an Advisory firm focused on mid-market companies in US and India providing M&A, Strategic and Capital Raising Advisory services.

At Simanor, he leads the Company’s initiatives within the Technology, Healthcare and Business Services industries. Sri has successfully originated and advised on multiple M&A transactions involving US and International companies in the IT, BPO, Healthcare and Engineering industries. Sri has closed deals in the Software, IT and outsourcing industries and also actively focused on SaaS and Emerging Technologies.

Earlier Sri held leadership roles in Healthcare and Technology companies including Envision Healthcare Corp (NASDAQ:AMSG) and a leading Microsoft partner. He also consulted with clients in the Healthcare, Finance, Infrastructure and Education industries. Sri is a Board Member at the NYC chapter of the Alliance of M&A Advisors (AM&AA) and was also presented with M&A Advisor’s Top 40 under 40 award in the recent past. Sri has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business (Beta Gamma Sigma Honors). He holds a Master's degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri (Dean's Fellow). Sri obtained his bachelor's degree in Engineering from India.

Jeff's expertise as a senior strategy and operations executive spans 20+ years in US and India. Jeff primarily served in the healthcare and technology industries in the areas of business development, mergers and acquisitions, legal transactions, new business development, strategic planning and corporate finance. Till recently he worked with Physicians Reciprocal Insurers (PRI) to develop various health information solutions for its insureds’. Jeff was also a founder of PriMedx Solutions and Medical Back-Office Solutions (MedBos) which are companies that provide services to healthcare organizations such as electronic health record system, medical transcription and revenue cycle management. Previously Jeff acted as a consultant for a merchant banking firm, Juris Group, specializing in media, healthcare and technology. He provided strategic, operational and financial advisory services to various clients such as SAIC and Proprietary Media. Prior to Juris Group, Mr. Topfer was recruited as a member of the turn-around team for Collegiate Health Care (“CHC”), a national provider of student health services at colleges/universities with 14 Health Centers under management. As the SVP of Operations, Mr. Topfer led a transitional operations team that re-positioned the Company for sale. Earlier on Jeff was a Partner with NOVUS Health Care, a consulting firm in Delray Beach, Florida. Novus provided physicians and other healthcare service organizations assistance with strategic planning, contracting, group practice formation, due diligence and mergers and acquisitions of practices and ancillary services. Earlier on Jeff founded PriMEDx, Inc., a physician practice management company acquiring and managing primary health care practices in rural areas. As Senior Vice President, he was responsible for development, clinic, corporate operations and legal matters. In 1995, PriMEDx, Inc. was sold to Community Care of America, Inc. (CCA) a national rural health care company. Additionally as Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs for U.S. Strategies Corp., he consulted major, for profit, alternative site health care companies. Jeff also worked in the national health care department of Ernst & Young and was a special assistant to Senator Daniel Moynihan’s senior health care aide. Jeff earned a Master in Public Health Degree from Columbia University, a J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law and a BBA in Finance from the University of Miami.

Raghu Rao is a serial entrepreneur, business mentor and angel investor in disruptive technologies. In his 30-year career, Raghu has built and led teams for governance, management, operations and oversight in public, private and non-profit sectors. He has successfully managed complex projects on varied platforms for clients in Government, Publishing, Aerospace, Utilities, Legal, Healthcare and Telecom sectors. Raghu has advised clients on the strategy and roll-out of high-profile projects, including the Federal Internet Portal USA.gov, Cancer.gov and other eGovernment initiatives.

Raghu is a founding investor in several high-technology companies – KovidAnalytics.com (2016, AI-based Public Safety Solutions), VClinBio.com (2016, Pharmaceutical Incremental Innovation Platform), PaperBatteryCo.com (2009, Nanotech Energy Storage), Partners of White Oak (2010, Real Estate Development in Princeton), WizNucleus.com (2009, Energy Sector Cyber Security Compliance), and InfoZen.com (1995, Analytics-based Risk Screening). Before InfoZen, Raghu was a program manager for electronic journals at Reed Technology, where he helped develop several pioneering databases delivered on CD-ROM, electronic journals and encyclopedias. Before joining Reed, Raghu developed industry leading bibliographic information systems for national libraries worldwide including the Library of Congress.

Raghu chaired two high-performing Vistage peer advisory boards in Central Jersey - CEO Group (#3954) and Trusted Advisor Group (#1366) from 2013-2017. Vistage International is the world's leading chief executive organization and helps CEOs become better leaders, make better decisions, and achieve better results through a unique suite of services which includes monthly problem-solving meetings with peers, individual coaching, expert speaker workshops, a web-based best practices library and access to a worldwide network of more than 20,000 executives in 20 countries. Raghu is active in social entrepreneurship and the non-profit sector. He is a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE.org) and is active in mentoring entrepreneurs.

Raghu has an M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and has completed coursework for an M.B.A. in Finance from George Washington University.

Specialties: Executive Coaching & Advisory, Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Strategy, Homeland Security, Big Data Analytics, Cyber Security, IoT, Risk & Data Management, Social Entrepreneurship

Dr. Arasan’s 25 years of Life Sciences industry experience includes various Senior Management roles at leading Indian companies in the sector. He started his career at Croslands Research laboratories and worked in various roles in the company including Controller Medical Affairs, Vice President-International Strategic Alliances. He launched all Global Alliances partner products in India as head of the business division. Later he worked for USV Ltd. as Vice President-Corporate Business Development wherein he played a leading role in acquisitions of brands, business and technology. Subsequently he worked for Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories as Vice President of Medico marketing and Business Development in RoW markets. Dr. Arasan also worked as President & Executive Director at Lifecell International, India’s first and largest private cord blood stem cell bank and stem cell solutions provider. Dr. Arasan’s expertise covers global generics portfolio planning and optimization (API and FDF), inlicensing, medico marketing and India market entry for global pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Arasan is a Senior Advisor to several leading Indian Life Sciences companies on strategic and operational issues. Dr. Arasan obtained an MBBS degree from Stanley Medical College, and MD (specializing in Clinical Pharmacology) from Madras Medical College, India.

Surender has over 30 years of experience in development banking, project finance and management consulting. During his distinguished professional career, Surender has been a board member in over 10 Indian companies and organizations. He currently advises several companies in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India in various stages of their evolution. He is also a senior counsel at Tempus Law Associates in Hyderabad. Additionally he is an adjunct professor at ASCI, JNIDB, JNTU, IPE – all reputed teaching institutions located in Hyderabad, India.

Till recently, Surender served as an advisor to APSFC (India’s largest state owned Financial Corporation) and APITCO (state owned consulting organization for the SME sector). Surender is associated with the World Bank in Washington D.C. and is also a mentor with the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Earlier he was a Deputy GM at IDBI (India’s largest development bank) and a Senior Project Consultant at Marubeni Corporation (A Japanese MNC, ranked 14th in Fortune 500).

Surender has an M.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras, a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Enterprise Management from the Institute of Public Enterprise - Hyderabad, and an LLB from Osmania University-Hyderabad.

Sravan's experience is primarily in business development, strategic planning, sales & marketing, project delivery & research roles. Sravan in his earlier role as Manager – Business Development at John Deere (A Fortune 500 Construction, Farm & Consumer Equipment Manufacturer), worked very closely with the Senior Management and was the coordinator of the “Ambition Group” which conceptualized and formulated John Deere’s India strategy and goals. In John Deere he had also handled the sales of John Deere 5038 D tractors for the State of Andhra Pradesh in India. In this role he worked closely with John Deere agriculture equipment dealers and developed interesting decision support systems and processes that enabled the increase of John Deere’s market share from 4% to 16%.

Prior to John Deere, Sravan was Manager- Strategic Initiatives at Nuevora, an analytical firm, which assisted clients in analytical based decision making. Sravan was instrumental in developing an analytical platform for the auto-dealer community at US, which enabled them to improve sales and customer satisfaction.

His Areas of expertise include Strategy Planning & Implementation, Sales & Marketing, Operational optimization, Decision Support Systems (DSS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and financial analysis.

Sravan completed his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and B-tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras. He has also worked in DRDO as a Research Engineer prior to doing his MBA.

Richard Wottrich is a Senior Advisor at Simanor. Richard founded DSI Global M&A, an advisory firm based in Chicago, in 1992, where he is currently President and Managing Director. He has over 30 years experience in the financial services industry, and has managed over 200 transactions ranging from startups and private placements to middle market acquisitions and divestitures in the US and various global markets. He has also initiated M&A transactions in India and China.

Richard is a Partner in IMAP (a network of International M&A Partners), and served in the past as its Chairman and President. He was instrumental in taking IMAP to international levels, having assisted in bringing in the first six European partner firms in 1998. He is the founder and editor of the blog CenterCut – Alternative Energy and Sustainability. Richard is a graduate of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.

S. V. Venkatesan is a Senior Advisor at Simanor. He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Independent Director of India Securities Ltd. His 24 year career with State Bank of India included international exposure for seven years, where he was part of the team that setup the SBI Offshore Banking Branch in Singapore in 1977. He later joined the Essar Group, Mumbai as Group Financial Controller, where he spearheaded the Finance function for the entire group, and was largely responsible for resource mobilization through capital markets and institutions to fund major capital intensive projects.

Currently, he serves as a Director at various Essar Group companies, Asia Motorworks, Lancor Holdings, Crompton Engineering, and Edelweiss Trustee Services. Venkatesan is a Commerce graduate (gold medallist) of Madras University.