The SymphonyAI Team
Over 1,600 talented leaders, data scientists and other professionals operate the SymphonyAI Group under the leadership of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful serial entrepreneurs, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani. Meet the team that incubates, transforms, builds, and invests in B2B AI solutions.
Dr. Romesh Wadhwani
Founder, Chairman, and CEO
Dr. Romesh Wadhwani is a proven, successful entrepreneur and CEO. He built Symphony Technology Group from startup to $2.5B revenue, $10B EV. Dr. Wadhwani has committed $1B of his own capital to build SymphonyAI.
Dr. Romesh Wadhwani
Founder, Chairman, and CEOWatch Video
Dr. Romesh Wadhwani is the founder and CEO of SymphonyAI Group, a fast-growing operating group of leading AI companies that deliver a new generation of advanced AI solutions to transform the enterprise. SymphonyAI Group companies focus on driving revenue growth and operational excellence for customers in their vertical sectors, including retail, CPG, life sciences, payer/provider, manufacturing and process industries, defense, financial services, and media.
Prior to founding Symphony AI Group, Dr. Wadhwani was the founder and CEO of Symphony Technology Group, a strategic private equity firm that builds great software and technology-enabled services companies. Dr. Wadhwani founded STG in 2002, growing it from startup to $ 2.5 billion in combined revenue and 15,000 employees. Dr. Wadhwani was the founder and CEO of Aspect Development Inc., a B2B software firm. Aspect Development was acquired in 2000 for $9.3 billion, the largest software acquisition at the time.
Dr. Wadhwani established the Wadhwani Foundation in 2001 to accelerate job creation and economic development in India and other emerging economies through large scale initiatives in entrepreneurship, innovation, and skilling. Today, the Wadhwani Foundation is active in India and more than 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Wadhwani Advantage, Wadhwani Entrepreneur, and Wadhwani Innovate are three large initiatives for helping hundreds of entrepreneurs start new businesses and grow existing SME businesses each year, creating a large number of new jobs. The Wadhwani Advantage initiative allows tens of thousands of students each year learn employability and soft skills and get placed in high-quality jobs.
Dr. Wadhwani and his brother Sunil Wadhwani have established the Wadhwani Institute for AI for Social Good in Mumbai, a research institute and global hub for developing AI solutions for social good in public health, education, skilling, job creation, and infrastructure. Indian Prime Minister Modi inaugurated WIAI in 2018. The institute was awarded the Google Prize in 2019 for one of its innovative initiatives.
In January 2020, the Government of India awarded Dr. Wadhwani the Padma Shri honor, the fourth-highest civilian award in the Republic of India. President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Wadhwani to the board of trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center. Dr. Wadhwani is a board member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge.
Dr. Wadhwani holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a master’s of science and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Wadhwani received an honorary doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in August 2018.
The SymphonyAI Team
Senior Operating Partner
Leif E. Pedersen is a senior operating partner at SymphonyAI Group, responsible for revenue growth across healthcare, life sciences, industrial, and defense sectors.
Mr. Pedersen is a seasoned software industry executive with more than 25 years of product and marketing experience across multiple vertical industries and a proven track record of building high-performance teams. Mr. Pedersen was most recently CEO of Dassault Systèmes BIOVIA, a scientific product development software firm for providing solutions for life and material science.
Before joining BIOVIA, Mr. Pedersen served as executive vice president at Innovative Interfaces; senior vice president of marketing, product management and corporate development at Accelrys Software Inc.; and vice president at Siemens Corp. with global responsibility for driving company growth within the automotive, pharmaceutical, aerospace, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, chemicals and other industries.
As vice president at Siemens (previously UGS Corp.), Mr. Pedersen was responsible for managing business strategies within eight industry verticals. He was part of a team that successfully grew UGS into a leading global product lifecycle management (PLM) software solutions company. Prior to UGS, Mr. Pedersen held executive leadership positions with Vignette Corp., Novell Inc., CA Technologies, and Oracle Corp.
Senior Investment PartnerWatch Video
Pradyut Shah is a senior investment partner at SymphonyAI Group and oversees all investment and acquisition activity at the firm. He currently serves as a Director on the Boards of Symphony AzimaAI, Symphony MediaAI and Ayasdi.
Pradyut was previously a Managing Director and founding member of Insignia Capital Group, a middle-market private equity firm where he served as a Director on the Boards of portfolio companies in the consumer sector. Prior to Insignia, he was a Vice President at Behrman Capital where he was significantly involved with a number of private equity investments from 2004 to 2011, including Athena Diagnostics, Brooks Equipment Company, Peacock Engineering Company, Pelican Products and WIL Research Laboratories. Prior to Behrman, Pradyut spent 3 years at Credit Suisse First Boston’s Technology Group.
He attended the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.S.E. in Computer Science from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a B.S. in Economics with a major in Finance from the Wharton School of Business.
Operating PartnerWatch Video
Ishan is a results-oriented entrepreneur with the knowledge, expertise and track record to incubate, grow and transform businesses that focus on enterprise software, data and analytics.
As an operating partner, Ishan’s focus at SymphonyAI is incubation and acquisition opportunities across the operating group’s financial services and enterprise technology segments. Additionally, he plays interim C-level roles across the SymphonyAI portfolio companies.
Prior to SymphonyAI, Ishan was COO of CoreOne Technologies, a Symphony Technology Group portfolio company; which was exited to IHSMarkit. At Deutsche Bank, Ishan was the global head of analytics for the Electronic Trading Platform. Ishan started his career at CitiBank. Ishan has a dual MBA degree from Columbia Business School and London Business School.
Eshwar is a partner at SymphonyAI focused on incubating, transforming, and growing companies that leverage AI to disrupt B2B markets. Eshwar assumes interim operating roles across SymphonyAI’s portfolio to accelerate company business goals and enhance customer and shareholder value. Prior to SymphonyAI, Eshwar led products and alliances for Rubrik, where he launched a suite of products that grew the company to an annual run rate of $100 million after only six quarters. Rubrik is the fastest-growing enterprise infrastructure company and was featured on Forbes’ 2018 The Cloud 100 list.
Previously, Eshwar was the vice president of strategy at Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ:FUEL), responsible for shaping strategic direction and driving ancillary revenue through new business initiatives. He helped close Rocket Fuel’s $230M acquisition of [x+1] to expand Rocket Fuel’s enterprise solutions portfolio. Prior, Eshwar was Rocket Fuel’s vice president of products and business development, responsible for brand and direct response products and data and measurement partnerships. Eshwar helped Rocket Fuel grow revenue to over $240 million to claim the #1 spot in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ list.
Previously, Eshwar was the founder and CEO of Sensact Applications, an IoT company focused on solutions for smart physical environments; drove product strategy for Epiphany’s (now Infor) marketing and analytics products, including Epiphany’s flagship CRM marketing and analytics platforms; co-founder and CTO of iLeverage (acquired by Epiphany in 2000), an advertising and collaborative selling solutions company; and a software development engineer in Oracle’s Application Server Group.
Eshwar serves as an advisor at Singularity University and Alchemist Accelerator and is a charter member of TiE Silicon Valley. He holds a MS in computer science from U.C. Berkeley, Management of Technology from U.C. Berkeley, and a B.Tech in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. He has authored several academic publications and holds six patents.
Vibhor is an investment partner and co-leads the corporate development and minority investments function at SymphonyAI Group. Prior to joining SymphonyAI, Vibhor was an investment director at Intel Capital, where his deals generated over $2 billion in exits as measured by enterprise value.
Vibhor’s M&A and venture capital areas of expertise include artificial intelligence and machine learning, data center infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise mobility, Internet of Things, software-as-a-service, digital media, wearables, digital health, digital commerce/payments and has served on over a dozen boards to help management teams with their growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions planning, financial planning, recruiting of top management and business development activities.
Prior to his investing career, Vibhor was a top-ranked management consultant with Deloitte Consulting, where he led teams on a number of high-profile, award-winning engagements at Fortune 500 clients in industries including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, and telecom.
Vibhor holds an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago, where he was selected for the prestigious Student Managed Investment Fund scholarship based on academic excellence and community leadership. Vibhor holds an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, where he won a Dean’s award for academic excellence.
Sr. Director of Product ManagementWatch Video
Nital Vora drives product strategy to incubate AI enabled solutions for disrupting B2B markets. Nital is building, launching, and commercializing Enterprise SaaS products for over 15 years.
Prior to SymphonyAI, he led product management at Oracle where he conceived, developed and launched industry cloud solution for Consumer Goods which accelerated digital transformation of large CPG brands. Prior to Oracle, he was head of SaaS product management at iVanti where he launched IT Management product line that enabled the company to transform itself into a competitive SaaS vendor. Prior to iVanti, Nital spent a decade building and launching Cloud based CRM software at SAP, NetSuite and RightNow Technologies.
Nital holds a M.S. in Computer Science from University of Illinois and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
Head of Marketing
Erica leads SymphonyAI marketing, working with Symphony AI portfolio companies to build awareness and create marketing programs that drive enterprise AI adoption across vertical industries.
Prior to joining SymphonyAI, Erica was senior director of marketing for C3.ai, where she led content and drove a number of other marketing functions, partnering closely with product and sales organizations. Prior to C3.ai, Erica was senior director of marketing for SunPower Corp., where she led marketing for SunPower’s commercial and utility solar businesses across the U.S, Europe, and Japan. Prior to SunPower, Erica was a director of marketing at Cisco Systems Inc., leading marketing for a variety of emerging technology products. She also held leadership corporate communications and analyst and public relations positions in Cisco’s service provider business.
Erica began her career as a journalist at PC Week (now eWeek), where she edited several news sections, wrote a column, spoke at industry events, and covered a variety of markets, including telecommunications, networking, enterprise software, storage, and enterprise video.
Erica holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and has completed executive MBA programs at Kellogg School of Management and Oxford University’s Said Business School.
Head of Finance
As head of finance for SymphonyAI, Carl Hekkert is responsible for finance, IT, legal, human resources, compliance, and administrative functions. Carl drives transformational finance and people initiatives across the SymphonyAI portfolio and also assists with deal structuring and integration.
Before joining SymphonyAI, Carl held senior finance roles at software, AI and professional services companies, including Motorola Solutions, Vigilant Solutions, and Astreya Partners. Previously, Carl was the head of finance for SVB Financial Group’s corporate VC and warrant portfolios. Carl also served in finance leadership roles at Varian, Juniper Networks, Agilent Technologies, and HP.
Carl began his career at the Silicon Valley practice of Ernst and Young, where he earned his CPA designation, and in KPMG’s Risk Advisory Services group. Carl’s expertise includes technical accounting and SEC reporting for public and private technology companies, venture fund accounting, equity financings, acquisition due diligence, systems implementations, and human resource programs.
Carl holds a bachelor’s of science degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in culture from Regent College Vancouver. Carl is an adjunct faculty member of William Jessup University’s MBA program.
Vice President of Products and M&A Diligence
Prashanth’s responsibilities at SymphonyAI Group straddle the investment and operating teams, including evaluating target acquisition product strengths and alignment with SymphonyAI’s mission. Post-acquisition, Prashanth works with the company’s leadership and go-to-market organizations to fashion a transformative AI-enabled product and value selling roadmap. Before joining SymphonyAI Group, Prashanth was the founder of AcumedAI LLC, a healthcare technology and advisory startup utilizing AI/ML capabilities in provider revenue cycle, patient activation, and engagement solutions.
Previously, Prashanth was vice president, healthcare product management at Symphony AyasdiAI, where he led the creation and go-to-market for a portfolio of intelligent healthcare applications built on Ayasdi’s one-of-a-kind machine intelligence platform. Symphony AyasdiAI’s healthcare solutions grew to account for 50% of revenue with deployments at marquee provider and payer institutions. Previously, Prashanth was senior director, health sciences product strategy at Oracle, leading the introduction of Oracle’s first organic and partner SaaS offerings for life sciences and healthcare enterprises.
Prashanth earned his bachelor of science and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on medical imaging from the University of Cincinnati.
Head of Talent
Patrick leads SymphonyAI executive and strategic hiring, partnering with SymphonyAI portfolio companies on talent strategy and people practices. Before joining SymphonyAI, Patrick led inside sales and global sales strategy/operations for Findly, an HR technology start-up focused on optimizing hiring for Fortune 1000 companies. Findly, now Symphony Talent, was acquired by Symphony Technology Group. Previously, Patrick held sales and channel leadership positions at Salesforce and customer service company Desk.com and managed technical recruiting for Aerotek, an Allegis Group company.
Patrick graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Vice President, Investment Team
Jimmy Sourbeer is a vice president on the SymphonyAI Group investment team. His responsibilities include sourcing, evaluating, and executing acquisitions. Jimmy was previously a vice president at Resurgens Technology Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm focused on software and tech-enabled services businesses. Prior to Resurgens, Jimmy was a vice president at PGi, where he assisted in leading the execution of strategic investments, deploying over $175 million in four acquisitions. Prior to PGi, Jimmy was an associate at ICG, where he was involved in identifying and investing in software businesses. He began his career in investment banking.
Jimmy holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from Columbia Business School, where he was a member of the Private Equity Fellows program, received the Robert H. Montgomery Prize in accounting, and graduated with Dean’s Honors.
Jimmy is based in Los Altos, CA, and can be reached at [email protected]
Director of Business Development
Mike is a director and head of business development for SymphonyAI Group. He is responsible for all aspects of deal origination and qualification. Before joining SymphonyAI, Mike was the head of corporate development for ESW Capital, a $2 billion private investment firm focused on enterprise software acquisitions. While at ESW Capital, Mike was responsible for the entire deal lifecycle and personally closed six transactions representing more than $145 million of equity in under two years.
Previously, Mike was a member of the business development team and led the technology efforts at OpenGate Capital. Mike began his career in private equity as an associate with Pegasus Capital Group.
Mike holds an MBA with a focus in finance and entrepreneurial management from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from Pepperdine University.
Mike is based in Los Angeles and can be reached at [email protected]
Jason Williams is a SymphonyAI Group Senior Associate, focused on executing acquisitions across several verticals. Prior to joining SymphonyAI in 2018, Mr. Williams worked as an investment professional at Golden Gate Capital and at The Gores Group, where he focused on investments in the industrial and technology sectors. Previously, he worked as a consultant in the Dallas office of the Boston Consulting Group, where he conducted numerous projects in the technology media and telecom industries.
Mr. Williams has a bachelor degree in neurobiology with a secondary degree in economics from Harvard College.
Winston Wilkinson is a senior associate on the investments and acquisitions team at SymphonyAI Group. He is currently active in furthering the firm’s healthcare and life sciences M&A strategies.
Before joining SymphonyAI Group in 2019, Winston was an associate at mid-market venture capital and private equity firm HGGC, where he worked on investments spanning multiple verticals, including software, tech-enabled services, insurance, and BPO. Before HGGC, Winston worked as an investment banking analyst for J.P. Morgan in its technology coverage group in San Francisco. Earlier in his career, Winston worked at banking and investment firms, including Citi, StepStone Group, Industry Pro, and Veritas Funding.
Winston earned both a master and bachelor degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University while competing on the university’s track and field team.
Anusha is an analyst on the SymphonyAI Group investment team, responsible for evaluating new market opportunities across a variety of established and emerging technologies and industries. She brings her talents to successful acquisition and investment sourcing, diligence, and close.
Prior to joining SymphonyAI Group, Anusha was responsible for legal and policy research for the Equals Center for Promotion of Social Justice, focusing on advocacy and research projects for the rights of persons with disabilities in India. She was previously a caseworker at the Trinity Centre Cardiff Asylum Support Advocacy group, working on pro bono cases to help asylum seekers in the UK fight for necessities such as access to housing. Anusha has lived and worked in the United States, United Kingdom, Paris, and India.
Anusha holds a bachelor of law degree in law from Cardiff University.
Katie is a talent coordinator at SymphonyAI Group. Her charter is to help build successful teams at each SymphonyAI Group portfolio company. Previously, she was operations manager and administrator for the organization.
Prior to SymphonyAI Group, Katie held multiple operational and administrative positions at a variety of Silicon Valley technology companies, including Cisco Systems Inc. At the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), Katie helping promote proper planning and urban research in the Bay Area. She developed her dexterity for operations management by heading a corporate location for biohazard company Crime Scene Steri Clean featured on the A&E show Hoarders.
Katie holds a master’s degree in criminology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sonoma State University.
As the senior accountant for SymphonyAI Group’s Finance team, Toufan Salari is responsible for day-to-day accounting functions, reporting processes, and providing accounting support across the SymphonyAI portfolio companies.
Before joining SymphonyAI Group, Toufan was a staff accountant at one of KKR and Co. Inc.’s multi-family offices, where he assisted in formulating monthly financials and overseeing accounts payable for high net worth partners/members and related entities, with net worth ranging from $150 million to more than $5 billion. Toufan was also part of the tax accounting team at a local CPA firm in the Silicon Valley, where he assisted in tax preparation for individuals and small business owners and assisted in compilation and reviews of financial statements. Previously, he consulted with early-stage startup founders and assisted in formulating business organization strategies.
Toufan holds a bachelor degree in managerial economics from the University of California, Davis, and an advanced accounting certificate from Santa Clara University. He is currently sitting for the California Certified Public Accountant board examination.
Office Manager and Executive Assistant
Jessica is the office manager and an executive assistant at SymphonyAI Group. She oversees day-to-day operations for the company and partners closely with finance, HR, and marketing. She supports the activities of the SymphonyAI Group partners.
Prior to SymphonyAI Group, Jessica held multiple office manager and administrative positions at Silicon Valley organizations including UC Davis Health, The Harker School, Ruckus Wireless, Harmonic Inc., and Omneon Inc.
Jessica holds a bachelor degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.
Expertise and Impact
2019 run rate across portfolio companies
Rapid Growth, Rapid Results
The SymphonyAI Group has grown rapidly from a startup in 2017 to six operating companies using a unique operating model that combines AI-centric innovation with deep domain and process expertise in each vertical sector in which we operate.