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Madan Padaki

Head held high services
CEO & Founder

Madan completed his engineering from the National Institute of Engineering, University of Mysore in 1995 and joined Wipro Corporation and moved on to Infosys Technologies into a Product Management role. He then went on to pursue his MBA from S.P.Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai. On graduating, he joined BFL Software (now Mphasis) in a Business Development role and was posted to Tokyo, Japan.


Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug in Aug 2000, he co-founded MeritTrac – as a pioneering idea in skills assessments and served as its CEO till 2011. MeritTrac is today India’s Largest Skills Assessment company and is recognized as a thought-leader in the sector, having won several awards like the NASSCOM Innovation Award & Deloitte Fast 50 India Award.  MeritTrac has also been featured extensively in several books on entrepreneurship and is also a case-study at INSEAD. MeritTrac was acquired by Manipal Global Education Services, one of India’s largest education services company. In 2011, Madan moved to Manipal head up Strategy, Innovation and International Partnerships for Manipal Education and transitioned out in Mar 2013, to get back to entrepreneurial experiments.


Madan now serves as the full-time Chairman of Head Held High Services, a movement that he co-founded as a Foundation in 2008 with the vision of eradicating rural poverty through education. Head Held High trains zero/low-educated rural youth and transforms them to be knowledge workers in record times. The movement has won several awards, including the CNN IBN Real Heroes Award, 2011, Global Sourcing Council Award 2011, etc. Madan now runs this social enterprise, delivering on the vision of the Foundation.


Along with Anand Sudarshan (former CEO of Manipal Education), he is also a co-founder of Sylvant Advisors – a pioneering idea in creating a robust scaffolding for education entrepreneurs to succeed.


Madan is recognized as one of the young leaders in the education space in India. In 2011, he was conferred the Young Education Leader Award by EDGE Forum – a forum of leading educationists and educational institutions in India.


He is a sought-after speaker at many forums, nationally & internationally on Entrepreneurship, Talent Pools & Education. He has addressed international conferences on forums like World Bank, Harvard’s Social Enterprise Conference, Association of Test Publishers, American Society of Engineering Education, Philippines & the Malaysian Outsourcing Associations amongst others. He is also the author of several articles on entrepreneurship, HR & Employability which have been published in leading publications in India. He serves as a member of the Academic Council of National Institute of Engineering, Mysore – one of the leading autonomous engineering institutions in India, and on the Board of Studies of NMIMS University’s business school. He is on the Governing Council of TiE Bangalore and is also an active member of leading industry bodies like Association of Test Publishers (ATP), NASSCOM, CII, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce & FICCI-Higher Education Network.

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, July 12

2:30pm IST