“A vibrant start-up ecosystem”, “green pastures”, “state-of-the-art technology”, “home of green tech” and a fight for global wellbeing…not the words typically associated with a country covered in snow on all known maps of men and Mordor!! Iceland, once passionately termed as a giant igloo, is melting the barriers in mass proportions. Not only is it attempting to combat the globe’s climate crisis whilst redefining economic wellness, but it is also home to a thriving global Indian community along with its very own cricket league!
Today I am joined by seed investor and start-up champion, Bala Kamallkharan as he helps demystify the land of the Vikings and uncovers the meaning of Icelandicness and how his Tech Week is challenging global perceptions and championing meaningful change.
About Bala Kamallakharan
Bala is an investor and the founder of ُُStartup Iceland, a grassroots initiative to build sustainable ُُStartup ecosystem in Iceland. Bala is also Co-Founder of Dattaca Labs and Iceland Venture Studio. Bala has served as Executive Board Member in Guide to Iceland and TravelShift. Bala has invested, mentored and was the Chairman of the Board at CLARA (Resonata), the Icelandic Community Analytics company which was acquired by Jive Software in 2013. CLARA was the first Icelandic company to be acquired into Silicon Valley. Bala has done various early stage investments like Buuteeq(acquired by Priceline.com NASDAQ:PCLN), GreenQloud (acquired by NetApp NASDAQ:NTAP).
Before venturing into being an Investor and Entrepreneur, Bala was with Glitnir Bank’s executive team. He was part of the Strategic Growth team focusing on strategic priorities of the bank, which included mergers & acquisitions, business development and strategy formulation. Bala played many leadership roles within the bank.
Prior to joining Glitnir, Bala was with Cap Gemini in the US, formerly Ernst & Young Management Consulting. He worked on strategy development and deployment of projects for Fortune 500 companies. Bala has a management degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. He also holds a Masters degree in Economics and a second Masters degree in Information Systems & Decision Science from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA. Bala passed the PhD qualifying examination in Economics. Bala is a member of the Reykjavik Rotary International Club.
About the Global Indian Series:
My name is Rajan Nazran Chief Explorer for the Global Indian Series, the official platform for people of Indian origin (PIO) and liberal minds, because let’s face it, we are everywhere!
For over 15 years I have travelled across the globe deep diving into 60+ countries whilst exploring the kaleidoscope of our remarkable 50 shades of brown community.
Voyaging to the edges of the Amazon, facing Ebola in West Africa, being held hostage in Eastern Europe, tapping rubber in Malaysia, drinking chai with Heads of State and sharing laughter with local fishermen – I have been there, looking for the ideas that re-shape a nation.
My purpose is simple, to build a living encyclopaedia of the human experience of the community and a safe mooring ground for open discussions, whether you are an NRI, Indian Diaspora, person of Indian origin (PIO) or a fan of South Asian anthropology, what I do is bring people and communities together.
I do this by plunging into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin (PIO), taking a second look at the countries we now call home and tackling the conversations we need to know more about.
Through our range of award-winning original content (print, podcasts, events and TV) and fascinating discussions, our impactful stories and platforms have spearheaded national and international conversations that have brought people together. Our work is featured in global brands including The Indian Express through to the CNBC network.
How to get involved:
Interested in getting involved in building the world’s largest living encyclopaedia on the community? Whether you want to become a patron, buy us a chai in a new location or have your story shown, simply get in touch via our website, we would love to hear from you. www.globalindianseries.com
You can reach Rajan via
Special thank you to TAIZU for the music
Presenter – Rajan Nazran
Producer –Global Indian Series/NazranRoth
Guest: Bala Kamallakharan
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