The Dream Team
Baqar Iftikhar Naqvi- CEO
Baqar is a seasoned retail professional with over 22 years of experience in brick & mortar and online retail strategy & operations, having worked in leadership roles in “Consumer & Retail” focused consulting firms as well as managing a Rs. 300 Cr+ Fashion Brand as CEO. Baqar was a founding team member and CEO of www.styletag.com, a flash sale website for fashion products. He built the team ground up and was responsible for overall growth of the company. Baqar has led strategy and operations consulting engagements for some of the most reputed brands and retailers in India and Internationally and has been a part of the startup team of some of the most successful retailers in the Indian market.
At Upriver, Baqar works with clients to build online first brands, drafting well thought through strategies and ensuring meticulous implementation to achieve targets. He also assists early stage brands to raise seed funds.
Mohit Jain – COO
Mohit is a career investment banker where for more than 12 years he advised companies on Mergers and Acquisition and Private Equity transactions with a special focus on Fashion and E-commerce. Having led negotiations and closed deals for numerous Indian & cross border M&A’s, he has a deep understanding of business models, brand valuations, deal structuring and post merger integrations. Mohit started his career with UBS Investment Bank and has worked with various consulting firms.
At Upriver, Mohit brings in his expertise in finance and M&A into brand building, ensuring that the clients build a valuable brand. He also manages the entire delivery team ensuring that all operations run smoothly, and client’s targets are achieved.
Yash Chhabra – Marketing Lead
Yash has been in the e-commerce and retail industry for about 5 years. He started his journey by launching his venture, actively sourcing unique products and selling across the EU and US markets through his own e-commerce website. Further, he went on to work for Naspers in their venture investing and strategy team, evaluating investments in the e-commerce and fintech space. He has also worked as an analyst in retail and consumer focussed investment advisory firms.
With his deep interest in marketplace operations and digital marketing, Yash leads the advertising and marketing function at Upriver, covering all major platforms and delivering sales growth and efficiencies for Upriver’s brand partners.
Pooja Kalra Sood- Client Partner
With over 20 years of experience, Pooja is a passionate professional with a track record of successfully leading retail businesses and delivering Revenue & EBITDA targets. Pooja worked for over 15 years with SSIPL Retail, during which she worked with leading international brands like Nike, Levi’s and Lotto, and led their Buying & Merchandising functions. She is also credited with leading the start-up of Sports Station, guiding it from the 1st store to its 80th, and steering the complete business strategy and execution in terms of brand identity & store design, expansion, product/ brand mix, marketing and sales.
Pooja has also worked with UCB, Disney, Adidas, Puma & Skechers to name a few. With the DNA of Buying & Merchandising and an in-depth understanding of retail and ecommerce operations and scale up, Pooja remains a person of numbers, analytics, planning and strategy and one who has grown businesses.
At Upriver, Pooja works with Fashion & Lifestyle clients on strategy development and execution, ensuring online success and satisfaction.
Prasanjit Singh Deo – VP Business Development & Sales
With over 25 years of rich experience in Sales & Marketing, Prasanjit worked extensively in the telecom sector across all major service providers – Essar Cellphone, Reliance Communication , Shyam Telecom, and Aircel. Prasanjit also spearheaded Franchise India’s Sales & Marketing in South India, facilitating partnerships between brands and retailers from diverse sectors, with potential franchisees.
At Upriver, Prasanjit leads the Business Development & Sales function and also the firm’s Bangalore office.