Management & Board


Srinivas (Vasu) Netrakanti – CEO
Vasu is a pioneer in creating software solutions for scheduling and sequencing problems. Before he founded Optessa, Vasu was a co-founder and the CTO of TigrSoft Inc. He also participated in taking the company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1998. He left TigrSoft in 2000 after it agreed to be acquired by Matrikon (which in turn was acquired by Honeywell in 2010). Vasu holds an M.B.A. from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.

Ashok Erramilli – President, Optessa USA
Ashok brings to Optessa over twenty years of experience in devising optimal solutions to engineering and business problems. Ashok has developed algorithms that have been implemented in a number of commercially successful products in the areas of optimization, sequencing and scheduling. Ashok has been a consultant to many North American and European engineering and networking corporations. He was a Research Manager at Bellcore (now Telcordia) for many years. He has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Yale University.

Erwin Paes – Director, Delivery and Execution
Erwin has over 10 years of experience in designing, developing and implementing resource allocation, planning and scheduling solutions for the manufacturing industry. He has carried out significant research and development in the fields of Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence particularly in the use of Linear Programming, Constraint Programming and Search Heuristics for real world problems. Erwin holds an M.Tech. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay), Mumbai, India.


Allan MacKenzie – Chairman
Allan Mackenzie is a director of the ROI Fund. He is also currently a partner with Octane Venture Partners, an oil and gas technology venture capital fund. Prior to that, Mr. Mackenzie was the principal of Disruptive Ventures, an IT private equity fund. Mr. Mackenzie has more than 15 years of total investing experience. From 1999 to 2000, Mr. Mackenzie joined the management team of one of his investments, as the Vice-President, Finance which was later purchased by America OnLine. Mr. Mackenzie holds a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) from Stanford University, a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario (Ivey)

Prasad Akella
A seasoned software executive, Akella is an entrepreneur and intrapreneur who has helped pioneer new market categories like social networks as a founder of Spoke Software and Intelligent Assist Devices while at General Motors. Most recently he was VP and head of global SMB marketing at SAP. Prasad has successfully managed global operations, product management, marketing and account development in diverse enterprise and SaaS markets. He has lived and/or led teams in the US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia and the UK.

He holds a PhD from Stanford’s “” where he was a Meakin Fellow, an MBA with High Distinction from Michigan’s Ross Business School, and a BS from the Indian Institute of Technology where he won the HAL Silver Award. He has received many awards in his career including GM’s highest technical award, the “Boss” Kettering award and holds two United States patents for his seminal work on Social Networks.

Dr. Parag Pruthi
Dr. Pruthi is the Founder and CEO of NIKSUN which he has grown from a startup to a highly successful global company in the cyber security, wireless and network monitoring markets. Recognized as one of the foremost experts in advanced cyber security technologies, Dr. Pruthi advises on cyber defense strategies at the highest tiers of governments and enterprises around the world. He is a frequent speaker on cyber security issues, including keynotes to delegates from across 28 NATO nations, agencies and strategic commands at the NATO Information Assurance Symposium.

Dr. Pruthi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master’s in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology, and received his Doctorate in Telecommunications from The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. His thesis, “An Application of Chaotic Maps to Packet Traffic Modeling,” was the first to apply chaotic and fractal systems to accurately model the seemingly erratic nature of network traffic. Dr. Pruthi continues to drive the advancement of cyber security and network monitoring applications and practices to new levels, by regularly introducing highly innovative and state-of-the-art products that address the continuously evolving landscape of network performance and security.

Srinivas (Vasu) Netrakanti
Please see Optessa Management Team


Stephen I. Rodgers – President, GS Global Solutions
A 22 year career with leading automotive parts supplier Magna International, and a 7 year career with General Motors of Canada has provided Steve Rodgers with a very comprehensive and wide-ranging insight into the global automotive industry. GS Global Solutions is focused on finding solutions to deal with the rapidly changing automotive industry including such things as global integration, supply chain transformation and changing technology including hybrid technologies and powertrain evolution. Steve served as the Chairman of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) from 2005-2007 and is a member of the Board of Directors of both Exco Technologies and the ZENN Motor Company. At the time of his departure from Magna, Steve was Vice President, Global Business Development covering the Asia-Pacific region focused on the countries of Japan, Korea, China, India and Thailand. Steve joined the Magna Corporate Office in August 2003 as Vice-President, Marketing and was appointed to the Asia focused position in September 2006. Prior to his appointment to the Magna Corporate Office, Mr. Rodgers served as Senior Vice-President, Marketing for Intier Automotive and Vice-President, Sales and Marketing at both Tesma and later, Atoma. He also served as the Assistant General Manager at Karmax Heavy Stamping within the Cosma Group. Steve joined Magna when their sales were $400 Million and was an active member of management as they morphed into the world’s third largest Tier 1 Automotive supplier with sales exceeding $24 Billion.