24th April 2024


India’s First Do Tank linking Tech and Geopolitical Power

Ashish Sonal

Maj Ashish Sonal (Retd) is the Founder & CEO of ORKASH Labs, a Cognitive-computing and AI Data Sciences company. ORKASH has developed first-of-a-kind made-in-India cognitive technology systems in the areas of OSINT, cyber threat intelligence, and advanced information systems for Defence and Homeland Security.

A former Special Forces (Para) officer turned scientist and a hi-tech entrepreneur, Ashish has worked extensively with the global strategic security community, and as an advisor for architecting solutions for Intelligence, Counter Terrorism, and Defence C3I systems. He served with the Army Special Forces for 13 years prior to joining the

corporate sector. He was the managing director for six years for asia-pacific’s largest multinational risk-management consulting firm prior to turning into a hi-tech entrepreneur.

Education: Ashish did his MBA from the Indian School of Business (ISB, Hyderabad). He is a graduate of the National Defense Academy, Kadakwasla and the US army’s Ranger School, Fort Benning.

Honours, Awards & Public Roles: Ashish was awarded the Times Fellowship for field-research on the human element in terrorism, later published as a book. Ashish is a recipient of Vir Chakra, one of India’s highest gallantry & combat leadership awards. More recently, Ashish was awarded the Best Technical R&D Award at

the Map World Forum for his research paper ‘Intelligence Creation and Decision Support through Integrated Semantic Expert Systems on Geospatial Platforms’.

His past Public Roles include:

  • Co-chair Technology Group, NASSCOM’s Cyber Security Task Force for Prime Minister Modi o National Committee Member, Homeland Security for FICCI and IACC
  • National Committee Member, Disaster Management, CII
  • Lead Investigator & Author on public policy frameworks to the Government on i) Technology architecture for Public Safety & Security in Smart Cities, ii) Social Unrest Management through the use of Non-lethal technologies