Genetech’s Dr. Sara Kenkare-Mitra talks about drug discovery, cancer and women in leadership role in this TV interview that was aired in San Francisco Bay area. Silicon Valley-based Genentech was founded by a research scientist and a venture capitalist in 1976.

Dr. Kenkare-Mitra is Senior VP, Developmental Sciences and so one of our first questions was about her role at Genentech. Think of it like a translational organization is how she describes her role and the work her group does. What that means is they sit in the middle working with colleagues that do original discovery and clinicians that develop clinical trials. Essentially, she is involved right from the drug discovery to the drug approval phase by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Genntech is a research driven drug company with an emphasis on oncology and immunology . Dr. Kenkare-Mitra has worked extensively with  various Genentch products like Avastin, Tarceva, Lucentis, Xolair, Erivedge, Perjeta and Kadcyla. As an example she explains her  involvement with Kadcyla, a drug for breast cancer. It took them over 10 years to bring the drug to market and her involvment with this particular drug  began with the discovery of the molecule to the approval of the drug by FDA.

Dr. Kenkare-Mitra joined Genentech 18 years ago as a research scientist after doing graduate and post-graduate work at Univerity of Austin, Texas and University of San Francisco , California. How did she go from being a research scientist to a leadership role?  What skills are crucial for leading a team? Are women hesitant to ask?  Tune in to find out what she has to say.


Meru is a stunning and inspiring film that captures the gruelling and difficult journey of renowned mountaineers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk’s ascent of Mount Meru in Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand, India. The film won the audience award at the 2015 Sundance International Film Festival.

How did the mountaineers prepare for their journey? What did the “Clicking Baba,” in Garhwal Himalayas tell them about climbing this mountain? What mantra did he give them that they recited multiple times a day as they climbed up the mountain. In 2011 Anker, Chin and Ozturk were the first group to ascent Mount Meru’s central summit and the famous Shark’s Fin.

This interview is a highlight of a longer one with Anker and Chin. Stay tuned for that interview.


In 2013 South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho released his first English film Snowpiercer in the US. The film is based on a graphic novel by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochelle, which Joon-Ho read in one sitting at a bookstore in South Korea. It took him a few years before he was able to make the film.

We met Joon-Ho in San Francisco in 2013  just before the release of Snowpiercer and talked to him about how he discovered the graphic novel ,meeting Rochelle and the making of the film. We also wanted to find out how this sociology major discovered his love for films, espeically American films and the influence of Sam PeckinpahAlfred Hitchock and Quentin Tarantino on his filmmaking style.

Snowpiercer stars Chris Evans, Song-Kang-bo, Tilda Swinston, Jamie Hall, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer and Ed Harris.

Joon-Ho understands English very well, but decided to speak in Korean during the interview. There are a couple of places where he speaks in English.



Theodora Lee is a trial lawyer and a winemaker and owner of Theopolis Vineyards in Mendocino County in Northern California. Lee first discovered Northern California’s wine country when she was a young associate at Littler Mendelson law firm. She waited almost 20 years before she was able to buy 20 acres of land in the wine country. It took her 2 years to clear the land and start growing petit sirah and symphony varietals. Lee has won awards for her wine from Sunset magazine.

In this interview we talk with Lee about wine, wine-making in Mendocino County and how she came to follow the footsteps of her grandfather, who was a sharecropper in Texas. When she bought the land her goal was not be a winemaker, but be a farmer. Destiny had something else in store for her and she ended up becoming a winemaker.

Lee is a partner at Littler Mendelson and lives in the East Bay.

This interview aired on TV in San Francisco Bay area.


Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi are the directors of The Boxtrolls, a 3D, stop animation film from Laika Entertainment. The film is based on Anthony Snow’s book Here Be Monsters. Annable and Stacchi adapted the boxtrolls characters from Snow’s book and called it The Boxtrolls.

In this podcast interview we spoke to Annable and Stacchi about how they transformed this “creative and crazy book” of Snow into a 90 minute film in 3D stop animation. They take us behind the scenes and help us understand how they used 3D printing to create their characters and the influence of various writers and illustrators like Charles Dickens to Hayao Miyazaki. And they share how  they got the “deliciously wicked” Sir Ben Kingsley to be part of their film.

This is the first podcast interview available on our YouTube channel. Every week you will podcast interviews on our YouTube channel. If you like what you see and hear, do subscribe to our YouTube channel.


The Kamla Show Podcast

The Kamla Show Podcast

Over the years I have had people ask why my podcast inteviews are not up on my YouTube channel. I heard them, but was unsure if I should mingle my TV/video interviews with my audio. In the last few months that request has only grown and I can no longer ignore them. So, starting today I will upload 1 or 2 podcasts every week on my YouTube channel and feel free to subscribe to the playlist of podcast interviews.

The goal is to publish one podcast interview on Fridays and a second one on Tuesdays. The Friday podcast will feature  filmmakers, authors or artists interviews.

If you have not, you might want to subscribe to my YouTube channel. It is easy – click on this link and then hit the big red link that says subscribe and every week you will get new interviews in your mailbox.

As always, thank you for your support and for subscribing and listening to the interviews.



Dr. Ashish Gupta of Helion Venture Partners is one of the earliest investors in India. About 10 years ago he moved from Silicon Valley to Bangalore, India and started investing in startups. Helion is one of the leading investors in Indian starups. Dr. Gupta has seen the evolution of the startup landscape in India and in Bangalore in particular. Helion Venture has raised over $600 million so far and is in the process of closing another new round of funds.

We sat down to speak with Dr. Gupta to find out about the current investment trends in Banglaore, India. Bangalore is the startup capital of India and has more startups than other any other Indian city. Has Bangalore stepped out of its world back-office as James Crabtree of The Financial Times put in? What is the startup scene in Bangalore like? How are startups exiting in India?  It seems like acquisition is one of the exit strategies for Indian startups. Why is that? For example, Gupta’s Helion Ventures decided to exit Flipkart, an Indian unicorn company and we wated to find out why.

Dr. Gupta now divides his time between Silicon Valley and Bangalore, India.

This interview aired on TV in San Francisco bay area.

Google Is Now Part Of Alphabet

g-iconThis afternoon Google caught most of us by surprise with its curve ball that it has restrucutred and created a new company called Alphabet. Google is now part of Alphabet.  And what is Alphabet you ask? Here is how Larry Page described it in his blog post today.

Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. 

And so there  you have it Google the core company and the big revenue generator is part of a new company that will span all things from A to Z.  So, G is for Google as Page described in the same post. X is for X Lab and W is for Wings, the drone division of this new collection of companies.

This new Google is a slimmer one  as Page puts it and Sunder Pichai is its new CEO since Page now heads Alphabet.  Page writes:

Google itself is also making all sorts of new products, and I know Sundar will always be focused on innovation — continuing to stretch boundaries.

Intrestingly Alphabet is not owned by the new holding company as Verge points out.



San Jose Jazz Summerfest: Bria Skonberg, Gary Nunez and Plena Libre And Storm Large


It is always a challenge to figure out which shows to attend at the San Jose Jazz Summerfest. And this year was no different. On the last and third day of the festival I ended up watching Storm Large and her band. She is a sassy, no-nonsense singer, who effortlessly went from singing a love song to totally turning a well-known Cole Porter number into a funky version. She got started in her singing career working punk and rock gigs. She also sings with Pink Martini, the Portland-based music group.

Gary Nunez and Plena Libre played Puerto Rican music and they had the audience up on their feet dancing and doing the congo line much to the chagrin of the well-intentioned ushers.

The highlight of the day for me was watching the wonderful Bria Skonberg and her group of musicians. She embraced old jazz standards and played some of her own delightful compositions. She is a talented trumpet player and vocalist. Dalton Ridenhour, who accompanied her on the piano was wonderful.


San Jose Jazz is celebrating its 26th Summerfest (Aug 7-9, 2015). With a dizzying array of shows spread across 12 stages it is always a challenge to figure out which ones to attend. I ended up watching about 5 shows today that included a wonderful world premiere of Etienne Charles‘s San Jose Suite. The piece pays homage to 3 San Jose’s located in Trinidad, Costa Rica and USA. I was unsure what to expect of this show, and was pleasantly delighted by the suite. It was intriguing to discover how Charles found and wove a common theme around these cities.

Bombay Jazz fused American jazz with North Indian classical music. This was the first time that I listened to them and it was quite an experience to watch how American and Indian musicians worked together to create this fusion music.

The grand finale of the evening was the delightul Cuban bolerista Ernesto Oveido and The John Santon Sextet. Oveido was a consummate and elegant singer. He sang a handful of well-known boleros including my favorite Bruce Manigua. Oviedo is 80 years old and yet he sang in an effortless manner.

Besides these three shows, I also watched Canadian singer Johnny Summers and John Pizzarelli Quartet from  New Jersey.