Our Mentors

We are lucky to be supported by our advisors who are extremely passionate towards exposing young people to social issues that India is facing and involving them in nation building. Click on image to view detail profile

Dr. Nachiket Mor

He is the inspiration behind the India Fellow program. He was the chairman of the ICICI Foundation and the leading force behind the ICICI Fellows program. He started SughaVazhvu, a rural healthcare initiative. Currently he is designing national and regional health systems. He is also the visiting scientist at the Banyan Academy, taking a course on mental healthcare. Prior to this, he served as the board chair of CARE India and a member of board of Reserve Bank of India and CRISIL. He was also heading the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation in India amongst many other things.

    Dr. Rajeshwar Mishra

    He is a social psychologist, started his career with the A. N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies and then assumed an international assignment leading an Indo-Dutch project – North Bengal Terai Development. There, he spent long years before establishing Center for the Development of Human Initiatives (CDHI), which he continues to mentor and nurture. His interests lie in field based action research through participatory pedagogy. He has worked as a consultant and adviser to many international organisations (bilateral, multilateral and NGOs). Being a prolific author, he has published several books, articles, proposals etc.

    Manali Shah

    She is a facilitator of meaningful meetings and participatory strategy. She has worked with various organizations including BullzI Inc, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit, GIVE Network (Voluntary Services Overseas) and Sir Ratan Tata Trust. In her own words, “my focus in every engagement is to create and sustain alignment within the group about the larger purpose, the values, the vision, stakeholder participation and overall process management”.

    Tejinder Bhogal

    He is the co-founder of Innobridge Consulting Pvt Co, dean – ISABS (Indian Society for Applied Behavioral Sciences) and a Lead India fellow. An Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) alum, for the first fifteen years of his career he worked at the grassroots – in the areas of micro-irrigation and social-forestry as a team leader with PRADAN. For last seventeen years, he has worked as a consultant and trainer in organizational effectiveness and human resource development with over 70 non profits, donors and govt. programs. He is the co-author of Human Resource Strategies to Build Effective Institutions for the Poor: A Policy Maker’s Guide.

    Sachin Sachdeva

    He is director of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, India since 2011. Previously, he was with the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust where he was responsible for making grants under the health portfolio. He set up ARAVALI, a development support organisation for the govt. of Rajasthan in 1997 and was its executive director for over nine years. He also worked in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005 for the Aga Khan Foundation. Sachin is the founder of the Gramin Shiksha Kendra an organisation working on education and development in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. He is a graduate of IRMA.

    Mohit Satyanand

    He is a multi-potentialite. After a masters from Delhi School of Economics, he joined Hindustan Lever, establishing India’s first snack food brand, Crax. From 1981-89, he was with Theater Action Group (TAG), where he acted, handled sound and light design and the business end. Since 2009, he is with the theatre group, Wide Aisle. In 1990, he co-founded Teamwork Films that focuses on performing arts, and produces several arts festivals, including the Jaipur Literary Festival. Mohit is consulting editor, Outlook Money, where he oversees the magazine’s coverage of the equity sector. Mountain-lover and life-long trekker, recently taken to half-marathons and angel investing.

    Mihir Mathur

    He is the founder director of DESTA Research LLP a research and consulting firm specializing in applications of systems thinking and dynamics modelling with an aim to develop systemic solutions. His expertise is in systems thinking, system dynamics modelling, group model building, climate change adaptation and natural resource management. Mihir began his career in banking and stock markets, and moved into the world of sustainability in 2009. He worked in the climate change adaptation programme of Watershed Organisation Trust, before moving to The Energy And Resources Institute (TERI). He has written book chapters, journal papers and presented his work in several conferences worldwide.

    Ajit Kanitkar

    He is a senior advisor and researcher at VikasAnvesh Foundation, Pune. Prior to this, he was programme officer at Ford Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, both in New Delhi and a faculty member at IRMA, his alma mater. He is currently visiting faculty at Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Udaipur, and is associated with a number of civil society organizations from all parts of the country as a volunteer and pro-bono consultant. He has published extensively in professional journals and contributes regularly on diverse themes related to the developmental sector. Ajit has co-authored books like Farming Future: Emerging Social Enterprises in India.

    Bindu Ananth

    She is the president of Dvara Trust and chairs the boards of IFMR Capital and Finance Foundation. She was head of the new product development team within the ICICI Rural Banking Group. She has masters degrees from the Institute of Rural Management IRMA and John. F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a fellow of the Global Economic Society. Bindu is also a member of the Product Advisory Group of CGAP, FICCI task force on Financial Inclusion and RBI committee on Comprehensive Financial Services.

    Inir Pinheiro

    He is the founder of Grassroutes Journeys Pvt. Ltd where his aim is to trigger a more conscientious society through rural engagements. He is a social entrepreneur involved in experiential learning programs and responsible tourism. Inir has been recognized amongst fifty social entrepreneurs changing India by Outlook Business. He has also been awarded the Karamveer Puraskar for social justice and citizen action in 2008 by ICONGO & Kemka Foundation. A true believer, dreamer and nurturer. He is friendly to everyone, except the camera.

    Sushma Iyengar

    She is a social worker. She founded Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, the well-known women’s collective in the late eighties. During the past four decades, she has founded and led organizations in the area of gender justice, indigenous cultures, traditional livelihoods, local governance, and post disaster rehabilitation. She is associated with many civil society organizations in India as a mentor and educator. Her publications include Picture This! Painting the Women’s Movement (University of Chicago, 2013). She is the lead curator of the exhibition Living Lightly – Journeys with Pastoralists – an outcome of her longstanding interest and experience with indigenous communities, including nomadic pastoralists.

    Venkat Krishnan

    He is the founder of Give India and Daan Utsav. He graduated from IIM-A in 1993 and started working at The Times of India in various corporate and brand management functions. He then helped set up Sony Entertainment Television. In 1996, he co-founded Eklavya school, Ahmedabad. Educational Initiatives, a socially oriented education company in 2001. Parallely Venkat setup GiveIndia, to strengthen the giving culture in India by providing donors high standards of transparency and accountability. Since 2009, Venkat has been involved in evangelising the Daan Utsav.

    Rukmini Datta

    She has worked for over twenty years on issues of human development and social change, spanning a large spectrum. She has anchored implementation projects in both, rural and urban, non-government organisations. Rukmini has independently created and executed support agendas at the country’s oldest and largest, private philanthropy, Tata Trusts. She has worked with the corporate social responsibility team of a leading pharmaceutical company. Rukmini is currently working on incubation and impact acceleration of social ventures and development communication.

    Shalabh Sahai

    He is the co-founder of iVolunteer is an Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) alumni. iVolunteer was born as the first and only one of its kind in India. A social enterprise that promotes volunteering for Indians as well as foreign nationals. He founded JobsForGood in 2007, with a clear objective of enabling social enterprises to leverage human capital towards their mission. His next intra-venture was the iVolunteer Awards in 2012, that aims to inspire by example. Currently, Shalabh is busy setting up the JSW Fellowship program in western India.

    Dr. Sudha Kothari

    She is one of India’s most acknowledged authorities on self help group (SHG) federations in the country. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology and has a rare blend of strong grassroots and institutional experience. She combines academic rigour with a practitioner’s zeal. Her prescriptions combine deep research with profound lessons drawn from ground realities. In 1993, she cofounded Chaitanya, a non profit organization which pioneered the SHG federation movement in Maharashtra. It subsequently partnered with programs like Mahila Arthik Vikas Mandal (MAVIM) and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and the work has laid foundation to policies in the space of financial inclusion and women led enterprise development.

    Rajiv Khandelwal

    He is the co-founder and director of a consortium of organzation like Aajeevika Bureau, Basic Healthcare Services and Shram Sarathi in south Rajasthan. Over the course of his thirty year career, he has held leadership roles in a range of non-profit organisations. He has implemented programmes, conducted research and provided advice and guidance to non profits, donors and govt. in Rajasthan. The idea of Aajeevika Bureau took seed at the time when he saw a significant change in livelihoods from farming to wage labour. He is an Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) alumni and was named an Ashoka Fellow (2005) and India Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2010).

    Dr. Aquinas Edassery, MD(Med.)

    She is the founder of Swasthya Swaraj. At sixty one years of age, Dr. Aquinas took up the most challenging assignment of her life after her retirement. She went all the way from working in Bangalore’s St. John’s hospital to the forests of Thuamul Rampur block, of Kalahandi region in Odisha to serve the neediest people. It is currently active in seventy five villages and helps more than twenty thousand people in the community. Women in these villages are also being trained to provide primary healthcare services to the people.

    Kalpana Pant

    She is the director of the non-profit organizations, Chaitanya and WISE (women’s synergistic and integrated empowerment) – that work across the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It empowers women through formation of their collective institutions and strive for economic independence. An M.Phil holder from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, in gender studies and research work in the Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, Mumbai in her genesis; Kalpana believes to her core in the ability of women to excel in what they desire, given a fostering ecosystem and the right kind of challenge.

    Ashish Shrivastava

    He is the founder of Shiksharth, that works closely with conflict affected children and towards improving quality of education in tribal areas through contextual education solutions and approach. As a communications engineer-turned-education professional passionate about serving in rural areas, Ashish has over fourteen years experience working across multiple domains using technology and education. He is also an Acumen India Fellow and A Wipro Foundation Fellow. Ashish is also a full time volunteer and is associated with movements like the Daan Utsav.

    Vivek Kumar

    He is co-founder of Kshamtalaya Foundation, an organization supporting communities to revive the spirit of learning in and outside of schools. Core to the organization’s program is a curriculum that provides space for self-directed learning, systems thinking, and mindfulness. Its learning manifesto and learning festivals aim to make education a community agenda. Vivek is also interested in using mindfulness and system thinking in theatre. Vivek is an engineer, a graduate of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and alumnus of the Gandhi Fellowship and Acumen India Fellowship. Currently, he is pursuing the Dalai Lama Fellowship program.