Our Team

Abhay Rao

Urban Sanitation

Abhay was one of the first members of the Urban Sanitation team. He works with leaders in the sector to drive change across policy and practice – through collaborative research, stakeholder engagements, and advocacy.

Prior to working in the Urban Sanitation team, he was a part of our Due Diligence team where he engaged 50 nonprofits in various capacities, including developing business plans and financial models.

With an Integrated Master’s Degree in Development Studies from IIT Madras, he has long been motivated to play a role in tackling global development challenges.

Aditi Agrawal

Adolescents

Aditi’s journey in the development sector started when she was in high school. She volunteered with a Mumbai-based education non-profit where she became interested in understanding how community, business and policy efforts converge to solve intractable problems. At Dasra, she works for the 10to19 Adolescents Collaborative, supporting implementing non-profits to strengthen their programs, build the Collaborative’s MEL practice and foster meaningful relationships with the government.

Prior to working at Dasra, Aditi worked with a Chennai based research and advisory firm, Okapi, where she researched and reported on issues across the areas of urban development and resilience. She has also interned at a range of organisations working on various facets of the social impact ecosystem in India including Elevar Equity, Brookings India and 321 Education Foundation.

Aditi graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Public Affairs.

Aditi Kulkarni

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

As part of the Knowledge Creation and Dissemination Team at Dasra, Aditi guides strategy for branding and digital communications. 

The strong desire to give back to the society and to leverage it with her experience in Sales and Marketing is what brought Aditi to Dasra. The opportunity to contribute towards transforming society is what motivates her to work in the social development sector. She aims to participate in achieving sustainable solutions to the numerous social challenges.

Prior to Dasra, Aditi has worked in Hospitality, Financial Services and FMCG. She used to be a Brand Manager for a startup (with Walt Disney licensee) before joining Dasra. She completed her MBA from ICFAI, Hyderabad and her graduation from IHM, Mumbai. She has diverse experience across sales, marketing and customer service.

She is a travel enthusiast with special interest in wildlife.

Akanksha Badhan

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Akanksha believes that a good design is worth a thousand words and can not only bring attention to social issues but also create a lasting impact on public memory. It can make people confront issues, they would rather not think about and can turn complex issues into clear and interesting visuals.

Prior to Dasra, she worked with TBWA as a visual designer creating communications for the Nissan brand. She has designed print campaigns for Nissan Micra, Terrano and Sunny. She has also contributed to brands like Nestle, Nescafe and Datsun.

She decided to head over to the social sector after volunteering for a year with Make a difference, to make an impact and derive pride and satisfaction from her work. 

Akanksha has a Master’s degree in Communication design from DAIICT, Gandhinagar and Bachelor's degree in Computer Applications.

She likes travelling, photography and culture. She is a self-taught illustrator and likes everything colourful and quirky. She is also interested in Acoustic music and raw vocals.

Akshay Tarfe

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Akshay truly believes in the power of communication to mobilize change. Since his college days, he always read and discussed the biggest development challenges India faced and how people-centric movements & organizations offered innovative solutions to tackle them. Akshay’s expertise in the field of media equips Dasra & its stakeholders to effectively communicate their initiatives and collaborations.

After obtaining Master’s degree in Communications and Journalism from K.C. College, Mumbai University, Akshay started working at an ad agency in Delhi where he worked on content strategy, implementation and influencer management for the Government of India’s Make In India initiative. With a strong background in content research and strategy, he was appointed as a full-time digital media consultant for Government of India where he continued his passion to effectively communicate policies and information from the Central Government.

Akshita Mehra

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

While representing India at the Seeds of Peace camp in Maine, Akshita interacted with teenagers from conflict zones and witnessed firsthand the challenges of marginalized communities around the world. That experience motivated her to join the development sector and learn about the range of social and developmental problems in India. She has had the opportunity to work in the fields of Access to Justice, Education, Gender, Strategic Philanthropy and Intellectual and Developmental Disability. Her ultimate goal is to effect meaningful change at a national and eventually, international level.

Prior to joining the Knowledge Creation and Dissemination team at Dasra, she worked at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations as the Outreach Coordinator. She has also interned at Deutsche Bank, CNBC and Nanhi Kali and volunteered with the Akanksha Foundation and Muktangan.

Akshita holds a BSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Amit Nevrekar

Institution Building

Amit realised that eventhough India has the highest number of NGOs per capita, there is often sckepticism around their work, especially regarding their finances and compliance that restricts giving and affects the impact that can be created by the sector. 

He wanted to change this perception and, through his work in audit and compliance over the past six years, has come to believe that NGOs adhere to the same (if not higher) standards of compliance as for-profit organizations.

He works with internal, statutory, and donor-appointed auditors to ensure that all stakeholders are confident about Dasra’s compliance to Indian laws and accounting standards. Through his regular filing of FCRA returns, he also ensures that Dasra continues to be transparent about all of its foreign donations.

Prior to joining Dasra, Amit worked with Onward Technologies Ltd (an IT company) as an Accounts Assistant for two years, and at SV Freight (a shipping and logistics firm) as an Executive Assistant for four years. Amit has a graduate degree in commerce with a focus on accounting from Mumbai University.

Amrita Parekh

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

As part of the Knowledge Creation & Dissemination team, Amrita leads research reports on key social issues based on consultations with experts across academia, non-profits, funders and government. She also conducts due diligence of impactful and scalable non-profit organizations to create content that directs philanthropic capital to some of India’s most significant development challenges. During her time at Dasra, she has led projects across the strategic philanthropy, adolescents and sanitation sectors with partners such as Bank of America, Bain & Company, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and OECD.

Since 2018, Amrita has also been working with the Founders’ Office at Dasra, supporting in developing and executing organizational strategy, redefining the organization’s values, building strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, and engaging board members.

Amrita’s keen interest in mental health inspired her to work in the social sector, where she is committed to leveraging the power of knowledge to drive meaningful social change. She has previously worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Ummeed Child Development Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Communication from the University of Southern California, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

Anannya Chakrabarty

Strategic Philanthropy

Solving for India’s developmental challenges requires the highest level of innovation, given the scale and diversity of the issues at hand. Anannya hopes to contribute to this and believes that her work at Dasra keeps her at the edge of innovation.

Anannya leads the Strategic Philanthropy team, which works to deepen engagements with givers by guiding them towards impactful giving and personalized giving options. She has also worked on supporting philanthropy focused research and curating innovative strategic philanthropy products.

Previously, Anannya has worked with the HNI Giving Division of GiveIndia, where she led the donor management team that managed more than 50 HNI families, and aided research & support on varied causes like livelihood, women empowerment and healthcare for UHNI donors. She has also worked with A.T. Kearney as a strategy management consultant, with experience in Consumer & Retail, Oil & Gas and Automotive industries; and as a chemical engineering consultant with Engineers India Limited.

She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. She also has a gold medal in B.Ch.E from Jadavpur University.

Anantvijay Singh

Capacity Building

Anantvijay’s concern for environment and nature led him to the social sector. He spent some time working in rural Rajasthan which left a lasting impression upon him and highlighted a need for more sustainable on ground impact and the importance of strengthening institutions. Dasra’s Capacity Building team lends him the chance to learn from a wide breadth of organisations, as well as an opportunity to work closely with organizations changing lives through innovative solutions. Anantvijay provides hands-on capacity building support to organizations in Dasra’s portfolio, helping them grow institutionally and function strategically, and thus enabling them to create impact at scale.

Before joining Dasra, he spent 3 years working with Seva Mandir and Udaipur Urja Initiatives (a producer company promoted by Seva Mandir), engaging with tribal populations in South Rajasthan. His work there focused on climate change, accessibility of clean energy technology  and creation of market linkages for farmers in villages. He holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology.

Anjali Sharma

Institution Building

Anjali works to build a workplace that ensures a healthy mind, body and soul for all employees at Dasra. She loves the constant human interaction that comes with managing office facilities, municipal authorities, and numerous vendors, added to the satisfaction that comes from helping others solve their problems.

An economics graduate, Anjali has 25 plus years of experience working with Sterling Holiday Resorts as a sales executive, where she was awarded for exceeding targets in three consecutive years. She then worked as a trading manager in spot currency and forex at Topworth Investments (a US$ 100 million multinational investment firm). Anjali has also worked with Exotic Hotels & Resorts and Golden Swan Group of Companies as a customer care executive and business development manager, respectively.

Prior to joining Dasra, she was with Bharti Airtel for 10 years where she worked with the cell site acquisition team for 3 years helping the company renegotiate contracts to reduce rents, and achieved savings worth INR 3 crores in six months. She later served as a secretary to the CEO & COO (Maharashtra & MPCG) at Bharti Airtel.

Ankit Gupta

Institution Building

Ankit is passionate about the role of technology in the development sector. He has a firm belief that technology alone won’t solve India’s pressing development problems, but if we empower organizations and its users, who are committed to solving those problems, with the right technology at the right time, it will reduce human efforts and let organizations spend more time where it mattered most - serving more and more beneficiaries.

At Dasra, Ankit helps users with their technology requirements, building and managing systems to help them do their jobs efficiently and smoothly. He also works with some of the organizations supported by Dasra, giving them consulting and advisory support on their tech journey.

Before joining Dasra, Ankit attended a 6-Month fellowship program called IDEX Accelerator through which he was placed full time with a Mumbai based Social Business-Mirakle Couriers, supporting them with operations, technology, and business development. Ankit has also worked with Educational Initiatives, an Ed-Tech firm, helping them with the product development of Mindspark, an AI driven Maths learning program.

Ankit graduated from IIT-Delhi with a Master's Degree in Mathematics. 

Ankita Panda

Capacity Building

Ankita was looking to pursue a career in Finance, when by chance, she landed an internship at a micro-finance NGO in Washington D.C. It was that internship, and a few volunteering assignments in Cape Town and London, that made Ankita realize that she genuinely enjoyed and felt more connected to the work and the people in the social sector. Four years later, she’s still excited and optimistic that for those who want to make a mark, even if it's at a micro level, there are and will continue to be opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives.

At Dasra, Ankita works in the Capacity Building team where she plays a key role in the planning, coordination and implementation of the Dasra Social Impact Leadership Program, and supports with the execution of the Dasra Social Impact Accelerator Program and Dasra’s other partner programs. Ankita is also involved with providing support and research on talent management initiatives on the Capacity Building team.

Prior to Dasra, she was with the Results for Development Institute (R4D) in Washington D.C., where she worked on communications, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building across a number of mixed health systems initiatives. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. (Honors) in Economics and Minors in Statistics and English.

Anup Vora

Institution Building

Anup is passionate about the sector and in particular organizations working with children and adolescents. He believes that his experience in the sector can help bring best practices in finance, accounting and compliance to Dasra and its partner NGOs and help those NGOs scale.

Anup has over 25 years of experience working in Finance for large corporates – J&J, National Stock Exchange etc. Anup’s journey in the social sector started in 2009, heading Finance at CRY – Child Rights and You. In 2017, he joined Dasra as CFO and is responsible for Finance, Legal and Board Governance.

Anup is a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary and LLB by qualification and was awarded “Certificate of Appreciation” by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for his contribution to the social sector.

Anurag Chaturvedi

Urban Sanitation

Anurag Chaturvedi drives Dasra’s goal of improving Sanitation in India as the Project co-lead for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) Water and Sanitation program – a 3 year grant to foster collaboration and partnerships among the partners in the BMGF Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH) portfolio.

He comes with over 11 years of experience in both private and development sector. His past work at Dasra includes leading the pre-investment evaluation and due diligence on high impact social enterprises and engaging with them to develop scalable growth plans to channelize philanthropic capital. He has worked across sectors such as education, sanitation, livelihoods, governance, health, and empowerment of adolescent girls and with funding partners such as BMGF, USAID, Kiawah Trust, Epic Foundation, Results for Development, Bank of America, and Vodafone Foundation.

A Chartered Accountant by education, Anurag also has over three years of consulting experience in corporate taxation and business advisory with KPMG, where he provided advisory, litigation and compliance support to international corporations; and two years of experience scaling a start-up.

Anurag Sharma

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

As part of the Knowledge Creation & Dissemination team, Anurag conducts due diligence and evaluates organizations and also assists in the ongoing evaluation of organizations to create meaningful impact for stakeholders involved and to help select organizations scale.

Anurag chose to be in the social sector as he really wished to understand the grassroots realities upfront and wished to pursue a career that is more meaningful and fulfilling, not only professionally but personally as well. Having participated in a few social initiatives earlier and having seen the on-ground reality, Anurag decided to change paths and pursue a career that was closer to his heart.

Anurag comes with over 7 years of experience in the External Audit practice for clients in wealth management, especially private equity and financial services clients for US and Australian clients. His previous employer includes Deloitte & Touche LLP, Hyderabad.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Christ University, Bangalore and has in the past volunteered with organizations such as the Art of Living Foundation and SMVA Trust. Apart from that, he is an aspiring film-maker and enthusiast and has taken part in a few competitions in Deloitte and created films at an individual capacity for non-profits.

Aravindan Srinivasan

Capacity Building

Aravindan loves working with social entrepreneurs and moved to the development sector to be able to contribute his skills to non-profits and give them access to professional management expertise that can multiply the impact of their work. He leads the Capacity Building team at Dasra, nurturing more than 200 non-profit organizations annually. His team helps non-profits become stronger institutions and realize their vision by strengthening their leadership, co-creating long term strategic plans, improving management systems and processes and fundraising for sustainability.

Prior to Dasra, Aravindan spent close to a decade in various strategy, finance and operations roles and is an alumnus of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and the National Institute of Technology, Tirucharapalli.

Asmita Bhattacharjee Sen

Institution Building

Asmita secured a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Mumbai University about 20 years prior to her MBA and felt guilty that she could not apply her learnings in the development sector. She chanced upon Dasra and as she went through the interview process, she felt the universe conspiring to give her an opportunity to redeem herself. The fact the she received the job offer on the seventh day of Navratri (considered pretty auspicious) only added to this conviction.

While Asmita observed that Dasra was blessed with an abundance of talent, she felt that systems and processes need to be strengthened. She hopes to utilize her knowledge and skills of human resource practices both within Dasra and for other NGOs to help them scale.

Asmita comes with over 19 years of experience across industries spanning Healthcare, FMCG, Financial Services, Consulting and Engineering in various HR leadership roles of increasing responsibility. Her last assignment was with GE Healthcare, where she was heading HR for the Technology and Medical Innovation teams based in Bangalore. She has done her post-graduation in personnel management from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Bhagyashree Kocharekar

Institution Building

Bhagyashree has seen it passed down within the family that whatever you make for yourself, should be shared with those who are less privileged. This started as Bhagyashree saw her family fostering 40 newborns, which developed her sense of giving. She wishes to create a society which provides equal opportunities and rights for all individuals, irrespective of where one has come from.

Bhagyashree works in the talent team and is super excited to have more people join the sector.

Bhagyashree has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and comes with over 6 years of varied HR experience from Hospitality, Retail and Manufacturing sectors specializing in Employee Engagement, Onboarding, Recruitment, Payroll and compliance.

Bumica Jain

Institution Building

Bumica works in the Accounts and Finance team at Dasra and is responsible for Finance, Legal and Secretarial compliances. The desire to work for mission-based organizations, rather than profit-based organizations is what drew Bumica to this sector. Bumica likes that her day-to-day work provides her an opportunity to work towards improving the lives fo people. She wants to take this opportunity to demonstrate commitment to bringing equity in a disadvantaged society.

Bumica is a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary and LLB by qualification. She has around 8 years of experience in Finance and Accounts.  Before Joining Dasra, Bumica has worked in Deloitte, Sharda Cropchem Limited and MT Educare Limited.

Deval Sanghavi

Leadership

A couple of years into his first job at Morgan Stanley in New York, Deval realized he wanted to be in India, to focus on the lives of the many millions that live without dignity and equity. So the Texas-born investment banker packed up, came to Mumbai, and co-founded Dasra.

It’s very first workshop, for around 20 non-profit organizations working with children, was to support them in learning from each other – and this collaborative learning philosophy remains central to how Dasra functions even today - nurturing powerful partnerships among stakeholders across the spectrum – including government, donors, organizations, experts and the media.

Deval leads Dasra’s strategic philanthropy efforts, and provides foreign and domestic philanthropists with informed investment strategies for the social sector – keeping human lives at the center of all of its thinking. Since 1999, he has directed over USD 72 million to the Indian social sector; incubated and launched the Dasra Philanthropy Forum and Dasra Philanthropy Week; initiated the Dasra Giving Circle, India’s largest collaborative giving platform; and launched the Dasra Changemakers program, a peer-led learning platform aimed at inspiring philanthropists to take bold action to solve some of India’s most pressing problems.

Deval holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration with a dual Honor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Texas, Austin, is a Cordes Fellow, and a founding board member of Magic Bus and Villgro. In 2014, he was awarded the Forbes Philanthropy Award in the 'Crossover Leaders' category for successfully transitioning from investment banking to the non-profit sector.

Diego D'Souza

Institution Building

Having worked in corporates for more than six years, Diego decided to join the social sector with the aim of sharing his knowledge and skills with many more organizations and supporting them in their efforts to reduce the time and cost required to execute programs. He thus hopes to increase the operational efficiency of Dasra as well as our partner NGOs.

Before joining the technology team at Dasra, Diego worked in MI Web pro as an IT Support consultant for their clients' US Business Centre and Ten Group. He managed their network servers, access control, and reporting systems. Prior to that, Diego worked at Zenith Infotech as a Network support executive (level 2).

Diego has a Bachelor’s in Commerce from Mumbai University and is a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) with VMware V6 Cloud certification.

Diksha Nawany

Urban Sanitation

Diksha's work at Dasra is focused on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene portfolio. She enables organisations to build institutional capacity, amplify their work and foster collaboration among key stakeholders in the sector.  

Diksha is an Economics graduate (Honours) from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. Diksha's first experience in the development sector was working at a women's shelter. Witnessing the severe lack of resources and managerial constraints, she soon realised that nonprofits were facing barriers to scale and required strategy, a growth plan and financial stability.

Diksha was keen on finding solutions that could create sustainable impact at scale. To this end, she was one of the founding members at X Billion Skills Lab, an early stage social enterprise focused on digital learning and providing access to jobs. Diksha developed XBSL's business model and led business intelligence projects including their customer acquisition strategy, competitor analysis and evaluation of India's skills gap.

Having worked with different models in the social sector (including non profits, public policy, journalism and social enterprises), Diksha believes Dasra’s focus on creating impact through strategic philantrophy, capacity building, and advocacy aligns perfectly with her development philosophy.

Dinella Oliveira

Strategic Philanthropy

With the drive to learn more about the social sector, Dinella took the plunge and is enthusiastic about learning new things through every available platform. As part of the Strategic Philanthropy team, Dinella assists Dasra's Founders in managing, organizing and prioritizing their schedules to ensure maximum efficiency and efficient utilization of their time.

Before Dasra, she was associated with The Wine Society of India for 5+ years, where she assisted the MD of the company in the capacity of HOD - Operations. Prior to that, she worked with FIS for 8 years where she managed a team of 20 associates, as a Team Leader. Dinella's portfolio comprises of customer service, data analysis, operations and administration.

Dipti Goyal

Institution Building

Inspired by her sister’s friends from IRMA, who chose to pursue their careers in the remote jungles of Orissa and Chhattisgarh, Dipti joined Dasra to associate herself with something that ‘felt’ meaningful. Through her 5 years at Dasra - spanning a variety of roles across research & due diligence, finance & compliance, and talent management - one of her biggest learnings has been that collaboration is critical to achieve any sort of impact or change; but also that the ‘how’ of collaboration is not intuitive for many of us, given our upbringings in a significantly competitive environment. Dipti is passionate about leveraging her experiences around this insight to support others at Dasra, for it to work cohesively, and effectively realize its sensitive and worthy vision of a transformed India where a billion thrive with dignity and equity.

Dipti pursued investment banking/ financial advisory for 13 years working across Bank of America, ING Bank, Avendus Capital and Allegro Advisors. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, where she was on the Director's Merit List. She is a B.Com (Hons) university topper from Shriram College of Commerce (Delhi University) and also a Chartered Accountant Intermediate rank holder.

Evans Rebello

Urban Sanitation

Evans, as part of the Urban Sanitation team at Dasra, works with a network of 60+ partners under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation WSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) portfolio to connect the dots to identify key areas to foster collaboration and shared learning, strengthen partner organizational capabilities through capacity building, and amplify their work to achieve greater impact.

Prior to joining the Urban Sanitation team, Evans was part of Dasra’s communication team spearheading Dasra’s web presence and digital initiatives to drive the consumption of knowledge products, spotlight the latest research, highlight innovative development solutions, share best practices in the sector and provide impactful creative communicative solutions across philanthropy, sanitation and adolescents.

In his previous avatar, Evans worked in a variety of creative roles – from promoting New Zealand art-house cinema, conducting research, advertising copy-writing to co-founding his own design boutique agency focused on new media.

He first got introduced to the development sector at the age of 13, when he used to help out at the Al-Noor Training Center for Children with Special Needs (Dubai) every summer. This was further reinforced many years later when he interned at Amnesty International NZ, working on a project settling Algerian refugees in Auckland.

Evans holds a B.A in Psychology from the Auckland University of Technology.

Fatema Diwan

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

While pursuing her Master’s degree in Literature, Fatema understood the power of language and communications to change narratives and catalyze action. She joined the Knowledge Creation and Dissemination team at Dasra as a writer to change the narrative around philanthropy and tell stories of impact that would urge further action towards India’s development goals. As part of the team, she creates dissemination plans for various knowledge products and works towards using media to connect, build and engage Dasra’s community and other stakeholders.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Mumbai University and a Master’s Degree in Literature from Christ College, Bangalore. She used to previously lead content creation and strategy for a crowdfunding platform in India to raise money for NGOs and medical patients. She has also worked with Lifestyle magazines and startups. Her other passions include archaeology and translations.

Gagan Kaur

Capacity Building

During her Teach For India Fellowship, Gagan got introduced to the challenges and opportunities in this sector along with the scope of impact and hence, decided to continue working in the sector. What excites Gagan most about this space is that there is essentially no limit to how much one can contribute through their work, along with having a steep learning curve. Her work at Dasra revolves around working with different non profit organizations to help them scale. Through this, she aims to create a multifold impact on all the people being impacted by the initiatives run by these organizations.

Gagan recently earned her Msc. in International Management from Kings College London, after the completion of her MBA in International Business and Finance. She has a little over three years of work experience in the Financial and Not-For-Profit sector, having worked in GE India and Teach For India respectively.

Garima Jain

Institution Building

Garima developed and cultivated her passion to work for the social sector while she was working for various for-profit organizations. Her constant search for an organisation that is committed to create impact in a widespread, deeper and efficient way led her to Dasra.

As part of the Talent Management team at Dasra, Garima works on building new HR processes and talent management initiatives. Garima started her career as an HR professional in the Hospitality industry and then moved to IT and Healthcare sectors.

Before joining Dasra, she worked with the Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. Her diversified work experience has exposed her to various aspects of Generalist HR functions and helped her understand how HR can positively influence human capital in an organization.

Garima has a Diploma in Software Development and a Masters in Human Resource Management from M.L. Sukhadia University, Rajasthan.

Gaurav Rao

Institution Building

The enthusiasm of people involved in the development sector changed Gaurav’s perspective about superheroes. He met several individuals working passionately to improve the lives of people around them without wearing fancy capes or suits. Gaurav observed that while passion was available in abundance, many of these superheroes worked without leveraging the true potential of technology. He therefore wants to help them achieve their goals of social change using optimum technology tools and systems.

A short volunteering experience at an orphanage and an old age home piqued Gaurav’s interest in social causes, and his desire to spend more time in the social sector ended with accepting a full-time offer from Dasra. Gaurav’s job at Dasra is to help us achieve a “technology Chi”. He regularly shares “best-kept NGO discount” secrets with other nonprofits to help them invest in technology wisely.

He has led technology teams at Monginis Foods and Nikhil Comforts, where he focused on building their IT infrastructure, project management and business processes mapping for ERP implementations. He has a Bachelor's in Engineering (Information Technology) from Mumbai University.

Gayatri Kaul

Strategic Philanthropy

Gayatri's proclivity to work in the social sector was in part due to her understanding of the magnitude of social issues afflicting the country and in part a realization that the skills and experience she had gained in the investment banking world could be easily transposed to the sector, given that there was a dearth of young, passionate and empathetic individuals in this space.

Within the Strategic Philanthropy team she works closely with an array of funders: corporates, foundations and individuals, to help align their goals with their respective philosophies and design a more structured approach to their philanthropy. At Dasra, she aspires to collaborate with influencers to make philanthropy more impact driven, whilst fostering personal growth in the process.

Gayatri brings in strategy consulting experience from Nomura where she worked prior to joining Dasra. She holds a Masters degree in International Relations from King’s College London and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi. Gayatri is a trained vocalist and a travel enthusiast.

Govind Mukundan

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Govind joined Dasra inspired by its mission to drive collaborative action to accelerate social change. He was stimulated by the opportunity to work on a broad canvas across both philanthropy and social entrepreneurship to achieve impact at scale. He was also excited to put his for-profit experience to use in a far more meaningful way as a member of the Knowledge Creation & Dissemination team. 

Govind has 13 years of experience in B2B sales and marketing for organizations such as Accenture, Genpact and Microsoft. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Sri Venketeswara College and an MA in Mass Communication from the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia. 

Hamsini Srinivasan

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Hamsini strongly believes that a zero-poverty India can be created if the right investments were made in the right people and organizations. She joined Dasra to enable an effective contribution towards that vision.

At Dasra, she works with the diligence team to identify high potential organizations to invest in. Being a creator at heart, most of Hamsini’s projects involve building and implementation of new tools, strategies and methods. Some examples are leading the creation of Dasra’s Capacity Assessment Tool which enables the identification of an organization’s institutional maturity and therefore, the appropriate capacity building required, identifying innovative financing mechanisms for India’s WSH sector and running post-investment monitoring of Dasra’s grants.

Hamsini was a top performing member of GE’s finance leadership program where she worked across multiple businesses such as Renewables, Healthcare, Power and Digital, in India, Dubai and USA. She has developed an expertise in Capital Budgeting, Project Financing and Product Strategy. She holds an MBA degree from IIM Bangalore and is a Silver Medalist in Economics from the University of Madras (Stella Maris College). Hamsini is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and acts as a freelance advisor to social enterprises in her free time.

Harnidh Kaur

Urban Sanitation

Harnidh works with the Urban Sanitation team at Dasra. She helps in identification of strategic collaboration opportunities, capacity building, and amplification of sustainable impact of partners under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's WSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) portfolio.

Previously, she has interned with organizations like the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Asia Society (India). Harnidh has a Master’s in Public Policy from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and a Bachelor’s in History (Honours) from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi. She hopes to continue working on building sustainable ecosystems that foster gendered access to dignity.

Harnidh is also a published author and poet.

Harpreet Bagga

Capacity Building

Harpreet provides management and institutional building support to non-profit organizations to help them scale up impact. She has supported organizations across sectors in expanding budgets and beneficiary outreach by 5-10x over 3-5 years. She brings over twelve years of experience of management and operational consulting experience to corporate and social organizations.

She is a CFA charterholder, holds a Master's Degree in Science in Development Economics and Finance from SOAS, University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, UK.

Janani Rajashekar

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Janani has always been interested in the development sector and is excited by the opportunity to work on complex issues through a structured investment approach. In her role at Dasra, she produces research products for funders interested in philanthropy, oversees and conducts due diligence on prospective grantees, works on designing the curriculum for donor education programs and supports the management of the 10to19 Adolescent Community of Practice (CoP). This allows her to work on issues in a holistic way – through various methods and multiple stakeholders with distinct capabilities and expertise.

Janani is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce & Economics in Mumbai. Prior to Dasra, she worked for four years in the financial services sector – for three years in Deloitte’s statutory auditing department and then as an equity research analyst at a portfolio management firm called Securities Investment Management Pvt. Ltd. (SiMPL). She is skilled in financial analysis, investment oriented research and risk assessment.

Jual Days D'Souza

Capacity Building

As part of Dasra’s Capacity Building team, Jual works closely with the leadership of high-impact non-profit organizations to build their core institutional capabilities in order to amplify their impact and realize their full potential. This includes providing strategic & operational support to organizations in the areas of leadership development, impact assessment, business planning and strategy, fundraising, and financial management.

Additionally, Jual works with the Founders’ Office at Dasra – working with Dasra’s leadership to develop and execute organizational strategy, define and lead key organizational initiatives and build strategic partnerships with key stakeholders.

She comes to Dasra with five years of consulting experience with Bain & Co., where she led teams across the Private Equity and Corporate Finance practices, and was part of the global core team that developed Bain’s trademark Inspirational Leadership model. She has been involved in the social development space since childhood, participating in after-school and after-college volunteering initiatives and is passionate about the potential of institution building to support the growth of social programs that can accelerate and multiply social change.

Jual holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Studies (Finance Hons.) from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Kalpana Sengar

Institution Building

Kalpana began her journey in the development sector with WHO, which highlighted the prevailing marginalized issues that directed her to contribute to this sector with the belief that, “It is not enough to be compassionate, one must contribute”. The thought “we are accountable to give back to society” evoked her to continue in this sector through many impactful organizations working towards upliftment of the community, like Sightsavers, Reliance Foundation etc. Opportunities to interact with the beneficiaries and reviewing NGOs portfolio has added more understanding about the difficult and challenging requirements of teh social sector. Her work at Dasra allows her to interact with various like minded donors and ensure donor grants are ethically utilized and validate value for money.

She is a Postgraduate in accounts from Mumbai University with a Diploma in NPO’s financial framework from TISS. She has over 15 years of experience in the developmental sector including financial management, partner reviews, auditing, accounting, donor reporting and so on.

Kavneet Kaur

Capacity Building

Kavneet joined the social sector in 2013 to help non-profit organizations understand the importance of investing in their institutional growth and leadership development; areas often left unaddressed by both social organizations as well as the donors. The aspiration to bridge this gap led her to join Dasra, which offers support in these areas to high performing non-profits. Kavneet’s core strengths include designing and managing training programs for social leaders, with a focus on leadership development. She also leads project management, impact assessment, and strengthening stakeholder relationships. As part of the Capacity Building team at Dasra, Kavneet is responsible for planning and execution of the DSI programs. She engages with leaders of social organizations, helping them understand their leadership styles and building their capacity to create stronger and efficient organizations. She also helps facilitate partnerships and ascertain the impact of these programs on the leaders.

Kavneet brings with her four years of experience in the education sector. She has worked at Alliance University, Bangalore and IMFS, Mumbai, handling challenging roles in HR, Branding and Operations. Kavneet pursued a Master's degree in Economics from Panjab University and later a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, specializing in HR.

Kayomarz Bacha

Strategic Philanthropy

Working with credible nonprofits who are instrumental in improving the lives of the underprivileged has been Kayo’s biggest motivation for being part of the development sector.

As part of the Strategic Philanthropy team, Kayo aims at working with several stakeholders to learn and, in the process, support in creating greater impact.

Before joining Dasra, Kayo worked with GiveIndia where he was part of the HNI Giving team and handled the events and engagement piece and also briefly got involved with client servicing. Prior to GiveIndia, Kayo worked with Amar Chitra Katha in Bangalore creating creative content for children.

Kayo holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Christ University in Bangalore and is a motorcycle enthusiast in his free time.

Krishnan Hariharan

Urban Sanitation

Krishnan drives Dasra’s efforts to improve sanitation in India, with a focus on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water and Sanitation program.

With over 18 years of experience; before Dasra, Krishnan worked in strategic consulting with firms such as National Economic Research Associates (a subsidiary of Mercer consulting), covering sectors including Telecom, Media and Financial Services.

He then switched to the development sector, where for six years he worked on the Gates Foundation’s flagship India program, Avahan – a 10 year, over USD 250 million HIV abatement program. He then helped in the transitioning of the program to the government.

In his time at Dasra, he has been part of various panels focused on sustainable sanitation and the impact of collaborative platforms. As co-facilitator for the National Fecal Sludge and Septage Management alliance, he has worked with key stakeholders that have together helped pass India’s first National Fecal Sludge Treatment policy.

Krishnan graduated from Columbia University, New York, with a masters in International Affairs and was awarded an academic fellowship at the time. Outside the development sector, he has supported with scripting for Hindi films such as English Vinglish and Dear Zindagi.

Kriti Krishnan

Strategic Philanthropy

Kriti works with the strategic philanthropy team at Dasra and focuses on donor outreach. She engages with philanthropists, foundations and corporates based in India to help them give more strategically by providing them with better understanding of the philanthropic landscape in India and various sectors. Kriti has been an avid volunteer working with various NGOs in the education space as a core team member and teaching assistant. Her desire to be part of an organization that works towards creating a positive social impact in the society led her to join Dasra.

Kriti holds a BLS. LLB (Law) degree from Mumbai University. She worked as a corporate lawyer with Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co for 2 years, with a special focus on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. Prior to that she was a paralegal with AZB & Partners. During her time as a student as well as a lawyer, Kriti has worked with various NGOs in the education space, both in and outside India.

Maanavi Tandan

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Maanavi enjoys parsing through the interconnectedness, unpredictability and chaos of the sector to bring nuance into tackling complex issues. In her current role, she researches key development issues and conducts pre-investment due diligence. She works closely with the Capacity Building team to study organizational challenges of growing non-profits. Her focus is on building strong institutions, which informs her advisory support to philanthropists and non-profits.

Prior to Dasra, she worked with Korn Ferry Hay Group, Singapore where she designed and supported organizational effectiveness initiatives of key multinational clients across Asia-Pacific in the FMCG sector. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Psychology from the National University of Singapore, and a Master’s degree in Urban Policy and Governance from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Mahesh Nigade

Institution Building

Mahesh is passionate about his role in Dasra’s Finance team. Since NGOs completely rely on funding to do their good work, having proper accounting systems in place is crucial. As an NGO, it is especially important to manage all funds in a careful manner and be accountable to donor agencies and individuals who support them. Only with proper systems can one keep track of expenditures and submit timely reports to donors. This enhances trust between the NGO and the donor, thereby increasing the NGO’s chances of getting continuous support.

Furthermore, proper finance systems also help the NGO maintain financial reports and showcase their spending suitably to regulatory bodies. Mahesh is extremely cognizant of the opportunities he has had which enable him to be where he is today. Therefore he feels it is his duty to contribute to the efforts being made to enable a billion in India to thrive.

Mahesh is a commerce graduate from the University of Mumbai. Prior to Dasra, he worked with Disha Logistics Pvt.Ltd. (a shipping and logistics company) as an Accounts Executive for five years. At Dasra, he is responsible for maintaining accounts, vendor payments, handling taxation and various other regulatory matters.

Manavi Datta

Capacity Building

Manavi believes that working in the social sector gives a new dimension and an added meaning to the work and effort one puts in her career. The development space in general has openness to foster new ideas and solutions for addressing the most pressing social issues.Dasra gives her opportunities to use her creativity and skills in the development of mission driven solutions. As part of the capacity building team, Manavi is responsible for bringing solutions around organization and leadership capacity to non-profits through the execution of Dasra's capacity building programs like the DSI Accelerator Program.

Before Dasra she spent some time supporting impact oriented startups and curating content at a non-profit venture accelerator in Boston called MassChallenge. She completed her Bachelor's in Business Administration from Northeastern University, Boston with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Film Production. During her time in college she worked with a group of students in developing an accelerator curriculum to encourage more university startups on campus. She has gained brand and business strategy experience by interning at large organizations like Staples Inc. as well as a boutique brand consulting firm called Pilot Studio.

Manmath Goel

Capacity Building

Manmath provides hands-on support to non-profit organizations in Dasra's portfolio, helping them build institutional capacity and achieve impact at scale. One of his biggest motivations is the adrenalin rush from seeing his work translate into impact in markets where it is needed most.

Before Dasra, Manmath was with CRISIL’s credit rating practice where he assessed the financial health of a diversified portfolio of companies, preparing financial models, engaging with CXOs and collaborating with the investor community. Previously, he worked with Observer Research Foundation (ORF) – India’s leading multidisciplinary think-tank – analyzing global governance and economic policy issues through policy briefs disseminated widely to public and private stakeholders. He has cleared all three levels of the CFA Program and holds a bachelor’s in Economics & Finance from Singapore Management University (SMU).

Meenakshi Garg

Strategic Philanthropy

Meenakshi works with individual donors, families and corporates to guide them on strategic giving and offer personalized advice to unlock smarter capital for the sector. The opportunity to work with path-breaking NGOs and leaders to solve some of the complex development challenges in the country brought her to Dasra.

Prior to joining Dasra, she worked as a Consultant with Accenture Management Consulting with expertise in the financial services industry. She has also worked with Barclays Capital in Singapore as a Business Analyst for the Fixed Income Desk.

She has done her MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. She also has a Master's in International Management from CEMS Alliance (HEC Paris and IIMC).

Megha Jain

Strategic Philanthropy

Megha creates and delivers education programs for NGO leaders, philanthropists, corporates and foundations. She has been involved in the designing, launch and continous delivery of one of Dasra’s premium offerings – the Philanthropy Education Program for donors in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is a Birkman certified facilitator and leads sessions for NGO leaders at the DSI Leadership Program in partnership with Harvard University, Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation and Tata Trusts. Her role at Dasra entails building and managing partnerships with external stakeholders to deliver outstanding capacity building programs in the sector.

She brings with her seven years of experience in the corporate retail sector, having worked for Citi Group, Future Group and Hindustan Unilever. Her experience in a startup helped her understand the nuances of working in a resource constrained, unorganized environment versus a large process oriented corporation. She brings with her the ability to successfully manage profit centers, channelize people’s strengths in the right direction and empower teams to achieve goals.

She holds a Master’s degree in Business Management from S.P. Jain with a specialization in Marketing.

Mehek Punatar

Adolescents

Mehek has always been passionate about healthcare and its impact on patient experience, having worked in digital healthcare prior to joining Dasra. When she moved back to India after 7 years in the US, she was looking for something that would not only be intellectually challenging and stimulating, but also meaningful and impactful. 

At Dasra, Mehek works for the Dasra Adolescents Collaborative, that seeks to create change in the lives of India’s 254 million 10 to 19 year olds, many of whom lack access to quality education, sanitation, health services and employment opportunities. She primarily works on strategy, business development and relationship management. Being exposed to the sector has brought a sense of purpose to her career, and broadened her horizons beyond healthcare to the myriad ways in which she can make an impact.

Mehek has a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University. Prior to Dasra, she worked at a digital health startup in Mumbai, and a healthcare consulting and market research firm in New York.

Mohit Jindal

Capacity Building

Mohit joined the social sector to understand the various ways non-profits function and seeks to improve the lives of citizens. The development challenges in India are unique with regards to the sheer magnitude of their impact. The exciting part of this story will be how the social sector in India intends to overcome these hurdles. Whether it is successful or not, this journey will hold critical lessons for the rest of the world.

Mohit initiated his journey with Dasra to get an understanding of the social sector landscape in India and observe successful journeys of non-profit organizations. His goal is to integrate technology with institutional and program components to make them feasible for scalability. He provides capacity building support to non-profits in Dasra’s portfolio across the spectrum ranging from hands-on consulting and grant management support to execution of leadership programs enabling the organizations and social leaders to deliver and maximize impact in their communities.

He brings onboard his experience in financial analysis and relationship management, skills that he acquired at Citigroup as a Graduate Management Associate in transaction banking. He holds a Bachelor's in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi.

Monami Chakraborty

Capacity Building

Monami wanted to leverage her background in economics and social sciences to understand how social investments can move the needle on pressing global issues. She felt deeply committed to working on the inequities and inequalities that give rise to poverty in India and around the world. This led her to Dasra, where she supports non-profits in their growth journey, helping them scale strategically and strengthen their ability to address society’s most important challenges and opportunities.

Previously, Monami gained experience at Goodera where she helped corporates manage their CSR and sustainability needs. Prior to that, she was a research analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices where she worked on quantifying natural capital dependency in order to help corporates understand environmental risk in business terms. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Jadavpur University and a M.A. in Regulatory Governance from Tata Institute of Social Sciences where she was awarded the institute's silver medal.

Nafisa Lokhandwala

Democracy and Governance

According to Nafisa, working in the social space means enabling and strengthening a community or groups of people to achieve their fullest. The most exciting part about being in the sector is the opportunity it gives you to interact with different communities and learn about various cultures. Dasra aims to create Impact First and through her role as an intangible player, she hopes to make a tangible difference in the lives of people.

Nafisa works with the Democracy and Governance Collaborative at Dasra. She has 4 years of experience in the nonprofit space. Her experience varies from the education sector to working with children in need of care and protection. She has successfully completed the SBI Youth for India fellowship, as part of which, she worked in rural Odisha with tribal children and adolescent girls in the education and sanitation space respectively.

Nafisa completed her Bachelor’s in Mass Communications from Sophia College for Women and went on to pursue a Post Graduate in International Development Management from the University of Nottingham, where she was a recipient of the Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship.

Natasha Patel

Leadership

Natasha leads the Strategic Philanthropy team, which partners with Ultra High-Net Worth and High-Net Worth individuals, Corporates and Family Foundations on their philanthropic journeys. The team also brings together stakeholders in the development sector together to place impact at the center of all decision making.

Natasha has three decades of experience in financial services with a long record of driving business strategies, and a personal enthusiasm for business enhancement.

Her experience in financial services covers both commercial banking and cash management transaction banking across industry segments including Consumer Brands, Retail, Insurance, Telecom, Technology, and Oil and Gas.

She has also partnered with corporate clients to advance their social agendas. She has worked to build a platform between SEWA and Unilever to market products; engaged with the National Dairy Development Board to design a smart card for retail milk sales across all Mother Dairy milk booths in Delhi; was part of the core working group formed by the RBI to commercialize RTGS across India, and later helped in the creation of the National Payments Corporation of India; partnered with Mandeshi Cooperative to design and create a cash management system to service its rural borrowers; partnered with ITC to create a cash management system to service eChoupal HUBS and farmers in states across India.

Natasha has a PhD in French Literature from the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Neera Nundy

Leadership

Neera’s first grassroots experience of rural India was with the day school for Adivasi children her mother set up near Kharagpur, West Bengal. That was also how she began to empathise with the lives of others, eventually transitioning from her investment banking job in the US to co-found Dasra in 1999, to accelerate social change by driving collaborative action among a trust-based network of stakeholders.

Neera leads Dasra’s ecosystem-building initiatives in the areas of Adolescents, Urban Sanitation, and Democracy & Governance and facilitates collaborative platforms by engaging donors, non-profits, government and other stakeholders. In 2016, she initiated the Dasra Adolescents Collaborative, an impact-driven platform that has united institutional funders, technical experts, government stakeholders from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and several social organizations to focus on four key outcomes for adolescent empowerment.

She initiated and led the launch of the Dasra Social Impact Leadership Program with Harvard Business Publishing, a first-of-its-kind executive education program for social sector leaders in India. Internally, she has supported the analysis of over 70 Dasra sector reports on education, health and livelihoods, enabling over USD 44 million in funding for hundreds of social enterprises.

She has been critical in establishing partnerships with global leaders such as Harvard University, Stanford University, USAID, Omidyar Network and the Gates Foundation to push the boundaries of social impact in India. Closer to the ground, she has worked with Dasra's portfolio organizations such as Educate Girls, SNEHA, Sarathi and Aangan to refine their strategies and accelerate their growth by 10-20x.

Neera holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and is an Indian Leadership Fellow with Anantha-Aspen Institute. She is a recipient of the Canadian Governor General's Medallion for her dedication to addressing India’s critical development challenges, and the Forbes Philanthropy Award in the Crossover Leaders.

Neha Alluri

Capacity Building

The social sector is fluid which leaves one with the desire to always do more– this often translates to a lot of learning, challenges, course correction and change in strategy or a new way of doing the same project for a different organization. Each organization has its own identity which gives one a glimpse of the lives of millions in India and numerous innovative interventions saving these lives with a lot of zeal and passion.

Neha joined this sector to understand India’s most complex and pressing development challenges and contribute to solve for these in ways big and small.

She believes that Dasra is the right place for her as she is able to contribute to the growth of multiple organizations. In her current role, Neha provides capacity-building support to healthcare organizations in Dasra’s portfolio. This involves supporting them with reflecting on their organisation and program strategy, leadership needs and key institutional priorities across the areas of fundraising, communications, finance and human resources. She seeks to create impact through helping organizations realize their true potential and channel funding and resources into the right priority areas.

Neha holds a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has worked with global strategy and commercial policy firms in Washington D.C. to understand global companies and their market entry strategies before moving back to India. It allowed her to apply her analytical, communication and policy knowledge. Neha loves to cook and is an ardent podcast lover.

Neha Lalwani

Adolescents

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go do that. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman.

This is the journey that Neha continues to live through ever since she found her way into the social sector with Dasra. Ever since her first week at an investment bank, she was constantly nagged by the thought that there needs to be something more enriching, impactful and meaningful that she spends her time on. Although it has taken her a few years to get here, working in the social sector for the cause of adolescent girls in India is something that has truly made her come alive in her professional and in many ways, personal life.

Through her work at Dasra, she has the opportunity to leverage her experience in consulting and project/change management to work on real-world challenges and bring in business acumen and rigor to the social sector. She primarily works on strategy and funder management initiatives. Learning about the technical aspects of the social sector and working with beneficiaries on the ground are the two things that excite her the most. Prior to Dasra, Neha worked at Ernst and Young (EY) and Barclays Capital in New York City.

Neishaa Kumaar

Capacity Building

With a degree in Economics, Neishaa was deeply interested in exploring how programs are structured to solve for social problems and how data analysis can help build in efficiencies. With that in mind, she joined the Capacity Building team at Dasra to help non-profit organizations implement stronger programs and scale their operations. At Dasra, Neishaa provides hands-on capacity building, and grant management services to non-profit organizations which includes business plan & strategy, finance & budgeting, board & governance, and impact assessment across sectors.

Before Dasra, she worked with EY’s risk consulting practice specializing in financial services advisory to commercial and public sector banks in India to enhance their risk competence and capital adequacy. She has graduated in Economics (Honours) from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai while being involved in various collegiate organizations like Malhar, Indian Music Group, Student Council as well as an education based start-up.

Nikhil Iyer

Capacity Building

Nikhil is passionate about solving India’s greatest social challenges. He desires to utilize his knowledge and skills to create change in the lives of individuals from marginalized communities. At Dasra, he provides capacity building support to organizations that are working toward improving citizen’s access to justice. Nikhil fosters collaboration among these NGOs and key stakeholders to scale these interventions. He has also facilitated the leadership development of CXOs in development sector organizations through Dasra’s executive education programs.

Nikhil’s foray in the development sector started in the education space. As a Teach For India fellow, he managed a classroom environment at an under resourced Govt. school in Mumbai and experienced firsthand the challenges at the grassroot level. Previously, he worked with Bose India as a Design Consultant and Business Development Engineer and provided Audio-Video solutions to HNIs/UHNIs and corporate clients. He has completed his Bachelor’s in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Mumbai University. Nikhil is experienced in Monitoring & Evaluation, Facilitation, Program Implementation and Business Development.

Nikhila Vishnuvajhala

Strategic Philanthropy

Passionate about solving India’s developmental challenges with a special interest in the space of Water and Urban Planning, Nikhila, as part of the Strategic Philanthropy team at Dasra, works with corporates and individual philanthropists to help them be more strategic in their giving. Nikhila’s passion for the sector is demonstrated by her interest to see implementations of solutions on ground and interacting with social entrepreneurs.

Prior to Dasra, she has worked with Habba, a not for profit, where she played the role of Business Development Manager. Prior to Habba she has worked with NextDrop Smart Water Systems, a Bangalore based startup in the same capacity.

Nikhila has a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Civil Engineering and holds a Masters in Urban Management from CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

Nishant Nair

Capacity Building

The desire to derive more meaning and personal satisfaction from work and an appetite to work in a mission-driven organization creating positive social change, is what drew Nishant to this sector. Nishant believes that his critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills are easily transferable to the social sector and he hopes to make a career in development in the long run.

Through his work at Dasra, Nishant aims to gain an operational understanding of the development landscape, get exposure to the challenges faced by organizations, and learn how to design and implement effective solutions that can deliver sustainable impact. Dasra provides these opportunities, as well as an environment to work alongside talented people from varied backgrounds, connected with a common agenda to drive social change. Nishant provides hands-on capacity building, consulting, and grant management support to Dasra’s portfolio of non-profit organizations enabling them to maximize impact and scale sustainably.

Prior to Dasra, Nishant worked in management consulting with Bain. During his time there, he headed Bain’s volunteering program to encourage employee engagement in the community, led Bain’s Global Carbon Neutrality project in 2016, co-authored a research publication on Spatial Economics, and worked on cases across multiple industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Nitya Daryanani

Adolescents

As a part of Dasra’s Adolescents Collaborative team, Nitya works to create powerful partnerships between non-profit organizations and key stakeholders in the social sector to accelerate growth of the adolescent field and drive change across policy and practice through collaborative research, stakeholder and government engagement. This includes building a community of non-profit organizations working on ending child marriage, promoting adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and improving education to promote adolescent health and well-being in India.

She also works with the Founders’ Office at Dasra, supporting the development and execution of organizational strategy, key organizational initiatives and building strategic partnerships with key stakeholders.

Prior to the Adolescents Team, Nitya worked in the Knowledge Creation and Dissemination Team, leading research projects on key social issues to catalyze interest in philanthropy among funders in the adolescent, sanitation, governance and strategic philanthropy sectors. She also conducted due-diligence of non-profit organizations, enabling Dasra to drive philanthropic capital to some of India’s most significant development challenges.

Nitya’s interest in the development sector stemmed from her early research into effective altruism and impactful social movements in college, further developed by her research in post-conflict reconstruction and mitigating institutional violence in India and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is passionate in driving social change to improve the life chances of young people in India. Nitya has a Bachelor of Arts from Denison University in the U.S. where she studied Sociology/Anthropology and International Studies.

Pakzan Dastoor

Institution Building

Pakzan believes that India is at a significant inflection point in development: the seriousness, scale and complexity of India’s social problems is now increasingly being matched with strategic resources, thoughtful giving and collaborative action. Facilitating the scaling of solutions to match that of the issues is what inspires Pakzan the most and is where she sees herself creating most impact.

Pakzan Dastoor leads the Founders’ Office at Dasra. She is responsible for developing organizational strategy, executing key organizational initiatives and building strategic partnerships with key stakeholders. Prior to this role, Pakzan developed and scaled the research practice at Dasra, spearheading thought leadership that directed philanthropic capital to some of India’s development priorities including adolescents, education, sanitation, and human rights. Over the years, she has played a key role in engaging multi-lateral organizations such as USAID and OECD, foundations such as Omidyar Network, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Kiawah Trust, corporates such as Bank of America and British Telecom, and non-profits such as Magic Bus and Shelter Associates, among others.

Pakzan has been invited to speak at global platforms such as the Houses of Parliament (London), Harvard Kennedy School, IIM Bangalore, and the OECD Philanthropy Forums. She has authored articles for publications such as Stanford Social Innovation Review and Business India and has contributed to thought leadership in the Alliance Magazine, Times of India and Mint.

Prior to Dasra, Pakzan worked at the Akanksha Foundation in Mumbai. She holds a Master's of Business Administration (Honors) from S.P Jain School of Management and a Bachelor of Management Studies degree (Honors) from the University of Mumbai.

Pallavi Wagle

Capacity Building

After having worked with for-profit leaders and Human Resource teams on various areas within talent management, such as leadership development, performance management systems, assessment centers and HR Diagnostic Studies, Pallavi got an opportunity to work with a few non-profit leaders. This was her first exposure to the talent management challenges faced by leaders of those organizations. She realized that while these leaders are extremely passionate about their mission and the impact they seek to create, they may need hand holding in the areas of people management.

By being a part of the Capacity Building team at Dasra, and working on the talent management needs of the organizations Dasra works with, this is what Pallavi hopes to achieve – this is her way of contributing towards building stronger institutions, towards the impact they seek to create.

Pallavi comes with over a decade of experience in Human Resource consulting for organizations across sectors at various stages of growth, especially the SME segment. She is well-equipped with process development as well as implementation within human resources. Pallavi holds an MBA in Human Resources and is an accredited Belbin Team Roles consultant.

Parnasha Banerjee

Urban Sanitation

Parnasha works in the Urban Sanitation team at Dasra. She works with the network of partners under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's WSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) portfolio and identifies areas for strategic collaboration, capacity building and amplification to further their impact.

Prior to this, Parnasha worked in various teams including monitoring & evaluation, communications and led the WASH implementation program at Safe Water Network India. She has also previously worked at WWF-India in the Climate Change Adaptation team where she primarily looked at water resource management and sustainable agriculture in the Ramganga basin.

Parnasha has a Master's in Water Policy and Governance from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and a Bachelor’s in Science from Miranda House, Delhi University.

Pooja Rao

Adolescents

As part of Dasra’s Adolescents Collaborative Team, Pooja primarily works on strategy and funder management initiatives. She believes in building meaningful, accessible and sustainable solutions for social change and hopes to impact the lives of 254 million adolescents through her work.

Her journey with social impact began through serendipity in 2009. After completing her Master’s degree, she started volunteering with an initiative that uses theatre to teach skills like managing conflict, building relationships and empathy with children from vulnerable backgrounds and with disabilities. In a span of two months, she noticed how these children were better equipped to deal with challenges they face everyday - in their homes, communities and schools. This experience propelled her towards the development sector.

Prior to Dasra, Pooja has worked in the nonprofit sector for 9 years with organizations such as Dream a Dream, Azim Premji Foundation and Enable India. Her work spans across program management and design, training and development, community engagement and content development.

Pooja has a Bachelor's of Engineering in Information Science, a Master’s in Management Information Systems from Texas A&M University. She also holds an Executive MBA from the Indian School of Business where she received a full scholarship and a certification in Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy.

Prapti Patel

Strategic Philanthropy

Prapti joined the social sector because she feels that India’s “growth story” is leaving behind those who live on the margins. She is excited by the prospect of working on solutions which impact actual human lives, and hopes to work on large-scale and collaborative system change at the intersections of law, justice and development.

Within the Strategic Philanthropy team at Dasra, Prapti works closely with new and experienced philanthropists to help structure their giving philosophy and bring them closer to the impact they seek to create.

Prapti holds a Bachelor’s in Law from the University of Pune and a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Liberal Studies under the Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University. She is a travel enthusiast and bibliophile, and can often be found doodling in the margins of her notebook.

Prarthana Sheth

Institution Building

Through timely travel bookings, Prarthana works to ensure that all Dasra staff can be on the ground whenever required and execute our programs effectively. She also ensures that all employees are covered by health insurance. She also helps internal teams in managing the logistics of several events throughout the year helping attendees focus on the agenda and worry less about travel and accommodation. In all of her work, Prarthana aims to employ her strong negotiation skills to maximize cost savings and thus ensure that all funds raised are utilized well.

Prarthana has a Diploma in Computer Applications. She brings with her over 12 years of experience across industries spanning Marketing & Sales, Outdoor Media, BPOs and Banking industries. She is a Graduate from Mumbai University.

Priti Prabhughate

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Priti has extensive work experience as a researcher on issues of gender, gender based violence, HIV, stigma and mental health issues of sexual minority communities in India. She has expertise in designing and conducting research using qualitative methods, using participatory research methods to include voices of affected communities. Prior to joining Dasra, Priti has worked with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and the Humsafar Trust where she spear-headed several research studies that sought to examine how factors such as gender norms, violence affected lives of women, girls and marginalized populations such as the LGBTQ, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Priti is interested in applying her research skills to the field of philanthropy to enhance evidence-based giving and conduct research to highlight underserved development issues and heads the Knowledge Creation and Dissemination team at Dasra.

Priti has a PhD in Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. She contributes as a reviewer for several journals as well as for the Institutional Review Board of ICRW.

Priyanka Anand Chadha

Capacity Building

Priyanka’s career reflects her commitment to driving deep routed social change. She uses her experience and knowledge to help social organisations maximize their potential to solve some of our country’s biggest social challenges. A strong believer in the power of collaborative action, Priyanka was drawn to Dasra because of its unique model and its focus on understanding, supporting and strengthening organisations. Priyanka has worked extensively on building organisations, managing knowledge sharing platforms and developing capacity building programs. At Dasra, she has the opportunity to work with high impact organisations to drive tangible results. Priyanka leads Dasra’s capacity building projects aimed at strengthening institutional abilities of organisations to help them scale their impact.

Before Dasra, Priyanka worked at the Centre for Policy Research where she led Accountability Initiative’s citizen engagement programs. She was a founding team member at the Global Asia Institute, National University of Singapore, where she developed strategy and managed multi-disciplinary research projects. Before moving to the social sector, Priyanka was a consultant with KPMG and worked on business process re-design and improvement projects.

Priyanka has a MBA from Indian School of Business, where she received the Develop India Scholarship. She has a Master’s in Economics from National University of Singapore, and Bachelor’s in Economics (Hons) from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.

Radhika Kumar

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Radhika is a member of the  Knowledge Creation and Dissemination Team where she works on a gamut of research and dissemination projects across sectors. Prior to Dasra, Radhika worked as a business journalist at CNBC covering financial inclusion, start-ups, real estate and FMCG.

She graduated from the University of California Los Angeles in 2015 with a Double Bachelor's in Economics and Development Studies. During her time at the university she had the privilege of working with UNICEF, UN Women and Amnesty International. She is deeply passionate about mental health, environmental conservation and wildlife preservation and works on initiatives outside of Dasra supporting these causes. 

Rajitha Shathalla

Strategic Philanthropy

As part of Dasra's Strategic Philanthropy team, Rajitha supports the team in reporting to various stakeholders. She believes her role in Donor Reporting allows her to provide donors with a clearer understanding of their impact, thus increasing the motivation of such donors to further their commitment to the social sector. The feeling of contributing towards a better tomorrow is something that excites her about working in the social sector. It brings a sense of job satisfaction and self-motivation to do more.

She also works on database management and data analysis, using a system that captures knowledge about philanthropists, foundations and other organizations. She plays an integral part in refining the system to maximize the value of its output.

Before Dasra, Rajitha has worked with Serco. She has a Bachelor's in Commerce from the University of Mumbai.

Reemsha Reen

Capacity Building

Growing up as the daughter of an Indian navy officer inculcated Reemsha with a strong sense of community since her childhood. Years spent actively volunteering with non-profits enhanced this sense of community as she became cognizant of the stark inequalities that exist in society. To delve deeper into this, Reemsha studied development economics to build the understanding that in order for the nation to develop, it is critical to tackle issues at the local level. To leverage her theoretical knowledge and continue to be involved with the community, social sector was a no-brainer for her. Dasra proved to be the perfect platform that provided her with the opportunity to work with diverse non-profits solving local issues for widespread impact. At Dasra, through the capacity building team, Reemsha supports organizations to accelerate their growth journey and strengthen their institutional capabilities.

Before Dasra, Reemsha worked in the space of urbanization with a non-profit organization called Development Alternatives. She holds a Master’s Degree in Local Economic Development from London School of Economics and Political Science; and Bachelor's in Economics from Mumbai University.

Revati Velu

Adolescents

Revati is passionate about working in the social space and hopes to make a difference in society through her work at Dasra. But as the saying goes "No man is an island" - Everyone needs help from other people. She is aware of the fact that no social change can be achieved alone and she considers herself a branch in the tree that is Dasra.  She believes that we are in debt to society for the privileges we enjoy and must give back to those who don't have the same privileges. 

Richa Patel

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Richa is a communication specialist with over 10 years of professional experience spanning across large and independent agencies including Creativeland Asia, Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis Group (20:20 MSL), and Text100. She has led various 360 Marketing & Communication campaigns for BFSI, Technology, Healthcare, and Real Estate sector companies.

Richa worked towards building a life-skills program for select students in Mumbai as part of a mentorship stint with Light House Project. This helped her realize the dire need for effective communications in the social sector. Ever since, she has been interested in innovating and developing an effective communication framework for various social causes. Dasra provided a hot bed for opportunities to work with multiple stakeholders in the sector and to understand their communication needs.

She has a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Mumbai University. 

 

Rojo Geo Joseph

Institution Building

Having worked for a long time in the corporate sector, the jump to the social sector was a radical move for Rojo. His engagements with members of local institutions & NGOs during his youth exposed him to the life-changing impact of their work on the beneficiaries. While cognizant of the passion that drives the social sector, Rojo is of the strong belief that it needs to be augmented using technology as an enabler to achieve sustainable scale and impact. With the backing of Dasra and its vast network, he believes that he will be able to play a role in bringing about a positive change within the development sector.

At Dasra, Rojo is responsible for liaising with different stakeholders to build technology capacity and solutions to support nonprofits in achieving better operational efficiency.

Rojo comes with over 15 years of experience across industries spanning BPOs, Marketing & Sales and Solution Service Providers in various leadership roles of Customer Service & CRM, Business Development, Operations and Technology. Prior to joining the Technology Team at Dasra, Rojo worked significantly in driving technological projects and implementing solutions at Crimson Interactive Pvt. Ltd., a language solutions service provider firm in Mumbai. Rojo holds a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) focused in Operations Management from ICFAI University, Tripura.

Roshni Rajiv

Democracy and Governance

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

This statement summarizes the decision that Roshni took in initiating a whole new career in the social sector after working as a corporate lawyer for 3.5 years. At Dasra, she is part of the Democracy and Governance Collaborative (DaGC) team. As a legal and policy professional, who is passionate about strengthening governance in India, her role in the DaGC team is a perfect blend of her passion, skill-sets and work experience.

Her professional experience spans the fields of law and policy in India, Ghana and Germany. Previously, she worked at Kiron NGO in Germany, enabling refugees access higher education in Germany and at the IMANI Center for Policy and Education, a leading policy think tank in Ghana in the fields of governance, environment and social policy.

She received a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin and an integrated Bachelor's Degree in Law and Socio-Legal Studies from ILS Law College in India. Her focus areas comprise of public management, leadership and entrepreneurship. 

Rukmini Pandit

Strategic Philanthropy

Rukmini is a graduate in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai where she also studied Political Science and Mathematics. Post this, she worked as an Associate Consultant at Aon Hewitt, a multinational human capital consulting firm. At her time there, she worked on projects that were focused on designing and implementing solutions for selections and assessments, improving organizational effectiveness, developing leadership capability, and policy design. She then moved to a startup in the education space as an Associate Consultant in their Monitoring and Impact Evaluation vertical, before joining Dasra’s Strategic Philanthropy team.

With a passion for problem solving and a desire to work towards addressing some of India’s more critical challenges, Rukmini joined Dasra to help drive social change. At the Strategic Philanthropy team, she works closely with individual philanthropists and family foundations by providing advisory support on how to make their philanthropic portfolios more strategic and sustainable.

She aspires to strengthen her understanding of the development space and apply her domain knowledge of various sectors to help others make their philanthropy more impact driven.

Sagar Nikam

Institution Building

Sagar is passionate about the role of technology in the development sector. He believes that though working for an NGO can be challenging, is it also an equally rewarding job. We can’t solve all the problems of the world, but we can do our bit to address the issues that pose a threat to our existence.

At Dasra, Sagar helps both internal and external stakeholders with their systems and technology requirements, with the aim of enabling them to do their jobs efficiently. He is passionate about educating IT staff in the development sector about inexpensive and open source software and guiding them in implementing such solutions. Before joining Dasra, Sagar worked for several large IT firms including Wysetek Systems Technologists (IBM channel sales partner) where he served their corporate client Cox & Kings. He also worked at Ezzego1 where he maintained their servers, firewall, email systems, and Avaya IP-based intercom + call center.

In addition to a diploma in computer technology from Pune University, Sagar holds Network Associate certifications from Cisco (CCNA) and Microsoft (MCSE), with 10 years of total technology experience.

Saloni Gopani

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Saloni’s journey in the development space started early, when she was appointed Student Body Head for Social Services in her High School. Realization of the pure joy she experienced helping others motivated her to take up every volunteering opportunity that came her way ever since. During her under-graduation, she founded “Project Jalvruddhi”, a rural development initiative to provide a solution to water scarcity and unemployment in Palghar, Maharashtra.
 
Three years of working on the ground led her to experience the systemic gaps that often acted as barriers to impact. She was intrigued by the ecosystem building side of things and finds Dasra in a unique capacity to effect change in the sector. Her excitement and motivation to work in the social sector stems from her strong belief that the country’s most challenging problems need the best of ideas, minds and efforts. As part of the Knowledge Creation and Dissemination Team, she works on our research reports, highlighting key social issues and bringing an analytical lens to the catalytic areas of impact, and also conducts due diligence for high-impact not for profits, poised for scale.
 
Saloni holds a Bachelor's Degree in Management Studies with a major in Finance from the University of Mumbai. She has interned across multiple organizations in the financial services industry including Ernst & Young LLP, and JM Financial, along with stints in the social startup space. She hopes to leverage her finance background to help improve efficacy in resource allocation within the social sector.  

Sanaya Sinha

Urban Sanitation

Sanaya’s desire to work in the development sector was sparked during her time teaching English at a school in rural India. In parallel, she discovered a love for research and developed her research skills by working full-time as a qualitative consumer researcher based in Singapore, using consumer insights to advise clients on brand positioning and marketing strategies. During her time in Singapore, she sustained her interest in the development sector through volunteer and internship roles, and finally quit the corporate sector to pursue a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (Brighton).

She now uses her project management and research skills in the Urban Sanitation team in Dasra to work with the Gates Foundation’s Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH) network of partners, facilitating collaboration between organizations, as well as consolidating and disseminating knowledge.

Sanaya has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from Singapore Management University. Her prior work experience spans across South East Asia, India, and China.

Sangeeta Bhattacharya

Capacity Building

Driven by a strong desire to do work that creates impact and benefits the society at large, Sangeeta was first introduced into the sector during her undergraduate days when she got a chance to volunteer with Teach India. Fast forward a few years, she interned with the development sector practice of a company that gave her a more nuanced understanding of the sector, the opportunities it holds and the role individuals can play in solving some of the pressing issues in and around them- should they choose to have a career in the sector. That internship made Sangeeta realize her passion for social change, and she eventually made the much awaited switch.

As part of the Capacity Building team at Dasra, Sangeeta provides hands-on capacity building, consulting and grant management services to non-profit organizations spanning areas like business planning & strategy, finance & budgeting, operations management, communications, impact assessment etc.; enabling them to scale for transformative impact.

With around four years of experience in the corporate sector, spanning across program management, marketing, and sales roles, Sangeeta has handled planning, development and timely execution of various services and projects. She completed her Bachelor's in Biotechnology and went on to pursue a Post Graduate Diploma in Management specializing in Marketing from Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur.

Saniya Pawar

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Saniya is passionate about solving systemic barriers that perpetuate inequality. She is driven by the vision of a world where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full human potential. She believes in the power of interdisciplinary thinking and evidence-led action in solving complex social problems and uses her research and analytical skills to achieve that. 

Saniya works in Dasra’s Knowledge Creation & Dissemination team to produce research that directs philanthropic capital towards India’s most pressing problems. In addition to research, she conducts pre-investment due diligence and grant monitoring assessments on non-profit organizations. She also supports capacity building of non-profits through the development of frameworks and tools that inform effective institutional strengthening strategies.

Prior to Dasra, Saniya was part of a yearlong project assessing the implementation of vocational training programmes in Maharashtra at IIT Bombay’s Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas, which inspired her to pursue a career in international development. She has previously worked as a Business Analyst in a Dubai-based tech firm, developing market research & analysis on employment trends in the Middle East and as a project engineering intern at Procter & Gamble.

Saniya graduated from IIT Bombay in 2015 with a B.Tech in Materials Engineering and minor in Humanities and studied Literature at the University of Cambridge in the summer of 2012.

Sanjana Haribhakti

Adolescents

Sanjana has worked in the related fields of development and public policy since her undergrad. She sees the development sector as an innovative and dynamic space, which can provide transformative insights to the process of policy planning and implementation. Her experience at Dasra and in prior roles has convinced her that participatory planning and decision-making with a diversity of stakeholders and perspectives is key to addressing a number of challenges that commonly plague large-scale government and civil society initiatives.

Sanjana’s work on the Adolescents Collaborative team is a continuation of her commitment to work  on gender-based issues through a policy lens. On the team, her role focuses on multi-stakeholder engagement with a particular focus on deepening engagement between the collaborative, its civil society partners and the government.

Prior to Dasra, Sanjana worked as a researcher at the Indian Development Cooperation Research (IDCR) project at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. Sanjana then went on to work at SEWA Delhi as their coordinator for advocacy where she represented the interests of women street vendors, domestic workers and construction workers to the government. Sanjana completed her BSc. in Economics, Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick and holds a Master's degree in International Social and Public Policy from the London School of Economics.

Shailja Mehta

Adolescents

Shailja leads the 10to19 Dasra Adolescents Collaborative, overseeing operations, partnerships and financial management. 

She was a founding member of Aangan, which works to build safe communities that are free of child harm practices such as trafficking, hazardous work, child marriage, violence and abuse. She is a Dasra Social Impact Fellow (2012), a Ford Motor Company Fellow (2012), and an Ananta Aspen India Initiative Fellow (2013).

Her prior experience includes managing public relations for Procter and Gamble products, setting up and running Third Eye, a boutique public relations agency focused on increasing exposure and media coverage for artists and art galleries, and being part of the team that launched Time Out India magazine.

Shailja has a BA in Economics from St Xavier's College, Mumbai, and a Diploma in Social Communication Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai.

Shalmalee Aidoor

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Shalmalee joined the social sector because she believes in India’s growth story and wants to be a part of it. As part of the Knowledge Creation & Dissemination team, Shalmalee has authored thought leadership knowledge pieces on key sectors that direct philanthropic capital to some of India’s prominent development priorities. She conducts pre-investment due diligence on non-profit organizations creating social change in India. Shalmalee is also part of the Founders’ office, where she is responsible for developing and executing organizational strategy and building governance systems to improve efficiency.

Previously, she worked as an Account Manager for IMS Health Consulting Group, a healthcare consulting and market research firm, where she assisted pharma companies in planning their marketing strategies. She has also worked in Biocon, a biopharmaceutical company where she spearheaded their SAARC market entry strategy & operations.

Shalmalee is an amateur theater artist and has a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology, Bioprocessing & Business Management from the University of Warwick, UK.

Sharanya Hariharan

Adolescents

With a strong drive to bring about a positive change, Sharanya joined the development sector and dived deep into the grassroots experience through the Gandhi Fellowship Program. In her two years of hands on work in government schools and urban slums, she initiated multiple projects to identify and address issues local communities face. Passionate about gender and equality, she has set up self-help groups, advocated for fairer trade, worked on making menstrual hygiene products affordable and accessible in low-income communities, and now hopes to create a sustainable and equal world by working with Dasra.

Sharanya has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Jai Hind College and comes with 4 years of experience in education, women empowerment and health. She previously led the Marketing and Partnerships team at Saral Designs (a women’s health startup), where she was responsible for creating visibility for the organization while fostering strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholders.

Shivani Gupta

Adolescents

Shivani works with the Adolescents Collaborative Team at Dasra and leads the program implementation and evidence creation pieces of the collaborative.

After being in the corporate sector for 20+ years, the desire to use her knowledge & experience, for social causes drew her to the sector. She admires the passion and firm belief of social sector leaders to make the world a better place.

Shivani is a qualified Cost Accountant and holds a Master's in Management Studies from Mumbai University. She has worked with management and IT consulting organisations and specialises in business planning and execution skills with the experience of leading large scale transformation programs, project delivery, sales, operations as well as human resources.

Shruti Parikh

Adolescents

Shruti works to drive collaboration and inspire collective action amongst funders and other key stakeholders as part of the Adolescents Collaborative eam, that manages the 10to19: Dasra Adolescents Collaborative. Through her work with the 10to19 platform, Shruti hopes to equip key stakeholders in the sector with knowledge, opportunities, proper networks and resources to make their work more strategic and enable larger impact.

Prior to Dasra, Shruti worked on business development with Possible Health, a nonprofit working to improve systems for to lend access to high quality health services in rural Nepal. There she worked with the leadership on developing and executing a partnership strategy and on donor outreach and engagement. She is passionate about improving health rights for women and children – an interest that began while she was still a student, working on a patient education project at St. Jude India Childcare centers; a residential facility supporting low income families with children who are undergoing cancer treatment. Inspired by the potential of innovative non-medical interventions, Shruti is excited by the growing traction that healthcare rights for women and youth have received as priorities for India’s rapidly evolving development sector, and is eager to deepen her understanding of the field through her time at Dasra.

Shruti completed her Bachelor's of Arts in Biological Sciences, with a minor in Science & Public Policy from Barnard College of Columbia University. On campus, she was involved in the planning and execution of fundraising campaigns and an annual awareness-building health conference for GlobeMed, a US-based student network working to support and fundraise for grassroots organizations in developing countries across the globe.

Shrutika Jadhav

Capacity Building

Driven with the strong belief that everyone deserves equal opportunities regardless of their background, Shrutika left her corporate job in search for something more meaningful. Her journey began in 2009 as a teacher in a low-income school where she worked closely with the community for two years and witnessed the stark realities of inequity; reinforcing that her shift to the sector was, indeed, the right choice.

Over the years, Shrutika has worked directly with beneficiaries, set up operations for NGOs like Teach for India, liaised with the government and other stakeholders to drive impact. Shrutika was also instrumental in the launch of the India School Leadership Institute - the first school leadership training program in Mumbai. It is through her work that Shrutika hopes to play a small role in changing the status quo. At Dasra, Shrutika is a part of the capacity building team, working on the Adolescents Collaborative and supporting organizations in their journey to impact. In her free time, Shrutika takes a deep interest in Indian Mythology and actively supports many social causes.

Shrutika was awarded the Li Ka Shing scholarship from the National University of Singapore (NUS) to pursue her Master’s in Public Administration where she worked on multiple social projects and won the Global Public Policy Network competition at NUS for her idea in driving the Sustainable Development Goal of responsible consumption.

Sindhura Chakravarty

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Sindhura is committed towards eliminating economic and social biases within India’s legal and governance systems to ensure that all of India’s citizens have equal access to their rights and entitlements. She is also keenly interested in gender justice. In her role as a team lead in Dasra’s Knowledge Creation and Dissemination team, she conducts sector-based research, leads the creation of knowledge products on underfunded social issues, evaluates investment-worthy non-profits for philanthropic funding and manages key donor relationships. She works closely with the Democracy and Governance collaborative to build Dasra’s efforts to strengthen access to justice in India.

Sindhura is a trained lawyer with a BA LLB from Hidayatullah National Law University. Before her foray into the development space, she worked in a Mumbai-based corporate law firm to provide legal advice and transactional support to various corporations, including international organizations such as the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

Smita Vora

Institution Building

After years in the corporate sector, moving to the development sector was a new challenge for Smita. The eagerness to learn about a new sector and to contribute towards doing good is what brought her to Dasra. 

At Dasra, Smita manages donor contracts, agreements and donation receipts. After graduating in 2007, she worked with various share broking firms for nine years in the Finance & Account vertical. She is also certified in NCFM’s Derivative Module in share broking industry.

Sonvi Khanna

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Sonvi strongly believes that the increasing convergence of diverse stakeholders towards India’s socio-economic development, makes this one of the most promising times to work in the development sector and is excited to witness the change it will create on the ground. Sonvi has pursued this mission through her decade –long tryst in India’s development sector, and continues to do so in her current role as a Manager in Dasra’s Knowledge Creation & Dissemination team.

Her role involves strategizing for evolution and efficiency-building within the team's products, processes and people, with the objective of creating higher value for the sector at large, for Dasra and its partners, and for her team. Previously at Dasra, Sonvi worked with the team to plan and execute creation of knowledge products on a host of development issues spanning Dasra's fields on: Strategic Philanthropy, Governance, WASH and RMNCH+A.

Prior to Dasra, Sonvi worked in a research capacity with the International Center for Research on Women (India) and the Ashoka Foundation (US). Sonvi holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Warwick.

Sreya Bhattacharya

Institution Building

Growing up, Sreya was keenly aware of the great disparity that existed everywhere around her. She is cognizant of the opportunities that were given to her and the efforts put in to get her to where she is today. Therefore, she feels it is her duty to contribute to enabling a billion in India thrive. She is passionate about unlocking and harnessing human potential for social good and believes that if her work can help an individual grow and achieve their goals, it will amplify the effect that she can have on Dasra’s work as well as the people whose lives it seeks to impact.

Prior to joining the Talent Management at Dasra, Sreya worked with the Rockefeller Foundation on a variety of talent management challenges including refreshing and embedding values. Sreya worked with KPMG in the transaction services practice in financial due diligence practice assisting private equity clients with deals in industries ranging from insurance to technology. During her time at KPMG she also created the off-shore team in India, working through the challenges of two very different work cultures. Sreya graduated from Columbia Business School with her MBA, where she focused on change management, leadership development and non-profit management. She received her BSc in Finance & Accounting at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Sriparna Ganguly

Democracy and Governance

Sriparna leads the Dasra Democracy and Governance Collaborative, a platform that brings together funders, non-profits and other stakeholders to overcome challenges for effective democracy and governance. She brings to Dasra her knowledge and experience of working with over 50 non-profits and community-based organizations, specifically around decentralized governance.

Sriparna has worked extensively in poverty alleviation, gender, decentralized governance, empowerment of women, leadership building of grassroots elected representatives and policy advocacy. Before Dasra, she worked as Director at The Hunger Project India, a non-profit organization working to strengthen the leadership of women elected to Gram Panchayats; as coordinator in Jawaharlal Nehru Leadership Institute to build Panchayat sangathans across the country. She has also worked in the FMCG sector for over a decade to develop and launch a wide range of consumer products.

Her interests lie in areas intersecting gender, access to justice, and women’s political rights and governance. She has presented her work at national and international fora and written papers and articles on women’s political leadership.

Sriparna has a post-graduate diploma from the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Gujarat, and a BA (Hons) degree in Mathematical Statistics from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. She is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education and is on the board of two non-profit organizations in India: Vaani – Deaf Children’s Foundation and Rangsutra Craft Duniya Producer Company Limited. She is also a member of the Social Audit Core Committee of Kerala Institute of Local Administration.

Sucharita Iyer

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

This is Sucharita’s first foray into the development sector. While completing her Master’s, she decided to step away from academia, and explore the impact that her social science background could have in everyday life. She has worked towards building strong research and analytical skills, which she believes lends her an interesting perspective to understanding the sector. In her role at Dasra, she undertakes diverse projects, and works closely with other members of the team to create comprehensive and high quality knowledge products. 

Sucharita has a Master’s degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam. Here, she did an in-depth study of migrant women and community building practices. She has a Bachelor’s degree from St. Xavier’s College Mumbai, in Sociology and Anthropology. She has also interned with the With and For Girls Collective, and the Human Rights Law Network, Mumbai.

Sujit Dhumal

Institution Building

Sujit strongly believes in team work and is always passionate to work with people who believe in themselves and posses quality skills and knowledge. He believes that knowledge sharing is very important within the organization as well as the team to create a stronger bond amongst members, resulting in survival and success in any critical situation. He seeks to add value to Dasra with this approach.

Sujit started his career in the banking sector and went on to working with CAPITA, a well-known MNC, in Mumbai. He spent 6 valuable years in the finance vertical of the organization. 4 years ago, he moved to Dasra not knowing what to expect and slowly became familiar with the challenges of the development landscape. 

Suranjana Ghosh

Knowledge Creation and Dissemination

Work that creates transformation has always been important to Suranjana. Campaigning for disability rights between 2013-2014 in a personal capacity, made her conscious of a larger social responsibility. After working in the FMCG and Broadcast Media industries for 15 years, Suranjana was keen to use her skills and experience in the development sector.
 
Joining Dasra in 2017 has been one of her steepest and most rewarding learning curves. Her work at Dasra entails building strategic dissemination formats for ongoing programmes, in communities as well as in driving philanthropic giving. 
 
Suranjana's past experience is in Brand Management, Marketing, Digital and Content Strategy, spanning across L'Oréal, Kellogg, BBC World News and CNBC-TV18. She has worked on multiple product, show and format launches for FMCG and in the television news genre. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Arts, a Master's in Advertising and Communication Management from Symbiosis and a Certification in Digital Marketing from New York University.

Tejas Pahlajani

Strategic Philanthropy

Tejas joined the social sector to be part of, what he sees as, a broader movement in creating meaningful and sustainable positive change in India. He believes that there is a gradual but palpable rise in professionalism and intent within the sector, which will go a long way in improving the lives of India’s one billion plus population. He wishes to bring an increasing amount of rigor in the reporting process of organizations within the sector, believing that ‘what gets measured gets better’ and feels Dasra is perfectly placed working with passionate donors, NGOs and partners to accelerate change & impact.

He believes his role in donor reporting within the Strategic Philanthropy team allows him to provide donors with a clearer understanding of their impact, thus increasing the motivation of such donors to further their commitment to the social sector.

Tejas holds a B.E. in Computer Engineering from Mumbai University and an MBA from the Indian School of Business in Finance & Strategy. Prior to Dasra, he worked within the senior management team of a fast emerging fintech startup leading the analytics vertical and holding account management responsibilities for 2 Asian banks. He has held roles in consulting, analytics, business development and account management focused primarily on emerging technologies.

Ujjwal Gupta

Strategic Philanthropy

Ujjwal is a part of Dasra’s Strategic Philanthropy team, engaging with philanthropists, foundations and corporates to help them make more strategic choices about giving to the Indian development space. He is interested in leveraging collaborative philanthropic capital to create large-scale systems change.

Ujjwal has previously worked with a research and development consulting organization in New Delhi, where he managed a 5 country project evaluating WHO's contribution to Maternal Health in the South East Asia Region. He also volunteered at the Amrit Foundation of India where he provided strategic and research support to help build a conducive ecosystem for persons with disabilities.

Ujjwal has graduated from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom with a Bachelor’s of Science in Management.

Utkal Patra

Strategic Philanthropy

Utkal brings a rare combination of entrepreneurship and consulting expertise to the role of managing donors in the Strategic Philanthropy team at Dasra. The ability to use for-profit skills for impacting lives while ensuring that the donors are thoughtful about their giving motivates him the most. His role enables donors to be associated with the sector on a long-term basis not just with funds but also through their skills and network.

Before joining Dasra, Utkal served as Director in his own venture, building and operating multiple brands in the hospitality industry. He also was a core part of the Executive Management team of a beach resort where he ensured a steady stream of new revenues through identification and implementation of business opportunities. Prior to his entrepreneurial stint, Utkal worked for the management consultants Avalon Global Research for over 5 years, leading teams and managing multiple projects and clients across a range of industry sectors.

Utkal has an MBA from the Brisbane School of Business with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy.

Vishal Kapoor

Strategic Philanthropy

Despite growing-up in India, it was the magic of a liberal arts undergraduate education in the United States that fueled Vishal’s interest in India’s development and a desire to come back and give back. After four years in economic consulting at Charles River Associates, Boston, Vishal returned to discover India and experienced firsthand India’s resurgent social sector.

Vishal spent six amazing years with Dasra in India, operationalizing the Dasra Giving Circle – India’s largest collaborative giving platform – and co-leading Portfolio Services – one of India’s most intensive diligence and capacity building support programs for non-profit organizations. Vishal co-managed a portfolio of over 35 organizations spanning several sectors: livelihoods, maternal & newborn child health, adolescent girl empowerment, technology for health, sports for development, domestic violence, and anti-sex trafficking. He had the opportunity to work closely with pioneering organizations like Mann Deshi, SNEHA, Sarathi, Naz, Aangan Trust and ARMMAN in the areas of business planning & strategy, organization structure & HR, fundraising, financial planning, and impact assessment.

Vishal relocated to the California Bay Area in Jun 2016 to lead Dasra’s West Coast operations, and to use his on-the-ground knowledge to cultivate more and smarter giving towards India. In Oct 2018, he returned to India and is currently part of Dasra’s strategic philanthropy team in India.

Vishal holds a BA in Economics with Honors from Trinity College, Hartford, CT, where he also co-captained the Squash Team (US inter-collegiate national champions).

Vrinda Bector

Strategic Philanthropy

Vrinda works in the Strategic Philanthropy team to create and deliver education programs for philanthropists, corporates and foundations. She has been involved in the designing, launch and ongoing delivery of one of Dasra’s premium offerings - the Philanthropy Education Program for donors in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Vrinda is interested in curating formal learning platforms which inspire a community of philanthropists to come together to make a catalytic impact.

She brings with her consulting experience, having previously worked with EY in the People Advisory Services team. She has graduated from Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.

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