Co-founder | Sattva Consulting
Aarti Mohan, co-founder of Sattva, currently serves as the head of research at Sattva. She has experience in fields like sustainability and social impact. Aarti is an alumnus of the IIM-Bangalore Management Program for Women Entrepreneurs (MPWE) and has contributed to publications like The Alternative, Women’s Web, Teacher Plus, Parent Circle and Deccan Chronicle. She is also the head and chief editor of thealternative.in, an online magazine on sustainable living and social impact.
Co-founder | Pravah & ComMutiny
Ashraf Patel is the co-founder of Pravah and ComMutiny. She was Pravah’s first CEO and has facilitated the creation of frameworks that have helped urban youngsters tackle social issues. Social inclusion and the field of lifelong learning are some of her interests. She is currently a member of the steering committee of the Commonwealth Youth Workers Association (CAYWA) as a representative of ComMutiny- The Youth Collective.
An Ashoka fellow, she is a post-graduate in Industrial Relationships Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur and was one among the finalists in Jubilant Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016.
Chetna Gala Sinha
Founder-Chairperson | Mann Deshi Foundation
Chetna Gala Sinha has been an active participant of people’s movements since the 1980s and she founded the Mann Deshi Foundation in 1996 for socially and economically empowering rural women. She is also the founder of India’s first bank for and by rural women- the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank. Chetna has helped drive policy changes for supporting low-income communities and frequently advises regulatory and banking institutions on financial inclusion.
She is a recipient of many prestigious awards like Forbes Social Entrepreneurship Award, Ashoka Changemakers Award and Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award. In 2018, Chetna was chosen to be the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum.
Co-founder | Spiti Ecosphere
Ishita Khanna is a co-founder of Spiti Ecosphere, a social enterprise working for the sustainable development of Spiti valley. An alumna of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), she was honoured at the Global Awards for Empowered Women in Tourism - Celebrating Her at ITB Berlin in 2017. Ishita is an Ashoka Fellow and was voted as an MTV Youth Icon in 2008. She also received the Real Heroes Award from CNN-IBN in 2010 for her initiatives which have helped generate sustainable income for women.
Dr. Lalitha Iyer
Managing Trustee | Plustrust
Dr. Lalitha Iyer, a founding trustee of Plustrust, is a consultant with special interest in institutional change facilitation in the social sector. She has formerly served as the Director of Bharatiya Samruddhi Financial Services Ltd, as a Board Member of Sathi (Bangalore) and is a professional member of the Indian Society for Applied Behavioral Sciences (ISABS). Dr. Iyer has been the external anchor for the Roopantaran initiative of Sir Ratan Tata Trust. She is the author of The Strategic Business Spiral and the co-author of many books and papers, including Rescuing Railway Children and The Learning Crucible.
Dr. Madhu Sharan
President | Hand in Hand India
Dr Madhu Sharan, President at Hand in Hand India, is a Sociologist and a Livelihoods and Gender Specialist with over 15 years of experience in promoting economic empowerment of women and inclusive growth of societies. She has worked at senior management levels and with Central and State Governments, civil society organisations, multilateral agencies and the world of academia for alleviating rural poverty and promoting inclusive growth of societies including monitoring and evaluation of projects for meaningful impact in the lives of people living at the bottom of the pyramid. Dr Sharan has worked with organisations like the Asian Development Bank, India Resident Mission and GIZ, New Delhi on projects related to financial inclusion, livelihoods promotion and women’s empowerment.
Founder & CEO | Start Up!
Manisha Gupta is the founder and CEO of Startup!, a social venture which acts as an angel investor, incubator and consultant to social entrepreneurs. Before joining the social entrepreneurship sector, she worked as a journalist. Manisha has previously worked with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public as the India Country Representative and International Director for the organisation’s youth programs. She is the co-author of two books, 1098- Childline Calling, and Opening Doors – Ten Years of Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships in India.
Founder | Youth4Jobs
Meera Shenoy, the founder of Youth4Jobs, has worked on skilling rural and tribal youth and young people with disabilities. She has worked with the World Bank for their poverty alleviation projects in Rajasthan, Orissa, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. She has also served as the Executive Director, Employment Generation and Marketing Mission (EGMM) which was the country’s first mission for rural and tribal youth.
Meera has been awarded the NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Award 2011, Fetzer Foundation USA Award in the "Business & Community Category"' for 2012-13, and FICCI-Flo Woman Achiever award for bringing change in society and impacting lives in 2018 among others.
Dr. Nalini Gangadharan
Founder-Chairperson | CAP Foundation
Dr. Nalini Gangadharan is the founder and Chairperson of CAP foundation. A gold medallist from Madras School of Social Work, India, she has over 30 years of experience as a development professional. She has worked with non-profit and government foundations for institute building, change management, eco-system development and resource mobilization.
Dr. Nalini has been a recipient of many awards like Pearl of Hyderabad, the Manava Seva Dharma Samavardhani National Award for excellence in social work and the Jijabai Women Achievers’ Award from Shivaji College, New Delhi.
Founder & CEO | Masoom
Nikita Ketkar, the founder and CEO of Masoom, had worked as a journalist, lecturer, and a social worker before she qualified for the Indian Civil Services. She worked in various administrative positions for over three years, after which she left the civil services to work on social projects. It was during one such project that she came across night schools, and the condition there prompted her to start Masoom with the aim of improving the conditions prevalent in such schools. Nikita is a firm believer in every child’s right to learn and aims to make that a reality for underprivileged children. She has been awarded the Savitribai Phule Fatima-Sheikh Award, the Mahila Pratibha Sanmaan, and Chakra for Excellence 2009 to name a few.
Founder Director | Action Center For Transformation (ACT)
Nilanjana Das is the Founder Director of “Action Center For Transformation” (ACT), which she started with the aim of contributing towards social development projects. She has over 13 years of experience in advising companies on CSR and a range of civil societies. A Postgraduate in Rural Management from Xavier Institute of Social Services, Ranchi, she has trained many civil societies and banks on development aspects. Nilanjana’s strengths lie in program development, project management, building capacities, building partnerships, networking, impact measurement and sustainability.
Founder, Managing Trustee | EnAble India
Shanti Raghavan is the Founder and Chief Enabler of EnAble India. She has over 16 years of rich grassroots experience in livelihoods of persons with disability and is a part of the governing council of Skill Council for Persons with Disability. An Electronics engineer with a Masters degree from the United States, she has worked with organisations like Bell Laboratories, AT&T, and GE. Shanti is an Ashoka Fellow and recently won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 along with Dipesh Sutariya.
Founder Director | Destiny Reflection
Smarita Sengupta is the Founder and Director of Destiny Reflection. A fellow of Global Women’s Leadership Network and Columbia University & Ford, she established Destiny Reflection to rehabilitate survivors of human trafficking. She is a recipient of the Leader of Impact Award from Global Women’s Leadership Network. She was also one among the Iconic Women of the Year Creating a Better World at Women Economic Forum, 2017 and was nominated for CNN & News18 Indian of the Year - Public Service in 2015.
President & CEO | Breakthrough
Sohini Bhattacharya, the President and CEO of Breakthrough, has over 30 years of experience in the social sector. A co-founder of Sanhita Gender Resource Centre, she has worked as the India strategy advisor for the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network. She has also worked with Ashoka Innovators for the Public to raise awareness about social entrepreneurs and with traditional craftspeople as program officer at Dastkar. Apart from this, she is a director on the board of Aakar Social Ventures, a trustee of Read India and an advisory for the India board of Power of Youth which is a Scotland-based organisation supporting entrepreneurs to change the world through business.
Founder | Protsahan India Foundation
Sonal Kapoor is the founder and director of Protsahan India Foundation. She is a member of the expert committee on anti-child trafficking (Delhi Commission of Women) and of CSO Coalition to End Child Marriage in India. Sonal often interacts with students across the world on the topic of social entrepreneurship.
A postgraduate from SIIB and Indian School of Business, she is a Goldman Sachs ISB Woman Social Entrepreneur, Vital Voices fellow, World Bank Fellow & Blogger, Australia India Youth Dialog Fellow, FICCI and CII Awardee.
Founder Director | Rangsutra
Sumita Ghose is the founder and Managing Director of Rangsutra which provides a platform for rural artisans to showcase their crafts and sell it to global customers. A Master’s in Economics from Mumbai University, she has worked extensively with rural communities for economic development and social change. Sumita is a Fulbright scholar, an Aspen India Fellow, a Synergos Global Fellow, and a recipient of MacArthur Fellowship for Leadership.
Dr. Urvashi Sahni
Founder & Academic Director | Study Hall Educational Foundation
Dr. Urvashi Sahni, the founding president and CEO of the Study Hall Educational Foundation, is a social entrepreneur, women’s rights activist and educationist. She is also the founder of Suraksha, DiDi’s and the Digital Study Hall. A PhD from the Graduate School of Education in UC Berkeley, Dr Sahni is an expert in school governance, teacher training and curriculum reform. She has been recognised by the Obama Foundation Global Girls Alliance and the Clinton Foundation as a Change Maker and is a recipient of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year award. She was invited to be an honorary member of the Clinton Global Initiative and was also a member of the sub-committee on school education of the Chief Minister's Advisory Council in Rajasthan (2013 - 18).