Our Fellows

Fellows will be a committed body of life-long practitioners of social and enlightened leadership whose collective professional lives, projects and impact is the core of the forum. The initial Fellows will be called Founding Fellows. Fellowship will be open to CSR Heads, Foundation Heads, Social Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Impact Investors, NGOs, and Government & Academicians. Fellows will be life-blood of the initiative since the core idea is to create a Social Leaders’ peer-group for collective good of the Fellows, their causes and our society. As a forum for personal growth and development, Aspire Circle will help Fellows think as much about strategic and impactful social programs as about heart and soul issues in social leadership. Our intent, subject to continuous approval of the Board of Governors, is that the fellowship without cost, liability or obligation to all Fellows.

There shall be 4 Socratic Dialogue based retreats with peers from CSR, Foundations, Social Entrepreneurship, NGOs, Government etc and fellows will just need to make it to the venues.

Enrolled Fellows Cohort 1

Amit Bhatia, Founder-Chairman, Aspire Human Capital Management
Amit Bhatia, an award-winning social entrepreneur is Founder & Chairman of Aspire, an Employability Education firm in India. Amit has 22 years of management experience and till 2007 served as CEO of WNS Knowledge Services, successfully listing WNS on NYSE with a $1 billion IPO. Prior to WNS, Amit was the Founding Country Manager for FreeMarkets, Inc. Most notably, Amit conceived, founded and led the McKinsey Knowledge Centre in India, the consulting firm’s global research centre. He has also held Business & Financial Analysis positions at American Express. Amit has a Bachelor’s degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce; Master’s Degree from Delhi School of Economics with a University Gold Medal; is a qualified Cost & Works Accountant.

Ajay Singh Mehta, President, Seva Mandir
Ajay joined Seva Mandir in 1985 and was its Chief Executive from 1990-1999. He then served as the Executive Director of the National Foundation for India for 10 years. He currently sits on a number of boards including the Rajasthan State Planning Board, where he heads a sub-committee dedicated to the voluntary sector. He was educated at Yale University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Seva Mandir operates in the southern part of Rajasthan. Its work area encompasses 626 villages and 56 Urban Settlements. The main areas of work include Natural Resource Development, Education, Health, Women’s social and economic empowerment, Youth Development, Village Institution Building and promoting Democratic Governance.

Anshu Gupta,Founder, Goonj
Anshu Gupta is Popularly known as the Clothing Man, has done his Mass communications twice and masters in Economics. Starting as a freelance journalist, Anshu left a corporate job in 1998 and founded GOONJ with a mission to make clothing a matter of concern and to bring it among the list of subjects for the development sector. A powerful and inspiring speaker, Anshu addresses many national and international forums to bring clothing on the development agenda and to motivate the youth to take action. An Ashoka & Schwab Fellow, he is a regular speaker in many parts of the world on innovation, leadership, village development, power of youths and social entrepreneurship

Aradhana Lal, VP, Sustainability Initiatives Lemon Tree Hotels
Aradhana Lal is Vice President – Sustainability Initiatives and National Sales Coach & Mentor. An MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, Aradhana has 21 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, Corporate Communications and Sustainability. She was earlier Vice President – Sales & Marketing at Lemon Tree Hotels. Aradhana was previously Sales & Operations Manager at Hindustan Lever Network (known as Aviance), the multi-level marketing business of Hindustan Unilever. Prior to that Aradhana was with the Taj Group of Hotels. Aradhana is a passionate movie buff, a theatre enthusiast and an amateur writer.

C Babu Joseph, CEO- Axis Bank Foundation
C. Babu Joseph is the Executive Trustee and CEO of Axis Bank Foundation. He is also a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. He started his career as an Assistant Professor in the Kerala Agricultural University and in 1979 joined State Bank of Travancore, as a Probationary Officer. In June 1995, he moved to UTI Bank (subsequently renamed as Axis Bank) and worked at their Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Basaweshwaranagar and Hyderabad branches. On his promotion as Senior Vice President, he was in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises and Agri Business at the corporate office. He was later made President of the Advances Department that handled Small and Medium Enterprises and Agri Business, Microfinance and the Rural Initiative of the Bank.

Dr. Girish K. Agrawal, Professor, IRMA
Dr. Girish K. Agrawal is associated with IRMA as faculty and Chair, Center for Rural Infrastructure and CSR. He earned his Ph.D from IIT Bombay and M.B.A and B.E. from DAVV Indore. He was earlier associated with IIM Indore and IIFM Bhopal in a teaching role. He has worked on several consulting assignments for various bodies of Government of India, Government of Gujrat and Rajasthan, Cooperative Dairy Federation, Edelgive Foundation, Access Development services etc. He recently organized a CSR roundtable in IRMA, to identify challenges in implementation of CSR amendments in Companies Act. He also held discussions and seminar with faculty in Michigan State University, USA in June 2014 on CSR issues.

Dr Bobby John , M D Aequitas Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
Dr. Bobby John stepped out of a career with the Indian Army to work among the rural poor in Maharashtra. He has subsequently worked as the Administrator for the NM Wadia Hospital in Pune. He founded and was Executive Director of Global Health Advocates India. Bobby has also worked as the Advocacy and Public Affairs lead for the India office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and as the HIV AIDS Coordinator for World Vision India. He is now the Managing Director of Aequitas Consulting Pvt. Ltd. He has served as a member on the developing country NGO board delegation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS , TB and Malaria, and also as the Chair of its Ethics Committee.

Dr. Shikha Nehru Sharma, Founder, Nutri-Health
Dr. Shikha Sharma is the Founder of Nutri-Health, a company in the business of disease prevention and health promotion. They have recently launched a Health App by the name YuWoW. Shikha earned her medical degree in 1992 from New Delhi. She has been recognized as one of India’s Young Achiever’s By India Today. She has been the National Health Chair for Young Indians, a subsidiary of the CII. She is an Aspen Fellow and writes a weekly column for Hindustan Times. She is frequently invited as a guest on various Television shows -like CNBC, NDTV, Zee TV , Etc . Shikha also runs a foundation called Divyashakti, working in the area of health and education of slum children.

Geeta Dutta Goel, Director Mission Investing, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Geeta Dutta Goel is Director Mission Investing for Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Prior to this role Geeta led the Foundation’s Microfinance/Family Economic Stability initiatives. The work spanned grants and investments to support microfinance start-ups in urban India; catalyze the growth and sustainability of the low-income housing market; enable access to water and sanitation services through credit linkages; and aid the objective measurement and management of social performance by micro finance institutions. In this role she was nominee Director on boards of Ujjivan Financial Services, Janalakshmi Financial Services, Swadhaar FinServe, Arohan Financial services, amongst others. Geeta previously spent more than 12 years with Corporate Finance Group of PriceWaterhouseCoopers in India. She an alumni of IIM (Ahmedabad) and Lady Shri Ram (Delhi).

Gita Dang, Founder Director, Talent Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.
Gita Dang is the Founder Director of TALENT ADVISORY SERVICES, a boutique executive search firm that focuses on working with leading MNC and Indian companies in a variety of ways to help them execute world-class talent management strategies. Her sector focus is Social Impact, Technology and Consumer.She is also the Founder of Bridge2Inclusion and works with corporates to build accessible solutions for Special Needs. She has co-authored “Special Steps for a Special Child” as well as SPARK Readers & Workbooks with Mrs Meena Cariappa. Ms. Dang holds a MA degree in Economics from JNU. She serves on the Board of TiE Delhi.

Jitendra Kalra, CEO, Dr. Reddy’s Foundation
Jitendra Kalra is CEO of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation (DRF), one of India’s largest social organizations pioneering the urban employment generation program. Prior to joining Dr. Reddy’s Foundation in June 2008, Jitendra served in United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for seven years. During this period he pioneen red the ‘cluster development’ approach in India. An accomplished international trainer on cluster development, he has also worked with the Commissioner of Industries (Govt. of AP), Department of Science & Technology and Development Commissioner (MSME), Govt. of India, as well as various financial/support institutions, NGOs and Chambers of Commerce. Jitendra has also served as a civil services officer for 10 years in the Indian Railway Accounts Service.

Meenakshi Batra, CEO, CAF
Meenakshi Batra is CEO of Charities Aid Foundation India. In the past, Meenakshi worked as Country Director for Save the Children in Afghanistan, Country Director for Child Fund International in India and Indonesia, and a similar role for War Child in Afghanistan. She has also worked with Oxfam, DFID (British Bilateral Aid), KRIBHCO Indo-British Rainfed Program and National Labor Institute (GOI) in different roles in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Meenakshi holds a Post Graduate degree in Child Development and Family Welfare. Meenakshi has undertaken advanced studies in the areas of Environment Education (Centre for Environment Education), Gender and Social Development (London School of Economics and Wye College UK) and Leadership Development.

Pankti Jog, Executive Secretary for Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel
Pankti Jog, is the Executive Secretary for Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MAGP) group. In 2006, MAGP launched the first legal RTI helpline in India, as a support system for citizens to raise awareness and provide help in filing RTI applications. Pankti was also a member of National Task force on RTI and has played key role in drafting guidelines on RTI for pro-active disclosure, now adopted by Dept of Personnel and Training, GOI. Pankti was also awarded “Saathiship” by AID. She has done master in Physics and post master research in Physical Oceanography in National Institute of Oceanography, Goa. She opted to work in Social field after the earthquake of 2001.

Pankaj Ballabh, Head- Sustainable Development, BP India Services Pvt. Ltd.
Pankaj Ballabh is Head- Sustainable Development, BP Exploration (Alpha). Pankaj has spent more than two decades working on social/development issues- – while the first decade was with NGOs working in Rajasthan, the second decade has been with large energy companies. In between these two stints he spent nearly two years working as a full time mom, which he believes was his most challenging assignment till date. He is a passionate believer in making the core of the business “responsible” and in the value of ‘positive impacts’.

Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY
Puja Marwaha is the CEO of CRY. Having qualified in Human Resource Management from XISS, Puja Marwaha made the transition from the corporate to the social sector early in her career. Having worked earlier with Citicorp Software, she joined CRY in 1994 to set up the organization’s Human Resources function. She is also a member of the National Human Rights Commission NGO panel. For the past 18 years, Puja has helped build an organizational framework for CRY that best captures the essence of justice and equity. Her work is focused on creation of an organizational character that attempts to foster a passion for children and a high degree of individual accountability to children.

Sridhar Iyer, National Director CSR, E&Y
Sridhar Iyer is the National Director – CSR for Ernst & Young India focussing on the 3 E’s i.e. Education, Environment and Entrepreneurship. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Sridhar was worked in various capacities with the last as the Chief Financial Officer of Ernst & Young India. Sridhar focusses on working back closely with partner organizations in applying business principles of cost optimization, scalability and replicability to the social sector and helping create low cost, scalable and sustainable models.

Ved Arya is the CEO of SRIJAN. He has a degree in Engineering from IIT Kanpur and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from IIM Ahmedabad . He began his career in the private sector as a management consultant (TCS). He was one of the few who built Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) along with others. In 1997, Ved left PRADAN and set up Self-Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action (SRIJAN), which is known as one of the leading rural livelihoods promotion organizations in the country today. Ved has been on several policy-making bodies including the Steering Committee on Rural Development of Planning Commission that developed the draft 12th Five Year Plan.

Venkatesh Malur, President, Sampark Foundation
Venkatesh Malur is the President at Sampark Foundation. At Sampark Foundation the focus is on leveraging expertise in “frugal innovation” to invest in large-scale transformation in the field of education, livelihoods and water and thus help create a million smiles. Prior to that heworked with UNICEF for nine years as an Education Specialist till early 2013.Venkatesh Malur has been closely associated with the policy formulation at the national level for the implementation of the Right to Free & Compulsory Education Act. He has been a member of several committees and taskforces constituted by the Government and Joint Review Missions for the Education for All Program. In addition to this Venkatesh has been instrumental in creating a RTE Forum- a platform of around 10000 NGOs from 12 states across the country. Venkatesh holds a Masters degree in International Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and in Economics from University of Mysore.