#DaanUtsav Fellows get the opportunity to be mentored by some amazing people! Given below are some of the volunteers who will double up as Mentors for the 2017 Fellowships across India.
Bikrant Tiwari [Grow Trees, Mumbai Crowdfunding]
Bikrant Tiwary, an alumnus of IIM Calcutta has over 15 years of diverse experience in insurance, media and social sector. He has also pursued a Certificate Course from Harvard Business School and is a holder of Masters in Commerce from Ranchi University. Bikrant, a winner of Silicon Valley Fellowship organised by AFI has also been nominated by U.S. Consulate General Mumbai for their EcoHeroes campaign. In his free time, he enjoys photography, traveling and mentoring to the NGOs on developing social impact strategies.
Piyush Jain [Impact Guru, Mumbai Crowdfunding]
Piyush Jain is the Co-Founder and CEO of Impact Guru, a Harvard incubated online crowdfunding platform. Piyush, a Starting Bloc Fellow, has over 7 years of M&A, investment banking, management consulting, Silicon Valley, nonprofit, and public sector experience working with J.P.Morgan, Boston Consulting Group, Ernst & Young, SoFi.com, Instiglio, and Govt. of India-Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, while based in New York, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, and New Delhi. Piyush has an undergraduate degree from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Joseph Wharton Scholar and a graduate degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. At Harvard, he assisted Professor Thornburg in teaching a class on Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations. He has co-authored a paper at Harvard Business School on innovative ways to finance entrepreneurial and social ventures and did his graduate capstone exercise at Harvard on crowdfunding and CSR.
Rahul Aggarwal [Swatantra Talim Lucknow City]
Rahul is the co-founder of Swatantra Talim a non-profit working in the field of alternative education in the interior villages of Uttar Pradesh since July 2013. He has been instrumental in devising organization’s strategy, implementation and performance monitoring. The organization currently operates two after school learning centers catering to 150 not-so-privileged children in Lucknow and Sitapur district.The organization has also developed a lab-in-a-box which is a product for in-school children for grade 1 to 8 to ignite critical, creative and logical thinking.
Prior to this, he had worked as a Financial Analyst in Airtel, Aviva Life Insurance and PepsiCo for almost 10 years. He has worked as a teacher and a bursar in Sahyadri School (a boarding school of Jiddu Krishnamurthi Foundation) for a year to learn about Krishnamurthi philosophy on education. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor’s degree from SRCC, Delhi University.
Rahul Chovva [LetzChange Digital Communications Delhi]
Rahul Chovva is an IIT Kanpur alumnus and is the CEO of LetzChange.org. He is a thorough enthusiast and an ideal leader who binds the team at Letzchange together with his efficient leadership skills.
Rahul takes every challenge head on, and is regarded for his analytics and team management abilities.
LetzChange is a non-profit organization helping people raise money for vetted and verified Indian NGO projects online.
He will mentor the LetzChange DaanUtsav Digital Communications Fellow in Delhi.
Rajan Narayanan [Indiacares Bangalore City]
Rajan is a senior executive with over 30 years of professional experience. He is the promoter Director of SecondAvenue, an advisory and consulting company to encourage, mentor and nurture small and medium-sized companies, start-ups and first-generation entrepreneurs to scale their business to the next level. Second Avenue also provides consulting and high end training to large corporate and MNCs. Rajan is also a promoter of “PeopleEnglish” a company that has partnered with Cambridge University to offer assessment, training and certification in the area of Business English Communication for the workplace.
Prior to this was a Senior Vice President at MindTree Ltd and led the industry verticals of Retail, Media & Entertainment, Publishing Research & Information Services, Government, and Construction & Realty. Earlier, he was responsible for IBM technologies group, ERP group and the global relationship with IBM.
Before joining MindTree in 2005, Rajan was a founder-promoter of a software company in Bangalore, India, providing AS/400-related specialist services. As the COO and Vice Chairman, he was responsible for strategizing, lending technology direction to the company, deliveries and pre-sales activities. Earlier, Rajan was the CEO of a Chennai-based 100% EOU IT services company where he handled offshore projects as early as 1983.
Rajan is widely travelled and has vast exposure in working with and supporting customers in varied industry segments in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. He was extensively involved in leadership development and other internal training and enablement programs in all the companies that he was associated with.
Presently Rajan is active in the social sector as a Volunteer for the Daan Utsav (Joy of Giving Week) initiative, panel member with ‘Whiteboard’ an initiative to help NGOs with their operational issues, a Trustee with ‘Baale Mane’ a home for girls who don’t have parents able to care for them and President of India Cares a support organisation for the NGO sector.
Sashikanth Kaja [iVolunteer Hyderabad City]
A Hyderabad-based entrepreneur, Sashikanth Kaja is passionate about creating an environment that is safe for human beings and animals alike. His work as a volunteer for the Wild life Census in Forest Reserves across the country brought him close to endangered animals and when he spotted a plastic bag deep in the forest he decided that something must be done to reduce the risk to animals from plastic waste. That’s where the idea for ‘Rewheel’-an Eco-social enterprise dedicated to providing affordable alternatives to plastic bags was born. His experience with interning at successful start-ups before he ventured on his own came in handy for managing several aspects of the business. A bundle of energy dedicated to what he believes in, he is constantly bubbling with ideas for new ventures, be it with bags or food; the most recent one being ‘Samosa Cafe’-for those who like their samosas on the move!
Umesh Asher [iVolunteer Mumbai City]
Umesh graduated from NMIMS in 1984. He worked first at United Breweries as an Area Manager, and then in Bajaj Electricals as Brand Manager. In 1990, he setup a business offering sales services to various corporates, later expanding into retail. In 2004 setup a retail chain of 65 pan India stores, which he sold to the Future Group in 2009.
Umesh then started Retail Services in 2012 and a Vending Business in 2014.
Since 2012, he has been a volunteer of Daan Utsav (earlier called Joy of Giving Week) promoting the spirit of giving. Umesh will mentor the Mumbai City Fellow.
Venkat Krishnan N. [iVolunteer Mumbai Media & Communications]
Venkat graduated from IIM-A in 1993. He worked first at “The Times of India” in various corporate and brand management functions, and then helped set up Sony Entertainment Television in India as part of the core management team.
In 1996, he co-founded Eklavya School in Ahmedabad. The school used innovative pedagogical approaches to help children learn rather than be taught. In 2001, he co-founded Educational Initiatives Pvt. Ltd, a company that works on improving quality of school education in India.
Venkat set up GiveIndia in 2000, to deepen the “giving culture” in India by giving people opportunities to contribute to credible nonprofits. Since 2009, he, along with several others volunteers to evangelise DaanUtsav (earlier called Joy of Giving Week), a festival that aims to bring India together to celebrate giving.