India Fellows are Driving Real Change in their Own Communities.

Each year, the India Fellows Program brings together 20 emerging leaders from different regions, sectors, and socio-economic backgrounds in India.

About the India Fellows Program

Our Regional Fellows Program is a one-year leadership development program designed to build the next generation of social leaders with the audacity to transform society and create a better, more inclusive world.

The program equips 20 extraordinary individuals from across India with the knowledge, support system and practical wisdom to unlock their full potential and drive positive change in society. Over the course of a year, Fellows remain in their jobs while taking part in five week-long seminars, where they receive the tools, training and space to innovate new ideas, accelerate their impact, build a strong network of social leaders from across their region and around the world.

Whole cohort

Who Becomes a Regional Fellow

Unity in Diversity

Our Fellows are individuals who dare to do what’s right, not what’s easy, to create positive change in their country. Fellows can come from diverse cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds and work in any sector, and they must be committed to ending poverty in their community through their work. They are the individuals who are making a long-term play of systems-level changing impact and are seeking the leadership and moral imagination skills to make it happen.

The Fellows we seek are:

  • Founders, Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, Policy Makers, Movement Builders Innovators
  • Men and women of all ages and education levels who are able to participate in a program conducted in English.
  • Indians who have a demonstrated history of impact, commitment and concrete connection to the region.
  • Leaders with strong personal integrity, unrelenting perseverance and moral imagination.
  • Committed individuals ready to undergo an intensive year-long personal transformation and leadership journey followed by an induction into the larger Fellows Community.

Regional Fellows Training

Through our five in-person seminars and virtual content in-between seminars, twenty Fellows build and test new leadership skills within their cohort. This cohort-based learning model creates deep bonds of trust and fellowship, relationships that persist long beyond the first year and that Fellows utilize to create greater impact. Fellows equipped with the knowledge, support systems and skills to challenge the status quo, work across lines of difference and mobilize their communities. These fully-sponsored, one-year programs are designed to improve participants’ capacity to innovate and drive change while allowing them to remain in their full-time jobs.

Good Society

The Good Society Readings explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through a series of curated readings of great thinkers such as Plato, Amartya Sen and Nelson Mandela. Fellows reflect on core human values, seek common ground and cultivate a richer understanding of their social change work in a broader historical context.

Adaptive Leadership

Based off the work of Harvard Professor Ron Heifitz, Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. The content supports Fellows’ ability, both individually and collectively, to catalyze and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of change.

Systems Thinking

Fellows explore the concept of Systems Thinking through frameworks and on the ground application by working collaboratively on live challenges.Fellows are provided with frameworks to better understand larger, systemic problems and design more effective interventions.

Authentic Voice

Building off the work of Marshall Ganz, Fellows develop their capacity to articulate their story of self, us and now. Fellows are equipped to articulate a hopeful vision, speak across lines of difference, and move others to action.

Measuring Impact

Based on Acumen’s field-leading work in impact measurement, Lean Data, the Fellows deep dive into their own social change initiatives. Fellows map out their Theory of Change and identify action gaps which may hinder them achieving their organization’s desired outcomes and impact. The module provides tangible tools and different perspectives on how to  approach and measure the social impact of their work.

How to Apply

Applications are currently closed. Applications for the class of 2019 will open in the summer of 2018.

The Application Process

The online application consists of:

  • Background information
  • Resume/CV
  • Short & long answer questions

Application Instructions: For more guidance on how to answer the application questions, please click here

Frequently Asked Questions: For a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers, please click here.

 

The Selection Process

The selection process for this program is very rigorous and highly competitive. Here is a general timeline of the process:

  • Applications close: September 1, 2017
  • Telephone Interviews: September 2017
  • In-Person Selection Conference: November, 11th (Mumbai)

 

Our Corporate & Foundation Partners

Meet the Regional Fellows

  • Close Drawer Akshai-Abraham

    Akshai Abraham

    “Akshai is the Founder and Director of Project KHEL, a nonprofit in Lucknow that uses the power of play and sports to improve the educational and leadership development of...” [READ MORE]

    Akshai is the Founder and Director of Project KHEL, a nonprofit in Lucknow that uses the power of play and sports to improve the educational and leadership development of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. A management graduate and development professional with more than 10 years of experience, Akshai is dedicated to nurturing agents of change in the communities he works.

  • Close Drawer Dr.-Raja-Muzzafar-Bhat

    Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat

    “Muzaffar is Head of Operations for BASIX Social Enterprise Group, which promotes sustainable livelihoods for India’s rural poor through the provision of financial services...” [READ MORE]

    Muzaffar is Head of Operations for BASIX Social Enterprise Group, which promotes sustainable livelihoods for India’s rural poor through the provision of financial services and technical assistance. In addition to his work at BASIX in Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffar has spent the last 12 years organizing community meetings, campaigns and lectures in marginalized communities of Kashmir to raise awareness for the Right to Information Act to help citizens hold the government accountable.

  • Close Drawer Garima-Sahai

    Garima Sahai

    “Garima is Co-founder and CEO of Svadha, a social venture providing high-quality sanitation solutions to rural customers in Odisha through a network of “sanipreneurs.”...” [READ MORE]

    Garima is Co-founder and CEO of Svadha, a social venture providing high-quality sanitation solutions to rural customers in Odisha through a network of “sanipreneurs.” To date, Svadha has served more than 20,000 households and enhanced the livelihoods of 300 of its micro-entrepreneurs. Previously, Garima was a results measurement specialist at the World Bank. She holds a master’s degree in Development Economics from George Washington University.

  • Close Drawer Jyothi-Ravichandran

    Jyothi Ravichandran

    “Jyothi is the Co-founder of Sishu Vikas Trust, which fosters social and emotional skills among children, teachers and parents in low-income schools in Chennai. Since 2014,...” [READ MORE]

    Jyothi is the Co-founder of Sishu Vikas Trust, which fosters social and emotional skills among children, teachers and parents in low-income schools in Chennai. Since 2014, the trust has worked with nearly 600 students, training them on critical life skills and effectively reducing their emotional distress and disruptive behaviors. Jyothi is a 2016 Young India Fellow and holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Christ University in Bangalore.

  • Close Drawer Mainak-Roy

    Mainak Roy

    “Mainak is the Co-Founder and Director of Simple Education Foundation, a Delhi-based nonprofit that aims to strengthen India’s public education system by improving the quality...” [READ MORE]

    Mainak is the Co-Founder and Director of Simple Education Foundation, a Delhi-based nonprofit that aims to strengthen India’s public education system by improving the quality of teaching and learning. The foundation has impacted more than 50,000 teachers through its intensive training programs. Mainak holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from SRM University and is a Teach for India alumnus.

  • Close Drawer Mathangi-Swaminathan

    Mathangi Swaminathan

    “Mathangi co-directs Waste Ventures India, a Hyderabad-based social enterprise eliminating landfills through waste segregation, composting and recycling solutions. In the last...” [READ MORE]

    Mathangi co-directs Waste Ventures India, a Hyderabad-based social enterprise eliminating landfills through waste segregation, composting and recycling solutions. In the last 14 months, Waste Ventures has grown to service more than 18,000 households and 10 corporate campuses and built a zero-waste model village. Through these initiatives, the company has impacted more than 1000 ragpickers, who collect material from refuse to salvage, by providing them with access to markets, training and employment. Mathangi is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and holds an MBA from the Indian School of Business.

  • Close Drawer Nishi-Kant-Dixit

    Nishi Kant Dixit

    “Nishi is the Lead of Livelihoods at Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission, an organization providing financial security to rural women by helping them to build sustainable...” [READ MORE]

    Nishi is the Lead of Livelihoods at Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission, an organization providing financial security to rural women by helping them to build sustainable livelihoods. To date, the organization has created institutional platforms of more than one million low-income rural women. Over the last 14 years, Nishi has focused his efforts on providing access to markets and sustainable livelihoods for rural communities across India, including at previous roles with PRADAN and Reliance Foundation. He holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Jamia Millia Islamia.

  • Close Drawer Shantanu-Gotmare

    Shantanu Gotmare

    “Shantanu is an Indian Administrative Services Officer and Private Secretary to the Union Minister for Power, Coal, Mines and Renewable Energy for India. He assists the Minister...” [READ MORE]

    Shantanu is an Indian Administrative Services Officer and Private Secretary to the Union Minister for Power, Coal, Mines and Renewable Energy for India. He assists the Minister in routine coordination, policy formulation and scheme implementation while working provide round-the-clock energy access to every citizen of India through grid and off-grid solutions. Shantanu previously worked in Assam for the District Magistrate to Additional Secretary. He has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University.

  • Close Drawer Shiroi-Lili-Shaiza

    Shiroi Lili Shaiza

    “Shiroi is the Corporate Manager of Ganpati Stock Ltd., a finance company that promotes youth self-employment and entrepreneurship and stimulates job creation and economic...” [READ MORE]

    Shiroi is the Corporate Manager of Ganpati Stock Ltd., a finance company that promotes youth self-employment and entrepreneurship and stimulates job creation and economic growth by supporting micro-enterprises and providing entrepreneurs with access the formal credit market. Shiroi also serves as a board member of Ganpati’s parent organization, Entrepreneurs Associates, spearheading its financial inclusion and sustainable livelihoods programs. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and holds a management degree from Symbiosis University.

  • Close Drawer Sudhish-M

    Sudhish Kumar

    “Sudhish is the State Pedagogy Coordinator of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, an initiative that works to improve elementary education in Chhattisgrah. Sudhish develops capacity-building...” [READ MORE]

    Sudhish is the State Pedagogy Coordinator of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, an initiative that works to improve elementary education in Chhattisgrah. Sudhish develops capacity-building programs for teachers and leads the development of different initiatives and policies in education. Recently, he implemented a state initiative that will enable public representatives and senior officials to monitor and evaluate the quality of education in focus schools. Sudhish has more than 25 years of experience working in government schools in rural and tribal areas.

  • Close Drawer Yutika-Vora

    Yutika Vora

    “Yutika is Co-founder of Nagrika, a policy research organization that aims to cultivate a movement of local development where India’s small towns and cities can gain prominence....” [READ MORE]

    Yutika is Co-founder of Nagrika, a policy research organization that aims to cultivate a movement of local development where India’s small towns and cities can gain prominence. Nagrika provides innovative solutions for small-town India by conducting localized research, developing customized tools for data-based decision making, and building capacity. Previously Yutika worked as a consultant with the World Bank, assisting on projects to improve governance and social protection across Asia. Yutika holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Columbia University and the National University of Singapore and a bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Close Drawer Ankit-Agarwal

    Ankit Agarwal

    “Ankit is the Founder of Helpusgreen, a social enterprise that preserves the Ganges River by upcycling flower waste dumped into the river into patented lifestyle products....” [READ MORE]

    Ankit is the Founder of Helpusgreen, a social enterprise that preserves the Ganges River by upcycling flower waste dumped into the river into patented lifestyle products. In the process, Helpusgreen is creating jobs for rural women, who help transform the waste into organic fertilizer, incense and other products. An Asia 21 Fellow, Ankit has worked on sustainability projects across 26 countries and received mentions from India’s Prime Minister, Fortune and Forbes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Pune University and a master’s in Innovation Management from the Symbiosis Institute of Management.

  • Close Drawer Dr.-Sandeep-Napa

    Dr. Sandeep Napa

    “Sandeep leads product development at Universal Clinics, an initiative of The Institute for Transformative Technologies dedicated to solving issues of global technology by...” [READ MORE]

    Sandeep leads product development at Universal Clinics, an initiative of The Institute for Transformative Technologies dedicated to solving issues of global technology by scaling innovations. Through the use of electronic medical records, telemedicine and point-of-care diagnostics, Universal Clinics is building a scalable model for affordable, high-quality primary healthcare delivery in Kenya, India and Pakistan. A former Harvard Medical School Research Fellow, Sandeep trained at Gandhi Medical College.

  • Close Drawer Gayatri-Jolly

    Gayatri Jolly

    “Gayatri is the Founder of MasterG, a social enterprise dedicated to bringing dignity to India’s fashion industry. MasterG provides skills training, market access, and negotiating...” [READ MORE]

    Gayatri is the Founder of MasterG, a social enterprise dedicated to bringing dignity to India’s fashion industry. MasterG provides skills training, market access, and negotiating power to garment workers from marginalized communities across the value chain. Gayatri holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Babson College and an Associate’s degree in Fashion Design from Parsons.

  • Close Drawer Mahesh-Chandrasekar

    Mahesh Chandrasekar

    “Mahesh is the Director of Research and Advocacy at Dream a Dream, an organization that equips young people from vulnerable backgrounds with the skills to overcome adversity...” [READ MORE]

    Mahesh is the Director of Research and Advocacy at Dream a Dream, an organization that equips young people from vulnerable backgrounds with the skills to overcome adversity and flourish. The organization has impacted more than 25,000 young people through its after-school skills, career and teacher development programs. In addition, Mahesh has led domestic and global initiatives that promote the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in poverty and contributed to national and international policy amendments.

  • Close Drawer Manjot-Kaur

    Manjot Kaur

    “Manjot is the Executive Director of Mentor Me India, a Bombay-based nonpofit that builds one-to-one mentoring relationships to empower children from low-income communities...” [READ MORE]

    Manjot is the Executive Director of Mentor Me India, a Bombay-based nonpofit that builds one-to-one mentoring relationships to empower children from low-income communities to achieve their highest potential. The organization currently supports more than 300 mentoring partnerships across the city. Previously she worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative on Tuberculosis and HIV projects in India and Africa. A doctor, ex-naval officer, and public health professional, she holds an MBA in finance and strategy from the Indian School of Business.

  • Close Drawer Miguel-Queah

    Miguel Queah

    “An activist specializing in child protection, Miguel is the Founder of the Universal Team for Social Action and Help, a child rights agency based in Assam. Founded in 2012,...” [READ MORE]

    An activist specializing in child protection, Miguel is the Founder of the Universal Team for Social Action and Help, a child rights agency based in Assam. Founded in 2012, the nonprofit has developed a community-based child protection program and rescued more than 200 children from the slums of Guwahati from child labor. Miguel is the youngest member of the Kamrup Metropolitan Child Labor Task Force Committee and the Child Protection Committee of the Government of Assam. He holds a Bachelor’s of History from St. Stephen’s College.

  • Close Drawer Prabu-Guthi

    Prabu Guthi

    “Prabu is the Founder and CEO of Milky Way, a social enterprise improving the value chain for more than 400 dairy armers by providing them with tools, training, access to capital...” [READ MORE]

    Prabu is the Founder and CEO of Milky Way, a social enterprise improving the value chain for more than 400 dairy armers by providing them with tools, training, access to capital and markets, and infrastructure. Prabu has also worked across the social sector with Room to Read, Swades Foundation, Villagineer and Teach for India. He is an engineer by qualification.

  • Close Drawer Sharda-Gautam

    Sharda Gautam

    “Sharda is the Executive Director of The Handloom School, an initiative improving the livelihoods of handloom weavers from nine states across India. The school works with young...” [READ MORE]

    Sharda is the Executive Director of The Handloom School, an initiative improving the livelihoods of handloom weavers from nine states across India. The school works with young weavers to transform them from daily-wage laborers to entrepreneurs through its incubation programs. Sharda has spent the last seven years working in remote parts of India promoting the livelihoods of rural women and youth. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology-Surat and a master’s from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, where he received a gold medal for graduating at the top of his class.

  • Close Drawer Sonali-Mehta-Rao

    Sonali Mehta-Rao

    “Sonali is the Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Awaaz.De, a social enterprise providing last-mile mobile communication solutions to nonprofits, governments and businesses...” [READ MORE]

    Sonali is the Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Awaaz.De, a social enterprise providing last-mile mobile communication solutions to nonprofits, governments and businesses to enable social change in India’s underserved communities. Awaaz.De has helped clients deliver and collect critical information from nearly 700,000 unique users across 23 states in India and 12 countries globally. Sonali previously led India operations at Tala, a financial technology company providing credit scores to the underserved, and co-founded Mela Artisans, a social enterprise providing a global market for Indian artisans. Sonali holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from New York University.

  • Close Drawer Vaibhav-Lodha

    Vaibhav Lodha

    “Vaibhav is the Co-founder of ftcash, a social enterprise supported by PayPal that brings financial inclusion to India’s underserved micro-merchants through cashless payments...” [READ MORE]

    Vaibhav is the Co-founder of ftcash, a social enterprise supported by PayPal that brings financial inclusion to India’s underserved micro-merchants through cashless payments and loans. Previously, he was a Director at XPRIZE, leading the world’s first global prize targeting the problem of access to water. Vaibhav is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, an LGT Venture Philanthropy iCATs Fellow, and was awarded Apex Society’s Power 30 under 30. He is an engineer from the National Institute of Technology-Trichy and an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education Program.

  • Close Drawer Zubin-Manav

    Zubin Manav

    “Zubin is the Co-founder of Project Potential, an alternative university for Bihar’s rural youth that enables them to explore themselves and learn about their community’s...” [READ MORE]

    Zubin is the Co-founder of Project Potential, an alternative university for Bihar’s rural youth that enables them to explore themselves and learn about their community’s social and environmental issues. The program facilitates learning through workshops, internships and self-designed projects in place of standard content and curriculum. Project Potential is currently developing a campus based on completely sustainable principles like eco-architecture, alternative energy and zero waste.