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 abbas

    Abbas Dadla

    “Abbas is a curriculum designer and foot soldier at Avanti Learning Centres, an organization which combines technology and peer collaboration to reduce teacher dependency and...” [READ MORE]

    Abbas is a curriculum designer and foot soldier at Avanti Learning Centres, an organization which combines technology and peer collaboration to reduce teacher dependency and provide a world class education at affordable rates. Avanti currently works with over 600 low-income high school students across 8 cities in partnership with affordable school systems. He is from Mumbai and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Bombay

  • Close Drawer abhilasha

    Abhilasha Sinha

    “Abhilasha is a Regional Manager with Avanti Learning Centres, an organization which combines technology and peer collaboration to reduce teacher dependency  and provide a...” [READ MORE]

    Abhilasha is a Regional Manager with Avanti Learning Centres, an organization which combines technology and peer collaboration to reduce teacher dependency  and provide a world class education at affordable rates. Avanti currently works with over 600 low-income high school students across 8 cities in partnership with affordable school systems. Abhilasha manages Avanti’s operations in North India. Prior to this, she worked on curriculum development at Avanti. She is from New Delhi and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering  from IIT Delhi.

     

  • Close Drawer arushi

    Arushi Chowdhury Khanna

    “Arushi heads the Enterprise Support Program at AIACA (the All-India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association), which conducts market-based, value-chain interventions...” [READ MORE]

    Arushi heads the Enterprise Support Program at AIACA (the All-India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association), which conducts market-based, value-chain interventions to build sustainable artisan-based enterprises in rural India. Prior to AIACA, she has worked at the grassroots level with a broad spectrum of commercial, governmental and non-profit organisations in the craft sector. Arushi is from Mumbai, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, a certificate in Mathematics for Economic Application from IIT-Bombay and a Master’s Degree from the National Institute of Fashion Technology.

  • Close Drawer girdhari

    Girdhari Bora

    “Girdhari is an ICT Advisor at IntraHealth International, which works with governments, NGOs, and the private sector to empower health workers to better serve communities in...” [READ MORE]

    Girdhari is an ICT Advisor at IntraHealth International, which works with governments, NGOs, and the private sector to empower health workers to better serve communities in need. Girdhari developed mSakhi, an innovative mobile based learning and counseling tool for Community Health Workers and leads execution of the same in several villages in Uttar Pradesh. He is a native Himalayan and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Indore.

  • Close Drawer jyotirmoy

    Jyotirmoy Chatterji

    Jyotirmoy is the co-Founder of Project Chirag, a youth-led initiative to provide rural households with solar lighting. Through Project Chirag,...” [READ MORE]

    Jyotirmoy is the co-Founder of Project Chirag, a youth-led initiative to provide rural households with solar lighting. Through Project Chirag, Jyotirmoy has been instrumental in helping light up 10,000+ houses across 246 villages in 7 Indian states. Jyotirmoy also works with FirstRand Bank as a CSR Consultant apart from running a Social Impact Consulting Firm called Eminact which works with philanthropists on implementing high impact social interventions at scale. He is from Mumbai and holds a Master’s Degree in Management from H.R. College, Mumbai.

  • Close Drawer kirti

    Kirti Vardhana (In Memoriam 1982-2015)

    “Kirti is the Head of Consulting at LabourNet, which is a social enterprise that enables livelihoods for workers in the informal sector by providing access to training, employment...” [READ MORE]

    Kirti is the Head of Consulting at LabourNet, which is a social enterprise that enables livelihoods for workers in the informal sector by providing access to training, employment and financial inclusion. In his current role, he leads the development of LabourNet’s products and manages consulting projects within the vocational skills development domain. Kirti is from Bangalore and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning.

  • Close Drawer prerak

    Prerak Mehta

    “Prerak is the Senior Design Researcher at Embrace. He has been working with entrepreneurial as well as established ventures like Embrace,...” [READ MORE]

    Prerak is the Senior Design Researcher at Embrace. He has been working with entrepreneurial as well as established ventures like Embrace, Quetzal, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and Oracle. Prerak holds a Master’s Degree in Design from IIT Bombay, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Nirma University.

  • Close Drawer barigela

    Ram Barigela

    “Ram is the Senior Program Officer with Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN), a resource support organization involved in natural resource management...” [READ MORE]

    Ram is the Senior Program Officer with Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN), a resource support organization involved in natural resource management and livelihood promotion in rainfed areas of India. He focuses on working with shepherds and goat rearers in the Mahabubnagar district, one of the largest and most underdeveloped districts of Telangana, by promoting viable business models for economic development. He holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Osmania University.

  • Close Drawer sapna

    Sapna Surendran

    “Sapna  is a Technical Specialist with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). She is a part of their Tuberculosis Control team and supports the Mumbai Municipal Corporation...” [READ MORE]

    Sapna  is a Technical Specialist with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). She is a part of their Tuberculosis Control team and supports the Mumbai Municipal Corporation in the public-private partnership domain. Prior to this, she has been associated with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in various states. Sapna started her Public Health career in the NGO sector with a focus on health rights, community health and integrated development. She is a dental surgeon from the KLE’s Institute of Dental Sciences, Karnataka, has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Columbia University and is an Acumen India Fellow (2014).

  • Close Drawer vasumathi

    Vasumathi Kothuru

    “Vasumathi is the Vice President at Indian Grameen Services (IGS), BASIX, a micro-banking solutions company with a mission of incubating innovations for pro-poor sustainable...” [READ MORE]

    Vasumathi is the Vice President at Indian Grameen Services (IGS), BASIX, a micro-banking solutions company with a mission of incubating innovations for pro-poor sustainable livelihoods. Vasumathi has worked in livelihood promotion, micro-banking and agriculture extension services for the past 15 years. She is from Hyderabad, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture and is a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Banking (CAIIB).

  • Close Drawer abhijit

    Abhijeet Barse

    “Abhijeet is the CEO of SlumSoccer, an organization that runs football programs for the most disadvantaged members of Indian society. The decrease in harmful activities such...” [READ MORE]

    Abhijeet is the CEO of SlumSoccer, an organization that runs football programs for the most disadvantaged members of Indian society. The decrease in harmful activities such as violence and drug use and the improvement in the participants’ lives inspired SlumSoccer to expand its programs to over 15 cities. Previously, Abhijeet was a Lecturer in the Department of Zoology at Nagpur University. Abhijeet is from Nagpur and has a PhD in Inland Aquaculture from the Central Institute of Fisheries Education.

  • Close Drawer achyutha

    Achyutha Sharma

    “Achyutha leads Collaborative Community, a design consulting firm offering innovation driven design services across social sector and businesses driving impact. He has over...” [READ MORE]

    Achyutha leads Collaborative Community, a design consulting firm offering innovation driven design services across social sector and businesses driving impact. He has over 9 years of experience in branding, design, and retail across several companies. He also runs Poorna Kaksha which provides innovative design solutions for schools and learning environments in India from furniture design to architecture to integrating technology and experiential infrastructure that aids quality learning in schools. Achyutha holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the National Institute of Fashion Technology.

  • Close Drawer charu

    Charu Chadha

    “Charu is the Country Manager for CycleTel India, a mobile – enabled family planning tool developed by the Bio-Institute of Reproductive Heath at Georgetown University. Previously,...” [READ MORE]

    Charu is the Country Manager for CycleTel India, a mobile – enabled family planning tool developed by the Bio-Institute of Reproductive Heath at Georgetown University. Previously, Charu was a Shell Foundation Fellow where she worked with Dharma Life, a company that supports rural entrepreneurs. She also has significant experience working with state governments in India to formulate public policy. Charu is from Delhi, is a trained architect, and holds an MBA from the University of Oxford.

     

  • Close Drawer Ihitashri

    Ihitashri Shandilya

    “Ihita is the Founder & CEO of MITHILAsmita, a Folk Art Organization working to generate employment for the woman artisans in North Bihar through preserving and promoting...” [READ MORE]

    Ihita is the Founder & CEO of MITHILAsmita, a Folk Art Organization working to generate employment for the woman artisans in North Bihar through preserving and promoting centuries-old Madhubani (Mithila) Paintings of India. The hybrid model at MITHILAsmita has a For-Profit arm and a Non-Profit Arm to tackle different challenges of the traditional art ecosystem in India. Prior to starting her Social Enterprise, Ihitashri worked as an SAP Consultant for several years. She is originally from Madhubani, and is currently based out of Bangalore. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra.

  • Close Drawer Kaushik K Profile

    Kaushik K

    Kaushik works in Kheyti, an agricultural technology social enterprise started in partnership with Cosmos Green in 2015. Kaushik has worked in...” [READ MORE]

    Kaushik works in Kheyti, an agricultural technology social enterprise started in partnership with Cosmos Green in 2015. Kaushik has worked in the skill development and employability sector for more than five years. He joined B-ABLE, a BASIX Group vocational training company in 2009 as part of the start-up team. While at B-ABLE, Kaushik set up and managed the organisation’s first training centre and helped scale B-ABLE to 120 centres across 14 states as a part of the core leadership team till 2014.

  • Close Drawer manjushree

    Manjushree Patil

    “Manjushree is a seasoned education professional with more than 20 years of experience. She is the founder of Aatman Academy, a specialized instruction school that caters to...” [READ MORE]

    Manjushree is a seasoned education professional with more than 20 years of experience. She is the founder of Aatman Academy, a specialized instruction school that caters to the learning needs of students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. She is from Mumbai and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from the SNDT Women’s University along with a Master’s Degree in Teacher Education from IIP Lucknow.

  • Close Drawer prerit

    Prerit Rana

    “Prerit is the Co-founder and CEO at Agrasar, an organization committed to sustainable socioeconomic development of marginalized communities through systematically helping...” [READ MORE]

    Prerit is the Co-founder and CEO at Agrasar, an organization committed to sustainable socioeconomic development of marginalized communities through systematically helping them build capacities and realize their true potential through skills development. He is a social development professional with training and capacity building as key focus areas. He is from New Delhi and holds a Master’s Degree in Rural Management from IRMA.

  • Close Drawer ramakrishna

    Ramakrishna NK

    “Ram is the Founder and CEO of Rang De, a platform to support low-income entrepreneurs access low-cost capital for livelihoods, education and health. Prior to starting Rang...” [READ MORE]

    Ram is the Founder and CEO of Rang De, a platform to support low-income entrepreneurs access low-cost capital for livelihoods, education and health. Prior to starting Rang De, Ram has held various positions in the technology and software development fields. Ram is from Bangalore and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Production Engineering from Nagarjuna University. He is also an Ashoka Fellow.

  • Close Drawer sathya

    Sathya Raghu

    Sathya Raghu is the co-founder of Cosmos Green & Kheyti, Telangana-based social enterprises helping farmers grow better and sell better. Using unique “greenhouse in...” [READ MORE]

    Sathya Raghu is the co-founder of Cosmos Green & Kheyti, Telangana-based social enterprises helping farmers grow better and sell better. Using unique “greenhouse in a box” technology, Kheyti is enabling farmers to produce seven times more yield and 12 times more income. To date, they have impacted 1500 farmers with a vision of growing the monthly income of every farmer to equal their current yearly income. Kheyti is the winner of numerous global awards including the 2016 Wharton Start-up Competition People’s Choice Award and the 2016 Common Bond Award. Sathya is also a passionate teacher who has trained over 20,000 students across India in accounting. He is a 2016 Aspen New Voices Fellow and has contributed to The Huffington Post and Stanford Social Innovation Review.