OUR TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

R.Ramaraj

R.Ramaraj is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in ventures in IT, cellular and Internet. His last venture was Sify, where he was the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.Sify was the first Indian Internet Company from India to list on NASDAQ National Market in the US (NASDAQ –SIFY).He was recognized as the ‘Evangelist of the Year’ at the India Internet World Convention in September2000 and was also voted the IT Person of the year 2000 and in 2001, in a CNET.com poll in India.

Harish Hande

Harish Hande is the co-founder and Chairman of SELCO Solar Light Pvt Ltd, a social enterprise established in 1995 that provides affordable renewable energy services to the poor and underserved households in rural India. He is the CEO of SELCO Foundation, an open source, not-for-profit platform creating solutions linking sustainable energy to poverty eradication.

Ashwin Mahalingam

Ashwin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT-Madras. Ashwin has been involved with entrepreneurship and social enterprises for over a decade now, starting with his experiences in helping start up an internet-based company in the Silicon Valley in the late 1990s. He is also on the board of the Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at IIT-Madras, and is a co-founder of Okapi Research and Advisory.

Kannan Lakshminarayan

Kannan has a track record of successful development and commercialisation of customized solutions in the domain of electro-mechanical engineering, particularly for contexts that are price-sensitive and demand high reliability. He has founded a number of for-profit and non-profit entities: Sunbeam group of schools, Vortex Engineering, Centroid Design, Fractal Foundation, Microspin Machine Works and Skillveri Training Solutions.

Mustafa Moochala

Mustafa facilitates programs in the areas of organizational development, human resources, learning and development and HR strategy and policy. His work experience includes stints with Ma Foi, Modi Xerox and Pradan (NGO). As the Founder & Director of Innobridge Consulting, he works with Corporates and NGOs in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility and Executive Coaching.

Suresh Subramanian

Over 28 years, Suresh has gained vast experience in auditing and accounting, having worked with several of the big 4 accounting firms in India in a variety of roles. He was instrumental in setting up Quatrro FPO Solutions with Raman Roy, a pioneer in the Indian BPO industry. He is currently a Senior Partner with the assurance practice of the Ernst & Young India member firm, SR Batliboi & Co.

THE TEAM

Chaarvi Badani

Executive Assistant – President (India)

Chaarvi Badani has done a post graduate programme in Liberal Arts from the Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University, where she co-founded a startup that aimed to provide vocational skills training to cobblers and provide them with sustainable livelihoods. During her graduation, she worked as a research assistant with the Observer Research Foundation in Chennai.

Paul Basil

Founder and CEO

Paul Basil founded Villgro in 2001 with the mission of incubating early-stage, innovative businesses and has since worked in discovering thousands of innovations and innovators, and incubated around 120 businesses. He also co-founded Villgro Innovation Marketing Pvt Ltd, a unique retail chain for innovative products targeting the rural poor. In 2016, he co-founded the Menterra Social Impact Fund.

Paul Belknap

Investment Manager – Health

Paul holds an MBA from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business during which time he was the President of the Net Impact chapter there. He worked for five years as a mechanical engineer designing capital equipment for the paper industry. Prior to Villgro, he spent five months working as an MBAs Without Borders Advisor to Villgro incubatee Sustaintech, during which time he helped the company with business development and internal information flow.

Chakravarthy AB

Senior Investment Manager

A.B.Chakravarthy has been a part of Villgro’s incubation team since 2009. He has worked on origination, investments and incubation of early-stage ventures in agriculture, energy, livelihoods, technology for impact and healthcare with a focus on the agriculture sector. With a background in farming, Chakravarthy has a B.Tech (Horticulture) from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and an M.Sc, (ICT for Agriculture and Rural Development) from DA-IICT.

Maya Chandrasekaran

Practice Leader, Education & Skills

Maya has 12 years of experience working across impact, technology and financial services. Most recently, she was at Babajob.com, where she worked across functions – product development, program management, fundraising, marketing and talent. Prior to that Maya was with Janalakshmi Financial Services. Her earlier experience encompasses M&A advisory and PE investing.

Maya has an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Grinnell College and an MS in Media Management from Syracuse University

Deepika Dravid

Head – Finance & Administration

Deepika is Head of Finance and Administration at Villgro. She is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and is currently a CFA level 3 candidate. Deepika has previously worked as senior financial analyst at Standard chartered Scope International.

PR Ganapathy

President (India), Villgro

PR Ganapathy is President (India) at Villgro, and has operational and strategic responsibility for all major programs that make Villgro’s vision a reality. Ganapathy also mentors several social enterprises in the Villgro portfolio, spending significant time helping entrepreneurs overcome their challenges and scale. Ganapathy previously co-founded a venture-funded startup in the US. In 2016, he co-founded the Menterra Social Impact Fund.

Aina Gaur

Investment Manager – Health

Aina is an investment manager in the healthcare sector with a focus on innovations in diagnostic devices and service delivery models. She also heads Villgro’s BIRAC Social Innovation Immersion Program. Aina joined Villgro as Head of Finance, before which she was a Villgro Fellow at Sustaintech. She has worked in Texas as a Public Auditor with Ernst & Young LLP where she mainly handled clients in the Oil & Gas industry. She has a Master’s degree in Public Accounting (Financial Reporting track) and is also a Certified Professional Accountant.

Heera Jayachandran

Consultant – Technology Program Management

Heera does freelance consulting for program and IT portfolio management, and manages Villgro’s technology aspects of the websites and internal systems. She has over a decade of work experience in the IT industry with Cogizant Technology Solutions, starting as a developer to eventually doing business management and consulting. Heera has a Master’s degree in Computer Applications from Madras University.

Mohan Loganathan

Senior Associate – Unconvention

Mohan handles ecosystem building activities for Unconvention events across India and the Unconvention Speaker Series in Chennai and Hyderabad, which aims to build and foster a vibrant community of social entrepreneurs. He previously worked in Berlin for Siemens Energy sector in the global footprint project team. He has a Master’s degree in Power Engineering with a specialisation in renewable energy from Technical University – Cottbus (Germany).

Sudhanshu Malani

Investment Associate

Sudhanshu works with education portfolio companies. He was a fellow with Teach for India in Pune where he taught Math and Science to grade 4 kids. He worked with TATA Motors and handled after-sales management of commercial vehicles. Sudhanshu has an MBA from University of Oxford and has done short-term assignments with Acumen, Pakistan, and a social finance intermediary called ClearlySo in London.

Jayakrishna Mallick

Accounts Manager

Jaykrishna works at Villgro as the Accounts Manager. He is a Chartered Account Inter and a Company Secretary Inter with six years of experience in Accounts, Finance and Auditing. He has a B.Com degree from Fakir Mohan University.

Ullas Marar

Head – Scouting and Inspiration

Ullas works to build and execute ecosystem activities for social entrepreneurs. He has 10 years of experience as a marketing communications professional. He has written copy for advertising agencies, managed account relationships for a content start-up, mentored a team of business writers and held marketing responsibilities for a globally reputed tech corporation. He has a PGD in Marketing Management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore.

Bhavana Mohan

Senior Associate – Development

Bhavana handles Development and Donor Relations at Villgro. She has four years of sales and marketing experience from ITC Hotels (Starwood Hotels and Resorts), India where her main responsibilities included business development, sales, key account management, marketing and revenue management. Bhavana has an MBA with a specialization in Marketing from S P Jain School of Global Management, Singapore/Dubai.

Murugan.M

Office Assistant

Murugan is Office Assistant at Villgro. His works involves managing the office’s requirements, logistics and implementing administrative tasks.

Bhavana Rajendran

Incubation Support Manager

Bhavana has over seven years of experience working with some of the major development organizations, think tanks and human rights organizations in the UK and India. With a Bachelors degree in Sociology and Post-graduate degree in Gender Studies, she specializes in designing methodology and monitoring and research tools, capacity building and developing content.

Kavita Rajagopalan

Investment Manager – Education

Kavita has over 10 years of experience in the education sector in India. She has worked with urban and rural schools catering to students from low-income communities, assisting them with teacher recruitment, training and professional development. Kavita worked with Teach For India where she was responsible for the induction, pre-service and in-service training and support of Fellows. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Shanthakumar Rilliya

Administration executive

Rilliya has worked as a Telesales Associate and as an Administration Executive before joining Villgro. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Bharathiar University, and has also completed a one-year diploma course in air-hostess and hospitality training.

Siddhartha Roy

Investment Associate – Agriculture

Siddhartha works with the agriculture portfolio companies at Villgro. He has worked with D’essence Consulting, a boutique management consulting firm in Mumbai where he worked very closely with start-up companies on creation of business plans, valuation, fund raising and business strategy formulation. He has also worked with the Bank of New York-Mellon in the Asset Management operations division. Siddhartha has done a PGMP in Finance from IBS Mumbai

Aditi Seshadri

Head – Marketing and Communications

Aditi has over a decade of experience in mass media and communications, developing strategy, executing multi-media communications, managing various stakeholders, and writing and editing content. She has been a print journalist with publications like India Today and DNA and before working in the non-profit sector. She has done her post-graduate studies in Social Communications Media at Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, and a post-graduate certificate course in Women’s Studies.

Mukesh Sharma

Investment Advisor

Mukesh is Investment Advisor to Villgro and Co-Founder and Managing Director of Menterra Social Impact Fund. He has over 10 years of experience in impact investing, private equity and investment banking space. Mukesh is also a non-executive director on the board of Biosense Technologies, a company that produces low-cost, non-invasive diagnostic solutions for the developing world. He is a Chartered Accountant and has passed all three levels of CFA from CFA Institute, USA.

Mariella Belli Yaringano

Senior Associate, Villgro Replication

Mariella has worked in finance with companies such as Deloitte, Citigroup, and PwC in Washington DC, Miami and NYC. She oversees Villgro’s Replication efforts outside and inside of India. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Maryland College Park, and she holds a certificate on Social Enterprise Management & Impact Investing from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

OUR MENTORS

Chand Das

Chand Das is an executive coach and an angel investor. He previously served as the CEO of Education & Stationery Products at ITC. With over 35 years of professional experience in building and running scaled B2B and B2C businesses in India, he continues to be passionate about angel investing & mentoring executives, business professionals and entrepreneurs with the aim of helping them succeed.

Sunder Rajan

Sunder Rajan’s 30 years of experience spans multiple geographies and industries, including several years as Chief Executive and ProfitCentre Head of businesses. He was the CEO of Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd, a publicly listed company manufacturing automotive components for all the major passenger vehicle makers. He is currently advising three companies in India and New Zealand on their overall business strategy and operational excellence.

Ananth Aravamudan

Ananth is an engineer who passionately believes that technology can stimulate social change. His career spans more than 20 years of technology development, product R&D and more recently, deployments of technology-driven social impact programs. He was responsible for the creation of Selco Foundation which looked into the use of renewable energy and sustainable technologies in the fields of education, agriculture and livelihood generation.

Dr Gita Arjun

Dr Gita Arjun is the Director of Chennai’s EV Kalyani Medical Foundation and a trustee at the Jeevan Public Stem Cell Bank. She retired in 2013 after 32 years as the Director and Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the EV Kalyani Medical Centre a 67-year-old institution dedicated to women’s health. She is the author of the best-selling Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy, first published in 2009.

KL Mukesh

KL Mukesh was the founder of Akeso Healthcare, a company recently acquired by Apollo Hospitals Group. Prior to that, he spent 17 years in the direct-to-home TV business where he specialized in managing large-scale operations and help turn around bankrupt businesses. In 2011 he was named one of the top 10 CIO’s in India and has been featured on the cover of CTO Forum.

Arun Venkatesan

Arun is passionate about product development with a focus on user experience, social impact, cost innovation and extreme affordability. He has spent a couple of decades in the US, in research as well as technical leadership in varied fields like microporous polymers, fuel-cell materials and design, physiological sensors materials before converging on designing innovative, affordable and sustainable products. He is now Chief Technology Officer at Villgro.

Rama Kannan

Rama has over two decades of work experience in strategy and marketing in both the corporate and development sectors in India and the Asia Pacific region. She is a Director on the board of Beyond Capital Fund, which invests in social enterprises. She has been a mentor on the UNITAR Fellowship for Afghan civil servants to build capacity and governance in Afghanistan.

Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed

Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed is the Director and COO at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), a Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of India initiative, in Bangalore, India. He received his PhD from Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany, followed by postdoctoral training at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is actively involved for promoting innovation in life science.

Paul Basil

Paul Basil founded Villgro in 2001 with the mission of incubating early-stage, innovative businesses and has since worked in discovering thousands of innovations and innovators, and incubated around 120 businesses. He also co-founded Villgro Innovation Marketing Pvt Ltd, a unique retail chain for innovative products targeting the rural poor. In 2016, he co-founded the Menterra Social Impact Fund.

PR Ganapathy

PR Ganapathy is President (India) at Villgro, and has operational and strategic responsibility for all major programs that make Villgro’s vision a reality. Ganapathy also mentors several social enterprises in the Villgro portfolio, spending significant time helping entrepreneurs overcome their challenges and scale. Ganapathy previously co-founded a venture-funded startup in the US. In 2016, he co-founded the Menterra Social Impact Fund.