Paul Basil is the Founder and former CEO of Villgro Innovations Foundation and an Ashoka Fellow. Over the last decade, Paul and Villgro have incubated hundreds of innovative enterprises.
He is the co-founder & Partner of Menterra, an impact investment fund.
An Ashoka fellow, Paul, is also the founder of Impact Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation (IIEF), a US-based organisation that promotes the Villgro model in other countries in Africa and South East Asia.
Paul was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002 for his outstanding social entrepreneurship in setting up Villgro. He has also been conferred the Samaj Seva Bhushan Award and the Star Entrepreneur Award.
A mechanical engineer by training and post-graduate in forestry management, Paul lives in Chennai, India with his family.
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.
Shalini works in the area of innovation and change and runs a consulting firm Infinity OD, that focuses on developing innovation as a competence. In a career spanning about 25 years, she has worked with both Indian and global organizations specializing in organizational development and change. She has a PhD in Organizational Change from UCLA and a PGDM from IIM Ahmedabad. Before becoming an entrepreneur she was the Director HR at Deutsche Bank and CHRO at Escorts Agri-Machinery.
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 his journey with helping kick-off an internet-based company in 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 has a track record of successful development and commercialization of customized solutions in the domain of electro-mechanical engineering, particularly for ones that are price-sensitive and demand high reliability. He has founded a number of for-profit and not-for-profit entities such as Sunbeam group of schools, Vortex Engineering, Centroid Design, Fractal Foundation, Microspin Machine Works and Skillveri Training Solutions.
Dimple, a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of professional experience, was a founder staff member of Teach For India and spent nearly a decade there as CFO. She is also a founder partner of Tatha Partners, a firm that is passionate about creating and implementing sustainable and enduring systems for startups and social enterprises. Dimple is an independent consultant to many NGOs including ISLI, Atma etc. Prior to TFI, Dimple worked in the Travel and Logistics industry in organisations like Cleartrip.com, Kuoni Travel (Indi)Pvt. Ltd, FedEx etc.
Bharti Gupta Ramola was a partner at PwC during 1992-2017. She co-promoted the Basix group of Social Enterprises. She currently serves on the Boards of HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd, SRF Ltd and Feedback Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. She is also a part of the governing body of the Lady Shriram College and Advisory Council of Transform Rural India (a Tata Trust initiative).
Srinivas is an IIM Calcutta Alumnus. He is known for his ability to wear multiple hats at work, with nearly two decades of experience, he has dabbled in sales, marketing, brand management and strategy across retail finance, consumer goods, automotive, farm equipment and agri-input sectors.
At Villgro, he began his journey as an advisor to one of our incubatees- Flybird Innovations. Prior to this, at Mahindra & Mahindra, as an intrapreneur, he helped incubate business concepts across the auto and farm sectors. He is also the India Steering Committee Member at Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs.
Ananth leads Villgro's Climate Action practice. His career spans over two decades of technology development, product R&D and most recently, deployments of technology-driven social impact programs. Ananth was one of the chief architects responsible for the creation of the SELCO Foundation which looks into the use of renewable energy and sustainable technologies in the fields of education, agriculture and livelihood generation. Ananth has an Engineering degree from Bangalore University and was a fellow with Said Business School, University of Oxford.
Jenaan looks after Villgro's operations and also leads the organization's Diversity & Inclusion efforts. She has over a decade of experience in strengthening small to medium sized NGOs, CSR advisory, and women's health. She holds an M.A. in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK.
Jenaan is happiest when she is reading to her daughter, surrounded by stationery while drawing, or watching a game of cricket.
Shankha manages Villgro’s Climate Action investments and portfolio. Prior to this, he worked in the energy vertical of the Development Alternatives Group where he was responsible for project management and operations of the renewable energy projects. He has been involved in business development and market linkage for micro-enterprises operating in rural India. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from W.B.U.T and a Masters degree in Energy Management from I.I.S.W.B.M, Calcutta University.
Gowtham works as an Analyst with Villgro’s Climate Action practice. Prior to this, he worked with the founding team of Teach For India, Bengaluru as the Alumni Impact and Fundraising Associate. He was also a Teach for India Fellow at an Affordable Private School in Hyderabad and has also been with Infosys as a Systems Engineer. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore.
Pratim has almost six years of experience in the development sector in the energy access space. His key area of interest lies in the intersection of innovation energy & entrepreneurship. Prior to this, at SELCO Foundation, he was involved in R&D of decentralised renewable energy-based technology and business models for a variety of applications including livelihood. He is an Engineer and holds a Masters degree in Public Systems Management with Energy specialisation from Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management (IISWBM), Kolkata.
Azhar leads the Government Initiatives & Incubating Incubators program at Villgro. He is a development professional with experience in investing in 137 social startups and 486 micro-rural businesses. He is an Advisor and part of the Executive Committee in some of the Indian-based incubators. Previously he has worked with the Government of India & the UK Government in multiple development projects focussing on entrepreneurship & financial inclusion.
Anubha supports social entrepreneurs at Villgro in building gender-inclusive business strategies across their value chains. She is a development professional with prior experience in micro enterprises at Kudumbashree – National Resource Organization and has worked with 12 states across India to promote entrepreneurship amongst women’s community networks in rural areas. She also serves as a board member of Vitamin Angels, India. She holds a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and is an alumnus of Initiatives of change (IofC), Switzerland. She is an avid dancer, likes to paint and tries her hand at poetry in her free time.
Heera heads the Technology program at Villgro, she manages the IT portfolio, internal systems, products, websites and also enables process management. She has over a decade of experience in the IT industry having worked with Cognizant Technology Solutions and subsequently moving into the consulting space, working with start-ups helping them to manage their tech program, enabling them to focus on their core business areas effectively. Heera has a Masters degree in Computer Applications from Madras University.
At Villgro, Tanuja ensures incubatee success by monitoring and evaluating the impact of Villgro and its portfolio companies, as well as managing the Technical Assistance & Mentoring programmes. She has previously worked as a consultant data analyst in the UK, and prior to that worked on behavioural research with several social and legal research NGOs in Mumbai. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Mumbai University and an MSc in Social Cognition from University College London.
Maithili manages the Villgro Agribusiness portfolio and investments. She has 6 years of experience in the FMCG, heavy industry and social sectors. She has worked with Hindustan Unilever and the Essar group. Following her passion for the social impact space, she joined Saahas Zero Waste, a socio-environmental start-up. She holds a BA in Economics (Hons) from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.
Anusha manages the Health investments and portfolio at Villgro. She is a startup enthusiast with experience in Operations, Finance and Marketing. Previously she worked with Mumbai Angels Network where she handled their Growth Capital Investments; as a Program Manager with Cultiv8 she managed their Accelerator and Incubator cohorts. She dabbled with entrepreneurship for some time working on Financial Advisory.
Anusha holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science Engineering and Post Graduate in Business Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
She has previously worked with the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians, Ministry of External Affairs, and the UN Women, where her work involved communications and programme management. She has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Philosophy from the University of Delhi.
In her free time, Akshata enjoys listening to music as she takes on dessert experiments!
Prashanth has 6 years of experience in the NGO sector. He previously worked with Sense International India as a Manager - Finance and TB Alert India as Finance & Administration Officer.
In his free time he enjoys watching cricket and playing chess.
Malathy manages the accounts and admin related responsibilities at Villgro. She has two years of experience in Accounts and Finance (CBIGS Group Of Companies) and one year in Scout Business Service (ICICI Bank LTD). She holds an M.B.A degree in Finance from Madras University
Vignesh’s work involves managing the office’s requirements, logistics and implementing administrative tasks. He has more than 6 years of experience in HR & Admin. He holds an MBA from the University of Madras.
Rohit is a parallel entrepreneur, marketing professional, and academician. He launches a passion project every year and mentors’ start-ups with his entrepreneurial experience. His interests include reading and travelling.
A graduate with a Masters in Theoretical Computer Science from Anna University, Bala switched his career path pretty early from being a Software Engineer to becoming a Social Impact professional.
Before joining Villgro, Bala worked on forging high-value philanthropic partnerships for nonprofits such as Make a Difference, Amnesty International, The Akshaya Patra Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.
He is passionate about volunteering and continues to teach English to children at a shelter home in Bangalore during weekends. He loves reading non-fiction, travelling, baking, and participating in CrossFit challenges.
Kavya manages Startup programs at Villgro. She was among the first hires at Entrepreneur First, a global VC firm where she helped onboard and run the first founders cohort successfully. Previously, Kavya had been an entrepreneur herself, with an IoT based agri-tech startup, Smurf Space. She is a researcher turned entrepreneur, a PhD dropout and had high impact research stints at Yale School of Forestry, NCBS-TIFR and St. John's Medical College. Kavya studied sciences at Miranda House College, University of Delhi.
Samyukta is an Analyst at Villgro’s Health practice, where she helps with the Health investments and portfolio. She has previously explored internet and technology policy, urban policy, and environment research at the Centre for Internet & Society, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment.
She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics, Finance, and Media Studies from Ashoka University.
Rohang works with the Ecosystem Development team at Villgro. He has previously worked with the Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Ashoka University and interned with One Future Collective, Sanofi D.C. working at the intersections of Gender, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Social impact.
He is a Young India Fellow from Ashoka University with a P.G.D in Liberal Arts and holds an undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical sciences.
In his leisure time, he enjoys illustrating, singing, and reading.
Devansh has previously worked with a-IDEA NAARM where his primary responsibilities involved designing and managing Agri Udaan, a prominent Food, and Agribusiness Accelerator. He has also handled incubation programs, portfolio monitoring, seed-fund, and grant-in-aid processes for a-IDEA.
He has a PGDM-International Business from FORE School of Management and a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpur University.
He likes to spend his spare time cooking and experimenting with food fermenting techniques.
Krati works as a Consultant with the Climate Action Team at Villgro, managing portfolio for the Sustainable Building Material startups. Previously, she has worked with academic research, policy think tanks, and implementation organizations, like CARBSE CEPT University, CPR, and SELCO Foundation, trying to find answers on how to integrate energy-efficient technology solutions into last-mile implementation strategies for the development of marginalized communities. Krati is also an ex-fellow of the Urban Fellowship Program at IIHS.
Krati is a sustainability enthusiast, trying to find equilibrium between environment vs development challenges.