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Fellows in Action

Fellows in Action

Vol 3, Issue 1, 2018

Fellows in Action

Vol 2, Issue 2, 2017

Araku in Paris - major milestone in Manoj Kumar's leadership venture

Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation, fellow of the Second Wave leadership class and a trained Aspen moderator, had undertaken an Ananta Aspen leadership venture in the Araku valley. The primary objective was to improve the livelihood of over 100,000 Adivasis in the region by creating a “social venture” and niche business of fine quality organic coffee while undertaking sustainable development in the area. The efforts made by Naandi included introduction of organic and bio-dynamic practices for coffee cultivation, encouraging alternate income-yielding shade crops, training of farmers, processing and marketing support.

We are proud to announce that Araku coffee venture has reached its next milestone and is formally inaugurating the Araku Coffee flagship store in Paris on February 23rd 2017 (Inauguration invitation Araku Feb 23rd).Their vision is to build ‘Araku’ into a world class Indian brand that reflects the core values of a social enterprise by being ecologically sustainable, focusing on supporting small producers and adding value to create the ultimate experience for global consumers.

The Times of India coverage: Araku coffee to debut in Paris market this week.

Mukti Datta & Mandakini Women Weavers | 2016 McNulty Prize Laureate

Ananta Aspen Centre is delighted to share that Mukti Datta, a fellow of the Inaugural Class of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship (formerly known as the India Leadership Initiative) is a finalist for the McNulty Prize for her community venture on the Mandakini Women Weavers.

In the wake of massive floods in 2013, Mukti Datta applied her vast experience improving rural economic situations by replicating the Panchachuli Women Weavers model she pioneered. Mandakini provides women with sustainable livelihoods linked to global markets, the success of which has catalyzed the creation of a new hub for handlooms to scale opportunities for women weavers across India's Himalayan region.

"Conviction, courage, bravery and perseverance are the qualities a person needs in order to mobilize an entire region and to show its inhabitants how economic self-sufficiency and self-esteem can change a person's life." -Mukti Datta

Watch the video: Mukti Datta & Mandakini Women Weavers | 2016 McNulty Prize Laureate

Fellows in Action

Vol 1, Issue 1, 2016

KBF 5–Famous V Fellow Anant Maheshwari has joined Microsoft as President on 1st September 2016 and taken over operations of the company from Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik with effect from January 1, 2017. He is responsible for Microsoft’s product,service,and support offerings across India. Maheshwari joins Microsoft from Honeywell where he was the India President. He has held various business leadership roles at Honeywell for over 12 year

Manoj Kumar KBF -2 fellow and his Araku Valley project

We wanted to share an article on Manoj Kumar, KBF -2 fellow, CEO of Naandi Foundation and the tremendous impact of his work in the Araku Valley. Manoj is a trained Moderator for Ananta Aspen Centre. The Araku valley work is also an extension of Manoj’s KBF project which secured a place as a finalist during the McNulty Prize award in 2013.

Heady Mix of Coffee and Cash

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We are delighted to share that KBF 3 fellow Shaffi Mather’s new venture MUrgency has won the Startup of the Year award at Startup Grind held in Silicon Valley.

There were 1100+Applicants, 50 Finalists, 20 Quick Fire Pitches, 5 Final Startup Court Pitches and 1 Winner–MUrgency !
Warmest congratulations to Shaffi and his team !

March 10, 2016: MUrgency has been chosen as the Startup of the Year 2016 at the prestigious Startup Grind 2016 Conference in Redwood City in Silicon. Valley, USA. MUrgency was selected from amongst 1,100 startups that applied from 200 cities around the world. As winner, Startup Grind will work with MUrgency to plug into the Startup Grind network across the world.

Brain child of Indian social entrepreneur, Shaffi Mather, MUrgency is a mobile app which connects people who need emergency response in real time saving precious lives and time. MUrgency recently started operations in Punjab with initial focus in Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula.

The Startup Grind 2016 Programme will provide mentorship, connect to partners, pursue funding and help MUrgency reach new users. Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, Startup Grind is a global startup community aggressively educating, inspiring and connecting entrepreneurs.

"The experience we have gained following the discussions from leaders in Silicon Valley has been our greatest take away from the Startup Grind program. In a few days, we have been approached by several partners and potential funders who want to work with us, expand our reach and build MUrgency as the leading emergency response brand across the world," said Shaffi Mather, founder and CEO of MUrgency.

"Of the 1,100 startups that applied, 50 were selected. These startups have great teams, traction, technology and massive markets,” says Derek Andersen, founder & CEO of Startup Grind. “Our biggest goal is for each startup to go back home with a new and improved game plan that would not have happened without the help of the program and the mentors / resources that were made available to them."

About MUrgency – One Global Emergency Response Network

MUrgency was launched in 2015 with membership in Business Call to Action at the United Nations Development Program, in academic partnership with Stanford ChangeLabs, Harvard Asia Center and MIT Global Health, and as an initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Forum of Young Global Leaders Community. With one tap on the app, the nearest Doctor, Nurse or Paramedic comes to the rescue of a patient, within minutes. The emergency feature of the app has been launched in Feb,2016, in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali.

New book co authored by Arunabha Ghosh KBF 4 fellow on Human Development and Global Institutions

KBF fellow Arunabha Ghosh’s latest book (co-authored with Richard Ponzio), Human Development and Global Institutions: Evolution, impact, reform (Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2016) was published in March 2016. A quarter century after the Human Development Report was first published, this book discusses the foundational ideas associated with human development, examines the concept's evolution and discusses how it has embedded into international policy frameworks and global institutions. It also details new risks and threats that human development faces, with specific emphasis on trade, water, energy, environment, democracy, human rights and peacebuilding. A forward-looking agenda for the future of global governance is outlined for the ‪Sustainable Development Goals, ‪‎energy transitions, ‪‎resource scarcity, and expansion of democratic governance within and between nations.

We are happy to share that Srikumar Misra, KBF-4 fellow and Founder MD and CEO Milk Mantra has been featured in the Fortune #40under40 list of leaders defining the new economy.

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Warmest Congratulations to actor Kunal Kapoor, KBF-5 fellow who is also Co founder crowdfunding platform Ketto

Crowdfunding platform Ketto wins $30,000 top prize in Wharton India Startup Competition

Ketto, Asia's largest crowdfunding platform, won the Wharton India Startup Competition and took home $30,000 as prize money. In addition to the cash prize and 150 hrs of legal advice from Khaitan and Co., Ketto will get an opportunity to present and pitch to a significantly larger international audience in Philadelphia, USA planned for March 25, 2016.

Zaheer Adenwala, Co-Founder, Ketto and Rajiv Sobhani, Vice President, take home $30,000Ketto, which stands for Key To Tomorrow, was founded in 2012 by Varun Sheth, Kunal Kapoor and Zaheer Adenwala. It helps non-profit organizations to raise funds for supported and listed causes by connecting them to companies and individuals.

"With this award, we hope to get a marketing push," said Kunal Kapoor, Co-Founder. Added an excited and beaming Zaheer Adenwala, Co-Founder, "It feels gratifying to win the grand prize award. We look forward to going to Philadelphia which will give us a great platform to reach out to investors in America."

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Eight women achievers turn angels

Sejal Shah Gulati, Fellow of the current class of KBF-5 is one of the eight high profile women of Indian Inc who have come together to establish an angel fund to support women-led startups.

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KBF-4 Fellow Ajeet Bajaj receives the National Tourism Award 2015 from the President of India.

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KBF 3 Fellow Shaffi Mather’s initiative MUrgency - One Global Emergency Response Network was featured in INDIA TODAY Independence Day Special.

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KBF -2 fellow Roopa Purushothaman’s Leadership project scales greater heights.
Avasara Academy now open

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Zeena Johar, current fellow of KBF -5 class of Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship was selected as Yale World Fellow 2015

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Forbes India in their article “Minds that (should) Matter” have listed Chhavi Rajawat KBF-4 amongst the Top Indian Thinkers of India who best explain a rapidly changing India to the world.

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KBF -2 fellow and Aspen trained Moderator Manoj Kumar’s Action Pledge in the latest Newsletter for the Aspen Institute.

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Charu Sinha of KBF-4 ,CID, IGP Telangana has spearheaded a state wide campaign against child abuse with 300 police officers and counsellors leading awareness campaign in about 3000 schools.

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KBF Fellow and Trustees In the News as India's 33 Recognized Philanthropists

Trustee Vivek Pandit (Fellow of KBF-2) and Trustee Anu Aga have been recognized amongst India's 33 recognized Philanthropists.

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Outlook Business, September 2014 carries a story on Hasina Kharbhih's Impulse Social Enterprises, as one of the 15 Good Businesses in India. Impulse Social Enterprises started as Hasina's KBF-3 project and scaled up considerably.

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Radhika Shapoorjee, President, India and South Asia of IPAN Hill Knowlton Strategies and a fellow of KBF-3 has been selected as Jury for PR Lions at Cannes in June 2014.
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KBF-3 fellow Hasina Kharbhih's Impulse Social Enterprises wins CNBC Awaaz - Masterpreneur India Award

KBF-3 fellow, Hasina Kharbhih's KBF project – Impulse Social Enterprises (ISE) has won India's first CNBC Awaaz - Masterpreneur India Award. It was judged the best business model for driving social impact.

Masterpreneur is a Reality Show with an endeavour to take the small and medium enterprises growth story a step ahead. Season 1 saw 12 entrepreneurs from 4 regions compete in semi-finals of the reality show with the top 5 competing in the final round. Hasina Kharbhih's ISE was the winner of the first season of this Reality Show.
CNBC Documentary Story on Impulse Social Enterprises
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KBF-1 fellow Govindraj Ethiraj's Indiaspend wins 2nd Place At BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Awards 2014

KBF-1 fellow and moderator Govindraj Ethiraj is in the news. IndiaSpend founded by Govind has won second place at the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Awards 2014.

IndiaSpend is said to be the country's first data journalism initiative which utilizes open data to analyze a range of issues with the broader objective of fostering better governance, transparency and accountability in the Indian government. It was founded in late 2011 by Govindraj Ethiraj, a television and print journalist and former Founder Editor-in-Chief of Bloomberg TV India.

To quote the jury which also comprised Stefan Quandt (of the Herbert Quandt family that is the principal shareholder of BMW) & Dr Michael Schaefer, diplomat & former German Ambassador to China:

"The jury has been impressed by the quality and creativity of the project and your personal commitment that went into its development and promotion.
In addition to providing financial support, we look forward to the cooperation in the future by connecting you to our Responsible Leaders Network and other events of the BMW Foundation. "

Roopa Purushothaman's KBF-2 project is Avasara Leadership Institute

Hidden in a tiny bylane of Dharavi is a bright blue room, where over 20 children are reading everything from Disney comics to science fiction. The small room, with wooden shelves on both walls, is the Friends library. The best part? It's run by eight class IX students. The girls, from the Guru Nanak High School and Kamarajar Memorial High School in Dharavi, started the library in February.

The library has now over 350 books, which children can borrow at a refundable deposit of Rs20. "Children in the area never got a chance to read as there was no library in the area," said Menaga Nadar, one of the founders.

The idea of a library struck them at the Avasara Leadership Fellows programme, an intensive after-school enrichment programme for adolescent girls from urban slums. It was here that they first read books beyond their texts.

However, turning the idea into a reality wasn't an easy task. "We started off with a plan. Initially, we wanted to run it for around six months. We realised we would need Rs60,000," said Sweety Pavithra, one of the eight founders.

Hope came from the Avarasa programme. "We approached a teacher from the US, who was at the programme, to host a Kickstarter page for us."

Kickstarter is an online funding platform for creative projects, which allows people to present an idea to raise funds. Also, the project requires an American citizen to be part of the idea.

"The girls soon started creating content for raising funds and also made a video explaining their concept. In three days, the project received $4,795, almost five times the requirement. The next step was to find the perfect space.

"Joba's (one of the girls from the group) parents offered us the first floor of their house for a rent of Rs4,000," said Mansi Singh. The girls took over the place with a bucket of paint and brushes to add colour to their dream.

"It's so great to see these girls work on their own. From planning, execution and problem solving, they have managed all by themselves," said Roopa Purushothaman, founder of Avasara Leadership Institute.

With more funds at their disposal, the girls are now planning to train a younger batch to run the library as they move to class X.
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KBF-4 fellow Srikumar Misra's Milk Mantra venture has become a case study at Stanford University.

Milk Mantra, founded by Srikumar Misra is India's first agri-foods business to be VC funded and it fund raising has been a unique and complex process involving angel investors, VC investors and debt funding.

The 3 part case study - "VC Decision Making in India - Aavishkaar and Milk Mantra", covers the evolution of the venture capital industry in alternative sectors in India and focuses on the pioneering work of Aavishkaar (a lead VC investor in Milk Mantra's series A funding) in evolving the eco-system, and Sri and Milk Mantra's fund raising journey spanning Series A and B.

The case was launched in Nov 2013 at Stanford's Graduate School of Business and was joined by Sri on line for the students to interact with directly. For copyright reasons the full text of the case cannot be circulated, however, it will soon be available via Harvard Business Publishing.

More lethal greenhouse gas

25 October 2013
By Times of India

India must discuss phasing down hydrofluorocarbons which endanger the planet.
In September, Prime Minister Manmohan Singhand President Barack Obama agreed to discuss how hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are hundreds to thousands of times more potent global warming compounds than carbon dioxide, could be phased down. They agreed, bilaterally and at the G20 summit, to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol and report emissions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
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Skills strung together

Artisans from remote corners of the country are also shareholders of a company that promotes their traditional crafts in urban markets
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Women at Work: The Village Head

There have been quite a few woman sarpanches — elected heads villages — in India. But, arguably there have been few like Chhavi Rajawat, the current sarpanch of Soda village in Rajasthan, who left a corporate job to help her ancestral village develop. Ms. Rajawat, who has a management degree, quit her post at Airtel, one of the country's biggest telecom providers, to bring safe water, power, toilets and education to the village in the western Indian state where she spent part of her childhood.
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Manoj Kumar's KBF project Araku is one of the finalists for 2013 McNulty Prize.

The Aspen Institute and Institute Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty announced the sixth annual John P. McNulty Prize finalists, a group of four extraordinary leaders who bring the spirit of innovation and excellence that characterized their success in the private sector to bear on some of the most intractable issues of our time.
From making financial services more available to underserved inner-city small businesses and rural communities, to improving the economic conditions of Indian farmers, to pioneering new methods of recycling plastic from the ocean, the 2013 Finalists are making a significant impact on their communities and across the globe.
"The remarkable accomplishments of these individuals and their organizations is a call to action to individuals across the private sector to step up, to bring their leadership abilities, their business acumen and resources to tackle the most difficult problems our world is facing" said Anne Welsh McNulty.
The John P. McNulty Prize of $100,000 is given annually to honor the visionary work of a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network of the Aspen Institute; each of the finalists receives $10,000. An international panel of judges including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, African diplomat Olara Otunnu, Indian parliamentarian and diplomat Shashi Tharoor, and international development expert, Brizio Biondi-Morra, will select this year's winner. The winner will be announced November 6, 2013 in New York City
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Conversation with Peter Reiling: past winners of McNulty prize including Amit Bhatia of KBF-1

Previous winners of the $100,000 McNulty Prize included Amit Bhatia (Aspire India – 2012), Dele Olojede (NEXT ­ 2011), John Danner (Rocketship Education ­ 2010), Patrick Awuah (Ashesi University ­ 2009), and Jordan Kassalow (VisionSpring ­ 2008).
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Rahul Mirchandani KBF-4: Felicitation in London on the occasion of Commonwealth Day

Rahul Mirchandani (KBF-4 fellow) was the Founder President of theCommonwealth-Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE), founded inNovember 2011 as a 'network of networks' to promote a more conducive youthentrepreneurship ecosystem in Asia.
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Mukund Rajan appointed Tata Group's first brand custodian

6 February 2013, Mumbai

Tata Group veteran Mukund Rajan has been appointed as the brand custodian and group spokesperson, the company announced today. Rajan will oversee and manage all corporate communications and brand related activities for the group in India and overseas. Rajan is the first appointee to the post.
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Shaffi Mather just won the Times of India Social Impact Award last week

20 January 2013, Mumbai

MUMBAI: Its 868 ambulances have helped save almost 20 lakh Indians in five states over the last seven years. But these numbers don't quite capture how a small company started by five friends has brought about big changes in India's healthscape.
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25 Indians to watch

By FT India team
November 16, 2012, 4:00 am

The Naandi Foundation CEO has persuaded big Indian corporations to support programmes that battle hunger and the maltreatment of girls, raise educational standards and provide sustainable livelihoods...
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Awarded to organization bridging gap between rural talent and new economy jobs.
New Delhi, October 11

New Delhi, October 11 --Aspen Institute India and Anne Welsh McNulty, Trustee of Aspen Institute US named Amit Bhatia, the fifth winner of the John P. McNulty Prize annual award at a gala function here on Wednesday night.
A committee of judges including Madeleine Albright, Olara Otunnu, Shashi Tharoor and Anne McNulty selected Bhatia, in recognition of his impact in training over 50,000 students from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds to be English-fluent, tech-savvy, problem-solving new recruits and ready to fuel India's new economy.
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Counsel for the wise

Best advice I ever got: Personal accounts by 50 of India's corporate leaders
Business Today: Edition: Sep 16, 2012

Keep Your Worst Critic Close to You

Fortis Healthcare's Shivinder Singh says the "worst critic could well turn out to be your best friend"

Most times, successful people resort to cliches to share their mantra of success. When one hears it, it often feels like lip service or just good packaging. What I am going to share with you is not necessarily the best advice I got, but the one I didn't heed initially and which life beat me into realising I must follow.
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Play to Express

Thermax's Meher Pudumjee says she got the best advcie from her father

The best advice I ever got? So many incidents come to mind. It's like a bag full of precious goodies. But I guess I will have to choose one!
Many years ago, when I was at boarding school, I was to take part in a piano competition. My father happened to visit me at the time and put me through hours of practice until my Moonlight Sonata was perfect. Just a few minutes before I went on stage, he whispered into my ear: "Darling, play to express rather than impress". A simple piece of advice which has guided me through life.
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Asian Activist-a2012 Award 2012

On 26 June, Asian Activist-a2012 was held at Aoyama Gakuin University. The Asian Activist-a Award is for someone who tries to change the world, especially in terms of Human Rights abuse conditions.
This year Human Rights Now invited Hasina Kharbhih "CEO of Impulse Social Enterprises" from India. To recognize a survey on child labor and human trafficking situations in India's Meghalaya State in 2010 with her start-up "Impulse NGO Network" and to respect her long term measures for solving the child labour issue in her home town by Meghalaya Model as a holistic, multi-sector approach to creating a formal network of organizations such as the governments, International Organizations and Media for the purpose of tracking and rescuing trafficked children, facilitating rehabilitation, providing families with livelihood alternatives, prosecuting offenders, and raising awareness, our organization awarded the Asian Activist-a prize to Hasina Kharbhih.
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Hasina Kharbhih: Raising the Stakes Against Child Trafficking

The New York Times: January 17, 2012, 2:19 am

Hasina Kharbhih, 40, has spent the better part of her life working for human rights. She started a nonprofit, Impulse, and developed a comprehensive strategy to prevent child trafficking called the Meghalaya Model, which is being applied in eight Indian states.
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A Game Of Passion

The Fortis managing director is the most valuable youngest CEO
Businessworld: 17 Dec 2011

In his early 20s, Shivinder Mohan Singh would mask his real age to look mature. At 36, the managing director of Fortis Healthcare is among corporate India's youngest leaders. He has been managing the business along with elder sibling Malvinder, and people take him seriously.

Manoj Kumar (KBF-2) : Naandi Foundation has been selected for the prestigious Social Enterprise of the Year Award given by the CNBC TV18 India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) 2012. The award ceremony will be presided by the Hon'ble Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
on January 17th evening in New Delhi.

Additionally, the Prime Minister will be releasing on 9th Jan , Naandi Foundation's HUNGaMA Survey Report which Manoj worked on with KBF-2 fellow Yashashree Gurjar. This effort was principally supported by Mr Gautam Thapar's Avantha Foundation. This is the launch pad for an aggressive countrywide 'eradicate malnutrition' effort in which Avantha and Naandi have joined hands with 20 young MPs across India.

RK Misra (KBF-2) : received the Transformational Leadership Award from the Uttar Pradesh Governor for his Rural Livelihood Initiatives in that State. This started as his KBF project and is truly an example of an impactful project.

Hasina Kharbhih (KBF-3) : received the North East Excellence Award for her contribution to the development of North East of India on the 6 January 2012 in New Delhi during the Inaugural of the North East Business Summit organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Karandeep Singh (KBF-3) : received recognition as CFO of the year 2011, Information Technology from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India