Team

POORVI SHAH

CEO

She has over ten year of experience with The Akanksha Foundation in various capacity including student enrichment, leadership development, recruitment, induction, teacher training, donor reporting, fund raising, writing grants, award proposals and Annual Report.

As Director for Student Enrichment, Poorvi focused on character and life skills development in students. She oversaw the Career Resource Center, Mentor Program, scholarships, alumni engagement and leadership programs for youth such as Learning To Lead and Service Learning. This involved program design and review, research, planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and impact.

Poorvi as well as her students and alumni have represented Akanksha in various forums such as UN global forum (WASH), RISE Round Table, InspirED, Youth Leadership Conferences and Common Purpose. She has also been a jury for Social Innovation Awards at IIT’s Techfest.

Poorvi was previously with Price Waterhouse LLP, NY from 1994 to 1996 where she was handling audits of Indian mutual funds registered offshore and then with Indocean Venture Capital and IndAsia Fund Advisors, Bombay, one of the first venture capital firms in India from 1996 to 2000. Poorvi has also served on the Board of Bombay International School Association for two years with one year as the Chairperson. Poorvi has done her B.Com., MMS (Finance) and MBA (International Business)

Poorvi is passionate about equity in education and empowerment and enjoys meeting people from all walks of life.


ANJALI HARI

Director Fund Raising and Program Development

Endowed with a strong track record in programme implementation, communication and entrepreneurship, Anjali transitioned into the social sector in 2006 as the Program Director to implement the unique Katalyst programme of Thirds sector Partners. Here, she has successfully leveraged on her diverse experience and passion to transform the lives of meritorious girls from underprivileged backgrounds and make a significant difference at the grassroots level. Anjali was responsible for enrolment of deserving students, fund raising, event management, partnering with colleges and corporate, and planning and executing various interventions such as soft skill and hard skill training, mentor program, internships and placements. Anjali has been a pillar of support for the Katalyst girls specially in Mumbai and Pune.

Previously, Anjali was in Client servicing in the Advertising Agencies for seven years. Later, she worked with Modi Xerox to promote Photo Copiers in the institution segment. After two years she became the Development Manager and was responsible to set up photo finishing labs for Lazor QSS in collaboration with Kodak. For 11 years, she was associated as concessionaire for Hindustan Unilever Ltd as Manager Operations for their beverages.

Anjali completed her Economics major from Elphinstone College, Mumbai University, followed by a Diploma in Marketing Management from Mumbai University.

Anjali is candid, rooted to the ground and empathetic. Among her other diverse interests are Travel, Wildlife, Reading and Music.


R VIJAYA THILAKAM

Program Director, Bangalore

Vijaya holds a double professional degree. She is a post-graduate in Social Work; and a graduate in Electrical Engineering from University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore.

Prior to joining Katalyst, she worked for one year with Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled as Manager-Overseas Relations; with WLW Foundation as Project Director also for the same period; and for 10 years she worked with The South Asia Council for Community and Children (SAC-CCC), an International Organization based in Bangalore. Here, she worked at various capacities under the leadership of Dr. D. Samuel Issmer, her Mentor where she was responsible for the organization’s promotions and publicity which involved visiting projects run for children, women, elderly, health and training. She had the opportunity to travel to Sweden for a 3-week training offered by Erikshjalpen, a Swedish organization – one of the funding partners of SAC-CCC; and to Germany on a promotional visit to meet its donors at its branch office, ‘SAC-CCC Deutsche Sektion’ in Frankfurt.

Vijaya has a passion for social service ‘service to the community’ and loves working for and with children.


MEGHA VERMA

 Program Manager, Pune 

Megha has nine years of experience in handling program and finance for social sector. She holds post graduation degree with a specialization in Finance and has been trained by the Ministry of Railways (Project Management Advisor) for project management.

Before joining Katalyst, Megha worked with US based NGO, Global Communities (formerly CHF International) for more than three years. Here she worked with project partners and carried out stakeholder management, program monitoring, human resource development, budgeting, fund planning and auditing of partners funds.  She also worked with Program Tracker software for periodic monitoring of the project.

Megha enjoys meeting people, solving puzzles and reading books.


NEELAM SURESH MHASKE

Program Co-ordinator, Mumbai

Neelam has graduated with a Bachelors in Mass Media, Journalism from St.Xavier’s College. Writing defines her life and she has freelanced with Times of India. During her undergraduate years, she was selected as top 100 students for Dream: in project to travel six states in India to capture people’s dreams. She has worked as a freelancer for a year with Times of India as a college student.

As a Gandhi Fellow, Neelam has worked in the rural part of Rajasthan for two years for improving the quality of government schools through Headmaster Leadership. During her Gandhi Fellowship, she has worked towards building capacity of headmasters and teachers on pedagogy of developing leadership skills for effective implementation. During her fellowship, she established Self Help Group of village women in co-ordination with the local non-governmental organization to increase the attendance of students in the schools. She has also conceptualized and founded ‘My little Project’ as an initiative to develop the ability of kids at non-scholastic level so that they develop employability skills for future. 

She enjoys travelling and in her free time, she loves cooking, dancing and listening to 90s or old songs.


AVILA D’SOUZA

Administrative Officer

Avila graduated with Bachelors in Economics from Wilson College, Mumbai University. Avila works as an Administrative Officer for Thirds sector Partners and its social initiative Katalyst. Prior to this, Avila worked with LJ Hooker, an Australian Real Estate as a Business System Officer for 2 years and with CRY as a Telecaller for Individual fundraising for a period of 6 months.

Avila enjoys Travelling, loves cooking and listens to country music.