Who We Are / Our People
Chief Executive Officer
Poorvi leads the organisation's efforts to empower women for equality in opportunity and leadership. Poorvi has over a decade of experience with The Akanksha Foundation in various capacities including student enrichment, leadership development, and fundraising. Before venturing into the social sector, she worked with Price Waterhouse LLP in New York, and then with IndAsia Fund Advisors, one of the first venture capital firms in India. Poorvi has done her B.Com., MMS (Finance), and MBA (International Business). She is passionate about equity in education and empowerment and enjoys meeting people from all walks of life.
Director, Fundraising & Partnerships
Anjali focuses on raising funds and building strategic partnerships for the organisation. She has successfully leveraged her diverse experience and passion to transform the lives of young girls, making a difference at the grassroots level. Previously, Anjali worked in Advertising for over seven years specialising in client servicing. Anjali completed her Economics major at Elphinstone College, followed by a Diploma in Marketing Management from Mumbai University. Anjali is candid, rooted to the ground, and empathetic. Her diverse interests include travel, wildlife, reading, and music.
Chief Operating Officer
Shalima Jain leads the organisation's operational functions including the implementation of interventions and development of growth strategies. With over 18 years of experience in the corporate sector and over two years in the social sector, Shalima has had an enriching career journey with expertise in operations, projects, and delivery management in the retail and development sector. She is a certified PMP professional and has done her BA (Psychology), Dip. Interior Designing, and Certification in Retail Management (IIM, IRMC). Shalima is a problem solver with a passion for technology.
Megha heads international partnerships, marketing and communications, and two new initiatives of the organisation i.e. Alkemist and Akcelerator. Before joining Katalyst, Megha worked with four leading NGOs and boosted her innovative and creative skills. She has worked with project partners and undertaken stakeholder management, program monitoring, budgeting, fund planning, and auditing of partner funds. She pursued her MBA degree with a specialisation in Finance and has an extensive 16 years of experience in the social sector. Megha enjoys networking and rapport building, solving puzzles, and reading books.
Senior Manager, Program - Mumbai
Shweta manages operations for the Mumbai program. She is also a part of the students, mentors, and donors outreach program. With a Master's in Human Development and a Diploma in Management, she worked as a faculty member at TISS and SNDT Women's University for 15 years. She wishes to continue working in the education space, focusing on inclusion and bridging the skill gap
Senior Manager, Program - Bangalore
Vijaya manages operations for the Bangalore program. Before joining Katalyst, Vijaya worked for firms such as Hewlett Packard and Cisco Systems and had managed her own enterprise for over two years. Vijaya graduated from Joseph's College in Bangalore with a Bachelor's in Commerce and a Postgraduate in Human Resources. She enjoys volunteering for various causes, such as an energy healer or a mental health volunteer.
Manager, Digitalisation & Learning
Janesh leads the learning outcomes function at Katalyst, developing a series of interventions to increase engagement, measure progress, and improve results. Janesh has worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Open University, UK, and holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology. He also has a Master's degree in Digital Technology and Education from The University of Manchester, UK. Janesh enjoys travelling, binge-watching TV shows, and brewing coffee
Manager, Program - Delhi
Ayesha Khan manages operations for the Delhi program. She handles the training intervention and facilitates the holistic development of the students. She pursued her Master's in Social work from Jamia Millia Islamia University and has been working in the development sector for the past six years. Ayesha likes travelling and meeting new people.
Manager, Program - Pune
Saranga has 15 years of experience in the corporate and social sector. Have worked in a variety of areas like Learning & Development, Training and Trainer Management, CSR projects execution and quality assurance. Managed multiple CSR projects across Maharashtra. Her strengths include Project execution, communication skills, networking, and managing operations. She is a certified Instructional designer and has done her bachelor of Engineering in Industrial engineering from Pune University. Saranga has Keen interest in Indian mythology, She enjoys travelling and gardening
Manager, Program - Bangalore
Steffi C.T. manages the mentorship intervention based in Bangalore. Before joining Katalyst, she worked for various child rights organisations as she believes that education is the key to eradicating poverty in the country. She completed her Master's from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai. In her free time, Steffi likes to travel and listen to music.
Assistant Manager, Program - Bangalore
Shravanthi Suresh is responsible for the development of the Bangalore program, working closely with students and trainers. Before joining Katalyst, she worked as Assistant Professor for Sociology at Mount Carmel College. She pursued her Master's in Social Work with a specialisation in Medical and Psychiatry from SJC and Sociology from IGNOU. Shravanthi likes to read, cook and travel. She is a social worker by choice and by profession.
Assistant Manager, Program - Pune
Subhalakshmi Ganesan is responsible for the development of the Pune program, ensuring program goals are reached on time. She has over 10 years of work experience and is a certified SAP Consultant specialising in Finance. She completed her Master's in Financial Management from LIBA - Pondicherry University, Chennai. In 2014, Subhalakshmi started her brand "Dessert Groove" and is a certified professional patisserie baker. She likes travelling, abstract painting, and music.
Senior Executive, Program - Pune
Anju handles the operational functions for the Pune program including the training intervention. Before joining Katalyst, Anju was working at Global Vision Cancer Care NGO & Intelenet Global Services. She has done her BMS with a specialisation in Finance from Mumbai University. She is passionate about empowering women and bringing change through her actions.
Sanjukta is responsible for the coordination and development of the Mumbai program and works closely with the students. Before joining Katalyst, she worked with immigrant families in NYC for children's welfare. She pursued her second Master's in Social Work with a specialisation in the clinical field from NYU. Sanjukta likes to read, swim, travel, and is passionate about mental healthcare.
Coordinator, Program - Pune
Gayatri is responsible for the mentorship and training interventions of the Pune program. Before joining Katalyst, she interned with TVS Lucas and Electronica Plastic Machine as a Management Trainee. Gayatri has a Master's degree in Social Work with a specialisation in HR and a Diploma in French from the University of Pune. In her free time, Gayatri loves to travel, cook, bake, read and is passionate about dogs.
Coordinator, Program - Bangalore
Shalini is responsible for the training intervention and works closely with the students for the Bangalore program. Before this, she worked with the Dakshin Foundation and Ashwini Charitable Trust as a Research Assistant and Program Manager in the area of Public Health, Education, and Ecology. She has two Master's in Economics and Development Studies respectively from Azim Premji University. Shalini likes to travel, and act.
Coordinator, Program - Delhi
Sunidhi Sinha is responsible for the coordination and development of the Delhi program and works closely with the students. Before joining Katalyst, she worked for the welfare of sex workers and their children in Delhi's red light area. She pursued her Post Graduate certification in expressive arts therapy and is fond of traveling, reading, painting and is passionate about community work.
Senior Administrative Officer
Avila is responsible for the administration activities across programs. Before joining Katalyst, she worked with CRY & LJ Hooker. She pursued her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Wilson College, Mumbai. Avila enjoys listening to country music and likes to collect stamps and currencies from different countries.