Advisory Board

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JamesDr. James J. Gillespie is CEO of the Center for Healthcare Innovation. He is a scholar, executive, and entrepreneur with expertise focusing on the strategy, analytics, and operations of the biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical sectors. Dr. Gillespie’s research has appeared in Academy of Management Review, American Behavioral Scientist, European Journal of Social Psychology, Federal Reserve Bank, Harvard Business Review, and Strategic Management Journal. His education includes Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, M.A., Ph.D.; Harvard University School of Law, J.D.; Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, M.P.A.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S.; and Carnegie Mellon University.
DeshUday Lakkar is the founder of, an online marketplace in the real estate space in India. His background has been primarily in the private equity investing and consulting space in India. He has more than 7 years of diverse functional and industry experience across organizations like Morgan Stanley, McKinsey, Network18 Group and IREO Real Estate Private Equity. Uday earned his management education from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, prior to which he had obtained professional certifications as a Chartered Accountant (ICAI) and Company Secretary (ICSI), with merit-list ranks in both. He hails from the City of Joy, Kolkata and has done his undergrad in B.Com(H) from St.Xavier's College, Kolkata. Uday is passionate about cooking and traveling, besides being feeling closely about social entrepreneurship ecosystem and socially impactful ventures particularly in India.
anuradhaAnu Acharya is the Founder & CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions, a global genomics outsourcing partner for discovery, development and diagnostics. She was recently named a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum for its class of 2011. She currently serves as a governing board member at CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), the premier R&D Organization in India and also a governing board member at the NIBMG (National Institute for Biomedical Genomics). Prior to founding Ocimum Biosolutions, Ms. Acharya has had rich experience in the Telecom, IT and entrepreneurship arenas. Her experience is backed by education at premier institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur, India (IIT) and University of Illinois where she has two Post Graduate degrees in Physics and MIS.She was selected by Red Herring Magazine to the list of “25 Tech Titans under 35″ in 2006. She has been named Biospectrum "Entrepreneur of the Year" for 2008 and also has been awarded the Astia Life Science Innovators Award in the same year. Ms. Acharya has been a past President of the Hyderabad chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization and currently serves on the board of ABLE (Association of Biotech Led Enterprises).
SriniAkkarajuSrini Akkaraju leads biopharmaceuticals investments at New Leaf. Prior to joining New Leaf, Srini was a co-founder and Managing Director at Panorama Capital. Before forming Panorama, Srini served as Partner of J.P. Morgan Partners, where he was responsible for leading venture investing in biotech companies. Earlier, Srini held business and corporate development positions at Genentech. During his tenure at Genentech, Srini was responsible for worldwide partnering activities, in-licensing of therapeutics and out-licensing of development projects. In addition, he also was a founding member of BioStreet, an online marketplace for biotech opportunities. Srini is the author of a number of peer-reviewed articles, including ones published in Science and Nature. He received B.A. degrees in both Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in Immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine.
msananthProfessor Ananth is Director, Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He is currently Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet (SAC-C) and of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC); Chairman, Academic Committee for Engineering Education, Govt. of Kerala. Dr. Ananth graduated from the AC College of Technology with a gold medal in Chemical Engineering. He obtained his Ph. D in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1972. His research interests are in Molecular Thermodynamics and Mathematical Modelling. He joined IIT Madras in 1972 and in December 2001 he took over as Director. Dr. Ananth was a Visiting Professor in Princeton University (1982-83) and in the University of Colorado (1990-91). He was a Visiting Scientist in the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado (1990-91), in RWTH, Aachen, Germany (Summer 1983 and Summer 1999) and a Visiting Thermodynamics Expert in Aspen Tech, Massachusetts, USA (Summer 1991). He has several publications in international journals and is a referee for many journals in Chemical Engineering. He has been awarded the Herdillia prize for excellence in basic research in Chemical Engineering by the IIChE and the R.W. Fahien Alumni Award for "Distinguished Professional Contributions" for the year 2003 by the Chemical Engineering Department of University of Florida, USA. He is a Fellow of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Indian National Academy of Engineering.
EdCutrellEd Cutrell manages the Technology for Emerging Markets group at Microsoft Research India. He is a cognitive psychologist with a background in cognitive neuroscience and has been working in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) for more than a decade. Ed's research concerns the exploration and measurement of human interactions with information technology. Over the years, he has worked on a broad range of HCI topics, including input technologies, visual perception and graphics, intelligent notifications and disruptions, and interfaces for search and personal information management. His current research focuses on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). In this work, he seeks to understand how people in the world's poor communities interact with information technologies and explores new ways for technology to meet their needs and support their socio-economic development.
AshishDhawanAshish is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who is transitioning from his role as Sr. Managing Director, ChrysCapital, a private equity firm that he co-founded in 1999 to lead Central Square Foundation to pursue his goal of creating social impact via philanthropic investments in the K-12 education space. Ashish serves on the board of several non-profits including Teach For India, Centre for Civil Society, Janaagraha and GiveLife. He is also a member of the HBS India Advisory Board. Previously Ashish has worked with leading investment institutions such as Goldman Sachs, GP Investments and MDC Partners. He is an MBA with distinction from Harvard University and a dual bachelor’s (BS/BA) holder in applied mathematics and economics with Magna Cum Laude honours from Yale University.

SushmitaGoshMs. Ghosh is President Emeritus, Ashoka Foundation. She completed a five-year term as President and continues as a member of Ashoka’s Leadership Team. She directs the highest levels of Ashoka programs for top business entrepreneurs and leads both the Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers. Sushmita graduated at the top of her class at the University of Dehli. She served as Sub-editor, Research Director and Executive Director of Maneka Gandhi’s national Indian news magazine Surya from 1979 to 1982. She moved on to a successful career as a freelance journalist, working for a number of major newsmagazines and newspapers in India, including The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, Business Standard, and Sunday Magazine. Sushmita served as Ashoka's country representative for India from 1989 to 1997. During that time, she helped Ashoka launch its new programs in Latin America and direct its European fundraising efforts. Sushmita also founded Changemakers, a magazine for social entrepreneurship in 1992, now website. Subsequently, Sushmita became International Vice President of Ashoka and Executive Director of Changemakers and then Ashoka President. Sushmita is a board member of several non-profit organizations in India, including the Consumer Unity and Trust Society, the Energy Environment Group, and Gender Action and Advisory, and a council member at the American India Foundation. Sushmita’s leadership drives Ashoka’s growth and its support programs for the global citizen sector.
Mark-GranovetterMark Granovetter, PhD is an American sociologist who has created some of the most influential theories in modern sociology since the 1970s. He is best known for his work in social network theory and in economic sociology, particularly his theory on the spread of information in social networks known as "The Strength of Weak Ties" (1973) Mark is the Joan Butler Ford Professor in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. Prof. Granovetter came to Stanford after holding positions on the faculties of Northwestern, SUNY Stony Brook, Harvard and Johns Hopkins. His research and teaching interests are in the fields of economic sociology, social stratification, and sociological theory. His seminal article, “The Strength of Weak Ties“ in 1973 is a key underpinning of the Spoke thesis – that minimizing the cost of discovery of weak ties is crucial to increasing the efficiency of the sales prospecting process. He received his PhD in Sociology from Harvard, BA from Princeton in Modern History, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Stockholm University.
SanjayJoshiSanjay Joshi is a Managing Principal at ZS Associates in New York, N.Y., and is the leader of ZS’s Outsourcing practice. He is a 20-year veteran in management consulting and business and technology outsourcing consulting, and his experience spans multiple industries, including healthcare, technology, consumer products and financial services. Prior to joining ZS, Sanjay served as chief executive of Wipro Consulting and vice chairman of Wipro’s business process outsourcing division. Before Wipro, he served as chief marketing officer at Infosys Technologies and held management roles at McKinsey & Co. Sanjay holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from India’s Birla Institute of Technology, an M.S. in computer science from Pennsylvania State University, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Mahesh joined IVFA in 2007 and is based in Mumbai. He is presently involved with investment opportunities across a number of sectors including technology, e-commerce and logistics. His early years saw him working for McKinsey, AT&T and Honeywell.A Bachelor of Computer Science from IIT, Mumbai with a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, and Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University, Mahesh worked for 18 years in different industries in the United States including as Head of Corporate Development at Accelrys and General Partner at Idanta Partners
ashwinAshwin, co-founder of Vaatsalya, has more than 10 years experience in the life sciences and healthcare industry. Prior to founding Vaatsalya, Ashwin was Vice President of Business Development and Informatics, Triesta Sciences, a specialty clinical research organization involved in conducting advanced genomics based research in the field of oncology. Prior to that, he has worked in various capacities at Molecular Connections (Bangalore/Rockville), Celera Genomics (Maryland), Los Alamos National Laboratory (New Mexico) and Genetic Information Research Institute (California).Ashwin has a medical degree from Karnatak Medical College, Hubli and a masters degree from University of Houston, Texas.
LauraLaura is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), India’s largest, most vibrant entrepreneurial community. NEN is India's leader in entrepreneurship education, creating and supporting the country’s next generation of high-growth entrepreneurs. In addition, NEN runs the annual Entrepreneurship Week India – the country’s largest campaign to build awareness and support for entrepreneurs.Laura is a serial entrepreneur, having founded four companies, and a former venture capitalist. In the early 90′s she helped established a merchant bank in Moscow. Just prior to co-founding NEN, Laura was a Vice President at Ashoka, an organization that identifies and supports social entrepreneurs across the world.Currently, she is on the Advisory Boards of Acumen Fund’s Water Portfolio;, a non-profit supporting product-based startups in India; and the SIDBI Business Incubator at IIT-Kanpur. Laura holds a B.A. from Harvard University.
KasturiRanganKasturi Rangan is the Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing at the Harvard Business School. Formerly the chairman of the Marketing Department (1998-2002), he is now the co-chairman of the school’s Social Enterprise Initiative. He has taught in a wide variety of MBA courses. Dr. Rangan has authored several books And currently serves on the editorial board of Journal of Retailing and Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing. He has also served on the editorial board of Journal of Marketing. In addition to his interest in business marketing, Professor Rangan is actively involved in studying the role of marketing in nonprofit organizations, and specifically how it influences the adoption of social products and ideas.Professor Rangan has a Bachelor of Technology from I.I.T. (Madras), 1971; an MBA from I.I.M. (Ahmedabad), 1973; and a Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), 1983. From 1973 to 1979, he held several sales and marketing positions for a large multinational company in India.
HayagreevaProfessor Rao is the Stanford Graduate School of Business Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources; Director of the Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage Executive Program; and Co-director of the Customer-Focused Innovation Executive Program. Rao has published widely in the fields of management and sociology and studies the social and cultural causes of organizational change. His research has been published in journals such as the Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science and Strategic Management Journal. He served as the Editor of Administrative Science Quarterly, and has been a member of the editorial boards of American Journal of Sociology and Organization Science and Academy of Management Review. He has been a Member of the Organizational Innovation and Change Panel of the National Science Foundation.
nishNish Acharya consults with some of the world’s leading universities, governments, foundations and companies to assist them with innovation, entrepreneurship and globalization strategies. Mr. Acharya is currently leading the Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative with the Calvert Foundation, serving as a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress and Indian Council on Global Relations, and a columnist for Forbes Media. Nish previously served in the Obama Administration, where he was appointed by President Obama as the Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce, where he led the President’s efforts to nurture economic growth through innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. As part of his work, Nish managed the President’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a group of nationally known investors, entrepreneurs and university presidents that inspired the America JOBS Act that legalized crowdfunding. Nish also engaged with twenty-six federal agencies to provide over $100 million in funds to universities, research centers and companies to increase the commercialization of federally-funded research. He engaged with over 500 universities and colleges across the United States to boost their programs supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. Prior to joining Commerce, Nish served as Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation, a prominent American philanthropy focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and scalability around the world. Nish led the Foundation's strategic planning, grant making, evaluation and advocacy efforts. Under his leadership, the Foundation’s “Sandboxes” – centers of innovation and entrepreneurship have become a leading international model for regional economic development. During his tenure, the Foundation created a Sandbox in India, which supported innovation and entrepreneurs to reach over one million people. Nish has also led the Foundation’s venture philanthropy, working to help scale Indian NGO’s like Akshaya Patra and Agastya and the United Way throughout India. It also created Sandboxes to boost the economies of the Merrimack Valley cities of Lowell, MA and Lawrence, MA and New Brunswick, Canada. Nish currently serves on the Advisory Board of The Economist Higher Education Forum and was previously a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee, The Indus Entrepreneurs, and the Clinton Global Initiative. He also served as a Board member of Akshaya Patra USA and the United Way Worldwide Leadership Global Advisory Council. Nish also served five years as a Presidential Appointee in the Clinton Administration, where he worked with the Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the US Agency for International Development for USAID programs in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, and has worked for Education Secretary Richard Riley and as Associate Director of Scheduling & Advance for the President. Finally, he has been on the founding team of several startup companies and non-profits. Nish has a Master's in Public Administration from George Washington University; and a BS in Political Science from Northeastern University and is a graduate of an MIT Sloan School of Management Executive Program. He has been quoted in many major publications, including the Forbes, the Economist, Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Asian Week, the Times of India, the Economic Times, the Financial Times, Newsweek, BCC and NPR.


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New Delhi Office:
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