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Neera Nundy

Partner and Co-Founder, Dasra

Neera is the co-founder and partner at Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation
which uses a research-led process building both strategic philanthropy and non profit
sector leaders in education, health and livelihoods. One of Neeras key successes


pioneering a $14 million partnership with USAID and the Kiawah Trust which focuses
on strengthening an ecosystem that improves maternal health and child survival by
empowering adolescent girls in India. This year, through the partnership, Neera is
focused on researching domestic violence, child marriage and menstrual hygiene
management - all issues affecting the safety and health of women and girl.
Considering 70% of those trafficked in India are adolescent girls, she most
recently led the research report Zero Traffick: Eliminating Sex Trafficking in India,
which will be launched at TrustWomen Conference 2013. This research maps over
150 non profit organizations in India, shares the ground realities of those that are
impactful and scalable and highlights where philanthropy is needed. Neera is
spearheading the call to action in engaging both philanthropists and the corporate
sector on an India-specific platform which tackles sex trafficking by supporting
networks, advocacy, capacity building and funding for Aangan Trust,Save the
Children India and Sanjog.
In 2009, Neera launched the Indian Philanthropy Forum, which is a network of over
250 philanthropists and corporate foundations engaged in dialogue, shared learnings
and collaborative giving through Dasra Giving Circles. Prior to Dasra, Neera spent
five years of investment banking at Morgan Stanley and UBS Warburg her foundation
for bringing in an analytically rigorous, impact-oriented perspective to portfolio
organizations Dasra supports such as Magic Bus, SNEHA, Educate Girls and Sarathi.
She has also syndicated for impact investments into Milaap, SMV Wheels and Sabras
with angel investors. Neera continues to play a crucial role in bringing knowledge and
analysis to Dasra's research and portfolio organizations with specific expertise in
improving public education, child.

Chetna Gala Sinha

Founder and President of Mann Deshi
Mahila Sahakari Ltd.

Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder/Chairperson: Chetna has dedicated

her life to

empowering women. In 1997 she founded the Mann Deshi Mahila Group in
Maharashtra, and has since served as its Chair. In 2002, Yale University appointed her
as a World Fellow, and in 2003 Harvard University recognized

her as a Bridge

Builder. Chetna has received numerous additional awards for her pioneering work
with women in drought affected areas of Western Maharashtra.
Chetna Sinha is an economist, farmer and activist who works for
social change in poor, drought-stricken rural India. She is the founder and president of
Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Ltd. (the Bank), a micro-enterprise development bank
whose clients are women on low incomes. The bank has six branches, over 165,000
clients, and conducts 2,400 transactions daily. Sinha promotes a holistic approach to
her clients, combining economic support with education and healthcare. Since 1996,
she has been organising women in rural Maharashtra to fight for land and property
rights. In 2005, she received the Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar award for rural
After her marriage to a farmer and rights activist in the Mahaswad area, she
decided to pursue a career in farming. This was when Chetna experienced, firsthand,
the challenges

of rural women lack of access to financial services leading to debt.

The design and development of the MDM idea has emerged organically from her
personal life trajectories. Chetna was awarded the 2005 Janakidevi Bajaj Puruskar for
rural entrepreneurs and was selected for the first class of Yale Universitys World
Fellows Program in 200203. Chetna Gala Sinha and Mann Deshi have received a
clutch of awards like the Ashoka-Changemakers Social Innovations award.


Pooja Warier is Co-Founder and Director of UnLtd India, an organization that finds,
funds and supports entrepreneurs in addressing social issues in India, and of Journeys
for Change, a social enterprise that helps leaders learn from inspiring change-makers.
She is also Co-Founder and Director of Bombay Connect, a collaborative co-working
space for entrepreneurs. Prior to launching her ventures, Warier volunteered and
worked in the development sector for three years.

Pooja is the co-founder and Director of UnLtd India, Bombay HUB and Journeys for
Change. UnLtd India finds, funds and supports early stage social entrepreneurs in
India. To date, UnLtd India has supported over 100 individuals and 60 start-ups
tackling various social issues. Pooja also led on the creation of Bombay HUB that is a
collaborative work space for individuals with ideas and passion for social change. Her
third venture, Journeys for Change inspires leaders and social entrepreneurs to create
more impact through learning from some of worlds most exciting changemakers.

Previously, Pooja has worked with a number of non-profits and was also actively
involved in the organising of the fourth edition of the World Social Forum in Bombay.
She is constantly on the lookout for doing things that are meaningful and fill a gap as
well as promise huge learnings and fun!

Previously she worked with a range of organisations and initiatives like the World
Social Forum & M.V. Foundation. She has a MA in social work from the Tata Institute
of Social Sciences in Mumbai.


Padmaja Reddy is a graduate in Communication & Journalism and Post Graduate in
Business Administration. She has about two decades of work experience in
microfinance and social development sector. She is the founder and Managing
Director of SpandanaSphoorty Financial Limited. She pursued courses in Micro
Finance from Harvard Business School, Naropa University, U.S.A, Credit and Micro
Enterprise Development from Durham University Business School, U.K and Market
Research for Micro Finance from Uganda. Besides building one of the leading Micro
finance organizations in India, famed for its efficiency, size and productivity, she has
been instrumental in establishing benchmarks for the industry.
Spandana reaches out to over 4.7 million households.Smiles of our borrowers are our
rewards.We foster entrepreneurship among our clients.Spandana operates in over 180
districts across 12 states in India.
SpandanaSphoorty Financial Limited is one of the largest Microfinance Institutions
(MFI) in the world..more. Spandana provides micro-credit and credit-plus services to
low-income households and individuals to improve their quality of life. Spandana has
steadfastly worked on improving processes for credit delivery and client servicing.
This has helped in establishing benchmarks in operational efficiencies, cost
management and customer support.
Thus the viability and scalability of microfinance model has been re-enforced.
Supported by leading Banks and DFIs, Spandana has demonstrated its ability toraise
funds and leverage different capital structure. We constantly endeavour to deliver
quality services to our clients, by reaching out to their doorstep, through our on-roll
staff and by maintaining highest levels of transparency and integrity. We strive to be
the most preferred employer in the Industry.


Ajaita Shah is the Founder of Frontier Markets. She has 5 years of microfinance
experience in India with organizations like SKS Microfinance, and Ujjivan Financial
Services. Ajaita has worked on numerous development projects in 7 states in India.
She has consulted with the World Bank about microfinance in South Asia and Latin
America. She served on the Committee of the Social Performance Task Force. Ajaita
Shah holds her B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.

Frontier Markets is a sales, marketing and service distribution company with a

mission to reach Base of the Pyramid (BOP) households in emerging markets.
Frontier Markets works with local partner channels like microfinance institutions and
locally trained field staff to educate, relate, and reach households providing them
access to high social impact and affordable products, and customer service. They have
set up their own wholesale points and franchises to reach target consumers and
become first movers for new products and innovation. Frontier Markets have started
operations in rural India and are working with clean energy products like solar
lighting and smokeless stoves. Frontier Markets innovative marketing and sales
channel will open new opportunities for manufacturers to create affordable and
relevant products for rural markets. Frontier Markets becomes THE scale solution for
manufacturers creating products for rural markets, focusing on areas like clean energy,
healthcare, and livelihoods. Frontier Markets is currently operating in rural Rajasthan
where they have reached 40,000 households and started earning revenue. Frontier
Markets mission is to provide over 10 million products to 30 million households in
India by 2016, and become a global leader in rural distribution and products for BOP

Ajaita has been passionate about social entrepreneurship, bridging countries, and
impact. While working in microfinance, she wanted to expand her reach to lowincome households and decided to try new distribution models, to provide access to
energy, healthcare and clean water. Born in NY, but Indian, Ajaita has spent that last
few years working in Indian rural villages to understand more.