This report captures lessons from a landscaping study on digital financial services in India and includes a repository of technology service providers operating across different sectors.
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Abhishek Gupta is a Research Manager with the MSME and Entrepreneurship vertical at LEAD. He is a design thinking enthusiast and evangelizes a trans-disciplinary, human-centred problem-solving approach.
Abhishek has more than five years of experience in financial inclusion consulting, incorporating behavioural design into research and advisory projects. He has previously worked with Intellecap and MicroSave Consulting (MSC). His defining consulting engagement was developing a roadmap for rejuvenating the traditional creative industries of Uttar Pradesh, working closely with representatives from the State Department of Tourism and World Bank.
Abhishek has a post-graduation in management from the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE), Delhi University. Abhishek is an avid chess player and fond of high-altitude trekking. His weekends are spent on imagining and fleshing out the character arc for his maiden novel.
Senior Project Associate
Christopher Glan is a Senior Project Associate in the MSME & Entrepreneurship vertical at LEAD. A data whiz, he specialises in data analysis and data cleaning. He has considerable field experience in both urban and rural settings from his previous work.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Anna University.
Research Manager, Financial Inclusion
Vinith Kurian is a Research Manager with LEAD. He has worked in the areas financial inclusion, women’s economic empowerment, analysis of social networks and public health. His previous projects include a quasi experimental design based study on reducing maternal mortality in Kerala. He has also worked on a network analysis of microenterprise owners to understand the dynamics of information flow and its potential to promote the take up of digital financial services.
Prior to joining LEAD, Vinith has worked with Nielsen India in the area of geospatial analytics to estimate socioeconomic variables at micro-geographies. His areas of interest include urban poverty, geospatial analysis and financial inclusion.
Vinith holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Economics from the Centre for Development Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Vinith is an avid traveller and motorcycling enthusiast.
Senior Research Associate
Raka De is a Senior Research Associate working with the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD. With an undergraduate degree from Ashoka University, she is looking to explore research in areas of last-mile delivery systems and gender.
A creative person by nature, Raka is also passionate about using creative methods to understand ground realities and analyse data. With an eclectic taste in music, she loves to conceptualise, create and choreograph dances to make it a more immersive experience for the audience.
Senior Webmaster, Learning & Communications
Dhananchezhiyan is a Senior Web Developer/Web Master with LEAD. In this role, Dhanan manages all aspects related to LEAD’s portfolio of websites including web design, development and ensuring that they remain updated.
Dhanan holds a Master’s in Computer Applications. In his free time, Dhanan enjoys playing cricket and swimming.
Shailender Swaminathan provides strategic and thought leadership to shape LEAD’s research direction and agenda. He works closely with the research team to discuss new research ideas, recent and relevant sector trends and brainstorm on creative ideas to take forward.
Shailender’s broad research interests are in the formulation and application of credible research designs to examine questions of relevance to public policy. In recent work, he has worked on understanding the impact of health insurance expansions on utilization and health in both the United States and India.
In 2015, Shailender returned to India with family after spending about two decades in the United States holding diverse academic and research positions. He has previously held academic and research positions at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Brown University. Upon his return to India, he initially worked at the Public Health Foundation of India and got the opportunity to spend several weeks in India’s villages to oversee data collection efforts, and also generally interact with households. After two decades in academia, he observed, for the first time, the incredible value in understanding the context in which households live and make decisions.
Shailender has a PhD in Economics from University of Southern California and is an adjunct faculty member in Brown University’s Department of Health Policy and an Investigator at the Providence Veterans Administration (VA). His work has been published in several journals including the Journal of Health Economics, Health Affairs, Economic Development and Cultural Change, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. One of the previous papers received the Academy Health Article of the Year award in 2009.
He is an avid sports fan, and also enjoys listening to Carnatic music.
Senior Head, Grants & Finance
Shakti Chopra heads the finance function of LEAD and provides strategic leadership for these functions to bring efficiency & synergy to ensure the achievement of long term sustainability with accuracy & transparency. Shakti has over two decades of hands-on experience in solving critical business challenges with strategic financial framework & policies, oriented towards sustainable growth models.
Shakti is a seasoned finance professional with expertise in managing the whole financial gamut of large organisations with focus on building motivated, effective, delivering & committed teams. With over 12 years of experience in senior management positions, he has worked with large social sector organisations like VSO International, CARE, CottonConnect and Ide-India. He also had his entrepreneurship stint to guide and support small & grass-root social enterprises.
Shakti has a keen interest in learning about business strategies and finding the objective of one’s life through implementing Kaizen principles in day-to-day situations.
Head, Field Operations
At LEAD, Sitaram Mukherjee oversees the field/survey operations vertical. Sitaram is an experienced development professional with excellent managing capacity with core experience in field operations and project management.
Sitaram has over 13 years of experience across operations and execution of large-scale projects especially with the setting up and roll out of the RCT based projects in eastern and northern India. He has exposure to working in Bangladesh, Nepal and UAE and executed the project objectives as well.
Sitaram holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work as well as PGDHRM from Udaipur School of Social Work, Udaipur, Rajasthan.
He is a keen traveler and has knowledge about Indian tourism industry.
Regional Field Manager
Santhosh Kumar is a Regional Field Manager with LEAD. He Joined LEAD in 2010 and has been worked in the capacities of a Project Assistant and Field co-ordinator. He has previously worked on long-term Impact Evaluation of the KGFS Model in Tamil Nadu. He has also managed market research projects for in the domain of consumer products and field studies in public health for WHO.
Santhosh Kumar completed his B.B.A at MK University.
Senior Executive, Field Operations
Elankumaran is a Senior Executive with LEAD. His diverse professional experience covers marketing, project coordination, and construction supervision. He Joined LEAD in 2011, and has monitored different projects in the domain of Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME).
Elankumaran has previously worked as a Project Coordinator at ICDS Centres under UNICEF, overseeing operations in the Tsunami affected areas of Nagapattinam District.
Elankumaran holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from Loyola College in Chennai along with a PG Diploma in Computer Application from the Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai.
Senior Regional Manager, Field Operations
Pramod Tiwari, is currently the Senior Regional Manager, Field Operations at LEAD. He is a seasoned researcher with several years of experience and engagement in rigorous academic and policy research.
Prior to LEAD, he worked in various government health programs, essaying several roles ranging from managing the training of health providers to planning treatment delivery of leprosy patients with the World Health Organization. He also spent 9 years working on a variety of randomized control interventions in health and education in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and his native Rajasthan with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. (J-PAL).
Pramod has worked on evaluations of various kinds across multiple areas such as health, education, financial inclusion, migration, microfinance, and livelihoods.
Some of the studies Pramod has worked on include Improving Health Care Delivery in India (Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, 2009) in Udaipur, Putting a Band-Aid on a Corpse: Incentives for Nurses in the Indian Public Health Care System (Banerjee, Duflo, and Glennerster, 2008), Is Decentralized Iron Fortification a Feasible Option to Fight Anaemia Among the Poorest? (Banerjee, Duflo, and Glennerster, 2009), Improving immunisation coverage in rural India: clustered randomised controlled evaluation of immunisation campaigns with and without incentives (Banerjee, and Duflo,( Nobel prizes in economic sciences 2019 Glennerster, and Kothari, 2010; published in the prestigious British Medical Journal), Economic Decision Making in Poverty Depletes Behavioral Control (Dean Spears, 2010), The Evolving Financial Ecosystem for Micro-Merchants in India (LEAD), NREGA Program with John Dreze and Prof.Amartya Sen (Nobel prize in economic sciences 1998) and closely worked with Sir Agnus Deaton (Nobel prize in economic sciences 2015) for Explorations in the Economics of aging.
Pramod holds several Master’s degrees, in Chemistry, Public Administration, Sociology, and Business Administration (Human Resources Management), as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights.
Senior Administrative Assistant
Mano Ranjitham is a Senior Administrative Assistant with LEAD. She has considerable experience n managing databases of survey teams and coordinating with field managers regarding data collection and related activities. She is experienced in preparing contracts, salary sheets and other necessary documents.
Mano Ranjitham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Dr. M.G.R Medical University, Chennai.
Arul Raj is a Senior Executive, Field Operations at LEAD. He is currently responsible for field operations in Tamil Nadu and manages field teams across different projects. He has managed fieldwork for audit studies, randomized control trials, impact assessments among others. Arul has worked in both rural and urban areas and has extensive experience in training, piloting and actual administration of field based surveys.
Prior to joining LEAD in 2007, Arul worked as an interviewer and supervisor with IMRB International. He has nearly 15 years of work experience.
Arul holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from University of Madras. He is a die-hard cricket fan and enjoys winding down with some music.
Nilanjana Bargotra is a Senior Research Associate with LEAD. She is engaged on a project that seeks to evaluate the impact of safety technologies on women’s labour force participation rates and skill acquisition in the NCR region.
Nilanjana has previously interned as a graduate consultant on an ILO project at LSE, studying the emerging digital economies and youth employment in Africa. She is interested in the application of digital technologies and behavioural/experimental economics to labour market outcomes, employment behaviour, digital economies and leveraging analytical applications and data science solutions to solve social science problems.
Nilanjana hold an MSc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics & Political Science and is also a graduate in MSc. Applied Quantitative Finance from the Madras School of Economics.
Her hobbies include reading, playing with her dog, and feeding stray animals.
Meghna Sharma is a Senior Research Associate with LEAD. She is currently working on two research projects with PIs from MIT Sloan School, Penn State and USC. She was previously engaged on a project which aimed to assess the effectiveness of decentralised management committees in Delhi Schools. Her interests lie in development economics, inclusive policies and evaluation methodologies.
Prior to joining LEAD, Meghna was a fellow with Teach for India and has also worked as a Consultant with the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights on a school evaluation project.
Meghna holds a Master’s in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. In her spare time, she loves travelling, reading, playing the flute and attending impromptu parties.
Head, Learning & Communications
Diksha Singh currently manages LEAD’s learning and communications portfolio. She works with teams and partners to develop learning outputs, manage knowledge sharing events and peer learning sessions, and oversees digital and offline communication. Trained as a researcher, Diksha is passionate about connecting the dots between research, policy and impact. She has previously supported policy and outreach activities for a USAID-funded program Catalyst, where she was engaged in organising strategic stakeholder convenings and policy dialogues, and synthesising evidence to inform policy decisions.
Diksha has more than a decade of experience in research, outreach and communications. Prior to joining LEAD, she worked as a project officer with Praja Foundation, where she anchored their housing and education portfolios. Before her foray into international development, she worked as an analyst with CMIE.
Diksha has a Master’s in Economics from the University of Mumbai.
She enjoys cycling, reading and writing, when she is not chasing her toddler around.
Manager, Business Development
Gayathri Balan is Business Development Manager with LEAD. Her present scope of work includes spotting and pursing new business opportunities by anchoring proposals and submissions. She is also working on donor and partner management.
Previously, she was with PwC India where she was part of the Government Reforms and Infrastructure Development (GRID) team. She has worked on a range of projects in the development sector with clients/donors such as UNICEF, UN Women, USAID. Most recently she was part of the advisory team assisting State Govt of Andhra Pradesh in the conceptualization of the new capital city of Amaravati.
Gayathri holds a dual degree from the University of Oxford: MSc in Comparative Social Policy and MBA and her undergraduate degree is BTech IT from VIT University, Vellore. She has also completed the Gandhi Fellowship, where she worked in rural Rajasthan for 2 years, imparting leadership skills to government school headmasters.
In her free time, Gayathri loves to discuss, debate and have a good laugh at anything from politics to Bollywood.
Sandra Jose is a Research Associate with the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD. Prior to LEAD, Sandra worked with the Institute of Rural Management Anand as an Academic Associate and a Research Associate.
Sandra holds a Master’s in Economics (with specialization in Development Studies) from the Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune. She holds a Bachelor’s in Economics, Sociology and Industrial Relations from St. Josephs College, Bangalore. She is interested in a range of development issues such as gender, informal labour markets, education and waste.
In her free time, Sandra loves to read fiction and watch sitcoms. She is also a proud member of the BTS Army.
Qualitative Research Specialist, STREE
Aishwarya Joshi is a Qualitative Research Specialist with LEAD, and is currently engaged with the Solutions for Transformative Rural Enterprises and Empowerment (STREE) initiative that provides technical assistance to the National Rural Livelihoods Mission. She has previously worked as a consultant with academic institutions and non-governmental organisations, providing research support for action-research studies for the University of Göttingen, NITI Aayog, Population Council India, among others. Her skills lie in qualitative data analysis and conversational interviewing, and her research interests include gender, development, public health, and media.
Aishwarya holds an M.A. in Society and Culture from IIT Gandhinagar and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Fergusson College, Pune. Through her work, she strives to aid a more fruitful exchange between academic research, policy and decision making.
In her free time, Aishwarya enjoys listening to her collection of old Hindi film music and chases her overambitious reading challenge goal for the year.
Aditi Priya is a Research Associate with the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD. She has been working on multiple projects that explore the role of policing and gender-based violence in India. She has also been working projects concerning on Maternal and Child health. Her research interests lie at the intersection of identities (caste and gender) and access to resources.
Aditi holds a Master’s in Economics degree from Delhi School of Economics, and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College for Women.
Project Director/Head, MSME & Entrepreneurship
John heads the MSME & Entrepreneurship vertical at LEAD, overseeing the research portfolio on this topic. He was instrumental in establishing Catalyst AIC, a Fintech Incubator in Jaipur. His core areas of work range from project design, incubation support, project implementation and monitoring & evaluation.
With an extensive experience of 12 years in the development sector, John has a special interest in MSME growth and finance. His previous experiences include working for Tata Consultancy Services where he implemented a Computer-Based Functional Literacy Training program, as well as with the Entrepreneurship Development program under the Bharatiya Yuva Shakthi Trust at Confederation of Indian Industries. He has also partnered in setting up an SME consulting firm.
John holds a Master’s degree from the Madras School of Social Work and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the Madras University.
A travel bug at heart, he enjoys a spot of farming when he’s not fulfilling his wanderlust. He also volunteers at NGOs providing education to underserved children and vulnerable communities.
Senior Creative Designer, Learning & Communications
Sakthivel Arumugam is a Senior Creative Designer with LEAD. In this role he conceptualises and designs knowledge outputs and communication collaterals for projects under LEAD’s Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE).
Sakthivel has extensive experience in working with agencies, and has handled branding and communication design for clients across industries. Some of his noteworthy campaigns include the call of the blue campaign for Yamaha, 10k challenge campaign for the Murugappa Group and packaging design for CavinKare.
Sakthivel holds a Bachelor’s in Information Technology form Anna University anda B.sc Vis.Communication from Bharathiar University. He is a sports enthusiast and has represented his University in kabaddi tournaments. In his free time, he also enjoys gardening, reading and cooking.
Sharon Buteau combines expansive experience of over 18 years in research and international development, with over 7 years in the field of digital financial services and financial inclusion. Sharon is deeply passionate about finding effective solutions to promote enterprise growth and development, and realising the untapped potential of micro and small businesses.
At LEAD, Sharon focuses on bringing the right combination of talent, expertise and stakeholders together to ensure that investments and efforts are perfectly aligned with the desired goals. Sharon holds significant expertise on how to leverage co-creation, collaborative processes, as well using the power of data from the ground up can improve socio-economic outcomes for individuals, households and enterprises. She has in-depth knowledge in “right-fit research methods” and significant experience in the domain of financial capabilities and well-being, and small business and entrepreneurship development.
Sharon started her journey at LEAD in 2008, when she arrived in India with a strong desire to improve society by producing impactful knowledge that can bring positive change. Prior to joining LEAD, Sharon was an economist with Analysis Group in Montreal Canada.
Sharon holds an MSc in Economics from the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, as well as an MA in Social Research Methods from the London School of Economics. In her free time, Sharon enjoys travelling across India and spending quality time with her pug.
Sunanda is a Research Associate with LEAD, and is currently working on projects in the water and sanitation sector. Sunanda has previously worked on various projects under the University of Oxford, London School of Economics and the Australia National University. She also served as a financial journalist in the Indian Equities market.
Sunanda completed her Master’s in Economics from Amity University, Kolkata and obtained her undergraduate degree in Economics from Gauhati University. She is passionate about education, public policy and sustainability. Sunanda is fond of traveling, and trekking and likes to wind down with a nice book or movie.
Research Fellow, Financial Inclusion
Tanushree Bhan is a Research Fellow in the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD. She graduated with a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2020. Her dissertation was a process-based evaluation of sanitation policy for the urban poor in Delhi. Tanushree has an undergraduate degree from the University of Delhi and a Master’s degree from the University of Mumbai, both in Economics. Before her PhD, Tanushree worked at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) until 2014. As a Research Associate, she was part of a research program funded by the Government of India on understanding the challenges and opportunities for improving public service delivery in major cities. Tanushree’s research interest lies at the intersection of poverty, politics, and public policy, especially in India. In her free time, she loves going for heritage walks and food expeditions.
Twinkle Juneja is a Research Associate in the Institutions vertical at LEAD. She is engaged in a project that explores aspects of sexual harassment, menstruation, and family planning among adolescents and seeks to evaluate the impact of the intervention module which provides information about the same topics.
Twinkle holds a Master’s in Economics from Ashoka University. For her, the most intrigung aspect of research is working with data and the initial stages of desigining a new study keeping in mind ground realities. Twinkle is also an avid baker and loves to travel whenever she can.
Senior Data Associate, STREE
Shruti Kakade is a Senior Data Associate with LEAD, and is currently engaged with the Solutions for Transformative Rural Enterprises and Empowerment (STREE) initiative that provides technical assistance to the National Rural Livelihoods Mission.
Shruti is a Computer Engineer from PICT Pune, with over three years of experience in the data science industry. She is passionate about data driven decision making, and currently volunteers for the UNDP data futures team and the Women in Econ/Policy group. Shruti loves music and exploring Marathi poetry and literature.
Senior Manager, Office Administration
Suresh serves as the Senior Office Manager and Executive Assistant at LEAD. He looks after LEAD’s administrative functions and is responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the office.
For over 22 years, Suresh has enjoyed a long association with IFMR, having worked for the organisation in various capacities. He also held roles as an administrator for The Open University Executive MBA, PGDM and IRB programs at IFMR.
Suresh holds an MBA in Marketing from Pondicherry University.
He likes to unwind with a good book and music, and also loves discovering new music.
Senior Research Fellow, Institutions
At LEAD, Sujatha Srinivasan is responsible for the design and delivery of key strategic initiatives related to public infrastructure and basic services through a combination of research, outreach and policy advocacy.
Her research interests and portfolio span a range of sectors (include Water and Sanitation, Solid waste management, Energy, Public health, Financial inclusion, Livelihoods), across various policy and governance reform areas (public finance management, public-private partnerships, inclusive business models for basic services, eGovernance, monitoring & evaluation). She leads a range of research-policy partnerships with central/sub-national governments in India.
Sujatha is an experienced management professional with over 10 years of multidisciplinary, global experience across practice areas such as Public Sector and Social Sector Development, Banking and Financial Services. Prior to her current position, she worked for State Street Corporation (USA), Raytheon (USA) and Citibank (India).
Sujatha holds an MBA from Suffolk University, Boston and an undergraduate degree in Science from the University of Madras.
Senior Associate, Finance
Siva Shanker is a Senior Finance Associate with LEAD. In this role, he works on streamlining finance processes and ensuring that day-to-day finance activities are run smoothly.
Siva has over two decades of rich experience in handling finance and admin functions for international NGOs such as World Vision. He has worked to influence change in many poilcy and guidelines in the finance & Admin areas. He has also served at different parts of the country and specialiseds in handling relief and rehabilitation efforts during crise and national disasters and has participated in relief projects for the Super Cyclone, Gujarat earthquake, Malda floods and the tsunami that hit Tamil Nadu. He has completed his USAID Grant Management Training. Prior to LEAD, he worked with SAATHII in the capacity of a Manager-Finance for the interim period and handled EU, Astrae & UNICEF Grants.
Sive holds a double Masters in Arts and Finance. He is an avid sports enthusiast and has represented his university, district and state in volleyball competitions.
Research Fellow, Health
Sapna Nair is a Research Fellow at LEAD where she anchors multiple projects on public health policies, strategy and interventions. In her capacity as an expert on public health systems, she has worked as the Principal Investigator on multiple projects with partners including Infosys Foundation, BMGF, DFID and Aga Khan Foundation.
Sapna has a decade worth of experience as a public health specialist and researcher focusing on health systems research, from developing research methodologies, policy strategy, policy uptake and evaluation. Prior to her foray into research, she worked as a physician for over ten years. She was a part of the People for Health project, an initiative funded by the European Union aimed at improving the human resource for health (HRH) policy, strategy and practices across India. She has also played a key role in two UNDP funded projects aimed at providing social protection to Most At risk populations (MARP) and Persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in six states in India.
Sapna holds a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, Mumbai) and has additional training in Public Health Research and Qualitative Research methods from the University of Minnesota and the Indian Institute of Public Health.
Sabina Yasmin is a Research Fellow at LEAD and currently also serves as a Bharat Inclusion Fellow. Her research interests include agricultural economics, rural finance, development economics and applied microeconomics. Sabina is immensely passionate about using her work for the upliftment of marginalised people.
Prior to joining LEAD, she was a faculty in the Department of Economics at SRM University-Amravati where she taught economics to engineering and social science students.
Sabina received her PhD in agricultural insurance from Gauhati University where her doctorate research focused on addressing the issue related to implementation and adaptability of the crop insurance program in India. She has also been a MANF research fellow during her doctorate research. Pursuit of her growing interest in behavioral economics led her to attend a summer school in Tinbergen Institute-University of Amsterdam in Netherlands, where she conducted experiments in the CREED Lab on the effect of appearance on a person’s memory.
When she’s not working, she enjoys cooking and travelling and loves to paint, knit and write poems.
Research Fellow, Institutions
Rahul Muralidharan is a Research Fellow with LEAD and aims to bring focus on coastal environments, sustainable livelihoods, climate change and its associated social justice concerns. Rahul’s research interests broadly lie in using interdisciplinary political ecology approach to address pressing concerns over environmental justice and social equity issues. His expertise is in fisheries, environmental conservation, marine social sciences, sustainable development and research methodology.
Rahul has over ten years of experience in working with small-scale fishing communities along the coast of Tamil Nadu.
Rahul is a doctoral candidate at the Academy for Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). He has a Master’s degree in Marine Studies and Coastal Resource Management from Madras University, Chennai.
Head, Financial Inclusion
Fabrizio Valenti is currently the Head of LEAD’s Financial Inclusion team, overseeing the organisation’s research portfolio on this topic. An economist and development professional, Fabrizio has vast international work experience. Fabrizio is known for his analytical and research skills and for being an adaptable and dynamic professional who is passionate about bringing tangible and lasting impact through rigorous research and evidence.
Prior to joining LEAD, Fabrizio has worked as a Senior Consultant for KSAR, a Canadian strategic management consulting firm; as a Policy and Information Management Analyst for Save the Children in Sierra Leone; as a Technical Advisor on Sustainable Development for UNDP in Indonesia; and as a Researcher for the University of Rome Tor Vergata, for which he has lead projects in both Italy and Bangladesh.
Fabrizio holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.
In his free time, Fabrizio enjoys cooking and scuba diving.
Head, Research Operations
Aniruddha heads the Research Operations and M&E function at LEAD. He is a social sector professional with more than 24 years of experience in program management, Monitoring & Evaluation. He is passionate about issues of land, livelihood, and entrepreneurship.
Aniruddha has previously worked with Oxfam (International, Horn, East and Central Africa and India, LANDESA, IDE, UNDP India, Care India & Nielsen.
He obtained an M.Phil in Planning and Development from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and a Masters in Planning and Development from the University of Poona. He also has an MBA from Manipal University.
Aniruddha loves travelling and enjoys books on travel and food.
Ridhi Aggarwal is a Research Associate with the MSME & Entrepreneurship vertical at LEAD. Her areas of interest include labor markets, women’s studies and public policy.
Ridhi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Delhi University and is also a Young India Fellowship (batch 2017-2018) from Ashoka University.
When she is not working on a deadline, Ridhi likes to indulge herself in a dance-off with the mirror or a recall of the feminist periodic table by Marisa Bate.
Komal is a Research Associate at the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD. She is currently engaged in an agricultural evaluation, and a meta-analysis of an evidence-gap map. She is in interested in evidence-based research and policy making for agriculture, gender, and health.
Prior to joining LEAD, she has worked extensively on agriculture and energy related impact evaluations with NEERMAN. During her post-graduation degree in Economics from Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics, she interned at National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, where she published a few papers on gender budgeting, and nutrition.
In her spare time, she loves to read and travel.
Avdhut Fadanwis is a Software Associate at LEAD. Avdhut has extensive experience in developing applications for CATI-based and in-person field surveys. Avdhut joined LEAD in 2009, prior to which he was working as a freelance programmer.
Avdhut holds a Bachelor’s in Computer Application from Indira Gandhi National Open University. He also holds an ACCP Certification from Aptech Education.
Avdhut is a big cricket fan and his love for the sport goes beyond playing. He has also umpired for the Baroda Cricket Association.
Madhu Sivaraman, is a policy research professional and part of the MSME & Entrepreneurship vertical at LEAD.
Madhu has 11 years of experience working in the domains of business regulations, governance, urban reforms and data policies. Prior to joining LEAD, Madhu had worked in the government advisory vertical of Ernst & Young LLP as a Senior Policy Expert and was the Research Director of Centre for Public Policy Research, India handling various research projects and influencing policies in the country.
Madhu has a law and policy background and did his Masters in Comparative Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh as a Chevening FCO UK Scholar. He is a recipient of the Edinburgh Award for Public Engagement for his work on ICT Education in Malawi, Africa.
A barefoot footballer and a keen walking enthusiast, Madhu likes to tour places by foot and keeps a World Map Mug to get inspired.
Project Head, STREE, MSME & Entrepreneurship
Mridulya Narasimhan is the Project Head for the Solutions for Transformative Rural Enterprises and Empowerment (STREE) initiative, where she assists in the program implementation and provides inputs on research design elements to the non-farm team at the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM). Her research interests revolve around gender, labour markets, entrepreneurship and their intersectionality.
In her 5 years at LEAD, Mridulya has managed multiple large-scale grants and has worked with various government bodies, academicians and policy experts. She is an Ananta Aspen ASEAN-India Leaders’ Fellow, and the co-founder of Chennai Tricolor Initiative.
She holds an MSc in Public Management and Governance from London School of Economics and Political Sciences and has an MBA in International business and finance from Amity University.
Mridulya is a jill-of-a-few-trades. She thrives in teams and people who know her think she is a pretty decent listener. She keeps her weekends a secret and when she isn’t working, she’s most definitely dreaming about food.
HR & Admin Executive
Mohan Babu is an HR & Admin Executive with LEAD and supports HR and Admin operations for offices across India in this role. He has over seven years of professional experience as an HR professional and Administrator.
Mohan holds an MBA in Human Resource Management from Loyola university, and a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technologies from Anna University.
Mohan spends his free time animating and clicking photographs. He loves life in the fast lane, and taking his motorcycle for a spin.
Sanjna is a Research Assistant with the MSME and Entrepreurship Vertical at LEAD, working on projects with the GAME team and Finance Task Force. She graduated with a degree in B.A.Economics from Stella Maris College, Chennai at University of Madras in 2019. Prior to joining LEAD, She has worked as a Junior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Company, for the firm’s clients in Asia, Middle East and Australia on several engagements across sectors like Healthcare and Retail. Additionally, she was aligned to the global public sector practice and explored topics such as digital transformation for public services, service design and organizational architecture.
Sanjana likes to read, and travel and is very passionate about data driven policy making and hopes to influence and create long-lasting social impact.
Sneha Venu is a Research Associate with the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD. She is currently working on an experimental study on early childhood education in Rajasthan. She completed her undergraduate degree in Economics from Azim Premji University, with a minor in Development and Sustainability. Her research interests include development economics, with a focus on education, health, gender and social protection.
Sneha can never seem to find the time to read all the books that she would like to. In her spare time she is often doing yoga, baking or listening to podcasts.
Senior Research Associate
Akshay is a Senior Research Associate with the Climate Finance vertical at LEAD. He is passionate about impact investing, behavioural economics and aims to design interventions to motivate private sector participation towards climate action. He has over two years of experience with global think tanks, international organisations and government officials in the domain of natural resource economics, climate governance and integrated system analysis.
He has executed a study for the Centre for Research on the Economics of Climate, Food, Energy and Environment (CECFEE) grant from the Indian Statistical Institute. He has also been selected for the external review stage of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) research grant as a co-principal investigator. He holds an M.Sc. in Economics from TERI School of Advanced Studies and a B.Sc. in Economics, Mathematics and Statistics from St Joseph’s College, Bangalore University.
Sachin is a Research Associate at the Institutions vertical at LEAD. He is currently working on a study evaluating the impact of expressive art on the policing behaviour regarding gender based violence in Bihar. He previously worked as a Research Support Assistant at JPAL-South Asia for a project based out of Goa. He also served as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Trade (CRT), a think tank under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India.
Sachin holds an MA in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai. His research interests include Behavioral Economics and International Trade.
Niveditha is a Research Assistant at LEAD. She has completed her postgraduation in Economics from the University of Warwick where she worked on analysing the effectiveness of the lockdown on COVID-19 prevalence and fatality. During her Bachelor’s in Stella Maris College, she interned as a research assistant on a project, that aimed to study the schooling choices in lower income households in Chennai. Her research interest lies in the field of development and health economics.
Divyanshi Vohra is a Research Assistant at LEAD where she is currently working with the Climate Finance vertical. She has previously worked as a consultant for the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago (EPIC- India) for their AQLI project. Divyanshi is pasonate about understanding the behavioural aspects of climate change mitigation.
Divyanshi completed her Post-graduation in Economics (with specialization in Environment and Resource Economics) from TERI School of Advanced Studies, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Delhi.
In her free time, Diyanshi likes to travel and enjoys reading fiction.
Junior Executive, Field Operations
Raghavendhra M is a Junior Field Executive with the Field Operations vertical at LEAD. He is currently involved in data collection and field operations for research projects in Karnataka. Raghavendhra joined LEAD in 2014 and has been engaged in managing field surveys for large-scale impact evaluations in the domains of mental health, agriculture, enterprise development, and women empowerment.
Prior to joining LEAD, Raghavendhra has worked with Population Research Center and Sigma consulting, as a field Executive.
Raghavendhra holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Gulbarga University.
Sayan Bhattacharjee is a Field Executive with the Field Operations vertical at LEAD. He has extensive experience in training field personnel, monitoring, and management of survey teams across different projects and geographies. He has managed field surveys for large-scale impact evaluations across domains such as agriculture, digital financial services, enterprise surveys, and women empowerment. Most recently, he was engaged in managing the fieldwork for an IIED study on climate change, in Jodhpur and Barmer.
Sayan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Jaipuria College, Kolkata. In his free time, he enjos playing cricket and experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen.
Executive, Field Operations
Prasenjit Samanta is a Field Executive with LEAD. He has extensive experience in monitoring and supervising survey operations for large-scale assessments and impact evaluations across India.
Some of the projects he has been engaged with include: Targeting the Hard-Core Poor: An Impact Assessment, led by Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay and Jeremy Shapiro, and a nationally representative study by the Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS). He has previously worked with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai on the NFHS and AHS surveys, with UNICEF on a hospital assessment study, and with NCAER as Field Monitor where he worked with Prof. Sonalde Desai, Amaresh Dubey, B.L. Joshi, Mitali Sen, Abusaleh Shariff and Reeve Vanneman.
Prasenjit holds a Master’s in Social Work from Netaji Subhash Open University and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from University of Burdwan. In his free time, he likes to catch a good comedy movie, meet people and learn new things.
Senior Software Associate
Sachin Srivastava is a Senior Software Associate at LEAD. He is primarily involved in developing software, data analysis, setting up data entry as well as databases for various projects at LEAD. Sachin joined LEAD as a Software Developer and Data Management Associate in 2007 and has worked on a wide range of desktop and web applications as well as devices during this time.
Sachin has a Bachelor’s in Science (Chemistry) from Ravishankar University (2000 Batch). He also holds a diploma in Computer Application from Aptech and a Diploma from the Department of Electronics and Accreditation of Computer Courses.
Sachin is a movie buff, and also enjos swimming and calisthenics in his spare time.
Ria Dutta is a Research Associate with the MSME & Entrepreneurship vertical at LEAD. Her areas of interest include development economics, behavioral economics, energy policy,and climate change adaptation.
Ria holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy & Governance from Azim Premji University and an undergraduate degree from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Ria is passionate about promoting sustainable devleopment and is also engaged as a Project Officer with United Nations Sutainable Development Solutions Network – SDSN Youth. In her free time, she loves to paint.
Shashank Sreedharan is a Research Associate with LEAD. He is currently working on two randomized evaluations: the first one seeks to measure the impact of an information intervention on incentive structures on the performance of microfinance loan officers, and the second one aims to assess the effects of a new, innovative credit product allowing for flexible repayment and simultaneous locked savings on the business and household outcomes of SHG-affiliated women entrepreneurs. His part projects include a novel yearlong field experiment involving the setting up and running of confederate vegetable shops as part of a study exploring whether behavioural differences between men and women can explain differential enterprise success.
Shashank holds a Bachelor’s in Public Policy from Brown University. In his time at Brown, he worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva on a project on new humanitarian financing modalities and how to evaluate their impact. His other domain interests include post-conflict reconstruction, international organizations, and migration.
Shashank is a die-hard Manchester United fan and loves writing and playing music in his spare time.
Systems & Network Associate
Chockalingam is a System Network Associate at LEAD. He is an IT specialist with over four years of experience in the domain. He currently manages IT and network administration requirements for LEAD’s pan-India operations.
Chokalingam has an engineering degree in Electronic and Communications from Anna University. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and photography, and is popular in the team for his groovy dance moves.
Senior Programme Associate, Field Operations
Susanta Chakraborty is a Senior Program Associate with the Field Operations vertical at LEAD. In his current role, he administers the Salesforce system and supports related administrative functions. He joined LEAD in 2008.
Susanta holds a Postgraduate Degree in Social Work from Mahatma Gandhi University In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, clicking photographs and playing around with new ideas on digital platforms.
Asmi Khushi is a Research Associate with LEAD and is currently working on a project to study the impact of applied- theatre training for sensitising the police in Bihar to gender based violence, and on another project that examines the importance of norms among bureaucrats.
She is a Felix Scholar with an MSc. in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Miranda House. She has previously worked with a social science experiments lab, the Oxford Technology and Management Centre for Development, and as an RA for synthesising literature between cognitive science and storytelling in the humanities.
Asmi dreams of being able to articulate the world of humans and cultures in a grain of sand, and see heaven in living the lives of many different people from diverse communities. In her spare time, she makes art and writes poetry, likes to have long walks and long conversations amidst nature, and tries to cook, drive, play sports and manage daily life ((with little success).
Associate, Learning & Communications
As a Learning & Communications Associate at LEAD, Poulami manages the organisation’s digital presence and supports the team’s content development and outreach efforts. She is passionate about content that is crisp, simple and relevant.
Poulami has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and French from MSU Baroda, and a Master’s in Industrial Psychology from Christ University, Bangalore.
In her free time, she enjoys sketching, reading and enjoying a nice cup of tea, in no particular order.
Smitha Cunigal is a Senior Research Associate with LEAD. She has worked in areas of financial inclusion and MSME finance. She is currently working on designing and evaluating digital financial literacy training programs for clients of microfinance institutions. She has also worked on Monitoring and Evaluation projects and spearheaded Capacity-building initiatives.
Prior to working at LEAD, Smitha was working as a Research Associate at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore in areas of Gender and Public Health. Smitha holds a BSc Economics Degree from Singapore Management University.
In her free time, Smitha loves to discover new music, read and travel.
Nelson Mathews is a Research Associate with the MSME & Entrepreneurship vertical at LEAD. His primary research interests are social protection, public service delivery, and program evaluation.
Prior to joining LEAD, Nelson worked as a Research Assistant with J-PAL South Asia on a project led by Prof. Namrata Kala (MIT) & Prof.Julieta Caunedo (Cornell). He is interested in leveraging administrative data to inform policy decisions.
Nelson holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Governance from Azim Premji University, Bangalore. He is an avid reader and a footballer.
Junior Data Scientist
Meher Praneetha is a Junior Data Scientist with LEAD. She has previously worked as a System Engineer with Tata Consultancy services for two years. She has a keen interest in working with data and finding meaning in it by applying models tools.
Meher completed her Post-Graduation in Research and Business Analytics from Madras School Of Economics and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from SASTRA University.
In her free time, Meher likes to travel and also loves cooking.
Deveshi Chawda is a Research Associate with the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD. She has previously worked as a research intern with the Centre for Civil Society in Delhi, exploring the topic of affordable housing. As part of her Masters, she has worked as an intern with the Economic Research Unit at Revenue Ireland where she was employed largely in a behavioural economic capacity.
Deveshi holds a M.Sc. in Behavioural Economics from University College Dublin in Ireland and did her B.A. (Honors) Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi.
Deveshi classifies herself as an introvert who likes to read, paint, spend time with people she loves and consume Netflix. She sincerely believes in the tools of economics and research and wants to be able to use them to help people in a meaningful and sustainable manner.
Karthick is a Data Scientist with LEAD, where he is currently engaged with the Solutions for Transformative Rural Enterprises and Empowerment (STREE) initiative that provides technical assistance to the National Rural Livelihoods Mission. Karthick is an evaluation and data analytics expert with more than eight years of research and consulting experience in Asia and Africa. He has conducted multi-country research and evaluation programs to assess various government schemes. His core competencies are data analytics solutions, impact evaluations, M&E and strategic consulting.
Prior to joining LEAD, Karthick has worked in research teams of MicroSave Consulting and CARE India. He has worked across multiple sectors including MSME & Entrepreneurship, Digital Financial Services, Inclusive Finance and Public Health.
He is a street footballer, and enjoys penning blogs on data and its applications.
Bhavya is a Research Associate with the Financial Inclusion vertical at LEAD and is currently working on a project assessing the Banking Correspondents’ business model.
Prior to joining LEAD, Bhavya worked for the Tamil Nadu Household Panel Survey (TNHPS), a research collaboration between Madras Institute of Development Studies (Chennai), University of Michigan and Government of Tamil Nadu. Through collecting data on socio-economic indicators, this survey aimed to assess intertemporal changes in income and occupation of the residents of the state of Tamil Nadu. As a Research Investigator, Bhavya provided technical and research assistance on the same.
Bhavya holds a Master’s in International Development from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University.
In her free time she likes to catch-up on sitcoms and read a bunch of fiction books.
Regional Manager, Field Operations
Mahantesh is a Regional manager with the Field Operations vertical at LEAD. He is currently involved in managing data collection and field operations for research projects in Karnataka. Mahantesh joined LEAD in 2014 as a Field Supervisor and since then has managed field surveys for large-scale impact evaluations across domains such as mental health, agriculture, digital financial services, and MSME development.
Mahantesh has previously worked with Janaagraha as field surveyor on a Brown India Initiative Citizenship Index and Jaagte Raho projects.
Mahantesh holds a Bachelor’s in Commerce from Sri Venkateshwara Institute. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, playing cricket and badminton.
Manager, Grants & Finance
Anindya is a Grant Manager with LEAD. He is responsible for managing overall grant efforts, optimizing the grant administration process, preparing progress reports, and ensuring compliance with grant regulations.
Prior to joining LEAD, Anindya has worked with WWF-India and Bhumi where he managed their corporate fundraising vertical for South India.
Anindya has a keen interest in donor and relationship management. He holds a Master’s degree in Marine Studies and Coastal Resource Management from Madras University, Chennai.
In his spare time, Anindya enjoys following motor sport. He is also a wildlife enthusiast and enjoys bird watching.
Aishwarya is a Senior Research Associate with the Governance vertical at LEAD. She works in the area of gender-based violence and policing. She is presently working on two projects, one which looks at the effect of different forms of police patrols on street harassment in Hyderabad and another, on gender sensitization of police officers in Bihar. Her research interests lie in gender and education.
Aishwarya holds a Master’s in Economics from Ashoka University.
For her, community engagement and working with data are the most fascinating aspects about research. She enjoys travelling and devoting all her spare time to her dog.
Durgesh Pandey is a Field Executive at LEAD. He specialises in field team training, monitoring, and managing survey teams across different projects. He has extensive experience in managing field surveys for large-scale impact evaluations in the domains of agriculture, digital financial services, MSME development, women empowerment, and livelihoods.
Prior to joining LEAD, Durgesh worked as a District Coordinator with Ekal Vidyalaya, where he worked on programs that aim to alleviate poverty in rural parts India with a focus on both tribal and non-tribal communities.
Durgesh holds a Master’s degree in Social Science and Political Science along with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Dr. R. M. L. Awadh University, and is currently pursuing a PG diploma in Rural Development from Indira Gandhi National Open University. He also holds a Diploma in Information Technology from NIIT.
Geetanjali is a Research Associate with LEAD and is currently engaged in projects in the thematic areas of Gender, Sanitation and Health. Her research interests include women’s economic empowerment and applications of behavioural economics.
Prior to working in LEAD, Geetanjali interned with an NGO working on Child Trafficking.
Geetanjali holds an MSc. in Development Economics from University of Sussex and a Bachelor’s in History, Economics and Politics from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore.
Geetanjali is a passionate martial arts and holds a black belt in Karate.
Kartikeya Bhatotia is a Research Associate with LEAD, and is currently engaged with the Solutions for Transformative Rural Enterprises and Empowerment (STREE) initiative that provides technical assistance to the National Rural Livelihoods Mission.
Prior to working with LEAD, he worked in public healthcare strategy and education policy at the Tata Trusts and the Central Square Foundation, respectively. Kartikeya is interested in livelihoods, human ecology and the political economy of developing countries.
Kartikeya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from the College of Business Studies at the University of Delhi. He is also a former Young India Fellow (2017-18) from Ashoka University.
Kartikeya is passionate about cracking New Yorker crosswords. He also enjoys birdwatching.
Kothandam is a Programme Associate with LEAD. He is currently involved in data collection and field operations for research projects in Chennai, including a randomized control trial study. He has been with LEAD since 2009 in various capacities such as data correction, data quality checks and has also been a team leader for more than five years.
Kothandam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (CSE) from Anna University. He has a passion for solving mathematical riddles and enjoys playing chess in his free time.
Jithin Jose is a Research Manager at LEAD with research interests spanning across public health and its intersections with finance, gender and women empowerment. His work encompasses research areas like Financial Inclusion and related areas such as financial incentive programs, risk assessment and insurance; Public Health and its sub categories such as maternal and child health; and empowerment initiatives focusing on women’s economic empowerment.
Prior to LEAD, he worked as a Research Consultant with J-PAL South Asia in Bangalore. He has also interned at the Asian Development Research Institute, Patna and Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum.
Jithin holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Delhi.
Jithin likes photography and enjoys discussing arthouse flicks and its impact on society.
Amulya heads the training and capacity building vertical at LEAD. His core expertise is in the areas of financial inclusion and livelihoods development, and he also has experience in auditing and financial analysis of micro-lending programs and conducting training programs for MFIs. In his current role, Amulya is working on a World Bank-funded technical assistance project with the Government of Tamil Nadu, where he has developed the ‘operational and credit guidelines’ for the rural MSME financing scheme and conducting trainings for the concerned project officials. He is also working on multiple policy research and capacity building assignments in the areas of strengthening business correspondent models, green enterprise development and green-product financing, digital capability.
A passionate and results-oriented development professional, Amulya has over 18 years of work experience in the sector. Prior to LEAD, Amulya worked with the Capacity Building Team at Sa-Dhan, focusing on business development, product development, financial and information systems management for small and medium MFIs. He also has six years of grassroots experience in implementing community-based microfinance and livelihoods development projects in Odisha and Gujarat.
Amulya has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with Honours from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar.
Amulya is a rationalist and keenly follows current developments in Indian politics. He loves Indian sweets and foods from the east region of India.
Preethi Rao oversees the leveraging evidence function (collaborations, training, learning and communications, and innovations) and contributes to strategic decision-making at LEAD. Preethi has served the organization in various capacities such as Head – Innovation, Senior Operations Manager and Researcher (MSME).
As an Innovation Champion, she drives new initiatives and is responsible for conceptualizing new areas of interest for the organization. Prior to heading the Innovation vertical, Preethi has overseen the entire field data collection and digitization operations (spanning more than 10 states) of LEAD in her capacity as Senior Manager (Operations & Development). Preethi was the Director of the Jaipur Digital Payments Lab at Catalyst, where she oversaw the entire on-ground execution, managed partner/stakeholder relations, managed donor liaison and expectations, anchored M&E and was involved in the production of programmatic learning outputs. For IWWAGE, an initiative of LEAD conducting research on women’s economic empowerment, she serves as the Innovation Lead, assisting in setting up the hub, providing particular assistance in terms of confirming policies and procedures, and setting up outreach protocols in coordination with the team.
Apart from donning multiple hats at LEAD, over the years Preethi has undertaken interdisciplinary studies on access to finance for small and medium scale enterprises and the influence of macroeconomic policies on the low-income populations. She has also been involved in developing, designing and leading research studies and short term projects in open data, financial inclusion and MSMEs.
Preethi holds a Master’s Degree in Management from IFMR Graduate School of Business where her focus areas were Finance and Marketing.
In her free time, Preethi likes to write poetry, read fiction and watch documentaries on Psychology or experimentation on human behavior.
Ajay’s interest in the livelihoods of small farmers made him spend significant time in the field identifying issues in agriculture that have resulted in low growth rates. Ajay co-founded Magasool in 2012, a not-for-profit initiative aimed at improving the lives of small and marginal farmers in Tamil Nadu. Magasool focuses on providing specialized agriculture inputs that improve yield or decrease input costs. In addition, Ajay has been an Advisor to IFMR LEAD since February 2013.
Ajay got his PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2008. He joined IFMR LEAD’s Centre for Microfinance (CMF) as the Head of the Analytics Unit in January 2009. Between 2011 and 2013 he kept additional charge as the Centre’s Interim Executive Director.
Amulya heads the training and workshops vertical at IFMR LEAD. For over two years, Amulya worked with the Capacity Building Team in Sa-Dhan, focusing primarily on programs around Financial and Information Systems Management for small and medium NGO-MFIs. He also has six years of grassroots experience in implementing community-based microfinance projects during his association with Agragamee in Orissa and Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) in Gujarat. Amulya has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), Ahmedabad and a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar.
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Jagannath R is a Senior Research Associate in the MSME and Entrepreneurship thematic area. He is an avid traveller, backpacker and biker, and is currently based out of Mumbai. A quintessential urban Indian, he has spent the better part of two decades in Calcutta. He moved to Chennai to pursue his graduation in Economics from Loyola College before moving to Bangalore to pursue his master’s in Public Policy from National Law School of India University. Prior to joining as a Research Associate, he had interned with IFMR LEAD for 5 months.
Ankur is a Research Manager at the MSME and Entrepreneurship vertical at IFMR LEAD. He has worked as a researcher in the WASH sector for two and a half years and is currently interested in digital finance. Prior to working at IFMR, Ankur was working with the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) on their sanitation portfolio. Ankur holds a PGDM in Development Finance from the Institute for Financial Management Research (IFMR), Chennai and and an honors degree in Economics from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara.
After completing dual undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and International Development from Bucknell University, Abhay co-founded Bicycles Against Poverty, a CBO in Northern Uganda, working on appropriate technology and development models. Previously, he served as an engineering consultant to the Small Business Development Centre in Pennsylvania and an operations analyst for Goldman Sachs. He also remains involved in the manufacturing sector in West Bengal.
Abhay joined the organization in August 2009 as a Research Associate for an impact evaluation of the Ultra Poor Program in West Bengal, and has worked on a study involving Domestic Remittance Transfers. He is currently involved in various research and policy advocacy initiatives.