The Forbes Crossover Shortlist 2014


  • Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj..: Many a poor person must be glad that Anshu Gupta left journalism to begin Goonj.. Gupta was a student at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication[1] and a freelance journalist. An interview with a man who cremated dead bodies left a huge impact on Gupta, especially after hearing that the man’s daughter hugged dead bodies to keep herself warm in the cold winters[2]. This brought home the importance of clothes and poverty to Gupta. Goonj.., founded by Gupta and his wife runs several rural development programmes using clothes as an incentive. Goonj.. has been lauded for its work as a disaster relief organisation, and is setting up a unit to manufacture low-cost, cloth based sanitary pads for women.
  • Deval Sanghavi and Neera Nundy, Founders, Dasra: Former Morgan Stanley analysts Deval Sanghavi and Neera Nundy brought their considerable financial acumen to the world of NGOs. Their organisation Dasra provides NGOs with knowledge and funding to sustain their work by connecting them to High Net-Worth Individuals (HNI) wanting to support good work, As a young analyst, Sanghavi felt that he could bring the investing approach and rigour he learnt at work to help the NGO sector grow[3]. The two have never looked back, raising over 21 crores for a bevy of nonprofits[4] and providing over a 100 organisations with a much-required high quality executive education.
  • Kishore Kher, President and Trustee, Kherwadi Social Welfare Foundation: Kherwadi Social Welfare Foundation (Kherwadi) was founded by B.G. Kher, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 1928 and taken over by Kishore Kher in 1998. Kishore Kher, former Managing Director of an MNC and ex-IIM-A graduate, oversaw Kherwadi’s growth to the 18 states it currently operates in[5]. They empower 100,000 school dropouts a year, and run a widely-feted vocational training programme to give young people employability skills.
  • M.R. Madhavan, President, PRS Legislative Research: M.R. Madhavan’s reputation precedes him. He’s most commonly referred to as former Principal and Senior Strategist for the Asia Region at Bank of America, IIM-C alum or IIT-M graduate. These letters all define his work, and three new letters have been added to his considerable body of work. Madhavan is now co-founder and President of PRS Legislative Research, an organisation committed to improving governance in India by making the legislative process in India more transparent. PRS helps MPs, MLAs and citizenry both. They provide Members of Parliament (MPs) with highly-researched reports to help them debate in Parliament while also analyzing Bills introduced in Parliament and sharing it with citizens. PRS counts the Ford Foundation, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Rohini Nilekani as among their many supporters.
  • Ramji Raghavan, Chairman, Agastya International Foundation: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Ramji Raghavan’s Agastya Foundation brings these Confucian principles to science learning in remote villages in India. The foundation is the brainchild of Ramji Raghavan, former financial advisor, broker and Vice President at Citibank[6]. Raghavan wanted to do something different, and stumbled upon the idea of propagating scientific education and curiosity in India’s unreached villages. The organisation runs mobile science vans, set up a Science Park, holds science fairs and helps children develop curiosity and a scientific spirit. In 2013, they were one of the Google Impact Challenge, winning $500,000 to set up motorbike science laboratories.

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