Audrey D’ Souza
Audrey was the Regional Director of Indo German Chamber of Commerce, Bangalore and has more than 30 years of experience. She has extensively worked in the area of women enterprise development. In her capacity as the Regional Director, she has worked with the international business community including various German companies, industry and trade associations and Indian and German Government authorities.
Simmi Sareen
Simmi has 18 years of experience including senior management roles focused on credit risk, debt markets and SME financing in leading financial institutions and corporates like IDBI, ICRA, Morgan Stanley, IntelleGrow, Grameen Impact India. She is the cofounder of Loans4SME, India’s pioneering market place for small business loans. Her work has focused on identifying and addressing the challenges faced by small businesses in raising debt capital and she has successfully deployed commercial debt capital in growth stage startups across renewable energy, financial inclusion, education, healthcare and social impact sectors. She is a Chartered Accountant and has a Sloan MSc in Leadership and Strategy from the London Business School.

Aruna Rangachar Pohl
Chairperson-Advisory Committee
Aruna is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad), and has 27 years of varied entrepreneurial, consulting and senior management experience primarily in the food, agriculture and retail sector. She has set up factories for processing spice oils and oleoresins and other food ingredients, a food laboratory and import businesses for food products, as well as marketing and distribution channels for organic foods. She has been consultant to Agri-products export promotion body of Government of Germany (CMA) and other reputed companies, such as Cadbury, Schweppes UK, Illovo Sugars South Africa etc., internationally. She won the “Outstanding Women Entrepreneur” award in 2002, presented by the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and has been listed among the “50 Most Impactful Green Leaders” globally, by World CSR Day in 2017-18. Prior to joining IFHD, Aruna was the National Director, Cheshire Disability Trust, and was responsible for implementing livelihood programs for persons with disability. In her current role as Head of Programs at IFHD, she is tasked with building up the organizational capabilities of IFHD to design and implement core programs in greening economies, sustainable consumption and production. She also serves in the board of Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture Network which is a network of civil society organizations, research institutions and universities working on policy and interventions designed to suit rainfed agriculture systems.
Hemalatha D
Hemalatha, has her B.A (Hons) in English Literature, Jyothi Nivas College, Bangalore and Diploma in Personal Secretary Course, Career College, Bangalore. She has an experience of working for 17 years as Secretary at Hivos India Regional Office, Bangalore with responsibilities such as supporting the Management, handling external relations and communications, managing the resource centre, supporting the programme department on external communications with partners and supporting to an extent the project management on updating the database, overviews etc. In her current role, Hema is tasked to develop partnerships consistent with IFHD’s priorities based on an analysis of key development issues, emerging trends and opportunities, develop and manage database of partners, service providers, donors etc, represent IFHD and maintain contacts with civil society organisations, government, corporate and others, manage communications and coordination with all stakeholders.
Venkat Raman.G.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Venkat has completed MBA (Finance) from Magnus School of Business, Chennai and is also a qualified Chartered Accountant (Inter). He has more than 11 years of experience in diverse sectors of corporate and not-for-profit, where his domain areas of work are in Operations, Marketing, Financial Management and Programs. He has experience in nurturing social start-ups, business development, marketing and fundraising. He has worked with leading partners like Ford Foundation, Hivos, European Union, CoE, Solidaridad, G-Star, Whole Foods (US), Groceries Apparel (US), Fellisimo (Japan), Chetna Organic, Vrutti, NabFins, Oiko Credit, Annanya Finance, Caspian Advisor, RangDe, Nabkisan, RGVN, SVA, Life Trust, Sittlingi Organic Farmers Assoc., CIKS, Parivartan, ICRA, IDF, Tata Trusts, Change Alliance, NIWCYD, NEIDA, CmF, CInICELL, SURE, GEAG, DRCSC, GiZ, etc. In his current role, he is responsible for providing technical assistance to FPOs like conducting business research involving value chain studies, feasibility studies, and market entry strategies, setting-up F&A & compliance systems, fund raising and designing business processes and organization structures involving HR systems, financial systems, business performance measurement, procurement and supply chain, and market linkages. During his tenure in IFHD, he has supported 38 FPCs across 17 states.
Pratheek Abraham
Manager- Programme Development and Technical Assistance
Pratheek holds Masters degrees in Management from MDI, Gurgaon and ESCP Europe, Paris and a Bachelors degree in Computer Science Engineering from BITS, Pilani. He has 6 years of development, corporate and entrepreneurial experience spanning proposal development, market research, value chain studies, financial planning and analysis, enterprise development and business strategy and operations. He has worked on several agricultural and horticultural value chains in different geographies in India and Bangladesh for various donors like World Bank, CGEP, DFID, BMGF, ACRE, NAPP, Tata Trusts and State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Karnataka. He co-founded V For Change, an online platform to promote volunteer-tourism and eco-tourism to facilitate economic, social and environmental impact in remote and rural areas. In the past, he has worked with leading organizations like Traidcraft, TechnoServe, Grail Research and Morgan Stanley. In his current role at IFHD, Pratheek works on partnerships, program design and proposal development. He also provides the following technical assistance and consulting services – value chain studies, market research, business plan development, operational strategy development, market linkages, etc.
Veeresh Nayak
Manager- Technical Assistance
Veeresh holds an MSW (Master in Social Work) with specialisation in Community Development from Mangalore University. He has seven years of experience of working with the farming community at Srijan as Programme Manager and as Programme Officer at Dhan Foundation under JSYS Program. In his current role, he ensures provision of qualitative and output oriented Technical Assistance to the FPOs; develop market for the agriculture produces of the client FPOs; coordinate, monitor and evaluate the TA provision to the FPOs by ProCIF service providers as well as provide the required TA to the FPOs; and develop training materials for the use of the FPOs.
Narasimha Hegde
Senior Advisor
Narasimha has a M Sc Geology (Karnataka University), Professional Masters in Natural Resource Management (Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation at the University of Twente, The Netherlands) and is currently pursuing his Doctorate at University of Greifswald, Germany. He is involved in promoting integrated and interdisciplinary approaches for conservation and management of non-timber forest products in the tropical forests by combining landscape/ecosystem knowledge and participatory methods. He has extensively worked on value addition of selected NTFPs and its marketing. He conducts action research on ecological restoration of the tropical fresh water swamps. He has independently handled projects for IUCN Secretariat, CGIAR, Rain Forest Information Center - Australia, Western Ghats Task Force, Karnataka, Global Green Grant Fund, USA, Cordaid, Netherlands, Rain Forest Trust USA, GFA bridges Germany and UNDP. He worked as consultant for Tetra Tech ARD for the Forest PLUS program. He has published research papers, booklets and books and is familiar with various resource mapping tools and techniques. Narasimha leads IFHD's swamp restoration and biodiversity conservation project in Sirsi, in the Central Western Ghats. He is responsible for program design and fundraising and also provides technical assistance to FPOs. Currently he is setting up an NTFP, honey and spices centric FPO in Sirsi to promote alternate livelihood options for the local community.
Medha Ramachandra Hegde
Field Extension Staff, Sirsi
Medha has done her MSc -Botany from Karnataka University. She has been part of research teams on biodiversity and its management, flora exploration, value education, ecology, environmental science, plan genetics and plant tissue culture. She has worked on linking fragmented fresh water swamps through the restoration of micro corridors in the central western ghats, India funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). As a research associate for biodiversity international funded project on participatory research to assess the gendered knowledge and collective management of native fruit trees in the central western ghats. She has published presented papers at various forums. Currently she is working as Field extension staff for IFHD at Sirsi for the promotion of Farmer Producer Company.
Padmanabha Ganapati Hegde
Field Extension Staff, Sirsi
Padmanabha Ganapati Hegde is a farmer and has extensive experience in working with the communities in the Western Ghats. He has worked in projects related to the protection and restoration of endangered species of flora and fauna in the Western Ghats and the restoration of fresh water swamps. He also been actively part of mobilising NTFP collectors and farmers into Village Forest Committees and groups. Currently he is working as Field extension staff for IFHD at Sirsi for the promotion of Farmer Producer Company.
Chandan Kumar S
Manager – Technical Assistance
Chandan holds an MBA from East West Institute of Technology, Bangalore. He has more than 10 years of experience across procurement and marketing in the agri-business domain. He has worked with Ruchi Soya and Synthite Industries In his current role, he ensures provision of qualitative and output oriented Technical Assistance to the FPOs; develop market for the agriculture produces of the client FPOs; coordinate, monitor and evaluate the TA provision to the FPOs by ProCIF service providers as well as provide the required TA to the FPOs; and develop training materials for the use of the FPOs.
Dayavathi Anil
Manager – Finance
Daya has 11 years of experience of working in Accounts, Finance and Administration in NGOs and private sector companies and institutions. She has an M.Com from Karnataka Open University, Mysore and a Diploma in Commercial Practice from Nitte (NRAM Polytechnic Nitte). She is currently pursuing Executive Company Secretary from ICSI. In her current role, Dayavathi manages finance, accounts and administration at IFHD.
Rajesh L
Project Coordinator – Rainfed Agriculture Systems
Rajesh is a post-graduate in Horticulture and has worked as a Subject Matter Specialist (Horticulture) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Mudigere and as a Senior Research Fellow under a RKVY project at UAHS, College of Agriculture, Shimogga. He is experienced in research, training and extension activities. Rajesh is tasked with coordinating rainfed farming projects and advocating RRAN’s agenda in Karnataka.

Sanjay Kumar Gupta
Senior Advisor
Sanjay’s background is Operational Research with key expertise in project management and market led technical support to development livelihoods/poverty projects with primary focus on promoting agribusiness opportunities among rural farmers organized into Common Interest Groups, Farmer Producer Groups, SHGs, Farmer Marketing Cooperative, MACS working with UN agencies, ADB, state government agencies, NGOs/INGOs, and resource agencies.
Aditya Bellur
Financial & Statutory Advisor
Aditya is a Chartered Accountant and a qualified lawyer. Aditya has over 8 years’ experience in individual taxation, corporate tax and service tax areas, as well as in regulatory areas. He has specific experience in compliance, FCRA and non-profit accounting. In his current advisory role in IFHD, Aditya provides support on financial management, Project-wise accounting and related activities, Statutory compliance, Corporate secretarial work.
Nirmallya Mandal
Nirmallya’s background is in Economics and Rural management. His key expertise lies in the areas of Market led Livelihoods, Market research, Skill Development, Micro-enterprise development, CSR, Micro Finance, Institutional development, Value chain development, Social Entrepreneurship, BPR and marketing.
Ramchandram C.
Ramachandram has a Graduate Degree and has undergone in-plant training in Cotton Textile Processing, particularly spinning. He possesses more than 25 years of experience working in spinning mills viz. processing of Raw Cotton into lint bales, ginning process, procurement processing, packing and storage. He has also been involved in Organic Cotton Projects involving certification. Cotton marketing expert
Subash Naik
Senior Advisor
Subash Naik has over 16 years of experience of working in Odisha on rural marketing, women empowerment, micro finance, and livelihood sector. He has extensively with community on SHGs and Farmer Producer Organisation as CEO. He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Development (IGNOU) and MSW (Master of Social Work), Tamil Nadu University.
Manjunath. H
Senior Advisor
Manjunath. H has 18 years’ experience of working in Karnataka in the areas of Sustainable Technology Transfer, Sustainable/ Organic agriculture, rural livelihoods, Farmer Producer Companies, watershed management, rural sanitation, bio diversity conservation and gender and youth. He has also several articles, books and films to his credit. He worked with IFHD as Manager-ProCIF Technical Assistance from November 2016 to April 2017. Now as a freelance consultant has been providing his expertise advise as senior advisor to IFHD. Manju holds a PG in Environmental Sciences from Kuvempu University, Karnataka, a Graduate in Forestry from University of Agri Sciences, Dharwad, and a Diploma holder in Agriculture and Rural Development from CAM, Dharwad, Karnataka.
Christian Friedrich Pohl
Senior Advisor
Christian Friedrich Pohl has over 32 years of international experience in providing strategic and operational guidance to start-up/growing companies and social enterprises in the hospitality/retail/food service/agro-commodities and meat production sectors. He has worked in Africa, Far East, Europe, Sri Lanka and in India. He holds a Diploma in Hotel Management from Hotel School, Dortmund, Germany, International Marketing Management, Germany and Apprenticeships at Buergergesellschaft, Bochum, Germany.
P Srinivas
Advisor – Rainfed Agriculture Systems
Popularly known as Soil Vasu, Srinivas is the founder of SOIL, a trust for caring, protecting and rebuilding Soil Health. He is campaigning for a better Soil Policy through promotion of Diversity based Ecological Farming Systems and is running a program with smallholders under rain fed conditions in parts of Chinthamani Taluk to address nutritional food security for soil organisms, farm animals and humans. For over a decade, he worked for ICRA (Institute for Cultural Research and Action) and was part of many studies conducted by Greenpeace India, ASHA and OFAI and has provided technical support for institutions like Punarchith, Sakhi, Chinthana, partner institutions of ACTIONAID – Bangalore. He has developed several teaching and demonstration modules related to the issues around soil with pedagogies that draw on humour, songs and in-depth knowledge of local and scientific practices and is a well-known resource person for issues related to soil – land, crop management, organic soil inputs and seed conservation. In his current role in IFHD, Vasu is designing a program for enriching and conserving soil health through diversity based farming systems in rainfed areas in Karnataka.
S.C. Rajshekhar
holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture & a PG Diploma in Rural Management; has 24 years of work experience in marketing & marketing research; specialises in Rural Marketing, Rural Market Research. Key focus areas are Rural Energy and Sustainable Agriculture. He helps organisations use business principles & techniques to achieve sustainable development.
Thomas Pullenkaval
has MA in Rural Management (IRMA) and Bachelors in Physics. He has 23 years of experience, of which about 20 years has been in the clean energy access and renewable energy sectors. His extensive experience in this sector ranges from ‘hands-on’ field experience with rural energy enterprises to providing programmatic support to international organizations to plan, design and implement their access to clean energy and renewable energy programs. His other interests include supporting social enterprises in the sustainable energy sector.
Ashwini Chandak
has PGD (Marketing) and M.Sc. Economics. His experience of 14 years has been in the areas of Agri- business promotion/investment/ marketing, Value chain, Policy, Research, Capacity building across agriculture, NTFP, Livestock, and Non -farm sectors. He has worked with the World Bank, DFID, University of Illinois and others.
Kirti P. Mishra
has completed MBA (IIMC) and MSc Statistics and has over 24 years of experience working in the area of rural marketing. He has been with MART in the position of a partner for 19 years. His areas of expertise lies in Agri-business promotion, enterprise promotion, marketing, skill development and business development with various agencies viz. USAID, GIZ, and others.
V. Ananthanarayanan
has 30 plus varied experience in the corporate, business and social environment. He is presently associated with the social sector, focussing on people and process development trainings in the areas of life, livelihood, education and disability. He has 12 years of Corporate experience in the Fast-Moving consumer product space in Sales, 8 years’ business experience and 10 years in the social sector. He is an experienced trainer on employability, leadership and team building. The most recent training conducted was for the ProCIF CEOs of FPOs from different states of India.
C. Parthasharathi
has Masters in Development Administration and possesses an experience of 13 years in llivelihood promotion. He has worked with small and marginal farmers with respect to formation of Farmers Clubs, federating them into FPOs and on their market linkages.
has a Graduate Degree and has undergone in-plant training in Cotton Textile Processing, particularly spinning. He possesses more than 25 years of experience working in spinning mills viz. processing of Raw Cotton into lint bales, ginning process, procurement processing, packing and storage. He has also been involved in Organic Cotton Projects involving certification.