Meet all our mentors and advisors
Mentorship is the core pillar of Udhyam’s entrepreneurship program. While the Udhyam team provides day-to-day support as well as informal mentoring to entrepreneurs, its team of local mentors is invaluable for individualised guidance to the entrepreneurs who need it most.
Based on their business idea, each entrepreneur is matched with a local mentor who understands their business or chosen sector, and is also well-versed with the local environment. Ripples mentors, who are based outside of the region, visit on a quarterly basis and guide entrepreneurs in financial and business planning.
And of course, the Udhyam team itself is mentored by our enthusiastic and supportive Advisory Board!
Ashish spent a few years in Delhi running his own adventure tourism company, Himalayan Wanderers. In 2004, he moved back to his home district of Nainital to start the Himalayan Village resort at Sonapani, where he hosts the Sonapani Film Festival twice a year. In addition to running Café Lota and Roots in New Delhi, Ashish and his wife remain closely engaged with the local community around Sonapani through livelihood and handicraft ventures.
Aditya worked in the media industry for about 20 years before transplanting his life from the capital to the hillside town of Uttarakhand. He is the owner of Nirvana Cottages cum Wellness Center in Mukteshwar. He is also a part of the OCS Foundation and works closely with extended groups of women farmers and their children in the region.
An industrial and software engineer by qualification, Dhiraj has donned several hats over the last 16 years as a business leader, process consultant and entrepreneur. His last assignment was as the COO of a captive BPO for an American outsourcing company. In June 2009, he embarked on his dream to build B2R, a rural BPO in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
After an MBA from Kellogg and various corporate roles, Chetan returned to India in 2007. His last role here was as CEO of HCL Learning. In 2015, he moved to the mountains where he brought his love for writing, teaching and entrepreneurship together to create his next business. A published author, Chetan created the Himalayan Writing Retreat and co-founded the social enterprise Old Hill, which makes artisanal cheese, with his partner Nitin Dayalu.
With an MBA degree from FORE (Delhi) and an MSW from TISS (Mumbai), Anshu wound her way from the corporate IT sector in Delhi to the tea plantations of Munnar, and then to the development sector as the CEO of Charkha, a Delhi-based NGO. She now lives and works on an organic farm in Kumaon.
An entrepreneur at heart who first experienced the thrill of doing business at the age of 14, Deepak - who has lived in Nainital all his life - was involved in businesses as varied as travel, plantations, real estate and adventure sports. He now lives in a remote Kumaoni village, promoting village tourism and exploring other sustainable agri-based income generating initiatives.
Atul, originally a civil engineer by profession, now runs a library which provides knowledge-based and vocational support to the children of Seem and its surrounding villages. The library has been operational since June 2016 and, in a short period of time, has provided over 50 children access to books, vocational education, tuition and computer literacy classes.
Would you like to become a mentor?
Sameer is the President of TracyLocke India – a DDB Mudra Group venture specializing in Shopper Marketing and Retail Solutions. Sameer is the founder member of the Trade Marketing Unit at DDB Mudra Group and has been instrumental in setting up the erstwhile Multiplier which is now TracyLocke India.
Sridhar is a finance professional currently spearheading the Ernst and Young Foundation (CSR wing for E&Y). Prior to joining the Foundation, he was the National Director – Finance at E&Y. He has been working towards promoting low cost, mass impact and sustainable models in education and livelihoods.
Rahul, founder of UnLtd Delhi, is a serial social entrepreneur. He co-founded iVolunteer in 2001 and introduced the concept of formal volunteering in India. In 2004, Rahul created iVolunteer Overseas and was responsible in creating the learning systems for the ICICI Fellows program till 2012. He has now initiated the India Fellow program.
An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and St. Stephen's College, Surabhi is a multifaceted professional with experience of over 25 years across the advertising, FMCG and recruitment/consulting industries. She leads the Executive Search practice at Quadrangle, focusing on leadership positions with organisations across consumer internet, services and the non-profit sector. She is on the Advisory Council of "India Leaders for Social Sector", a program that empowers high quality talent to take up leadership roles in the development sector.
Harsh Singh Lohit
Harsh Singh Lohit worked in the Indian software industry for 25 years after an MBA from the USA. He helped found and grow Headstrong, a specialised global software services firm until 2012. Since then, he has been busily engaged in natural farming just outside Gurgaon and volunteering with various non-profits organisations.
Pramatha is an entrepreneur and management consultant with 27 years of experience, specialising in the SME sector. He mentors several startups and is keen on promoting entrepreneurship which is green, ethnic, sustainable and focused on solving problems in the Himalayan region. He heads the Entrepreneurship Cell at Graphic Era Hill University and is also a Board Member in an Indo-German JV (IIT, Roorkee and University of Dresden) for River Bank Filtration (RBF). He is a PGDM from IIM-Calcutta and a B.E (Mechanical) from NIT, Nagpur.