Our People

Dr Ashok KhoslaDr. Ashok Khosla

Dr Ashok Khosla Dr. Ashok Khosla is Chairperson of the Development Alternatives Group. Currently, he is also President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) , Co-President of the Club of Rome, and Co-Chair of the UNEP International Resource Panel.

Dr Khosla is an Honorary Officer of The Order of the British Empire, a Senior Ashoka Fellow, Patron of LEAD-India and has received the United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize, the Schwab Foundation Award for Outstanding Social Entrepreneur and the Stockholm Challenge Award. He has a PhD in Experimental Physics from Harvard University and a BA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University. For more information please log on to khosla.in

Shrashtant Patara (Chief Operating Officer of TARA) Shrashtant Patara
(Chief Executive Officer, TARA and IMEDF)

Shrashtant Patara (Chief Operating Officer of TARA)

Shrashtant Patara, Shrashtant Patara is an architect by training. He has been with the Development Alternatives Group since 1988, providing research expertise, management capability and strategic direction to teams working in the areas of Habitat, Renewable Energy, Water and Sanitation, Waste Recycling and Livelihood Support Systems. His work is at the forefront of designing multi-stakeholder based approaches to the resolution of complex development challenges; establishing sustainable service delivery models that are directed towards local economic development, regeneration of the environment and greater social equity.
Currently, Patara is responsible for the management of programmes aimed at creating community benefits through the promotion of entrepreneurship and sustainable technology solutions, including the use of decentralized renewable energy systems; the foremost amongst these being the La Caixa Banking Foundation supported “Work 4 Progress” project aimed at innovation in entrepreneurship driven job creation; National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Promotion Board, Govt. Of India supported “Innovative Green Entrepreneur” initiative and The Rockefeller Foundation supported “Smart Power for Rural Development” program.
Patara is a Fellow of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Program on Social Innovation, has been a member of the Indo-German Expert Group on Green and Inclusive Economy, served as a jury member for the international SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development and has been involved in an initiative of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction on “Re-materializing Construction”.
He has been instrumental in the establishment of several social businesses within the Development Alternatives Group and currently leads the team that is incubating “TARAurja”, a renewable energy based micro-utility business and the Indian Micro Enterprises Development Foundation, a platform to deliver enterprise support services at scale.

Dr. Soumen Maity (Material Scientist) Dr. Soumen Maity
(Senior General Manager)

Dr. Soumen Maity (Material Scientist) Dr. Soumen Maity is a Material Scientist by profession and currently leads the Technology Management business at TARA. Soumen is with TARA over a decade anchoring the interface between innovation and business .At one hand he guides and mentors the Clean Technology systems at the Development Alternatives Group, on the other, he also leads the incubation of developed technologies at TARA. His expertise lies in the building material sector wherein he has been instrumental in exploring commercial approaches to utilization of industrial waste, improving energy efficiency and reducing environmental emissions. Currently, whilst establishing the Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) technology (world’s most energy efficient technology for fired clay brick production) in India, he is also engaging in disseminating the same to Asian and African countries through partner networks.

Kanika Verma Kanika Verma
(Deputy General Manager)


Kanika Verma is the lead for social innovation and entrepreneurship at the Development Alternatives Group. She provides strategic guidance, substantive expertise and management support to teams engaged in projects related to delivery models for basic needs products, provision of support services to micro and small enterprise and initiatives to strengthen aggregation driven value chains. She has also been responsible for incubating social businesses within the Development Alternatives Group including TARAgram, a market aggregator for ethically sourced, handcrafted products. She is, currently, part of the leadership team incubating Indian Micro Enterprises Development Foundation, a section 8 company delivering enterprise support services at scale. Kanika is passionate about social innovation and system change; and philosophically and practically, sees herself ‘building bridges’ that connect the unique aspirations of potential entrepreneurs to an eco-system of enabling services. She is the co founder of systems play, a platform for fostering collaboration, experimentation and learning with system innovators. Her current areas of focus also include spearheading a social innovation platform (action and learning) to boost job growth for women and youth in India with support from “la Caixa” Banking foundation. She is currently pursuing an M.Phil. with a specialisation in inclusive innovation at University of Cape Town. She led a financial investment firm in U.S.A. for seven years prior to joining Development Alternatives Group in 2011 to pursue her ambition of being a social entrepreneur.

Manisha Mishra
(Deputy General Manager - Business Operations)

Manisha Mishra joined TARA as Deputy General Manager – Business Operations and is currently associated with TARA Livelihood Academy, which is the training & capacity building arm of TARA. She has over 9 years of work experience across multiple sectors including Education, Training, Telecommunications and KPO. At TARA Livelihood Academy, Manisha’s current focus area includes heading the Executive Training vertical as well as supporting the Employability and Entrepreneurship skill development verticals. She is responsible for business development and operations, with a major focus on creating & executing an overall strategy to scale up TARA Livelihood Academy. Manisha is an Engineer in Instrumentation and an M.B.A. in Finance & Marketing. She has spent a major part of her career creating & leading teams to perform in the areas of Innovation, Training, Scaling-up, Marketing, Strategic Alliances, Operations and Sales. She has vast experience in the field of innovations related to Thinking skills & Life skills training.


Dharmraj Singh Dharmraj Singh
Manager - Projects

Dharmraj Singh

Dharmraj Singh, Manager- Projects. He has been experience of Indian Army for 06 yrs. Responsible for project management, operation and stakeholder management of renewable energy projects. Professionalized in developing and managing social enterprises. Specific area of initiatives include understanding business perspectives of various stakeholders towards innovating energy- based intervention models, formulating livelihood initiatives and monetizing social values to various sustainable activities. An MBA in Rural Management, his Present portfolio of work configures triple bottom line impact to TARA by integrating social and financial value creation with ecological sustainability and deals with designing and implementing energy - based enterprise models for enhancing livelihood potential with special focus on gender integrity.

Sunanda Jain (Deputy Manager at TARA Livelihood Academy) Ayesha
Manager (Business Incubation)

Ms. Ayesha Bhatnagar, Manager (Business Incubation)has completed her masters in Resource Management and Design Application, with specialization in Sustainable Development and Environment Management from University of Delhi. Her responsibility is to manage and deliver the enterprise support services to the entrepreneurs working in the paper recycling space. Additionally she is also responsible for testing delivery models and developing social marketing toolkit for basic needs products that are promoted by TARA.

Pradeep Kumar Pandey Pradeep Kumar Pandey
Manager Operations at TARA Livelihood Academy

Pradeep Kumar Pandey Manager Operations at TARA Livelihood Academy, he has been associated with the Group since 2009. Pradeep Kumar Pandey has a vast experience in implementing various skill training & capacity building programs for youth and entrepreneurs. Developing, designing & managing various employability skill and entrepreneurship skill training i.e. Vocational Training, Life Skill Training, Entrepreneurship Skill Training is a key area of his expertise. He has completed post-graduation in Economics from Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University, Faizabad (U.P.) He has gained significant experience in training delivery in business management skills training for micro and small business. He is a certified trainer for ILO-SIYB (International Labour Organization – Start and Improve Your Business) and HP LIFE (Hewlett Packard – Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs).

Sarita Sarita
Management Executive - TARA


Sarita is a Management Executive at TARA. She has pursued MBA with a specialization in Information Technology and also a Bachelor of Education. She has experience in administrative work. Currently she is responsible for management and administration work at TARA in its Management Cell.


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