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

George C. Varughese (President – Enterprise Development) George C. Varughese
(President – Enterprise Development)

George C. Varughese (President – Enterprise Development) George C Varughese is President - Enterprise Development, Development Alternatives Group and has wide area experience in the area of Programme Planning & Management, Institutional Design, Regional Environmental Planning, Environment Impact Assessment, Natural Resource Management, Information Systems Management, Policy Formulation and Construction Management.

George is responsible for building up a trans-disciplinary group capable of addressing issues related to environment and sustainable development. He has travelled extensively in the course of contributing to global discourse on Sustainable Development. He has a Masters Degree with distinction, in Urban and Regional Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering, Regional Engineering College, Rourkela.

Shrashtant Patara (Chief Operating Officer of TARA) Shrashtant Patara
(Chief Executive Officer of TARA)

Shrashtant Patara (Chief Operating Officer of TARA)

Shrashtant Patara, Chief Executive Officer of TARA, is an architect by training. He has been associated with the Development Alternatives Group since 1988, providing research expertise, management capability and strategic direction to teams engaged in the promotion of sustainable technology, creation of green jobs and fulfilment of basic needs amongst the rural poor. His current work focuses on the incubation of new service delivery models and capacity building measures for enhanced entrepreneurship and livelihood security; foremost amongst which are projects aimed at creating community benefits around the use of renewable energy, particularly through decentralized generation of power.


Vijay Chaturvedi (Senior Program Director) Vijay Chaturvedi
(Vice President, TARA)

Vijay Chaturvedi (Senior Program Director)

Vijay Chaturvedi is a Vice President at TARA. His present responsibilities include design, promotion, and implementation of projects for strengthening sustainable livelihood systems and incubation of Green Business models. His key area of work has been Aggregation and Market Development for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as Social Enterprises. He has also been engaging with the corporate sector for CSR and BoP Access partnerships along with Influence Area Development Projects and Joint Sustainable Business Initiatives. In his career of over 27 years, Vijay has been employed with various MNCs, Export Houses and Development Sector Organizations where he managed the marketing, international trading and business management function.

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.

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).

Kanika Verma Kanika Verma
(Deputy General Manager)


She spearheads initiatives for strengthening the livelihood system for producer groups and aggregates them for organised market access. She is also responsible for driving projects with corporates for BoP access. Her current responsibilities also include market extension of TARA Paper, a successful green business initiative by TARA. An entrepreneur by nature, she has seven years of experience working in Washington d c, USA including four years of running her own successful Financial and Real estate investment firm. She decided to move back to India and joined Development Alternatives group to pursue her ambition of being a social entrepreneur.


Madhuban Pandey (Sr. Manager) Madhuban Pandey
(Deputy General Manager)

Madhuban Pandey (Sr. Manager)

Madhuban Pandey is Deputy General Manager at TARA Livelihood Academy, the Capacity Building and Training wing of TARA. He has been employed with the Development Alternatives Group since 2008, providing capacity building and training related services across the organization. Madhuban has acquired education qualifications in Business Management and Social Entrepreneurship followed by experience in the same domain. He is involved in creating sustainable livelihoods at the grass root level by building capacity of the people. Through collaboration with partner agencies and companies like DPIP, HP, UNDP, ILO, JICA, NABARD, he has helped people enhance their skill sets, augment income generating opportunities and set up enterprises

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.


Sunanda Jain (Deputy Manager at TARA Livelihood Academy) Sunanda Jain
Assistant Programme Director (Training and Capacity Building)

Senior Manager at TARA, she has been associated with the Group for over four years. Sunanda has varied experience in developing, designing and managing community development programmes for various PSEs and Corporations. Key projects handled are around women empowerment, integrated village development and renewable energy based village electrification. She has pursued M.Sc. in Resource Management and Design Application, from University of Delhi. She also has experience in the area of Green Buildings through her work at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI, New Delhi) and dissertation work – a collaborative research with Michigan State University, USA. Date of Birth: 20th August 1986 Educational Qualifications: Academic Qualifications • M.Sc. Resource Management & Design Application (University of Delhi, New Delhi, India) • B.Sc. Home Science (University of Delhi, New Delhi, India) Technical Qualifications • Certified in Project Management by Institute of Project Management Certification (National Certification Body of PMA, India) Additional Qualifications • Qualified National Eligibility Test (NET) for Lectureship by the University Grants Commission (UGC), Government of India

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.

Faustina Gomez Abhishek
Deputy Manager Renewable Energy

Abhishek has been associated with the group since 2014. Renewable Energy is his area of expertise and has experience of working on projects like Smart Power for Rural Development (SPRD) by The Rockefeller Foundation and Micro-Franchising for Sustainable Rural Electrification (M-SuRE) by Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). He provides support services to the businesses being incubated in TARA under various capacities. He graduated as a Mechanical &Energy Engineer from VIT University, Vellore and did is Masters in Renewable Energy Science and Technology from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris. Abhishek also worked with marginal farmers in U.P. consulting them from seed to market level under his startup during 2013-14.


Rachit Agarwal Shipra Krishan
Manager (Aggregation)

Rachit Agarwal

Shipra Krishan is Manager for Aggregation Services at TARA. Her main work responsibilities at present involve strengthening livelihood systems for communities and producer groups by aggregating and connecting them with the emerging market needs for organized market access. She is also involved in BoP Consultancy to link high end corporate firms to the BoP. Shipra has pursued M.Sc. in Development Communication & Extension from Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi.


Dharmraj Singh Dharmraj Singh
Deputy Manager - Projects in Programme Management

Dharmraj Singh

Dharmraj Singh, Deputy Manager- Projects in Programme Management Services at TARA. 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.

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.


Arjun Dhawan Arjun Dhawan
( Manager - Tara)

Arjun Dhawan

Manager at TARA, he has been associated with the Group for three years. Arjun has varied experience in developing, implementing and scaling up technology solutions for TARA-run businesses. He is currently helping incubate TARAurja, a clean-tech business that sets up and runs mini-grids in rural areas. At TARAurja, Arjun manages technology integration into the business for tracking key performance indicators and helps innovate in business processes.

Sohina Sohina Singh
Manager (Habitat and Livelihoods)

Ms. Sohina Singh, Manager (Sustainable Habitat & Livelihoods) has over 3 years of work experience across multiple sectors including sustainable habitats, trainings and education. Her current focus area includes developing and transferring technology packages to entrepreneurs in the building material space. She is also responsible for developing capacity building modules, knowledge products and customizing existing packages for various organizations.

Arjun Dhawan Priyali
Manager (Development Services)

Ms. Priyali Bhardwaj, Manager (Development Services) holds a Master’s degree in Resource Management and Design Application, with specialization in Sustainable Development and Environment Management from University of Delhi. She is responsible for supporting the development and transfer of enterprise packages and business models in rural markets with particular emphasis on Processed Fuel and Renewable Energy based systems. She also assists in project development and microenterprise development work to support decentralized village electrification.

Pulari Pulari Kurian
Manager- Community Initiatives at TARA


Pulari Kurian is Manager- Community Initiatives at TARA. She is currently associated with community development and strengthening livelihoods through capacity building and skill development by means of designing and developing programmes as CSR activities for Corporates. Pulari’s proficiency lies in project management, monitoring & evaluation of various development projects, establishing & managing corporate & government partnerships. She perused MSW in Urban and Rural Community Development and PGD in NGO Management. Her current work responsibilities involve, planning, design and management of capacity building programmes with a focus on promoting skill and livelihood creation.


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