Ronnie Screwvala is a first generation entrepreneur who started his journey by introducing India to multi channel TV viewing, by launching the first cable TV network in the country. From there, he went on to build a Media and Entertainment conglomerate spanning Television, Motion Pictures, Broadcasting, Games and Digital, that he listed in 2005 for a market cap of $ 55 million and that The Walt Disney Company bought in 2012 for an enterprise value of $1.4 billion.
Ronnie puts a great deal of emphasis on Social Welfare. He founded a Foundation with a focus on Rural India and adopted over 200 villages in Maharashtra to work on their self-sufficiency in water, health, education and livelihood.
Onto his second innings after selling his stake to Disney - The Foundation - entitled SWADES, has a plan to impact one million in Rural Maharashtra in five years, with a clear exit/empowerment strategy from those villages, and building a model for others to follow. The Foundation has committed an initial amount of $50 million in its first tranche.
Zarina Screwvala is a founder of the Swades Foundation & works full time as its Managing Trustee/Director. The Swades Foundation operates with the single-minded focus of empowering rural India through holistic and sustainable growth by engaging with and empowering village communities, executing multiple programmes on the ground and working towards an exit strategy. Believing strongly in creating partnerships between Rural India, Corporates, Young India, the Government and other NGO’s for a irreversible change for good.
The Swades foundation has created a unique 360-degree model of development with 350 full time staff who work in 1900 villages impacting just under half a million people across drinking water & sanitation, nutrition, health, education as well as a huge focus on progressive farming, animal husbandry, skilling & other livelihoods. Zarina is especially interested in Education that is Joyful and empowering.
Zarina pursues her passion for philosophy at New Acropolis (India North), which is a school of philosophy in the classical sense of investigating universal truth through a comparative study of ancient cultures and working to apply these principles to our own lives in order to help make the world a better place.
Zarina was also one of the Founder-Directors of UTV (now a part of the Walt Disney Company India), one of India's foremost media and entertainment conglomerates, where she led the creation and launch of leading broadcast brands including UTV Bindass, UTV Stars, UTV Action and Hungama TV in India and the children’s channel Astro Ceria in Indonesia & Malaysia.
Follow her on twitter @zarinascrewvala
Mangesh has more than 27 years of General Management experience with P&L responsibility and in leading successful start-ups across multiple sectors and various organizations viz. Farm Inputs (Farm Machinery, Agri-Inputs, Animal Feeds & Micro Information), Retail and Micro Finance. Mangesh has rich experience in strategy formulation & implementation and worked for organic & inorganic growth of businesses.
Mangesh started his career in Sales & Distribution with Mahindra Tractors in 1987. He also headed the S&D of Agri Input Business at Godrej Agrovet. He conceptualized and started the modern retail businesses (Aadhaar and Nature’s Basket) at Godrej Agrovet Ltd. He has also worked in the Microfinance business at Fullerton India and later for Reuters Market Light at Thomson Reuters.
Before joining Swades, Mangesh was the Head, Animal Feeds Business at Godrej Agrovet Limited.
Chandra Shekhar Gowda is an international social development specialist with over 17 years of experiences in public health, child rights, social protection, women’s empowerment and private sector engagement.
He specializes in Implementation Science, managing large and specialized projects across India. He has headed Asia’s largest and most comprehensive community empowerment programmes among women in sex work that brought down prevalence of HIV from 22 percent in 2005 to 9.1 percent in 2012). Prior to joining Swades, he has been part of several international assignments providing technical support to national governments, bilateral and multilateral organisations as well as international NGOs. He has been instrumental in conceptualization and implementation of ideas that resulted in creation of new knowledge. He has worked in rural parts of Karnataka implementing comprehensive health intervention covering over 220 villages.
Some of his notable work includes recognition from the Indian Psychiatric Society, Karnataka Chapter for commendable work in working with HIV and Alcohol issues. Stigma Reduction Strategies won the development market grant for being innovative and also was adjudged one of the best practices that featured as case study in World Bank Website. Setting up of integrated community water plant in rural areas in partnership with communities and Gram Panchayat that led to scaling of model in other villages serving over 4000 families.
He has contributed to mobilizing resource that includes scanning for opportunities, assessing the fit, putting together partnerships and writing proposals. He was instrumental in securing grant from Development Market Place, UNDP/ICRW and was part of writing proposal to European Union, GFATM, Global Fund for women, UNEDF, UNDP, UNICEF and Corporate Foundations
A member of ‘Abolition of child prostitution’ Government of Karnataka, he believes in community empowerment and integrated approaches that contributes towards sustainable development.
An MSC Agriculture in Plant Breeding and Genetics, Sheshgiri comes with nearly 17 years of experience in business development, operations, channel management, institutional sales and market research. He has worked with organizations like Zydus Industries in the Agro Division, Reuters Information Services and Mosanto India.
Rahul comes in with a rich experience of 18 years which is an amalgamation of various functions like Training, Marketing, Operations and he started his HR journey in April 2007 with EXL.
He has a proven track record as HR Generalist profile which includes People Management, Performance Appraisal, Manpower Planning, Recruitment, MIS, Training and Development, etc. among other things. His expertise lies in partnering with Business units to develop overall business strategy and objectives and translating them into goals, plans and tactics.
He has completed his B.Com and MBA in Marketing from Pune University and has completed his PGCHRM from XLRI. Before joining Swades, Rahul was associated with MNCs like GE, EXL, WNS, Stream Global Services where he was the Director HR. Post Stream got acquired by Convergys in 2014, he was responsible for the HR Generalist profile for the West region in capacity of a Regional HR Business Partner, managing around 4500 employees based out of Mumbai, Thane and Pune.
Mr. Rajesh Jain has a Master’s degree in Applied Geology from IIT Roorkee and more than two decades of experience in this sector. He has spent a considerable amount of time working within the Government where he got associated with the initial founding teams of Rural Non- Farm Development Agency (RUDA) and Indian Institute of Crafts & Design (IICD). Later he joined DFID-CARE incubated ACCESS Development Services where he has extensively worked on Enterprise Development and Value chains, Farmer Producer Companies, Craft based Livelihoods, Rural Tourism, Rural Business Hub and other projects with many Government Departments, Community based Organizations and leading foundations like BMGF through SEEP Network, MSDF, RBS, HSBC, CITI, ICICI, IL&FS and World Bank.
Some of his notable achievements are towards representing the country at “World Expo in Germany “, being the founder board member of the “Crafts Development Centre”, “Stone Crafts Foundation”, Lead member of the Rajasthan State level FPO committee of Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC) of Government of India, Member of Livelihoods advisory Committee and many others.
Tushar has over 12 years’ experience in Strategic Consulting, Client and Relationship Management, Sales Management and Business Development. Prior to joining Swades, he has been associated with organizations like DASRA as Director Strategic Philanthropy Development & Wealth Partnership; with Deutsche Bank as VP Corporate Development; with Royal Bank of Scotland as Head of Sales Management; with JP Morgan as Strategic Planner; with Evalueserve as Lead, Strategic Consulting and Business Research and with IndusInd Bank as Manager Wealth Management.
Tushar is an MBA in International Business from IIFT, Delhi and Masters in Finance & Control.
Poonam Jethwani comes with 15 years of experience in handling positions of high responsibility in the Finance department in companies like United Health Group, Neoteric Infomatique Ltd., Otis Elevators Co. Ltd & Priya Group. Prior to joining us Poonam has been practicing as an independent financial consultant for multiple organizations.
A qualified Chartered Accountant & Company Secretary, Poonam is currently pursuing a Certification course in IFRS & Masters in Business Finance, both conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
At the Swades foundation, Poonam is also responsible for implementing systems and processes, together with overseeing the entire finance and regulatory function.
Mr. Mishra has more than 20 years of professional experience with expertise in water resources management, soil and water conservation, drought mitigation, ground water recharging, water storage, drinking water and sanitation, etc. He was working with Reliance Foundation in various projects for the transformation of Rural Livelihood with sustainable technologies like rain water harvesting structures and construction of earthen dam resulting in water conservation. Prior to Reliance Foundation he was working with Action for Food Production as Sr. Hydrologist where he worked on various projects for the implementation of water resources, land reclamation etc. Mr. Mishra is an M.Tech in Agricultural Engineering with specialization in soil and water engineering.
Bejoy has over 19 years of experience in Projects & Maintenance, Project Procurement, Managing Construction, renovations and Vendor Management. He has been associated with organizations like Blue Sky Luxury Apartments Pvt. ltd. as Construction Project Manager(Srilanka), with Nilgai Foods Pvt. Ltd. as Head of projects & maintenance (Mumbai), with Ka- Restaurants as AVP Projects and Maintenance, with Mirah Group as AGM Projects and Maintenance, with YUVA(NGO) as GM.
Bejoy has done B.E. (CIVIL) from Mumbai University.
Medha comes with nearly 23 years of working in market research, consumer insights, competitive benchmarking, brand and business strategy across various sectors including Media, Telecom, Banking and Healthcare.
She has worked with organizations like Star Sports, Vodafone India, Wockhardt Ltd, AC Nielson ORG – Marg, ICICI Bank and Concordas Ltd. She has done PGPMS (Marketing) from Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research in Mumbai.