A visionary leader with firm belief in the power of youth, Naveen Jha initiated several demand-based skilling programs for first-time job seekers in multiple sectors. Launched in 2010, DET's programs have become benchmarks in skill development, leading the country's Skill India mission.
Under Naveen's leadership, DET has grown to become India's largest skill development center, training 5,000 youth every year in 300,000 sq.ft. of well-developed infrastructure at Hubballi. The rigorous training methodology ensures that youth trained here become intrapreneurs and achieve accelerated career progression.
Naveen enjoys mentoring and motivating youth to realize their full potential, inspiring and building their capacities to become problem-solvers and change-makers, not only in their organizations but also in their communities. Brimming with entrepreneurial energy, he ensures the same mindset is inculcated in all the youth, making them the makers of tomorrow.
Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande is the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office and is also the Chairman of Tejas Networks. 'Desh' is the Founder of Deshpande Foundation, a global philanthropic organization nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in universities and cities across USA, Canada and India. He is involved either as the founder, a founding investor or chairman of several companies including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata.
Dr. Deshpande lives in Boston and serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his support has made possible MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Along with his wife, he has founded several centers of innovation, at leading universities in the USA, Canada and India. Dr. Deshpande holds a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D from Queens University in Canada.
Jaishree Deshpande is the Treasurer of Sparta Group LLC, and a founder of the Deshpande Foundation. The Deshpande Foundation fosters social entrepreneurship by supporting a variety of non-profit organizations in India working in the areas of health, education, microcredit and agriculture. She also serves as a Trustee for the Museum of Science and is involved with HESTIA Fund - a fund established to support quality after school programming for low-income children.
Jaishree Deshpande worked for the Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore, India until 1980 before moving to Canada. She has worked for several Massachusetts companies and taught courses in computer science. She received a Master of Science in Physics in 1975 from the Indian Institute of Technologies (IIT), Madras, India and a Master in Computer Science in 1989 from Boston University.
As Executive Director at the Deshpande Foundation, Raj develops overall strategy, and channels the Foundation's efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Previously as Principal at Ambient Engines, Raj Melville provided marketing and strategy consulting to emerging social entrepreneurs. He founded the annual Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, organized and moderated numerous panels and workshops on social entrepreneurship, and currently mentors several startups focused on addressing key social issues.
Raj has over 25 years of product management, marketing and consulting experience including managing overall product strategy and features as Vice President, Product Management for nTAG Interactive, a spin off from the MIT Media Lab. Raj has a Doctor of Science in engineering from MIT focusing on optimizing the operation of computerized manufacturing systems; a Master's from MIT's Sloan School; and a Bachelor's from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Dr. Vachani is the former Director of IIM Bangalore and the Professor of Strategy & Policy, School of Management, Boston University. His prior business experience includes working as an engineer with Phillips India, as a manager with the Tata Group and as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. His areas of research interest include the impact of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on international business, the role of governments, NGOs and multinational enterprises (MNEs) in reducing poverty.
Dr. Vachani has wide-ranging managerial and consulting experience, having worked as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, where he was involved with designing business strategies for American, Japanese, and European multinationals. He also worked in India as a research engineer with the Dutch electronics multinational Philips and as a member of the Tata Administrative Service, the core executive cadre of the Tata Group, and as a finance manager with Tata Motors. In the 1990s, he served as the Director of Boston University's International Management Program in Kobe, Japan, for five years.
With over two decades of leadership experience in the IT sector, Shreekant brings to the table expertise in project management, quality control, reviews, proposals, mentoring, recruitment and training. Having started his career in the steel industry as a production engineer, he grew to handle multiple roles including production planning and sales.
Shreekant has broad onsite experience, serving clients in the USA, UK and Dubai, working with IT companies like TCS and IBM. He is currently with IBM as a pre-sales consultant for their onsite clients.
Vivek Pawar is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sankalp Semiconductor Pvt. Ltd , which he founded in 2005. Sankalp has grown from 6 employees in 2005 to 100+ employees focused on niche area of analog and mixed-signal IC design. He brings in 20+ years of industry experience in varied functions like general management, operations, program management, customer relations, and design.
Vivek also has significant experience in mixed-signal and analog product design and system on chip (SoC) development, including firmware development. Prior to Sankalp Semiconductor, Vivek served as Program Manager at Texas Instruments Inc. (Houston, USA) from 2003-2005 and General Manager for Broadband Silicon Technology Center in Texas Instruments India, Bangalore from 2000-2003. Vivek has 3 patents approved and multiple publications to his credit.
Dr. Aravind Chinchure is the chair Professor at Symbiosis International University (SIU). He is a renowned academician, administrator and a sought-after resource person for academic and research institutions in India and overseas. He has worked with the finest institutions and played key and varied roles in designing curriculum's, leading innovation, patented works, and collaborating on some path-breaking research areas.
Ramanathan Narayan is the CEO and Managing Director of 4R Recycling Private Limited. Established in 2012, the enterprise was setup with a vision of becoming an integrated waste management company. Since then, 4R Recycling has generated waste management processes and a metal recovery plant in Bangalore. Ramanathan also holds the position of Treasurer with the Deshpande Foundation and Deshpande Educational Trust in India. Before initiating his own enterprise, Ramanathan held positions of Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Chief Financial Officer with Tejas Networks until the year 2007. Ramanathan possesses over 20 years of experience in finance and accounts, operations, infrastructure, risk management and supply chains. He has also worked with various organizations including Synopsys, Viewlogic Systems and Recon Ltd. in various managerial capacities. Ramanathan is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce.
Serge Bhachu is the Managing Director of Sparta Group LLC, a private investment office. In this role he is responsible for overseeing investment and all other functions for the office. Serge also serves as Chief Financial Officer of the Deshpande Foundation. He is on the board of Virtudent, Entrepreneurship For All, and the Deshpande Foundation Trust, and board observer for Augmenix, Axtria, and Instylla. Serge has held senior executive positions in both large organizations and start-up companies, spanning investment, legal, operations and financial management roles. Serge received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Clark University and a Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law.
Dr. Neelam Maheshwari is credited with creating the high-impact curriculum for the first skill development program in DET, the Deshpande Fellowship Program. She also teaches several courses for the other programs, drawing from her 12+ years of experience in teaching at Universities in the USA and promoting small enterprises, producer collectives and community led microfinance in the Hubballi Sandbox.
Dr. Maheshwari played a key role in training the trainers of the skill development programs, infusing in them the importance of building life skills for youth from the bottom of the pyramid. Passionate about issues of gender, equity and entrepreneurship, she teaches Gender Studies to youth coming from predominantly male dominated communities. She also launched the women's chapter of TiE Hubballi, to promote entrepreneurship among women in the North Karnataka region.
Known for his ability to lead from the front, Guru has been instrumental in the scaling up the Deshpande Koutilya Fellowship from around 50 fellows to 1,000 fellows a year. Guru has strong experience at both the grassroots and managerial levels, having worked with diverse people through his career before joining the Foundation. He has been the backbone for scaling up the fellowship program to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra.
An alumnus of the Deshpande Fellowship Program, Jagadeesh heads the Deshpande Susandhi Fellowship Program run by the Deshpande Educational Trust and overseas its recruitment, training and placement. Having prior experience of working with rural women and conducting training camps, he is known for his excellent managerial skills, strong mentor-ship and team building skills. Deeply concerned about the progress of rural and semi-urban youth, he inculcates an entrepreneurial mindset in them through various leadership activities.
Rajabali leads multiple skill development programs at DET. His energy and resolve to create and scale impact has led to the skill development of rural and semi-urban youth in social entrepreneurship, electrical operations, CNC machine programmers and technicians and entry level front-line leaders. An able event manager, he organizes a number of city-wide community awareness programs and conferences in the themes of saving energy, malnutrition eradication and social entrepreneurship.
Ravi has a keen eye on the demand-side aspect in the skill development space. Fueled by a drive to improve the rural education sector, he launched the Akanksha teachers' training program, training rural teachers in effective delivery of subject content, building their presentation and child-management skills. Ravi now leads the DET's operations at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh, coordinating with the state Government, industries and colleges to build DET's impact in the region.
Yaseen joined the DET in 2010 and has since led the mammoth task of creating and administering its IT hardware and networking, apart from asset management, event handling, QA and QC. Given the need for skilled IT professionals in 2nd and 3rd tier cities, Yaseen initiated a training program to meet this demand. His efficiently manages 2,000+ clients in Hubballi, Kadapa, Nizamabad and Nalgonda, ensuring smooth connectivity and trouble-free digital learning for our youth.
Bindiya comes with over 7 years of experience in training, HR, administration and personality development. Having led projects in the development sector before, she leverages this learning to bring out the best in rural and semi-urban youth. She also counsels and trains youth for career placements. Bindiya is known for her people and program management skills, leading to effective delivery of program content.
DB Vanageri leads the Deshpande Fellowship Program, DET's first and flagship program which creates social entrepreneurs who lead change in their communities. An alumnus of the program himself, he has imbibed the DNA of the program and is helping hundreds of more disadvantaged youth with the same skills and mindset. Being the longest of all DET programs with extensive field training, DB's result-oriented approach allows the program to create its intended impact, both in fellows and in their communities.
Veeresh leads DET's activities at Nizamabad and Nalgonda in Telangana state, managing 5 DET programs, including outreaching, training and placement. His accelerated rise through the ranks was made possible due to his demonstrated successes in outreach activities across Karnataka and Telangana, organizing placement drives, conducting community awareness and fund-raising activities and building relationships with recruiters and training partners.
Annapurna joined DET in 2013 and has been leading the grassroots outreach initiatives for the skill development programs. Gifted with strong communication and people understanding skills, she has helped significantly scale the programs. Annapurna also trains youth in building a mindset of creativity to develop their problem solving skills, leading to their career progression.
Experienced Trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the organization. Bharati has always deep interest in serving better health through YOGA. After earning her Master of science in Yoga from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana Bangalore, (SVYASA), she worked with NGO and Hospitals where she could able to treat chronic disorders and deal with adolescent problems. Then she joined Deshpande educational trust, as Program Manager. Working in Team Yoga allowed Bharati to follow her passion to serve better health for youth and create positive environment through Yoga and Yogic lifestyle. Her dream is Make Healthy INDIA and Skill INDIA. She Skilled in Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga, Yoga, Power Yoga Counseling Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, and Yoga Therapy. Strong human resources professional with a Yoga therapy focused in Pursuing PhD in YOGA.
Roopa form Deshpande Susandhi Fellowship Program. She obtained B.A. and completed Susandhi Fellowship Program. She has worked with this program for more than 4 years. She is skilled & thought full, sensible & pleasure to work. She has trained more than 1500 students in 4 years. She is a great supporter for documentation in the program. Her time to time decisions have created great impact. She is very much passionate about computer training & she has achieved a lot with great patience. Her time to time mentorship & personal care for poor performance fellows have helped lot. She is continuing her work great energy enthusiasm to train students.
Umme Salma began her professional career with DET and now plays a key role in the training activities of DET. An alumnus of the Deshpande Susandhi Program, she has trained several rural youth to DET, wanting to pass on the benefits she received. Umme Salma also works to orient the youth into the rigorous residential learning environment though creative activities and leadership building exercises.
Hareesha an alumni of the Deshpande Fellowship Program, and has been with DET for the last 5 years. Working his way up the ranks, Hareesha now leads DET's Skill in Village program where higher primary and high school students are trained to perform better in their studies. Known for his commitment, honesty and hard work, Hareesha has been able to scale the program at a rapid pace, starting a new center every month.
Channu is a graduate of the first batch of Deshpande Foundation's Master of Social Entrepreneurship programme. He now manages the DET center at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh, looking after outreach, training, placement and accounts. Prior to joining the Kadapa center, he set up the Nalgonda Center in Telangana, initiating all operations. Along with Ravi Chavan, Channu also shares the credit of putting together the program in Education and Training, and Customer Service.
Sagar leads all website development and related functions of all DET and Deshpande Foundation's websites. A versatile competent developer, Sagar strives to create visually appealing sites that feature user-friendly design and clear navigation. With expertise in a wide spectrum of platforms including SEO, he leads the development and maintenance on agile methodology of 14 static websites, 2 E-commerce websites and blogs.
Chetana has extensive teaching experience in rural areas, having previously served as the Headmistress at a semi-urban school. Passionate about teaching, she is a lead trainer at the Akanksha program, empowering budding teachers with English language and teaching skills. Chetana is now based at the Kadapa center, managing the English and Communication training.
Radha manages the orientation process of all selected candidates into DET. With over 5 years of experience in this role, she leads a variety of activities and ensures fresh youth are geared towards the rules and rigorous training processes. Radha also performs the important task of tracking alumni of all the programs, maintaining robust records of their progress and directing them to the correct channels for any assistance sought.
Shivanand is an educator by qualification, and through the Deshpande Fellowship Program, he truly imbibed its spirit. He now leads DET's Education and Training program (Akanksha), building many more enthusiastic and confident teachers who in turn mould the next generation. He is known for his tireless commitment, playing a key role in outreach, training and placement and the overall capacity building of DET's trainers.
If you've walked around the DET campus and find many unique creative artefacts, you have Sharan to thank. With an MVA in Sculpture from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Sharan strives to unleash the creativity of several hundred youth enrolled in skill development.
A soft spoken person, he brings to life many ordinary objects presented in extraordinary ways. The youth love his sessions as they creatively infuse fun into learning.