Logo

ABOUT TRI

  • Who We ARe
  • What we do
  • News

TRI is a civil society initiative to bring about a paradigm change in the key indicators of rural life. TRI supports NGOs working at the grassroots, to move towards achieving the common goals.

The initiative has been developed by the Tata Trusts as a strategic step to enhance the impact of its ongoing interventions. The initiative is based on joint explorations of the aspirations of rural communities with its long-standing partner PRADAN, and a joint commitment to work towards it. The Trusts has further provided support for engagement with state governments, including bringing in technology solutions for improving delivery efficacy, as also setting up expert teams.

STATUTORY BOARD

Dr. Sanjiv Phansalkar (Chair)

Mr. Sanjiv Phansalkar has been Programme Leader since 2007 at Tata Trusts, one of India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations.

Sanjiv taught management at the Institute for Rural Management (IRMA) between 1981 and 1994, and led the International Water Management Institute–Tata (IWMI–Tata) Water Policy Programme during 2005–7. He worked closely with Dr. Verghese Kurien, also known as ‘Father of White Revolution in India’,

Sanjiv has authored several books, over 20 research papers on small industry, water, livelihoods, civil society, and the co-operative sector, and a large volume of teaching material. HIs writing is a blend of scholarly depth, academic rigour and a practitioner’s practical perspective, providing insights into evolving societal aspirations and development challenges. He continues to engage as a trainer, mainly in the field of enhancement of rural livelihoods in India

Mr Phansalkar graduated as a fellow of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad in 1989 following his PGP from the same Institute a decade earlier.

Ashish Deshpande

Mr. Ashish Deshpande is Head, Grants Management in Tata Trusts, and is primarily responsible for support to the programme team in the overall management of grants. He has more than 24 years’ experience in building and leading finance teams with significant operating scale and complexity.

Before joining Tata Trusts , Ashish worked in different capacities at Tata Communications, the erstwhile Videsh Sanchar Nigam (VSNL). He served as Head of Finance at Tata Communications Lanka (TCLL), Colombo, Sri Lanka. At TCLL, his key priorities included supporting the company's growth, managing critical finance functions, and adhering to regulatory and compliance requirements. He led various projects in implementing automation systems and financial restructuring.

Originally from Nagpur, India, Mr Deshpande is an alumnus of the University of Nagpur.

Anirban Ghose

Mr. Anirban Ghose is part of the lead team at Transform Rural India. He has been on the leadership team at India’s leading non-profit PRADAN, working on rural transformation.

Anirban joined PRADAN in 1995 and led the field-based teams in Lohardaga and Khunti districts of Jharkhand. He was Director, Operations, in PRADAN, and was responsible for integration of all activities across the organization, involving planning and implementation of programs, monitoring progress, setting systems, design of strategies, staff development and managing key grants. His role included raising funds and building linkages with multiple stakeholders. As part of PRADAN’s Leadership Group, he was responsible for institution building and positioning PRADAN with stake-holders.

Anirban is recognized as the pioneer of automated book-keeping systems in women’s Self Help Groups and numerous technology for development programmes.

Anirban graduated in Business Studies from University of Delhi.

Anish Kumar

Mr. Anish Kumar is part of the lead team at Transform Rural India. He has been on the leadership team at India’s leading non-profit PRADAN, working on rural transformation.

Anish joined PRADAN in 1994. He has been part of the senior management team, looking at overall organization strategy and institution-building. He integrated the finance function, involving raising resources, statutory compliance, and building and managing linkages with stakeholders.

His areas of expertise include creating business organizations run by poor communities and facilitating participation of small-holder farmers in modern value chains. Anish developed and piloted the small-holder poultry prototype; was the CEO of the first poultry co-operative; and then scaled up the model across new geographies. He is a Board member of the National Smallholder Poultry Development Trust, an advisory and policy advocacy body.

Anish has been a member of the Planning Commission Working Group on disadvantaged farmers, and has been involved in designing of policies on producer collectives.

Anish has a post-graduate degree in Forest Management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.

Kumar Chaitanya (Invitee – Finance Advisor)

Mr. Kumar Chaitanya is Head, Grant Finance & Budgets and Individual Grants, at Tata Trusts. He is a Senior Chartered Accountant with experience in NPO financial reviews, setting up grant management systems, grant making, FCRA law, Income Tax law and NPO regulation in India.

Kumar worked earlier with The Habitat for Humanity, The Global Fund – PFI Led Consortium Programme on HIV/AIDS and The Jimmy Carter Work Project.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Bharti Gupta Ramola (Chair)

Ms Bharti Gupta Ramola is the India Markets Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and a member of the India Leadership Team. She has over 30 years of work experience, a large part of which has been with PwC. Prior to her current role, she was the India Deals Leader. She has also led the Infrastructure, Government & Utilities & Energy Sector Advisory for PwC India. Bharti has been a member of PwC Global Diversity and Inclusion Council. In her personal capacity, Bharti serves on the boards of BASIX and Srijan, two of India’s foremost organizations promoting livelihoods development. She has been Chair of the Board of PRADAN.

Ireena Vittal

Ms Ireena Vittal is an independent director on the board of Tata Industries. A former partner with McKinsey & Co., she is a recognized thought partner to consumer-facing companies looking to build large-scale, profitable businesses in emerging markets. She has also served government and public institutions to design and implement solutions core to India’s development such as inclusive urban development and sustainable rural growth.

Ireena was a founding member of the economic-development practice and the global emerging-markets practice at McKinsey & Co. After 25 years in the corporate world, she is currently working in the urban and the agriculture spaces and is also an independent director on the board of select Indian companies such as Axis Bank, Titan Company, Indian Hotels, Godrej Consumer, Tata Global Beverages and Wipro as well as on the global advisory board of IDEO.org, a nonprofit dedicated to applying human-centered design to alleviate poverty. Prior to joining McKinsey & Co., Ireena worked with Nestle and with MaxTouch (now Vodafone).

Ireena graduated in electronics and has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

R. Venkat

Mr. R. Venkat is the Executive Trustee of Tata Trusts and is responsible for the operations, oversight and co-ordination between the various Tata Trusts . In his role as the Principal Executive Officer of Tata Trusts, Venkat is currently engaged in redefining the Tata Trusts’ philanthropic approach, with a view to making it relevant and responsive to the current needs of society while remaining within the mandate established by the Settlors. He also personally leads the Trusts’ major health initiative that focuses on issues related to malnutrition in young children and pregnant mothers.

Venkat has over 20 years’ business experience in the areas of finance, business support and strategy. From early 2007 to end 2012, he was Executive Assistant to Mr. Ratan N. Tata, the former Chairman of the Tata Group, until his retirement in December 2012. He continues to support Mr. Tata in the office of the Chairman, Tata Trusts . Prior to his association with Mr. Tata, Venkat was Head of Business Support at Qatar Foundation, a non-profit organization engaged in Education, Science and Community Development, based in Doha.

He has worked in Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited, Mumbai (VSNL), India’s former international, long distance telecommunications monopoly, now known as Tata Communications, and the Gujarat State Finance Corporation, based in Ahmedabad.

Venkat is a science graduate and has received his MBA from the Sri Satya Sai University. He is also a law graduate from Mumbai University and has completed his Advance Management Program (AMP) from the Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Board of Air Asia India Private Limited and a Trustee of several Tata Trusts and other non-profits.

Dr. Sanjiv Phansalkar

Mr. Sanjiv Phansalkar has been Programme Leader since 2007 at Tata Trusts, one of India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations.

Sanjiv taught management at the Institute for Rural Management (IRMA) between 1981 and 1994, and led the International Water Management Institute–Tata (IWMI–Tata) Water Policy Programme during 2005–7. He worked closely with Dr. Verghese Kurien, also known as ‘Father of White Revolution in India’,

Sanjiv has authored several books, over 20 research papers on small industry, water, livelihoods, civil society, and the co-operative sector, and a large volume of teaching material. HIs writing is a blend of scholarly depth, academic rigour and a practitioner’s practical perspective, providing insights into evolving societal aspirations and development challenges. He continues to engage as a trainer, mainly in the field of enhancement of rural livelihoods in India

Mr Phansalkar graduated as a fellow of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad in 1989 following his PGP from the same Institute a decade earlier.

Anirban Ghose

Mr. Anirban Ghose is part of the lead team at Transform Rural India. He has been on the leadership team at India’s leading non-profit PRADAN working on rural transformation.

Anirban joined PRADAN in 1995 and led the field-based teams in Lohardaga and Khunti districts of Jharkhand. He was Director, Operations, in PRADAN, and was responsible for integration of all activities across the organization, involving planning and implementation of programs, monitoring progress, setting systems, design of strategies, staff development and managing key grants. His role included raising funds and building linkages with multiple stakeholders. As part of PRADAN’s Leadership Group, he was responsible for institution building and positioning PRADAN with stake-holders.

Anirban is recognized as the pioneer of automated book-keeping systems in women’s Self Help Groups and numerous technology for development programmes.

Anirban graduated in Business Studies from University of Delhi.

Anish Kumar

Mr. Anish Kumar is part of the lead team at Transform Rural India. He has been on the leadership team at India’s leading non-profit PRADAN, working on rural transformation.

Anish joined PRADAN in 1994. He has been part of the senior management team, looking at overall organization strategy and institution-building. He integrated the finance function, involving raising resources, statutory compliance, and building and managing linkages with stakeholders.

His areas of expertise include creating business organizations run by poor communities and facilitating participation of small-holder farmers in modern value chains. Anish developed and piloted the small-holder poultry prototype; was the CEO of the first poultry co-operative; and then scaled up the model across new geographies. He is a Board member of the National Smallholder Poultry Development Trust, an advisory and policy advocacy body.

Anish has been a member of the Planning Commission Working Group on disadvantaged farmers, and has been involved in designing of policies on producer collectives.

Anish has a post-graduate degree in Forest Management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.

THE TEAM

Anirban Ghose

Mr. Anirban Ghose is part of the lead team at Transform Rural India. He has been on the leadership team at India’s leading non-profit PRADAN working on rural transformation.

Anirban joined PRADAN in 1995 and led the field-based teams in Lohardaga and Khunti districts of Jharkhand. He was Director, Operations, in PRADAN, and was responsible for integration of all activities across the organization, involving planning and implementation of programs, monitoring progress, setting systems, design of strategies, staff development and managing key grants. His role included raising funds and building linkages with multiple stakeholders. As part of PRADAN’s Leadership Group, he was responsible for institution building and positioning PRADAN with stake-holders.

Anirban is recognized as the pioneer of automated book-keeping systems in women’s Self Help Groups and numerous technology for development programmes.

Anirban graduated in Business Studies from University of Delhi.

Anish Kumar

Mr. Anish Kumar is part of the lead team at Transform Rural India. He has been on the leadership team at India’s leading non-profit PRADAN working on rural transformation.

Anish joined PRADAN in 1994. He has been part of the senior management team, looking at overall organization strategy and institution-building. He integrated the finance function, involving raising resources, statutory compliance, and building and managing linkages with stakeholders.

His areas of expertise include creating business organizations run by poor communities and facilitating participation of small-holder farmers in modern value chains. Anish developed and piloted the small-holder poultry prototype; was the CEO of the first poultry co-operative; and then scaled up the model across new geographies. He is a Board member of the National Smallholder Poultry Development Trust, an advisory and policy advocacy body.

Anish has been a member of the Planning Commission Working Group on disadvantaged farmers, and has been involved in designing of policies on producer collectives.

Anish has a post-graduate degree in Forest Management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.

Ashok Kumar

Mr. Ashok Kumar is anchoring the farm prosperity interventions at TRI, aimed at bringing prosperity to small and marginal farmers.

Prior to joining TRI, he was working at PRADAN, and has extensive experience in integrating agriculture with Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) program, and supporting teams in promoting agriculture as a robust livelihood activity for rural poor. His areas of specialization include agriculture, INRM, market linkages, community managed micro lift irrigation, Women’s Self Help Groups, training community resource persons, and anchoring research projects with international research organizations.

He holds a Masters in Agriculture (Plant Pathology) from RAU Pusa.

Harshvardhan

Harsh is a part of lead team at Transform Rural India. Prior to joining TRI, Harsh has worked across diverse institutional settings, including cooperatives, government and multilateral agencies such as Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF), Rural Development Department of Gujarat, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Harsh has also served as a member of key policy making bodies, including working groups on rural development, local governance and disaster management, to finalize the approach paper for 12th five-year plan of Bihar. He was a member of the working group on protection of extremely poor social groups of the Mission Manav Vikas (Mission Human development), Government of Bihar.

Harsh is a post-graduate from Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand.

Neeraj Ahuja

Neeraj manages partnerships at Transform Rural India, anchoring the initiative in Madhya Pradesh, managing the collaboration of partner organizations, and liaising with various government departments.

He was a part of the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship (PMRDF) program, where he was instrumental in the development of critical infrastructure and worked with women’s collectives to set up micro-enterprises. Earlier, he worked as a systems engineer with Infosys Technologies, following which he joined the ICICI Fellows programme and worked on issues of Panchayati Raj and local self-governance in Panna district, Madhya Pradesh.

Neeraj is a graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering and is pursuing Masters in Development Studies from TISS.

Neha Garg

Neha manages communications at Transform Rural India, and is responsible for growth of Brand TRI. She also lends support on special initiatives such as developing The Rural Analytics Centre (TRAC), which aims to leverage data to mainstream concerns and solutions for stranded rural India.

She has worked with numerous early-stage businesses across varied industries, including financial services, consumer products, mobility solutions and real estate, in developing brand identity and communication strategies. She has also served as Communication Consultant to Government of Gujarat.

Neha holds a management degree with a specialization in communication from MICA.

Neha Gupta

Neha manages partnerships at Transform Rural India, contributing in implementing the vision, strategy and development activities in collaborative engagement with all the stakeholders in Madhya Pradesh.

She has been a Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) in Ministry of Rural Development, working closely with district administration and line departments. She has also worked in PRADAN for almost 6 years, where she was directly engaged with community mobilization processes; promotion and nurturing of women SHGs and its apex institutions; planning and implementation of livelihood activities.

Neha holds a B. Tech (Agricultural Engineering) from College of Agricultural Engineering, JNKVV.

Reetika Kharbanda

Reetika contributes to the strategic acumen of TRI by developing and implementing strategic learning agendas. She is responsible for institutionalizing the business systems and processes with TRI partners. She is also responsible for developing the 'The Rural Analytics Centre (TRAC)', which aims to leverage data to mainstream concerns and solutions for stranded rural India.

Reetika has worked with clients across different industries including financial services, governments, private equity, real estate, healthcare and FMCG, advising them on key strategic investments and financial decisions. Prior to joining TRI she worked as a research consultant with McKinsey & Co.

She has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree from Delhi University.

Subhranshu Kumar Bebarta

Subhransu manages partnerships at Transform Rural India, building strategic alliances and collaborations with stakeholders in Jharkhand.

He has spent much of his time working for the betterment of women self-help groups in Odisha, along with farm-based prosperity of small farmers by establishing and promoting local agriculture entrepreneurs. He most recently served as a Young Professional at the Odisha Livelihoods Mission, implementing NRLM in Koraput district along with monitoring key government schemes.

He holds a PGDFM from Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.

INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS

  • IMAGO is supporting TRI in analyzing, documenting and interpreting the change process and providing support on implementation of the scaling up process at the level of participating non-government organizations.

    IMAGO was founded by Isabel Guerrero and Zachary Green in 2014 after years of working together inside the most established parts of the international development system. They came to the realization that macro level projects and programs could not reach the poorest of the poor. They learned that, in order to transform their lives, the poor needed to become architects of their own destiny.
  • Sambodhi Research and Communications Private Limited is a third-party independent organization supporting TRI on public reporting of impact, including conducting baseline and annual progress assessments.

    Sambodhi Research and Communications is recognized for its robust research, measurements and field building efforts in Monitoring and Evaluation. It has been at the forefront of evaluating large scale developmental interventions using cutting edge methodologies over the last decade. Its work spans India, South Asia and Africa providing complement of services to various players including the federal agencies, donors, foundations and private sector. In the specific spectrum of Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation, they are recognized as leaders in creating enabling platforms for knowledge sharing, discussions and dissemination of learning and best practices.

CORE SUPPORTERS

The institutional costs and pilot blocks are supported by:

Tata Trusts

The Tata Trusts is one of India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations. Tata Trusts owns two-third of the stock holding of Tata Sons, the apex company of the Tata group of companies. The wealth that accrues from this asset supports an assortment of causes, institutions, and individuals in a wide variety of areas. In this manner, the profits that the Tata companies earn go back many times over to the communities in which they operate. These funds have been deployed for a whole range of community development programmes across the country, for over 100 years now.

Ikea Foundation

Ikea Foundation’s mission is to create substantial and lasting change by funding holistic, long-term programmes in some of the world’s poorest communities that address children’s fundamental needs: home, health, education and a sustainable family income, while helping communities fight and cope with climate change. They support programmes managed by established and well-regarded organizations that are experts in their fields, and those who address the full circle of fundamental needs that can help people break the cycle of poverty and ultimately take control of their own futures.

We bring together multiple partners civil society organisations, government and public sectors, and commercial enterprises on a single platform, to promote and foster collaborative relationships among communities. Our work includes, but it is not limited to, the following:

Preparing communities to drive the change processes

  • By creating process protocols to stimulate self-action and collective effort
  • By helping NGOs that have direct presence in villages to anchor interventions, which lead to accelerated, multi-dimensional changes, and to open access to existing community mobilisation
  • By partnering with thematic resource organisations and curating operational modalities to support community action

Accelerating rural prosperity

  • By developing village-based agro-entrepreneurs, to provide end-to-end solutions for technology extension, credit delivery, timely availability of quality inputs, harvest aggregation and market linkages
  • By developing enterprise solutions for missing value-chain functionalities— nurseries, equipment hire, irrigation, primary processing and markets
  • By developing high-value, commercial value chains for seeds, flowers, vegetables, pulses, anchored by commercial businesses
  • By diversifying into livestock and linked-farming systems

Bringing market solutions

  • By aggregating community demand, pitch and match-making to prospective businesses, and actively supporting the establishment of businesses in the area
  • By supporting new businesses for market linkages and provision of health-care, education and other services

Mobilizing support from state governments

  • By convincing state governments to support integrated village transformation engagements
  • By smoothening necessary business processes and providing critical, skilled human resources across departments involved in village development

Focusing on results

  • By instituting third party base-lines, with controls, annual dipstick surveys and impact reporting
  • By making the progress made public periodically