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What do we swear by, what are we like, where do we come from?

*TAF Offsite, Goa, 2018


"Public health delivery at scale". This idea has attracted young, entrepreneurial talent with diverse experiences - former consultants, development professionals, doctors, entrepreneurs, researchers, journalists and the list goes on.

The Antara Foundation is all about putting the community first. It's about being open to feedback. It's about creative thinking. It's about transcending one's comfort zone. It's about being data-driven. It's about having a sense of possibility and urgency. It is scale thinking. It is about a shared vision. It is one team.

We take our work very seriously and pride ourselves on going above and beyond. The same holds true for our interests outside work. We do not take ourselves too seriously, though. We're serious about hiring for humour.

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Core Team

Core Team

Ashok Alexander


Ashok is the heart and soul of The Antara Foundation. He drives our thinking, values and relationships. He has over thirty-five years of experience and headed the Gates Foundation’s India office for nine years. He led Avahan, the world’s largest private HIV prevention program and oversaw grants amounting to a billion dollars. He was earlier the Director of McKinsey and Co. He was Menschel Senior Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi School of Economics and IIM Ahmedabad. A renaissance man, Ashok is passionate about chess, art and writing.

He published his first book “A Stranger Truth: Lessons in Love, Leadership and Courage from India’s Sex Workers (Juggernaut)” in November 2018.

Side note: He has 26 hours in his day!

Ankita Pandey

Program Lead (Training & Implementation)

Ankita has worked in the development sector for almost 10 years. She studied journalism in Delhi and did her first master’s in Communication for Development at St. Xavier’s, Mumbai. Her second master’s is in Human Rights from IIHR, Delhi. Ankita’s experience of working with unique communities, from sex workers in the red-light area in Mumbai, Maharashtra, to rural communities in the remote villages of Unnao, Lucknow, has been transformational. Her consulting experience with leading companies like Reliance, Adani, Mahindra, Bajaj, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and the Government of Maharashtra, has helped her understand the end-to-end landscape and dynamics of the ever-evolving CSR in the country. Despite a gruelling day in the field, or perhaps because of, she comes back home every day to write about her experiences in her blog diary. Ankita is also an aspiring entrepreneur. She runs a small business Aai ki Kala that revisits her Aai’s(mother) passion for creating beautiful macrame products!

Side note: She can repair any kind of fan!

Ashutosh Gautam

Program Lead (Training & Implementation)

Ashutosh has more than 8 years of experience in the Development & Pharmaceutical sector. He has extensive experience in marketing and research for the pharmaceutical industry and for the last five years, he has been working in the core development field. He has worked across 3 different states & provided techno-managerial support for healthcare system strengthening & quality improvement. Ashutosh has PGDPM from IIHMR Jaipur. In his leisure time, Ashutosh loves spending time with his family & friends

Side note: If you are looking at something from a single perspective, he is probably looking at it through 10 different ways!

Balaji Govindarajan

Senior Manager (Finance & Accounts)

Balaji leads the finance section at TAF. He brings vast experience in managing and implementing financial systems, and administrative processes, training in financial management, and ensuring the statutory compliances of the organization are always met. Balaji has worked with several national-level civil society organizations and has effectively managed finance projects in the fields of education, health and livelihoods. He also has experience in handling projects supported by Global Fund, SDTT, Misereor and WHO. Balaji has an MBA in Finance &HR. He loves history and traveling. Balaji can speak Tamil, Hindi and English.

Side note: Balaji loves figures. Other than the figures at work, he goes home to sketch them as well!

Chandrika Bahadur

Chief Executive Officer

Chandrika has worked at the crossroads of international policy, organizational leadership, and research. Most recently she was President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Association and Founder-Director of the SDG Academy. Previously, she helped set up the Reliance Foundation and worked at the United Nations in various capacities from 2001-2008. She has master’s degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a bachelor’s degree from Delhi University.

Side Note: She runs regularly in the hope that one day she will get a runner’s high-an elusive goal so far!

Dinesh Dadhich

Senior Program Officer

Dinesh is passionate about making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate and this passion drives him as a young professional leader in the development and public health sectors towards consistent performance over 8 years of experience in implementing Public Health programs specifically to improve health and nutrition status. He has been associated with several organizations of both large and medium scale on different roles and responsibilities. He has high levels of critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities that enabled him to handle administrative & liaising activities with professionals, State & District bodies and multiple donors.

Side note: In his free time you will find him cooking baingan bharta!

Kadhambari Chintamani

Director (Communications and Donor Development)

Kadhambari works to build The Antara Foundation brand into a powerful global voice in maternal and child health and develop strategic partnerships to support TAF’s programs and operations. She has worked in the media space for 30+ years with some of India’s premier television production houses. In 1996, she founded INTV, and built the company into a well-known name in the documentary film and current affairs program production house. In 2004, she further diversified INTV’s portfolio by making films for the Social Development sector. Her keen understanding of the MNCHN space, albeit from the other side of the lens, comes from having been a partner with UNICEF for more than 12 years. She won the prestigious National Award for a documentary film titled The Lijjat Sisterhood in 2005

Side note: She loves children, dogs, and food in equal order!

Kritika Pandey

Senior Program Officer

Kritika Pandey is a tutor, technical mentor, and expert in public health. She has more than three years of experience in mentoring in MCHN components as well as managing block- and district-level government counterparts. She has expertise working at the grass-roots level and knows how to work with frontline healthcare workers to influence change. She graduated in the nursing field and has acquired a postgraduate degree in social work.

Side note: She loves making baby faces in serious conversations!

Krupa Varghese

Program Lead (M&E, Implementation and Knowledge Management)

Krupa is a public health professional, consultant, and entrepreneur all rolled into one. She graduated with an integrated master’s in development studies from IIT Madras, and previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, before starting her own company. At The Antara Foundation, she leads the Monitoring and Evaluation vertical and is also engaged in setting up the organization’s Knowledge Management function. She brings strategic thinking, a research mindset, and an enthusiasm for making data actionable. She is a voracious reader and pet parent. While she has lived in multiple metros, Bangalore will always be home for her.

Side note: She can understand you in 6 languages!

Neeraj Jham

Director (Programs)

Neeraj is a seasoned public health professional, with over 20 years of experience in program management, capacity building, organization development and government relations. He holds a master’s degree in social work and MBA in healthcare management. He enjoys working in the field and interacting with different communities across geographies. He loves travelling and spends most of his time in the field. He likes playing games and sports more than watching them.

Side note: He thinks he has a good sense of humour!

Paras Nath Sidh

Senior Program Lead (Training & Implementation)

Paras is a humanitarian professional with over 13 years of work experience in public health, disaster management, and corporate social responsibility. His vast experience involves program management and planning, both at the state and community level, with a focus on system strengthening and quality improvement. Earlier, he has worked with several organizations, including Pathfinder International, HLFPPT, and Sphere, in different states across India. He has a master’s in social work and MBA in Healthcare management. Paras is passionate about social work and has often volunteered in disaster-hit areas. When not working, he loves to spend time with his family.

Side note: Offer him dahi vada and he will gobble it anytime!

Piyush Bhatt

Senior Program Lead (Training & Implementation)

Piyush has more than 14 years of experience in the development sector, working in the public health and livelihood domains. He has led various community interventions across states in India and possesses an in-depth understanding of rural India. He has been actively involved in capacity building of government and non-government staff, on the issues of maternal child health and nutrition, adolescent health, HIVAIDS, livelihood promotion of women SHGs and CBOs, social and financial inclusion, etc. During his time at Reach India, he was awarded the best trainer in 2010 and the best social entrepreneur in 2011. At TAF, Piyush looks after various program management and planning activities, including the design and implementation of interventions. Piyush has an MBA in Human Resource Management.

Side note: He loves to sing and write ghazals!

Prerna Gopal

Chief of Staff to the CEO

Prerna started working at The Antara Foundation as a fellow in Rajasthan, became a program officer in Madhya Pradesh, and now holds the position of Chief of Staff to the CEO. Prerna has a bachelors degree in biochemistry from Delhi University where she specialised in endocrinology and physiology. She also has a masters in public health (MPH) from Imperial College London, with a specialisation in health systems strengthening in the global health context. Prerna is a published researcher with papers published in BioMed Central and Social Science and Medicine journals. She is also a trained Hindustani vocal singer and plays multiple instruments. Prerna has lived in three countries - London, Singapore, and now India.

Side note – She is the resident male involvement advocate at TAF!

Radha Pradhan

Senior Nurse Mentor

Radha Pradhan is an established & skilled senior technical mentor, and expert in public health with over six years of experience in the RMNCH+A component, Ayushman Bharat program &NQSF project as well as managing block & district -level government counterparts. She graduated in nursing and acquired a specialisation postgraduate degree in obstetrics & gynecology. She has received two honours as Miss Florence nightingale from the state govt. & Health and Wellness ambassador of Ayushman Bharat by PM Modi.

Side note: She can get anyone talking!

Rajesh Suryavanshi

Senior Program Officer

Rajesh is a development practitioner with over 15 years of experience in managing and leading community development programs. His core expertise is in designing and implementing community-driven sustainable agriculture, health, and allied livelihoods for the rural poor. He holds an MBA in Rural Management from the Xavier Institute of Development and Action Studies. His work to improve the livelihoods of marginalised farming communities has helped more than 30,000 rural families.

Side note: He is very fond of dismantling all kinds of machines!

Reenu Uppal

Director (Operations)

Reenu leads our operations. She has been with the foundation since its inception. She has played an integral role in managing the Foundation’s growth into a salient organization. She has over twenty-five years of experience and has worked with the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ABN-AMRO and Airbus. She enjoys house pets, exploring art, and is proficient in English, French, Punjabi, and Hindi.

Side note: You don’t negotiate with her. You agree!

Shelly Dutta

Senior Program Officer

Shelly is an expert in nutrition and health, with more than 14 years of experience in MIYCN, Facility-based management of SAM, and CSAM. She has developed a clear understanding of the demand and supply side barriers affecting the success of any program and has extensive experience working with the public sector and NGOs. She is passionate about improving the quality of life of rural communities and feels that nutrition and health are imperative to achieve true development. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology and obtained PG diplomas in Public Health Nutrition and District Health Management. She enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her dog.

Side note: She is gentle, yet headstrong!

Shreya Ravichandran

Chief of Staff to the Founder-Director

Shreya works at the Founder’s office as Chief of Staff to Ashok Alexander. She engages in various strategic priorities of the organization from donor development to program design. Prior to Antara, she was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she worked on solving business problems for clients across diverse sectors. She graduated in Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi. Outside work she is a trained classical musician and loves to explore new forms of music. She loves traveling and meeting new people.

Side note: She is our in-house entertainer!

Shrishti Rajput

Senior Associate (Finance & Accounts)

Srishti is a Chartered Accountant by profession. She pursued Bachelor in Commerce from Gargi College, Delhi University. She has over 4 years of experience in varied fields such as Auditing, Accounting, Income-tax related matters, GST-related matters, Donor Management, Donor reporting, MIS, etc. Shristi values simple living and high thinking.

Side note: She loves wearing mismatched socks!

Vipra Datta

Director (Human Resources)

In a career spanning 24 years, Vipra joined The Antara Foundation to give back to humanity & community, what she has gathered in all these years. She is an HR leader who takes pride in translating business vision into HR initiatives that improve performance, aid growth, and enrich employee engagement. While working in HR leadership roles in established and growing organizations like Tata Group, Max Healthcare &IQVIA, Vipra worked in all domains of HR like Leadership Development, HR Business Partnering, Operations, and Learning Development. She is an alumnus of IMT Ghaziabad and Punjab University, Chandigarh. She also sings Hindustani classical music.

Side note: Since the last few years, she has developed a passion for fitness, walking 10K steps each day is the most fun part of her day!