Gita Ram, Co Founder
Gita is a craft development expert with rich expertise in technical issues related to craft development. She was the Managing Director of Indus Tree Crafts (P) Ltd. She is on the Executive Committee of Crafts council of India since 1979, on the Executive Committee of Madras Craft Foundation since 1985 and Trustee of Foundation for the Advancement of Craft Enterprise and Skill since 1997 besides having vast exposure of working on a variety of crafts including natural fibres, terracotta, stone crafts etc. She has also worked extensively on revival of languishing crafts, technical trainings and skill upgradation, promotion of crafts, documentation of crafts and their traditional importance etc. Gita has served in advisory capacity and on senior positions in organizations dedicated to development and promotion of crafts at various State levels and national levels.
Neelam Chhiber, MD & Co Founder
Neelam Chhiber, an Industrial Designer from National Institute of Design is widely known as a leader in the social entrepreneurial and retail space through her undertakings- Industree and Mother Earth. She is also an alumnus of Social Impact International as well as Global Social Benefit Incubator, Santa Clara University, USA.
Neelam planted the seeds of her entrepreneurial journey in rural India in 1994 and has never looked back. Through her undertakings Industree and Mother Earth she has created a flourishing handicraft manufacturing and retail business effectively closing the gap between rural artisans and the retail market.
Industree is a social enterprise that links rural producers to urban markets. Industree has obtained investment from Future Group (India’s largest retail chain) to build a retail brand called Mother Earth, which is part (14%) producer owned. Industree is converging backwards to createa complete solution for fair and equitable distribution of returns from consumer to producer.
Neelam believes that Mother Earth will provide a strong marketing platform for Food, Fashionand Home which will augment producer incomes, increase the potential of ownership and will drive efficiency.
She is of the firm view that Design education has been key to 360 degree thinking. Neelam believes Mother Earth’s biggest challenge and reward has been to facilitate and enable producers to manage themselves in changing scenarios.
In the last two decades, for her outstanding work in social livelihood sectors, she has received various awards such as The Indian Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2011 from Schwab Foundation and L’Oreal Paris Femina Women Awards 2012 for Social Impact.
Arun Gupta is President Business Development & Investments at Future Ventures India Limited. He has more than 20 years of experience in Investment Banking, Media, Animation, Education, Internet & Technology companies. Immediately prior to Future Ventures, he was a Director at Equirus Capital leading the consumer, media, retail & telecom practice. In the past, he has held senior management positions at Yahoo, STAR TV – Radio City, MTV and Cnet. He is a post graduate in Commerce and Economics from Mumbai University.
Dr. Sankar Datta
Dr. Sankar Datta is a Management Graduate with basic training in Agriculture and Doctoral dissertation on ‘Factors Affecting Performance of Village Level Organizations’ in the area of Economics. He has been closely associated with promotion of rural livelihoods. He has an extensive working experiences in different types of organizations like Govt. promoted co-operative :MP OILFED ; NGO : PRADHAN,Anand Naiketan Ashram; Academic Institutions: IIM-A,IRMA; Microfinance & BDS providing Organizations :BASIX. Dr. Datta was responsible for designing & running the Livelihood School at BASIX .He has a comprehensive responsibility for overall management of Indian Grameen Services (BASIX).He was Associate Professor of IRMA & Asst Professor in IIM – Ahmedabad. He is currently Professor at Azim Premji University.