Dear Readers,

Greetings from the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM)!

We wish you a very happy 2022 and hope that our first newsletter of the year finds you in good health and in the highest of spirits.

This is the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and while we all are witnessing a worrying Omicron surge, the world today is better prepared, more resilient and hopeful of seeing the end of the tunnel soon. We, at ISDM too, have emerged stronger since April 2020, facing tough challenges and embracing many new opportunities in our journey through the pandemic. Looking ahead, we are thrilled to inform you that we have kickstarted the new year with unprecedented energy and confidence to do amazing things together with our teams, collaborators and well-wishers.

January marks a host of events as part of the fourth edition of our flagship ‘Development Management Day’ during January 28-29, 2022. Since 2030 is the year when we hope to take account of how we have achieved against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we believe that there is no better time to focus on the need for the scaling and multiplying effect that Development Management brings to the development sector. In keeping with this, the virtual event has been titled Target 2030: What Matters, and will centre around Dialogues on Development Management with SDGs. There will be a host of thought-provoking panel discussions with a stellar line-up of development sector practitioners, thought leaders and globally noted academicians.

The event will also mark the launch of the Centre of Philanthropy for Social Justice set up as part of our exciting and ambitious Global Knowledge Hub. We are also set to launch Women on Boards, a capacity-building program for women leaders who are in the corporate sector and aspire to sit on the boards of social purpose organisations (SPOs).

There is a lot more in store, and we invite you to join us in this celebration of learning and having fun together. The details can be found below as you read through this newsletter.

Additionally, the students of our flagship Post Graduate Program in Development Management (PGP DM) have now entered Term IV and shall shift towards learning management principles under the mentorship of our fine faculty. For SPOs, being committed to the social cause is not enough, financial prudence, strategic thinking and problem solving are as important. Term IV is geared towards honing these skills. Our students will also participate in live projects with six SPOs and assist them in strategy building for their programs and interventions.

We are also thrilled to inform you that we are now accepting admission applications for the class of 2022-23, the sixth cohort of PGP DM. In keeping with the times and the need of the hour, the admission process for the cohort will be entirely online and we plan to begin with classes in the hybrid mode in July 2022.

Despite its challenges, we are confident that this year is going to be a landmark year for ISDM and for all of us in our journeys with it. We invite you to scroll through our January 2022 newsletter to learn more about the fun and exciting ventures that our teams are embarking on.

Wishing for your good health and well-being in the year ahead.


Ravi Sreedharan, President Ravi Sreedharan,

(Founder, ISDM)
Sharad Agarwal, Director Sharad Agarwal,

(Founder, ISDM)
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TARGET 2030: What Matters

Dialogues On Development Management For SDGs

ISDM’s annual event Development Management Day is part of our endeavour to create an entire ecosystem for Development Management. It is vital to create spaces for various stakeholders to come together to discuss, debate and ideate on this concept and develop a common vocabulary, and there could be no better way of doing this than getting together for exciting and thought-provoking deliberations and dialogues with experts and leaders from the sector.

The theme for this year’s Development Management Day is TARGET 2030: What Matters and will be conducted virtually during January 28-29, 2022. We look forward to your participation.

The events for both the days are listed below:

January 28, 2022 | 17:00 - 19:00 | Inauguration

Keynote Address: Empowering India’s Demographic Dividend for Enhanced Social Capital

Mr Kris Gopalkrishnan Mr Kris Gopalkrishnan
Co-Founder, Infosys and Chairman, Axilor Ventures

Panel Discussion: Building an Ecosystem for Talent Towards Achieving Target 2030

Amit Chandra Amit Chandra
Managing Director,
Bain Capital Private Equity
and Philanthropist
Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Dr Pramath Raj Sinha
Founder & Chairman, Harappa
Founder and Trustee,
Ashoka University
Shaheen Mistri Shaheen Mistri
Founder and CEO,
Teach for India
Moderated by
Ingrid Sreenath Ingrid Sreenath
Director, Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP),
Ashoka University

Launch: Salary Benchmarking Survey and Understanding Drivers of Talent in the Sector

Jan 29, 2022 | 11:00 - 13:00 | Ideas to Reality: CEO Talks

Session 1: Current Imperatives for Social Change

Amitabh Behar Amitabh Behar
Chief Executive Officer
of Oxfam India
Sudha Srinivasan Sudha Srinivasan
Mekin Maheshwari Mekin Maheshwari
Founder, Udhyam
Co-Founder, Global Alliance for
Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME)
Ravi Sreedharan Ravi Sreedharan
Co-founder and President, ISDM
Moderated by
Devanshi Vaid Devanshi Vaid
Co-Founder and Director at IDR

Session 2: Looking Ahead: What Matter

Shankar Maruwada Shankar Maruwada
Co-Founder and CEO
of EkStep Foundation
Shobhini Mukerji Shobhini Mukerji
Executive Director,
J-PAL South Asia
Sohini Bhattacharya Sohini Bhattacharya
President and CEO,
Gaurav Goel Gaurav Goel
Founder & CEO, Samagra
Moderated by
Devanshi Vaid Devanshi Vaid
Co-Founder and Director at IDR

16:00 - 17:30

Keynote Address: Leading the 2030 Agenda: Diversity Imperatives for a Progressive & Equitable World

Vrinda Swarup Vrinda Swarup
Former Education Secretary,
Department of School Education and Literacy, GOI

Diversity Matters

Panel Discussion: Why Diversity Matters for Purpose-Driven Board Leadership

Neera Nundy Neera Nundy
Co-founder and Partner,
Dr A.K. Shivakumar Dr A.K. Shivakumar
Development Economist, Visiting Faculty,
Ashoka University, Harvard Kennedy School,
Chairperson, ISDM Academic Council
Vedika Bhandarkar Vedika Bhandarkar
Chief Operating Officer,
Moderated by
Anuradha Das Mathur Anuradha Das Mathur
Founder & Dean,
Vedica Scholars Programme for Women
Managing Director, CFO Collective/9.9 Insights
Co-Founder, Samarth

Launch: Women on Boards

17.30 - 19.00 | Philanthropy Matters

Keynote Address: Role of Philanthropy in Transforming Social Institutions

Mr Sunil Kant Munjal Mr Sunil Kant Munjal
Chairman, Hero Enterprise

Panel Discussion: Philanthropy Matters: Rethinking Philanthropy for Enduring Social Change

Radhika Bharat Ram Radhika Bharat Ram
Jt. Vice Chairperson, The Shri Ram Schools & Founder,
KARM Fellowship for Young Indian Women
Deepthi Bopaiah Deepthi Bopaiah
CEO, GoSports Foundation
Partner, Head Mumbai Soumitra Pandey
Partner, Head Mumbai
Bridgespan Group
Moderated by
Gautam John Gautam John
Director of Strategy,
Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies

Launch: ISDM Centre of Excellence on Philanthropy for Social Justice with Ford Foundation

Samar Verma Samar Verma
Program Officer, Ford Foundation

Centre of Philanthropy for Social Justice

The ISDM Centre of Philanthropy for Social Justice (CPSJ) is an initiative by ISDM to strengthen the knowledge and practice of effective philanthropy for social justice. CPSJ’s aim is to inform, cultivate and catalyse effective philanthropy for social change and strengthen the broader philanthropic ecosystem locally and globally. It will strive to help philanthropists better define, assess, maximise their effectiveness as well as their intended impact on the organisations they support and the communities they serve.


Women on Boards

ISDM, in collaboration with Dasra and Governance Counts, is set to launch a capacity-building program for women leaders who are in the corporate sector and aspire to sit on the boards of SPOs. This program is designed specifically for women and is aimed at building the capacity of at least 100 women leaders to become board members within the social impact sector.

Stay tuned to this space to know more about the program, partners and faculty.


Term III of the PGP DM mainly involved applying insights from Realising IndiaI through courses on Intervention Design for Social Impact, Systems Thinking and Development and Monitoring Evaluation. Students learnt how to apply systems thinking tools to their research, build a clear understanding of the process and steps involved in the development of program design and create outcome chains and understand the need for monitoring and evaluation of programs.

Term IV, which began in December 2021, marks the shift within PGP DM towards an immersive learning in management principles.

During the term, the students will be introduced to three courses:

  • Financial Perspectives will focus on building sound financial management practices including reading business reports accurately, asking the right questions from financial officers and making strategic management decisions based on an astute understanding of business principles.
  • Strategy for SPOs will enable students to learn about social movements, social enterprises and support organisations that dot the SPO landscape, and get an opportunity to engage with guest speakers on a range of issues such as legal compliance, governance and resource mobilisation.
  • Design Thinking will introduce students to the ‘human-centered’ approach towards problem solving through peer-learning and sharing experiences from real-life situations.

Faculty at ISDM

Shankar Venkateswaran Shankar Venkateswaran
Professor, Strategy for SPOs
Ankur Kulshreshta Ankur Kulshreshta
Financial Perspectives
Kenwyn Smith Kenwyn Smith
Group Dynamics Workshop

Guest Lectures at ISDM

ISDM introduced a multi-domain lecture series called ‘Sangam’ for its students to engage with eminent personalities in the fields of social impact, public service, arts and culture. We were privileged and delighted to host Mr Anurag Behar and Mr Sanjeev Bikhchandani for this interactive series.

Anurag Behar Anurag Behar
CEO, Azim Premji Foundation

“Too many of us in the social sector or civil society have become technocratic at the cost of our ethical and socio-political moorings…we have progressively become disconnected from the frontline where the problems and solutions of India’s issues lie.”

Sanjeev Bikhchandani Sanjeev Bikhchandani
Entrepreneur, Founder, Info Edge,
Padma Shri Awardee 2021

“If you want to pursue an entrepreneurial or independent path, even if it’s for your not-for-profit company, you should always look for meaning and not money.”

Development Management - In Practice!

Term IV introduces the cohort to the world of SPOs. As the students focus on understanding the importance and elements of strategy building, they will also have the opportunity to work on live projects and assist six leading SPOs on strategies for their programs and interventions. The SPOs include Feminist Approach to Technology, Labhya, Dhriiti, VANI, Shoonya and Sewa Anubandh.

Student’s Blog

Read this blog by ISDM student Prachi Sharma, class of 2021-22, as she explores the subject of body shaming of women and catering to the male gaze and upper castes in the context of Indian Classical Dance forms.

student Prachi Sharma


ISDM is now welcoming applications for the class of 2022-2023, the sixth cohort of PGP DM. The program is open to fresh graduates from any stream as well as working professionals who are keen to begin their careers in the social sector. Practitioners and professionals from within the sector, keen on advancing their careers in Management and Leadership roles are also encouraged to apply for the program.

Keeping in with the COVID-19 safety protocols and the significance of learning in-person from the diverse cohort and exemplary mentors at ISDM, we will continue to conduct the classes in the hybrid mode in July 2022.

Know more and apply for PGP DM here.

Strategic Capacity Building

ISDM’s Strategic Capacity Building (SCB) vertical recently executed a three-day learning conference for 51 employees at the HCL Foundation in Pondicherry. The sessions included discussions on topics such as Organisation Agility, Organisation Impact Framework, Organisational Culture and a workshop on Systems Thinking for the participants to see the interconnections in their work at the foundation.

To know more about the SCB program and how you can engage with us, write to [email protected].



Ecosystem Study: Benchmarking Talent Management in Indian Social Sector

 Talent Management in the Indian Social Sector

Our research study, Talent Management in the Indian Social Sector has seen an exciting response from the sector, with 188 organisations signing up to participate in the empirical exercise. The study continues to engage and mobilise participation from organisations from across the spectrum. We invite you to become part of the initiative and join us in creating the first ever, searchable database (anonymised) on the talent management practice in the sector. Data emerging from the study shall empower leaders, funders, and ecosystem enablers to strategise for effective talent management practices and nurture an ecosystem that is able to attract, motivate and retain committed and skilled talent in the sector as we stride towards the 2030 goals of equity for all.

To participate in the study, scan Scanner or, click here or write to us at [email protected]

A joint initiative of


Execution partners:


For more details, visit:

Disclaimer: *Data protection and confidentiality is assured for all participating organisations.


A.T.E Chandra Foundation A.T.E Chandra Foundation

We are extremely thankful to the ATE Chandra Foundation for their continued support for the deferred payment fund - a ‘Revolving Working Capital Fund’ created to support students to pay their fees towards the PGP DM over a period of two to three years after they graduate. The contribution is under the ‘Fatima Sheikh Financial Assistance Program’ specifically supporting women students from tier 2 and tier 3 towns.

Sanjeev Bikhchandani Sanjeev Bikhchandani

We are very excited to have Mr Sanjeev Bikhchan- dani extend support to ISDM. Mr Bikhchandani is a noted entrepreneur, Co-Founder, Info Edge (,,,, and was recently honoured with Padma Shri in November 2021 for his contributions to trade and industry.

HSBC India

We are also thankful for HSBC India’s support to ISDM. This will ensure current delivery and continu-ous investment in making ISDM’s Post Graduate Program in Development Management truly pioneering during the current financial year while we are still facing the impact of COVID-19.

Dr Latha Poonamallee

We are delighted to have Dr Latha Poonamallee on board as the Academic Director of the Centre of Philanthropy for Social Justice.

A professor, researcher, tech entrepreneur, Fulbright scholar and thought leader on Management and Social Justice, Dr. Poonamallee is the Chair of the Faculty of Management at the Milano School of Policy, Management, Environment & School of Undergraduate Studies and University Fellow at The New School. Her two decades of work can be coalesced into one critical overarching question “What if we imagine a world in which the purpose and mission of all organisations and management is individual, collective and planetary well-being?” She is the creator and host of the Management and Social Justice Conversation Series.

Devika Menon

Welcome Mr Pradeep Nair!

Mr Nair has joined ISDM as an independent advisor, offering strategic guidance and support in building collaborations with individuals, institutions and organisations globally to position Development Management as a unique sector and build ISDM as an iconic and world-class institution of management for the social sector.

He has over 25 years of global experience in technology, management consulting and investing/funding, and has been part of a global advisory start-up led by President Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg. After a successful stint in India as the Regional Head for the Ford Foundation, he is back to the Silicon Valley continuing to advise Ford Foundation, and working with technol- ogy start-ups that have a US-India association.


Guftagu Series

A part of our ongoing alumni outreach activities kickstarted in October 2021, ISDM’s 'Guftagu Series' was marked by meets in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai over the past two months. The series consists of discussions with our alums across different cities to strengthen and nurture the 230+ strong network of changemakers and future leaders.

Guftagu Series

Development Managers in Action

Ravali P Ravali P
Co-founder, Esther
PGP DM 2017-18

Deeply passionate about social justice and representation, Ravali P is dedicated towards working along the intersection of caste and gender. She is also the co-founder of Esther, an organisation that works towards enabling young adult women, especially those from marginalised communities, to enter the workforce through online platforms, use of digital tools and individualised support from mentors.

Her organisation, along with five other organisations, has been recently selected for a program by Pragati by Meta and The/Nudge Foundation that is aimed at incubating and accelerating early-stage SPOs focusing on the empowerment of women and resolving complex challenges with the help of technology. Read more here.

Basu Rai Basu Rai
Child’s Rights Activist,
Author, Founder,
Basu Rai Initiative Foundation
PGP DM 2018-19

Basu Rai is development practitioner and a committed child rights activist. He is also the author of From the Streets of Kathmandu that recounts his journey of growing up as an orphan on the streets of Kathmandu and participating in the Global March Against Child Labour with Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi in 1998.

Reflecting his core value of being compassionate, his organisation Basu Rai Initiative, applies education and livelihood approaches to enable a child-friendly world and create an environment for children to grow and realise their leadership potential to bring about social change.

He has also led Nestle India’s CSR initiative ‘Hilldaari’ for solid waste management in Uttaranchal, among other education and livelihood projects for the Centre for Civil Society.

Welcoming New Members to the ISDM Family!

Satender Rana Satender Rana
Senior Manager, Research Fellow,
Knowledge and Research Centre

Satender Rana recently joined ISDM after completing an MSc in Development Management (Applied Development Economics) on a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship from the London School of Economics. As a development consultant, he has worked with several governments, multilateral agencies, international and national non-governmental organisations including the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, International Rice Research Institute, Ministry of Rural Development, Read India and Sparsh. Read more here

Grishma Purewal Grishma Purewal
Associate - Admissions & Outreach

Grishma Purewal graduated in 2020 with a degree in History and English Literature. Prior to joining ISDM, Grishma worked for a year at an EdTech company in their Admissions Consulting Division. Read more here

Devika Menon Devika Menon
Associate – Research

Devika Menon is a postgraduate in Society and Culture from IIT Gandhi- nagar. During her masters, she worked on the social impacts of COVID-19 on different socio-economic groups, inter alia. She holds a bachelors in Economics, Sociology and Psychology from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. Read more here


Digital Transformation

Digital transformation of ISDM is an integral element of change within our efforts to revitalise the organisation. We are in the midst of implementing Phase I of the digital transformation which includes enhancements to the student journey beginning at the time of submitting applications for admissions to PGP DM. We are also performing an assessment of the infrastructure; these include high-tech digital classrooms, high-quality audio-video equipment and tools. These initiatives will help deliver a true digital experience to our students, staff and ecosystem.

Placement Updates

After a successful run with a 100% placement record this year, despite the challenges thrown by the pandemic, we are all set to begin our placement process for the current cohort, the class of 2021-22 for PGP DM. The cohort has already appointed its students’ placement commit- tee and has begun its initial outreach for the new year. For placement related queries, please reach out to [email protected].


Here's a peek into what our students, faculty and staff are reading.

Social Entrepreneurship in India

Social Entrepreneurship in India by Madhukar Shukla

The book discusses how a seemingly paradoxical concept like ‘social entrepreneurship’ has been practically established successfully in India for decades. It draws lessons from business giants in the country who found solutions to social problems through entrepreneurial strategies leading to ‘social entrepreneurship’ becoming a global phenomenon.

Strategic Planning for NGOs by Jaishankar Narayanan

The book introduces the concept of Strategic Planning and sheds light on how it can be adapted to address the unique needs of non-governmental organisations. It discusses the history of strategic planning in the Indian context and outlines how strategic planning can help identify the vision, mission and values as well as define the objectives and goals of a SPO.

Strategic Planning for NGOs
The Mind of the Strategist

The Mind of the Strategist by Kenichi Ohmae

First published in 1975, the book discusses the strategic finesse of Japanese companies that helped them compete against the best in the world and maintain their edge, despite the absence of dedicated strategic teams. It also offers a peek into the minds of Japan’s leading strategists who formed their strategies with an artistic mix of intuitive and analytical thought.


Contact Us: C 20/5-6, Sector-62. Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301. (Opposite JSS Academy of Technical Education) | Phone: +91 99997 88216 | Email: [email protected]