Hackathon mentors

We have a galaxy of experienced mentors from all walks of life. Here's a short bio of the mentors that you can interact with during this hackathon...

Andal Jaganathan


Andal Jaganathan is a teacher by training and a learner in practice, a content consultant by profession and a waste warrior by passion. She currently works as an independent consultant and was previously with the IISc on the campus-wide solid waste management project SWaMII (Solid Waste Management, IISc). She has been active in the waste management field since 2010 when the apartment complex that she stays in started their Zero Waste Management program.

Naveen Das

Naveen has 18+ years of work experience in the development sector. His areas of work have been governance around panchayati raj institution, decentralization planning, project management, monitoring and evaluation.  He has worked with government at district, state and national levels, national and international organizations on national flagship programmes, knowledge management, district planning, transparency and accountability. During his previous assignments, he was associated with organizations like State Innovations in Family Planning Services Project Agency (SIFPSA)-Uttar Pradesh, Department of Health and Family Welfare- Government of Madhya Pradesh, UNICEF and UNDP.

He is currently working as General Manager Programmes with Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives in Bangalore

Gururaj P


Gururaj is a Sr. IT Consultant by profession at HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise). He has 10 Years of IT experience and lead successfully HP employee Hackathon events in HP Bangalore and Chennai campuses. Having completed his Masters in Computer Science & Physics, he is also Vice Chair for APJ Community Engagement Programs in HPE and a member of “The Bharat Scouts & Guides, Karnataka” Gururaj P is also a Trustee of Annadhana Foundation, an NGO which helps in moving the left over food to the needy both in Mangalore and Bangalore. In 2011, he was also one of the final nominees for Water Ambassador position by Water & Sanitation Programme (WSP) of the World Bank during the Water Hackathon Event.

Tejas Chaudhary


Tejas  is a development practitioner working at S3IDF, an international non-profit working towards building inclusive market systems. He develops projects and enterprises that directly impact the income of the poor and the marginalized in the Waste Sector and Agriculture value chains. He did his masters in Development from the Azim Premji University which included involving in grassroot organizations to understand their operations and impact. The masters was followed by a fellowship at a TATA Trusts funded project. He also holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda

Sivaramakrishnan Narayanan


Sivaramakrishnan Narayanan (Siva) is a professional with more than 20 years of experience in Management Consulting in the field of Supply Chain Management and Analytics. He is working with CGN & Associates in their Bangalore office. He has been participating in causes centred around waste management and conservation for the last two years. He is an avid listener of Carnatic music and was himself a student of the violin for 16 years. Among his other hobbies are reading and long distance running.

Vasuki Iyengar


21 years of experience in IT Industry worked for companies like Oracle, Honeywell, Fidelity, Deutsche Bank etc in India and US. Now, for the last 3 years, he is managing two startup companies, 1) iProcess Info India Pvt Ltd - Developing a set of software application on mobile devices for Oil and Natural Gas Industries and Manufacturing Industries. 2) ShudhLabh Solutions Pvt Ltd, Director and founding Partner. ShudhLabh is into community composting and solid waste management solutions.  Founded in 2014, they are managing about 20 bulk generators. He has been composting for the last 5 years and now uses both aerobic and unaerobic (Bokashi) composting methods at home.

Sindhu Prasanna

A mechanical Engineer turned Environmental Engineer, Sindhu Prasanna is a project manager at Saahas Zero Waste. As the primary point of contact for clients, she works on service delivery, operations, and client experience dealing with everyday realities of segregation at source and waste handling.  She manages more than 20  clients who have decentralized waste management solutions. She has worked on various projects o understand the socio-economic factors that influence air pollution, industrial pollution,  agriculture, nutrition and women.  She aspires to give back Bengaluru its past glorious greenery 

Shakuntala Acharya

Shakuntala is a designer at heart and an architect by training. She is passionate about design research, and believes in the vital role of rigorous research and sound technical know-how to ensure responsive and impactful design. She wishes to pursue a career in academia and in turn, contribute to India’s growing design potential.

Shakuntala is currently a PhD researcher at IDeaS Lab, CPDM, and is working on supporting designer’s in decision-making at conceptual stages to create environmentally-benign designs. Her research interests lie in the areas of Design Conceptualization, Environmentally-benign Design, Sustainability, Innovation and Design Thinking. 

Rajesh Joseph

Rajesh Joseph is an Assistant Professor at the Azim Premji University, Bangalore. His interest has been in the area of informal economy and urban livelihoods. His current research is on the livelihoods in Bangalore. Prior to joining as faculty at the university, he has worked more than 12 years in the development sector. During those years, he has worked in the field of urban poverty dealing with issues in the informal sector of the economy such as that of Education, Financial inclusion, Social Security, Migration, Job placement etc

Tej Pochiraju


Tej runs Jaaga Startup with a fantastic group of people. Jaaga Startup helps derisk early stages of building need-driven startups by sharing knowledge and infrastructure within a community of exceptional entrepreneurs. Previously, Tej ran two consulting startups, Micrograce in Bangalore/Leicester and Aristos Labs in Belfast. In between the two, he led wireless/microwave product development at Pera Technology. Most recently, he failed at trying to build beyon:labs - a hardware product startup. During his relatively nascent career, he has worked with over 150 SMEs across the globe and helped build over 30 hardware products. He holds a PhD from Queen's University of Belfast, a Master's from IIT Kharagpur and a Bachelor's from Mumbai University.

Nupur Tandon


Nupur moved back from France in 2007 and was  working as a Trade Officer with the Embassy of France in New Delhi; She did her M Sc in Environmental Sciences having realized the need to do something meaningful. Moving to Bangalore in 2010, she worked with NGOs to understand the real ground level problems of management of waste in the city. In 2013, she founded pro waste concepts pvt.ltd as a “for profit social enterprise”. Pro waste focuses on bringing about a frame work change and works with people to transform their mindset towards waste. Pro waste also implements sustainable, decentralized solid waste management systems and processes to create “zero waste zones”.

Rajesh Babu G M

Rajesh is an Industrial Engineer and the Co-founder of Swachha and Swachha Eco Solutions Pvt Ltd. He is also the Campaign Director for “Save My Future “.

Through the initiatives, Rajesh and his team have recycled over 2000 tons of plastic waste and helped divert over 15000 tons of waste from landfills.

Marwan Abubaker


A farmer, a foodie, an animal lover and environmentalist,  Marwan Abubaker has over twelve years of experience across agriculture, fish farming and community services. Following a brief stint with the corporate sector, Marwan found his true calling in the developmental sector. He and his siblings set up The Golden Husk, an NGO working in Kanakapura on Animal Welfare & Environment Issues. In 2009, he joined Radio Active- a community radio station to head the Community based projects for the station. An active member of the Solid Waste Management Roundtable (SWMRT) in Bangalore, he took up the initiative to pilot the first Dry Waste Collection Center in HSR Layout in 2011. This pilot project, helped establish the case for the need for Neighbourhood Dry Waste Collection Centers. In 2011, he was part of the core team that organized the Bengaluru Recycling Habba in Bangalore, in addition to conceptualization the Recyclathon Awards along with his colleagues. In May 2014, he joined Hasiru Dala as Director-Operations and has worked extensively for the betterment of waste pickers and waste workers.

H S Dinesh


Dinesh is the L&D Lead of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in India. He has worked in various roles in the Business, HR Generalist and Learning & Development .Prior to joining HP, Dinesh worked in Wipro in various roles in Manufacturing, Engineering and Technical Support. With over 30 years work experience, he is a leader with a broad understanding of the business strategies, has a strategic view of the business and is passionate in the area of people development. Dinesh earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering and a HR Director Certification program from Cornell University.

Anil Bishnoi 

Anil is a graduate of Rajasthan University with a degree in Electronics and Communication, and AMIE in Mechanical and Civil Engineering. With expertise in electronics, software and hardware engineering, he worked with IBM, Sony, Mediatek and consulted with Qualcomm and Apple before starting vChalk in 2014. vChalk is an edtech company in Bengaluru that uses technology to enable any teacher anywhere to teach to the level of the child and improve her English. As part of vChalk, Anil innovated on hardware design to make a mini-server an affordable technology for every school. 

Daniela Gheorghe

With a Marketing and Public Relations degree in Romania and Germany, Daniela worked in political marketing before coming to India in 2011. For the last 6 years, she has worked in marketing and operations across 4 states and 4 sectors with different social businesses: in rural craftsmanship in Rajasthan, in rural healthcare in Assam and in waste management in Telangana.  In 2014, she co-founded vChalk, an edtech company in Bengaluru to support millions of kids in school gain the foundation skills for a better life. 

Nitin Gopalkrishnan

He was involved in the construction industry having experience in design coordination, project management, and on-site training labourers on various construction technologies in Pune and Chennai. Later on he joined S3IDF and started engaging with the informal waste workers studying their waste management business understanding the business flows, operational constraints and training them on financial literacy. Currently, he is involved in facilitating the waste workers to access formal credit from Nationalized banks. 

Additional to his work in Bangalore he also performs socio-economic feasibility studies of local level value addition initiatives undertaken by pro poor farmers collectives in multiple agro climatic zones of Karnataka. He adds value by creating/validating business models that ensures fair returns to farmers and are bankable by formal credit institutions.  He holds a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Amrita University, where he had done a study on use of coconut shells for replacing gravel in plain concrete. He earned his masters in Infrastructure finance development and management from NICMAR, Pune.

Archana Sinha

Archana Sinha leads the Health and Nutrition Initiative at Ashoka Innovators for the Public, India. Through Nourishing Schools, the initiative aims to develop young changemakers who can take charge of their own nutrition and that of their communities. Prior to joining Ashoka, she was a management consultant with i3 Consulting, a firm founded by ex-McKinsey employees. She led engagements advising clients from industries such as financial services and e-commerce on business development, strategy and setting up new ventures. She’s been a journalist with The Asian Age and is a regular contributor for publications such as Huffington Post and Forbes.
She has a Masters degree in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and a Bachelors degree in Economics from Sophia College, University of Mumbai. She was awarded the Spotlight:Health scholarship by the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, USA. In her free time, she is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the SELCO Foundation for the Kowdi Kutumba project, which uses upcycled cloth. It aims to make the North Karnataka handicraft of Kowdi a sustainable means of livelihood for women with low incomes. 


Surbhi is an environmentalist by training, who holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Science from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune. She has been associated with the non-profit environment sector over past 7 years and has been working in the area of non-formal environment education using performing and visual arts as a medium. She also teaches under-privileged children and youths on recycling and reuse of waste materials. She currently works as Programme Coordinator at Earthwatch Institute India, where she is managing programme on natural resource management, environment education, sustainability, climate change adaptation using citizen science model and engagement of volunteers. She is also working on training, capacity development and community based interventions for promotion of biodiversity conservation through Skill Development in the green sector. She is an avid biker, trained Kathak dancer, an intrepid traveller and a self-taught nature photographer.

N Sundeep

Sundeep – an architect- heads Open Studio. He has a passion for the vast tradition of building which is rich, varied and ancient. It has been passed on from generation to generation. All of them are based on a material culture which revolves around the skill of the craftsmen. This heritage is slowly eroding and becoming irrelevant. His aim is to revive this tradition.


He explores the idea of craft into simple everyday buildings and show that material culture and skill are as relevant now as it was in the past. The idea is to develop ideas that are small, sensible and needed and innovate around the practice of building with local labour, local skills and local materials thus we ensure social relevance which is the essence of a sustainable building. This can be seen in the industrial, religious, educational and residential buildings that he has designed. He has also been teaching architecture in renowned institutions for almost a decade

Manogna Sastry

Manogna is a Master of Science with strong background in theoretical physics and mathematics including General Relativity, Theory of Fields and Astrophysics, Specialist experience in Inflationary Cosmology, Quantum Field Theory and Symplectic Geometry. She has Effective mentoring and communication skills having taught students at undergraduate and graduate level. She is a keen student of Sanskrit literature and Indic Studies and a  passionate environmentalist and gardener. She has participated in several campaigns as a part of We Care for Malleswaram and Clean Green Workshops to create awareness about Solid Waste Management. Manogna is currently the COO at Centre for Fundamental Research and Creative Education, Bengaluru

B S C Ranjan

B.S.C.Ranjan is research Student currently pursuing his PhD at the Innovation, Design Study and Sustainability Laboratory (IDeaS Lab) at Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He received his Master’s Degree from CPDM, IISc, Bangalore. He received his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from B.M.S. College of Engineering,  VTU,  Belgaum in 2007. His research interests include design research, design creativity, product design, embodiment design, robotics, bio-mimetics

Prashant Avadhani

Prashanth Avadhani is currently serving Cisco Systems –he leads Business Operations for Security Business group. He is a member of Yuva Brigade, is an organization formed by like minded individuals who intend to do something good for the country. His Hobby is to pick up leftover food from wedding halls, parties, hotels, as well as homes and distributes it to the needy.

Praveen Uchil

Praveen Uchil is a researcher at Indian Institute of Science. He has recently submitted his Ph.D. thesis on a'visual analytic support for life cycle assessment.' His research interest includes design for the circular economy, life cycle assessment, human computer interaction and visual analytics. He holds Masters in Product Design from CPDM and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from NITK Surathkal.He has earlier worked between 2005-2007 in Wipro as Design engineer for two years prior joining CPDM. His creations have won national and international credits.

In his leisure time, Praveen enjoys sketching, playing guitar, and collecting garbage from people’s minds.