Manasi Parvatikar

Manasi leads key client engagements in Africa and Southeast Asia for Sattva’s international business unit, working with social enterprises, funders and donors that are working in the intersection of food security, climate change and gender inclusion in Africa and South-East Asia.

Prior to Sattva, Manasi was an Analyst and Engagement Manager, working on Market Entry Strategy​, Strategic Sales and Channels Planning, Business Modelling, Marketing Ecosystem Planning and more. She has also co-authored reports on topics related to Indian small and medium businesses – operational challenges and opportunities and India IT Report Card – Implications of federal budget. At Sattva she has worked with key CSR clients in helping develop national strategies around waste and water management. She has further helped developed programmes around marine waste management and integrated village watershed development.

Manasi is a Mathematics graduate from the University of Delhi.

Lakshmi Sethuraman

Lakshmi currently leads the sales function at Sattva. She has been with Sattva since 2010 and has led a diverse set of projects during this time working extensively with leaders of social organisations in building and scaling their operations sustainably. She has also worked with key CSR clients of Sattva in designing, implementing impactful programmes.

Prior to Sattva, Lakshmi has worked with the Manipal Group, Jubilant Retail and ITC Hotels across sales, business development and strategy functions. She holds a PGDM from T.A.Pai Management Institute.

Anita Kumar

Anita Kumar leads the Strategic Initiatives group at Sattva. She has over a decade of experience in both the private sector and the development sector and has worn various hats – employee in a large corporate, freelancer, and entrepreneur. She was with Procter & Gamble for five years in Sales & then Go-to-market Strategy for All-India. In 2009 she shifted to the development sector to use her skills to solve more complex social issues, and was consulting with different social organisations through her firm InsightsApplied including the Tamil Nadu Government, and various Foundations. For about 1.5 years, she consulted full-time with one of the large skill training organisations in the country helping them across a range of activities including mission alignment, impact measurement, sales strategy and partnerships.

Last year she co-founded a social enterprise which used technology to bridge information gaps about learning and livelihoods for disadvantaged youth. Anita is a graduate of IIM Calcutta (2004) and has an MSc in Development Management from LSE.

Sumit Joshi

Sumit heads the Non-profit Advisory practice at Sattva, working on the capacity building of NGOs and improving investments for their effectiveness and sustainability.

Prior to Sattva, Sumit was a consultant for the United Nations, worked with multi-nationals, and founded a social enterprise working on employability.

Sumit is an alumnus of the University of Oxford where he has an MBA as a Skoll Scholar.

IMPLEMENTATION – MICRO-ENTREPRENEURSHIP

OBJECTIVE
A solar power company delivering viable electricity solutions through decentralised renewable energy mini-grids, wanted to spur socio-economic growth in rural and semi-urban areas. They wanted to create an ecosystem to encourage this segment of people to become entrepreneurs on the back of reliable supply of energy. Our work as knowledge and implementation partners was to bring rural women into mainstream employment through setting up of micro-apparel manufacturing centres.

SATTVA’S APPROACH
We designed and executed a programme based on an entrepreneur-led model here. The first step was developing a site selection framework using certain basic criteria:
– choosing a location for the manufacturing centre close to a solar plant to ensure a steady supply of electricity, – within a radius of 200 kilometres from the market,

The focus was on selecting married women to train since the study suggested that such selection would help maintain high retention rates. We covered 8-10 villages under outreach to encourage women to visit the centre and gauge their interest in joining the programme. Selected candidates were charged a monthly sum of Rs 100 to ensure accountability and retention. This 20-seater centre, in Kamalapur near Lucknow, trained women in apparel making over six months. Our on-ground training partner trained women to use automatic machines. Post this we worked on a job-order model securing bulk orders from vendors (wholesalers or retailers) in Lucknow which in turn were executed by these women over the next few months as part of on-the job training.

KEY LEARNINGS
The program had far reaching socio-economic impact as it saw women from orthodox families venture out of home into mainstream employment. As a result they were now empowered to improve personal livelihood and educational aspirations. In parallel, it highlighted the importance of creating market linkages for rural entrepreneurs as a crucial component for any skilling program. Our approach demonstrated that a well-designed model is imperative, but motivating and building trust with women is as important to mobilise them. During the course of the programme we saw women build personal relationships with each other and work together with complete solidarity. The company was able to make the first crucial step in solving problems of migration, gender gap in mainstream livelihood opportunities and unemployment in Uttar Pradesh. The Kamlapur centre served as the anchor in that area, enabling the energy service company to be sustainable enough to provide energy at community level covering more beneficiaries. Also, the client is now confident of replicating the model for similar projects in other locations.

OUTCOME
No. of women in program: 20 women
Centre location: Kamlapur, Uttar Pradesh
Increase average income: Rs 2000-3000 per month from Rs 200 per month
Age bracket: 21+ years

PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT – SKILLING

OBJECTIVE
A global social development incubator had developed a programme, funded by a large investment bank, to improve gender diversity ratios and quality of candidates entering the retail sector. This was a one-of-a-kind innovative pilot programme designed to upskill and employ underprivileged women at premium and luxury retail brands in India. We played a key role as programme management partners to deliver and manage the programme in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

SATTVA’S VALUE ADD
In order to reach the desired outcome for the customer and other stakeholders, we needed to ensure that the programme developed was aligned to the market. So, we built a training curriculum based on feedback we got from two large market players who gave us an outside in perspective. The curriculum focused on English skills and conditioning women to nuances of the retail sector — customer service, understanding the segment, corporate brand sensitisation. This was co-developed by the on-ground training partner. Our role was focused on pre-screening and evaluating fitment to the programme based on select criteria – educational qualification, basic English proficiency, and alignment to retail sector. Alongside, we actively engaged with potential employers in the market who gave us feedback on gaps in training and other value-adds needed, if any.

KEY LEARNINGS
This two-month long programme clearly identified that training candidates on high quality customer service for premium and luxury brands, has a definite advantage over mere English proficiency even though the latter is a key requirement. Training women on softer aspects – confidence, communication, presentability – helps them engage with customers better and eventually find employment opportunities across sectors. As the next step in our endeavour, we are now looking to expand to other aspirational industries which value customer experience as a core skill.
It also gave us and other stakeholders useful insights about this segment of women. For instance, most women or their families don’t want to be associated with retail due to long shifts and physical labour involved. Many came in to learn English therefore mobilisation was a key challenge. These findings helped us relook at the programme to bring in more value-additions. The duration, for one, was not enough to build both English and soft skills. As added benefit, the company was able to assess the aspirant needs better from the programme. Overall, these insights helped develop skill sets for candidates to be more aligned with demands of this job.

OUTCOME
No. of women trained: 34
No. undergoing training: 37
Placement rate: 76%
Average salary: Rs 11,000 in Mumbai and Rs 10,500 in Bengaluru
Companies placed: Fossil, Madura Fashion, W, FabIndia, Reliance Trends, Tata Trent, Louis Philippe, Aurelia, Shoppers Stop.
Educational qualification: Std 12th and Graduates

DIGITAL FINANCIAL INCLUSION

OBJECTIVE
A Mumbai-based financial services company wanted to design and implement a programme focused on women’s entrepreneurship development and digital financial inclusion across rural Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. We, Sattva Consulting, came in as knowledge partners to give further inputs on the programme design and strategy, as well as support in planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation and reporting.

SATTVA’S APPROACH
The programme has a two-pronged strategy to enable the company reach its goal of empowering women in their households and communities alike. The first track involves mobilising and training 100 Digital Sakhis – women from the rural areas – in personal finance, digital financial literacy, leadership development and communication skills. These women in turn go out to train the larger community on same skill sets. Each Digital Sakhi has individual targets of reaching 1,000 rural community members which culminates to a total outreach of 1,00,000 rural population. The second track is focused on building the capacity of women entrepreneurs to help further develop their business. The first step was finding an implementing NGO with a background in enterprise development, financial inclusion and women empowerment with the ability to implement in the mandated geographies. After a thorough due diligence and selection process, we conducted a two-day co-creation workshop involving the financial services CSR team, business team and implementing NGO. The first day was focused on aligning all stakeholders on the aspirations, values and indicators of success for the programme, while on the second day we dived deep into the operational planning. This included open and honest conversations with all relevant stakeholders regarding the process of community mobilisation, batch sizes for women entrepreneurs, timelines, risks and mitigation measures among various other granular details. Once implementation began, spearheaded by the implementing NGO on the ground, Sattva conducted the programme management and M&E for the project duration and subsequent proposal development for phase two of the programme.

KEY LEARNINGS
This project successfully demonstrated the impact financial services companies can make through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to do good for business and in turn, benefit the entire community. Our efforts as knowledge partners with end-to-end implementation support were found immensely useful by all stakeholders in helping drive this programme and moulding it to what it is today. In the end, the company was able to spread awareness on digital financial literacy and promote women’s enterprise development, while increasing their brand visibility on the ground in strategic geographies and strengthening their customer base.

OUTCOME
Reach:
● 100 Digital Sakhis trained on Digital Financial Literacy, Leadership and Communications
● 1000 women entrepreneurs upskilled in their respective trades, trained in enterprise development and digital financial literacy
● 1,00,000 rural population trained on personal finance and digital financial literacy
● Increase in income, knowledge and adoption of formal financial services
● Maharashtra: Pune, Osmanabad and Solapur districts
● Madhya Pradesh: Dhar and Barwani

CONSULTING – CHANGE MANAGEMENT

OBJECTIVE
A Mumbai-based non-government organisation operates the world’s largest 24-hour toll free emergency phone service for children in distress. Currently its reach is spread across 420 districts in India. The NGO wants to restructure itself internally and establish better processes and systems to scale their programmes to 710 districts in India. Sattva played a role in helping redesign the organisation across three broad elements: structure, people and processes.

SATTVA’S APPROACH
To enable the NGO, we first had to identify key capabilities essential to deliver its mission and diagnose current strengths and gaps across these areas. This was all through the lens of ensuring future priorities and scale. We then designed the new organisation across three elements of structure, people and processes. Finally, we defined the step-by-step transition plan required to build the new organisation along with possible risks and mitigation measures. Simultaneously, a detailed resource mobilisation plan was created, defining donor segments most relevant to the NGO, product positioning and other recommendations.

The major recommendations to organisational structure included creating new departments such as human resources, and strengthening existing departments, along with a physical decentralisation to ensure ground teams are closer to field. The physical decentralisation essentially retained their existing regional centres as ‘hubs’ while instituting state level offices as ‘spokes’, further deepening their presence on-the-ground and ability to cultivate relationships with important stakeholders. On the people front an HR department was recommended to ensure the organisation remains employee-centric, redefined role descriptions as required and ensure it attracts, retains and develops top talent within.

Major recommendations surrounding processes were to ensure the organisation becomes more systems-driven and not dependent on any one person. This included a performance management rhythm system to ensure relevant individuals were speaking at required frequency, and identifying key SOPs to ensure standardised operations across the country. All recommendations were made to ensure the organisation is better able to scale across the country in a seamless manner.

KEY LEARNINGS
The Sattva Consulting team engaged with stakeholders including the governing board, senior leadership, field teams and partners on-the-ground in order to get a full understanding of the organisation. Being an NGO working with the Government of India was another layer of complexity which brought about many opportunities along with challenges. A deeper understanding of district complexity in regards to geography, population and child-related issues was garnered in order to project the number of partners and associated people count, followed by budgetary requirements. Sattva Consulting will now support the organisation throughout the transition plan, and drive the change management within the organisation, with the intention of enabling them to deepen their presence and create child friendly environments across every district in India.

HIGHLIGHTS
● New department structures included monitoring & evaluation, partner management unit, human resources and technology & systems.
● Strengthened departments included research & advocacy, finance and fundraising.
● New organisational model included: 5 regional centres and 22 state level offices
● Empowered regional centers to ensure decentralised operations.
● Recommendations regarding a vice chairman for a tenure of 3-5 years, to ensure continuity across board chairmanship
● Expected growth in three years: 72% increase in districts coverage.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

OBJECTIVE
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of a Mumbai-based bank wanted to understand the impact of its programme aimed at improving livelihoods of Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking, implemented with an on-ground NGO partner across five states. We conducted a detailed assessment of the impact of the project.

SATTVA’S ASSESSMENT APPROACH
We studied 400 women from three of the five states using a hybrid methodology combining qualitative and quantitative data. These women, who had been part of the programme before September 2015, were interviewed through focus group discussions along with multiple stakeholders – implementation partner, local NGOs and anganwadi workers. The discussion was a means to gauge improvement in livelihood patterns, changes in income levels, overall empowerment in taking household decisions for those who chose to opt out of this trade, and more importantly reduction in social exclusion. These parameters formed the qualitative side. Quantitative data, on factors like increase in household income, improvements in family’s standard of living, and education opportunities for their children because of higher income, was collected through a survey.

KEY LEARNINGS
Working and studying a sensitive community brought out valuable insights for us as well as the ecosystem at large. This programme successfully demonstrated self-employment is a sustainable model for livelihood for this group of women, and one that can be institutionalised. Our hybrid methodology, that blended quantitative and qualitative data, proved to be innovative as well as a disciplined and systematic approach leading to desired results within designated time-frame. Also, liaising with an external expert, who came with in-depth understanding of this community, helped us communicate effectively in order to gather valuable information. Collaborating with the NGO provided balance in field dynamics, as they gave us necessary inputs and direction on broaching sensitive questions. This, we believe, was a crucial aspect of the assessment. As a result, the CSR arm was able to assess the programme’s impact well, and the programme proved to be feasible for this community.

HIGHLIGHTS
● Studied a sample set of 400 women in three states
● States covered: Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow), Andhra Pradesh (Vizag) and Maharashtra (Pune)
● Duration: 2.5 months
● Age group: 20-50 years
● Adopted a scientific research methodology blending qualitative and quantitative data
● Assessed a complex socio-economic and cultural setting

BLURB
“Adopting a hybrid methodology was an extremely disciplined and systematic approach leading to desired results within the time-frame earmarked for this assessment.”

Aarti Mohan

Aarti brings strong expertise in creating, developing and publishing insights and content products centred around social impact and sustainability to reach diverse audiences. She has worked with multiple stakeholders in the social impact, sustainability, corporate, social sector, and the content, design, research and communications domain.
She has contributed to various publications including The Alternative, Women’s Web, Teacher Plus, Parent Circle and Deccan Chronicle. Aarti is a graduate from BITS Pilani and is an Alumnus of the IIM-Bangalore Management Program for Women Entrepreneurs (MPWE)