Sumit Joshi

As part of the Sattva Leadership, Sumit Joshi heads the Consulting Services practice in New Delhi, India. Sumit manages the thematic programmes of several international foundations and leads the CSR and sustainability advisory of multi-national corporates. He has designed and scaled solutions on micro-entrepreneurship, livelihoods, access to safe water, integrated village development, and organisational development.

Prior to Sattva, Sumit traversed various roles in his career from consulting for the United Nations and working for multinationals to running his own social enterprise. His company APART Education trained thousands of young graduates and improved the employability skills and quality of Indian workforce.

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


A group of social entrepreneurs developing technology innovations to optimise water usage for food production were looking to take their idea to market. They wanted to develop a robust business model in order to create impact in emerging economies. In our role as advisors, we helped these founders take ideas off the ground supported by a right business model, go-to-market strategy, and execution to scale their efforts.

As advisors our primary role with these entrepreneurs, whose innovations were mostly at seed or early stages of development, was to develop an actionable strategy to grow their venture from idea to market. We worked with them closely to establish the best business model to validate their innovations as well as identify the ideal consumer base in every market. We designed a business model strategy for three to five years which included correct pricing to ensure a product-market fit for long-term sustainability. Our mission was to condition entrepreneurs with business thinking and this involved working proactively with them to zero down on the core value-proposition of their product. Once they hit the market we delved into specific capacity building around sales, marketing, operational planning, financial forecasting and partnership strategy for the foreseeable future. From June 2016 we have meticulously helped these entrepreneurs move through each stage of their journey to reach the ultimate end goal of impact on the ground.

We documented our actionable strategy for each aspect of business and entrepreneurship in a playbook which we believe can be customised for use by any innovator in the ecosystem. This knowledge material is a valuable asset for all players in the sector. Alongside, we contributed to change the mindset of social entrepreneurs to prove that innovations can lead to viable and sustainable businesses. Also, we were able to give them actionable strategies to survive and scale ventures, thereby boosting overall confidence in the sector. Innovators were able to strengthen their go-to-market strategy and capacities for next three-five years.

Number of entrepreneurs advised: 12
10 Regions covered: Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Nepal
Innovations included: Seed tape, affordable green-house technology, contract farming, precision agricultural devices, and weather management phone service


A social change organisation is working in the field of education with the intent to transform the quality in public schools. The systemic transformation plan required providing leadership training to school principals as well as education officers to create a long lasting impact. The solutions had to prepare the organisation to ensure quality delivery at scale for 6,00,000 government schools. Sattva has been working as a key strategic advisor to this organisation and is helping co- create solutions for standardised quality delivery of their flagship Principal Leadership Development Program and newly introduced District and State Transformation Programmes. The approach was to bring together the current strengths of their on the ground workforce & ongoing interventions to build scalable , effective and impactful solutions.

Sattva’s association with the organisation started with smaller individual projects. In January 2017, we entered into a strategic advisory partnership with the foundation, to co-create a blueprint for quality delivery at scale for 600,000 schools.
We helped them align the core objective of improving the Student Learning Outcomes(SLO) for interventions across the organization across various operations. We helped design a multi-level capability maturity model for the 10 key interventions for development of schools through critical milestones at various stages. We led the co-creation of an organization-wide technology platform through a mobile based application to ensure easy collaboration for fellows (this organisation runs a significant and sough-after fellowship programme) to map their journey across 5000+ schools and gather data analytics for monitoring and evaluation purpose.

The Maturity model and the Journey app is being further used by various government schools, NGOs in the ecosystem to map their leadership development initiatives. Our combined efforts helped the organization to structure the products around solutioning for various stakeholders at all levels, starting from teachers all the way to the middle managers in the education ecosystem. The foundation is now a reputed name in the field of education working across states and districts to replicate this model to 6,00,000 schools in the future in line with its overall vision.

● Capability maturity model for 10 key interventions for school development across stages through milestones
● Product creation: Journey app for 5000+schools in PLDP and DTP which can be replicated across 6,00,000 schools
● Number of people impacted: 5000+ schools, 500+ fellows
● Interventions planned across 12 states covered in STP – Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh


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.

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.

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.

● 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.