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Our Team

Rama Krishna Pachigolla, Finance Expert

Rama Krishna is a fellow member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and graduated in Law and Commerce from Andhra University with a top rank. At present he is President finance in NSL Power. Previously he has worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the national practice leader for small, medium and growing businesses in India. He has also been leader of PwC India infrastructure practice for Assurance Line of Service. His experience of more than 25 years in the profession includes functional expertise in transaction support services, financial and legal due diligence, risk management practices, data management and quality assurance. His clientele include public sector, large corporate and family businesses. He has worked for clients to raise equity or debt from public markets in India, USA and London .Rama Krishna is a regular speaker in various industry forums like FAPCI, CII, ASCI and management institutions of repute.

Bal Ram MalhanBal Ram Malhan, Labour Market Economist

Balram is a member of Indian Economic Service since 1993. He has a total experience of 32 years of which 12 years was in senior management positions. A qualified and seasoned economist, he has performed many significant roles for the National Labour Bureau and National Planning Commission, India. In his most recent appointment he was the Director, Labor Bureau. In this role he was in-Charge of All India Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey covering 130,000 households to estimate State-wise labour force participation and unemployment rate. He has successfully led the survey for three years. His professional expertise lies in Labor Market Analysis, Economic surveys and statistics, Economic policy and planning and Project Appraisals and Monitoring.

Some other significant and relevant assignments completed by Balram are i) Estimation of employment rate in the country to assess the impact of economic development/slowdown on quarterly basis ii) Economic monitoring and analysis of State level development plans and budgetary issues iii) Periodic assessment, reporting and impact assessment of employment, wages, social conditions and implementation of statutory obligations in different industries, sectors, gender and social groups. Apart from these Balram has been instrumental in planning and designing routine surveys outcomes of which are useful for policy formation and deciding on various labour development schemes and budget outlays. He was responsible for survey design, coordinating the administration, data structuring, interpretation and analysis, report writing and presentation of the survey outcome.

Partha P Mitra, Senior Advisor Labour Policy

Mr. Mitra is from the Indian Economic Service with 35 years of experience with Government of India; much of it in Labour Policies, Regulations, Program Monitoring, Social Justice and Empowerment. His key roles with the Government of India in the last ten years were: (a) Principal Labour and Employment Advisor, Ministry of Labour and Employment, (b) Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Rural Development, and (c) Joint Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

His key works included: (i) Policy design of the implementation of Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) Ministry of Rural Development to map the socio- economic profile of various communities for their  overall development.  The programme was implemented through state governments, public sector undertakings and the National Informatics Centre. At the central level, he played a key role in assessing the quality of information, analysis of the results. (ii) Scholarship, schemes for Scheduled Caste, Other Backward Class students for economic, educational empowerment of depressed sections of society. Besides, he was a Board Member of National Corporations to uplift Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes (iii) Evaluation of Studies on major rural development programmes: assessing Rural employment, skill generation, rural  road connectivity suggesting policy changes based on the evaluation, (iv) Designing policies and legislations on minimum wages, occupation safety and health and employment generation ensuring all India coverage of sectors, particularly the informal sector for minimum wages and occupation safety and health, (v) Implementing National Career Services portal to facilitate job creation, overseeing Employment / Unemployment survey of Labour Bureau.

In DEFT, he has been an advisor to the ILO’s Child Labour policy action project and peer-reviewed the key outputs and reports submitted.

Dr. Manisha MukherjeeDr. Manisha Mukherjee, Practice Head, Climate Change and Sustainability

Manisha is a climate change and sustainability expert with more than 14 years of experience. She started her career with National Environmental Research Institute (NEERI), a premier national research organization and thereafter was associated with the Sustainability and Climate Change group of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for about 8 years. She holds a Ph. D. degree in Environmental Science and has authored 12 journal (International and National) and Conference papers.

Her experience covers: environmental strategy and policy framework; climate change strategy, adaptation and mitigation; environment and trade issues; life cycle assessment; product carbon footprint; water and waste-water management; waste management;environmental impact assessment; due diligence; corporate sustainability strategy; corporate sustainability and social responsibility reporting; stakeholder consultation strategy. Clients include: World Bank, IFC, DFID, CFC (FAO)-IJSG, ADB, GiZ, ILO, Ministry of Environment and Forest (Government of India), CDKN, Ministry of Textiles (Government of India), EAD (Government of Abu Dhabi), Tata Group of Companies, ONGC Ltd, IOC Ltd, BPC Ltd, PepsiCo, Aditya Birla Group and ITC Ltd.

Dr. Debabani ChakravartyDr. Debabani Chakravarty, Senior Researcher

Debabani is a Ph.D in Economics with more than 12 years of experience in development research. Her research interests include labour markets and gender studies. She started her career in research with the Women’s Studies Research Centre, Gauhati University and since then has worked with reputed organizations such as the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi.

In DEFT, Debabani has worked on a number of labour market and TVET research projects across Indian States, undertaken two successive Social Protection research studies covering multiple segements of informal workers Cambodia,and recently completed an ILO commissioned study on the Future of Work in the ICT sector. Her publications range from issues on women’s work to urban transport to representation of women in media. In November 2016, her paper on ‘Manpower Planning and Skill Needs Assessment in Mizoram’ was published in the 58th annual conference of the Indian Society of Labour Economics, held at Guwahati. She is the co-author of the book "Integrating the Third-Tier in the Indian Federal System: Two decades of Rural Governance" eBook ISBN 978-981-10-5625-3 (2017) 

Kamal K MukherjeeKamal K Mukherjee, Public Sector Specialist

Kamal is a public sector specialist, with grounding in the civil services and of over 18 years’ experience, focusing on policy, strategic and operational transformation of government entities at all levels using technology, processes, legislation, and capacity building as enablers. Kamal has worked for nine years in leading global consulting firms PwC and Deloitte where he was a Director. Over the last 13 years he has worked as an eGovernment and ICT for Development expert with Indian and international clients in Asia, Africa and Europe including government bodies at all tiers of governance and donor institutions like the World Bank, African Development Bank, UNDP and others.

Included among the assignments Kamal has successfully led are the National ICT Strategy for Mauritius (2007-11), eGovernment strategic roadmaps for Namibia and Serbia, recommendations for the use of ICT in public services delivery across countries in Africa and ICT4D action points for Latin American countries. Kamal is a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT, Kanpur and is currently also pursuing a doctoral programme at IIT, Delhi on the use of ICT for the construction industry.

Shobana AnandShobana Anand, PPP and Finance Specialist

Shobana Anand is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Shobana has over 23 years of experience in banking, credit rating, outsourcing consulting, public private partnerships and capacity building. Starting her career in ANZ Grindlays Bank in the corporate banking department, Shobana spent over a decade between ICRA and Crisil. Shobana was associated with Crisil as Head of their consulting division for the southern part of the country. She also briefly worked as Head of Corporate Ratings handling a few specific sectors. Her last formal employment was with RRDonnelley Outsourced Services as Head of their Research & Analytics practice. Shobana was selected by the British Foreign Office under the “Women in Leadership and Management Programme” 2004. Shobana is also a gold medallist in her Bachelors from the Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu. Shobana also has exposure to both the international agencies – Standard & Poor and Moody’s and has undergone training / done short term projects in their London offices.

Shobana has done a lot of capacity building workshops for bankers, infrastructure development agencies, knowledge process organisations and government departments. Shobana has also worked on skill development areas with local colleges both in delivery as well as content.

Anshu AgarwalAnshu Agarwal, Financial Modelling Expert

Anshu is a Chartered Accountant in practice. Prior to this, she was with PricewaterhouseCoopers for 5 years providing professional service to several multinational clients of the firm. Her work included statutory audits, tax advisory, management and internal audits, special assignments, accounting support and related services

Anshu is currently engaged with DEFT as a financial expert. She worked as an associate on an ADB assignment to prepare the Project Completion Report for Madhya Pradesh Power Sector Investment Program. In this project she performed financial and economic analysis in order to estimate the economic return of the USD 106 Million investment programme. Further, in an ADB assignment for conducting a study of the power sector of Cambodia, she assisted the lead researcher for analysing financial data. She was also part of a research study to understand sector specific market opportunities and challenges in State of Andhra Pradesh pertaining to policy framework for supply of solar energy through open access and constraints. Completely at ease with numbers and financial modelling, Anshu has worked on various projects in the labour market space as a financial expert namely for Iron and Steel Sector Skill Council, Mining Sector Skill Council, and multiple skill development and vocational training providers.

Avik ChandaAvik Chanda, Advisor

An alumnus of Presidency College, Kolkata and the Delhi School of Economics, Avik Chanda has over 20 years of experience consulting and program management experience with Big 4 Firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, specializing in technology-based business transformation projects, particularly in the ERP space. Avik has proven expertise in marketing, business development and planning, solutioning and project delivery across domains, industries and markets – US, Europe and India. His specialism is in onsite-offshore delivery models and methodology, governance, quality and risk management. As an Advisor to DEFT, he is an integral part of the advisory and research team, engaged on development projects to assess labour markets in specific states of India, identify avenues of growth and additional employment opportunities. His contributions at DEFT include project planning, case studies, data strategy, value chain analysis, report writing, presentations and business development. Avik is also an established author, with 3 published books to his name, and is featured in literary festivals, artistic meets and creative writing workshops. His business book, ‘From Command to Empathy’ has been published by HarperCollins in November 2017.

Arun K ChakravortyArun K Chakravorty, Senior Advisor

Arun K Chakravorty, 1st Class B.Tech (Hons.) from IIT, Kharagpur, and LLB having over 40 years in Core Industries, encompassing Operation & Maintenance; Design & Engineering; Procurement & Contracts Management, Business Development & Project Management for Metallurgical Plants & Projects. Arun is highly skilled in drafting, excellent negotiator of contracts, has proven communication and analytical capabilities.

His expertise covers the whole gamut of consulting services in project conceptualisation, techno-economic viability study, capacity assessment and building, contracts management, procurement and project management, monitoring and evaluation, dispute resolution andarbitration. He has worked in multiple sectors, such as metals andmining, transport and network infrastructure, energy, and public services. Arun has travelled widely during professional career to countries such as Russia and CIS, Germany, Indonesia, France, Luxembourg and the USA. He is actively involved with a number of professional bodies: as a life member in All India Management Association (AIMA), Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Indian Institute of Metals (IIM), Life Member of IRILMM, Member Public Procurement Group (PPG).

Saloni Khurana, Research Analyst

Saloni holds a Masters in Economics. Her areas of interest include Econometrics. She is skilled in economic modeling, data analysis, and reporting. As a Research Associate at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, she has evaluated the role of tariffs and Free Trade Agreement policies, demand and supply patterns of exportable goods, effect of trade on industries, and recommended strategies to improve industrial performance in domestic and international market. Besides these, she has also managed and analysed wide-ranging data on poverty, inequality, employment and crimes against women.

In DEFT, she has analysed the national survey data of TVET trainers in India followed by reporting of findings to recommend measures to improve training effectiveness. At present she is working on COVID-19 impact analysis on labour markets.

Other Associated Professionals

Economist: A Former member of The Indian Economic Service, he offers an enriching experience in intricacies of international trade, data classification, data management and trade policy advocacy. During his tenure in Ministry of Power, he has also been instrumental in policy formulation to open up the sector to private participation. He was part of the team working on introducing reforms in generation, transmission and distribution in the electricity sector and drafting the Bill to enable setting up of the Electricity Regulatory Commission in 1998. Serving as an advisor in a Navratna company he supervised socio-economic studies on impact of rural electrification on village economy, international best practices, impact of subsidies, corporate planning and policy matters.

Statistician: A senior statistician in a national institute of repute for Statistical research and studies. He specialises in Economic Survey and Policy Research. In his stint of more than 15 years doing policy research in Indian and other Asian countries, he has spearheaded many significant research projects in the area of social development and rural development. He has been task team leader for prestigious projects of Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation and the Planning Commission of India. He is a doctorate and routinely publishes in national and international journals.

Technologist: An enterprise professional with more than 30 years of experience and demonstrated strong progressive leadership in managing business, customers and people with end-to-end delivery ownership. He managed the modernisation project for a large public fund management organisation of Government of India and significant number of Public Sector Enterprises.

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