Team

The fellowship is a commune and that reflects in our team too. Our super alumni have come back and give the fuel to the engine. Meet the core team behind India Fellow. Click on image to view LinkedIn profile.


Rahul Nainwal is a serial social entrepreneur. In 2001 he cofounded iVolunteer and introduced the concept of formal volunteering in India. He has done pioneering work in placing Indian volunteers across the country as well as overseas (through his intra-venture iVolunteer Overseas in 2004) and international volunteers in India. With the next initiative in 2010, the India Fellow program, Rahul led the learning component of the then first of its kind fellowship in India. He is also the founder of UnLtd Delhi – a launchpad for social entrepreneurs in Delhi-NCR and Cashrelief which is experimenting with direct cash tranfers in India. 

A TED Fellow, Rahul is an alumnus of Institute of Rural Management IRMA and THNK – The Amsterdam school of creative leadership. His expertise lies in entrepreneurship and design thinking. He also is a marathon runner, a cyclist and an avid trekker.


Anupama Pain is an ICICI Fellow from the founding cohort, and is with the fellowship team from 2014.

She has her 4 years in corporate finance consulting, from 2006 to 2009, after a bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from Mumbai University and a Leadership Essentials certification from Harvard Business School. Between 2010 to 2014, she worked on participatory design, piloting and dissemination of products for Self Help Group federations in areas of rural finance, literacy and pro poor value chains with Chaitanya. Work locations include Western Ghats, Vidarbha region and Uttarakhand.

She also has experience of setting up an enterprise – FreshFromFarms, which connected farmer groups from rural Pune to urban consumers in Mumbai housing societies. She is an active volunteer and takes up development consultancy projects from time to time.


Nikita D’cruz, 2010 ICICI Fellow, studied sociology  in Xavier’s in Mumbai. During her fellowship, she worked with Samarthan, in Madhya Pradesh towards participatory governance and advocacy around MNREGA. Post that, she went on to pursue the Young India Fellowship, followed by a Masters in Urban Policy from Tata Institute Of Social Sciences. While she spent some time working with an Affordable Housing company, she is a urban governance activist at heart, having worked with the Jaagore Campaign, Loksatta Andolan and the Aam Aadmi Party in areas of urban reforms and decentralized governance.

Looking for patterns amidst structures and relationships is what she likes doing best. Currently she is full-time engaged in the fellowship team and spearheading the direct action initiative in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh.


Swati Saxena, a 2016 India Fellow, is a Commerce graduate from Lucknow University. She further did an MBA in Finance from ICFAI, Bangalore and worked with Deloitte for 5 years.

It was during a year-long break from corporate when she got to know about India Fellow while volunteering with non-profits and start-ups. As a fellow, she worked with Chaitanya in Madhya Pradesh, on self help group formation, capacity building, and content development for training. She is now managing overall marketing, communication, and outreach within the fellowship team.

Swati enjoys reading, writing and exploring new places – all of which she gets to do amply here!


Saurav Verma, 2017 India Fellow studied electrical and electronics engineering. During his fellowship, he worked with MANT, Purulia, West Bengal in strengthening of a community radio station, which helped raise grassroots voice and awareness in the Santhali community. During his college days, he started his own initiative called Happiness, which works with orphaned children in Bhubaneshwar. 

Saurav works with the direct action initiative in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh within the fellowship. He is interested in recording cultures and anthropological study of indigenous communities. 


Anand Murali, has been a part of the Young India Fellowship and a Mother Teresa Fellow himself. Post his stint in clinical research, he realized that the laboratory he will like to be in is the one that understands youth and help shape their aspirations. This passion brings him to the India Fellow team. He has also been instrumental in setting up of One All, an intervention in Chennai that promotes life skills and values through Ultimate Frisbee.

At the fellowship, Anand looks forward to helping our fellows and alumni in meaning making in their leadership journey and achieve their potential.


A core team of alumni from across the cohorts support the team pro-bono in key processes like outreach, selection, training and partnership building. It is also helped by all of iVolunteer’s team.