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Impact/Failure 2022​

Beyond the Binary

Successes in Failures and Failures in Successes

SELCO Foundation along with our partner organisations is hosting the second edition of the Impact/Failure Conclave
– a platform to encourage deep, open discussions that blur the boundaries between success and failure in the development sector. The mission of the conclave is to create an environment that encourages stakeholders to own their failures, learn and evolve.


Indian Institute of Management Bangalore


25-26th November, 2022

I/F 2022 Agenda

Successes in Failures and Failures in Successes

Interventions are built on intricate systems of people, environment, technology, and specific societal and cultural factors. And depending on how we view a project, based on the timeline of impact, benchmarks of impact, and contextual realities on the ground, the idea of success and failure changes drastically. To fully benefit from an intervention and truly engender change, organisations must adopt a systems approach to failure and learning, and create a culture that can admit and learn from what worked, what did not, and why.

I/F 2022

Summary Report



Submit Your Failure Story

Share your failure story with us and contribute to a culture that can admit and learn from what did not work, one where failing and learning are shared and celebrated.


Neeraj Jain

Country Director, PATH India, and Director, PATH South Asia

Neeraj is in charge of managing the strategic direction, programmatic engagement and financial operations for global and in-country programmes implemented across PATH’s offices in South Asia. His current focus at PATH is to work with governments and partners for health systems strengthening. Prior to joining PATH, Neeraj led WaterAid India through a dynamic phase of transition as its Chief Executive.

Elena Casolari

Co-founder and Partner, OPES Italia Sicaf EuVECA, and Co-founder and Chairperson, Fondazione OPES-LCEF

Elena believes in the transformative power of impact investing and the social enterprise movement. She works on providing financial resources and management support to early-stage social enterprises whose businesses serve low-income people and disadvantaged communities. She is also an advocate and practitioner of gender-smart investing. Previously, Elena spent 12 years in the investment banking industry covering emerging markets.

Gerry Higgins

Founder and Managing Director of Social Enterprise World Forum

Gerry is the Founder and Managing Director of Social Enterprise World Forum where he works to develop a global impact economy, and to strengthen and grow the social enterprise movement through convening, influencing and capacity building. In recent years Gerry has worked with governments, networks and international agencies, as a policy and systems influencer to create the conditions for social enterprises and communities to flourish.

Nithin Kamath

Founder and CE0, Zerodha/Rainmatter

Nithin is the founder of Zerodha that offers innovative trading and investing solutions to reach those sections of society that have stayed away from the capital market so far. Nithin also founded Rainmatter, to spur innovation in the financial technology industry in India, and Rainmatter Climate Foundation — a fund to support startups and grassroots organizations that work on solutions to mitigate climate change.

Dr. Anjal Prakash

Research Director and Professor, ISB

Dr. Anjal Prakash work focuses on urban resilience, gender, and social inclusion issues covering South Asia. His experience lies in policy research, advocacy, capacity building, knowledge management, networking and implementing large-scale, multi-country climate change and development projects. He has authored and co-edited several books and journals on water, environment and climate issues. He is also a faculty in the Advanced Management Programme in Public Policy at ISB.

Sourav Mukherji

Professor, IIMB

Professor Sourav Mukherji’s expertise is in organization design – structures, processes and culture that enable organizations to achieve their strategic objectives. In this domain, apart from teaching and consulting, his research focus is on inclusive business models – businesses that address the needs of the poor in a financially sustainable manner. Professor Mukherji teaches Organization Design and Inclusive Business Models at IIM Bangalore. Previously, he worked with IBM, Oracle, and Boston Consulting Group.

Jaideep Varma

writer and director

Jaideep Varma is a writer-director who has published two books and has directed five feature films including Leaving Home – a documentary on the music band Indian Ocean, which won the National Award. He is also the creator and founder of Impact Index – an alternative statistical system in cricket, which featured in Wisden Almanack and on several TV channels and publications worldwide.

Victoria Sabula


As the Chief Executive Officer of AECF since 2019, Victoria leads the institution’s efforts to secure the vision of a prosperous, enterprising and resilient Africa. Under her leadership, AECF is scaling up its financing, advisory services, investment support and knowledge services to catalyze greater work of 500 African SMEs and improve the lives of 10 million rural Africans by 2026. Prior to joining AECF, Victoria served as General Counsel and Corporation Secretary at AGRA, providing strategic oversight on legal advisory, compliance, risk management and governance.

Sameer Shisodia

CEO, Rainmatter Foundation

As the CEO of Rainmatter Foundation, Sameer Shisodia leads all partnerships, projects, and grants through the Foundation. Sameer left his long career in the tech industry a decade ago and partly moved to Coorg to experiment with sustainable farming, farm collectives, and his personal passion, rejuvenating soil and forests. He co-founded The Farming Collective and believes natural farming as the way to fix our ecology and live sustainably.

Manoj Kumar

Founder, Social Alpha

Manoj is the founder of Social Alpha, a multi-stage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups that aim to solve social, economic and environmental challenges. Social Alpha supports mission driven entrepreneurs through a network of innovation labs, venture incubators, accelerator programmes, seed funds and market access support. Since its inception in 2016, Social Alpha has nurtured more than 150 start-ups, including 50+ investments.

Usha Thorat

Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India

An alumni of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) and Delhi School of Economics, Usha Thorat joined RBI as a probationary officer in 1972. Her career in RBI covered all areas of central banking including exchange rate and forex reserves management, public debt management, financial markets and liquiidty management, and financial inclusion. Post her retirement from RBI, Usha served on several important RBI appointed committees. Usha is also active in the not-for-profit sector.

Carol Gribnau

Executive Director, DOEN Foundation

Carol Gribnau became the Executive Director of the DOEN Foundation in January 2021. She has extensive work experience in social and sustainable development, focussing on the human-planet relationship and connecting social justice and ecological sustainability. Firmly anchored in civil society, Carol enjoys collaborating with other parties: from governments to entrepreneurs and researchers. Before joining DOEN, Carol worked at Hivos as the director of Green Entrepreneurship.

Gauri Singh

Deputy Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency

Gauri Singh brings more than 30 years of experience in policy, advocacy and project implementation within the field of renewable energy and sustainable development. Prior to joining IRENA, Singh was responsible for leading the development of the National Solar Mission of India policy in 2010. She led livelihood projects based on decentralised renewable energy solutions to support rural artisans, and played a key role in drafting the framework for the state Right to Water Act.

Per Heggenes

Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation

Since becoming the IKEA Foundation’s first CEO in 2009, Heggenes has presided over their evolution into a global, independent, strategic philanthropy with a focus on fighting climate change and improving livelihood opportunities for the poor. He was appointed to join a high level panel on internal displacement with the goal of developing durable solutions to protracted internal displacement. Previously, Heggenes has previously worked at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Burson-Marsteller.

Mallika Srivastava

Executive Director, CmF

Malika has been working with Centre for micro Finance (CmF) and Tata Trusts since 2007 in various capacities and specializes in Community Based Microfinance & Rural Livelihoods. Malika holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). Before joining the CmF in 2007, she worked in Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana state) to promote farmers’ cooperatives. She has been the Executive Director of CmF since November 2015.

S M Vijayanand

President, CRISP

SM Vijayanand, President, Centre for Research in Schemes and Policies (CRISP), has years of experience in rural development, local governance, and decentralised planning. He nurtured the Kudumbashree programme, introduced the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) across the country, and helmed the Sixth State Finance Commission of Kerala. He is on the Governing Body of several NGOs, is the chair of the Laurie Baker Centre, Centre for Management Development, and the School for Democracy.


Director, MHT

Bijal Brahmbhatt is the Director of Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT). She is a recognized expert in habitat improvement through women’s empowerment, community development, climate resilience and housing finance. She supervises the MHT’s operations at the national level and has proven experience in conceptualizing, planning, and managing slum up-gradation programs across India. Her professional experience has focused on a range of poverty alleviation issues, particularly with women, entrepreneurship, slum upgradation, Water and Sanitation, climate resilience, urban planning, housing finance, housing technology etc.

Harish Hande

Founder and Chief Executive, SELCO Foundation

Harish Hande is a renewable energy entrepreneur with over 22 years of grassroots experience in meeting the requirements of underserved communities. He is also the founder of SELCO India – one of the most successful rural energy enterprises in the world. Recognized as a pioneer of sustainable decentralized rural energy solutions, Harish has received many national and international awards including the Ashden Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for “his pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through his social enterprise SELCO India”.

Arvind Lodaya

Professor of Design, Vidyashilp University

Arvind Lodaya has worked extensively in innovation, design and branding. He works across sectors, and has worked with innovative startups—including a museum on conflict, a tech-enabled skilling venture and a design-led business incubator. He started out designing industrial and consumer products for various brands including Bajaj, Kirloskar and Otis. As the Dean of Research at Srishti, he launched programmes on Product & UI/UX Design and Transcultural Design. He is currently Professor of Design at Vidyashilp University.

Jai Asundi

Executive Director, CSTEP

Dr Jai Asundi is the Executive Director at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), a not-for-profit research organisation with a mission to enrich policymaking with innovative approaches, using science and technology for a sustainable, secure, and inclusive society. His research interests lie in the areas of information technology for development and is working on the development of decisions support systems for a variety of public policy problems. Prior to CSTEP, Dr. Asundi was faculty in Information Systems at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Deepak Visvanathan

Consultant, Habitat for Humanity India Trust

After 22 years of service in the navy, Deepak Visvanathan worked as a training consultant to corporate houses before joining Habitat for Humanity India Trust at the Jimmy Carter Project site, Lonavla in 2006. Since, he has worked in various capacities and roles, most recently as a consultant who could provide technical oversight for appropriate construction technology, assess the intervention ideas and provide strategic guidance and suggestions on way forward, and advise on sustainability for the India programme.

Solomon Asfaw

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning, Sustainable Energy for ALL

Solomon has over 18 years of experience specialising in the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and research of complex climate change, development, energy, and social sector programs and programmatic modalities. Currently, he is leading the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning team at Sustainable Energy for ALL (SEforALL). Solomon has previously worked with multilateral banks and UN institutions, and has extensive experience working for international research centers, international NGOs, and academia. 

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav

Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav is a socio-technologist, an engineer trained to design and build large-scale systems that possess both human as well as technological complexities. Presently, he serves as the Mission Director for Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative of the government of India under the auspices of the NITI Aayog. As a teacher, innovator, and entrepreneur, he has split his time between teaching and research at MIT and living and working with rural communities in India to build solutions that can overcome constraints fundamental to improving human conditions.

Stephanie Jones

Global Programme Manager, Clean Energy, Good Energies Foundation

Since 2015, Stephanie has led the clean energy access grant-making at Good Energies, a part of Porticus, the organisation which manages the private philanthropy of the Brenninkmeijer family business. The Clean Energy Programme spans India and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Stephanie is responsible for the grantmaking strategy, the portfolio of clean energy grants and impact-first investments. She previously worked for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, developing strategies for efficiency programmes in North America.

Dr. Rachna Jain

Co-founder, Jan Swasthya Sahyog

Rachna Jain, MS is a trained obstetrician and gynecologist, and the co-founder of Jan Swasthya Sahyog, a non-profit of health professionals who set up a comprehensive primary health care service in rural Bilaspur 24 years ago. A champion of public health care, Dr. Jain has over two decades of experience in training health auxiliaries, nurses and doctors, besides addressing the reproductive health of rural women, especially from the Adivasi and Dalit communities. She now serves as a faculty at the Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences, Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.

Mala Subramaniam

CEO, Arghyam

Mala Subramaniam is the CEO of Arghyam leads the scale mission for sustainable participatory water security working with large government and NGO programmes through catalysing ecosystem actors and leveraging open digital assets. She comes with over three decades of experience in Strategy and Execution in Banking, Education, Agro-technology, ITES and the Not for Profit sector, across multiple geographies. She has proven expertise in implementing transformational processes for scaling standalone start-ups and new lines of work in established organizations.

Viraj Tyagi

CEO, eGov Foundation

Viraj is passionate about the impact of public digital platforms, policies and ecosystem in solving societal problems at scale and speed. Prior to joining the impact sector, Viraj was an entrepreneur and corporate leader with experience in building large businesses in Europe and India. A serial entrepreneur, mentor, and active investor, he was the CEO and co-founder of NettPositive, one of the first big data and analytics companies in India. He is also a co-founder of the fintech start-up, Finnable.

Siddharth Gahoi

Sustain Plus

Siddharth is part of the core team at Sustain Plus initiative, a multi-stakeholder collaborative platform for sustainable energy access and poverty alleviation initiatives in India. Siddharth has been deeply engaged in nurturing and managing multiple climate-resilient based livelihood promotion programmes across India, contributing across a wide spectrum of thematic programmes and interventions in the public, private and development sector. Prior to joining Social Alpha, Siddharth has worked with Tata Trusts on Water Based Livelihood.

Anand Ganesh

COO , NSRCEL , IIM Bangalore

Ganesh is the COO of NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore. NSRCEL strives to bring together academia and industry leaders to create entrepreneurial capability building platforms that allow aspirants to transform to entrepreneurs sustainably. He has over 20 years of experience in business leadership roles in technology and consumer industries, working with Pepsico, HP, Manthan and BRIDGEi2i. He is a graduate from IIT Madras and IIM Ahmedabad.

Dr. Angela Chaudhuri

Health Practice Lead, Catalyst Group

With over 21 years of experience in public health, Dr. Angela Chaudhuri is the Health Practice Lead at Catalyst Group within which Swasti is housed. Her most recent work has involved leading the health response of COVIDActionCollab, now CommunityActionCollab, a people-centric, multi-disciplinary initiative that supports the most vulnerable to not just survive but thrive during the pandemic. She has co-designed health and well-being interventions at a global scale and helped raise funds for TB, HIV and malaria for 12 countries. She continues to support governments to improve their health outcomes and strengthen their systems through better human resource management, programme design and planning.

Dr Rajani Ved

Director Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Rajani R. Ved has over thirty years of experience as an implementation specialist in health systems strengthening and in scaling up. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was Advisor to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Between 2010 and 2021, she worked in the National Health Systems Resource Centre, first as an Advisor and then its Executive Director. She played a key role in institutionalising the ASHA programme, and in the implementation of comprehensive primary care through the Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres. Her areas of interest include women’s health issues across the life course, primary health care and district health systems, community processes and multisectoral action.

Nachiket Mor

Public Health Professional

Nachiket is an economist by training with a focus on health systems design. Currently, he is a Visiting Scientist at The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP) at IIT Bangalore. He was previously a member of the Planning Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Universal Healthcare.

Siraz Hirani

Grassroot Champion

Siraz Hirani is a senior professional with over 20 years of strategic and operational experience with development organisations at the global and national level. His sectoral experience includes habitat development, climate change and disaster risk management. He has proven capability in strategic planning, programme management, policy development, resource mobilisation, monitoring and evaluation. Presently, he works as a Senior Programme Management Specialist at the Gujarat Mahila Housing Sewa Trust (MHT).

Rohini Nilekani

activist, philanthropist

Rohini Nilekani is the chairperson of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and the co-founder and director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform. She is also the founder and former chairperson of Arghyam, which funds sustainable water and sanitation initiatives across India. From 2004 to 2014, she served as the founder-chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher. She is also on the Board of Trustees of ATREE, an environmental think tank. Most recently, she published an anthology titled ‘Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar’, outlining her philosophy of restoring balance between the state and markets by positioning society as the foundational sector.

MS Sriram

Faculty, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Professor MS Sriram is currently faculty and chairperson at the Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. He has also worked as Vice President (Finance) at BASIX and was a faculty member at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. In addition to his academic portfolio, he has been active in the policy space as the chair of the Expert Committee on Kerala Co-operative Bank, a member of the Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee of the RBI, and the External Advisory Committee of RBI to license small finance banks, on the Vaidyanathan Committee for co-operative reforms and the RBI Expert Committee for primary (urban) cooperative banks.

PVS Suryakumar


PVS Suryakumar joined NABARD in 1986 and has handled a variety of functions including appraisal, funding, and monitoring of projects. He has also been involved in training, drafting policy, and in advocacy and communications efforts. He obtained a Masters in Plant Genetics from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi in 1986. He is an associate of the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance and is a regular contributor to newspapers on various policy issues and has also published two books on cases and sustainable agriculture.

Gautam Khot

CTO-in-Residence, Brigade Reap

Gautam Khot has dabbled in start-ups and early stage companies for over 25 years. As an engineering leader, he has had a diverse stint in various domains such as the internet and permission marketing technology, video conferencing, infrastructure management and online education. He holds multiple technology patents and is currently the CTO-in-Residence at Brigade REAP, Asia’s first PropTech accelerator.

Anjali Mohan

Partner, Integrated Design

Dr. Anjali Mohan’s professional experience over the last twenty-eight years straddles development, institutional and policy frameworks, urban planning and management, information and communication technologies and development (ICTD). Dr. Mohan has also designed and delivered several training and capacity building programmes, both for state and non-state actors. She is a faculty at the Centre for Public Policy at the National Law School University of India, Bangalore, and has been widely published in academic journals as well as popular media.

Sundeep Rao

Stand-up Comedian

Sundeep Rao is a partially blind stand-up comedian with a more serious disability – the ability to unscrupulously diss himself and everyone around him! He has had over 900 performances across the country and abroad. His performances have left audiences in splits, ranging from comedy specials, high-profile engagements, to award ceremonies, international summits and corporate events. He has been invited to speak at several TEDx events to share his story. He has recently ventured into radio on a prime time show, and is also in the process of moving into podcasting.

Rachita Vora,

Co-founder and Director, IDR

Rachita oversees new initiatives, partnerships, the website, and brand at IDR. Before IDR, Rachita led the Dasra Girl Alliance, a Rs. 250 crore multi-stakeholder initiative that sought to improve maternal and child health outcomes, and empower adolescent girls in India. She has close to 15 years of experience, and has led teams in the areas of financial inclusion, public health and CSR. She has also led functions across strategy, business development, communications and partnerships, and her writing has been featured in the Guardian, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Next Billion and Alliance Magazine.

Sneha Philip

Director, IDR

Sneha leads IDR’s editorial team and is responsible for executing IDR’s content and editorial strategy. Prior to IDR, she worked at Dasra and EdelGive Foundation, across research and diligence verticals, on issues such as health, sanitation, gender, and strategic philanthropy. Sneha also worked at AIESEC—the world’s largest youth-run non-profit organisation, and was a founding member of a language training company in Budapest, Hungary. She has nearly 15 years of experience leading research, building partnerships, and mentoring young people. Sneha has an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and a BA in Economics from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Hudah Jaffer

Director, SELCO Foundation

Huda is a product, service, systems designer with a keen interest in user-centric design specifically for sustainability and developmental issues. She has a degree in design from the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore and an M.Sc in Engineering and Business (Integrated Design and Management) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Huda has been critical in building the necessary processes of SELCO Foundation, which has led to its being known as a pioneer in the field of building the ecosystem for sustainable energy access for the poor.

Shama Karkal

CEO, Swasti

Shama is a social impact professional with over 25 years of experience working on community systems strengthening with a focus on marginalized communities, especially women in sex work, the LGBTQAI community, urban and rural poor, and factory workers. She supports these communities and works with them to access a range of services for their well-being. She has been with Swasti and the Catalyst Group, a social enterprise platform, since 2006. She also works with various collaboratives towards solving wicked problems. She is the Chair of the Asia Pacific Alliance on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a Trustee at Catalyst Foundation, and a part of the Executive Group for the Catalyst2030 India Chapter.

Dr. Anand Sivaraman

Co-founder Remidio Innovative Solutions

Anand is the co-founder of Remidio Innovative Solutions, where they build innovative, AI-enabled products for the screening and diagnosis of eye diseases for use in public health centers, primary care centers and vision centers in India and America. Anand completed his Master’s, Doctoral, and Postdoctoral degrees in Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston before returning back to India in 2005. Since his return, he has focused on driving technology, delivery and business model innovations in healthcare, with many failures, some successes and significant on-field learnings and unlearnings. His research and entrepreneurship interests lie at the intersection of technology and public health.

Piya Bahadur

Founder and CEO, MeraBills

Piya Bahadur founded MeraBills, an android application that helps micro-entrepreneurs succeed by providing them the technology they need to manage their business better. MeraBills works closely with microcredit organisations and NGOs in the digital inclusion/financial literacy space. Previously, Piya was the Regional Director of the United States-India Education Foundation (USIEF), she has also worked at the Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at the Indian School of Business (Hyderabad), which gives her a multi-faceted understanding of the micro-business landscape and their needs.

Wilma Rodrigues

Founder and CEO, Saahas Zero Waste

Wilma Rodrigues is the founder and CEO of Saahas Zero Waste (SZW), a social enterprise committed to implementing holistic zero waste solutions across India. This registered MSME, believes that in the 21st century businesses must not just talk but deliver on environmental and social impact. She first set up NGO Saahas in 2001 and then a business model through SZW in 2013. The company today brings together nature, people and technology so that waste is managed in a manner where up to 96% of waste is diverted from a landfill and maximum resources are recovered.

Vyjayanthi Mala

Chief Orchestrator, Societal Platform

Vyjayanthi Mala is the Chief Orchestrator at Societal Platform, an initiative of Nandan and Rohini Nilekani’s EkStep Foundation, driving large programmes, orchestrating engagements, nurturing ecosystems, working with the change leaders trying to solve large, complex, dynamic societal challenges, achieving impact at scale by inducing exponential change, powered by societal thinking. With more than two decades of experience, prior to this, she was the lead for Data for Justice initiative at Agami, a not for profit organization that catalyses ideas to serve justice. Before that, she had been a social entrepreneur in the intersection of urban mobility and climate change.


Swarathma is a Bangalore (India) based contemporary folk fusion band that represents the sound of today’s India: rooted in tradition, yet with sights set firmly on the world. The sound is Indian folk and classical blended with reggae, blues and reggae. The band is known for a visually electric stage act featuring music that is strong and beautiful, contemporary and relevant, hard-hitting and tongue-in-cheek. They have released three albums, and performed in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.