Team

Mission & Vision

At The Mindful Initiative, our vision is to collaborate with individuals and organisations to realise their true potential by adopting a holistic approach towards personal well being and professional growth.

Nitesh Batra

Founder |

It was in 2007 that Nitesh attended his first Yoga class. It was that class that marked the beginning of his quest to discover the depths of Indian culture and history. He has practiced Yoga and Meditation under the KPJAYI lineage and has been authorised to teach by his Guru Sh. Sharath Jois. He runs the Ashtanga Yoga Sadhna Program in Bangalore. His passion led him to become a Media Professional and produce two award winning feature films on India. Nitesh is a serial entrepreneur and an investor in firms in India. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Nitesh worked for financial firms like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, where he ran a successful health care business working with the federal government in the United States. He is currently enrolled to be a Compassion Cultivator at Stanford Medical School’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE).

Nitesh graduated from University of Maryland with a BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and a Masters in Computer Engineering. He also holds an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. He is an avid photographer and traveler. You can follow his photography on his photography website.

Naureen Bhullar

Head - Advisor of Research |

Naureen Bhullar is the manager and research coordinator of the Behavioural Science Lab at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), where she has developed ethical guidelines with faculty for research in the lab. Earlier, she was a post-doctoral research associate with social psychologist, Ramadhar Singh at IIMB. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Virginia Tech and taught in the Department of Psychology at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, where she was tenured.

Her research interests include emotion and emotional contagion, research methodology, cross-cultural differences, perceptions about meaning of life, women in STEM, and ASD (autism-spectrum disorder) in adults. She is an ardent traveler and reader of history and historical fiction, biographies, and travelogues.

Gita Venkataramiah

Producer: The Mindful Initiative Podcast |

Gita is a Sales & Marketing professional. Some of the companies she has worked for over the past 20 years include Wipro Ltd., Hitachi Data Systems and IBM India.  Gita currently works for VMware Software India Pvt. Ltd.

Like most Indians, Gita had an early exposure to Yoga in her childhood. Furthermore, she has always believed in the virtues of traditional Indian sciences such as Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation and the deep wisdom of Indian scriptures. She has been expanding her pursuits in Yoga for the past 5 years that peaked in mid-2017 when circumstances led her to the discovery of Ashtanga Yoga at Ashtanga Yoga Sadhna, Bangalore. She discovered how “Mindfulness” is naturally and beautifully woven in the practice of Ashtanga Yoga and how one can cultivate mindfulness through this practice that is rooted in spiritual wisdom.

Gita is a B.Sc. (Mathematics) graduate and holds an MBA (Marketing) from Bangalore University. Apart from Yoga, Gita loves gardening, traveling, music and reading. Gita blogs occasionally on https://chittakreeda.blogspot.com/

 

Pranjali Maneriker

Intern |

Pranjali Maneriker is a student, currently pursuing her final year B. A. Economics Honors from Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore. A regular day in her college life is buzzing with activity- there are assignments to do, projects to follow up on, exams to prepare for and cultural events to organize and perform for. In the midst of all this chaos, mindfulness has lent her composure. A simple act such as breathing, deeply goes a long way in helping her stay positive.

Having assisted Mr. Batra at a Mindfulness and Photography workshop, she connected with the idea of ‘Lightness of the Body and Brightness of the Mind’. Being a passionate dancer, she leads an active life and uses this hobby as a channel to unwind. However, balancing one’s academic life while being so involved with extra curriculars could be a daunting task, somewhat like balancing a career and a family. It is here, mindfulness helps in building clarity and prioritizing.

Pranjali also takes regular dance classes at Dhurii, Indiranagar, competes in Latin and ballroom Championships, is a freelancer for Aayana Dance Company and performs Indian Contemporary dance with her college dance team in various fests across Bangalore. In future too, she wants to spread joy by teaching dance as she feels it is a way of brightening up people’s daily lives by making them step out of their routine, listen to music and move.

The Advisors

Dr. Saamdu Chetri

Head, Global National Happiness Center, Bhutan |

Dr. Saamdu Chetri was born in a cowshed in Dagana district of Bhutan on 15 October 1957. He is married with four children. He holds a PhD in Commerce, a Master’s in Commerce and a Post-Graduation Certificate in HRM. He has served private sector and was the first graduate to do so. During his six-year tenure in the private sector, he worked closely with many renowned firms in India such as TATA, Tractors India Ltd., Durgapur Steel Plant, MacLean & Magor, Price Waterhouse and others. He also carries 18 years of experiences in the socio-economic development sector, where he worked as the Bhutanese Head for bilateral development agencies at Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Helvetas. During this period, he was a member of several development programs in and outside Bhutan. He has drafted over 60 reports, 3 annual programs, and has carried out many consulting assignments for organizations like UNDP, UNCDF, and Helvetas. His experiences and expertise range from rural development, micro finance, teaching, research, management of projects and administration.

After a short retirement break in 2005-06, he formed the Bhutan People’s United Party (a political party), with a few like-minded people which later took the shape of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), the first Ruling Party. Dr Chetri was not only actively involved in designing party machinery but was also instrumental in registering the party and selecting candidates. Later, he worked as the Campaigning Manager of the Party. After the Party formed the government, the Prime Minister of Bhutan appointed him to his office as the Head of Good Governance where he was instrumental in instituting the G2C system in the country. In 2012, he was given the heroic task to develop, build and institute a Centre in Central Bhutan, Bumthang, for Gross National Happiness.

Dr. Chetri has several publications to his credit and many interviews on radio, TV and magazines around the world. He has travelled to several countries in Asia, Europe, US, Australia, and Africa sharing the seeds of Gross National Happiness, the development paradigm of Bhutan since 1970s.

 

 

Dr. RK Kulkarni

Serial Entrepreneur |

Dr. RK Kulkarni is a Serial Entrepreneur and has been instrumental in the field of advancement of Informational Technology and Computer Sciences in India. He formed his first company in 1996 called The Synergy Infotech. The company provided services to multinational companies in the area of Networking, Compilers, Operating Systems and Web Technologies. He went on to form another company called Parallocity, which was a US based start-up that built a data race detector.  The product was successfully installed in companies such as Cisco. In 2013, he became the Head- India Development Center for Vector Software USA. Vecor Software is involved in automatic software testing solutions. In 2018, Vector Software was acquired by Vector Informatique and he is currently the module in-charge for the same group. He finished his Ph.D from IISc., Bangalore in Computer Science and Automation where his thesis focused on Automatic Generation of Compiler Backend. He currently lives in Bangalore and his wife is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Computer Science at University of Pennsylvania and they have two lovely daughters.

Sanjay Pandey

Industry Leader |

Sanjay Pandey is an industry leader in the field of Retail. Over the years, he has worn almost all hats in the retail Industry. He has a proven expertise managing functional teams driving organisational value and performance. In his previous roles, he headed Clarks Footwear, India and spearheaded Buying and Merchandising for The Future Group. He is a graduate of Bangalore University where he studied Textile Engineering and holds an MBA from Annamalai University. He enjoys traveling and currently lives in Delhi with his wife, Kavita.

Ramya Neelamegham

Adjunct Faculty at IIM Bangalore |

Ramya Neelamegham did her undergraduate studies in Economics (Hons) at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University followed by an MBA at IIM, Ahmedabad, India. She worked as an Account Executive at J. Walter Thompson handling accounts of MNCs such as Nestle (Maggie Noodles) and Pepsi.

After this stint in industry, she did her Ph.D. at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Chicago, IL, USA. Dr. Neelamegham’s doctoral work focussed on econometric modeling of consumer behavior for experiential products such as movies and music. Her thesis won the Howard Sheth Dissertation Award (Honorable Mention) and was published in the Journal of Marketing Research. Her research in applying statistical and econometric modeling to solve a variety of marketing problems has been published in top international journals such as Marketing Science, Marketing Letters, Journal of Marketing Research and Quantitative Marketing and Economics.

Dr. Neelamegham held academic positions at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, Paris, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Colorado, Boulder conducting leading-edge research and teaching at the undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. levels. In 2006, she took a break to pursue her spiritual interests and moved to a monastery (Hindu Temple) for several years, learning traditional methods of worship, meditation and offering service to the community.

For the past eight years, she has been offering courses at IIM, Bangalore on International Marketing and guest lectures on Spirituality and Management both to MBA students and executives. She has published two papers in this area and authored three books. These are as follows. The first is a Hindi verse translation of a Sanskrit scripture on Divine Mother (Durga Saptashati, Saral Hindi Kavita) and the other two are spiritual fiction novels entitled My Life, Your Temple, and Magic of Surrender.

Ishani Roy

Founder of Serein Inc |

Ishani Roy is the founder of Serein Inc, a company that works with startups to implement practical diversity programs. A scientist by training, Ishani has a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and has been a post-doctoral fellow at University of Oxford and Kings College London. During the course of her work, she became aware of the challenges of building an open and collaborative workforce. Serein is an attempt at making that journey easier.

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