Advisors
Hon. Smt. Poonam Mahajan - Image

Hon. Smt. Poonam Mahajan

Smt. Mahajan is a Member of Parliament elected to the Lok Sabha from Mumbai (North-Central) Maharashtra. She is also the National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the Youth Wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She holds important posts such as the Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, and the Consultative Committee on the Ministry of Textiles. She is also the Chairperson of the Indo-Israel FICCI Forum of Parliamentarians, and the Patron of the Mumbai Youth Forum. Smt. Mahajan believes strongly in the Public-Politician Partnership, and has worked with the public on solving problems in her constituency, and the country at large. Her core areas of interest include urban infrastructure, gender equality, nutrition, sanitation, animal welfare, farmer incomes, and environment conservation.

Hon. Shri. Pinaki Misra - Image

Hon. Shri. Pinaki Misra

Shri Misra is currently serving his fourth term as an elected Member of Parliament to the Lok Sabha from Puri, Odisha. He has been appointed as the leader of the Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), and is also the principal spokesperson for the party, both inside, and outside Parliament. He is a member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Electronics and Information & Technology, Ministry of Communication, Lok Sabha, as well as a Member of the Standing Committee on Finance, Lok Sabha, and a Member of the Standing Committee on Estimates, Lok Sabha. Shri Mishra is a designated Senior Advocate who has argued for a number of cases with the Supreme Court of India, High Courts all over India, and other Tribunals. He has been practicing law, primarily in criminal, civil, and commercial litigations as well as domestic, and international commercial arbitrations for the past 35 years.

Dr. Anand Bang - Image

Dr. Anand Bang

Dr Anand Bang is a Physician trained in Johns Hopkins University in Public Health as a Sommers Scholar. He has served as an Advisor to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for social policies, projects and partnerships. He is a Senior Advisor Health to the Tata Trusts, and Member of the Executive Committee of Society for Education, Action, and Research in Community Health, an NGO working in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra for the past 33 years providing health care, and conducting research. Dr. Bang has played a critical role in building the third sector in India. He continues to advise multiple NGOs working across sectors.

Core Team
Varun Deshpande

Varun Deshpande

Managing Director, GFI India

As the son of a cancer surgeon from Mumbai, Varun has been deeply immersed in healthcare and technology from a very young age. He spent several formative years studying Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at technology hub Carnegie Mellon University. He then went on to work on implementing digital health in India and the United States, helping vulnerable populations through care coordination, and a systems approach to healthcare. While in the United States, Varun learned about Effective Altruism, a philosophy which seeks to investigate and target the world’s most pressing problems. He came to understand the tremendous impact of industrial animal agriculture on the world, and the imperative need to transition away from it using markets and technology. In dedicating his work to the future of protein and combining his duty to human and planetary health, Varun aims to help build a more healthy, sustainable, and just global food system, starting right here in India.

Dhruvi Narsaria

Dhruvi Narsaria

Corporate Engagement Specialist, GFI India

Dhruvi majored in Journalism with a degree in Mass Media from Jai Hind College, Mumbai and has been helping brands make connections for the last 4 years. Her experience includes heading Marketing and Partnerships for Wishberry – India’s biggest crowdfunding platform for creative artists with the goal to democratize art. She has also consulted in business and creative development for textile, sports, hospitality, and fashion companies in India. She is interested in social entrepreneurship and building brands that DO good!

Shardul Dabir

Shardul Dabir

Innovation Specialist, GFI India

Shardul is fascinated by all things food! Over the past 6 years, he has studied food through the fields of Engineering, Applied Sciences, R&D, Entrepreneurship, Management, and a highly complementary Liberal Arts. He is a Young India Fellow (YIF) from Ashoka University and has a Bachelors in Food Technology and Management from NIFTEM, MoFPI, Govt. of India. He has spent time as a researcher at Rutgers University (USA) and was an exchange student at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). Shardul loves travelling & entrepreneurship and has been a Jagriti-Yatri in the past. At GFI India, Shardul works as an Innovation Specialist to accelerate early-stage entrepreneurship in the smart protein ecosystem and enable GFI’s team of experts in shaping the future of food – efficiently, effectively and sustainably!

Ramya Ramamurthy

Ramya Ramamurthy

Communications Specialist, GFI India

Ramya is a media professional with 15 years of work experience spanning across the gamut – from print media to broadcast television news, from documentary filmmaking to digital media. She has worked with established media brands like CNBC TV-18 and on films for channels like National Geographic Channel and Star World. She is also a published author – her first book Rebuild – How Brands In India Overcame Crisis and Emerged Stronger, Better, Wiser, commissioned by Hachette Publishers, has been in bookstores and online since April 2018. Her mission, simply put, is to make GFI the first word that comes to your mind when it comes to all things plant-based, cell-based meat eggs and dairy.

Ambika Hiranandani

Ambika Hiranandani

Government and Legal Specialist

Ambika is a qualified lawyer who studied at the Government Law College in Mumbai and holds an LL.M. from the University College, London. She has spent the last decade working in the environmental and animal rights movement in India. Her work has ranged from the filing of public interest litigations to advocating for changes in policy for the environment and animals. Ambika believes in working towards a more equal and compassionate world. At GFI, her role ranges from working on GFI’s legal issues to engaging with the government on behalf of GFI.

Sneha Singh

Sneha Singh

Chief of Staff

Sneha is a CIPD qualified HR professional from Manchester Business School, and has worked as an HR professional in the UK for eight years. Before joining GFI, she was the strategic and operational HR Lead for London Wildlife Trust, developing and implementing robust HR policies, ensuring best practice HR and driving organisational change. Sneha is passionate about all things nature conservation, sustainability and climate change, which led her to working for GFI, as she continues on her journey of shaping the workforce for the greater good!

Siddharth Bhide

Siddharth Bhide

Science & Technology Specialist

Siddharth holds a Master’s degree in Food Science from Rutgers University, USA and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology from Osmania University, India. Prior to joining GFI, Siddharth worked as a Food Scientist at JUST in San Francisco, and was a key contributor to formulating & manufacturing the JUST Egg (plant protein based egg). In addition, Siddharth has been a part of multiple Research & Development and Food Safety Internships with General Mills USA, Rutgers Food Incubation Center USA, and Nestlé India. At GFI India, Siddharth’s role as a science and technology specialist aligns well with his passion to leverage food science to create a nutritious, just, and sustainable food supply.

Satvika Mahajan

Satvika Mahajan

Policy Specialist

A commerce graduate of Lady Shri Ram College, Satvika strives to leverage her knowledge of building strong organisations to optimise business models and value chains for enterprises, non-profits, corporates, philanthropic foundations and governmental institutions. Previously, she was a Project Lead at the International Innovation Corps, where she advised key government institutions on capacity building and programme development. She has worked as a development consultant at Sattva Consulting, in the International Business division, with a focus on Africa and South-east Asia emerging economies. Her sectoral portfolio includes providing strategic advisory for organisational/programmatic scale, capacity building and sustainability across agriculture and climate resilience, livelihoods, disability, education, water, gender inclusion, social incubation, and waste management. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Liberal Arts and Leadership from the Young India Fellowship programme. As a Policy Specialist at GFI India, she aims to address issues such as ensuring food security for a growing population, and climate change by building clear pathways for efficient food production systems.

Nicole Rocque

Nicole Rocque

Innovation Specialist

Nicole studied Economics at the University of Warwick, UK. Prior to joining GFI India, Nicole worked at Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Government of India, as a primary advisor to lifesciences groups’ looking to set-up or expand their presence in India. As a special project nomination via Invest India, she worked directly under the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India to launch the national innovation commercialization initiative AGNIi as an in-roads to greater cooperation between industry, government labs and academic institutions. Nicole brings experience in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and technology commercialization to promote innovation in the plant-based, cultivated meat, eggs and dairy industry in India. Nicole is passionate about climate action and public health, which has led her to GFI India, in the hope to shape an Indian response to the biggest challenges of our lifetime.

GFI has a team of scientists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and lobbyists, all of whom are laser focused on using markets and food technology to transform our food system away from factory farmed animal products and toward clean meat and plant-based alternatives. If you are a member of the media and would like to connect with one of our experts, please contact Ramya Ramamurthy at ramyar@gfi.org.

Check out our complete team.

Full list