Our team has individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines. All are united by their dynamism and passion to work for the society. Collectively this team brings a great deal of energy, creativity and enthusiasm to the table. The team is headed by seasoned professionals who have worked both in the corporate world and the social sector. Core belief of the team is to impact change and empower the less privileged.

Advisory Board Members

Ratna Viswanathan

Ratna, a former civil servant (Indian Audit and Accounts Service, 1987 batch) has worked in a range of departments with the Government of India including Audit, Defence and Indian Public Broadcasting. She is currently the CEO of Reach to Teach India. She has earlier been an Advisor, Strategic Alliances, UNDP and also senior consultant with UNEP, where she helped establish the Sustainable India Finance Facility. She has also held leadership positions at Oxfam where she was Director of Operations and was the CEO, MFIN. Ratna has expertise in organization development, coupled with demonstrated change management skills and extensive Human Resource and Financial Management experience. She sits on the Boards of several companies. She occasionally writes for The Print on defence issues. Her love for dogs is only matched by her passion for reading.

Pankaj Bansal

Pankaj is the Co-Founder & CEO, PeopleStrong, an Investor and Director with Wheebox, Sheroes and Work10M. Pankaj holds a Master’s Degree in HR from University of Pune.
He has lead, nurtured and grown several innovative ventures in the HR-Tech Space. These include Withya, a Silicon Valley funded start up in digital marketing, way back in 2004 as CEO ofWheebox and PeopleStrong.
Pankaj is an active member of Confederation of Indian Industries’ (CII’s) National Committee on Skills & Human Resources, and has served as board member of National HRD Network, a premier professional body for HR in India, for almost a decade and has been one of youngest members in the network’s board.Pankaj is also a member of several Business Forums and a much sought-after global speaker. He finds his peace in spiritualism and his music library.

Board Members

Rajiv Sharma

Co-Founder & Director

Director and Founder, Rajiv Sharma heads the business from the forefront by providing strategic leads and vision. Rajiv’s strengths range from a financial & business expert to an affable person. On several occasions, he has shown signs of a person with the photographic memory. Other than an avid traveller, he’s a foodie at heart who loves playing golf.

With a degree in Law from Delhi University and MBA in Business Management from FMS also Delhi University, he has held senior management positions for over 25 years at Kodak, HCL and was also the CEO of Airtel before he quit the corporate world. Sensing a considerable lack of skilled people in the job market, he left a long and successful corporate career of years to mould Empower Pragati into what is today.

Pritha Dutt

Co-Founder & Director

Pritha administers all the training, quality, communication and placement functions for the organization. An XLRI, Jamshedpur graduate with a MA in Extension and Development from IGNOU, she has worked extensively in both the corporate and social sectors with organizations and such as Oberoi Hotels, ICI Paints, Airtel and Feedback Ventures.
Pritha co-founded Phicus social Ventures before she quit to join the Empower Board. She loves theatre, reading and teaching. With a passion in the fields of learning and development, she continues to drive Empower Pragati forward.

Shruti Sharma


Shruti, youngest among all board members holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and a management degree in Strategy & Leadership from the Indian School of Business. She comes with about six plus years of consulting experience across varied sectors such as telecom, energy, power, education and skill development. Presently, she is working with KPMG as a Senior Consultant where her role varies from evaluating social schemes in India to assisting clients set up and grow their Ed-tech businesses in establishing Centres of Excellence. Over the years, she has developed expertise in administrative operations, market assessment and strategy for commercial validation. Shruti is an ardent dessert foodie who enjoys baking in her free time. Her two dogs Sandra and Zara are the love of her life and always keep her on her toes.

Aparna Sharma


Aparna holds a Ph.D. in Genetic Engineering from Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology. She has more than 25 years of experience in different disciplines of academics as a lecturer, special educator, and trainer. She was associated with Spastics Society of India (now ADAPT) for 8 years. Her recent passion is doing street plays on different social and political issues and has been associated with the famous ‘Asmita’ theatre company. Daughter of a poet, she keeps Hindi poetry in her heart and loves to recite them too. Golfing with her hubby, listening to Ghazals and playing with her pets are her greatest stress busters.

Moushumi Dutt

Moushumi spent two decades and more in leadership roles in corporate communications and brand reputation with global brands like Intel, GE Money and Philips. She won the much acclaimed Intel Achievement Award for her work with language media targeting women at home on how they can use the powers of an internet enabled PC.
She is now an independent brand and communications consultant and advises Venture capital funds, starts ups, not for profits. She is also a very well established and well recognized communications trainer. She has delivered close to 30 communications training workshops in online and offline modes.
In the not for profit space, she has worked closely with the Antara foundation (from May 2017 – August 2019)as their media and advocacy consultant.As a volunteer with the Empower Foundation, she hopes that her communication skills will help in building and crafting the right messages for the audience that the foundation engages with. A pure dog lover, she makes no bones about the fact that as compared to humans, dogs are indeed a few notches above when it comes to being sincere and loyal.

Mohtashim Khan

Mohtashim is the Associate VP, Empower Pragati. Over the past 8 years of working with Empower Pragati, he has gained expertise in Project Management, Business Strategy and Financial Planning. After completing his Bachelors in Commerce and Masters in Social Work from Jamia Millia Islamia he joined Empower Pragati in 2012 as a Management Trainee. Ever since, he has headed various government aided/ funded projects with the Corporate Organisations, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Ministry of Human Resource Development along with numerous State Governments for the organisation. He joined as a Board Member of Empower Foundation in 2019 to help grow its reach and impact by providing strategic input for implementation of initiatives. In his leisure time, he enjoys binge watching movies, keeps a keen eye on cricket and loves reading Urdu poetry.