Rural Livelihood





India being a primarily agrarian society, engages 54.6% of its workforce in agriculture allied activities for their livelihood. The key issues the farmers in India face are the climatic conditions, visibility and product enhancement, low productivity of farming, limited participation in the input and the output market and erratic water resources. To combat these issues TNS India Foundation has developed a program to help the sustainable livelihoods of local farming households which aims to help their economic development by sustainably improving household incomes. To do so, the program focuses five key aspects:

  • Improving the yield and quality of crops by promoting  good agricultural practices which includes training on pre and post management of crops, using natural and chemical pesticides and the benefits of these on soil quality, training farmers with more efficient ways to harvest yields, benefits of quality grading and sorting produce for better prices and methods of identifying when crops have reached maturity.

  • Strengthening farmer institutions is a crucial aspect of the program which is aimed at helping agricultural households (farmers) come together to establish Farmer Producer Companies (FPC) in order to eliminate middlemen who buy from individual households and sell to institutional buyer,  get better prices for raw material purchases, get access to loans, to sell directly larger markets (domestic & international) and be able to sell to institutional buyers for better prices.

  • Developing market systems by helping the FPC gain access to institutional buyers, promoting FPC as a one-stop solution to farmers by providing agri-inputs such as pesticides and overall help support in produce making, with higher yields and better quality crops.

  • Promotion of organic kitchen gardens by providing training on establishing organic kitchen gardens, educating farmers on the benefits such as monetary benefits of growing their own vegetables and the importance of good nutrition on long-term health.

  • Building local capacities to manage critical water resources sustainably by promoting good natural resource management practices by rejuvenation and creation of water structures (recharge shafts and distilling), the formation of water user committees to make farmers aware about the importance of local water resources and conducting resource mapping in each area.

Rural Entrepreneurship 

Rural Entrepreneurship 

India is set to become the third largest economy by 2031, entrepreneurship has become a critical driver of national economies given transformations in the global economy, technological advancements, novel innovations and changing demographics (Rao & Kalyani, 2017). Indian Entrepreneurship will prove to be a catalyst of social change in the country, innovation, and job and capital generation and overall economic progress- making entrepreneurship critical for poverty alleviation, sustained personal and national growth, enhancement of living standards and overall well-being of society. Although small and medium enterprises (SMEs) globally tend to face similar challenges to growth, women-led businesses face significant additional structural and cultural barriers to gender.Due to cultural and structural barriers, especially faced by rural women entrepreneurs, they are often unable to access the assistance they require to become more credit-worthy, more viable suppliers for corporate buyers and create more sustainable businesses. It is reported that only 30% of rural women are engaged in economic activity. As a result, rural women entrepreneurs lack the skills, exposure, awareness and knowledge required to grow their businesses To address the issues faced by rural women entrepreneurs, TNS India Foundation has developed a comprehensive mentoring program to push women to break social and cultural  barriers and polish their entrepreneurial skills to establish and grow their own businesses. This program has three main components:

  • Providing skill training and assistance to help women entrepreneurs grow and sustain their SGBs. Training curriculum will include aspects of personal financial literacy training (e.g. managing household finances, utilizing personal financial services effectively, etc.), farming as a Business (developed in-house based on adult learning principles and derived from learning from our past rural-agri entrepreneurship programs)  and handheld support to develop business plans for women-led businesses.

  • Strengthen SGBEs access to markets and services by working closely with the management of existing women-led SGBss to increase the organization’s female membership base as well as to enhance women’s role in the organization’s leadership, develop women SBGleaders’ ability, alongside male leaders, to manage business operational functions, develop partnerships with financial institutions to improve the women –led SGBs’ access to commercial finance to support growth, developing banking and online skills in beneficiaries and providing training and helping gain access to digital sales platform and entry-level mobile device in order to use apps like WhatsApp, Facebook (Marketplace), Google (Pay), Youtube, and Paytm among others.

  • Increase access to financing for women entrepreneurs by providing support in quantifying their financing needs and improve creditworthiness based on results from a comprehensive cost and investment analysis and creditworthiness assessment for the program SGBs, organizing documentation, loan application, and support to persuasively sell their creditworthiness  and through working with existing SGBs to increase women’s access to market inputs, valuable services and financing.

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Carefully crafted by Ekahal

Roshan Shetye

Lead - Human Resource

Roshan comes with 15+ years of experience in Human Resources, primarily in social sector in different thematic areas like education, woman empowerment, anti-human trafficking. Roshan holds a postgraduate degree from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management studies and is a trained personal counselor. Roshan is also trained in human behavior analysis through ISABS and various other workshops. She is a certified member for POSH law and has been on the panel of various organizations. She hailed from corporate, heading the HR Banca channel with Aviva Life Insurance and eventually entered the social sector and has worked with organizations such as Dasra, Educate Girls, Justice and Care, Samhita, Sol’s ARC and Consulted with Piramal Foundation, Masoom, Antarang Foundation to name a few.

Shaminder Kour

Senior Curriculum Manager

Shaminder is leading the curriculum department at TNSIF. She is spearheading the e-Learning component of the Future Skills Program which is aimed at empowering underprivileged youth towards gainful employment. At TNS, she is tasked with outlining the curriculum, creating learning outcomes, and designing content and media strategy for learning programs. She has over 18 years of experience in training, learning and development, and eLearning. She is an ex-Byjus and an ex-IBMer.

Reshma Bhatkar

Finance Controller

Reshma is responsible for TNS India Foundation financial and grants management. She also looks after secretarial and audit matters. She has over 22 years of experience in NGO sectors, with nine years of senior management experience in development organizations. Prior to TNS India Foundation, Reshma headed Finance and Operations at Educo (Spain Donor Agency) and has worked with organizations like Catholic Relief Services (US Donor Agency) and the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth as Grants Manager. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Wellingkar’s Institute of Management Studies and MBA-Finance from Pondicherry University.

Rupa Bohra

Managing Director

Rupa currently serves as the Managing Director at TNS India Foundation, a non-profit development organization headquartered in Mumbai, India that works towards economic transformation of the country.In her leadership role, Rupa is responsible for TNS India Foundation’s  overall progress towards its mission. Rupa has provided strategic guidance and design and implementation leadership to high-value programs aimed at  unlocking the economic potential of India’s most vulnerable. Under her diligence, the team has grown to 150 across seven locations. Rupa has built and grown partnerships with corporates such as Accenture, Capgemini, HDFC Bank, HDB Financial, Moody’s, IDFC Asset Management Company, Lenovo, Motorola, and foundations such as the BlackRock Foundation, Lenovo Foundation, Reliance Foundation and Pernod Ricard India Foundation. Rupa is well-connected within the development sector and frequently represents TNS India Foundation’s interest in economic transformation with this community.Rupa has over 21 years of experience across the financial services, technology, banking and development sectors, and has managed multi-locations across India and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to TNS India Foundation, Rupa headed corporate partnerships at Magic Bus India Foundation. She has also headed leadership positions at organizations such as JP Morgan, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, etc.

Padma Parthasarathy

Senior Vice President,
Tech Mahindra

Padma Parthasarathy is a Senior Vice President at Tech Mahindra where she has led the growth of digital business. She is currently engaged in initiatives related to Sustainability and Social Change, assisting Mahindra University in setting up centers of excellence in these areas.She has also led the global consulting team at Tech Mahindra, which is engaged in business consulting, and digital transformation services. She’s been featured on Forbes India’s W-Power 2020 list of self-made women leaders and in the list of Top 75 Women in STEAM by the Government of India in 2022.

Vijayalakshmi Srinivasan

Founder and CEO, Peoplescape

Vijayalakshmi Srinivasan is the CEO and Founder of Peoplscape, an Executive Coaching and HR Consulting company. She is an alumni of The School of Coaching, London where she was trained by Myles Downey, one of the world’s leading practitioners and thinkers in business coaching and is the author of the international bestselling Modern Effective Coaching also the founder of School of Coaching. Human resources strategy, change management and leadership training are some of the areas of expertise.

She has 11 years of leadership experience at Merrill Lynch as Director and Head of Human Resources under her belt . With years of expertise also comes a sheer passion to empower growth by molding leadership curves of senior executives from across the industries.

Pramod Singh

Head-Legal and Compliance, DSP Investment

Pramod Singh is a legal and compliance professional with 4 decades. A qualified lawyer who worked at SEBI as Deputy General Counsel, he was instrumental in framing regulations for various intermediaries. He has spent considerable amount time at large MNCs- Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, and has handled compliance for not just India but also South Asia. Currently, he works with DSP investments and is in charge of the legal and compliance matters for the Family Office of Mr. Hemendra Kothari.

Geetanjali Jha Chakraborty

President, Apnalaya

Geetanjali comes with solid experience in the development sector. She has spent close to 15 years in the dev sector and has held leadership and CEO level roles in Concern India Foundation, CHILDLINE India Foundation, and ARMMAN, and is currently on the boards of Foundation for Mother and Child Health and Vihaan. She is also the President of Apnalaya. And is on Global advisory board of Tech Care for All. She is passionate about child protection, urban inequality, and mental health. Geetanjali has a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Human Rights and Criminal Law.

Kartik Kini

Chief Operating Officer, Waterfield Advisory

Kartik Kini is a Certified Chartered Accountant by profession, currently working as a Chief Operating Officer with Waterfield Advisors. In his current role, he has been instrumental in driving business strategy and organizational growth. He has played in key role in setting up all the core functions –HR, Brand Management & Marketing and has driven digital transformation for the firm. Apart from his existing role, in a career spanning 25 years, Kartik has worked in leadership roles in organizations like- Avendus Capital, Deutsche Bank .

Charulata Sippy

Financial Services

Charulata Sippy is an Independent Director on the board of BofA Securities India Ltd. In her role as an independent director, she is also a member of the company’s Audit Committee, Nomination and Remuneration Committee (NRC) and the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee (CSR). Prior to her role as Independent Director, Charulata has spent 21 years in BFSI sector. She was also appointed the India Representative for the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in 2007 and was on the Regional Diversity and Inclusion Council in Bank of America Group companies.

Hitungshu Debnath

Director and COO, Karvy Capital

Hitungshu is a working professional in the BFSI segment with over 2.5 decades of experience. He is a Cheveing Scholar from London School of economics and CFP from Financial Planning Board of India. He also holds a Masters degree in Marketing management. He has been associated with major brands, in senior management positions, like HDFC AMC, TATA MF,Motilal Oswal, Angel Broking, Arthayantra to name a few. Currently, he is a part of a new management team in Karvy Group which has taken over post the debacle and is the Director & COO for Karvy Capital. An alternate asset manager. Hitangshu is also passionate about CSR, and has a Masters in CSR and Ethical Management from the University of Applied Sciences, Vienna, Austria. Post which he ventured out to do a start up in CSR consulting along with his mentor and Chairman of ISO 26000 Mr. Martin Neurieter in Europe.