Incorporated as the Foundation for Participative Sports, a Section 8 company, we are a public-spirited, independent, not-for-profit organization working to shape the world around us through sports and physical activity (SAPA). Our programmes, projects and policy frameworks enable governments, enterprises and individuals to use sport to achieve social goals such as inclusion, equality, sustainability and justice. Our team brings a diverse set of skills and extensive experience in Indian policy, administration, law, and governance to our mission.

Co-Founders

Desh Gaurav Sekhri

Co-Founder & Director

Nandan Kamath

Co-Founder & Director

Board of Directors

Roshan Gopalakrishna

Director

Abhinav Shrivastava

Director

Founders' Circle

Ashish Dhawan

Ajit Isaac

Board of Advisors

Dr. Sekhar Bonu

Former Director General

Dr. Sekhar Bonu, Former Director General, Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office, NITI Aayog – Dr Sekhar Bonu’s expertise spans across many sectors. Before joining NITI Aayog, he worked at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) from 2004 to 2019, where he worked on health, urban infrastructure development and regional cooperation, mainly in the South Asia region.

Dr Bonu worked in the Indian Administrative Services and served as a civil servant in Rajasthan between 1987-2003, including as a district magistrate, director of primary and secondary education, and chief executive officer of state-owned enterprises. He has a PhD from Johns Hopkins University and has a research interest in state capacity building, service delivery, outcomes measurements, etc.

Rukmini Banerji

CEO, Pratham

Rukmini Banerji is the Chief Executive Officer of Pratham Education Foundation. A trained economist, Rukmini has worked extensively in Pratham’s education programs in rural and urban areas, playing a major role in designing and supporting large scale partnerships with state governments in India, for improving children’s learning outcomes.

In 2008, Rukmini received the Maulana Abul Kalam Shiksha Puraskar by the Government of Bihar, India. She was the first recipient of this award. In 2021, Rukmini was awarded the Yidan Prize for Education Development. Rukmini writes frequently on education in both Hindi and English dailies in India and enjoys writing books and stories for children.

Joy Bhattacharjya

Veteran Sports Administrator

Joy is a veteran sports administrator. He has been a trailblazer not just in sports media but also on the business and implementation side of sporting events and leagues. A former Head of Production for ESPN Star Sports, he also served as the Team Director of the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, the Project Director for the FIFA U-17 World Cup conducted in India. He is currently the CEO of the Prime Volleyball League.

Sharda Ugra

Renowned Sports Journalist

Sharda is a renowned sports journalist, with a career spanning over three decades. Sharda writes across mediums including broadsheet, news magazines and websites. She most recently was the Senior Editor at ESPNcricinfo.com. She has co-authored two books- former Men’s Team India Cricket Coach John Wright’s Indian Summers and former Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s Test of My Life.

Our Team

Abhishek Anand

Associate Director

Abhishek Anand

Abhishek co-leads SSA’s work in the government engagement and policy verticals.

He has extensive experience working with non-profits, institutions and government; primarily focusing on sports, higher education and school education. His work included equipping top teams within organisations and state departments to roll-out programs at scale and establishing governance structures to build state-funded institutions. He has previously contributed as member of a state-level working committee on digital intervention.

A former Teach for India fellow, Abhishek holds post graduate degrees in law and in governance. Outside of work, he likes to participate in road and trail running races (10k and 21k).

Kanishka Bhattacharya

Research Lead

Kanishka Bhattacharya

Kanishka leads the research projects that focus on SAPA in India. His role involves providing important information to help organizations and individuals make positive changes in this sector. In the recent past, he has worked on several key projects, such as “The State of Sports and Physical Activity in India” (due in July 2024), “CSR and Sports in India” (April 2023), a study on how technology can help include more women and girls in sports activities in India.

Kanishka has 14 years of experience in the international development field. Before his current role, he was an Associate Partner at Dalberg Advisors, leading their energy sector research in Asia and focusing on project assessment and evaluation. Kanishka has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and International Development from Georgetown University, and a double degree in Economics and International Relations from DePauw University, where he graduated with high honors.

Mridul Kataria

Chief of Staff

Mridul Kataria

Mridul co-leads non-government partnerships at SSA, while supporting the team across research and government engagement projects. He has close to five years of academic and field experience in the sport and social change sector across Europe and India, having previously worked in the Refugee Sports Coordination Team at UNHCR and at The International Platform for Sport and Development (sportanddev).

He holds a Master’s in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, where he specialised in sports for development for his research. He is also a published author, with a journal article published in the journal Sport in Society.

Sugandha Vats

Associate

Sugandha Vats

Sugandha supports the team’s work in research, state engagement, and non-governmental partnerships. She holds a Master’s in Education and Globalisation from the University of Oulu, Finland. She has experience working with grassroots organizations in India and Finland. She completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at Miranda House, University of Delhi.

Her research interests center around the intersections of sports, socialization, and spaces. Sugandha has competed in football tournaments at the national level and in athletics competitions at the state level.

Lokesh Kaza

Non-Resident Fellow

Lokesh Kaza

As a Non-Resident Fellow, Lokesh supports research projects across SSA. His research interests include sports integrity, legacy models of sporting events, and social development through sports.

Prior to joining SSA in August 2022, he worked as an Associate at LawNK, a boutique law firm with a focus on sports, media, technology, and intellectual property laws from 2018 to 2021. Lokesh graduated with a B.A., LL.B (Hons) from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad in 2018.

Things We've Built

  • Private non-profit that has changed the trajectory of Indian Olympic and Paralympic participation and performance
  • Direct impact on national sports, gender and disability narrative
  • National Sports Awardee
  • Sports Ministry scheme that delivered India’s best ever results at Tokyo 2020
  • Design and incubation to support and delivery
  • Alignment of various interests and organisations enabled results
  • SLPC is the leading the law and policy narrative in Indian sport
  • Worldclass research, reports and Symposiums
  • Internationally recognised platform for engagement with key issues that matter in sport
  • Will remain the key driver of the Accelerator’s research and policy work

Things We've Worked on