Our Trustees

Ms. Akhila Sivadas, Managing Trustee and Executive Director

As founder member of CFAR, she brings with her rich and varied experience as a researcher and communication expert on issues related to gender and development and its impact on the lives of marginal communities.

Under her stewardship CFAR has grown from a 4 member team to a full fledge team that is working on projects across various states on issues ranging from women and child rights to HIV/AIDS and the urban poor and other marginalized communities.

Over the last ten years, her major area of focus has been to empower communities most-at-risk of HIV. This was achieved on scale by collaborating with governments, state lead partners (SLPs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to strengthen media support to all stakeholders and organizations across six high prevalence states on HIV prevention. Having achieved some success in strengthening media engagement with community-led HIV prevention, she is now spearheading, in collaboration with central and state governments, a five state intervention to facilitate the social inclusion of marginal communities such as sex workers, transgender people, women living with HIV and injecting drug users across all social development programs and schemes.

She has also been actively involved in a seven-city project to empower urban poor communities and improve access to basic services for marginal and at-risk communities living in highly vulnerable and underserved habitats. To achieve this she has been facilitating the formation of User Forums led by women and girls and by engaging with governments and municipalities in the three cities of Delhi, Kolkata and Jaipur to improve the community's access to sanitation services. 

She has also assisted national and regional institutions in preparing strategy documents on gender, child rights and reproductive health, planned and coordinated research studies on a host of issues including the impact of media violence on children; developed a “Framework for Media Engagement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in South Asia” and for addressing drug use and HIV prevention in the South Asian region. In 2009-10 she developed a Learning Site for programme leaders and implementers on HIV prevention in Bagalkot, Karnataka.  

Building application value on many of these, she has been actively involved in capacitating women’s groups and grassroots organizations in areas such as strategic planning and communication, networking and constructive engagement with different stakeholders. 

Mr. Indranil Gupta, Trustee 

Indranil Gupta, ad agency head - turned branding specialist and entrepreneur, is Founder Director & CEO ofbrand co-creation consultancy BrandNEW Associates, which focuses on integrated communications for brand transformation.

In his 35+ years of industry experience, he has spearheaded profit-centres of 4 of the top-10 worldwide agency groups – BBDO, O&M,Lowe and JWT in India, before going onto Bahrain to head one of the Middle East’s premier branding agenciesLowe Contexture for 13 years. Some of the award-winning work he has been involved in was for clients Tech Mahindra, Adidas,Wills Filter, Oral-Band DelhiTraffic Police. He was behind the making of one of the first video feature films on Limited Overs Cricket in 1987 and has authored, edited and produced a wide array of coffee table books on a variety of subjects.

Has been Vice President of the Delhi Advertising Club, a member of the Delhi Management Association marketing panel, has taught Advertising and Marketing Strategy at the Times School of Marketing, Delhi School of Communications, IISWBM (Calcutta University), ITC Management Development Programs and has run workshops at the Advertising Club Calcutta. He is currently teaching Strategic Brand Management for part-time MBA students under the Executive Education programme at IMT Ghaziabad.

Has written regular columns in Brand Equity and Gulf Marketing Review and writes a regular fortnightly column called Brand IG-nition in BW BusinessWorld.


Ms. Anuradha Mukherjee, Trustee and Secretary

A founder member of CFAR and Programme Manager from 1998 to 2007, she was involved with various projects the organization was working on from child rights and women’s issues to media education.

During her years with CFAR she facilitated training workshops, developed media education modules, motivated communities and coordinated community based interventions like UNICEF’s intervention with children- “Augmenting Child Rights to Broadcasting: Strengthening Skills, Capacity and Leadership”.

She also planned and coordinated several studies on the television coverage of the 1998 general elections and assisted in the three city media monitoring of how women were being depicted on national and private channels.

Ms. Mukherjee was the Programme Manager at the Naz Foundation for children living with HIV/AIDS. She is presently working as a consultant with various organisations.


Mr. Santosh Desai, Trustee

Santosh Desai, is an author, columnist and media critic. He is the author of the bestselling “Mother Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India” published by Harper Collins. In his professional life, Santosh heads a brand and consumer consultancy company and has been previously head of an advertising agency. His principal area of interest lies in examining the evolving nature of consumer culture in India.

He also writes a weekly column for the Times of India and contributes to several other publications on subjects ranging from everyday Indian life, popular culture, cinema, advertising and marketing and media criticism. He has been a film critic and is  a published writer of children’s fiction.

He is on the board of ING Vysya Bank, Amar Chitra Katha and on the governing council of several educational institutions. He is a trustee on the board of the Centre for Advocacy & Research and Breakthrough. He has served on several juries, including that of the National Film Awards and the Tata Literature Live Awards.

He received the Indian Marketing Award in 2004 for the Advertising Person of the Year (Business).

Ms. Amita Puri, Trustee

Executive Director –Fundraising, Marketing and Communications at CARE India, Amita Puri has worked in both the for-profit and not-for profit sector. After completing her Masters in Business Management, Amita joined Standard Chartered Bank where she worked for eight years across retail and corporate banking functions. She joined CRY, India’s leading child rights organization and worked with them for nine years; first as Head of Global Operations and then as General Manager, Resource Mobilization. She was CEO of Charities Aid Foundation from April 2009 - April 2012 and the All India Artisans and Craft Workers Welfare Association (AIACA) from 2012-2014.

She is an advisory group member of Asian Venture Philanthropy Network and a resource person for the South Asian Fund Raising Group and Resource Alliance.