• Nitin Pujar

  • Prayag Shukla

  • Rajiv Kaul

  • Sangeeta Gole

  • Sharmila Samant

  • Tushar Joag

  • Dr. Vasantha R. Patri

Nitin Pujar

Nitin Pujar is the Managing Partner at MACRO, a leading market research company that he co-founded in 1989.He received his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 1987 from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune. A sought-after speaker, Nitin has also taught Marketing at R. A. Podar College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai.

His other areas of professional interest include visual design & communication, social research, analytics, and financial product marketing.

Prayag Shukla

Prayag Shukla is a prolific poet, art critic and fiction writer. Winner of numerous awards, including the Sahitya Akademi’s Translation Prize, Dilli Akademi’s Kruti Award and Dwijdev Samman, he has published nine poetry books, five collections of short stories, three novels, a book on art appreciation,and a biography of Satyajit Ray. He has been associated with the Hindi publications of
 the Times of India group for many years. He was the editor of the quarterly journal ‘Rang-Prasang’ of the National School of Drama and 
has translated Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali from Bengali into Hindi.

Rajiv Kaul

Rajiv Kaul is the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of CMS Info Systems Ltd, India’s largest Cash Management & Payment Solutions firm, and the world’s fourth largest ATM cash management company. Before joining CMS, he was a Partner at Actis Capital LLP (UK), a leading emerging markets private equity firm in the technology sector. He spent a decade with Microsoft Corporation, where he served as Country Manager for India (2001-2005). At Microsoft, he was the architect of the company’s largest philanthropic effort in India: Project Shiksha, in which Rs. 100 Cr was invested in building the technological capacity of thousands of government schools across India.

He is passionate about improving education outcomes in India and about the role of the arts in cross-disciplinary learning. Rajiv has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from XLRI, Jamshedpur, with a Gold Medal in Marketing. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Computer Science) from the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra.

Sangeeta Gole

Sangeeta Gole is an Education Specialist with deep experience in teaching, training and evaluating schools in both rural and urban India. She regularly holds training programmes and mentors principals and teachers all over the country as the advisor to Art1st.

She has audited, assessed and trained government schools in Maharashtra as a Trainer and Assessor of NABET - QCI (National Accreditation Board for Education & Training – Quality Council of India). She has worked as a consultant to organizations like Zee Learn, Integrated Education Team Solutions and Core Technology. She is regularly invited by private schools to design their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and policy frameworks. She has also worked with IL&FS’s Educational cell to develop audio-visual learning material for student teachers.

She is currently a visiting faculty at Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities (Divyangjan) (AYJNISHD), a facilitator for British Council Leadership Development and Core Skills development programme for Maharashtra State schools, and an advisor to a number of educational organisations.

Sharmila Samant

Sharmila Samant currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Design and Performance at Shiv Nadar University. She graduated in Sculpture from Sir J. J. School of Arts in 1989 and subsequently obtained a Diploma in Interior Design from SL Raheja College of Architecture, Mumbai in 1990.

Together with Tushar Joag, Sharmila is one of the founders of the Mumbai-based collective, Open Circle, an activist forum for artists. She works with a variety of mediums and forms, and her work includes installations, performance, and photography. She is particularly concerned about globalisation, identity, and consumer culture. Her numerous works, some of which have been shown internationally, include Against the Grain (2008) an installation in response to the farmer suicides in Maharashtra, Loca Cola (2002), an installation about the homogenising impact of globalization, and her solo exhibition Listen to your Eye (2012) a sculptural installation about how she sees the world.

To know more about Sharmila Samant’s work, visit

Tushar Joag

Tushar Joag received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir J.J School of Arts, Mumbai in 1988 and his Masters of Fine Arts from M.S University of Baroda in 1989. This Mumbai-based artist describes himself as “a public interventionist artist who politicises his art as well as attempts to aestheticise politics.” He is particularly concerned with issues of urban development, displacement and citizenship, and employs political satire in his work. He is a founding member of Open Circle, an activist organization for artists, together with fellow artist and Art1st advisor, Sharmila Samant.

His numerous works include Right to Dissent (2011), a performance that lasted for 6 days where he remained cocooned in a small enclosure of woven thread, Venice and Pests (2009), both social comments on the urban development of industry in Mumbai, and Riding Ricocente (2011), a 53-day motorcycle ride from Mumbai to Shanghai via Sardar Sarovar and the Three Gorges Dam, to draw attention to wrongful water appropriation from Tibetan lakes by the Chinese government.

To know more about Tushar Joag’s work, visit

Dr. Vasantha R. Patri

Dr. Vasantha R. Patri, a well-known psychologist, is the chairperson of the Indian Institute of Counselling and a member of American Counselling Association, Washington DC. Dr. Patri has written extensively on education and psychosocial issues. She has published several books including,Education in India - Programmes and Policies (1999), Counselling Psychology (2001), and Essentials of Effective Communication (2002). She is a gold medalist and a recipient of several awards and scholarships.

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