Our Team




Nishith Acharya

Chief Executive Officer


Nish Acharya leads Equal Innovation, a leading global organization focused on transformative change and impact through innovation and entrepreneurship. Equal Innovation is one of the largest intermediary organizations for impact-organizations to connect with policy makers, funders and corporations. Mr. Acharya was also a Senior Fellow with the Clinton Foundation, a contributor to Forbes and Author of, “The India-US Partnership: $1 Trillion By 2030” by Oxford University Press.

Nish previously served as Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce for the Obama Administration, and as Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation, a prominent American philanthropy focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, as a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress, and also served in the Administration of President Bill Clinton.  He has been quoted prominently worldwide in the New York times, Economist, Newsweek, Economic Times, India Today, BBC, Bloomberg and NDTV.

Naisargi Desai

Naisargi Dixit

Chief Financial Officer


Naisargi Desai is the Chief Financial Officer for Equal Innovation.  Ms. Desai is also CFO and Treasurer for World Con Construction, a leading construction company based in Gujarat, India.   Ms. Desai has 20 years of experience managing business organizations from professional services to startups and construction.  She is a graduate of HA College of Commerce in Ahmedabad.  

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Sujata Subramanian

Director, Strategic Partnerships


With over a decade of experience in building and managing professional services partner programs, primarily at fast-paced SaaS startups, Sujata is a seasoned expert who brings invaluable expertise to the team. Her dedication to exceptional customer service and efficient project management, combined with her natural ability to nurture long-lasting relationships and streamline processes, makes her an invaluable asset.

In addition to her impressive professional background, Sujata holds a masters degree in video and film production and continues to explore her passion for video projects. She also showcases her talent as a performing singer-songwriter and an accomplished long-distance sailor. Balancing her time between the vibrant city of New York and the bustling city of Bangalore, Sujata brings a global perspective to her work.


Anushka Mishra

Program Manager


Anushka Mishra serves as Program Manager at Equal Innovation. A graduate of Delhi University, she was inspired to pursue a career in public service and policy after witnessing the profound impact policy decisions have on communities.

Prior to her role at Equal Innovation, Anushka served as CM's Fellow in Haryana, working closely with the Chief Minister's office and the Hisar district administration. Previously, she has also been associated with the Public Policy Department of IIM Ahmedabad.

In her free time, Anushka can be found engrossed in reading, and enjoying movies that expand her perspective and storytelling experience.

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Darshan Lotliker

Innovation Partnerships Manager


Meet Darshan, our exceptional Innovation Partnerships Manager. With his expertise, he takes the lead in forging valuable partnerships with Accelerators, Incubators, Universities, and Research Hospitals. Darshan plays a pivotal role in helping these esteemed organizations elevate their startups onto the global stage. With an impressive 15 years of experience in innovation, technology, and business planning, Darshan has made significant contributions within the automotive industry, having worked with renowned companies such as Ford Motor Company, Goodyear, Mahindra-Renault, FIAT, and Tata Motors. His educational background is equally impressive, with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Production (Industrial) Engineering from VJTI-University of Mumbai, and a Master of Engineering and Management from Case Western Reserve University. To further enhance his knowledge and skills, Darshan has also completed the prestigious postgraduate Executive Education program from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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Ritu Vaishnav

Startup Program Manager


With over a decade in the development sector, Ritu Vaishnav is a seasoned professional specializing in Strategy, Program Management, and Monitoring & Evaluation. A graduate of Azim Premji University, she has been instrumental in pioneering India's first incubation program for non-profit institutions at IIMB, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ritu has contributed significantly to developing frameworks for FPOs and fostering industrial collaboration aligned with SDGs. Currently at Equal Innovation, she oversees startup programs and spearheads the creation of a global community of innovators, showcasing her dedication to driving positive change on a global scale.


Innovation Scouts

The Innovation Scout program is a fellowship provided to students and young professionals to assist Equal Innovation in its impact scouting and navigation services.  Scouts help us identify and analyze recently launched startups from over 5000 entrepreneurship programs worldwide. Using tools provided by Equal Innovation, the Scouts identify new startups, scientific research breakthroughs or social programs, interview startup founders and evaluate the potential of various projects. Over the last several years, Equal Innovation has worked with Scouts from the world’s leading universities, for periods of 3 months to 1 year.   Many have gone on to become startup founders themselves.