David is Chairman of SparkBeyond, an innovative AI based research engine and is also the University Entrepreneur in Residence at Arizona State University (ranked by US News & World Report as No 1 on its Most Innovative Schools index) – where he also launched the REMOTE conferences for connected faculty and connected teachers. David has spent the last 20 years as the CEO of four companies – leading them through cycles of innovation, business -model evolution, geographic reorientation and cultural renewal. He has had a wide leadership experience across tech and media sectors – running two public and two private companies; two media and two technology companies. David has run businesses with significant footprints in, among others, the USA, the UK, France, China, India and the Gulf. As CEO of McGraw-Hill Education (2014-17) he led the development of digital offerings and built an engineering product/services team combining psychology and AI. As CEO of UBM plc (2005-14) he built its global events and exhibitions business, launching in India, across ASEAN and building in China and the USA. As CEO of Symbian Ltd (2002-05) he led the development of the first smartphone OS in a company co-owned by the major handset manufacturers, supporting the first 100 million handsets. As CEO of Psion plc (1998-2002) he led through the tech bubble, repositioning the firm around the ‘mobile internet’. Before his years as a CEO, David spent 4 years as the CFO and COO of the international Publisher Euromoney Institutional Investor plc, 4 years with the Private Equity group Apax and 5 years with Bain & Company. David was educated at Oxford University (BA – PPE) and Stanford University (MBA).
Srini is a technology strategist with over 30 years of experience, spanning multiple cultures and geographies, and has played extensive leadership roles in core enterprise building, business development, operational diversification and expansion.
He served as Co-founder & CEO of Ei from 2016 to 2021. Even though he continues to be involved as Co-founder & Chief Mentor with Ei, he spends a lot of his time in road trips across the world, trekking in the Himalayas and the Nilgiris and dwelling in the Bhagavad Gita.
Prior to Ei, Srini was Executive Vice President and CHRO at Scientific Games (NASDAQ: SGMS). He had overall responsibility for Global Human Resources, SGI Africa and SGI India. Additionally, Srini was a member of the Integration Committee post the acquisition of Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI) and played a key role in achieving essential synergies for the successful integration of the enterprises.
Before the acquisition, he was CHRO & SVP India, Asia-Pacific & Africa for Bally Technologies. Srini joined Bally in 2005 and facilitated the company’s robust revenue growth by over 300%, increase in stock value by over 700% and growth in R&D capabilities by over 200%. Srini led the establishment of Bally’s India Engineering Centers, growing the centers to over 1,500 engineers as well as Bally’s businesses in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
Srini has also worked in various capacities with globally renowned organizations such as Manhattan Associates, Cadence Design Systems, IIT Madras, PepsiCo & HCL. He also served in the Indian Army for six years where he had the experience of operational as well as ceremonial duties.
Srini serves as a member of NCERT’s National Expert Group for Assessments in School Education (NEGASE), on the Advisory Board of Chinmaya International Foundation, Chinmaya Mission’s leading education arm, the advisory board of Nilgiris Adivasi Welfare Association (NAWA) and as advisor for a number of start-up companies. He has an Honours Degree in Economics from Delhi University and a Diploma in Management from IGNOU.
Paul Flowerman brings five decades of building strong international collaborations to Ei’s advisory board. He is an attentive hands-on student of cultures and languages, which has been his “secret sauce” in building PLT Health Solutions and undertaking education and social equity initiatives in the USA and internationally. He is Chairman Emeritus and Executive Director of PLT’s People and Planet Initiative. He divides his time between these responsibilities and his social entrepreneurship activities, with much energy devoted to his role as a “Mindspark Evangelist.”
Upon completing his AB at Princeton in History (Certificate in History and Philosophy of Science), Paul developed an experimental chemistry program in rural Peru and then joined the Peace Corps to create and teach a Malaysian language physics curriculum. Upon securing his AM at Harvard in History of Science, he completed an NYU MBA in Marketing and International business and joined a small foreign trade company. In 1984, He became President and owner of PLT, which he has developed over four decades into a leading provider of branded clinically supported botanical formulations for the dietary supplement and food industries. As a 2018 Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard, he developed his personal narrative and social entrepreneurship skills. He was introduced to Educational Initiatives through a Harvard Business School case study which focused on the challenges to introduce Mindspark into the public sector. For five years, Paul has worked closely with Pranav Kothari to translate Mindspark into new languages of instruction, scale in the public sector, and establish new initiatives in India and S. Africa, with additional country initiatives in incubation.
Dr. Bror Saxberg is the Founder of LearningForge LLC. Saxberg was responsible for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s thinking about how to expand and apply learning science results and good learning measurement practice at scale to real-world learning situations across the full span of learning – pre-K, K-16, and beyond.
Saxberg most recently served as Chief Learning Officer at Kaplan, Inc. where he was responsible for the research and application of innovative evidence-based learning strategies, technologies, and products across Kaplan’s full range of educational services offerings. He also worked to maintain consistent learning standards for Kaplan’s products and services.
Dr. John Harnisher is a resourceful and pioneering data science executive with a successful record of accomplishment in learning analytics, psychometrics, product/program development, predictive analytics, and education. He has a proven aptitude for handling multiple projects and initiatives while exceeding objectives and redefining expectations in a collaborative and dynamic learning environment. He is a focused and results-driven producer and manager who successfully works with key stakeholders, solves ever-changing needs, and positively impacts an organization to reach and exceed short- and long-term goals.
Dr. Apoorva Bhandari is a cognitive neuroscientist who studies executive function. His research program is focused on understanding the psychological, computational and neural principles that govern flexible cognition in humans, and in applying these principles outside the laboratory in real-world contexts. He is currently working to analyse the codes of human brains to encode information about the tasks we need to perform and figure out how the format of this code enables our cognition and behaviour to be nimble and flexible. He uses a combination of behavioural methods, functional MRI, computational modelling and machine learning.
Pranav Kothari is the CEO of Educational Initiatives (Ei). He has been with Ei for over a decade and has made significant contributions to the company through his involvement in Ei Mindspark (the personalised and adaptive learning solution), and as the head of HR, Gifted Student Education, and Ei Shiksha.
Under his leadership, Ei Mindspark has been deployed and recognized as the only software-based EdTech tool that has demonstrated a significant learning impact as independently measured by third parties like J-PAL. Pranav is a thought leader in the industry and has led teams that scaled high-quality student assessments, personalized adaptive learning, and impact evaluation services for governments, CSR funders, and philanthropic foundations.
Pranav is also a TEDx speaker, an INK Fellow, and was named by The World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation as the Corporate Social Intrapreneur of the Year in 2019.
He studied Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Ei, he worked at GTI Capital and the Boston Consulting Group in five countries.
Sridhar Rajagopalan is an educational entrepreneur who has helped change the way student-learning outcomes are seen in India. He worked in IBM India for two and a half years before co-founding and running Eklavya School in Ahmedabad. Sridhar is a member of various central and state government committees related to education, including the committee for devising model rules for the Right to Education Act in Gujarat. He is a member of NCERT’s National Expert Group on Assessment in Elementary Education (NEGAEE) and a trustee of Pratham, Gujarat as well as other educational institutions.
Sridhar got his bachelor’s degree in Engineering from IIT Madras before going on to complete his PGDM from IIM Ahmedabad.
Girish is a CA with over 16 years of work experience with various organisations in the domain of consulting, statutory audits, and compliance. He has led the Finance and Commercial functions in start-ups and e-commerce companies as well as in the B2B function within the education space. He has held the All-India Rank of 9, 13, and 33 in the 3 levels and also holds the IFRS Certification.
As Ei’s Chief Financial Officer, he is leading the Finance and Accounting operations of the company from Bangalore and helps the team in streamlining our processes. Hailing from Delhi, Girish moved to Bangalore 5 years ago and has been here since. When not going through financial data with a keen eye, Girish loves to unwind with family and satisfy the athletic itch with some cricket and cardio-intensive badminton. The wanderlust in him also compels him to travel during his free time and explore new destinations.
Kannan ensures that Ei builds a world-class technology team that keeps our products honed for greatness. Being passionate about technology, Kannan has always felt that there is always more to learn, and new boundaries to explore and indulges in a wide spectrum of tech and tech-related aspects.
Entering the EdTech Industry was quite honestly a stroke of serendipity! He found that there was much common ground and synergy between what Ei is into vs what he has been exploring in the EdTech field. The joy of learning something new and his curiosity to explore keeps the team focused on what matters, ensuring that our solutions stay true to their goal of helping raise the bar of learning outcomes.
Since he has been fortunate enough to be mentored in the past – by extraordinary technology managers, and highly refined people managers, you will often find him sharing with his team members, tips/life skills that people were generous enough to share with him in the past.
Subhash has around 30 years of experience in various aspects of Human Resources, Businesses, and Operations. He has worked in multiple companies which include Healthcare start-up, Consulting, IT, and Manufacturing. He also had an entrepreneurial stint as a Founder of an executive search company.
Subhash leads the Human Resources as CHRO at Ei. Subhash believes in the enormous potential of people and is passionate about making people realize their potential and grow personally and professionally. He is also a keen talent spotter.
Subhash completed his PGDM from IIM-Ahmedabad. He loves to read, play golf, and watch movies.
Nishchal Shukla leads Educational Initiatives’ (Ei) Pedagogical Research division. His team delves deep into understanding students’ thinking and learning methods for different concepts and subjects. Nishchal also oversees the ‘Comprehensive Assessment System’ project for the US market. During his 12-year tenure at Ei, he has worked on tool development, data analysis, product development, capacity-building workshops, student interactions, and project management.
He received a gold medal in Life Sciences from the 2005 batch of Gujarat University.
Muntaquim plays a critical role in the design, development, implementation and technical support for Ei’s learning solutions and special projects. He has managed the development and technical operations team using an agile approach, a passion for applying technical and process automation in a data-oriented organization like Ei, along with a focus on software architecture and quality.
He has lead our initiatives in Ei Mindspark Bhasha, our learning solution for the vernacular languages with an initial focus on enhancing the robustness of Ei Mindspark Hindi and later supporting the expansion into other languages as and when there were suitable opportunities.
Muntaquim holds a Master’s degree in Computer Application.
Aarthi leads Ei’s Learning Solutions and Assessments division including Ei Mindspark Maths, Ei Mindspark English, ASSET and Detailed Assessment. She is passionate about education and giving children from all socio-economic backgrounds access to quality education. She believes that the use of technology is the way ahead to address the many challenges in this space. This prompted her to take the plunge into the education sector, after spending 6 years in developing enterprise – server-management solutions at Dell’s R&D Center.
She is an M. Sc. Degree holder in Information Systems from BITS , Pilani.
Jayanti as a Customer Success leader works with key accounts and focuses on showing impact and excellence in execution. Her goal is to become the “voice of the Customer” and make the “customer a priority” a company-wide phenomenon. She also develops systemic and strategic paths for new businesses.
She integrates and shares metrics with other functions within the organization to amplify its ability to be effective, impactful, and successful.
Kushark has over 18 years of experience in international business in the education and training industry covering franchise management, business development, marketing, alliance management, operations, B2B and B2G verticals. He has initiated, managed, and developed international businesses across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
With a proven track record to build businesses from scratch and establish growth-oriented business lines, Kushark has helped various organizations make successful entries, setup, diversification, and expansion into international markets. In India, he has worked extensively on skill development initiatives of Central Government and State bodies and managed multiple projects across India. He is also involved with various social welfare activities.
Kushark – a globe trotter, is a B. Com, LL. B and Postgraduate in Management from T. A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal.
Ritesh Agarwal is passionate about solving for learning outcomes in public schools of India. He currently leads Ei’s work on large scale assessments and Ei Mindspark in regional languages, working with government, foundations, CSRs and civil society partners.
Ritesh has a rich experience of working with governments, institutional funders, and other key stakeholders in the social sector. He is well-versed with evolving trends in assessments, educational technology, policy, and developmental finance. Prior to Ei, he was an early member at the edtech startup- Covegenius heading their growth and partnerships work. For a project with Ashoka University, he helped create the blueprint for the foundation of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy.
Originally from Darjeeling, he graduated with a degree in History from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. Ritesh has been recognized as a Gandhi Fellow, Young India Fellow with Ashoka University, and an Anubhav Fellow with UChicago. He has spoken on edtech and social impact at multiple national and international forums including-UNICEF, UNESCO and the Education Commission.
Varath has extensive experience in creating new and impactful leaning initiatives. He has previously worked at Equitas Microfinance (now a Small Finance Bank) to head the New Initiatives team. In his 7 years there, he launched for-profit products and social initiatives in education, healthcare & retail. In 2016, he bootstrapped a startup to promote English fluency among young working professionals and scaled it up to more than 500,000 users. And in his last stint, he led the Chartered Accountancy vertical at Veranda Learning where he developed a comprehensive online learning product for Chartered Accountancy students.
Varath is a graduate of IIT Madras (Electrical Engineering) and did an MBA at IIM Bangalore.
Adil is a business & marketing strategy leader with a proven expertise & an extensive experience in EdTech, Education & Food Tech industries. Prior to Ei, Adil has worked for some of the well-known Edtech and Education companies. He firmly believes that the true impact of ‘Edtech in learning’ is yet to be seen by the world and that only those organisations will thrive which are committed to the cause of making learning outcomes possible.
Adil is a 2X entrepreneur and also an early stage investor. He holds an MBA in marketing and finance and speaks regularly at industry events.
As a Progressive Business Head with 24+ years of experience in Edtech A C Patil’s mission is to drive strategic growth initiatives and create positive social impact for Ei with keen perception and understanding of business development through implementation of agile practices grounded in continuous improvement of concepts.
Gayatri has been committed to creating a learning impact for children everywhere through building high quality assessments and learning programmes. Her deep belief in the unlimited potential of transformation of mindsets through systemic support and changes helps her continue to work with various stakeholders in the space of education to make learning possible.
What started as a stint to explore and to understand the education space, has turned out to be life’s calling for Gayatri. Meeting the students across different demographics and seeing how despite all the socioeconomic diversity, the students continued to strive, learn and grow- has been the biggest propeller for her. She believes that true education can open a vast array of development opportunities- socioeconomic upgrade being just one! For her, education is the greatest enabler and leveller.
When she reflects back at her professional journey of around a couple of decades, she finds herself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with great mentors and amazing leaders who have made learning possible at scale and all those children from her she has continued to learn a lot about education & existence! For her, not a single day has gone without learning to respond to a challenge in a radically different way!
She continues to explore Foundational Literacy & Numeracy, Assessments at large scale and pedagogical research as part of her learning journey.