We're a diverse team of professionals who want to show that India's poverty problem is solvable. We work to make sure children living in poverty learn and grow up well so that livelihood options open up by the time they are adults.
Matthew Spacie, Founder
Formerly Chief Operating Officer of Cox and Kings and Founder of Cleartrip.com, Matthew comes with an extensive experience in senior positions in the corporate sector and an intuitive understanding of the needs of children and youth in India.
In 1999, Matthew established Magic Bus, and he has grown the organization from an informal, volunteer-led activity for disadvantaged children, into a leading organization working in the area of mentoring some of India’s poorest and young people from education to livelihood.
Matthew has been elected an Ashoka Fellow, a TED Fellow and more recently an ACSEP Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) Fellow. In 2007, he was awarded an MBE for services to children in the Commonwealth.
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Jayant Rastogi - CEO
Jayant is an industry veteran with over 28 years of extensive experience in setting up and driving successful and scalable businesses for MNCs and startups. An entrepreneur for the last three years, with a strong corporate background, Jayant has diverse experience of working in the technology, distribution & enterprise segment. He has comprehensive exposure to operations and business development, both in strategy formulation as well as at the implementation level. In his recent entrepreneurial avatar, he has co-founded two ventures. Both these ventures are strongly technology led, one is a social venture focused on providing affordable healthcare for the less privileged and the other is an aggregator platform for commercial transportation. In his corporate stint, he has worked with MNCs namely Motorola Solutions (Enterprise Mobility biz) and Novell as CEO for India and ASEAN region. He has been a part of senior management teams, both in India and in APAC, and also been a part of Global strategy teams.
Jayant is a mechanical engineer, with a flair for scaling up and driving large business operations. He is an avid believer in the benefits of Yoga and plays tennis and badminton.
Arun Nalavadi, Head - Corporate Partnerships
Arun has more than 33 years of experience. He has worked in corporates for 30 years at senior management positions, in India. Arun’s last assignment was in Accor as Country Manager, India where he scaled up the organization into a large player in the loyalty space.
Arun shifted to Magic Bus 4 years ago with a sense of giving back to the society and used his strong understanding of building and managing partnerships to build robust and large-scale collaborations between Magic Bus and Industries. Arun is a resident of Mumbai, India and regular in the speaker circuit in the Social Sector. Arun has attended Harvard Business School Spin program.
Bidisha Fouzdar, Director - Communications
Bidisha brings 17 years of working experience in communications in the development sector, with a focus on donor acquisition, donor retention and development communications. She has developed and implemented communications strategies for leading non-profits in India including Save the Children UK, CRY-Child Rights and You and ActionAid International-India.
She has worked at ground zero in two of the subcontinent's worst disasters; the South Asia Tsunami in 2004 and the Kashmir Earthquake 2005 and has held teaching roles in communications at two of India's premier educational institutions, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.
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Havovi Wadia, Director - Impacts
Havovi Wadia is a leader, researcher and writer committed to the rights of children and youth. Her particular interests include childhoods, gender and education. Her academic qualifications are varied – an MPhil in English Literature, a Diploma in Women’s Studies and three papers completed towards an abandoned Business Diploma from the University of Auckland. She has over 18 years of work experience in the development, finance and academic sectors.
Her work includes evaluating programmes, designing outcome and log frameworks, developing programmes and interrogating mainstream ideas of childhood and gender. Prior to Magic Bus, she has worked with rights-based organisations including CRY (Child Rights and You) and Praxis – Institute for Participatory Practices.
At Magic Bus, she is Director, Impacts responsible primarily for the gathering and presentation of evidence that provides proof of concept for the Magic Bus programme. In this role, she has established and built a separate function for measurement in the organisation and has co-anchored key projects including the first ever Magic Bus Youth Barometer. She is also the Child Protection Officer for the organisation, building ways to make the organisation more aware of and responsive to safeguarding requirements for its primary stakeholders.
Jyoti C Sharma, Regional Director, North
Jyoti started her career with ActionAid International and then went on to work at the South Asia level with ECHO, Oxfam GB and most recently with Save the Children, India (Bal Raksha Bharat). Here, she headed the institutional partnerships team. Jyoti is a Post-Graduate in Medical & Psychiatric Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Jyoti has 14 years of professional work expertise in programme management, partner management, fundraising and institutional partnerships.
Her key areas of strength are in managing donor relationships & servicing, strategic planning, proposal development, operationalizing, fund management and providing support in overall grant management by monitoring an effective implementation of social development projects. At the personal front, she is from the hot desert of Rajasthan, married to a man from the cold desert of Ladakh. She currently lives in Noida with her two little children. She has a great love for food, travel, and reading.
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Kavita Srivastava, Director – Individual Fundraising
Kavita comes with over 23 years of relevant experience. She has worked as Regional Manager (North & East) with Save the Children – Bal Raksha Bharat and was accountable for the performance of direct marketing teams. She also had a successful stint of six years with CRY as Head – Resource Mobilization and Partnerships.
Before entering into the charity space, she served Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited for ten years and shouldered various roles in Personal Finance like Head–Customer service and Regional product head.
Kusum Mohapatra, Director - Livelihoods
Kusum comes with 17 years of development sector experience , starting her career working as a grassroots worker in one of the most backward blocks of India.
Before joining Magic Bus, Kusum worked as the Chief Operating Officer of Prakalpa, a leading NGO in Odisha, implementing programmes in Health, Education, Livelihood, Forest Rights, Food Security, Governance, Women and Tribal Development and Advocacy at National and International Forums. She has also worked with UN Agencies, the Government of Odisha and multilateral organizations on advising, designing and implementing programmes at State level, carried out training of Chief Functionaries of NGOs in Health Programme Design and implementation for the State Government of Odisha and for 13 years worked she was a key player in defining the strategies for organizations to develop scalable models and sustainability.
In Magic Bus since 5 years, she has set up programmes in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and currently is assigned the task of developing and implementing a sustainable Livelihood programme across India.
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Medha Oka, Director - Programme Development
Medha is a post graduate in education and has over 30 years of relevant experience. She has extensive and varied experience in teaching, learning and education space. She has been a school teacher, a corporate manager, has headed instructional design and school quality inspection, both in India and internationally.
Her previous engagement includes Aptech, Blue Star Infotech, NIIT and Hurix Systems.
Natasha Ramarathnam, Regional Director - South
In a career spanning nearly two decades, Natasha has worked with a variety of organizations in both the corporate and the social sector.
After graduating from the Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad, she worked as an investment banker and financial consultant with SBI Capital Markets and KPMG, before moving to the social sector. She has held leadership positions in Ashoka Innovators for the Public and Save The Children India, and has been associated with two technology start-ups in the social enterprise space.
Natasha is committed to delivering impact in the areas of education, youth development and women’s empowerment.
Neeraj Gupta, Director - Finance
Neeraj is a professional executive with over 22 years of extensive experience in several large corporations. He is a Chartered Accountant, Cost and Management Accountant and Company Secretary. A thorough finance professional, he has a credible track record of accomplishments in strategic and operational finance.
He has worked across sectors in companies like SBI Capital Markets, Bombay Dyeing, Kuoni Travel, Thomas Cook, Siemens, Radhakrishna Group. He has excelled as a company treasurer, in corporate borrowings and investments and in executing mergers and acquisitions. Neeraj is responsible for financial controls, reporting, financial management and strategy planning in the Company.
Rob Thomas, Director – Magic Bus Centre
Rob has 35 years of experience as a consultant, designer and facilitator in a range of programmes and has a particular expertise in experiential learning and development. His work has included environments as diverse as teaching high-risk boys with behavioural difficulties in a residential school, to coaching, leadership and ‘Train The Trainer’ programmes in major global businesses.
His work has taken him throughout the UK and Europe and as far as Canada, China, Japan and Thailand. Clients have included the European Youth Parliament, Ford, Canon, Danone, British Steel/Corus (now Tata Steel), BT, Goldman Sachs, l’Oreal, Arup, HSBC, Ericsson, Indospace/Everstone, amongst others. In 2010, he was one of the founding National Trainers for England’s ‘Youth Mental Health First Aid’ programme and a trainer for the adult ‘Mental Health First Aid’.
Through his national and international experience with a range of client groups a keen awareness of cultural differences and how these can provide a positive stimulus to creative thinking has added to his own personal development, which, in turn, adds to the facilitation skills and knowledge of the people he encounters on his continuing developmental journey.
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Sajan Thomas, Director - Human Resources
He has 25 years of experience in Human Resources with leading organizations in India across manufacturing, IT and Telecom industries. He has headed HR for one of the group companies of Reliance ADAG prior to joining Magic Bus in 2011. Sajan has a post-graduate diploma in Human Resource Management from XLRI Jamshedpur, is an accredited Belbin professional, and is also an SHRM – SCP, Senior Certified Professional from Society of Human Resources Management.
Sandhya Srinivasan, Regional Director - East
Sandhya’s areas of expertise are in HIV AIDS, education, health, livelihood training and research, communications, establishing strategic partnerships with Government and non-Government bodies.
She is a Graduate in Economics from Kolkata. Prior to Magic Bus, she was associated with International HIV/AIDS Alliance as the Director – AD & KM.
Suhas Ajgaonkar, Director – Automation
Suhas comes with more than 33 years of experience in the software industry. Has set up and managed a variety of business activities for the corporate houses and has extensive technical, functional and senior management experience.
Suhas is a from Mumbai University and MBA from Jamanalal Bajaj and he has worked with many reputed organizations like GTL Infrastructure Limited, Mastek Limited, Tata Unisys Limited etc.