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Our Team

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.

Meet our Founder

Matthew Spacie, Founder

Matthew Spacie

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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Meet our International Team

Meet our Governing Board

India Team

Jayant Rastogi - CEO

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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.

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Alpa Chauhan, Regional Director - West

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Alpa is a developmental professional with over 16 years of work experience. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai University and an Executive MBA from IIM Kozhikode. She started her career as a Programme Coordinator with World Vision of India, was the National Programme Head with Concern India Foundation and prior to joining Magic Bus, was with Sonrisas de Bombay, a Spanish organization as the Executive Director.

Alpa's skills are in Programme Design and Implementation, Donor Management and Servicing, NGO Due Diligence and Empanelment and Grants Partnership Management.

Alpa is a nature and wildlife lover, extremely passionate about travel especially road trips and is a foodie, addicted to regional cuisines.

Arun Nalavadi, Director - Corporate Partnerships

Arun Nalavadi

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.

Bineesh E M, Director – Individual Fundraising

Bineesh

Bineesh comes with 12 years of experience in developing fundraising operations and achieving income growth for national and international non-profits in in India. Prior to joining Magic Bus, he was associated with Sightsavers, India as head of Individual Fundraising for five years. Bineesh has done his MSW from Calicut University and Executive General Management Program from IIM Bangalore.

Dipnarayan Chakraborty, Head – Program Development

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Dipnarayan comes with 14 years of experience in the education sector. He holds a Masters Degree in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Kolkata. He has been in Content Development during initial years of his career and has worked with organizations like Tata Interactive Systems and LearningMate. Prior to joining Magic Bus, he was Research Head - Instructional Design at Zee Learn. He shall be leading Curriculum and Training Team at head office.

Havovi Wadia, Director - Impacts

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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.

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Hitesh Motwani, Head - Marketing and Communications

Hitesh

He is a triple post graduate and a Communications professional with close to a decade of experience in Digital & Social Media Marketing, Public Relations, and Corporate Communications. Hitesh is also a visiting faculty at IIM Bangalore and Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications. He is ranked amongst the ‘Top 30 under age 30’ social media professionals by Social Samosa. Prior to joining Magic Bus, he worked with Ogilvy Public Relations as Associate Partner – Corporate and Finance Practice

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Jyoti C Sharma, Regional Director - North

Jyoti

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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Kusum Mohapatra, Director - Livelihoods

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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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Natasha Ramarathnam, Regional Director - South

Natasha

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.

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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.

Nikhil Pingle, Director - Results Delivery Office

Nikhil

Nikhil has over 15 years of consulting experience in driving business strategy and leading transformation programs for 40+ corporate clients across Automotive, Engineering, Industrial products, Consumer products and Healthcare sectors. Prior to joining Magic Bus, Nikhil worked with EY, KPMG, PwC and ECS Limited across a variety of competencies such as Operations Excellence, Lean Supply Chain, Strategic cost reduction and Working Capital Efficiency.

Nikhil is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from VJTI - Mumbai University and holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Ahmedabad.

Nikhil is an avid fitness enthusiast and enjoys yoga, cycling and running. He is also a black belt in martial arts.

Nitin Aurora, Director - Technology

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Nitin comes on board with over 25 years of experience having worked with leading domestic and global brands like Times Of India, Atos, Tata AIG, Merrill Lynch, Hero. He has successfully led several digital and enterprise transformation initiatives. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce and has completed his Post Graduation in Financial Management. Nitin is a fitness and travel enthusiast and enjoys swimming, badminton, trekking.

At Magic Bus, Nitin is responsible for leveraging technology to maximize the benefits and impact of Magic Bus programmes, improve transparency in donor relationships and automate and transform processes for organisational efficiency.

Rob Thomas, Director – Magic Bus Centre

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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

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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.