Innovation Alchemy has a core team that works across strategy, research, knowledge development and prototype implementation, led by founder and Managing Director, Parvathi Menon. The core team is supported by a group of mentors and external consultants who bring in domain expertise and insights on specific projects and engagements as needed.
Parvathi Menon, Managing Director
Parvathi set up Innovation Alchemy in 2009 to bring together her passion for development challenges and a strong belief in the power of innovation and systems thinking to be the critical change ingredients. With a background in Communication, eLearning, Programme Management, Business Development and Consulting, she applies a broad spectrum of business, entrepreneurial and technology expertise to emerging market challenges.
Over her 17-year career in the corporate and entrepreneurial space, Parvathi has built a repertoire of knowledge in designing and implementing innovation solutions for clients such as: ITC eChoupal, Tata Fertilizers, Samsung, Wipro, Marico Innovation Foundation, FEM Sustainable Solutions, IFC South Asia and the World Bank group. She is recognized for her strategic facilitation skills, capacity to cull out fundamental insights, deep knowledge of the social enterprise space in India and ability to build meaningful collaborations with people and organizations in the innovation ecosystem.
Most recently for Innovation Alchemy, she has led strategic engagements in applied innovation including facilitating the 2011 Development Marketplace Programme for the World Bank in low Income States of India; accelerating social enterprises towards scale under a collaboration with the Marico Innovation Foundation; applying innovation to help facilitate business clusters in India to grow in partnership with FICCI and the National Innovation Council. Parvathi also curates Alchemix, a growing community of innovation practice, as a peer learning initiative for Innovation Alchemy.
Parvathi has a Masters in Communication from the Hyderabad Central University and is an alumnus of the Management Programme for Women Entrepreneurs at the IIM Bangalore. She blogs at http://innovationalchemy.com/blog/ and is an active user and advocate of social media tools. She can be found on twitter @parvathimenon
Lieutenant General M G Girish (retd), Director and Chief Mentor
General Girish is a Director on the Board of the company and is Chief Mentor to the portfolio of Innovation projects undertaken by Innovation Alchemy. He’s actively engaged with the range of acceleration & research projects and in mentoring teams, especially in the areas of organization development, large-scale operations management and leadership development that is necessary to take an innovative business idea to scale.
General Girish retired from the Indian Army in August 2006, after a distinguished career of 40 years. In his career in the Army he has pioneered several initiatives in education, welfare and health for the 1.3 million strong Indian Army spread across the country. He has been conferred the Param Vishista Sewa Medal, the highest award for distinguished service in the Armed forces, and he has also been awarded the Athi Vishista Sewa Medal and Vishista Sewa Medal by the President of India. Following retirement from the Army, General Girish has been the Executive Vice President at DLF Properties, pioneering DLF’s property development in the State of Kerala. Under his leadership DLF launched over four large projects in Kerala and created a base of of over 1400 customers and about 2 million square feet of residential space.
General Girish has a Post Graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and in Management. He has taught a Leadership course on Management by Values at the prestigious College of Defence Management in Hyderabad. A specialist in macro level logistic support management, General Girish has been closely associated with the fields of equipment management, logistic support to combat formations, administration, Research and Development and Management teaching.
Aditi Kini, Project Management & Research
Aditi is a graduate in Economics from the University of Warwick. She has been an active volunteer through school and university, and has led many teams during her one-year stint as Project Leader at Warwick Volunteers. Prior to joining Innovation Alchemy, Aditi worked in the Product Development team of Janalakshmi Financial Services, an urban micro-finance institution. As an Associate Consultant at Innovation Alchemy, Aditi works on incubation/ acceleration projects, and works to implement research and facilitate innovation.
Anupama Kalgudi, Project Management & Research
Anupama has a Bachelors in Electronics and Communication from the M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology. With a strong personal orientation towards development and growing up years in Zimbabwe, Anupama chose to pursue a path in creative writing, research and content development focused on social impact. She is the Co-author of a research paper on the ‘Global Comparative Study on Interactions between Social Processes and Participatory Guarantee Systems’ commissioned by the International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM). Her experience includes content development, site map design, social media analytics, field research and case study writing. She has worked on the Akshaya Patra website that draws large donations through its online campaigns and in developing content and written case studies for GREEN Foundation a non-profit in the field of agriculture and sustainable farming in Karnataka. With Innovation Alchemy Anupama has been actively involved in building content and research, culling insights through deep thematic research and contributing actively to the knowledge repository.
Kokila Vani, Office Administration
With 8 years of experience in the field of Office Administration, Kokila is the efficient back bone of the Innovation Alchemy Hub and Office. She has worked in administrative functions across Consulting and Customer Service firms, giving her a wide exposure to managing Office environments, Vendor relationships and Hub facilities.
The extended family of IA – Team Members who have moved on to do fabulous new things:
Aditya Tejas, Project Management & Research
An engineer by degree – and a social development student by heart, Aditya has a B.E. in Computer Science from the SMK Fomra Institute of Technology, Chennai. While at college he attended a 2 day transformation workshop conducted by People First, a coaching and training organization. It opened out the area of transformative work for him – and how people could be impacted with skills and capability building. It also helped him understand his own orientation in this field.
At Innovation Alchemy, he spent over 2.5 years and led a range of projects in the area of transformative work, including: Design & implementation of on-ground baseline studies to deliver active research outputs for the 2 organizations under Incubation as part of the Marico Innovation Foundation’s IWSE series; Event Management and Research for the Alchemix platform, bringing together speakers and participants for the Alchemix sessions; Active research and outreach support for the Development Marketplace 2011 as part of a 3 member team that engaged with high potential projects in states of Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan; Background Research and Management for a series of Innovation Workshops, for Social Enterprises in collaboration with Marico Innovation Foundation; Designed and implemented Community mapping exercises for Dream A Dream helping them identify focus areas for innovation, create process flow and implementing community mapping exercises.
Aditya is deeply inspired by the possibility of setting up a small, self-sustaining organic farm that allows him to live in nature’s beauty & abundance and help other people wanting a better life, re-connect with nature. He’s stepped out to explore an entrepreneurial opportunity in sustainable housing.