Meet Our Team


Mugdha Lele

Manager, Social innovations, Venture Center.

Mugdha is Manager – Social Innovations at Venture Center. She has done PhD from School of Health Sciences, University of Pune and has teaching and research experience in a State Government medical university. She has been a Chevening Rolls Royce Science, Innovation, Policy and Leadership Programme (CRISP) Fellow at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK during 2016 where she had the opportunity to study and explore the social innovations technology ecosystems and networks. At Venture Center, she is responsible for driving the Social Innovations and related activities and is responsible for providing technical mentoring for incubatees at Venture Center.


Manisha Premnath

General Manager, Venture Center.

She is PhD (Biotechnology), University of Pune; Post-doctoral training, University of Cambridge, UK. She has been a Chevening Rolls Royce Science, Innovation, Policy and Leadership Programme (CRISP) Fellow at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK during 2015 where she had the opportunity to study technology innovation ecosystems. She has research experience in biotechnology, microbiology, fungal biotechnology, molecular biology and molecular virology. She has experience in planning and setting up of advanced scientific facilities and program management.


Premnath Venugopalan

Director, Venture Center.

Premnath is Founding Director of Venture Center and Head, NCL Innovations. He is B.Tech (IIT-B), PhD (MIT, USA), Chevening Technology Enterprise Fellow (Centre for Scientific Enterprises, London Business School and Cambridge University, UK). He has experience in technology development and commercialization, working with start-up companies (in Cambridge-UK and India) and engaging with large corporations on research and consulting projects as project leader.



BIRAC Social Innovation Fellows


Yashoda Padhye

Masters in Public Health, Pune University.

Yashoda has a masters in Public Health from the University of Pune securing the first rank in the department. She then subsequently did research in secondary data analysis of a cohort of older adults in Pune city; during this, she secured a JRF position under UGC-UPE and published two research papers in esteemed peer-reviewed journals.
She has worked as a research coordinator for International Longevity Centre-India for 1.5 years where her role had a diverse spectrum of activities including mobile trainer for seniors, an event/conference organizer, a mentor for trainees and interns, a compare and a content generator.
Being a trained Bharatnatyam dancer, Yashoda has successfully choreographed a flash mob of forty senior citizens. Being a very outspoken individual, Yashoda is passionate about exploring and discussing novel ideas, books, people and understanding societal value systems.

Mangesh Khadase

Masters in Agricultural Biotechnology, IIT Kharagpur.

An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumnus, Mangesh holds a bachelors in Biotechnology Engineering and a masters in Agricultural Biotechnology. His core research interests include Sustainable Energy, Healthcare and Agricultural practices with a strong focus on using innovative methods. His previous research work in the field of generating bio-fuels from micro-algae has been acknowledged by peers and is published in an international research journal.
His passion for using technology to develop innovative products and services has lead him to be part of various social groups and movements focused on creating awareness and solutions in the education, health, sanitation and agriculture space. Some of the noteworthy mentions would be Massachusetts Institute of Technology Beyond Food Bootcamp in Hsinchu, Taiwan and Citizens for Accountable Governance.
In addition to being an empathetic individual driven towards causing a social change, Mangesh is filled with wanderlust and loves cultural exchanges by interacting with various individuals. He enjoys capturing the quintessence of life through his camera as an amateur photographer.


Divyakshi Kaushik

Masters in Industrial Design, MIT Pune.

Divyakshi comes from a strong technical background, which makes her understanding of difficult problems very unique. She loves to keep herself updated on the latest innovations and trends that equip her to solve trivial problems. She has a strong inclination towards working in areas of lifestyle and healthcare impacting people directly with ease of living. She has worked on various stages of product development and production management; that pushes her to be on a constant lookout for an innovative, intuitive and efficient solution, ready to be discovered. It is her unique multi-dimensional skillset that drives her to make a positive impact on the problems faced by the society.
Divyakshi is an outdoor, adventuresome person and loves sports. She is a national level tennis player, an avid trekker and has recently picked up squash. Always learning, she feels sports add values like grit, focus, undeterred commitment and a calm composed head to her personality.

Raunaq Pradhan

PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engg. from Nanyang Technological University.

Raunaq completed his PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engg. from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, after his B. Tech in Biomedical Engg. from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India. He is an innovator at heart, has a keen interest and flair for research, problem solving and creative thinking; and passionate towards solving problems in the community using technology as a tool.
He co-founded Global Edukonnect at Singapore, which focused on creating educational experiences in the form of internships and excursion trips for students from India in Singapore. He was a part of the Singapore Stanford Biodesign program where he worked on creating low cost medical devices for unmet clinical needs. During the course of his PhD, he worked on creating a low cost innovative neural stimulator device which could be used for treatment of pain. Raunaq’s exposure to policy implementation occurred, while working with Ministry of Health, Singapore to devise technological solutions for productive engagement of the elderly. Post his PhD, he worked for over a year with a policy implementation start-up named Indus Action as the Tech Lead, which works on enabling access to education in good schools for economically weaker sections under RTE Sec 12.1.c. His role was primarily focused on product development and handling government relations.
Currently, he is working as a SIIP fellow at Venture Centre, Pune supported by BIRAC , Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt of India to build technological solutions focused on solving needs of the ageing population in India.