Meet our team, really our family, that makes our work possible everyday!
Adil Qureshi, Co-Founder
Adil Qureshi is a civil engineer turned marketing professional turned social entrepreneur currently pursuing a Global MBA at Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School while overseeing The Hero Lab's Baltimore operations. From forays in sustainable engineering and CSR marketing to leading the digital media campaign of Chennai Express, the highest grossing Indian film in history at the time, Adil's cross-sector experience has been most valuable in launching his most special effort to date: The Hero Lab.
Adil is a die-hard Real Madrid fan, and spends his free time checking ESPNFC 75 times a day.
Siddhi Sundar, Co-Founder
Siddhi is a filmmaker, writer, and wanderlust passionate about stories, particularly the ones about how courage and heart can empower the wildest of ideas in the unlikeliest of places. During her time as an undergraduate film student at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Siddhi spent most of her time thinking about how to use film as a medium for social change, and spent her summers in India working on documentaries in education, health, and human rights.
Siddhi is interested in discovering the conditions and characteristics that enable people and communities to thrive and be resilient, as well as how to use storytelling as a tool for greater equity. The Hero Lab is her heart and soul!
Esha D'Mello, Director of Health and Education
Esha is an Occupational Therapist by profession, and oversees all of The Hero Lab's health and education initiatives in Mumbai. She believes firmly in the capacity of children to surpass their physical and socioeconomic barriers, and reach a stage of infinite potential and possibility. Enabling youth to find their full capacity is Esha's passion.
The great poet Rumi beautifully sums up Esha's view of youth, “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life...?”
Anup Chaurasiya, Community Leader
Anup is from Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world. Growing up around a perpetual lack of resources, Anup from a young age started to think about how to do more with less, cultivating a spirit of frugal innovation. Committed to a career in the social sector, Anup joined our Adult Changemaker Programs as a Community Leader.
Anup oversees all of our Mumbai operations, and is working on launching an entrepreneurship program for young adults in Dharavi.
Murli Kharvi, Community Leader
10 years ago, Murli dropped out of the third grade. He is a true testament of the transformative power of grit, resilience, and purpose. Under Murli's leadership, the organization has grown from one to five communities, and he trains and oversees a team of community leaders.
Murli is currently on a work hiatus to pursue a full-time degree in commerce, making him the first member of his family to attend college!
Rajesh Patni, Community Leader
Rajesh originally from Gujarat, comes from a background as a national-level wrestler. After his mother passed away in his early teens, Rajesh was responsible for supporting a family of five, but never allowed work to stop him from being the best he could at what he loved: sports.
Today, Rajesh is a Community Leader in Wadala and Mahol, and while teaching and leading, thinks of ways to use athletics as a tool to build community and positive mindsets in kids.
Kayla Gu, Director of Washington DC Operations
Born and raised in China, Kayla is passionate about channeling upward mobility through education. When she came to America at 19 years old, she was surprised to find that high dropout rates and educational disparities existed in low SES communities in the States as well. She wants to teach her students to never give up in the face of hardship and injustice, and not to underestimate the social change one person can bring!
Kayla teaches mindfulness and meditation to her students, helping them through the journey of becoming a "Kung Fu Master"!
Kriti Krishnan, Academic and Yoga Instructor
Kriti is not your regular lawyer. She is passionate about pursuing activities that demand more out of her physically and creatively, be it yoga or ballet. She loves working with children and believes that the combination of a healthy body and stable mind makes the perfect fighting arsenal for life.
Kriti designs and teaches yoga and remedial education interventions in our communities in Mumbai.
Juhi Melwani, Art Instructor
Juhi is a fashion designer who splits her time between New York City and Mumbai. Having previously worked as a freelance designer and assistant costume stylist, Juhi comes from a background of constant creative problem-solving and expression. Juhi is currently pursuing an Associate's Degree in Fashion Design at the Parsons School of Design in NYC.
Juhi designs and teaches art interventions to our youth in Mumbai, using multi-medium approaches as a platform for creative therapy.
India Board of Directors
Dr. Shifa Shaikh, Board Member
Shifa is a specialist in Allergy and Asthma in Mumbai. Shifa graduated in Medicine from the Topiwala National Medical College & B.Y.L Nair Charitable Hospital, where she worked as a resident physician and later as a tutor in the Department of Medicine. Shifa obtained her Diploma in Allergy and Asthma from the UK, as well as a Ph.D in Allergy from the USA. She is affiliated as an Hon. Allergist and Asthmologist with the Police Hospital in Mumbai. Shifa Shaikh jointly runs the “Allergy and Asthma Clinic” in Mumbai with her father Dr. Wiqar Shaikh, who is India's leading Allergy and Asthma specialist.
Shifa is actively involved in clinical research, and is happy to bring years of medical expertise to our team!
Stuti Jain, Board Member
Stuti has been practicing as a lawyer since July 2006 and is the founding member of SSJ Associates. Stuti was enrolled as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa in 2006 after completing her B.L.S./LL.B from the Government Law College in Mumbai. Stuti completed her Masters in Law in International Commercial Arbitration from University College London in 2007.
With stints at Crawford Bayley & Co, Dua Associates, Jyoti Sagar Associates, and the International Chambers of Commerce in Paris, Stuti brings to the table a robust history of legal experience.