Our Team

We are a thoughtful, creative and almost always exuberant group of social scientists, lawyers, and engineers.

Sarayu has a background in management consulting (McKinsey and Company), venture investing (Elevar Equity), program development and management (Gray Matters Capital), and academic research. She has a PhD in Political Science from King's College London, a Master's in Public Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, and a arts and law degree from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU).

Astha has over a decade of public policy and strategy consulting experience, with a focus on the use of technology for welfare. At Aapti, Astha leads the Data Economy Lab, a vertical established to research and test new methods of data sharing, data stewardship and governance. Her recent work is focused on participative governance of data, and its use for building collaborative AI, through collective governance methods such as cooperatives. She serves on the advisory boards of the Data Trust Initiative (Cambridge University) and Indian Urban Data Exchange (IUDEX). Prior to Aapti, Astha worked with Future State, Azim Premji's Philanthropic Initiatives, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, the Planning Commission, the Government of India and the Self-Employed Women’s Association. She’s a visiting fellow at the Ostrom Workshop (Indiana University), a two-time TEDx speaker, and a Global Governance Futures Fellow 2018-19. Astha's writing has been published in the Mint, Hindu, and Deccan Herald among others.

Suha is invested in how the social value of data can be unlocked, redistributed and better governed by and for communities. She also explores how public-facing digital infrastructures can be designed to be inclusive, responsive and empowering - particularly for vulnerable & marginalised communities. To do so, she leads solution-oriented research that cuts across domains like mobility/smart cities, environmental conservation and sustainable development. As part of her role, she is also committed to building multi-stakeholder alliances and value-aligned communities of concern with global partners. Prior to Aapti, Suha has worked at Microsoft for Startups to support social enterprises to leverage technology to amplify their impact. Suha graduated from Maastricht University, with a degree in International Relations & Public Policy.

Kunal’s work at Aapti focuses on understanding and analysing digital systems through a gender inclusion and accessibility lens and has also worked on unpacking the implications of regulation in the telecommunications industry. He also works on various internal initiatives within Aapti. Kunal started his career in India with J. Walter Thompson. He then shifted to Sattva Media and Consulting, where he provided advisory, research, and management services to corporates, international and domestic foundations, multilateral organisations, civil society actors, and philanthropists across a variety of different sectors and themes. His work at Sattva around analysing women’s interactions with digital platforms fostered his interest in better understanding the space of technology and society. Kunal graduated from George Mason University, with a degree in Economics.

Soujanya Sridharan is a graduate of Development from Azim Premji University. Her interest in tech policy stems from her thesis research on labour unions within India’s IT industry. Previously, she has interned with organisations such as The Hindu and Tata Trusts. This was followed by a stint with IT for Change where she was involved in the gender and technology vertical. At Aapti, her research revolves around forging human-centric pathways to platform and data governance.

Vinay is a Manager at Aapti Institute and a co-lead of the Participatory Data programme with the Open Data Institute. Vinay’s current research interest centres around unpacking the layers in existing digital infrastructures with a view to better understanding the criticality of data, and the role of critical supporting digital tools to inform equitable governance frameworks. His previous research endeavours at Aapti have been focused on understanding the concomitant elements required to foster the growth of data stewardship initiatives and exploring the impacts of AI deployment on human rights. Vinay is a lawyer by training, and prior to joining Aapti, he worked at Khaitan & Co., a top-tier law firm in India, advising tech companies on corporate and tech policy matters.

With a background in philosophy and applied ethics, Amrita’s work on human-centric data governance and technology policy has focussed on pathways toward equity and agency in the data economy. At Aapti, she looks closely at how communities and individuals negotiate with digital ecosystems, the power dynamics entrenched across stakeholders, as well as instantiations of data stewardship models that serve to rebalance power, and what kinds of policy pathways are necessary to enable equitable governance. Her current research focuses on digital infrastructures, regulatory pathways and governance frameworks to unlock the societal value and criticality of data. Sectorally, she holds an interest in urban governance, environment and sustainability, human migrations and gender.

Ava is a Political Science graduate, with research experience in literature and music. Her interests are in dilemmas of digital access, social transformations through technology and digital forms of social representation. Before joining Aapti, Ava worked as a Teaching Fellow at Ashoka University, where she taught students political theory, helped create online-friendly curriculums and conducted writing workshops. She has conducted various research projects in the intersection of art, politics and digitisation in India. At Aapti, Ava seeks a greater understanding of digital ecosystems of trust, as well as culture-driven perspectives on technology.

Aishani is a Research Associate at Aapti Institute, with a background in law. Her work at Aapti revolves around mapping harms stemming from technology and understanding the governance of tech platforms. Her prior work involves developing frameworks of governance for emerging innovations such as artificial intelligence, as well as for social media platforms in mitigating online harms. Additionally, she has worked on understanding the legal landscape and socio-economic value of safety tech in India. Aishani seeks to explore the confluence of technology with laws and work towards bolstering legal frameworks, protecting citizens from harms stemming due to tech deployment.

Sakhi, a lawyer by training, began her career at CUTS International, exploring the intersection of technology, society, and economy. Focusing on the digital economy from a competition law perspective, she delved into the complexities of technology’s impact. Moving to IT for Change, Sakhi furthered her research, particularly on gendered impacts and workers’ data rights within the digital realm. At Aapti, her work revolves around empowering civil society to develop data governance capacities, exploring the future of work, and understanding how technology impacts our everyday lives. With curiosities abound, Sakhi hopes to continue exploring the technology policy space with a people-centric and inclusive lens.

Aditi is a researcher at Aapti, where she studies how women trust in digital platforms. Her curiosities are wide-ranging, but ultimately revolve around making technology work for communities in ways that centre their rights and dignity. Prior to joining Aapti, Aditi worked as a data consultant at Central Square Foundation (CSF). She also contributes to the Internet Archive’s DWeb project in pursuit of nuancing the potential of decentralisation for building people-centric technologies. Aditi graduated from Ashoka University with a degree in Political Science.

Gautam holds a BA Hons in Communication and Media studies from Coventry University, UK and a Masters degree in Public Policy and Governance from Azim Premji University, India. Gautam's research area of interest is industry 4.0 tech and its impact on human lives, particularly policy advocacy at the intersection of tech and society. Gautam has interned with Sapient Razorfish, Gutenburg Llc and Group M London. His passions include travel and football, Gautam has represented football clubs in India and the UK.

Mousmi holds a BA.LLB degree from the University School of Law and Legal Studies, IP University in Delhi. Before joining Aapti, she primarily worked on legal research, which introduced her to the world of judicial data and sparked her interest in the intersection of Law, tech, and Justice. Mousmi started her journey in technology policy with Aapti in 2022. Since then, she has been part of various research projects ranging from themes such as citizenship and technology, telecommunication, and digital identity. At Aapti, Mousmi seeks a greater understanding of the tech-policy sector and looks forward to exploring the various facets of the space of law, tech, and society.

Rohan graduated from Ashoka University after completing a B. A. in Politics Philosophy and Economics with a minor in Media Studies. His interests lie in understanding the different approaches that are being deployed in governing technology and digital platforms across the world, and exploring how the digital economy can be scaled equitably. He has previously worked as a programme manager for Takshashila Institution’s public policy courses, and as a research associate for a political consultancy where he conducted on-ground surveys at two districts in Karnataka. At Aapti, he seeks to explore how technology can be leveraged for social good while balancing the interests of the multiple stakeholders at play.

Avani is a Research Analyst at Aapti Institute, where her current research interest centres around studying the non-technical layers to digital public infrastructures to arrive at model standards for their governance. Her previous research endeavours at Aapti have been focused on engaging with the developments in the data protection framework in India, while building literature on operationalising data stewardship in the health sector. With a background in law, Avani is committed to fostering equity alongside digital transformation across sectors. Prior to joining Aapti, she organised extensive programs towards building ground-level access to digital interfacing in the health sector, and advocated for digital rights via national and international forums. 

Sushmitha holds a B.B.A L.L.B (Hons) degree from the School of Law, Christ. Before joining Aapti, she was part of the legal team at the Wildlife Conservation Society - India. Her experience of working on data privacy, data governance and cybercrime in the conservation space steered her interest towards technology law and policy. At Aapti, Sushmitha seeks to understand how data can be used to empower communities and guide efforts to protect the environment. Her present work revolves around supporting communities, especially women’s groups in their efforts to transform into data cooperatives. 

Lekha has over 20 years of experience in varying capacities with organisations such as VLCC, VMC Technology, and S.S.B International School. She has amassed expertise in overseeing Organisation Strategy, Stakeholder Management, and Revenue Generation during her previous stints. At Aapti, Lekha leads Office Operations and Administrative responsibilities. She has completed her B.A. in Home Science and Psychology and an M.B.A in Human Resources. An effective communicator possessing excellent interpersonal, leadership and negotiation skills coupled with strong analytical, problem-solving abilities.