Suman Sukumar is the founder of Knowhere Travel, a company that creates and facilitates authentic, ethical, and conscious travels around India through an ecosystem of authentic, ethical, and conscious partners. Its goal is to make people more conscious of and accountable for how they acquire new experiences in new settings.
Suman Sukumar’s life has always revolved around his passion for the outdoors. Suman witnessed firsthand the need for authentic tools to promote sustainable travel experiences in India after traveling the length and breadth of the country on hiking, paddling, and bike trips. Suman, who has ten years of expertise in the travel sector, saw that many people, like him, wanted to be able to access such sustainable experiences without having to go through different platforms and websites, so he began organising them. Suman is a Wilderness First Act certified guide, a Leave No Trace educator, and a graduate of the acclaimed NOLS Institute. He is passionate about India’s environmental and social aspects, and he leverages his passion for ecology, history, and many cultures to create immersive travel experiences for all.
Suman, who is based in Goa, created Knowhere Travel Co in 2019 with the goal of creating immersive experiences that focus on ecology, heritage, and local culture.
Intimate and thoughtful retreats are celebrated and promoted by this social travel firm. It’s also likely the first and only site dedicated to curating honest, real, and responsible trips to rare, hidden jewels. Knowhere Travel Co also ensures that its partners are environmentally friendly, from those who practice simple farming or farm-to-table food to those who protect wildlife or cultural heritage. Knowhere Travel Co. presently has 70 homestay partners in areas such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
Founder of Eco Far and the Chairman of Leisenzo Tea Society, Lalthamuani
Lalthamuani is the founder of Eco Far, which sells a unique tea from Leisenzo hamlet and is empowering over 300 farmers by helping them survive the pandemic. Eco Far’s core product is a handcrafted ‘jungle red tea’ that is quickly selling in the market, and the company operates on a B2C model through stores outside of the village. The company now hopes to launch white and green teas in the near future. This firm also sells directly through different social media platforms and provides the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, as well as businesses in Assam, Dimapur, and Kolkata.
Lalthamuani was inspired to start her own business by her mother, who used to sell vegetables door to door. So, when her family couldn’t afford to pay for her high school education in Sikkim, she started selling household goods to make ends meet. In order to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration studies in 2018, she launched Eco Far, a company that marketed sustainable everyday utility products such as recycled and decorated bottles, as well as taking on some network marketing activities.
This company would be involved in the development and production of a wide range of items. She has also established the Leisenzo Tea Society, of which she is the chairman, in order to provide sustainable employment for the villagers by supplying wild tea leaves to the Eco Far tea facility. The Ministry is currently financing the Leisenzo Tea Society in order to provide training to its members.
She was a finalist in both the Start-Up India Mizoram Yatra and the Mizoram Kailawn 2019, a business plan competition organized by the Mizoram government as part of its New Economic Development Policy to encourage entrepreneurship in the state. She even won the Pandemic Innovative Challenge organized by the Government of Mizoram’s Planning and Program Implementation Department in 2020.
Monalisa Saxena, Co-Founder and COO of Merren
Monalisa Saxena is the Co-Founder and COO of Merren which is situated in Mumbai, Maharashtra and it is the first end-to-end platform for messaging-app-based surveys in the globe. On a single platform, it brings together survey producers, panel providers, customers, and the data analysis engine. Merren enables marketers to target clients in several languages by utilizing the built-in functionality of applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Merren simplifies the customer feedback collection process by allowing TGs to access surveys through the system’s existing chat tools. Their Unique Selling Proposition: They conduct surveys using popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Quick turnaround and low cost are ensured by high reach and completion rates.
Monalisa is a problem-solver in the business world. In her previous entrepreneurial roles as the creator of Pixights Consulting and Inxise Datalabs, she was dedicated to business planning and innovation. She has worked in domains such as FMCG, Telecom, BFSI, Retail, and Health, to mention a few, and for clients such as British American Tobacco, Marico, L’Oreal, Vodafone, ICICI Bank, Unilever, Novartis, Zee TV, Star TV, Castrol, Mahindra, Philips, and others.
Semiotics has influenced her work. When these ideas are applied to market research in packaging, logo, and name evaluations, as well as developing new methodologies and tools that use metaphors/signs, they allow customers who are unable to pinpoint or describe their thoughts to produce levels of knowledge.
Another area in which she is enthusiastic is the social and rural sectors. Consumer issues, concerns, and experiences, particularly in these industries, give a wealth of information. She has worked with a variety of clients since 2002, including UNICEF, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, Give India, Child Line, and others, all of whom are focused on finding solutions for a brighter future for women and children.
Passionate Entrepreneur and the ounder of Gotara, D. Sangeeta
D. Sangeeta is a talented creator and the founder and CEO of Gotara, a worldwide career progression platform for women in STEM+, is a former vice president of relationships at Amazon. Its goal is to narrow the gender gap by assisting STEM+ women in remaining in and thriving in their careers.
Sangeeta is passionate about it since she was on the verge of being one of the 40% of STEM women who leave their jobs within the first five years. She has held a variety of top positions at Nielsen since joining in 2008, including Client Service Executive for Global Business Services, North America Buy, and Chief Business Process Improvement Officer. She acquired 26 patents for her research over her 14 years with GE, some of which are still used across the company. Sangeeta holds a master’s degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, as well as a doctorate in materials chemistry from the University of Illinois.
Sangeeta worked at Battelle, General Electric Corporate R&D, and GE Aviation after earning her Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was promoted to Chief Diversity Officer and Global Head of Data Science at Nielsen. Prior to founding Gotara, she worked at Amazon as the vice president of Connections.
GOTARA’s purpose is to provide career support and advice to women in STEM fields, whether they are looking for their first job or want to develop in their careers. Their mission is to close the gender gap at every level, and our vision is to make this service available to women working in STEM fields as individuals or as leaders in corporate, academic, or government contexts, as well as those pursuing entrepreneurial initiatives, all over the world.
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