PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE
My areas of Expertise are:
- Project Management and implementing cross-functional projects
- Strategic partnerships and stakeholder management
- Intercultural and International Communication
- Political analysis and discourse analysis
- Media and Media Systems
- Charitable Foundations and NGOs
- Network building
I am a media and communications professional with more than a decade of international work experience in the University and Non-profit sector as well as in the space of International Relations. Over the past decade, I have worked in the academic as well as non-academic sector in Asia and Europe, with a special focus on India and Germany. Each of these jobs posed a unique challenge and helped me hone a set of diverse skillsets. The brief overview below will give you a rough idea about the job profile, key responsibilities and highlights during each of these engagements.
May 2022 onwards : Senior Project Manager at the Robert Bosch Academy of the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH.
Main responsibilities in this role include:
– Topical and organizational preparation, support and follow-up during the stays of the high profile
Fellows of the Robert Bosch Academy in Germany.
– Editorial and organizational responsibility for the Podcast “Think. Debate. Inspire.” of the Robert Bosch Academy.
– Responsibility for strategic development of external communications and increasing the presence of the Academy.
– Selection of and coordination with service providers regarding communication activities of the Robert Bosch Academy.
– Responsibility for the Fellows’ press work and positioning of the Academy during interactions with media.
– Maintaining partnerships with relevant stakeholders in politics and society in Berlin.
– Preparation, implementation and follow-up of the events of the Robert Bosch Academy.
– Close coordination with other teams within the foundation.
– Member of the working group on Diversity at the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
– Working closely with the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen on issues of Diversity, Inclusion and Equality.
March 2021 – April 2022 : International Communications Officer at the Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik/ German Development Institute
Main responsibilities included:
– Creating and implementing communication plans for international research projects.
– Assisting with project reporting requirements, monitoring and evaluation activities.
– Information management between project leads, the internal communication team and external partners.
– Developing and implementing a target‑group specific communication strategy for the Institute’s international press and media relations as well as the science communication activities.
– Creating and implementing measures in the field of social media community management.
– Managing press relations with international media outlets in Europe as well as in developing countries.
January 2015 – February 2020 : Program Director of “Media Ambassadors India – Germany”
As Program Director of the Indo-German Exchange Program “Media Ambassadors India – Germany”, I had the opportunity of working together with world renowned institutions like the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH , the International Media Center of the HAW Hamburg and the Center for Media Competence of the University of Tübingen . The aim of this program was to promote international understanding by enabling select mid-career and senior journalists to stay in India/Germany, live there for three months while working on their own story ideas. They also had a chance to attend customized class room sessions and work with local media outlets of international repute. This engagement has been a very rewarding experience since it allowed me to observe, understand and analyze India and Germany, the two countries I call home.
During this time, my responsibilities included :
- Conceptualization and Implementation of a qualitative international exchange program
I had a chance to conceptualize and design this international exchange program in a manner which I found to be most effective. In order to achieve the goal of the program, it was important for the participating journalists to be exposed to diverse topics that influenced the socio-political, cultural debates in India and Germany. To this effect, while consulting with my other colleagues and our cooperation partners, I regularly designed 4-6 weeks training programs for the participating journalists focussing on issues like Rise of Populism, Media Ethics, Polarisation of Media, Fake News, Hate Speech, Refugee policy, Caste- and Religion based discrimination, Digitalization, Data Journalism. These sessions were planned based on the individual profiles and research interests of each fellow.
- Intercultural and International Communication
Communications was an integral part of this job profile. I had to create an efficient communication strategy on three different levels by:
– employing social media as well as classical communication channels like Newsletters, Emails to advertise the fellowship program.
– ensuring a smooth communication between multiple cooperation partners.
– efficiently communicating complex insights and contexts to the participating journalists.
- International stakeholder management and implementing cross-functional projects
The program involved multiple stakeholders like various departments in the University and the Foundation, international partners like Asian College of Journalism, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication Studies, and last but not least, a diverse group of participating journalists. In order to ensure a smooth running of the program, I was in-charge of managing excellent working relations with all of them.
Additionally, for an effective running of the program, I also had to develop a comprehensive, sustainable network of media houses (like The Times of India, The Caravan magazine, Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Handelsblatt, Indian Express), award winning journalists and media experts (like N. Ram, P. Sainath, Josy Joseph, Tabea Grzesyk, Sabina Matthay, Dr. Christian Stöcker, Souad Mekhennet), politicians (like Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Prakash Javdekar, Olaf Scholz, Annette Widmann-Mauz, Jakob von Weizsäcker, Geoffrey van Orden), established academicians (like Dr. Vikas Pathak, Dr. Ruchi Jaggi, Prof. Dr. Steffen Burkhardt, Prof. Dr. Susanne Marschall, Dr. David Stadelmann, Dr. Ingrid Stapf), Think Tanks and Foundations, the Foreign Office, some organs of the EU and members from the civil society in India and Germany.
- Knowledge and Expertise of current socio-political discourses
A part of my job also involved consistently providing insights, context analysis as well as an expert knowledge of contemporary socio-political and cultural issues, of Media and Media systems in the host country to the participating journalists.
- Project Management
In addition to the other elements of project management already mentioned, I was also responsible for managing a yearly budget of 350,000€ as well as creating a financial report at the end of each year.
- Supervision and Guidance
Over a course of five years, I worked together with and supervised over 78 mid-career and senior journalists from India, Germany and Austria who were selected as fellows of this prestigious fellowship program.
- Founding of the Indo‑German Media Network e.V.
I was actively involved in the founding of the Indo-German Media Network, an association initially formed by the Alumni of the fellowship program. The Network is now open to other interested journalists and mediamakers as well.
In 2016, the former German Ambassador to India Dr. Martin Ney explicitly bestowed praise on the program “Media Ambassadors India – Germany” under my leadership for the important role it played in the Indo-German Relations.
In 2018, I was invited to the Bürgerfest hosted by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank Walter Steinmeier in recognition of my work and contribution to the civil society.
April 2012 – December 2014: Research Assistant to Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wertheimer, Projekt Wertewelten at the Chair in Comparative Literature, University of Tübingen.
I had a chance to continue my association with Projekt Wertewelten as a research assistant to Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wertheimer. I had initially come to Germany as a fellow of this project.
My key responsibilities during this time included:
- Providing expert support and guidance to incoming international fellows.
- Providing support to the Project Lead in regulating communication with the cooperation partners as well as international partner universities.
- Organisation of conferences.
- Accounting and bookkeeping.
November 2007 – August 2010: Contractual teaching staff for German as Foreign Language.
I worked as a contractual teaching staff for teaching German as a Foreign Language (DaF) for
- the level A1 at the Symbiosis Institute of Foreign Languages in Pune.
- the levels A1 and A2 at the Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe Institut) in Pune.
September 2006 – May 2007: Tour Guide for German-speaking tourists with Zahara Tours in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
- Participation in the Community Challenge on Diversity in Think Tanks being organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik between October and May 2022.
- Member of the selection jury for the category “Short Films” during the 17th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart.
- Member of the advisory group which contributed to the Filmkonzeption Baden Württemberg 2020.
- Consulted on and co-ordinated a delegation trip to various educational institutions in India for the Vice Chancellor’s Office of the University of Tübingen in 2013.
- Volunteer for Adventure and Kids Camps with Foliage Outdoors in Pune, India.
- Taught swimming to toddlers (3-5 yrs.) and young adults at Pegasus Swimming Pool, Choice Health Club, Pune Municipial Swimming Corporation Swimming Pool in Pune.