About AeSha!

AeSha is a grassroots lab for entrepreneurship models for women in low-income settlements. Our research and development practices are aimed at community building, policy and grassroots governance. 


We experiment with different models of friendships, support and feminist solidarity for our work in Delhi, India. Our research and policy work focuses on the lived realities of women to further community development and civic participation.

Our team

Syeda asia


Syeda Asia is a researcher and a development practitioner in the area of sociology of work, employment and entrepreneurship. She has initiated diverse grassroots projects in rural education, skill development and livelihoods in collaboration with policy think tanks, researchers and non-governmental organisations working at scale in India. Syeda has worked on curriculum and programme design for state transformations with organisations such as Rishi Valley Institute of Educational Resources – Krishnamurti Foundation India and Udhyam Learning Foundation.

As a research scholar at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, her work provides insights on strategies and practices of public-private partnerships. Syeda’s work with AeSha is focused on grassroots action and community development through women’s entrepreneurship. Her research work and advocacy efforts have received recognition on various international platforms in Germany, France and the United States. She was given the Emerging Scholars Award 2019 for her research on strategic thinking in large scale consortia.

Through AeSha, Asia is committed towards a lifelong project of sustainably strengthening women’s workforce participation in India.

shivangi gupta


Shivangi Gupta is an interdisciplinary social scientist and psychotherapist, who positions herself at the intersection of Psychotherapy, Family Science and Women and Gender Studies. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Human Development and Family Science and a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies from Virginia Tech, United States. Shivangi got her master’s in clinical psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. As a qualitative researcher, Shivangi wishes to leverage the power of storytelling in the service of social justice. Previously, Shivangi has led research projects in the field of counselling, child rights, gender and sexuality and relationships within family.


Shivangi has undertaken curriculum development for institutions like Rishi Valley Institute of Educational Resources (RIVER). Shivangi has engaged in dissemination practices through workshops on issues of sociopolitical significance through the lens of intersectional feminism. As a practising psychotherapist, she has engaged in the documentation of emerging issues in counselling practices, paving the way for a field-driven improvement in Counselling and Education.


Through her work at AeSha, Shivangi hopes to build interventions that foreground the community and account for their complex psychosocial lived realities.

Vanshika Singh


Vanshika Singh is currently studying Geography at the National University of Singapore. Her doctoral project combines tools from social and cultural geography with cognitive map making to better understand how children and young people navigate water-borne risks in Southern cities. She cultivated her practice of research and engagement at Hyderabad Urban Lab and learned to develop diverse responses to complex challenges of urban co-existence. As part of the multidisciplinary Tacit Knowledge Urban Research Network (TURN), she studied in-depth the knowledge of last-mile actors coming under the Essential Services Act, and how they work to ensure the vital provisioning of water and sanitation in low-income neighbourhoods.

Vanshika believes friendships, as challenging as they are, add a few grams of dignity to an otherwise tenuous world, making it slightly more bearable and connected. She finds in AeSha’s grassroots methodology, the missing puzzle to make our cities just and equal through agency, entrepreneurship and knowledge production.

Interested in developing collaborative pathways, Vanshika intends to leverage AeSha’s grassroots insights to cultivate meaningful public engagement and facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices with organisations and communities.

Lakshay Talwar


Lakshay Talwar is a policy researcher and a development practitioner interested in community-based governance and urban development. His research interests are in the area of urban ecology and gender studies. His most recent work with the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), Delhi, gives insights on strategic waste management practices focusing on perspectives of women waste workers. Previously, he has worked on many community-centered grassroots projects with non-governmental organizations, policy practitioners and government bureaucrats for developmental interventions in urban slums and villages.

Lakshay takes a deep interest in developing socially sensitive response strategies to disasters, emergencies and relief work. He has undertaken social audits and policy mapping of grassroots projects in urban informal settlements. His recent research has been recognised by the European Group of Organisational Studies (EGOS) for their 38th International Colloquium under the theme of Smart & Livable Cities and SDGs in Urban Governance.

Through AeSha, Lakshay hopes to work towards community-centered models of governance and sustainable development.


Aashna Gutgutia


Aashna Gutgutia is a data analyst with a keen interest in data storytelling. Currently, she is working as an Analyst at Gartner where she drives client retention and engagement. She has done her Bachelors in Mathematics from Delhi University after which she pursued a Post Graduate Course in Data Science and Engineering from Great Lakes University. Aashna has been a Young India Fellow from Ashoka University. She has worked with the Centre for Policy Research on Delhi Government’s Education Initiatives as a Research Analyst. She has been responsible for the analysis of the impact of Teacher Training programs introduced in government schools across the city.

Her work with AeSha is driven with the vision to broaden the understanding of data implications in the field of gender studies and development practice. She hopes to work towards building sustainable women-led entrepreneurial ventures.

Radhika Sharma

Growth Strategist - Livelihood Projects

Radhika Sharma is a knowledge analyst aiming toward unique forms of data storytelling in the social sector. Currently, she is working with McKinsey and Company on process transformation and impact creation for global businesses. At AeSha, Radhika co-designs micro-innovations with women entrepreneurs to build sustainable livelihoods. Previously, she has worked as a data analyst with Essence Global, employing national-level data to evaluate media investments and optimize flagship Google media campaigns. Beyond her academic and professional life, Radhika has also been an active part of the poetry circuit, representing the Airplane Poetry Movement as an Ambassador for promoting storytelling and poetry in India.


With AeSha, Radhika aims to contribute to the entrepreneurial scalability of the grassroots businesses built by women. In the long-term, she hopes to establish platforms that bring to the fore personal accounts of collective action by women through data storytelling by communities.