• |
  • A-
  • |
  • A
  • |
  • A+
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Aritra – Leadership Accelerator Programme Category Name

Venue : IIM Bangalore or Live online
Last date for registration: 15 Jun, 2021
Start Date : 05 Jul, 2021
End Date : 17 Dec, 2021
Fee(including GST) :   Rs. 1,20,000

Program Overview

Aritra has just gone Virtual! Welcome to the Leadership Accelerator Program!

Aritra in it’s new avatar is a 6 month leadership journey that mid to senior leaders in the Social Sector traverse while they continue to work in full time jobs.  The Program aims to accelerate these leaders' movement into senior leadership roles.  Aritra equips its Fellows with key organization building skills and perspectives that will help them drive impactful policies, build strong organizations and create a resilient, collaborative network of influence.

This programme is run in partnership with Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), Dr. Reddy’s Foundation and Phicus.

Program Objectives

  • Aritra aims to help individual leaders identify their leadership strengths and opportunities and prepare themselves for the future, to take on positions of higher responsibility
  • Aritra aims to provide knowledge and perspectives in the realms of Individual, organization and cause Leadership, in order to heighten / deepen social impact.
  • Aritra aims to help individual leaders make the shift from thinking ‘programs’, to thinking ‘Organization’ , ‘People’ and ‘Ecosystem’




Program design

The program design is influenced and guided by the role played by Senior Leaders in the sector, the skills required to be effective and deliverables they are responsible for and the also the external landscape that impacts leaders and organizations.  Aritra is an accelerator program and therefore pegged at the next level of growth and role for the participants.

Aritra aims to build skills, knowledge and perspectives in 3 realms of leadership:


Eligibility Criteria

We seek individuals who are organization builders, critical thinkers and are working in the social sector to create sustainable social impact. More specifically, we are looking for people who:

  • Are passionate about social change
  • Have a minimum of 12 years of total work experience
  • Have worked in social sector for 7 years or more
  • Have a sound grass-root experience and are aware of the challenges of the social impact space
  • Are currently employed in the Social Sector (not-for-profits and social enterprises) and are in this sector for the long haul


  • You are serious about your own development as an individual and as a leader
  • You believe the time is right in your career, to focus on gaining new perspectives in leadership and organization building
  • You are at the cusp of an operational and strategic role in your organization and you are serious about contributing far beyond your current role – to the organization and the sector at large
  • You are a curious learner! Aritra provides you with several keys, but may not necessarily tell you the right lock and key combination. Does this style suit you and the way you learn? If you are an explorer, come join us!
  • You want to be a part of this program, not for the brands associated with it and merely for the certificate, instead you want to expand your horizons!

Program Directors 

Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan

Professor- Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
Chairperson, Digital Learning
Past President of Indian Academy of Management 
Profile: https://www.iimb.ac.in/user/145/vasanthi-srinivasan
Professor Ganesh N Prabhu
Professor- Strategy,Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
Profile: https://www.iimb.ac.in/user/121/ganesh-n-prabhu

Professor Sourav Mukherji

Professor- Organizational Behaviour & Human Resources Management
IIMB chair of Excellence
Profile: https://www.iimb.ac.in/user/106/sourav-mukherji


Dr. Vandana Nadig Nair, Phicus Social Solutions
CEO - ElderAid Wellness & Founder Director - Phicus
Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vandana-nadig-nair-5313997/

Indicative Program Curriculum

These topics are indicative and can undergo small changes during the course of the program, depending upon the learning cohort that comes together for the program. Some of these topics will be provided as academic inputs through the classroom sessions and others will get covered through the peer exchanges, learning circles with practitioners and through self-study content


Personal Leadership

Organization Leadership

Cause Leadership


  • Future ready competencies
  • Making Sense of Organizations
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Inclusive Business Models
  • Organization Culture
  • Essentials of People Management
  • Systems thinking
  • Models to Scale
  • Design Thinking



  • Learning Ability and Agility
  • Executive presence and personal brand
  • Communication and Influencing
  • Managerial Skills of Delegation, Coaching and Feedback
  • Decision making




  • Leading Responsibly with Joy
  • Personal wellness



  • Listening, joining the dots, making sense
  • Managing personal and organizational change


  • Changing Landscapes
  • Fundamentals of Macro-economics
  • Collaboration as a route to growth and impact

Program Dates (Tentative)

The program is tentatively scheduled to launch on July 5th, 2021, with a virtual orientation.

Indicatively, 2 days per month will be blocked in the 3rd week of every month, starting from Jul until Nov 2021. A few additional slots will also be blocked for the organization challenge project review (2 to 3 session, 2 hour slots each session, over the 6 month program duration).

Dec 15th-17th 2021 is tentatively fixed for the 3-day residential module at IIMB.

Program Structure & Methodology

The program uses a multi-pronged approach to learning, through the use of a combination of classroom sessions, peer exchanges, learning with practitioners, experiential learning and self-study.

Over a period of 6 months, selected participants will spend 2 days per month, virtually, as a learning cohort. Offline individual learning, assignments/projects and self-study will take up an additional 1 day a month.

Key components of the program


Frequency and Duration

Brief Description

Academic Inputs – classroom sessions

2 modules per month

3 hours each module

Facilitated virtually by IIMB professors.

These modules will have pre-work in the form of case studies and other information relevant for the module, that the participants will need to come prepared with for, prior to the module

Peer Learning

1 session every month, for 4 or 5 months

1.5-2 hours each

In small groups of 10 participants


Facilitated virtually by Sahayogis (a learning partner/companion), with each session covering a specific topic.

Learning Circles with Practitioners

1 session every month, for 4 or 5 months

2 hours each

These sessions are thematic and will be facilitated by different sector practitioners, moderated by a Sahayogi

Organization Challenge Project

1 strategic organization challenge taken up for the 6 months duration of the program

Each participant is expected to identify an organizational / program level challenge, in consultation with senior leadership of their organization.

Over 3 review cycles in the 6-month program cycle, participants will receive feedback on their approach to solve the problem and get expert advice on how to identify possible solutions.

360 Degree Stakeholder Feedback

Administered once at the start of the journey

Participants will evaluate themselves and seek feedback from their stakeholders (8 to 12 – manager, team, peers, partners etc.), through an online survey tool.

A detailed report will be generated for each participant.

A cohort level debrief and a development planning orientation will be conducted, to help interpret the report and craft an action plan.

On campus Program Finale

3 days at IIMB campus (provided government directives allow for travel ; on-campus entry will be subject to the prevailing guidelines, social- distancing norms etc.)

These 3 days will help bring the entire program together and to consolidate the learning for each participant.

The program draws to a closure, with a valedictory ceremony and handing over of the certificate.


Note: In the event that pandemic related travel restrictions are imposed, the decision to either defer the 3 days on campus or to conduct the 3 days virtually, will be taken closer to this event. Sufficient time will be provided to all participants to make necessary arrangements

Individual Coaching


If participants desire individual coaching, they can avail this service, at an additional fee, over and above the program fees. Please write to aritra@phicus.org for more details, with the subject line mentioning ‘Individual Coaching’


Program Charges

INR 1,20,000/- (One Lakh Twenty Thousand), including GST @ 18%

The fees is towards program costs incurred by both partners who are bringing this program to you – Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and Phicus

Upon selection, you will be required to remit the program fees in full, prior to the start of the program. You will be provided with the bank details at the time of selection.





How to apply


Note: The application process is free

If shortlisted, you will hear from us in 7 working days from the time the application process is closed. The application submission deadline may be extended depending upon the demand for the program and you will be duly informed.


Batch 1- Testimonials

Dhirendra Pratap Singh

Dhirendra Pratap Singh is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Milaan, a non-profit organization with the vision of a world where all children, especially first generation learners, access value-based education to become change leaders of an inclusive and more equal world. Over the last 9 years, Milaan has worked with over 16,000 beneficiaries and advocated for safer and more inclusive spaces for them at various state and national forums. Under his leadership, Milaan launched the Girl Icon Fellowship to Inspire, Nurture and Amplify the Voices of girl leaders as empowered agents of change in their communities and the world. He is an advocate for the equal rights of girls at both national and globally.

On Aritra:

I was introduced to Aritra at a very interesting junction of my career where I was struggling to build the backbone in form of system and processes within Milaan, to be able to take Milaan to the next stage of scale and financial sustainability. I was looking for a learning experience to build my leadership and organizational development skills to be able to lead as a professional CEO. 

Aritra created a safe and reflective space for me to deeply analyze my leadership style and skills. Through the classroom sessions, expert sessions, long informal discussions with the peer group and the MOOCs, it helped me to widen my worldview on what makes or breaks organizations as they walk on the path to scale. Aritra gave me the opportunity to introspect and sharply articulate my vision for Milaan, from the experience of my peers and experts.

The program provided me with a learning experience which was a blend of academic learning, learning from the experts in the sector and peer learning. This experience created a reflective journey for me to understand - what are we doing wrong, what are the areas where we as an organization need to invest if we wish to scale, what can we learn from other organizations who are doing similar work or are at a similar stage of growth and most importantly, the need to be problem as well as solution focused. 

Being a first generational entrepreneur, I really appreciated the ‘Sahayogi’ and the ‘Mentorship’ component of the program. I was fortunate to have two of the most talented and emphatic women in the development sector to play the respective role of a coach and mentor in my Aritra Journey. They stood by me in my good, bad and ugly days, helping me to build my belief in myself to be stronger than the situations in front of me. They helped me to think through my Individual Development Plan, a critical tool the program co-designed with the participant to track progress; helped me to reflect on my actions; worked with me to give my thought processes an implementable structure and never lost hope in me even when I felt I am started to limp a little. I .would never have enough words to express my gratitude to both Shilpa Diwakar and Safeena Husain.


Mugdha Lele

Mugdha is the Manager- Social innovations at Pune based Venture Centre. Venture Centre is an incubator for social innovations. Mugdha holds a PhD and an MSc in Health Sciences.

On Aritra:

I had applied for Aritra to get a structured exposure to business and management related training. The Aritra program was tailored for the social sector which was the USP of this program for me. Along with the training modules at IIMB, the program was also providing us with mentoring support and connects in the social sector which made a lot of difference for me.

My organizational challenge, i.e. the strategic hands-on project taken for the program was to develop the 10 year road map for Social Innovation for Venture Center. The skeleton which got developed during the program, will help me to further firm up the road map. Also, the Individual Development Program (IDP) was something unique and which helped me to address some of the challenges that I was facing in my day-to day functioning in my role as Manager. For example: 

  • Driving results through People 
  • Engaging and collaborating 

Worked on building these competencies with the help of my Sahayogi via the IDP in Aritra, which actually helped me to improve on my deliverables at Venture Center. 

I have now picked up:  Envisions strategically and systematically, as the competency for my IDP in this year and hope to achieve excellent results again.

During the IDP, my coach helped me to dissect my leadership style and provided mentoring on how to tune my style so as to drive results through people. Also the reading material provided and the MOOCs that we went through supported to improve my leadership skills. Thanks to the Aritra Program, I am now mentoring 8 Social Innovators at a time, which would have turned out to be a very difficult task. 

Program Components which I liked the most:

  • Sahayogi support
  • IIMB modules, where we were exposed to the best in the sector, specifically the sessions with Prof Vasanthi and Prof Sourabh were an intellectual feast, 
  • Peer interactions during the contact sessions and otherwise, where I was also able to draw upon the expertise of some of my course mates and benefit the entrepreneurs in my ecosystem. 
  • MOOCs and other free resources selected and compiled for the program, which were very carefully and thoughtfully chosen by the Aritra team. In fact, I had shared some of the free resources with my colleagues at Venture Center, who have also benefited from the same.
  • Mentoring support of the one-on-one mentors and also I benefited by talking and interacting with other mentors like Dr. Sudhakar Varanasi.


Video Testimonial

by Jennifer Liang- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsNGyKsJPUo&t=37s


1.What is the Aritra program?

The Aritra program is a leadership accelerator program. It is a 6-month leadership journey that mid to senior leaders in the Social Sector traverse while they continue to work in full time jobs.  The Program aims to accelerate these leaders' movement into senior leadership roles.  Aritra equips its Fellows with key organization building skills and perspectives that will help them drive impactful policies, build strong organizations and create a resilient, collaborative network of influence.

2. What is the rigour of the program?

The program is aimed at providing skills, knowledge and perspectives to expand your horizons of thinking as a leader.

This is what you should know about your time commitment to the program:

2 days per month, for 5 months – virtual sessions, across classroom learning, peer learning, learning with practitioners and in reviewing your progress on the organization challenge project.

You will also spend 1 day in offline individual learning, assignments/projects and self-study.

In month 6, you will spend 3 days at the IIMB campus in Bangalore provided pandemic related travel rules permit.

Through this accelerated journey of 6 months, you will be required to balance your time at work and for the program. Be prepared for the hurdles that this might throw up for you at work and plan well in advance. Leadership learning journeys are never just about yourself. It requires loads of support and sponsorships from your key stakeholders- your team, your manager, your partners etc. Create an enabling environment by taking everybody along. If you are prepared to do what it takes, to reap the program to its fullest, apply now!

3. Who should apply for the Aritra program?

 Refer to the Eligibility section of the Program to know the criteria in detail.

One thing to remember – if you are looking for ready-made answers, solutions on a platter, formulae to manage situations, Aritra DOES NOT provide those. Instead, if you are someone who is willing to explore, expand your horizons, soak in different perspectives and then take it all back to see what you wish to do with all this new information, come join us! Apply now!

Also, please remember that you should be employed with an organization that is working in the development sector (and this includes both not-for-profits and social enterprises) and that the organization is willing to help you meet your time and learning commitments of the program.

4. What are the qualifications to apply to Aritra?

We are not focussed about your academic qualifications. If you are open to learning, apply now!

If you have completed your graduation, in any stream, you are eligible.

If you have the required years of experience, you are eligible (refer to the Eligibility section of the Program to know the criteria in detail)

5. How many candidates will be selected?

50 potential leaders will be a part of the Aritra cohort 2021.

6. How many days will I need to be away from work?

2 days per month, for 5 months – virtual sessions, across classroom learning, peer learning, learning with practitioners and in reviewing your progress on the organization challenge project.

You will also spend 1 day in offline individual learning, assignments/projects and self-study.

In month 6, you will spend 3 days at the IIMB campus in Bangalore, provided pandemic related travel rules permit.

7. What is the program schedule and its components?

Refer to the Program Structure and Methodology section

8. What is the selection process?

Refer to the Application and Selection process.

9. What if I leave my current organization midway through the program?

Ideally, we hope that you don’t have to face this situation. More so, if the organization has financially sponsored you for the program!

In the event that you may land up in this position, the one component that does get affected is the organization challenge project, which is mandatory, to get the certificate.

If you do anticipate this event occurring in the near future, and during the course of the present batch that you are applying for (Jul-Dec 2021 batch), don’t despair! Apply to the next batch. We’ll look forward to seeing you then!

10. At what stage should I get my manager / organization’s consent to be a part of the program?

If you have reached thus far in knowing more about the program, we assume you have not yet completed the application form. We would encourage you to talk to your organization and manager before you apply, since it is going to take you away from your work, for a minimum of 3 days per month, for 6 months. You may not be able to pull this off on your own, if you don’t take their consent now, before applying! You might just get lucky if your organization is willing to financially sponsor you for the program! So hurry along, make that phone call to your manager or your organization leader! And don’t forget to come back here and apply!

11. What certificate do I get at the end of the program?

You will receive an IIMB certificate at the end of the program if you have attended all components of the program. Essentially 100% attendance on all components guarantees you the certificate!

12. What if I complete all the IIMB classroom modules but don’t complete the other components?

We would be extremely sad and would think, “what a golden opportunity to have missed…”. We would also think, “ah, you applied only because you wanted the IIMB certificate!”

On a more serious note, do be sensitive to the financial resources that you or somebody on your behalf is investing in the program. We would love for you to experience the program in its entirety!

By the way, you will not be eligible for the certificate if you just attend the IIMB classes!

13. Will I get a stipend as a part of Aritra?


14. What is the course fees and payment process?

INR 1,20,000/- (One Lakh Twenty Thousand), including GST @ 18%

This amount includes the costs of both partners who are bringing this program to you – Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) and Phicus

Upon selection, you will be required to remit the program fees in full, prior to the start of the program. You will be provided with the bank details at the time of selection.

You will have to take care of your travel expenses for the 3-day residential module at IIMB in Month 6 of the program, provided pandemic related travel rules permit.

Individual coaching (one-on-one learning support) is an optional element and will be charged over and above the course fees mentioned above. Please write to aritra@phicus.org  for more details.

15. Do you offer scholarships for this program?

There are no scholarships on offer for this program. It is a ‘100% pay before the start of the program’ model. Having said this, we would encourage you to seek your organization’s or funder’s sponsorship to fund your seat on the program. You could also work out a 50-50 split of the seat cost between yourself and your organization.

16. What happens if I get posted abroad, mid-way through the program?

We would be very happy for you and the exposure that you will get through the international stint!

However, if this move happens mid-way, you may loose out on your attendance and completion mandate and may not be eligible for the certificate.

17. I am not an Indian citizen. Can I apply?

No. The current eligibility mandates an Indian citizenship, to apply.

18. Is there an age limit to apply to this program?

Learning has no age limit! And honestly, we don’t care!

The program is for individuals who are at the cusp of an operational and strategic role and are looking to equip themselves. If this is true for you, then Aritra is the right place for you.

If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, we look forward to receiving your application!

19. I am having trouble submitting my application form. Who should I contact?

Please write to aritra@phicus.org for any support regarding the application form.

20. If I am not selected, can I re-apply for the program?

Post the application shortlisting and interview round, if you have not been selected, it means that your candidature was not suitable. In this scenario, you may not be able to apply again. However, in our final communication to you, if we believe that with a few more additions to your profile (garner more experience or gain exposure to ‘x’ area), you do become eligible, we’ll let you know and you could reapply.

In case you did not make it because the batch numbers were met, we will keep you informed and you will be given preference over other candidates when the subsequent batch opens up.