The Team

Grassroots Stories are made possible through the inspiration, expertise and generosity of so many people. Meet our team.

Dheeraj Akolkar

After graduating with a Gold Medal in Architecture from Pune University, India, Dheeraj worked extensively in the Indian film industry on various films such as Lagaan (Academy Award Nominee 2001), Devdas (Cannes Showcase 2002, BAFTA nominated 2003), Charas – A Joint Effort, Sala Bandar (official selection Rotterdam 2004, nominated Best Short Film Edinburgh 2004) and Black (Time magazine’s fifth best film of the year 2006). As a writer, director, cinematographer and producer, his own work includes the short films Jyotirgamaya – Lead Me To The Light (IDPA Awards for Excellence 2005: Best Script and Best Editing), Whatever! (ICE 2006 2nd Best Film of the Festival), Sold my Soul (Official Selection Clermont Ferrand 2007) and Asylum (Official Selection Rotterdam 2010). He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2007 with an MA in Feature Film and currently works between the UK, India and Sweden on a slate of five films under his London based company – Vardo Films.

Heather ReaganHeather Reagan

Heather Reagan is passionate about helping people to realise their potential and express themselves authentically – whether individuals or organisations. She’s curious about people – the way they live, what they believe, how societal rules develop and affect individual lives and how people communicate their experiences and beliefs. Her education has focused on all of these areas with a BA in Gender Studies and Communication Theory and an MA in Communication, Culture and Society. Professionally, Heather has seven years experience in marketing, in the private and voluntary sectors, and specialises in project management, online platforms, information architecture, SEO, social media, event management and training. She loves digging in to new projects and creating a tailored mix of processes, strategies and ideas unique to each one. She also loves anything outdoors, the state of Nevada (her original home), exploring new places, baking cakes and finding silly ways to entertain people like folding origami frogs out of money.

Tushar Ghogale

Tushar has worked in the field of Visual Media Editing for the last 6 years. He has extensive experience in television working with Star T.V. (India) and on several documentaries and short films as a freelance editor.
Some of his short films include Whatever! (ICE 2006 – 2nd Best film of the festival), 48 Minutes (48 Hours film project 2009 – Best Editing) and Don’t Rubbish It! (Official Selection Vatavaran film festival 2009). Tushar is currently working on an independent fiction feature in India.

Ankit Chhajer

Ankit represents a global diverse professional background with a breath of leadership experience in non governmental organisations, managing small medium enterprises, businesses and various other commercial strategy roles in financial services industry. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from Rajasthan University in 2006 where he was actively involved with a global youth leadership development organisation AIESEC, working in roles linked with student marketing, talent development, leadership, fundraising & global event management. During this period he also served as the President for the Local Chapter in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In 2007 he was appointed as the Vice President with the national team of AIESEC UK focusing on leadership development, project management, marketing of youth exchange projects across all the major UK universities. In 2008 he joined Royal Bank of Scotland as a Commercial Product Strategy Manager for UK Retail and has been involved in many fund raising projects & charitable causes supported by the company.

Sophie Emily G Preisig

With the education background in 5 different countries, Sophie started her studies in Switzerland,  St. Gallen, in Business, Economics and Law, focusing on transparency and organisational communication. After her graduation she was involved in the external relations & corporate relations with AIESEC. Sophie then started her professional career as an intern with an ethical trade consultancy IMPACTT Ltd. deepening her knowledge of social issues and how trade and awareness works at the grass root. Her career has moved towards working with brands and suppliers on increasing ethical transparency throughout the major supply chains.