Genesis of
DEIA Catalyst Program

Program Inception

Committed to an inclusive and vibrant
MSME ecosystem

MSMEs, vital to India’s economy, contribute nearly 30% to the GDP and employ over
110 million people, second only to agriculture.

Despite their significance, these enterprises often overlook Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Accessibility (DEIA) initiatives due to familial ownership and slim profit margins. Larger corporations recognize the benefits of diversity, but MSMEs face operational constraints hindering their adoption.

Aligned with President Biden’s call for global LGBTQI+ rights and disability inclusion, the U.S. Mission in India is working to shift attitudes, reduce stigma, and dispel stereotypes based on identity, race, caste, gender, religion, ethnicity, background, or ability.. The U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai has conceived the DEIA Catalyst Program for MSME. Venture Center, renowned for fostering innovation, is the implementation partner, while PeopleWiz Consulting LLP brings HR expertise focused on the MSME sector.

Collectively, these partners form a formidable team, driven by a common goal: to catalyse a paradigm shift in the MSME landscape, where diversity is not just embraced but celebrated. Their collaboration signifies a commitment to creating a more inclusive and vibrant ecosystem, where every voice is heard, and every talent is valued.


Empowering India’s MSMEs to thrive through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility, driving sustainable growth and innovation.

Diversity is the art of thinking independently, together

– Malcolm Forbes


United in vision, strength and purpose

Dr Manisha Premnath

Program Advisor

Technology Transfer, Innovation


Steps Toward


Dr. V Premnath

Program Advisor

Technology, Innovation, Scaling up

Neha Jacob

Program Implementation lead

Startup ecosystem development, Scaling up

Protima Sharma

Program Design Lead

Organizational Design, HR for MSME, HR mentoring

Ruchira Gokhale

DEIA Expert

DEIA Strategies, Sensitization workshops, POSH, Unconscious Bias


on the

Forward Path

Shyne D Kochuveed

MSME Process Transformation Specialist

MSME, Process Transformation, Business Transformation

Rohit Joshi

Program M&E Lead

MSME, Operations, Organizational development


One Frame,
One Team, One

Work Culture

Priyanka Angappan

Program Spokesperson

MSME, Marketing, Operations

Claudette Samson

MSME HR specialist

MSME, HR Management










Meet Our Partners: Empowering Success, Together

The U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai


Implementation Partner

The U.S. Mission in India endeavors to shift attitudes, reduce stigma, and dispel stereotypes based on identity, race, caste, gender, religion, ethnicity, background, or ability. The DEIA Catalyst Program aligns
perfectly with its mission to promote democratic values and human rights, both locally and globally. By supporting initiatives like this, the U.S. Mission aims to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in India’s business landscape.

Entrepreneurship Development
Center (EDC)

Implementation Partner

Program Manager

Venture Centre supports the DEIA Catalyst Program because it is deeply committed to fostering innovation within the MSME ecosystem. The organization firmly believes that diversity is not only essential but also
catalytic for innovation to flourish. Embracing diversity in all its forms creates an environment where different perspectives and experiences converge to drive groundbreaking solutions. Venture Centre’s dedication to promoting diversity as a catalyst for innovation underscores its commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and fueling transformative change. Through initiatives like the DEIA Catalyst Program, Venture Centre aims to champion inclusivity and propel the MSME sector towards greater heights of success and impact.

PeopleWiz Consulting LLP

Knowledge Partner

Program Knowledge Partner

PeopleWiz is an integral part of the program due to their unwavering commitment to the transformation of MSMEs, recognizing them as the backbone of the country. Leveraging their expertise in organization design and
HR, PeopleWiz plays a pivotal role in the cultural transformation of cohort members. Their dedication to empowering MSMEs aligns seamlessly with the program’s objectives, ensuring that businesses are equipped with the necessary tools to thrive in a dynamic landscape. By nurturing a culture of innovation and inclusivity, PeopleWiz contributes significantly to the sustainable growth and success of MSMEs within the program and beyond.