WGF’s Livelihood Council’s mission is to enhance rural economy through co-creating and advancing rural enterprises, using technology innovations and scientific processes, sharing best practices and developing techniques to foster trade and employment for rural populations.

Improving the Lives in Rural India by Technology-enabled Solutions

Vision & Mission

Council Framework

  • S&T Innovations for Rural Applications
  • Training and Skill Development
  • Co-Creating successful Rural Enterprises
  • Scaling to other parts of the country, and thereafter globally


Ambassador Pradeep Kapur

Currently Visiting Clinical Professor, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Security Issues at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland College Park (UMD), and Faculty Mentor for the student body, DESI (Develop, Empower, Synergize India). Teaching graduate courses on “Development Diplomacy and Leadership”; mentoring and guiding students; teaching in Executive Development Programs, and coordinating global leadership programs for senior government officials, business executives, and diplomats from many countries. Made significant contributions to outreach activities and international branding of UMD in India, and with leaders, officials, diplomats, business representatives, and students from Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and other countries of Latin America and Africa.

Chairman of the 2018 WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) 1st Annual Summit Conference on “Leveraging Technology for Enhancing Social Impact” at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the USA in November 2018. Chair of Advisory Board on the follow-up conference on “Smart Villages” at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar in April 2019. WGF is a philanthropic endeavor launched by alumni of the IITs in the USA to leverage technology to scale philanthropy and serve persons at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’. WHEELS strives to offer technology-enabled solutions to six major challenges faced by people all over the world: Water, Healthcare, Electricity, Education, Livelihood, and Sustainability.

Chairman, Advisory Council, DiplomacyIndia.com; President, International Conference on “Connecting World Heritage Sites and Civilizations”; and Adjunct Professor at the Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, India.

An alumnus of IIT, Delhi, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Master’s in Management and Systems. Author of many articles and books. Proficient in English, Hindi, French, Spanish, Punjabi, and Marathi.

Dr. SmitaSiddhanti

Dr. SmitaSiddhanti is the founder and President of EnDyna Inc. specializing in management and environmental consulting for various federal agencies in Washington DC. She was the past president of the DC Chapter of TiE – “The Indus Entrepreneurs”, and currently serves on the Global Board of Trustees for TiE.  She has served on the Virginia Governor’s Air Quality Board and on the Board of the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Siddhanti is a recipient of several awards including the 2014 Future 50 award of Smart CEO, and the White House Green Government award in 2016.

Smita is committed to enhancing entrepreneurship as the basic engine for economic development and has been actively involved in this pursuit with global organizations such as the Ashoka Foundation for changemakers, American India Foundation, Indiapora, and TiE chapters around the world. She is on the board of MaganSangrahalaya Samiti (MSS), an Indian NGO in Wardha, Maharashtra, working for rural enterprise development in villages.


At TiE Global, Smita is leading the TiE Women Initiative to assist and mentor women entrepreneurs across the globe. In addition, she has built a strong relationship with TiE and the Indian Embassy to start various technology incubation and entrepreneurial initiatives. Smita is also leading the TiE Global Special Interest Group of social entrepreneurship and social impact investing. With her extensive experience and engagement, Dr. Siddhanti is contributing to WHEELS Global Foundation’s two major missions – Livelihood and Sustainability – facilitating the development of sustainable enterprises to enhance the rural economy. A well-known speaker in numerous national and international conferences and forums, she recently was a panelist at the US-India Leaders’ Summit at the National Press Club in DC, and at the Philanthropy Summit at the George Town University. In addition to several publications, Dr. Siddhanti is an author of the book Multiple Perspectives on Risk and Regulation: The Case of Deliberate Release of Genetically Engineered Organisms into the Environment, published in 1991.  She holds a B.S. and M.S.in Biology from Delhi University, an M.S. in Technology Policy from Rensselaer Polytechnic (RPI), and a Ph.D. in Technology and Public Policy from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. SmitaSiddhanti

Ramnath S. Mani

A Serial entrepreneur and one of the pioneers in India in the field of Industrial Automation including Power Electronics, Variable Speed Drives, PLC, Distributed Controls, Scada, Information Systems, and MES, has been instrumental in introducing Automation in the industry in India since the early 1970s. Played a pioneering role in bringing to India international Automation companies like CGEE Alsthom of France, Allen Bradley of USA (now Rockwell Automation), Stromberg of Finland (now part of ABB), Exide Electronics of USA, and Control Techniques Emerson Industrial Automation of UK and USA., Inductive Automation of USA … Having a deep domain knowledge on the application of Automation in the manufacturing sector like Paper, Steel, Cement, Sugar, Textiles, Rubber & Plastics, Automobile, Material Handling, etc, Has considerable experience in implementing the transition of Industrial Automation from Analog to Digital Technology.

Experience in the IT industry for a couple of years has extended my knowledge from Manufacturing to Business Enterprise and use of Cloud, Mobility, Analytics, and Social platforms leading to a comprehensive integration of “Shop Floor to Top Floor”. Now involved with the next revolution in the Manufacturing Industry with the Digitization of Plant Floor operation, integrating the Operations Technology (OT) to Information Technology (IT) in Manufacturing and implementing Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and Industry 4.0 Technologies.
Engaged passionately with a Portal on Industrial Automation which brings all the stakeholders of automation including the end-user industry to a common platform.

Ramnath received his B.Tech. in Electronics & Electrical Communication at IIT-Kharagpur in 1969.

Digvijay Choudhari

Digvijay graduated in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay, India, and then completed his M.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, USA. Later, he worked with Cadence Design Systems, a leading EDA company, in Austin and Bay Area. Deeply inspired by the humanitarian work of Sri Sri Ravishankar he moved from Silicon Valley to the global headquarters of the Art of Living Foundation in Bengaluru, India.

He has been a full-time volunteer with the Foundation for the last 16 years driving large projects including infrastructure and development. As the Chief Administrator of the Foundation’s Headquarters in Bengaluru, he set up and streamlined the operations of the 350-acre campus by creating simple, adaptable, and scalable systems suitable to a volunteer-driven non-profit organization. Next, he established and scaled Sri Sumeru Realty Private Limited as a professionally-managed quasi-social enterprise in the area of Real Estate & Construction delivering projects totaling a 20 lac sqft area worth more than USD 60M, with an industry-leading profit margin. Currently, he is focused on building Sobus Insight Forum as a global platform that catalyzes sustainable, scalable social impact via a holistic ecosystem for social startups to establish and grow.

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