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Our Team

is made of people from diverse backgrounds brought together by a common passion for reducing fish suffering as much as possible. Read on to get to know them.


Karthik Pulugurtha

Managing Director, India

Karthik has a background in animal welfare and ethical livelihoods. He holds a masters degree in Diplomacy, Law & Business (MA DLB) from the Jindal School of International Affairs. He is a PhD scholar at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research in India, and previously managed the university’s Animal Law Centre. While there, he took up research that shed light on the unethical practices associated with industrialized egg production in India. He has also worked as a research and livelihoods consultant for sixteen Members of Parliament from the Telugu Despam Party. Karthik is deeply committed to ending animal and human suffering and believes in the efficacy of bottom up approaches to change.   


Aishwarya Nagula

Co-Director, India

Aishwarya has been actively involved in animal advocacy for several years and is extremely passionate about farm animal protection. She has conducted various workshops to educate the community on factory farming. Prior to FWI, she worked towards promoting higher welfare policies for farmed animals among institutions and corporations. She holds a law degree from Alliance School of Law, Bangalore. Aishwarya enjoys cooking, writing and spending time with her dog, Poha.


Maneesh Narsipuram

Partnerships Manager

Maneesh is a post-graduate in Environmental Sciences from GITAM Institute of Management. Previous to FWI, he has worked on various research projects in composting, wastewater treatment, and landfill mining soil analysis. He has also attended a number of conferences on wildlife management and environmental sustainability and has completed training on instrumentation from SACON (Coimbatore). In his free time, he loves to play music and dance, for which he has won several awards.

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Vivek Rachuri

Fish Welfare Expert

Vivek is a proud conservationist and aquaculturist with a background in coastal aquaculture and marine biotechnology. He has previously worked as a biological oceanographer with marine researches in the CSIR- National Institute of Oceanography, India. Being a true conservation enthusiast, Vivek participated in several organizations in Andhra Pradesh such as Fishing Cat Conservancy (FCC) and Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society (HYTICOS), along with mangrove restoration activities. He has also been an active member of the East Coast Conservation Team (ECCT). In his free time, Vivek is a passionate beatboxer and a skilled photographer with a love for exploring nature and wildlife.

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N. Vankaiah

Data Collector

Vankaiah, affectionately called ‘Chandu’, is a social development professional and social mobiliser with experience working for several not-for-profit organizations. He has previously worked for child welfare and the upliftment of marginalized communities, including families affected by poverty. In his free time, he enjoys playing cricket and listening to beautiful Telugu film songs.

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Nikhil Reddy Dodda

Program Associate

Nikhil is a graduate in Environmental Sciences with a passion to help this planet. He believes that all living beings stand an equal chance on this earth. During his master's he did a project on "Evaluation of physical and mechanical properties of food waste compost pellets." Trained in the collection and analysis of different types of soil, air, and water samples, he is responsible for data collection on farms in the Alliance for Responsible Aquaculture. 


Chaitanya Akula

Farmer Programs Manager

Chaitanya joins our team as a rural development professional, with a post-grad in social work. He has worked extensively with farmers in the areas of livelihood promotion, integrated natural resource management, and Zero Budget Natural Farming, as well as having worked in women’s empowerment. Additionally, he previously launched his own e-commerce business. During his free time, Chaitanya loves to explore nature, go for drives, and sharpen his cooking skills.

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Ratish Nallamothu

Administrative Head

A native of Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, Ratish completed his MBA from Nagarjuna University in 2013. He has over a decades' experience in sales and marketing in the Tiles and Sanitary Industry in Vijayawada. As an avid travel enthusiast who loves spending time in nature, Ratish was drawn to FWI's work after learning about its commitment to improve the lives of fish. He's a hardworking individual who ensures that everyone's work at FWI runs smoothly. In his free time, one can find him grooving to Maestro Illayaraja's classics and spending time with his family and friends.

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Ravi Teja Sangeetha

Research Consultant

Teja is a Kathak dancer and researcher who studied the welfare of egg-laying hens at The Animal Law Centre at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. He holds a Master's in Sociology from University of Hyderabad and helps the standard-setting team strategize farmer engagement in Andhra Pradesh. He loves post-rock music, doing yoga on random rooftops, saying pss pss pss to street cats, and traveling.

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Harshit Aggarwal

Operations Associate

Harshit has been involved in the Effective Altruism movement for several years and finds joy in understanding systems and making them more efficient. He has been an active member of EA Delhi since its inception and plans to actively contribute to growing the Effective Altruism movement in India. Outside of FWI, he can be found devouring pani puris at his favorite chaat store or cleaning his fine collection of action figures and fountain pens.

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Ronanki Sai Gandhi

Data Collector

Gandhi has a background in Environmental Science and experience working with non-profits. He is passionate about nature conservation and has been made it the foundation upon which he's building his career. During his graduate and post-graduate years, he worked on various projects related to water quality analysis with GVMC Visakhapatnam. Gandhi is also passionate about helping wildlife and has participated in numerous conservation efforts in and around Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

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Nagaraju Pulicherla

Data Collector

Nagaraju works in the Sreeparru area of Eluru as a data collector. He engages with farmers and collects vital data on farming practices. He is passionate about animal equality and believes that all animals must be able to live freely and without pain.


Rhiddhi Patel

Legal & Policy Consultant

Rhiddhi has a degree in Law from the University of Pune, along with past corporate experience. Guided by her interest in animal protection, she changed careers and wrote for Vegan First Daily and Veg Planet Magazine. She later received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Animal Protection Laws from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, India and holds a certification in "Wildlife Conservation and Management" from the College of Forestry, Akola. Currently, she is also part of a group of pro-bono lawyers for WCS, India's Counter Wildlife Trafficking Program. Outside of work she likes to explore nature, watch movies and documentaries, go for drives, and read.


Bijja Nagaraju

Program Coordinator

Nagaraju is a humanitarian and environmentalist who is committed to a contributing to a sustainable future. His interests lay in improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of the community. In the past, he worked on various projects related to sustainable integrated farming systems, women entrepreneurship, child and women development, natural resources management and livelihoods enhancement, social and environmental management plan, and WASH. Nagaraju is deeply interested in the protection of indigenous animals. His interest in animal protection led him to join FWI where he strives to help fishes as well as farmers.


Upasana Sarraju

Communications Lead

Upasana is a molecular biologist-turned-science communicator with a background in ecology and conservation. She holds a master's degree in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University and loves talking to animals in Telugu. She believes in democracy, freedom for non-human animals, and the power of semicolons.


Subrata Deb

Corporate Outreach Manager

Subrata worked for 11 years at a leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate before making the switch to animal protection work. He brings with him extensive experience in the different sectors of integrated aquaculture business, for both fish and shrimp. He specializes in bringing solutions to multiple stakeholders across the aquaculture supply chain. Outside work, Subrata loves meeting new people, reading comics, watching movies, and exploring new waters.

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Abhishek Pandey

Associate Director

Abhishek is a public policy and development professional committed to enhancing the policy landscape of India. He has worked with several state governments in the livelihoods, entrepreneurship, education, public health, and WASH sectors, adopting gender-inclusive and intersectional approaches. He was involved in instituting India's first state-level Behavioural Insights Unit for resolving complex policy problems using behavioral science. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, listening to podcasts, and catching up with friends.

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