Sumitra is an experienced leadership coach, mentor and facilitator across the private and public sector.
Professional and leadership experience
With over 25 years of experience, Sumitra has been a driving force in innovating new ideas, pathways, and system-changing solutions across 10 cities. Her expertise spans product and social innovation, as well as society and markets.
She has now founded KAI (Karuna Advisory Impact) which is a mission-led philanthropy advisory founded in collaboration with a network of expert partners focused on citizen-sector participation and systems change in the global south. Change starts closest to the ground, with the communities in the region.
She now seeks to support philanthropic individuals, family offices, corporate foundations, founders, civil society organisations and teams to develop transformative impact.
In her last role, she served as the Families Stewardship Lead, Global Partnerships at Ashoka Innovators for the Public with the focus in Asia. She fosters greater understanding of social innovation through cross-sectoral partnerships with civil society, policy-makers, philanthropy, and the private sector. She convenes leaders to generate thought leadership and facilitates shared learning through publications, podcast appearances, and moderation.
Sumitra holds significant board roles as the co-founder and Board Director of Playeum, Singapore Art Museum, and US Avanti Fellows. She also serves as an Advisory Board member of Pratham Books and Bring Change Foundation, as well as on the YPO Exco-committee and Sofina CoVid Fund Investment Committee.
Education and Professional Training
Sumitra is a trained Chemical Engineer, holding an MEng from Cambridge University. She furthered her education with an MBA from INSEAD. She also pursued a Developmental Coach certification from the school of Integral Coaching (CfD) at the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business.
Sumitra has been recognized for her impactful contributions and achievements. She was honored as an alumni of the Skoll World Forum Fellowship and contributed to the OECD 2030 Learning Compass focus Groups. She received the Elevate Fellow award and was the final prize winner of the British Council Lien Foundation - Creativity for Social Change. Additionally, she previously served as a District Councillor to the South West Community Development Council and held the position of Social Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD. Sumitra is a former member of The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and has received the P&G Innovation Award.
She holds a patent and has been recognized as an Elli Lilly Scholar, Chevening Scholar, and recipient of the ASEAN Scholarship.
Fields of Interest
Sumitra is passionate about inner work that is focused on supporting the relational space between people, teams and communities. She engages in integral coaching methods, somatic work, spiritual discourses as well as facilitation techniques to deepen the client’s development journey.
For larger teams, companies and institutions she utilises her coaching modalities by engaging in processes that involve deep inquiry into the theory of change for individuals and their organizations. She facilitates learning experiences for social impact, provides philanthropy advisory and coaching services from idea conception to execution, research and much more.
Sumitra is Malaysian and Singapore PR of British and lives in Singapore, and The Netherlands with her family. She has lived, worked and studied in over 10 countries and continues to work and study across Asia and beyond.