About Us

The Centre for Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Development (CEED), along with the deAsra
Centre of Excellence in Nano Entrepreneurship, is an entrepreneurship policy research and
advocacy centre at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics.

Considering entrepreneurs as an integral part of India’s business and employment ecosystem, CEED aspires to study the factors enabling and inhibiting the growth of entrepreneurship in India. Currently, there is no standard definition of nano enterprises or nano entrepreneurs. The deAsra Centre aims to provide a formal definition and create awareness about this category’s existence. Nano enterprises are typically small shops providing goods and services, operating hyper-locally and catering to their neighbourhood areas. Heterogeneity and fragmentation are distinct features of nano enterprises, but they form 95% of the micro-enterprise sector in India.

A diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning community of academics, practitioners, entrepreneurs, experts, and students from around the world, CEED aims to bring together a host of stakeholders such as academicians, policymakers, market and industry professionals to undertake research and training activities with a general focus on small businesses, and a particular focus on nano enterprises.


Centre for Excellence in Entrepreneurship & Development aspires to be a knowledge hub to strengthen the potential of entrepreneurship as an alternative to dependent employment as a priority for India’s economic development.

deAsra Centre of Excellence in Nano Entrepreneurship aims to increase awareness about issues of nano entrepreneurs, and envisions building a better ecosystem for nano entrepreneurs through policy advice and advocacy.


CEED has been founded with a unique confluence of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and deAsra Foundation.

The Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, established in 1930, has been one of the pioneering research institutions in India known for its contribution to empirical research methods, policy advocacy, and seminal contributions to policymaking for nearly a century.
deAsra Foundation is a non-profit organization which enables entrepreneurs to start, manage, & grow small businesses successfully. To this end, deAsra offers a platform wherein, setting up, managing & growing a small business is made simple & entrepreneur friendly through a broad array of support services. Each of deAsra’s services is simplified, benchmarked, tech-enabled, expert-led, with customer-friendly functionality, convenience & speed.


Dr. Anand Deshpande

Founder & President, Persistent Systems, and Board Member, Gokhale Institute 

Anand holds a B.Tech. with Honours in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Indiana University, US. Prior to founding Persistent Systems, he worked at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in California. Anand is committed to making a broader impact and is focused on data, higher education, and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Ajit Ranade

Vice-Chancellor, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics

Ajit is a noted economist. His 32-year career has spanned both academic and corporate assignments. He was the Group Executive President and Chief Economist with the Aditya Birla Group, and has taught in universities in India and the US. He has served as a member of several committees of the Reserve Bank of India. He has been a former member of the Board of Management at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics.

Research Advisory Committee

Dr. Anjali Radkar

Advisor, CEED & Professor at Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics

Anjali is a demographer–statistician and coordinates the M.Sc. Population Studies and Health Economics program at Gokhale. She teaches Population Studies and Research Methodology, and her work is regularly published in academic journals. Her research interests are sex ratio, son preference, demography, female workforce participation, maternal and child health, mortality, morbidity and nutrition in India, and health systems research.

Dr. Sumita Kale

CEO and Senior Fellow at Indicus Foundation

Sumita has worked extensively on financial inclusion, leading the Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion since 2011. She has numerous research publications and op-eds in major newspapers. Sumita has an MPhil in Economics of Developing Countries from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pune. Sumita also has a keen interest in urban environmental issues.


Pradnya Godbole

Director, CEED

Ms. Pradnya Godbole, is the CEO of deAsra Foundation, a not-for-profit company formed to contribute to social welfare by enabling entrepreneurship. Her vision is to simplify the whole entrepreneurial process by helping entrepreneurs to think about business in a more structured manner, before executing it. In 2013, after having spent sixteen years in the IT industry, she decided to explore social entrepreneurship in India, and took on the responsibility to manage deAsra as its CEO.

Neha Ghatpande

Senior Program Officer

An academic and communication professional, she is currently a Doctoral Scholar at the Research Centre for Women’s Studies, St. Mira’s College, Savitribai Phule Pune University. In her professional career, she has worked as a Journalist and multimedia content creator with leading news organisations.


Kiran Limaye

Assistant Professor (Research)

Kiran Limaye has a PhD in Economics from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. He has been teaching Microeconomics and Econometrics for the last 10 years and has worked as consultant for the last 3 years for PRADAN and IRMA where he worked on sampling, design of quantitative impact assessment and analysis of survey data.

Shalmali Solomon Akhade

Project Co-Ordinator

Shalmali is a Program lead at CEED. She holds a Master of Science in Economics degree from Symbiosis School of Economics and specialises in Development Studies. She has previously worked at MCCIA and her areas of interest are entrepreneurship, education, unemployment and socio economic development. 

Anushi Tiwary

Research Associate

Anushi is a PhD scholar at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. Her areas of interest are gender, caste, financial inclusion and economic development. She has previously worked with Population Research Centre, Pune (under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), National Council of Applied Economic Research, Institute for Competitiveness, and MIT Academy of Engineering. In her career, she has worked on several projects under different ministries of central government.

Piyush Ozarde

Research Associate

Piyush is a doctoral student in Economics at IIM Ahmedabad. He has an interest in public policy, and a focus on skill development, small industries, employment and entrepreneurship development policy in emerging economies. He has fieldwork experience of working with the government in the Rural Development sector in the state of Tripura in India.

Prakhar Garg

Communications Assistant

A trained journalist, keenly interested in socio-political scenarios around the world. He has worked in newspapers, magazines, advertising, and marketing, and writes occasionally for premier publications in India.

Surabhi Sharma

Research Assistant

Surabhi has a Master’s degree from the Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics. She has worked as an economics researcher on marketing strategies at IIT, Mumbai, and also has experience in primary-level field surveys at Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR). She has also worked with large datasets and recently presented her “Research Paper” at the 58th Annual Conference of The Indian Econometric Society (TIES).  


Devika Nair

Devika is a first year Master's student at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and she did her undergraduate studies at Mar Ivanios College, University of Kerala. She has previously interned with Centre for Development Studies and has worked as project associate at Nalandaway foundation. Her broad areas of interest include development economics, behavioural science and finance.

Hrishikesh Jain

Aspiring financial economist with a keen interest in the intersection of finance, economics, entrepreneurship, and policy making. Currently pursuing masters in International Business Economics and Finance at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune. Hrishikesh has graduated in Economics and Finance from NMIMS, Mumbai, and is looking forward to making each day a new learning experience.

Ira Haldavanekar

Ira is a first-year BSc. Economics student at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. She has interned with NGOs and worked on various CSR initiatives like the development of an English-speaking program for youth for increased employability and a financial literacy program for rural women. Her areas of interest include business economics, behavioural economics, and computational economics.

Navamey Jayan

Navamey P Jayan, a BSc Economics student at GIPE, Pune, actively contributes to an NSSO project on GDP analysis. Leveraging insights from a CA firm internship, Navamey is well-versed in laws impacting economic analyses. Additionally, she is passionate about entrepreneurship research and excels in secondary data analysis, showcasing her dedication to exploring various economic domains.

Reeya Panda

Reeya is a Final Year BSc. Economics student at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. She has had experiences working in marketing firms, sales, and has worked on projects carrying out quantitative economic analysis. She is interested in research and finance.

Shrey Goyal

Shrey Goyal is a master’s candidate at Gokhale Institute, and he did his undergraduate studies from the University of Delhi. He has been an intern at the UN ESCAP, New Delhi and has worked as Research Assistant at the University of Oxford. Additionally, he has a keen interest in Financial Inclusion, Climate Finance and Public Policy.

Snigdha Misra

Snigdha is an undergraduate student at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune. Her broad areas of interest include finance and economics. She has prior experience working as an intern with startups in different fields.

Tanya Choudhary

A master’s student at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Tanya is a keen researcher. She has previously interned at CCL, Ranchi and was a research intern for the development of the District Strategic Plan, Maharashtra. She is passionate about Gender Economics, Female Workforce Participation and female entrepreneurship and wants to hit the field to learn and contribute the most she can.