Mythili Sankaran created a professional network for South Asian women; Serrena Iyer reimagines ways to fight hunger by night
Two Indian Americans, angel fund investor Mythili Sankaran and Off Their Plate’s development head Serrena A. Iyer, are among Forbes inaugural list of 50 culture champions, honoring Black and Brown industry leaders for their standout impact and service in underserved communities.
“From tech innovators and TV executives to social justice activists and physicists, these 50 Champions are not only excelling in their fields, but they’re using their platforms to actively shift the narrative of overlooked and underserved communities,” the US business magazine said announcing the list recently.
“The champions on this list are not only driving their respective fields forward, but they’re effecting real change in Black and Brown communities by increasing access to their crafts, using their voices and resources to invest in underserved communities, and intentionally building community to eradicate the racial wealth gap and create Black generational wealth,” said Ali Jackson-Jolley, Assistant Managing Editor, Forbes.
“The For(bes) the Culture 50 Champions list is broken down into three categories: Superstars; Blazing Stars; and Rising Stars.
Strategic leader and angel fund investor, Mythili Sankaran, Cofounder and CEO, neythri.org “created a professional network for South Asian women aimed at connecting them to resources they need,” Forbes said.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Sankaran grew Neythri.org into one of the first professional network organizations for South Asian women in business.
Over the past 18 months, the angel investor and former senior director to the US India Business Council led her 2,000-member organization in hosting 100 events aimed at connecting women in business to the resources they need.
In March 2021, Sankaran also launched the Neythri Futures Fund, a venture fund that positions South Asian women as key stakeholders and investors.
She currently works as an independent advisor and consulting CXO to early-stage startups and advises them on operations, product ideation, fundraising, and business development.
Sankaran is also actively involved in several non-profits focused on girls’ education and serves on the Regional Board of Room to Read. She is also a mentor for the Duke Technology Scholars program, and a Global Advisor to How Women Lead.
She has a MS degree in Physics from Texas Tech University and an Executive MBA certificate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Serrena A. Iyer, Head of Development, Off Their Plate (OTP), is “Heading up Netflix Animation strategy by day while reimagining ways to fight hunger by night,” as Forbes put it.
Read: Two Indian Americans Featured Among Forbes ‘Culture 50 Champions’ (November 17, 2021)
OTP is a volunteer corps of professionals, entrepreneurs, engineers and creatives working to build a more equitable food economy by empowering restaurant owners to cook nutritious meals that are donated to food-insecure communities.
In 2020, Iyer accepted the challenge by OTP CEO to take over running and growing the Los Angeles branch. Now as OTP’s Head of Development she has “helped grow a food resource program that empowers restaurateurs to help feed food-insecure communities,” Forbes noted.