The start of Mentor Together is a story that reaffirms the power of mentorship. As a soon-to-be college graduate in 2007, Arundhuti Gupta had several ideas about how she could make a difference in her city, but needed an initial push and a safe space to explore her abilities. Mentorship she accessed fortuitously helped her get started and discover how empowering working with young people was. At the start of a career in Finance then she chose to instead pay forward the mentorship she received, to ensure it wasn't left to chance, and Mentor Together was born in November 2009. 12 years since that day, Arundhuti is a globally recognised social entrepreneur: an Ashoka Fellow, a Brookings Echidna Global Scholar, and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Mentor Together has pioneered the field of formal youth mentoring in India, with numerous publications and reports, on the role of mentoring in supporting the lives of young people at-risk. In our programs, mentors and mentees use our uniquely designed mentoring toolkits with evidence-based activities. We design processes that support a mentor and mentee from the time they onboard to become alumni, using evidence and research on effective mentoring practices. And we have our own technology platforms  - the Mentor To Go app - to manage the entire journey of mentoring.


The government estimates that up to 176 million young people in India are in need of care and protection. What is the impact of disadvantage on the life outcomes of young people?

A study in 2010 estimated that up to 17% of inequality in wages can be explained by a single factor of family background.

Combined together, the factors that make up the entire 'lottery of birth' - caste, gender, religion, location of birth, determine the majority of economic and social outcomes of people.


How do we solve this complex and entrenched inequality of opportunity? No single intervention can be a silver bullet. However there are two aspects central to mentorship, that make us believe in the profound impact it can have on the lives of young people.

The power of life skills or non-cognitive skills

Researchers have found that life skills like time management, motivation and perseverance are highly predictive of social behaviours and economic outcomes of young people. How do young people build these life skills?Adolescents especially learn such skills through observation and inference from adults can who demonstrate such skills and who provide them opportunities to build such skills in themselves. This is where mentorship is a vital intervention in the lives of adolescents.

The power of social networks

A sociologist in 1976 posited that any person looking to mobilize resources, move upwards and gain social mobility, needs to be present in a rich and diverse network, where she/he is connected to multiple nodes of information and opportunity. For many young people, their natural networks are small and limited in scope. Mentorship provides a gateway to connect to the world at large, through the networks of accomplished mentors.


Our Team

Anuja Thomas Program Coordinator
Sunitha Viswanathan Trustee; Partner - Kae Capital
Falak Sajid Program Manager
Archana Chavan Associate Director - Operations
Santosh Goud Program Manager
Arundhuti Gupta Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Srikrishna Ramamoorthy Managing Trustee; Partner, Unitus Seed Fund
Mayuri Khunjare Junior Mentee Manager
Rahul Sable Research Lead
Nehal Agrawal Program Coordinator
Dinesh Pulla Program Coordinator
Jean P Boddu Associate Director - Operations
Aastha Dalal Program Coordinator
Madhura Kamat Program Manager
Shruthilayaa S Program Coordinator
Vijay Gowda Junior Mentee Manager
Abhilasha Tirkey Program Coordinator
Ashitha Paul Program Coordinator
Asmin Hussain HR Manager
Anuja Thomas Program Coordinator
Mannika Kandhari Program Manager
Bhasker Sharma Consultant - Technology & Partnerships
Prerana Chidanand Program Coordinator

"Mentor Together's programmes are designed to create impact. Mentor and mentee screening and matching are carefully done. We have a matching algorithm, which was developed in partnership with Thoughtworks Bangalore, where we look at 13 different aspects where mentors and mentees may match like common hobbies, career interests, personality traits and languages."

"The density and increasing popularity of mentoring organizations is indeed heartening, helping to push this niche field forward," says Arundhuti Gupta, who started India's first mentoring program, Mentor Together (MT) in 2010. Everybody is focusing on different pieces of the puzzle, working with different age groups, geographies and lessons."

“The hand-holding goes far beyond studies as well: "I tell Kavya about my traumas, troubles and doubts and she listens patiently to everything and never judges me on the basis of such information. Instead she asks me questions and in the process of answering her questions about my feelings I find my answers on my own. I am ever so grateful for her in my life. Whatever happens, whoever leaves me, I know she'll always be there," added Valli.”

"Altering the choices of India's disadvantaged youth also requires an expansion of their social networks. Their communities have few role models who can guide the next generation with professional advice. Mentorship has been a part of urban youth community programmes around the world for nearly a century, but is a fairly new intervention with children and youth in India. When Arundhuti Gupta launched Mentor Together in 2009, there were only a couple similar programmes in the country."