LILA is a multi-centred space. We understand as essential the simultaneous contributions of various sites of creativity, towards our destination of happiness. Our vision of leadership emphasizes non-linear development, allowing actors from different centres to interact freely and creatively. At LILA, the core team functions are in three fields: ideation, creative operations and conservation. Our team members share the work and develop interactive leadership in the areas of research, outreach and archiving.

Rizio B Yohannan

Founder & Patron

AR Harikumar

Finance Director

Shivani Karmarkar

Project Director

Seby Thomas

Director strategy

Sanchit Toor

Culture Editor

AR Harikumar: Finance Director

AR Harikumar is a Certified Financial Analyst. With a background in Commerce (University of Kerala) and an MBA in Finance, Hari is Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He works as General Manager for the International Business Division of a major Indian automotive components manufacturer. His main functional areas are auditing as well as direct and indirect taxation. He is passionate about poetry, literature and long travels. A happy husband and father of two angels, Hari’s main weaknesses are his friends, monsoon and village festivals in Kerala, and trips with his Garhwali friends throughout the Himalayas. At LILA, Hari is trustee and financial director.

Rizio B Yohannan : Founder & Patron

Rizio B Yohannan is a writer, educationist, translator and governance thinker. Her multi-dynamic professional experience spans two decades of work in journalism, book publishing, academics and institution-building. She is the Founder and Patron of LILA Foundation for Translocal Initiatives, a think-tank engaged in multidisciplinary and intercultural knowledge production, dissemination and conservation. She was the CEO and Publisher of The Marg Foundation (2018-2021), which publishes MARG, India’s oldest arts magazine. Earlier, at various stages in her career, she was affiliated to houses such as the Malayalam Manorama Group, Macmillan India, Navneet Publications, and Katha, and the Universities of Madras, Mumbai, and Kerala; Calicut University, Central University of Kerala and Shiv Nadar University, New Delhi. She has played significant roles in establishing various departments and centres in some of these spaces. Her works including collections of poetry, novels, critical volumes, edited works, research papers and socio-cultural studies, have been published by Harper Collins, Cambridge University Press, Indiana University Press, Kendra Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, and several journals and magazines across the world. She has been a long-time associate of the Indo-Swedish translation project, under which she translated and introduced various writers from the two countries. She was part of the International Visitor Leadership Programme – 2010 of the US Department of State. Her PhD focuses on the intersection of Literature and Philosophy with special reference to the school of Samkhya. She has been on the editorial and advisory boards of various publications and organisations, and has held workshops and seminars for capacity building in different parts of India and abroad. She was the Creative Director of ILF Samanvay, the annual Indian Languages Festival of the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, during 2015-16.

Shivani Karmakar: Project Director

Shivani Karmarkar  is an anthropologist with specialization in social development and a background in journalism, research and project co-ordination. She is interested in cross-cultural studies and pedagogy towards exploring the influence of cultural philosophy on social interactions. Her quest has led her to experiences such as designing and conducting surveys and interviews for academic as well as journalistic projects as well as developing courses and pedagogic methodologies for different demographic sections of the society. Having worked as a journalist with organisations like Bloomberg and Cogencis (formerly Newswire18), Shivani also has a natural inclination towards understanding and engaging with people from different backgrounds and documenting their stories. When she is not engaged in thought about human interactions and governance, she is usually thinking about food.

Seby Thomas: Director strategy

Seby Thomas specialises in amalgamating technology, processes and people relations to achieve growth and visibility of Inter-Actions. With an MTech ( IIT Roorkee) and his qualification in Business Management (IIM Indore) coupled with his 24 years of cross-sector leadership experience in the Indian Army, he handles the Strategic, Management and Technological aspects of LILA. Currently he is Business Systems Consultant at Wells Fargo, Bangalore, and lives with his two daughters. He also serves as Management Consultant of The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, which publishes India’s first magazine of the arts, Marg.

Sanchit Toor : Culture Editor

Sanchit Toor is a graduate student specialising in South Asian literature in the Department of English at Ashoka University. An alumnus of the Young India Fellowship programme, he is broadly interested in the questions of orality, language, and translation, and is currently working on some ethnographic projects. When he is not narrating how he came to study literature following a degree in Neuroscience, he loves to translate and teach.

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