Set adrift in a sea of uncertainty that was the COVID-19 pandemic, pulling together and pivoting to new ways of working together helped weather the storm.

Navigating uncharted waters through innovation and collaboration, with Quest’s goals and mission as a guiding light.

Strategic Plan 2019-2024

Quest’s mission is to transform learning ecosystems through education technology, capacity building, and collaboration to build 21st-century skills for learners and facilitators. Our goal is to impact 4 million learners by 2023.

A strategic 4E framework was devised to help Quest achieve its mission and address the key barriers faced by young people in public education and in the unorganized sector.

We created our impact framework to define our long term impact indicators.


(Energising and Enabling) learners and educators to build 21st-century skills and integrate them in their local environments by energizing demand and building awareness on self-learning, and enabling learners, educators, institutions and other organizations with tools and processes for creating learning environments


partnerships with government, civil society and business to scale models of self-learning for 21st-century skills, and facilitate ‘anytime-anywhere learning’.


advocacy alliances of thought leaders for mainstreaming self-learning for 21st-century skills.


in building robust systems, culture and leadership to scale impact.

Progress Against Goals

Organisation Architecture

Chart showing the organisation architecture

As a 21st-century organisation, we have strived to build a networked organisational model that is interconnected, collaborative, diverse and where the impact of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This design is inspired by the idea of metamorphosis, represented by the butterfly at the centre for our organisational model. This stands for our spirit of being ready for growth and change, through evolving and adapting to the rapidly changing external and internal environments, and future trends. The two wings of the butterfly represent our two key functions of Strategy & Organisational Leadership (SOL) and Institutional Development (ID), manifesting our vision and values.

Leadership and Culture

The sudden passing away of Abhijeet Mehta, our Chief Operating Officer, was a deep a personal loss for the Quest family. As we collectively grieved, we were reminded of energy and wisdom he brought to the organisation, and of the guidance and mentorship he provided to the team. We continue to experience that loss every day, even as we try to rebuild.

In these difficult times, many team members have risen to take on the responsibilities that Abhijeet shouldered. With his passing, we have had to accept the fragility of life, and the realisation that we must keep investing in building resilience, even while staying with our sense of loss.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, digital transformation took centre stage, and from an organisational growth perspective, we recognised the need to build greater synergy between our Technology and Impact teams. A new role - Director of Information & Analytics - was introduced in the leadership team, and Nitin Mathur has joined the organisation to lead this vertical. He brings two decades of experience in marketing analytics and working with start-ups on strategy and analytics. This role also aims to synergise our internal processes across people, finance, grants, marketing and fundraising, as well as improve the way we engage with our learners and educators through the effective use of education technology.

COVID-19 Response

In late February 2020, Quest was ahead of the curve in terms of travel and safety protocols put in place for staff across all locations. In March when we closed our offices, the magnitude of the changes in the world around us was still to unfold. In those uncertain times, our response strategy centered around two key areas: Organisation Resilience and Pivoting On-Ground Interventions.

In order to ensure Organisation Resilience, the entire organisation budget was reviewed - the number of physical office spaces was reduced and money was diverted to critical needs like Covid insurance. All program budgets pivoted from physical training and workshops to enabling virtual content, access and interactions.

While providing digital infrastructure and connectivity to enable employees to work remotely was a first priority, focus later shifted to support for well-being and mental health, with flexible working hours and COVID leave introduced, listening circles created as spaces for expression and sharing, virtual events designed to foster connections, and well-being counselling and coaching helplines being made available to all. The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined what the workforce, workspaces and work culture can look like. As we write this report, we are reimagining the future of a blended workspace – a balance between the need and benefits of working remotely while holding sacred the culture and camaraderie that is a hallmark Quest. We are also accelerating our efforts to build financial resilience for Quest Alliance. 

In terms of Pivoting On-Ground Interventions, Quest Alliance’s decade long belief and investments in the power of technology-enabled us to respond at speed. Digital bite-sized content on Quest App, WhatsApp-based content and voice messages were made available to stakeholders in low-connectivity areas. Users on the QuestApp grew threefold in a few months, as learners and educators shed inhibitions to learn online. However, while the organisation was poised to pivot seamlessly, stark disparities on-ground needed immediate attention. The digital divide, a greater workload being pushed onto women, the increase in domestic violence, the loss of learning, and the mental health and wellbeing of our communities were of grave concern. To address this, digital access - laptops/phones and internet recharges were provided to learners, while parent engagement was increased to support learners at home, and a distress helpline for girls and women was established. All of these critical components have been carried forward into our work for the following year and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a harsh awakening call for the world and we hope through our work, we continue to bridge the inequities it has made so apparent.


Where Our Money Comes From
Donors Amount (%)
IBM 220,890,741 37.41
Accenture India 134,295,434 22.74
Bank of America 30,300,000 5.13
HSBC 23,817,915 4.03
JP Morgan India 21,250,000 3.60
Cisco 17,622,055 2.98
Wells Fargo International Solutions Pvt Ltd 15,650,000 2.65
Impact Foundation India (Dasra) 13,126,302 2.22
Fossil Foundations 11,205,000 1.90
Porticus Asia Limited 9,897,486 1.68
Charity Aid Foundation India 7,800,000 1.32
Capgemini Technology Service India Ltd 7,410,375 1.25
Rockfeller Philanthropy Advisors 6,216,920 1.05
Selco Foundation 6,190,655 1.05
HT Parekh Foundation 5,145,200 0.87
State Street Global Advisors India Pvt. Ltd. 4,000,000 0.68
VIP Indu Group 4,000,000 0.68
Aricent Technologies Ltd 3,372,288 0.57
Dalyan Foundation 3,038,802 0.51
Sanjeev Prasad 2,500,000 0.42
Give India Foundation 1,891,132 0.32
PM YUVA 1,118,700 0.19
NISUM CO 998,844 0.17
NASSCOM Foundation 930,769 0.16
Mid Valley Health Care Services Pvt Ltd 750,000 0.13
United Way 133,676 0.02
Individual Donations 257,412 0.04
Bank Interest 12,797,729 2.17
Other Income 23,892,155 4.05
TOTAL 590,499,590 100.00
Where Our Money Goes
Expenditure Head Project (%)
Salaries & benefits 119,859,269 22.76
Program Expenses 111,251,263 21.12
Sub Grant 187,404,461 35.58
Travel 5,118,070 0.97
Training & Workshops 20,457,680 3.88
Operations and Equipment Costs 23,544,540 4.47
Assets acquired 8,571,676 1.63
Administrative Expense 50,432,813 9.58
TOTAL 526,639,771 100.00
Income & Expenditure
Grants, Donations and Contributions 257,412
Interest Income 6,117,460
Education and Training Income 23,892,155
Transfer from Specified Grant Fund (Foreign) 113,626,225
Transfer from Specified Grant Fund (Local) 422,609,851
TOTAL 566,503,103


Programme Expense
Overhead and Administration Cost
Project Expenditure (Foreign Grant) 110,896,120
Project Expenditure (Local Grant) 407,171,976
Depreciation 4,373,237
Excess of Income over Expenditure 44,061,771
TOTAL 566,503,103
Balance Sheet 2020-21
Capital Fund 24,251,285
General Fund 63,735,689
Specified Fund 293,086,427
Corpus Fund 16,614
Current Liabilities 7,683,739
TOTAL 388,773,754


Fixed Assets 41,441,282
Investments 288,026,399
Current Assets 6,421,770
Cash & Bank Balances 52,884,303
TOTAL 388,773,754
Accountability & Transparency

The executive leadership team is responsible for strategy, budgets and results and reports to the advisory board & trustees. The role of the board is to ensure that the activities are aimed at realizing the mission of the organization in line with the strategic long term plan and review the progress being made against the annual plan on a quarterly basis. They also approve the audited financial statement and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

Quest Alliance has complied with provisions relating to the constitution of the internal complaints committee under the Sexual harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.

The Trustees met 3 times in the year 2019-2020 on 28/4/20, 24/7/20 and 26/2/21

Distribution of staff according to salary levels and gender break-up:
Salary Range March 31st 2021

Salary Range
March 31st 2021
Female Male Non-Binary Total
10,000 to 50,000 73 46 1 120
50,001 to 100,000 26 41 0 67
100,001 to 150,000 4 3 0 7
150,000 and above 6 4 0 10
TOTAL 109 94 1 204

Statutory auditors: Phillipos and Company, #47, M - Floor, Wheeler Road, Cox Town, Bangalore 560005

Bankers: State Bank of India, FCRA Cell, 4th Floor, State Bank of India, New Delhi Main Branch, 11, Sansad Marg, New Delhi - 110001 and IDBI Bank Limited, IDBI House, No: 58, Mission Road, Bangalore 560027

Quest Alliance is registered under the Indian Registration Act BNG(U)-VRT-BK IV 187/2008-09 registered on 20/10/2008.

Quest Alliance is registered under 12A and 10 23 (c) of the Income Tax Act 1961. 80G certificate - Provisional Approval No. AAATQ0135GF20214 dated 31st May 2021.

Quest Alliance is registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976. Registration no. 094421483 dated 02/03/2012 to receive foreign contributions. It is renewed vide MHA 094421483 dated 02 March 2012 valid till 01 March 2022.

Executive Leadership Team


Aakash Sethi

Managing Trustee


Abhijeet Mehta
(1981 - 2020)

Chief Operating Officer 


Amitav Nath

Regional Director


Deepika Singh

Associate Director, Anandshala


Inka Dama

Senior Marketing & Communication Manager


Jayashree Vyasarajan 

Associate Director,  Research


Namrata Agarwal

Associate Director,
Business Development


Neha Parti

Director,                  Schools Program


Nikita Bengani

Youth Program


Shalini Menon

Associate Director,    Capacity Building


Sylvia Priyanthi

Associate Director,      People and Operations


Tanvi Negi

Associate Director,  Knowledge and Impact


Thirumalpad Venugopal

Finance, Administration & IT

Advisory Board


Aashu Calappa / Male

Human Resources Leader


Arvind Lodaya / Male

Design Educator & Innovation Leader


Dipta Bhog / Female

Founder, Nirantar, A Centre for Gender and Education


Kapil Das / Male

Independent Filmmaker


Nagesh Alai / Male

Board Chair
Former Group Chairman, FCB ULKA


Sanjay Anandaram / Male

Startup Mentor, Advisor to funds, companies and organizations


Vikas Goswami / Female

CSR & Sustainability Leader