Meet the Team
Andy is Chairman and one of the co-founders of SanitationFirst. In his early forties whilst searching to add some meaning to his life, he was struck by a teacher’s words in an ashram in India. The words ‘hands that serve are better than lips that pray’ changed his life. Realising that much of his life had been just talking about doing something, he decided to use the business principles learnt during his long and successful commercial property career to start a charity whose work was always effective and sustainable. He realised that good sanitation was a cornerstone to the alleviation of poverty.
Utilising best practice and his knowledge of finance and marketing has enabled him to assist in Sanitation First becoming a world leader in ecological sanitation. To this day, he continues to concentrate on ensuring that donor’s money is used as effectively as possible through the construction of good quality, long lasting sanitary units, which are also environmentally friendly.
Highly successful international entrepreneur with interests ranging from Real Estate to pharmaceuticals, Bhavesh Radia was one of the co-founders of Sanitation First. He is a keen supporter of working with local communities to help themselves work their own way out of poverty. He is very engaged both with Sanitation First and his community in north-west London, within which he is a key member.
Lynn Dodds is an American born financial journalist, living in London. She supports charities such as Street Talk for trafficked women, Baobab for unaccompanied child refugees and London Capital Foundation.
Lynn is editor of Best Execution and writes for publications including derivsource, Investments and Pensions Magazine, European Pensions, Pensions Age, Funds Europe and the Desk. As politics has become the driving force in economics and finance Lynn has rediscovered her passion for political journalism.
Aside from enjoying time with family, she loves traveling, hiking, art, theatre and music. As the saying goes, “You can take the girl out of Brooklyn but you certainly can’t take Brooklyn out of the girl”.
Jules is a social entrepreneur and currently the Founding Director of Avon Mutual Bank, a revolutionary new regional cooperative bank for the west of England. He is also helping to start 17 other similar banks across the UK.
Jules also has what some of his friends might say is an unhealthy obsession with ‘new economics’ and is the Founder of the Real Economy Lab, a Board member of the New Economics Foundation and a Research Fellow on the future of the economy at the Democracy Collaborative’s Next System Project.
Jules has had a very varied career working in politics and policy for David Cameron in the UK, for the UN, at the EC in Brussels. He has also advised many of the worlds largest companies and charities such as WWF, Banktrack and Share Action.
Jules and his wife Vicky have two small children Juno and Jago and a dog called Lulu.
Jules loves cooking, running, skiing, kayaking and sailing and a claim to fame is that as a student at Imperial College he had major (not!) extra roles in Star Wars, Sliding Doors and a number of other films.
Bill is a Chartered Surveyor and has worked in the Commercial Property industry for over 30 years . He first became involved with Sanitation First through his friendship with Andy Barrs and interest in the Charity grew following a couple of trips to India to see first-hand the projects that had been enabled by fundraising activities.
Bill continues to work in Property as a Developer as well as being a Mentor for the Reading Real Estate Foundation and the Charity, Family and Friends in West London. Married to Harriet with 3 daughters, free time is spent walking, cooking, gardening and travelling.
TIRUKURUNGUDI SANTHANAM PADMAPRIYA (M.Com, ACMA, MBA)
Priya is the Chief Executive of Sanitation First/Wherever the Need in India. She has over twenty years of experience in top management roles of leading international development organisations such as CARE, Save the Children UK, University of Washington I-TECH, and British Council to name a few. Prior to her current role, she was the Country Director of Lebara Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lebara Telecom in the UK.
Padmapriya has specialised in strategic planning, operations management, grants and budgets management, policy development and internal controls for the non-profit sector. She specialises in designing and delivering large scale multi-dimensional international programmes across health, education and hygiene. She is also passionate about developing behavioural change communication materials for advocacy and awareness through her various professional assignments.
DR SHANMUGASUNDARAM PILLAI PARAMASIVAN (Ph.D)
Dr Shanmuga Paramasivan has over forty years of experience in WASH programme development, design, implementation, evaluation and research. He founded Sanitation First India as Wherever the Need India Services in 2007. He has pioneered non-sewered sanitation in India and designed the first ever ecosan school toilet block and container-based sanitation system in India. He is a well-respected international expert on all aspects of Water, Sanitation, indigenous WASH technology, and agricultural research. Dr Paramasivan started his career with AFPRO and later was instrumental in establishing WaterAid in India and went to become its Country Representative for many years. Prior to 2007, Dr Paramasivan was the WASH and Shelter advisor to CARE India’s Tsunami Response Programme.
NISHA KESAVAN B Sc
Nisha has over six years of experience in programme monitoring, data analysis, documentation and communications with both corporate and not for profit organisations. She is well versed in case study preparation, social media reporting, data warehousing and IEC material design and development. Nisha has a rich experience in processing large volumes of high precision data for Cambridge and IELTS examination test results (over 5000 candidates per month) adhering to stringent data quality standards. She is the proud recipient of Outstanding Performance award and Star performer awards in organisations she has been part of. She has produced high quality communication materials, annual reports, and documentary films within stringent timelines. She is passionate about social reporting and fundraising through impact stories.
David Crosweller formed Sanitation First with his friends, Andy and Bhavesh, in 1997 after a life changing visit to India. However, he believes the charity’s real work started in 2005, when they started constructing eco-toilets in a country that has no toilets for millions of people.
It was in late 2005 that the first composting toilet was built in an Indian school, a unit that is still in use to this very day. This school, like so many others, now has long-term sustainable sanitation and the impact, especially for girls, is enormous. A 17.5% increase in the number of girls enrolling with virtually 100% finishing senior school and approximately half going on to further education. A toilet has a big impact.
David enjoys putting his feet up, reading, cinema, spending time with friends and avoiding his grown-up daughters asking him for money – he believes at this time of life it should be the other way around.