Our Team


Shweta Rawat

Chairperson, The Hans Foundation

Mrs Sweta Rawat’s family along with Manoj Bhargava, founded The Hans Foundation in 2009. She has played a key role in defining the goals and direction of the organization. Since its conception, The Hans Foundation, has funded social initiatives and projects in areas of healthcare, women empowerment, livelihood, disability, and education across India.

Describing The Hans Foundation’s vision, Ms. Rawat explains, “The foundation’s aim is to provide equal access to quality facilities for healthcare and education, and to provide a dignified livelihood to all people, regardless of age, gender, caste and religion. From mobile health clinics and hospitals, to drinking water purification at a village level, the foundation has taken a comprehensive approach to healthcare.”

In addition, Ms. Rawat has emphasized the importance of enhancing agriculture in impoverished communities, as it is a key element in both health as well as income generation. The foundation has also supported numerous large projects for education, from mid-day meals to computer training courses to full adoption of schools. Ms. Rawat stresses disability projects as a key part of The Hans Foundation’s efforts. Having taken on a highly diversified portfolio of projects, Ms. Rawat has ensured that The Hans Foundation reaches out to all marginalized communities in need of support.

Mrs Sweta Rawat has a B.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington DC and a M.A. in Human Rights and Politics from City University, UK.


Manoj Bhargava

Primary Funder, The Hans Foundation

Manoj Bhargava is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder and CEO of Living Essentials®. Born in Lucknow, India, Bhargava moved to the United States in 1967 at the age of 14. Bhargava grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and attended Princeton University for one year before dropping out and focusing the remainder of his education on spiritual studies in India and the United States.

In 1990, Manoj founded a plastics company that he grew to $20 million in sales, which he sold to a private equity firm. With this money, he started a consumer products company, Living Essentials®, which became an overwhelming success with the introduction of 5-Hour ENERGY® in 2004. Bhargava has committed to giving away 99% of his $4 billion dollar net worth and signed the well-known Giving Pledge in 2012.

He now focuses most of his time on creating solutions at Stage 2 Innovations, his invention shop in Farmington Hills, Michigan, as well as supporting The Hans Foundation, one of the largest charitable organizations in India. Located just outside of Detroit, Stage 2 focuses on the areas of water filtration technology, and game-changing inventions to improve health/wellness.

Bhargava says, “My approach to things is: Let’s invent things that make a difference to peoples’ lives, and the inventions that really matter are the ones that will help the poorer half of the world. Let’s do stuff, not just talk about it.”


Shaan Bhargava

Founder, Shivansh Farming

Shaan is the Director of Special Projects at The Hans Foundation. Since its inception, Shaan has been running the day to day operations of Shivansh Farming, and researches solutions around the world to identify nearly-free, high impact solutions for small-plot farmers. Shaan graduated with a B.B.A. from Michigan State University in 2012, and joined The Hans Foundation shortly after.

Other Team Members

Vinod Sankar

Director of Strategy & Operations, Shivansh Farming

Vinod is an electrical engineer and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (Lucknow), with 15 years of experience in Outsourcing Sales and Digital Product Development across mature (IBM) and startup (NITI Digital) organizations. He is especially interested in marrying professional work with purposeful work, and at Shivansh Farming, Vinod is responsible for our external partnerships and for managing our field projects.

Cam Smith

Consultant, Shivansh Farming

Cam jumped straight into farming upon graduating university in 2009, developing a career in agriculture, sustainability, and permaculture design. He has extensive experience in winemaking/grape cultivation, water resource sustainability work in Oregon, grant writing, and food sustainability. Cam has developed school garden programs in underserved urban areas, and has worked on creating multidisciplinary coursework around food sustainability with Portland State University.
Cam was trained in Australia in 2013, by Geoff Lawton, and has since worked on a large variety of related projects to promote food sustainability, and natural regeneration.

Mohammed Erribani

Consultant, Shivansh Farming

Mohammed is a permaculture consultant and trainer who has a particular knack for earthworks and food forest establishment.His work experience was polished through conducting fieldwork in Yemen, Jordan, Togo, and Burkina Faso. Mohammed’s relationship to permaculture is one that draws from his childhood, growing in semi urban area surrounded by farm land and a small forest. Mohammed was trained in Australia, by Geoff Lawton, and has since been inspired to collaborate in projects to promote permaculture and natural regeneration.
Since 2015, Mohammed has been working in India with The Hans Foundation, managing training projects that has reached thousands of farmers in rural India, and is working with the team to scale up our efforts.

Technical Advisors & Knowledge Partners

Geoff Lawton

Permaculture Research Institute, Australia

Geoff Lawton is a world-renowned permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. More information about Geoff is available on his website.