Application Process for Aritra Leadership Accelerator Program has started

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Aritra is an intensive 12-month long leadership program that prepares its participants from the social sector for senior leadership roles. The program has a mix of residential, online, coaching, peer learning and mentoring components. In addition to these the participants will work on a strategic project within their own organizations to apply back learnings from the program. The program equips its participants with key organization building skills that will help them drive impactful policies, build strong organizations and create a strong collaborative network of influence.

The Aritra Leadership Accelerator program aims to build senior leaders who are organization builders and drivers of sustainable impact in the social sector. Aritra’s leadership framework comprises of 3 spheres of leadership- Cause Leadership, Organizational Leadership and Personal Leadership. All the 3 spheres of leadership are further mapped to key competencies like envisioning strategically and systemically, engaging and collaborating, building organizations, driving results through people and learning quickly.

This is a rigorous program.  It will require the highest levels of dedication, commitment, self-discipline and resilience to embark on a tough, challenging and exciting leadership journey through Aritra.

Individuals who meet the following eligibility criteria are welcome to apply:

  • Passionate about social change
  • A minimum of 8 years of work experience
  • At least 5 years in the social sector
  • Grass root level experience is critical
  • Proven ability to deliver results

There are two  avenues for applicants to enter the Aritra Leadership Accelerator Program Batch 2 (2018-19) :


Details of the two routes are given below.

Open Channel :

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria can apply on their own but will need the commitment of their organization for the following :

  1. Time to attend the residential modules of the program in IIM Bangalore (total 16 days)
  2. Support to complete the various segments of the program
  3. Financial commitment towards course fees

Nomination Channel :

Under this channel the donors and funders would be offered a specific number of seats for the applicants of their grantee organizations. In such cases, a customized selection process will be run for the specific grantee  organizations of that particular donor / funder. 

If you are an eligible candidate and have been nominated by your funder or organization to apply for this program, you will hear from us directly, once you have completed your online application form.

NOTE: In both cases the eligible candidates will need to fill the on-line application form in Round 1 and Round 2 on the Aritra Online Application Portal.

The details of all the rounds of the Application Process are as follows:

The application process comprises of 4 rounds. Applicants who will qualify in each round will proceed to the next round.

Round 1 Application Form: Complete and submit the online Application Form. Applicants must register and login to the Aritra Online Application Portal to fill the form. Applicants selected in this round will proceed to the next round.

Round 2 Upload Videos/Recommendation Letters/Commitment Letter: Applicants must submit 5 videos of 3 minutes each, talking about 5 specific themes like- your personal journey, what do you enjoy the most professionally, your professional challenges, your personal challenge that transformed you as a person and what are you seeking from the Aritra program.

In addition to this the applicants have to initiate the submission of their Recommendation Letters. These letters will be uploaded by the recommenders mentioned by the applicants in the Application Form. The applicants have to also upload their Commitment Letter. Commitment Letter covers each applicant organization’s commitment to the program.

Round 3 Panel Discussion: Attend a Panel Discussion with the selection committee via Skype

Round 4 Final shortlisting and selection

Application Process Timeline:



Round 1- Application Form

13th November 2017 to 7th January 2018

Round 2- Upload Videos/Recommendation Letters/Commitment Letter

22nd January 2018 to 2nd February 2018

Round 3- Panel Discussion

19th February 2018 to 26th February 2018

Round 4- Final shortlisting and selection

13th March 2018 to 15th March 2018

Announcement of final selected candidates

15th March 2018

The intensive 12 Months on-the-job program consist of the following components. Detailed modules and coverage will be shared closer to the start of the program:

  • 16-day residential module at IIM Bangalore campus, in blocks of 5+5+6 days. Each block occurring every quarter, starting from July 2018. For Batch 1, the residential modules were held in July, November and March
  • Each residential module will be interspersed with online courses, assessments, action learning projects, peer exchanges, coaching and mentoring sessions and developing Individual Development Plan
  • Every participant will be assigned to a mentor-a senior leader from the social sector to review the learning journey of each participant, to help troubleshoot and to provide guidance and support
  • Every participant will also be provided a coach-a trained expert who will guide the learning process through the journey

Please note that this is an intensive program which will require low to moderate level of engagement of the participants on a weekly basis.

Program Fee:

Total fee for Aritra Batch 2 is INR 5 lakhs which includes several components of a multi-pronged learning journey over a 12 month period.  These are : 

  • Specifically identified MOOCs which are in line with the program themes
  • Self-assessment tools
  • Monthly coaching sessions
  • Personalized mentoring by leaders from the social and the corporate sector
  • 16 days of residential class room sessions at IIM Bangalore covered over 3 modules of (5+5+6) days each
  • Peer learning sessions
  • A live learning project based on an organization challenge
  • Inputs and connects with SMEs on specific areas

The IIMB program fee per participant without subsidy is INR 3,72,800. The subsidised IIMB program fee per participant is INR 1,24,000

Applicants who need our assistance in engaging with their funders in this regard, can email us at

1. What is the Aritra program?

Aritra is a leadership accelerator program that aims to build 100 leaders in the social sector.

It aims to identify high potential individuals with a proven track record in the social sector and fast track their journey to senior leadership roles in the social sector.

2. What is the rigour of the program?

Aritra is an intensive and rigorous program that will span 12 months. Post these 12 months, the participant will be supported by an active alumni engagement component as well as periodic reviews and progress checks through the program management office

Your organization along with you, will be investing a considerable time in this program. It is a journey and will require your sustained commitment to unlock its maximum value

3. Who should apply for the Aritra program?

If you are passionate about social change, have a proven track record of results, have worked in the social sector and at the grassroot level, you must apply for the program. Those who are a part of not-for-profit organizations, trusts, charities, foundations and CSR teams are eligible to apply, provided the base criteria are fulfilled.

It will require the highest levels of dedication, commitment, self-discipline and resilience to embark on a tough, challenging and exciting leadership journey through Aritra

Look up the Eligibility Criteria section for more details

4. What is the educational and experience qualification I need to apply for this program?

Graduate in any discipline

A minimum of 8 years’ experience

5 years in the social sector with strong grass roots exposure and proven results

5. What does grass root level experience mean?

You should have worked closely with communities and beneficiaries of the services offered by your organization-a hands-on field or implementation role

6. What is the selection process?

The program has a very rigorous selection process. After Round 1, your application will be shortlisted based on the eligibility criteria. Post this step, in Round 2, you will be asked to submit videos that helps you showcase yourself and your work. This step also asks for 2 recommendation letters and a commitment letter from your organization, committing to support you through this journey. Upon shortlisting, you will attend a panel discussion via Skype.

The selection process is guided by the following principles:

·         Multiple assessment criteria validated across multiple tools

·         Multi-stage process to ensure process rigour

·         Multi-selector panel to ensure we eliminate any bias

·         Focused completely on evidence of past performance

7. How many candidates will be selected for the program?

20 participants will be selected as the cohort for Batch 2

8. What is the program schedule and the program components?

Refer to the Course Details section

9. How many days in the program journey do I need to be away from work?

This program is embedded in your work. It is essential that you continue to work as you go through this program. We recognize that you will have operational responsibilities and will have to strike a balance.

You will be required to spend 16 days at the IIMB campus in Bangalore. These are in blocks of 5+5+6 days, one block every quarter starting July 2018.

Apart from the above, you will need to spend a fair amount of time every week on different components including MOOCs, self-reading, assignments, projects, peer interactions etc. This is inclusive of your time you will spend with your mentor, coach and the program management office for regular reviews and progress checks.

10. What happens if I leave the current organization midway through the program journey

We are committed to supporting you, wherever you are. However, the organization you are a part of, is invested in this intensive process and for you in the program. The organization that you join next should provide their consent and commitment to supporting you on this program.

11. I am interested in the program but my managers have not been informed. At what stage do I need to get their consent?

You need to inform your immediate Reporting Manager and Organization Head immediately after your selection in Round 1. In Round 2, you need to submit a Recommendation Letter by your Immediate Reporting Manager and a Commitment Letter from the Organization Head.

12. What is the certificate I get at the end of the program?

You will get a certificate of completion signed by all partners of Aritra.

You will also get a certificate from IIMB on successful completion of the 15-day residential component.  Please note that certification is contingent on successful completion of all the modules of the program – residential sessions, coaching, mentoring and peer sessions, assignments, MOOCs, projects etc.

13. What if I attend all IIMB residential modules but am unable to complete the rest of the modules, will I still get the IIMB certificate?

No. All certificates of completion will be given subject to completion of all mandatory components of the program.

14. Will I get a stipend as a part of this program?

No. There is no stipend provided in the program

15. What is the course fee? What is the payment process? How and when do I pay?

Please refer Course Details section for more information on the program fees.

16. Do you offer scholarships for this program?

Limited scholarships up to the extent of 50% of the program fee are available for deserving candidates

17. I may be posted abroad after completion of the Aritra program. Would this program still be relevant and beneficial for me in an international context?

The program is relevant, as long as you continue to work in the social sector. However, it does have a strong application orientation to the Indian social sector, at the same time leverages international practices and knowledge to deepen understanding.

If you envisage an international placement in the foreseeable future, we would recommend that you check on the program schedule, since it does involve significant application of learning within India.

18. If I get posted abroad midway through the program what happens then?

If you envisage an international placement in the foreseeable future, we advise you to consider applying to the next cohort of the Aritra program

19. I am not an Indian citizen, can I apply for this program?

No. This program is open to Indian citizens only

20. Are there any age limits to apply this program?

No. Having said that, the program rigour is going to force a lot of un-learning and re-learning. If you are up to it, we would love to meet you. Send in your application

21. I am not able to submit my Application Form because of some technical issues. Whom should I contact?

For any Application Process related queries or technical issues during the submission of Application Form, videos or letters write to us at

Contact Us: For any Application Process related queries or technical issues during the submission of Application Form, videos or letters write to us at