AVI was formed as a Section 8 (non-profit) company under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to avoid some of the issues faced by NGOs and Trusts, and to be more transparent. Being a Public Limited company, it has three directors, all of whom are vaping advocates.
Samrat Chowdhery has been a journalist for 18 years with stints in The Times of India, DNA and Hindustan Times in Mumbai and New Delhi. He is the founder-director of Council for Harm Reduced Alternatives (CHRA) and Association of Vapers India (AVI), and is deeply involved in the tobacco harm reduction space in India. Mr Chowdhery was honoured with ‘Advocate of the Year’ award at Global Forum for Nicotine (GFN) held in Warsaw in June 2018. Mr Chowdhery is currently working on a project that evaluates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of lower-risk options for bidi smokers. CHRA is a collective of professionals that promotes safer alternatives for the entire tobacco use spectrum, while AVI is a consumer-led body focused on vaping. CHRA has moved courts in Karnataka and Delhi against anti-vape policies, with another intervention about to be filed in Jammu & Kashmir. AVI is a member of International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO), an umbrella body of 34 vape advocacy groups worldwide which has UN observer status, and also of Coalition of Asia-Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) that comprises organisations from seven countries. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shreyas Madhan is a Chennai-based architect and entrepreneur who has over 12 years of experience in design and project management for some large firms in South India. He has also worked with startups in relation to business consulting and has helped lay the foundation for some large MNCs in India. Mr Madhan has been a smoker since 2002 and in spite of multiple efforts to quit, it never worked. He made the switch to vaping in 2015, and from a two-packet a day smoker he was down to almost none within months. He promotes vaping whenever and wherever possible to give smokers a chance.