AVI was formed as a Section 8 (non-profit) company under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. We are a member of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO), an umbrella body of 34 vape advocacy groups worldwide, as well as Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA). Following are the members of AVI’s Governing Board.
Samrat Chowdhery has been a journalist for two decades with stints in The Times of India, DNA and Hindustan Times in Mumbai and New Delhi. He is the founder-director of AVI and Vice President of INNCO. Mr Chowdhery, who resides in Mumbai, is the leading tobacco harm reduction advocate in India and is currently working on a project that evaluates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of lower-risk options for khaini users and bidi smokers. Contact: whatsapp, email, twitter.
Jagannath Sarangapani is an industrialist in Hyderabad, a masters in mechanical engineering who has for the past 28 years managing his family concern which pioneered cellular plastics and insulated panels in India. He is an ex-smoker since four years, having quit a 40-cigarette-a-day, 20-year habit thanks to vaping. No other previous attempts at quitting with cessation therapies worked. He firmly believes smokers need to retain the right to safer alternatives which help transition from smoking, and those who have switched should be allowed to remain smoke-free. Contact: whatsapp, email, twitter.
Dhaval Gogate is an optometrist residing in Pune and a vaper for three years. He began vaping to quit his 10-year smoking habit after numerous attempts with NRT gums and going cold turkey failed. He works in healthcare IT and has designed clinical analytics software which is used at some of the largest hospitals and health systems in the United States. He saw his health getting better after switching to vaping in 2016, and advocates for vaping extensively. He assists in the medical sphere for tobacco harm reduction. His mantra: always be a better person than you were yesterday. Contact: whatsapp, email, twitter.
Maneesh Kasera is a commerce graduate and information technology professional. He founded and runs an IT services and turnkey projects business in Kolkata since 1992. A heavy (30/day) smoker for 28+ years, he quit with vaping in March 2017. He was so convinced of the effectiveness of vaping that he also established a vape business in December 2017, with the driving force being tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation instead of turnover or profits. He continues to be an active and vocal advocate for vaping, government policies notwithstanding. Contact: whatsapp, email, twitter.
Olivier Vulliamy is a father of two boys (4 & 9), subtitler for an Indian TV channel, living in Goa. He was smoking 20-25 cigarettes/day for around 20 years and in December 2017, until a friend introduced him to vaping. He has never smoked a cigarette since and his chronic bronchitis disappeared as well as the morning cough. His family is happy as he does not smell like an ashtray and they are not affected by second-hand smoking anymore. He believes vaping saved his life and now encourages others who can’t quit to switch. Contact: whatsapp, email, FB group.
KANAV RISHI KUMAR
Kanav Rishi Kumar is a mechanical engineer from VIT. Peppy, perky, witty, quirky and moody, he is best described as an anti-social extrovert and a geek who loves to learn about new technologies. A life-changing moment for him was when he was able to quit smoking completely with the aid of vape mods. He is now a true believer in the good that tobacco hard reduction technologies can do for the modern world. Contact: whatsapp, email.
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.