Our team

Profit Accelerator > Our team

David Irwin

Team Leader

David Irwin is a consultant in enterprise and economic development working with clients such as Asian Development Bank, Danish International Development Agency, Department for International Development, Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, International Labour Organisation, International Trade Centre and World Bank.

He has considerable experience in the UK and internationally and substantial experience of assisting small and growing businesses, co-founding one of the UK’s first business support organisations and becoming chief executive of the UK Government’s Small Business Service in 2000. He has experience in designing and implementing export programmes and international joint venture programmes. He was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2009. He is non-executive Chairman of Cobweb Information Ltd, which researches, publishes and markets business information for new and growing businesses. He is a Visiting Fellow of the School of Politics at Newcastle University and of Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University.

Nada Ibrahim

Deputy Team Leader

Nada is an Enterprise Development and Innovation Consultant with over 10 years’ experience in private sector development primarily supporting smaller businesses across Africa and south Asia.
Her experience spans interventions across a number of different levels: from direct delivery of business support services focusing on access to new markets and capital, to development of incubation and acceleration services.

Nada also has considerable experience in conducting studies that provide an assessment of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and has supported donors to identify more effective approaches in stimulating the private sector: generating economic opportunities and creating jobs. She also holds a masters from the LSE centred on Development Policy, has first-hand experience of establishing and managing an innovative enterprise and is an SME finance expert.

Valentine Wolfram

Project Manager

Valentine currently works with IMC Worldwide as a Senior Consultant. She brings experience in international relations, political analysis and international development focusing particularly on the South and South-East Asia region. As a qualified Project Manager, she oversees a range of donor-funded projects in the region working closely with technical teams.

Prior to joining IMC, Valentine was based in Sri Lanka where she worked with government and civil society partners to raise awareness of and build partnerships for the promotion of sustainable development and human rights.

Aru David

GMS Business Accelerator Manager

Aru is a currently the Global Director of Private Sector Partnership, supporting all the offices of ASSIST in various region. Aru is also the Regional Director of ASSIST for the Mekong Region managing operations in the region. He has been involved in several developmental projects in the Mekong, South Asia & Africa region (Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius) for 13 years since 2007.

He has successfully implemented and managed SME competitiveness enhancement capacity building projects in various sectors in the region. Aru has built a strong network in the developmental sector and has established good relations with several multilateral organizations, chamber of commerce and business associations in the region. Aru is also speaker in several conference and forums on sustainable development. Aru is a Chemical Engineering Graduate and moved into developmental sector since 2007.

Pravin Rane

India Business Accelerator Manager

Pravin Rane has 13 years’ experience of dealing with Small and Medium sized Enterprises in relation to capacity building and business facilitation. Pravin advocates process orientation, global marketing, digital platforms, collaboration with foreign business partners and quality improvement to support business internationalisation.

At Bombay Chamber, he looks after International trade relations, export facilitation, sectoral engagements with respect to shipping and logistics, infrastructure, start-ups, insurance and risk management as well as industry-academia collaboration. He has managed multiple assignments funded by international agencies. Pravin is a qualified lecturer, pursuing his PhD in Economics, and keen to develop industry research and business facilitation. His current areas of interest are the “Future of Work” and the “Ease of Doing Business”.

Thuy Thanh Phan

Curriculum Development Lead and GMS Events & Partnerships Lead

Thuy Thanh Phan is currently member of the Private Sector Partnership Division of ASSIST - Mekong Region in the role of Project Manager. Thuy was majored in business administration field in her studying. Over her past 25 years working experiences, Thuy had been working and developing herself in several areas and functions of which, more than 10 years in the management role.

During the time working for her last Employer, i.e.: TUV Rheinland Vietnam Co., Ltd., Thuy had been leading the Training and Consulting Department where she had been deeply involved in managing and implementing funded PPP project, in collaboration with technical partners, stakeholders, local authorities and foreign NGOs. The project coverage – in terms of size – ranges from single to multiple countries. Most projects focus on capacity building for the sustainable development of SMEs in the implementing countries. Thuy joined ASSIST team as Project Manager since July 2020.

Lien Huynh

GMS Outreach Lead

Lien has been a project manager for more than 6 years in vocational training and capacity building related projects with a team of project coordinators and experts. She had successful led a national program of baby-friendly hospitals in Vietnam and worked closely with Government authorities, pediatrics associations and key business brands not only to support hospitals improving their mechanisms and promote quality and safe baby products.

Lien is a Business Graduate and moved into developmental sector in 2018. She has successful managed projects partnership projects in health and environmental sectors in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. She prepares and reports to donors of several partnerships and also organizes regular planned meetings with the donors and partners.

Thuy Ngoc Hoang Thuy

GMS Accelerator Facilitator

Thuy has joined ASSIST-Vietnam Office since February 2020 as HR & Admin (general affairs) Manager to facilitate office daily operations that center on project implementation. Before that, she ran her family-owned business, as general manager to build up the business from scratch.

She also worked at METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam as IM-IT Assistant then Rules & Procedures Organizer, assisting cross functional teams (local and HQ) in internal projects: grand store opening, system upgrade / implementation, providing advice and support in terms of standard work practices to departments in their complex routine operations. Thuy graduated with a Bachelor of chemical engineering.

Sandeep Khosla

India Events & Partnerships Lead

Sandeep brings with him 33 years of overall experience, in the Publishing industry across National and Regional dailies, Magazines, Business and Trade Publications, Events, Trade Seminars and Conferences. Sandeep is a result-oriented professional with a consistent track record of building and sustaining multiple revenue streams; motivated by internal standards of excellence, enhancing productivity and optimizing human capital.

Sandeep is also widely acknowledged for his mentoring skills for every aspect of the business -product design, sales and distribution. At Bombay Chamber, he would be developing business networking opportunities for SMEs.

Capt. Nikunj Parashar

India Outreach Lead

Mr. Nikunj Parashar is a founder of Sagar Defence Engineering PVT. LTD. He has over 14 years of experience in Shipping Operations, Ship construction, Cargo and Port Operations, along with Safety Management. He has worked internationally and has represented India on many international business and start up forums.

He is extremely well connected and highly capable of leading outreach and networking efforts, reaching out to potential SMEs and looking out for partners. He is a member of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other business and industry organisations internationally.

Minal Khadilkar

India Accelerator Facilitator

Ms. Minal Khadilkar has been working with Bombay Chamber since 2015. She has been working on a number of assignments conducted by BCCI such as UKIERI, American Arbitration Association etc. As a Project Assistant, she provided project management and event management support, as well as financial management.

She supported the management team in the communications as well as reporting and M&E. She has good experience of policy advocacy, having worked in the Committee Secretariat for the Private Equity Venture Capital and Capital Market Committee and Start-up Forum.