Founding Team

Dekhon was initially made up of five members - a mentor and 4 co-directors. The Dekhon team engineered and implemented the pilot hospital at Washim, and eventually transitioned the network over to SGN management. In their time with the project, the group set up the framework for Dekhon to develop into a fully self-sustaining system. Today, they continue to contribute to the ongoing growth and improvement of the network.



Mentor: Dr. Deepak Garg

Dr. Deepak Garg is a pediatric ophthalmologist who earned his M.B.B.S. From Bombay University in 2001 and did a residency appointment at the renowned eye hospital Sanakara Nethralaya for four years, reieving the “Best Outgoing Postgraduate Award” in 2004. He then worked at Lotus Eye Hospital in Mumbai where he is now an Associate Professor. Dr. Garg developed the idea for Dekhon in early 2011, building off other networks he had been exposed to during his time in South India, thus providing the initial spark that the project needed.  He is currently the Medical Director of a state of the art eye hospital named Eye Solutions in Mumbai, while simultaneously helping with the setup of Dekhon. 





Brian Zehr

Brian comes to Dekhon with diverse background and set of experiences. Much of his childhood was spent in rural Maharashtra. He completed his high school education at the prestigious Woodstock International School, tucked away in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India. After obtaining his International Baccalaureate from Woodstock, Brian obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign in May 2011.  He built his coursework around his interest in the use of biotechnology as a means to ensure global food security.  Brian has worked as an undergraduate researcher at the Institute for Genomic Biology in Urbana – Champaign and as an intern in the biotechnology lab at Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Ltd. At university, he also held leadership positions, managing the roles of event coordinator and treasurer for a student organization meant to spread awareness of Asian culture to those living in university housing.Coupling analytical thinking with interpersonal skills, Brian’s top focus areas for Dekhon are marketing strategy, PR, management and organizational development. 

Michael Powers

Michael Powers

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Michael attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, graduating with a Minor in Geology and a Bachelors Degree in Economics with an interest in micro-economics. While studying in college, he worked for demanding local transportation companies such as Peoria Charter and Suburban Express where his responsibilities included advertising and resolving arising problems in the operations of the companies. On the other side of the spectrum, Michael has spent his summers teaching tennis and sailing, helping children learn healthy life values and have fun at a camp in Michigan. Taking a varied wealth of experience and an even-tempered approach to problem solving, Michael focuses on Dekhon's logistics and process development strategies.

Barkha Kagliwal

Responsible for Dekhon's initial HR framework, Barkha grew up in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, studying at Nath Valley School until her completion of twelfth standard. She then attended the University of Manchester, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Human Resource Management. She has based her studies, academic and extra-curricular, on her keen interest in the human condition - research in sociology and anthropology being driving forces. Barkha has family ties to Nath Seeds and Mahyco, both of which are well established and farmer-centric seed companies, and uses her understanding, inter-personal skills, and well rounded intellect to tackle the challenges of keeping the most valuable facet - the human element - satisfied. She is currently pursuing an advanced degree from London School of Economics in Anthropology/Sociology.



Benjamin Zehr

Benjamin Zehr

Benjamin Zehr, in charge of Information Technology and Growth Strategy for the Dekhon project, is a citizen of both India and the United States. He spent his childhood in rural India, and completed his middle-schooling in Jalna. In 2007 he moved to the United States, and began his upper education at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School, a select admission school associated with the university. He graduated in 2011, and decided to return to Maharashtra to help set up solutions to the problems he grew up around. Starting in the fall of 2012, he has attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York as an undergraduate majoring in International Agriculture and Rural Development.