Our People

Vandana Viswanathan

Co-Founder and Partner

Vandana finds purpose in helping to build better businesses and stronger organisations. In the last 25 years, Vandana has worked with and advised Boards, leadership and HR teams across India and Asia in businesses, NGOs and social enterprises.

Vandana has helped start-ups, promoter-led companies and large MNCs manage transitions to grow and perform. She enjoys working with businesses and leaders to reconfigure their internal ecosystem to meet their ambitions. She has led assignments on organisation identity and design, culture, managing performance and team development to do this. Vandana enjoys working with leaders and leadership teams and has helped Business Leaders and Promoters identify key shifts they need to make to succeed in their ambitions for the business both as individuals and organisations. She has coached leaders through key transitions and helped Boards with succession planning. She has helped to assess and develop many leaders for senior leadership roles in India and Asia. Vandana would love to see leadership and talent development be more inclusive, and for resources and commitment to lean more towards early career stages.

Vandana started her career in Hindustan Lever in 1995 and worked as an HR manager (over 6 years) at different manufacturing sites and the Unilever R&D Centre in India. She has a Master’s in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Vandana has worked with and volunteers her time with NGOs and Foundations. She has also served on the Board of the Ujjivan Small Finance Bank as an Independent Director.

Aashiana Hussainy


Aashiana’s career of over 20 years spans business and HR. She wears the business hat to see how better organisational, HR and leadership solutions can meet the needs of our clients. Having worked in sales, marketing and product management for 10 years prior to joining Cocoon, her strength lies in being able to speak the language of the business, and understanding the expectations that businesses have from HR processes and practitioners. She leverages this strength in both the design and execution phases of the assignments she is involved in.

Her expertise lies in helping clients to assess their organisation using a systems view and providing insights to the diagnostic and design work we do for our clients. She is curious and takes the time to understand what makes businesses successful today and how they can shift for enduring success in future context. This goes a long way in making our solutions meaningful and relevant to address our clients’ needs. She has also worked extensively in leadership development and enjoys creating challenging and interesting learning experiences that help leaders to experience future roles and contexts in a learning environment, and how they can get there.

Aashiana began her career in 1999 with the Tata Administrative Service (TAS), where she opted for the challenges of sales and marketing, and successfully managed products and channels. She has been an external assessor for the Tata Business Excellence Model – adapted from the Malcolm Baldrige Assessment, USA. She is also certified in Hogan Assessments. She is a Post Graduate in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Gitanjali Mishra


Gitanjali’s strengths lie in being able to diagnose and understand the world of our clients, leaders and teams we work with – well beyond the business. This is synthesised into astute insights on what will work and will not work in the client’s culture and environment, and therefore helps us to surface and address enablers and derailers.

Gitanjali leads assignments in talent management and leadership development at the firm. She is a certified coach and enjoys helping people to discover possibilities and their aspirations, and coaching them on their journeys. She supports leaders and teams through managing change and transition by holding up the mirror to them to be role models. She has helped clients across sectors and stages of growth to create the right talent processes and frameworks, be it skill frameworks, success profiles, hi-potential assessment and development processes and more. Her recent focus has been in the area of inclusion and diversity. She sees leadership and culture as the 2 most important drivers for change and is looking at how we can move the needle in these two areas.

Her career of almost 25 years spans different industry sectors such as manufacturing, media and retail. Gitanjali also enjoys teaching and is a guest faculty at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, where she teaches the Learning & Development course for MBA students. Gitanjali holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration degree from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune.