The most important members of our team are our guides, but here's the rest of us!
Chris Way Co-founder
Chris' original inspiration for the tours came from witnessing the potential of slum tourism in the fevela's of Rio de Janeiro.
Chris is from the UK. He studied Business and Hispanic Studies at Birmingham University, and is a part-qualified chartered accountant.
Chris first came to India in 2002 to do four months of volunteer work at a school that served children living in a slum. When Chris had previously lived in Rio die Janeiro, Brazil, he had witnessed how tourism was beneficial for local communities. With this understanding, Chris relocated to India in 2004 to start the project that would become Reality Tours & Travel.
After eight years living in Mumbai, he decided to give up his duties at both Reality Tours and Gives to the experts as he says. Currently he helps a NGO in Manila, Philippines to set up a similar model of slum tours as well as searches for opportunities to expand further.
Krishna Pujari Co-founder
Krishna originally moved from his home state of Karnataka to Mumbai to work in the restaurant business.
Krishna is from a village in Karnataka called Heranjalu. When he was 13, he came to Mumbai to work in various restaurants and cafeterias. During these years, Krishna also attended night school until he passed his final school exams.
Krishna loves meeting people and taking them on our tours. His favourite comment is "Oh, that's nice!" He loves playing cricket when he has time. Krishna is the glue between Reality Tours and our communities. He loves fish curry cooked by his Mum.
Joseph Bird CEO
Joe joined Reality Tours & Travel having worked as Marketing & Fundraising Director at Reality Gives for the previous three years. He's delighted that because of our business model, he continues to raise funds to support the work of Reality Gives
Having quit his corporate job in London in 2009 Joe came to India and since then has worked at international and grassroots NGOs and in Corporate Social Responsibility. This breadth of experiences which has helped him understand and value the unique benefits of now working in a social business.
When not found running around Dharavi or Sanjay Colony you'll find him running marathons. He can't say no to a chai and whilst his Hindi isn't great, he's just about mastered Indian head-wobble.
Beatrice Crestini Marketing Director
Beatrice is originally from Italy but lived in the UK for a number of years. Her first trip to India was in 2011 during which she fell in love with the country and kept coming back on holiday to travel around.
She holds a Masters in Foreign Languages and Literature and worked in the financial services sector. After this she decided to change career and became involved in charity work, moving to Mumbai to do some volunteer work and gain more experience.
Back in the UK she worked doing marketing and fundraising for a major charity that helps and supports mobility for blind and partially sighted people. Now she is back in India working for Reality Tours, and to follow her passion to work for a good cause and contribute to a social business that helps the local community.
She is a dedicated Iyengar yoga practitioner. Her hobbies include dancing, reading, gardening, listening to music, cooking, going to concerts and travelling with the aim of immersing herself in a foreign culture to fully experience each destination.
Asim Shaikh General Manager (Mumbai)
If you want to understand Reality Group, look no further than Asim's history with Reality!
Asim is our incredible Reception Centre Manager/ Community Centre Manager/ Tour Guide Manager / Tour Guide / Operations Manager. He started at Reality as a part-time computer teacher in November 2009 and has taken on more and more responsibility ever since. Today he is responsible for the day to day running of all our Mumbai Operations
He loves his work because it is challenging and he is never bored - there is always something new to do and learn (and he's a quick learner!). In the future, he can't see himself working anywhere else. Asim is particular grateful to Lee from Atma (NGO partner) for introducing him to Reality and to Jonny (Reality Gives Curriculum Development Director) for being his guide and mentor.
Asim was born in Antop Hill in Mumbai, and still lives there with his wife, parents, two younger brothers, son and daughter. His work with us has taken him across India, to Berlin to collect an awards on behalf of Reality and to Dharamshala for a private meeting with his Holiness The Dalai Lama.
Ravi Kumar Operations Manager (Delhi)
Ravi has been a resident of Sanjay Colony (the slum in which Reality Tours & Travel are based in Delhi) since he was just 3 years old.
With his passion for exceeding expectations and showing people his beloved Delhi, Ravi has quickly risen to the role of Operations Manager. When he's not busy at work his hobbies include playing cricket (he has played at state level for Delhi's under 14 and under 17 teams), chess, traveling and making new friends (he manages to do the last two even when he is busy with work!). He's also currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from NIMC.
Ravi's dream is to visit every corner of India and then the world.
Uday Pujari Senior Accounts Manager
Uday was born and brought up in a village in Karnataka and graduated from University with a degree in commerce.
He has been in Mumbai for 8 years. He loves yoga, cricket, volleyball, swimming, listening to music, and reading the newspaper and about the various religions. Uday was recently married to his girlfriend of 3 years. He currently lives in Bandra with his wife. Uday and his wife hope to one day start an organization in Karnataka that will support and rehabilitate orphaned girls and rescued girls who were kidnapped or abused.
SurajGuides Manager (Mumbai)
Suraj lives in Matunga Labour Camp, in Dharavi, with his parents and elder sister.
Suraj is a tug of war player for Maharasthra- as anchorman- and his team won a bronze medal for 2011/12. Suraj's dream is to play for India at tug of war. He is also a wrestler.
He also likes to watch his movies, such a 3 Idiots and Slumdog Millionaire. His favourite food is Punjabi and Gujurati, and his favourite snack is dhokla.
He likes the job because he enjoys communicating with people.
Mayur Parmar Operations Executive (Mumbai)
Mayur is our non-stop Operations Executive, who never seems to spend more than 5 minutes in one place.
He is the youngest member of staff, and also the busiest, with a job description that can only be described as 'varied'.
And he doesn't go home and rest after work. He's studying for his 12th Standard exams, as well as Tally (accounts program) and Desktop Application.
When he does have free time, he likes to play Australian football, and in the future, he wants to play in the AFL!
He was born in Mumbai and stays in Dharavi with his family, originally from Gujarat
Evelyn D'Souza Reservations Manager
Evelyn is our continually smiling Reservations Manager, who you will be in contact with when you book a tour.
Evelyn comes from a small village outside Mangalore called Beltangady. She likes to listen to music, reading and swimming. When she has some spare time, she loves to sit on the sea shore and watch the waves for hours!
Arul Bala Reservations Consultant
Arul is from Mumbai and lives in Dharavi. Before working for Reality Tours she was a student at the Youth Empowerment Program run by our sister NGO, Reality Gives.
She decided to join the team and helps with all of our tour bookings and travel reservations. What she likes the most is how her job keeps her constantly interacting with people and her constant smile is famous in the office.
During her free time she likes to listen to music and her biggest dream is to buy a flat in Mumbai for her parents and live a healthy life.
Tabrez Colaba Sales Executive
Tabrez lives in Dharavi and he loves to meet new people.
His hobbies are reading books, watching movies and playing marbles.
Ramesh Pujari Caretaker (Mumbai)
Ramesh is our hardworking caretaker at the Reception Centre.
Ramesh's family lives in Byandor and he visits them or they come to Mumbai every six months. He enjoys watching Hindi and Kannada movies.
Sagar was born in Delhi and is 22 years old. Before joining us, Sagar studied filmmaking and photography. As well as working for us in Sanjay Colony he continues his studies at Delhi University.
He loves travelling to different places and getting to to know more about people and their culture (which he often does when supporting our bicycle tours!). In his spare time he likes to hang out with my friends and plays frisbee in Lodhi Garden every Sunday.