Meet our Team

Meet our Team

Fritha – Founder and CEO

Fritha is the creative entrepreneur behind the Secret Projects. During her 13-year career in the voluntary and not-for-profit sector, Fritha has worked in organisations both in the U.K. and abroad, including Save the Children, and led Adventure Ashram, a small grassroots charity raising funds for projects in India. It was during this time that she became aware of the diverse challenges that mothers face in India. She created Secret Projects in order to work with women as business partners rather than beneficiaries.

From a pilot project in 2013, Fritha was able to build a committed crowd created through numerous crowdfunding campaigns in order to transform Secret Projects into what it is today. Fritha believes that with the leadership team firmly in place, Secret Projects has a bright future, one which she is dedicated to for many years to come.

Fritha is delighted to introduce the rest of the global Secret Projects team…

Banke - Co-founder and Global Director of Finance and Operations

Banke is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (CGMA) with over 20 years of leadership experience. She joined Secret Pillow Projects as a consultant in 2017. Two years later, Fritha invited Banke to join her and both co-founded the new company, Secret Projects Community Benefit Society in October 2019.

Banke’s career prior to this comprises of working in senior management roles in retail, logistics and manufacturing, both in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Some of her roles involved her and her team having responsibilities for achieving annual turnover budgets of circa £500 million and gross profit of £100 million.

She also held the position of the CEO of Horeb Haven Youth and Family Services CIC, a social enterprise in Northampton, UK for 5 years.

Sumathi - Director and General Manager of Social Power India

Sumathi lives in Bengaluru, is the proud mother of 4 children and is passionate about women's empowerment. Throughout her long career, Sumathi has gained a wealth of experience both in senior management and customer support in sectors as diverse as banking and student support. It was whilst working closely with a team of garment managers in Bengaluru that Sumathi learned an enormous amount about the textiles and accessory industry and this knowledge has proved invaluable in her role as General Manager at Social Power India. In her spare time, Sumathi loves cooking and going for long walks with her family.

Lissy - Quality Controller

Lissy is from the tropical southern Indian state of Kerala, and holds over 15 years of experience working as a Quality Controller across India. She now lives in a quiet village area on the outskirts of Bengaluru with her family. She has been working as a Quality Controller for Secret Projects for 2 years and recently took on the role of Assistant Production Manager.

She travels long distances to meet our Maker Groups in different states in order to hold training sessions, to check their products and answer any queries or doubts they may have. She is well experienced in the textiles industry and is highly organised and meticulous!

Margaret – Director of Communications

Margaret has worked for over 20 years in the charity sector in various roles including Volunteer Management and Project Management as well as Fundraising and Comms. She began her career in the retail sector with John Lewis on their Management Training Programme and this early training is something that is easily transferable to her role at Secret Projects. Margaret has a deep passion for India and spent 5 years working with a charity that supports small grassroots charities in South India. She is delighted to be a member of the Secret Projects team and to work with such inspirational colleagues and the Secret Projects Maker Groups. Margaret lives in London with her husband and son.

Sophie Mitchell-Heggs - Head of Visual Brand

Sophie is from London and received her BA in Graphic Design from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design. She has acquired over 15 years experience in Graphic Design, Marketing and PR, beginning her career at The Daily Mail Group (DMG), which gave her a great grounding and provided her with valuable experience. Sophie is especially keen to use her skills for organisations that work towards causes she is passionate about and, after having taken some time out to raise her 2 young sons, is delighted to have joined Secret Projects. Travelling to India is high up on her to do list!