Season 2     EPISODE 3
May 6, 2022

No right time for hard decisions | Dilip Pattubala

Dilip Pattubala, co-founder of Uninhibited, a nonprofit working on ending the stigma around menstruation, talks about how he was unable to step back from an unhealthy power dynamic with a funding partner and how this affected both his and his team’s well-being.

2 min read

Dilip Pattubala is the co-founder and CEO of Uninhibited, a Bangalore-based nonprofit that is working towards making menstruation a non-issue in marginalised communities across India.


“Overall, the partnership was marked by constant reinforcement of power and fear, and a number of issues including fund disbursement, cultural mismatch, and unrealistic demands. Ultimately, we became nothing but vendors, with no contracts, no official acknowledgement, and no control over our brainchild. My team did not have the capacity to manage and they were not paid for months, which led to physical, mental, and emotional distress in the organisation. Eventually, after following up multiple times, just before the end of the financial year, the funder said that they did not have permissions from their board and, hence, they would not be able to process most of the payments.

The increasing loans, ambiguity, and toxic power dynamic made me question myself multiple times over the year. From being a confident risk-taker, I had become fearful of my own decisions. Even now, after three years, I catch myself being my own barrier, having to remind myself not to operate from a place of distrust. It has been an incredible test of persistence and resilience, with some takeaways for life.”

Read more

  1. Read Dilip Pattubala’s story on Failure Files.
  2. Read more failure stories on Failure Files.
  3. Check out some ideas and tools from Fail Forward to help your organisation take risks, learn, adapt, and fail intelligently.
  4. Understand why the social sector must recognise and talk about failure.
  5. Learn why talking about failure is crucial for growth.

Want to share your failure story? Learn more about what we’re looking for here, and share your pitch/story on [email protected]

We want IDR to be as much yours as it is ours. Tell us what you want to read.