Season 2     EPISODE 10
June 24, 2022

Assume less, prepare more | Sarita Upadhyay

Sarita Upadhyay reflects on her initial years at Medha, when the team got an opportunity to scale the organisation’s programme. However, decisions based on assumptions and an overall lack of preparedness resulted in the team losing out on almost two years of work.

2 min read

Sarita Upadhyay is a seasoned professional with more than 16 years of experience in the social and corporate sectors. As a core team member of Medha, she has helped in building the organisation from the ground up over the last 10 years. Currently, she is leading the strategy team at Medha. Her responsibilities are developing and implementing strategies for influencing the public education system, programme design, strategic partnerships, and execution of large-scale projects. Sarita has an MBA in Human Resources.


“My first takeaway from this experience was that it’s important to do the research and prepare for growth. The mistake we made was growing the programme based on assumptions about growth, stakeholder behaviour, skills required, and so on.  

We did not do any detailed analysis on how we would achieve this growth and what it would take, how many industries were out there, what kind of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) we needed to target, and the hurdles we would face in the process.

At the crux of it, we just hadn’t planned for scale. We were only solving problems as they came up. And as a result, we lost out on almost two years of work at Medha.”

Read more

  1. Read Sarita’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.

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