I am a social entrepreneur working on education, skills development and youth employment in rural India. I believe that education can provide the tools necessary to change the world, and my dream is to create productive economic opportunities for India’s youth - particularly those from low income backgrounds - by defining their career path and empowering them for life. In the last decade, I have designed and implemented programs at scale that have impacted lives of more than two million children and youth studying in government schools in India.
India is set to benefit from a demographic dividend with 64% of its population in the working age group by 2020. As a result of this large workforce, India is expected to contribute to 25% of the global workforce by 2020, a fact which augurs well for potentially unprecedented economic growth. However, this also presents a huge challenge of meeting the requirements of skilled manpower. At present, the vision of ensuring that 464 million youths are prepared to fulfill this potential remains far from a reality.
This is especially the case for those from rural backgrounds, who are typically relegated to work in precarious, low paid sectors such as construction, agriculture or transport, usually at entry levels. Bewilderingly, the likelihood of unemployment actually increases with higher levels of educational attainment, a fact which points to the disconnect between academic qualification and professional employability in India.
To address this challenge, I have just launched a social enterprise called Arthan with a mission to provide unlimited economic opportunities to youth from low income background in rural India. Arthan takes a long term, multi-dimensional approach by creating a partnership between business, government and civil society to find necessary solutions. At THNK, I will be laying the foundation of this social enterprise, refining the business plan, impact model and honing his leadership and creative skills to go from idea to execution.
I hold an honors undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Delhi University and executive degrees in social entrepreneurship, as well as leading successful social programs from Stanford Business School and Harvard Kennedy School respectively. Additionally, I have worked with the leading education non-profits in India in the past. I stay in New Delhi with my wife Avani. Avani works as a fellow in a think tank called Centre for Policy Research in Delhi and specializes in social sector expenditure tracking. I love travelling, listening to music and being part of the social impact space in India.