Address by Mr. Vikram Gandhi – Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

May 20, 2023

We were honoured to host Mr. Vikram Gandhi, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, in the Newton Hall on Friday, the 19th of May. Mr. Gandhi holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School (Class of 1989) and is also a Chartered Accountant. He is a founder of Ashoka University, the first Liberal Arts College established in India. He took us through the incredible journey of his long and illustrious career from his school and college days in Mumbai to the 25 years he spent in Investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

Addressing the students of Grades 11 and 12, he shared his journey from being a venture capitalist, working on implementation of major mergers, acquisitions, capital raising initiatives and corporate restructurings to name a few, to someone who had turned his attention to Public Policy and Impact Investing – of realising how through business ventures one can change the lives of people by creating economic activity and also create sustainability by investing in models that are self-fulfilling and growing.

As CEO of Asha –Impact, an impact-oriented venture capital firm that invests equity capital with a target of market-rate returns in social enterprises, Mr.Gandhi shared his vision with the students explaining in detail Impact Investing and its significance to drive sustainable development in emerging economies in the age of venture capital /private equity.

He also enlightened the students on the “Tragedy of the commons” and how they can become more conscious global citizens.

Mr Gandhi clarified why ESG should be a priority for organisations and how they can display a triple bottom-line impact.

It was an enlightening and thought provoking session on how when Philanthropy and Government action is not sufficient to address societal problems, Private Enterprise can have a positive impact on the sustainable development goals, especially that of Climate Change; which can become a looming threat in the next 30 years, if not addressed now.

Strawberry Fields High School