ASHISH J THAKKAR
Founder, Mara Group
Ashish is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5,000 loan. Since then, he has driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognised multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments, Mara Group now has a presence across 25 African countries in sectors spanning technology, financial services, infrastructure and real estate. Ashish continues to drive the business development and strategy of Mara.
In 2012, Ashish was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in recognition of his success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa. Ashish advises several heads of state in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa.
Ashish is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young male and female entrepreneurs. Consequently, in 2009, he founded the Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy.
In 2015, Ashish was appointed Chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.
Ashish is based in Dubai and Kampala, Uganda.