Kartik Desai

Kartik leads Asha Impact, an impact investing and policy advocacy platform operating a multi-family office for senior business leaders and philanthropists to invest in for-profit social enterprises and engage with the government on inclusive growth and development finance across social sectors, and awarded as the ‘Top Impact Fund in India – 2018’ by Venture Intelligence. Kartik has led investments into and serves on the boards of early-stage companies in affordable housing, financial inclusion, waste management, education/employability, healthcare, agriculture, and energy access/mobility.

He is an elected board member of the Impact Investors Council and co-leads its Research Committee. Kartik was part of the Indian Prime Minister’s ‘Champions of Change’ group of 500 young CEOs, member of government working groups on ‘Housing for All’ and ‘Swachh Bharat’, investor judge on NDTV’s Real Deal reality television show on impact investing and founder of QNA, a social attitudes data analytics platform. Previously he founded What’s up Bharat, an inclusion-focused co-working space for artists, start-ups, activists and professionals. Kartik grew up in Europe and the US and returned to India in 2005. He has over 15 years of experience across venture capital, entrepreneurship, social finance, investment banking, global development and governance in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, West Africa, Europe and the US with organisations including Merrill Lynch, Lok Capital, Aavishkaar, the United Nations Development Program and Rockefeller Foundation. He is a graduate of the Wharton School and Columbia University.

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